Dartlo Village, Tusheti
One of the most ecologically unspoiled regions in the Caucasus, Tusheti is a popular mountain-trekking venue. Unique, mysterious, fabulous, extraordinary. Just some of the words that come to mind when visiting the heritage village of Dartlo in Georgia’s high mountainous region of Tusheti. Located on the northern slopes of the Greater Caucasus Mountains, Tusheti is bordered by the Russian republics of Chechnya and Dagestan to the north and east, respectively; and by the Georgian historic provinces Kakheti and Pshav-Khevsureti to the south and west, respectively. Traditionally, the Tushs are sheep herders. Tushetian Gouda (cheese) cheese and high quality wool was famous and was exported to Europe and Russia. Even today sheep and cattle breeding is the leading branch of the economy of highland Tusheti. The local shepherds spend the summer months in the highland areas of Tusheti but live in the lowland villages of Zemo Alvani and Kvemo Alvani in wintertime. Their customs and traditions are similar to those of other eastern Georgian mountaineers (see Khevsureti). Dartlo village is one of the most beautiful villages in Tusheti. Dartlo village is situated 2,000 meters above sea level by the Alazani River, on the northern slope of the Greater Caucasus Mountains. It is distinguished by its vernacular architecture with dry masonry and stone-slated roofs, where residents have sustained their ancestors’ culture and pattern of life.