It was believed that some of the world’s oldest wines were made in Georgia. In fact, the country has more than 8000 year history of wine making and continues to this day.
Kakheti in Eastern Georgia is famously known as the region of vines and wine making. It is in the culture of every family in this region to make wine and it’s a tradition that still continues to this day.
One amazing fact I learned from this trip is that 500 among the 2000 grape varieties in the world grow in Kakheti region alone. No wonder why we passed by so many grape plantations on our way there.
It’s noticeable how Kakheti is different from Tblisi (main city) and most of the community here consists of small towns. Regardless of the differences, the beautiful thing is that the culture remains felt and seen wherever you go.
Winery Khareba in Kakheti has a famous manmade tunnel offering an interesting attraction to visitors. The tunnel is built in rocks and being used for wine storage. The temperature inside is extremely cold.
Guests can book wine tasting here and will be offered with the best selection of wines from winery Khareba.
There is also a traditional Georgian band that plays at the entrance from time to time. Luckily we were able to watch that during our visit.
The winery has a hilltop restaurant where guests can enjoy Georgian specialties and can be matched with wines from the winery. We spent a nice lunch here and enjoyed cheese kachapuri, some Georgian bread and meat BBQ.
At the easternmost part of Kakheti region is a town called Signaghi. The town gives is said to hive an Italian feel due to the design of most structures and is notably beautiful, with the gorgeous landscape of the Caucasus mountains from the background.
One of the popular attractions here is the Bodbe Monastery. Georgia is a christian country and most of the locals are Orthodox Christians in religion. Religion plays an important role in the country’s history and culture as seen on their flag and the numerous historic churches found in the country.
The territory houses a belltower, a monastery, a church which is said to be a tomb of one of Georgia’s famous saint, a huge grassfield and a park which reflects significance to Georgian history.
Adjacent to the church is a 500-step stairway that leads to what is believed to be a healing spring.
Apart from the historical attraction, guests visit here to enjoy the scenic view overlooking the Alazani valley.
From Kakheti, we drove to Kvali and passed by Gombori pass where we saw heaps of charming blossom trees on the way.
MTSKHETA & GORI
Mtskheta is known as the ancient capital of Georgia and has impressive medieval religious architectures, mostly considered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
One of the most visited is the grandoise Svetitskhoveli Cathedral built in the 11th century. It is considered as one of Georgia’s sacred places and their history suggests that it contains the grave of Sidonia, who was believed to have been buried holding the robe of Christ.
Around the church are heaps of shops and stands selling souvenirs, crafts, and local fruits and pastries.
Guests are highly encouraged to follow the proper dresscode when visiting the churches.
A few minutes drive from Svetitskhoveli Cathedral is the Jvarti Monastery. The church has a scenic location on top of the hill overlooking the stunning views of Mtskheta city and Svetitskhoveli Cathedral, not to mention the two amazing of rivers of Aragvi and Mtkvari meeting together.
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From Mtskheta, we drove an hour to Gori to visit the Uplistsikhe Cave town. A minute away to the cave town is the Gamardjoba Restaurant. It’s a perfect spot to grab lunch , not to mention the gorgeous view around.
The Uplistsikhe ancient cave is located in a beautiful park and an entrance fee of 5 GEL (around 2.00 USD) is collected at the park’s gate. Stairways and pathways were made to access the cave.
Visitors are welcomed by the beautiful view at the top and the Akhali Shuamta monastery that functions until today.
Here’s a video of our Georgia adventure in less than 3-minutes:
Are you planning to visit Georgia soon? I would love to know what you wish to see and try. Comment them below. 🙂
Read more blog entries of my Georgia trip.