Zovata Valley

Cover image © Audrey Bogini

Zovata or Tsovata is one of four communes in Tusheti. Abandoned by its inhabitants, its a 'ghost' valley boasting stunning scenery and home to fascinating ruins left by the Batsav, the Chechens' Tusheti forefathers.

Suggestion: go to Zovata on horseback! With its pastures, green expanses and wilderness, the valley's best explored on horseback - a form of transport favoured by shepherds across the centuries.
My review

Leaving from the Gometsari commune of Tusheti, I headed for the first time to Zovata, a legendary valley which, unlike other parts of Tusheti, is an abandoned area, no longer used even for it's pastures.

I arrived with my head full of preconceptions. In Georgia, the Tushetis have a reputation for being mountain folk steeped in traditional values and in Tusheti its the Batsavs, natives of Zovata, who are supposed to be the primitive mountain dwellers. With Chechen as their maternal tongue, pagan traditions that are still observed, you'd think the Batsav hadn't changed much throughout the Caucasus' history.

But the Batsav have long since abandoned their former pastures, which are difficult to reach and they now live in the easier climes of Tusheti. Today, Zovata is a beautiful valley, set high in the mountains. A lost paradise, dotted with Bastav ruins - visit Indurta and Etelta to see the ruins of fortified towers and shepherds homes.

Nearest to Zovata Valley

Distances shown are straight-line, calculated automatically from coordinates, and may not reflect actual travel distance. They do not account for altitude, terrain, or obstacles. Not suitable for itinerary planning or emergencies. For entertainment use only.

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