Top 10 Things to Do in Kakheti

Top 10 Things to Do in Kakheti

Kakheti is a beautiful wine-producing region, admired by locals and tourists. It has more vineyards than the rest of the country. Local people are hospitable and friendly. By chatting with them, you can easily be invited to a lunch, dinner party, or even a wedding. By traveling around Kakheti, you will gather memories that last a lifetime. It is a land of wine, green valleys surrounded by mountains, and unique architectural sites that are worth seeing!

We present you a list of 10 things to do in Kakheti.

1. Walk around the "city of love" Sighnaghi and view the panorama of the Alazani Valley

Sighnaghi, Georgia

The city of Sighnaghi has been called the “city of love” for many years. It is a must-see place during your tour of Kakheti. You can get married here at any time at the round-the-clock registry office. Admire the beautiful panorama of the famous Alazani Valley that opens from the center of the city and take a walk along the old fortress wall with towers.

2. Horse riding

Acquaintance with the beautiful landscapes of Kakheti can be combined with horse riding. The duration of such a tour can last from 5 to 8 hours. Horse riding tours usually include a stop at a winery, where you can taste delicious Kakhetian wine, eat Georgian food and chat with locals. You will admire the beauty of the surrounding mountains and picturesque gorges, combined with the fresh air and gentle sun. Be sure to include this enjoyable experience in your list of the Top 10 Things to Do in Kakheti.

3. Plunge into the turbulent rivers of the Lagodekhi National Park

Lagodekhi National Park, Kakheti, Georgia

Lagodekhi National Park is located in the eastern part of the region, approximately one and a half drive from Sighnaghi. The visitors will enjoy dense deciduous forests, powerful waterfalls, and turbulent rivers. Swimming in the cold river can be a unique and authentic experience as well.

There are various routes in the National Park, leading to the waterfalls, the Black Rocks Lake, and Machi Fortress. At the main entrance to the park, you will find an information center where you will be given full information about each of the routes.

4. Visit a local winery and go for a wine tasting

Winery Shumi, Kakheti, Georgia

Kakheti is considered the most developed wine-growing region in the country. Here are located the largest factories producing famous Georgian wines and small family wineries, offering authentic homemade wines.

In the city of Sighnaghi there is a famous wine cellar called Pheasant's Tears, that was opened by an American who fell in love with Georgia and its wine-making traditions. The winery offers various types of wines collected from all over Georgia, as well as rare, imported varieties of foreign brands.

In the winery "Shumi", located in the small village of Tsinandali, you can not only learn about local winemaking traditions, but also how Georgian bread “puri” is prepared in clay ovens called “tone”; how to make traditional Georgian candy churchkhela and bake tasty khachapuri with salty cheese.

In Kakheti, you can visit a wine tunnel, located near the city of Kvareli. It is called "Winery Khareba". According to various sources, the total length of this underground space is from 7 to 11 kilometers! However, only 700 meters of beautifully restored cellars are available for tourists. It is chilly inside, so blankets are handed out at the entrance. Here you will find a museum with ancient kvevri (vessels for aging wine), various artifacts and household items of Kvareli winemakers. You will be offered famous Georgian wines, including Saperavi and Kindzmarauli, and different varieties of Georgian cheeses and freshly baked bread with melted butter. It is indeed the most delicious part of Top 10 Things to Do in Kakheti.

5. Visit the David Gareji Monastery and climb to the top of the mountain range on the border with Azerbaijan

David Gareji, Georgia

David Gareji is an early medieval monastic complex built in the rock. Numerous caves previously served as cells, dining rooms, and ceremonial rooms for the monks who lived here. Christianity was brought to these parts by one of the 13 Assyrian fathers David and his associates as early as the 6th century AD. Over the 1500 years of its history, the monastery has suffered many hardships and invasions. For more than three centuries it was in an abandoned state. In the 1990s a road was laid, electricity was installed, and a little later the monastery complex was restored.

