Pankisi Travel Guide

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Pankisi Valley

Pankisi Valley

Iwona Kaliszewska

About the region 

The Georgian Pankisi Gorge is situated in the very heart of the High Caucasus and is one of the most northern regions of Georgia. Pankisi is an ideal place for nature and trekking lovers as well as fans of climbing expeditions. Many pedestrian and horse trails run through this region. Off-road cars can be used on some of the routes, and mountain river valleys and waterfalls can be admired through the window.   In the 12th and 13th century there used to be a rich duchy called Torgwa Pankeli, named after a Georgian aristocrat. The duchy was surrounded with massive walls, fortifications as well as signal and fortified turrets. Within these fortifications the Georgians built many Christian churches, whose ruins are still visible in every corner of Pankisi.   Pankisi is a land of Sufi brethren, both male and female, a region inhabited by Muslims and Christians often cultivating the traditions of both religions.

On the Eastern part of the gorge there is a picturesque Tusheti National Park. The protected area embraces the alpine belt with its coniferous forests, crystal clear mountain lakes and mountain pastures. In the mountain forests one can encounter a Caspian sea wolf, a lynx, Caucasian goats and chamois. Over the canopy fly black-billed capercaillies, Caucasian snowcocks and pheasants. In addition to nature, residential turrets with defensive features are another attraction of the park.

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