Day Three – Khaketi Region
Here’s the route that Giorgi took us on, that I do recommend you do if you plan to spend a day in Khaketi. If you like bit of history/culture of orthodox Christian churches, a tour of Georgia’s biggest winery plus drink good Georgian wine and whisky, breathtaking views of a winery village (where nearly every family makes their own wine!), and beautiful, old castles 🙂
Tbilisi – Sagarejo – Sighnaghi – Kvareli – Gremi – Telavi – Gombori – Tbilisi
1) Sagarejo – Ninotsminda church
Other than the nuns, there was no one else there when we went. Quite bizarre ay considering most of the touristy churches we’ve been to have the longest queues in the world and is completely packed with people. I think that’s what makes Georgia a bit different. There are all these broken castles/churches scattered all over the countryside and when you step in, you feel like a little kid exploring in a different world and time.
2. Road-side bread/fruits
Giorgi stopped at the side of the road and took us to this little home-made bakery. If we had rented a car ourselves we would not have known to stop, as the signage is all in Georgian which just looks like medieval scribbles to us, haha. Remember this sign, and stop by and say hello. Buy some fresh bread and cheese from this lovely lady.
And the cherries, half a bucket for 4 lari! So sweet 🙂
Carry on driving and you’ll find yourself in Sighnaghi. At the top of the hill is a church, which overlooks the entire Khaketi village. Again, other than the lady asking for donations at the base, it was just us, the church, and breathtaking views. Peaceful. Do drop a coin or two when you leave 🙂
4. Khaketi – Kindsmarauli Winery
There are lots of wineries all over Khaketi, sorta like Waiheke. Giorgi took us to Kindsmarauli which was supposedly the biggest winery in Georgia. Our guide took us for a tour, showed us how wine is fermented, still in the old Georgian method of underground pitchers, and then the modern/European way, and where it was packaged and labeled. And aha, the highlight of the day, wine tasting, hahahaha.
I highly recommend their original red Kindmarauli. It’s naturally sweet-ish red. And Kisi – JY this is at the top of my list with Brown Brother’s Riesling. I have found a contender!! 🙂 Now, just if I can find this wine in Dubai.
4. Khaketi-Gremi – I cannot for the life of me remember what this place is called 😦 But it was somewhere around between the winery and Gremi… if that helps? There’s a castle/hotel there, and a lot of tourists/locals go there. When we were there the massive lake that it’s by was half-dry aww, but I can imagine how beautiful it is when it’s filled… 🙂 We didn’t go up to check out the church in Gremi.. I think by then we were pretty churched-out… haha
Giorgi did take us to two more churches around these area, but yea, we were already pretty tired by then, haha. Saw so much, so make sure you have a big breakfast so you have energy to last the day 🙂
And alas, the last of the my trilogy of Georgia 🙂 We’re looking at going back for the ski season in Gudari (Kazbegi). Ski pass for a day is only 30 lari. O.m.g. Anyone keen? 😉
Do do visit Georgia. Short break from Dubai, only 1200AED from Dubai with FlyDubai, and it’s overall relatively cheap 🙂
Sincere thanks to Giorgi and Tika, see you again soon!