The visitors can enter the main part of the complex, Lavra of St. David. You can climb up the hill, from the top of which a beautiful panorama of the Gareji desert opens. Many hikers stay here in tents to enjoy the fresh air and the first rays of dawn. However, a trip to David Gareji from Tbilisi and back can be completely packed in one day. On the way back, stop in the village of Udabno, where Svan migrants live. There is a guest house and a restaurant where they make amazingly delicious kubdari (meat pie)!

6. Become a participant of the annual Rtveli festival

Festival Rtveli, Georgia

Traditionally, in late September-early October, a grape harvest festival Rtveli is held throughout Kakheti. This is a mandatory and colorful item on the list of the 10 things to do in Kakheti. In addition to the fact that you can feel like a real Kakhetian winemaker, you will also be a part of the traditional feast. Kakhetians love receiving guests, and drinking wine, accompanied by various toasts. Dinner in the company of locals, whom you will help to collect part of the harvest, will be the most memorable evening of your journey. Georgian cuisine, delicious wines, and, of course, the hospitality of locals, are waiting for you. Surely, the evening will be complemented by the performance of Georgian songs and the playing of traditional musical instruments.

7. Feel like "on another planet" in Vashlovani National Park

Vashlovani National Park, Georgia

Vashlovani is a huge reserve and national park. Its nature is different from other landscapes of Georgia, with the outlines of desert mountains, rare trees, and shrubs. The national park has several picturesque lakes, castra caves, mud volcanoes, canyons with sharp rocky peaks, and places for fishing. There are two camping sites with eight cozy houses as well. It is also possible to camp in the park. The best months for the visit are May and September.

An information center in the village of Dedoplistskaro offers all the necessary information. Be sure to include the visit to Vashlovai Park in your Top 10 Things to Do in Kakheti list.

8. Visit the ancient monastery of Alaverdi

Monastery of Alaverdi, Georgia

Alaverdi Monastery was built in the XI century. It is surrounded by meadows and green-blue mountain slopes. Before the Trinity Cathedral was built in Tbilisi, Alaverdi was considered the highest one in Georgia. The monastery is surrounded by a high fortress wall, which gives the whole ensemble a majestic look. The temple has seen many hardships and invasions. It also survived the 18th-century earthquake.

Alaverdi is an active monastery. In addition to the main temple of St. George, there is a refectory, a winery, a bathhouse, and a grape museum. On the territory of the monastery, there is also an ancient qvevri, restored by the local monks.

You can get to the monastery by a private transfer or get a taxi from Telavi or Akhmeta since buses and minibuses do not go here. Lovers of quiet rest and solitude will certainly appreciate the peace and tranquility of this place.

9. Go to visit Nikolo Pirosmani

House Museum of Niko Pirosmani in Mirzaani, Georgia

All art lovers and fans of the work of the great Georgian minimalist artist Nikolo Pirosmani should include the visit to the small Kakhetian village of Mirzaani in the Top 10 Things to Do in Kakheti. The song “Million Roses” is dedicated to Pirosmani and his beloved.

In Mirzaani there is a house built by the painter. It is a simple building. A few meters from the house there is a gallery with original paintings by Pirosmani. Here you can see such works as "The Revelry of the Molokans", "A Bear and Her Cubs", "A Woman with Easter Eggs" and other works of the artist.

10. Explore Tusheti - the most remote region of Georgia from civilization

Omalo, region of Tusheti

Tusheti is considered the most inaccessible mountainous region of the country. Steep mountain serpentines of Abano Pass will take you to a height of about three thousand meters. In the villages of Dartlo and Omalo are located the ancient towers. The region has its own culture of brewing as well.

People go to Tusheti to enjoy beautiful nature and calmness. The local landscapes are mesmerizing, and the small houses of the Tushetians scattered along the mountain slopes add a special romance to the overall picture. It is one of the most beautiful parts in the list of the Top 10 Things to Do in Kakheti.