Oreti Lake is in the protected area of Tusheti at 2650 meters above sea level, about 6 kilometers from the village of Kumelaurta.
The lake is beautiful from mid-June to mid-July. This is rhododendron flowering time. At this time, the lake is full of water and the area is also very impressive. In August, the lake is half dry. Bright colors turn to yellow and in my personal impression, the lake loses its luster. However, the views from the lake are amazing. So the lake is reachable From the beginning of June till the middle of September, but the best period to visit is mid-June to mid-July.
Pine tree forests, alpine meadows, and breathtaking views over Tusheti… That’s the short explanation of this route to the lake.
Infrastructure around the Lake:
- Before the lake, approximately 1.5 km is a shepherd’s hut. In case of trouble or bad weather conditions, you can ask the help of them.
- Last 2 years there was a small cafe by the lake, where you could order fast light food, beer, hot tee, or coffee. NOTE: Don’t get all your hopes up on this cafe, you might not see it again next year.
How to get to Oreti Lake:
There are only 2 options to get to Oreti Lake.
- The first option is to get a horse in Omalo and have one full-day horse riding tour. You need around 5 hours to reach the lake by horse and 3 hours to descend but is more enjoyable to camp near Oreti Lake (there is spring and a nice camping place near Oreti) and come back to Omalo the next day.
- The second option is to hike. From Omalo it is 23km two-way so in 1 day it will be hard to hike if you don’t take a car to the village to shorten your way.
You will start your way – a steep ascent surrounded by high and beautiful pine trees. On a short section, you will need to overcome quite a big elevation, about 400 meters. After serpentine, you will see shepherd’s huts. Be ready to meet sheepdogs – it is not dangerous you just need to know how to get rid of them. Therefore, here you can also fill up your water and have a short chat with shepherds.
Then you will have views of the river gorges of beautiful Tusheti, not much ascent, more beautiful alpine meadows. You will have to cross the small stream and then soon Oreti Lake appears from nowhere, it is calm and green-blue colored, just between mountains.
There will be a view of the whole Tusheti and Caucasus Mountain ranges Tusheti shares including Tebulo (4492 m) and Diklosmta (4285 m). You can camp there if you are not in a hurry to return the same day. There is water and a nice camping place.
For more information please check One-day hiking tours in Tusheti
- Don’t forget to take the water, the first part of the route is quite steep and you will definitely need it.
- Just have good trekking shoes and a hiking stick. Especially in June it often rains and the trail is quite muddy.
- Don’t forget to take a raincoat, because the weather changes too fast.
- Have a sun cream and a hat. In sunny weather, you can easily burn.
- Be careful near a shepherd’s hut. There for sure will be dogs. Don’t throw a stone at them. Just do nothing, and wait for a shepherd. He will call the dogs and calm them down.
- Have a good camera, you will have a lot of breathtaking views.