There is a country between Europe and Asia, with great history, rich culture and brilliant people, named Georgia. The place where East and West meets each other and creates the “Harmony of the Universe”.
This is the country full of the things the traveler can only dream about: mountains with peak of snow, mountain lakes, alpine meadows, canyon rivers full of flowers and fruit, palm coasts, natural canyons, ancient caves, mineral waters and sulfur water pools . This is the real heaven on Earth!
It doesn’t metter who you are and what are you looking for. There is always something waiting for you to be descovered here.
In this article you will be introduced one of the greateast part of this country. Kakheti the eastern region of Georgia that is known for producing wine from a variety of grapes.
Kakheti is also rich in history. Sighnaghi, the region’s most prominent town, is known in Georgia as the “city of love”, with many couples coming here to marry due to the romantic atmosphere. Kakheti boasts a warm, Mediterranean climate, the incredible monastery complex of Davit Gareja, a desert, many beautiful churches, castles, waterfalls and lakes. Kakhetian people are very friendly and openhearted. If you visit this region, you will most certainly have an unforgettable time.
So get ready, now you will have a chance to travel through the land of wine!
What to see:
Here is the “Top sights in Kakheti”
1. David Gareja
David Gareja located 60-70 km southeast of Georgia’s capital Tbilisi. It is a rock-hewn Georgian Orthodox monastery complex located in the Kakheti region of Eastern Georgia, on the half-desert slopes of Mount Gareja. The complex includes hundreds of cells, churches, chapels, refectories and living quarters hollowed out of the rock face.
The complex was founded in the 6th century by David (St. David Garejeli), one of the 13 Assyrian monks who arrived in the country and preached Christianity to the Georgian people.
2. New Shuamta Monastery
New Shuamta Monastery is located 6 km from Telavi (the main city and administrative center of Georgia’s eastern province of Kakheti).
The church was built iin XVI century in times of the reigh of King of Kakheti Levan and Queen Tinatin.
The damaged temple was restored by King Erekle II during his reign.
“Shuamta” means – among the mountains.
3. Old Shuamta
Old Shuamta – located 7 km from telavi. It Dates back to the 5th century.
It is one of the oldest preserved Orthodox churches in Georgia
4. Ikalto monastery
Ikalto monastery located 7-8 km west of the town Telavi.
It was built in the VI century by one of the 13 Assyrian monks – Zenon of Ikalto. It was known as one of the most significant cultural-scholastic centres of Georgia.
The Academy of Ikalto trained its students in theology, rhetoric, astronomy, philosophy, geography, geometry chanting but also more practical skills such as pottery making, metal work, wine making and pharmacology. According to a legend the famous 12th century Georgian epic poet Shota Rustaveli studied there.
5. Alaverdi Monastery
Alaverdi Monastery is a Georgian Eastern Orthodox monastery located 25 km from Akhmeta, in the Kakheti region. While parts of the monastery date back to 6th century, the present day cathedral was built in the 11th century by Kvirike III of Kakheti, replacing an older church of St. George.
Gremi is a 16th-century architectural monument – the royal citadel and the Church of the Archangels located in town Gremi, 175 kilometers east of Tbilisi. Gremi was the capital of the Kingdom of Kakheti in the 16th and 17th centuries.
It’s also worth visiting the restored royal castle. There is a museum on the ground floor.
Visitors can also go up to the top of the castle to get the panoramic view of the Alazan valley.
Nekresi is a historic town in Kakheti, one of the most important cultural centers of Georgia. It is situated on top of a steep hill overlooking the Alazani valley.
The earliest one is a small church built in the early 4 th century. It was built soon after the declaration of Christianity the official religion of the country.
8. The fortified town of Sighnaghi The fortified town of Sighnaghi, located on a steep hill and overlooks the vast Alazani Valley. The defensive walls and 28 towers were built by King Erekle II in the 18th century against the Lezgian invasion.
It is one of Georgia’s smallest towns. It preserved its original image and now offers visitors stunning views of the surrounding Caucasus Mountains.
9. Have you ever dreamed to live in the Castle and had modern comfort? If yes, then you should visit and discover one of the best hotel in this region – Royal Batoni.
Royal Batoni is located in Kvareli, on the bank of Ilia Lake, between the mountains and river. It’s 72 km away from Tbilisi city center.
This is the hotel with elegant retro stile rooms with feature modern design and furnishings. It offers restaurant with outdoor bar and a Ilia’s lake view terrace, hanging outdoor swimming pool, a wine cellar, sauna, cigar room, games room with billiards and table tennis and many entertainment things.
If you want to get away, somewhere far from the daily rutine. If you really want to slow down the time and feel the space, real space of freedom and something natural, you should definitely try to spend time there.
What to eat
Traditional Georgian feast, called “Supra”, is one of the delicious part of Kakheti region.
During the traveling in Kakheti, you can become part of several delicious processes as well.
Every region of Georgia has its own cusine. In Kakheti there are more popular meat dishes.
Mtsvadi – Georgian barbeque, meat grilled to over a grape vinewood fire.
Khinkali – Juicy meat dumplings are made to be eaten by hand.
Khashlama – beef cooked meat.
Shoti bread – newly baked bread in the round clay owen “tone” in the yard.
Churchkhela – traditional Georgian national dessert. After the grapes are harvested, people make it with grape juice and nuts.
And finally of course, don’t forget a glass of Wine.