Kakheti (Georgian: კახეთი) is a region in eastern Georgia, bordering Russia to the north and Azerbaijan to the east and south. It consists of plains (the Alazani and Iori valleys) and mountains (the Caucasus in the north and the Tsiv-Gombori mountain range in its centre). Kakheti is the main wine growing region in Georgia. It also has plenty of history and has a number of monasteries, castle and medieval towns.
The Alaverdi cathedral lies 20km from Telavi, the regional capital. It's an 11th century cathedral built by King Kvirike of Kakheti. The cathedral is in a compound surrounded by walls. The Gremi fortress is located on a small hill next to the Gremi village and contains a large cathedral, built in 1565 by king Levan.
The Monastery of St. Nino at Bodbe is located near Sighnaghi. Originally built in the 9th century, it was significantly modified and expanded over the centuries. The nearby city of Sighnaghi ("city of love") is a major tourist centre in Kakheti. Sighnaghi was founded in the 18th century by king Heraclius II of Georgia and is surrounded by a 4km long wall. The picturesque centre is small enough to be explored by foot.
In the south of Kakheti, along the border to Azerbaijan lies the David Gareja monastic complex. This was originally founded in the 6th century by St David Garejeli, one of the thirteen Assyrian monks who arrived to Georgia at that time. Nowadays it consists of a number of churches and living quarters carved in the rocks, all spread over a large area.
How to get to Kakheti
In principle it is possible to visit Kakheti as a daytrip from Tbilisi, although it is better to plan a few days in the region in order to have enough time to visit its highlights. It's best to have an own transportation.
Accommodation
Since Kakheti is a primary tourist region in Georgia, there are many Accommodation options in the region.
01 Access road to monastery 02 Quad bikes 03 Clock tower 04 Basilica 05 Pilgrims
06 Pink roses 07 Basilica 08 Basilica 09 Basilica 10 Inside the basilica
11 Basilica pillars 12 Basilica windows 13 Park with cypresses 14 Park with cypresses 15 Clock tower
16 Clock tower 17 Basilica tower 18 Pilgrims 19 Dune buggies 01 Parking area
02 Hill above Lavra monastery 03 Entrance to Lavra monastery 04 Georgian Asomtavruli inscriptions 05 Heorgian orthodox monk 06 Towers
07 Lavra monastery 08 Tower 09 Clock tower 10 Monk living quarters in the rock wall 11 Staircase
12 Lavra monastery 13 Lavra monastery 14 Monk living quarters in the rock wall
15 Monk living quarters in the rock wall 16 Church 01 Defensive tower 02 City walls
03 Sighnaghi 04 Sighnaghi
05 Sighnaghi 06 City walls
07 Defensive tower and city walls 08 Soviet era memorial 09 St George church 10 Cobblestone street
11 Citywall gate 12 Solomon Dodashvili statue 13 Khinkali dumplings 14 Municipality administration building
15 Bank building at night 16 Hotel Signagi 17 World War II memorial 18 World War II memorial 19 Street in Sighnaghi
20 Municipality administration building 21 Candy seller 22 Georgian candies 23 Tklapi fruit rolls
24 Churchkhela candies 25 St George church 26 City walls and church 27 Old town 28 St George church
29 City walls 01 Grapevines 02 Grapevines 03 Wine casks buried in ground
04 Qvevri clay wine vessel 05 Qvevri being lowered into the ground 06 Wine cellar 07 Grapevines
08 Wine tasting 09 Baking bread 10 Bread baking in oven 11 Bread baking in oven
12 Bread baking in oven 01 Kakheti scenery 02 Dog
03 Panorama restaurant 04 Kakheti scenery 05 Stones 06 Alaverdi monastery
07 Alaverdi monastery 08 Alaverdi cathedral tower 09 Alaverdi monastery walls 10 Alaverdi monastery walls 11 Alaverdi monastery
12 Alaverdi monastery entrance 13 Alaverdi cathedral 14 Gremi fortress 15 Gremi cathedral 16 Gremi cathedral
17 Alazani valley
18 Alasani valley
19 Southern Kakheti plains 20 Road to David Gareja 21 Coffee beetle cafe
22 Coffee beetle cafe 23 Gareja dry rock cliffs
24 Gareja dry rock cliffs
25 Coffee beetle cafe 26 Gareja dry rock cliffs 27 Chaos cafe in Udabno
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©Copyright Alfred Molon