Sunday, October 14, 2012

Sighnaghi, Georgia

The Kakheti region in eastern Georgia is well-known as a wine producing region, and in fact, some say that it is the cradle of the world's wine production! And one of the more popular destinations within the Kakheti region is the hilltop town of Sighnaghi.

In fact, after some heavy reconstruction efforts from the government, it has become a very popular and important attraction for both locals and foreign tourists alike. And it is hard not to like the small town. Beautiful houses with ornate balconies built between neat pictureque cobbled streets, and surrounded by breathtaking Caucasus mountain ranges, it was holiday-picture-perfect. Add to it the wonderful Georgian cuisine, complete with its famous wines, all at affordable prices, really, it was one of the best places to relax and unwind.

Churches, monastery and monuments form most of its attractions, all within easy reach from town. The most famous is its 18th century town wall that stretches 4.5km, one of the longest in the world. Sighnaghi was a fortified town during its time, and the wall contains 35 towers each named after a nearby village, and each offering refuge for the villagers during times of war. The churches and monastery, like most in Georgia, all all worth a visit, though at that time (Kakheti was the last region I visit in Georgia), I may already had an overdose... :p

While the town have fancy hotels and restaurants, and even pretty boutique hotels, I stayed in a beautiful family-run guesthouse (Nato & Lado) that suited my budget. Aside from their amazing hospitality, their homecooked dinner with free-flow homemade wine were phenomenal! Truly one of my best stays in Georgia!

Sighnaghi is easily accessible from Tbilisi by mashrutkhas like everywhere else in Georgia. Just about 2 hours of journey, and you'll be transported to a wonderfully refreshing destination....

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