Omalo - Shenako circuit
From Omalo to Shenako and back through the Castle of Love and Ageurta
Trail: Omalo - Shenako Old Bridge - Akochis Tsikhe (Castle of Love) - Shenako - Ageurta (abandoned village) - Tatikboseltana (change from red to yellow trail) - Omalo
Duration: 1 day
Follow red marks from Upper Omalo to Lower Omalo (signpost by the old telegraph station) and then in the direction of Shenako (red and yellow trails go together for about 1 km to the forest). The red path drops rapidly down the hill outside the main road crossing the road once (you can go back about 200 m on the road for a view on the Castle of Love located at the switchback. The red mark zigzags down to the bridge (renovated in 2019) and then about 400m up. The path leads to a small rocky clearing from which there is a left turn off to Akochis Tsikhe (temporary arrows on the rock). From here, you can continue up following the red trail up to Omalo or make a sidewalk to the Castle of Love (Akochis tsikhe). In the latter case, you will encounter one rocky place heading down at the very beginning of this section. Other parts are clearly marked with signs leading to a beautiful viewpoint of the Pirikiti valley. The sidewalk should take about 1-1.5 hour.
Coming back to the main trail, you continue up on the left following the red signs to Shenako. This trail skips the car road, and at certain places, it offers excellent views over Pirikiti valley to Omalo plain.
In Shenako you can have a rest at one the local cafes. You can take the same route back to Omalo, but having time, you might consider going to below Shenako (red trail to Ageurta). After about 30 minutes on the red trail, you will come to the abandoned village of Ageurta with breathtaking views over Alazani Valley in Chaghma. From Ageurta the road changes to a path through the forest (red signs) up to Tatikboselthana signpost at one of the switchbacks on Omalo-Shenako car road. From here, continue on the road up to Omalo. On the way, you can stop for refreshing in the river by the bridge or you can also explore the small mineral spring after the bridge. To find the spring turn left after bridge through a little stoned plain (often used for cars) and follow the tiny path along the riverside.
You can start the trail from Shenako following the red trail sign indicating the direction to Shenako. Firstly, the road is marked jointly yellow and red. Then the red trail splits in the first more pronounced bend on the road. The red path goes down to the river and up to a small rocky clearing. The main route to Omalo penetrates the forest and sharply drops towards the river, the Castle is marked with red signs from the rocky clearing (to the right if you come down from Shenako).Whether you are coming from Shenako or Omalo, the footpath leading from the turn will take you most of the time through the forest and sometimes over boulder fields, right to the ruins of Akochis Tsikhe.