Kakheti region was our next destination from Tbilisi which exists in the eastern part of Georgia. It was formed in the 1990s in eastern Georgia from the historical province of Kakheti and the small, mountainous province of Tusheti. It is well known for it’s wine.
Note : Georgia is known to be the birthplace of Wine
First, We headed towards Telavi , which was the capital of Kakheti region. On the way, we happened to get a scenic view of the lush green mountains which made us fell in love with the place. It did really catch our eyes. Of Course, who does not like to take snaps with this kind of a background 😛 . After that, we continued our journey.
After 2.5 hours, we reached Telavi. The atmosphere in the city was calm unlike Tbilisi. We noticed that there was less crowd compared to Tbilisi.
1.Palace of King Erekle II , Telavi
We visited Palace of King Erekle II which is also called the Batonis Tsikhe from Kakheti Kingdom between 1744 and 1798. This palace inhabits influences of the neighbor in the south, Persia which is present Iran. You can also notice with the statue of the King Erekle 2 near to it.
In front of this palace, there is an old giant tree which is also called Erekle tree. This tree is unique because they say it is 900 years old. It has an unusual large circumference and holds an important significance among the Georgians. We spent around 1 hour near the palace and the tree.
Our next stop was to Gremi Fortress , one of the beautiful place in the eastern region of georgia which is a 16th Century architectural monument. It takes 30 minutes drive to the fortress from Telavi.
Gremi Fortress also has a royal citadel and church of archangels. It was built by the King Levan in the 15th century and it was one of the residential places of the Kakheti Royal family .Gremi region was the capital of Kingdom of Kakheti in the 16th and 17th Century.
In the below image, you can also notice the influence of persian architecture on the walls of the fortress because of the Shah Abbas 1 of persia who tried to occupy this region in the 17th Century.
As we entered the fortress, we witnessed the artefacts that were kept from the old times for visitors to see.
The hole in the below image is located on the top floor of the fortress which was used by the royal family to communicate with the people in the below floors. We spent around 1 hour in this place.
Gremi Fortress offers stunning scenic views too as gremi region is located at the foothills of the Caucasus mountain range. I will talk about Caucasus mountains later in my posts as it is something amazing which you will like it for sure 🙂 . Anyway, we totally enjoyed being at this place 🙂 . It was a hot sunny day 🙂 . We wished for rain god to throw some showers 😀 .
3. Wine Tour in Kvareli
Next, We headed for an exciting part of the tour. Yes, It was a visit to the winery. So, we visited this winery called JSC Corporation Kindzmarauli which is located at the historic Kvareli Castle in town of Kvareli. The enterprise owns approximately 150 hectares of vineyards, of which 100 hectares are in the historic Kindzmarauli micro zone. It was a 20 minutes drive from Gremi to Kvareli.
Note : Kakheti region produces the very best wine in the whole country.
Since we were taken to a winery , we wanted to have a taste of wine . We opted for wine tasting and happened to taste 3 different kinds of wine. They were good and tasted differently. They gave us a brief explanation about preparation of different kinds of wines , it’s contents and how they are stored. There is also a restaurant located in the winery if you want to grab something for food. We spent around 2 hours in this winery.
Note : Wine Tasting will cost you 2 GEL per person for each kind of wine
Next, we were taken for a wine preparation tour. It was for free. Here, they showed us in detail how wine is prepared and where they are stored. It was something good to know.
Next, We headed to another winery called the Winery Khareba which is a 15 minutes drive from JSC Corporation Kindzmarauli. This place was something unique because it comprised of a 7.7 km of wine tunnels, dug out of a hillside which was done in the early 1960s for storing and ageing wine at constant temperatures.
We did not opt for wine tasting but opted for a wine tour as we wanted to get a feel of being inside the tunnel.
Note : Wine tour at Khareba winery without wine tasting will cost you 7 GEL per person
So, we were taken to the tunnel by our tour guide and believe me it was cold out there. They said the temperature inside the tunnel is always 14 degrees and it is constant which is ideal temperature to store the wines. It was totally a different but good experience for us as we had not experienced something like this before 🙂 . We spent around 1 hour in this place.
4.Signagi – City of Love
Signagi was the last stop of the day.It is also called the city of love. It was a 1 hour drive from Kvareli to Signangi .What a beautiful town it was. This town reminded me of certain movies. It is one of the popular tourist destination in Georgia. It is unique because it has fortress walls. It is located on a steep hill, which overlooks the vast Alazani Valley, with the Caucasus Mountains visible at a distance. It was founded in the 17th century during the reign of King Erekle II of Georgia and as a settlement it was recorded in the 18th century.
This town has a wedding house where one can get married anytime in a day. Something strange right ? 😉 After a small walk in the streets of this town, We were taken to a nearby church which offers beautiful view of Alazani valley and Caucasus mountains. The view of this charming city made us feel like staying over there.
We stayed in this place for around 2 hours. It was totally a superb experience for us on our 2nd day with visit to churches, fortress, wine tasting and visit to beautiful town at the end.
I hope these pics will make you visit Georgia whenever you plan your next travel. If you have any questions, please feel free to leave a comment here
Photo Credits : Pallavi Ravindra
Stay tuned for the next update !
Tips & Information
GEL – Georgian Lari
Please check if you have an on-arrival visa to Georgia from this link https://www.evisa.gov.ge/GeoVisa/en/VisaApp
Please Note that there is no visa fees If you are exempted from getting visa to Georgia.
For the food, Georgia offers varieties of foods and restaurants from different countries. You can always check online. For Breakfast, We were offered usual stuffs Salads, Cheese Bread etc.
To reach Tbilisi , You can take any of these flights from GCC countries Air Arabia, Fly Dubai and Gulf Air. I happened to see only these options.
If you are a Resident of Saudi Arabia or any GCC Country, Please know your’s and your family’s Residence Permit Expiry Date in prior so that you can inform the Immigration Authorities in Georgian Airport for the on-Arrival Visa as they do not speak any other language apart from Georgian, Russian and English.