Okrotskali Lake Trekking in Chuberi, Svaneti
Are you traveling to trek in Svaneti , but want to keep away from the big tourist destinations and a crowd of hikers? Head Okrotskali Lake Trekking in Chuberi. Travel off the beaten path and discover a whole new you. We can help you make it happen. We’ll show you here the trekking trail and how to get you there in style.
How to Get there
Okrotskali Lake is located in Chuberi community of Svaneti, near the administrative lines with Abkhazia. To get to Chuberi, you need to travel to Svaneti, after you pass the Enguri dam and reach village Khaishi, you will cross a bridge and instead of continue the asphalt road (leading to Mestia), turn left from the bridge and follow the dirty road to village Lukhi. You can use any kind of car until Lukhi village. But from this point you will need either a proper SUV 4X4 car, or you can hire a big truck from the villagers to finish the last 20 km of the off-road to Okrotskali Lakes. This last 20 km of road is quite challenging and requires at least 2 hours of driving. After 2 hours of driving, you reach the crossroad from where one road goes down to the river. It is advisable to stop here your car and start walking.
First Day: Muds, Insects and River crossing
After you leave the main road and go down to the river, you will see an old yellow wagon of old Soviet truck, some sort version of the “magical bus” from Into the Wild.
From this point, you will need to walk in the forest, you will encounter high grass but the main challenge will be the mud on the trail. For next 2 hours, you will walk on the muddy terrain and high grass. When you hope that you left behind the overgrown valley, you will see an enormous overgrown meadows in front of you.
Here the grass is taller than 1,5 meter (5ft), but luckily this section is only 500 meter long. After this, you will see the abandoned shepherd hut where you will be able to hide from the sun.
However, this day also has another challenge. Insects! Lots of them. Personally, I have never seen such many insects (Mosquitos, Buzzes, flies, etc) in one place in highlands of Georgia. There are so many and so determined to bite you that even insect repellents at some point stopped working. We needed to hurry and continue our journey. Soon we reach the Ormeleti river. Of course, no bridge awaited for us here, so will be for you as this area is so much deserted from humans.The river is quite big in June and July and it is advisable to bring a 20 meter rope for river crossing. In August and September, the level of river is quite small.
After the river, soon the high grass and insects will be left behind. The path slowly goes up and soon you will see many small waterfalls coming from Okrotskali Big Lake.
However, another 3 hours is ahead of you as the main ascend starts from this point, at least 400 meter elevation difference. After the hardwork and all the effort, you will reach one of the most beautiful lakes in Georgia. Camp at the shores of the Lake.
Second Day: Small Okrotskali Lake
This day is either for relaxation or for challenges. Hikers who wish to enjoy with the beauty of Okrotskali Lake can stay at the lake for the whole day and relax
while others who like even more challenges can try Small Okrotskali Lake which is situated just 2,5 km from the big Okrotskali Lake, but the route is really hard and challenging. You will need to conquer 450 ascend in such a small distance with an uneven terrain, but once you reach Small Okrotskali Lake, the views and everything is like a heaven on the earth. This lake is located on the dividing line between proper Georgia and the occupied territories of Abkhazia, but given the remoteness of this place, you should not fear any security issues here. In the evening, everyone returns to the camping of Big Okrotskali Lake and overnight there.
Third day: Return back
This day is quite straightforward. You will go the exact same path you took on the first day of your trip.
The most challenging part is the first 2 km when you need to descend from Okrotskali Big lake towards the river.
However, soon the path becomes easy and after 4 hours of hiking, you will reach your transport. You can come back to Tbilisi/Kutaisi or Batumi, or continue your journey towards Mestia and explore more touristic spots of Svaneti.