Built in the 4th century and now restored to its previous glory, Nekresi monastery complex presents you with beautiful views of Alazani valley and a glimpse of unique early Georgian architecture.
It is located high up in the hill, so most tourists take shuttle bus to get there, but I chose a more difficult and more rewarding way – climbed up myself. Even though the heat was suffocating that day, I’m glad I did it as I felt much more worthy of seeing this marvelous place and could stop any time on the way to admire the surrounding area.
The whole complex is very beautiful, but what I liked the most about this sight – there is an old wine cellar in a 9th century’s bishop’s palace, where you can have a look at how wine was produced and stored for centuries.
And after the visit, you can have a nice picnic in the forest downhill, there is a huge picnic table near the parking lot.
Maybe it is not as spectacular as some of the previous sites on my list, but this place has a long and rich history. It was established in the 6th century by Holy Father from Assyria, Zenon Ikaltoeli. According to the legend, he was one of the thirteen fathers who came to Georgia to build churches after being called upon by the Virgin Mary. You will find three churches there, which were built in different times.
Besides churches, you can discover the ruins of ancient classrooms, where the secrets of winemaking had been tought, as well as philosophy and math sciences, blacksmith’s work, ceramics and other subjects. Hopefully, it will be restored to being the cradle of culture once more.
If you didn’t come to Kakheti just for a short visit and have a luxury of time to spend in the region, stop by the Gremi Citadel, which was built in the 16th century. It is not one of the main sights I’d recommend, but it might be interesting, especially if you hire a guide or decide to watch an English subtitled movie, which gives you an insight on the history of this place. There is also a museum containing archaeological artifacts. You’ll probably encounter many herds of sheep on the way to the site, which I liked the most. Especially because they were looked after by beautiful big Caucasian dogs. 🙂
So, these are the places I liked the most in Kakheti. If you think that I missed some spectacular site, please leave a comment below!