The city of Georgian love

Sighnaghi

Author Emil Goncharov

 

“City of Love” or “Georgian Las Vegas” - this is how local residents call Sighnaghi. The reason is simple - this is the only place in the country where you can sign at any time of the day or night. Walking the streets, you will often meet newlyweds, both Georgians and foreigners, who have come here to get married. The city is a romantic getaway and very popular with wedding couples.

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Signagi, one of the smallest cities in Southeast Georgia is a popular destination in Kakheti for getaways to nature and vineyards for a weekend or just a two-day trip. The city is a real charm with rounded wooden balconies, red roofs and the picturesque view of the Alazani Valley that is sure to impress you. In general, there is a feeling that you are in a time of knights roaming the town.
 
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The Georgians are famous for wine production, dining, hospitality, picturesque nature and more. Fortunately, Kahti's historic district is the best place in Georgia to discover all this. Kakheti is a true wine-growing region with some of the best wineries in the country and offers fertile soil and excellent weather for Guido located east of Tbilisi, between the Great Caucasus Mountains in the north and Azerbaijan in the south.
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Signagi was one of the favorite tourist destinations in Georgia. Situated in the heart of Georgian vineyards, the city overlooks the Caucasus Mountains and the Al-Azani Valley, surrounded by stunning historic stone fortifications. Two kilometers from Signagi is the Budva Monastery, where the remains of St. Nino are buried. There is a source of spring a short distance from the monastery, which is said to have medicinal properties.

 

Recommended places to stay in Signagi


Hotels and apartments in Signagi

There are many options for accommodation in Signagi, even on weekends and holidays you will not be left homeless. Here you can stay in both a hotel and a guest house, which is called a guesthouse. In general, since this is a pretty small town, do not expect anything too high, but there are very cute options. There are places ranging from $ 10 per room in a simple home to $ 100 in trendy boutique hotels.

Lost Ridge Inn Brewery & Ranch

In Signagi I should stay at the Lost Ridge Inn located in a small village near Signagi. The small hotel offers a local boutique brewery and its own farm with 15 horses for walks around the area and visits to local attractions. The location of the hotel provides maximum tranquility and the view is stunning.

The hotel offers its customers not only outdoor recreation, but also an unforgettable culinary adventure. Here you will also find an up-to-date and cool brewery with a large number of beers established in partnership with a beer production company outside Georgia (we will not ruin you and tell you everything here because you should hear it there) combined with an excellent menu and meticulous workmanship.

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The hotel features contemporary furniture designed by local carpenters and features super-special Georgian design elements. It is a calm and very pleasant getaway for the weekend. The instructors who will accompany you on the ride are very professional and the horses are obedient. During the trip a picturesque view of all Signagi opens up and the road is breathtaking. The guide will accompany you through the village paths and through the Bodbe Monastery, located 800 meters from Signagi.
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Ambassadori Kachreti Golf Resort

If you travel around Georgia with a car and want to combine your visit to Signagi with a tummy tuck vacation in a particularly natural and pampering area, this is the place for you. About 20 km from Signagi is the 5-star Ambassadori Hotel (at a reasonable price) with indoor and outdoor pool, field and table tennis courts, a huge mini golf course, a natural lake and wide lawns, restaurants and a gym.

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How to get to Signagi from Tbilisi?

A service taxi can be taken from Isani station to any destination. Please note that drivers pick up a minimum of 4 people before leaving the station.

Another option is a minibus, cheaper than a taxi, but less convenient. The prices are almost the same as a service taxi. They leave from Isani or Ortachala station and stop at just a few bus stops, so you can plan your entire route in advance.

A regular bus leaves from Tbilisi Tbilisi Metro Station every two hours, from 07:00 to 18:00. The journey time is 1.5-2 hours.

Attractions and places worth seeing in Signagi

By and large, Signagi is a city for the soul. You will feel there a sense of peace of mind with excellent air and spectacular views. The place is not crowded and the main attractions in the area are related to the wine world where about one fifth of the vineyards in the country are in the area and about half of the grapes grown in the country come from Kakheti province (the largest province in the country) of which Signagi is a part. Almost every village in the area is known for the wine it produces and every wine here is named after the town that produces it. Signagi underwent a massive restoration and renovation between 2005-2008 when the infrastructure was upgraded and the buildings restored so that you can enjoy quite ancient and interesting architecture. Signagi, or in other words the City of Love is a picturesque town with exciting views of the Alsatian Valley and the Caucasus Mountains on all sides. If you have decided to go to Signagi, here are the places worth visiting:

Bodbe Monastery

Budva Monastery is about 2 km from the town of Signagi. The monastery was built in the 9th century above the tomb of Saint Nino who was the first missionary to come to Georgia in the 4th century to spread the message of Christianity to Georgia. St. Nino settled in the Bodbe area where she also lived and was buried while her remains still rest there.The monastery located in a beautiful forest, surrounded by a wall, overlooking the Alsatian Valley, surrounded by lawns, flowers of all colors and impressive mature trees.The monastery has been restored and renovated many times over the years And even served in the Soviet era as a hospital.Currently, the place is operated and maintained by nuns only. Some say it is one of the most beautiful monasteries in the entire Caucasus and is of paramount importance to the Orthodox faction in Georgia.

Behind the monastery there is a wonderful view from which comes a path about 3 km long on a difficult road that leads to the chapel named after St. Nino's parents in which you can find a kind of water source which according to the narrator Cure diseases.

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Signagi Fortress

 

The main attraction, around which there are many legends, is the Signagi Fortress, which surrounds the city. It is the largest and most famous fortress in Georgia, built in the 18th century during the reign of King Hercules. The length of the citadel wall that tourists can climb is about three kilometers and has more than 28 towers and 5 entrances. There are special ladders attached to the turrets of the fortress so that tourists can climb them. Breathtaking views of the Alazani Valley accompany the walk along the fortress wall. Construction of the fort built high in the mountains was completed in 1762 when there is a version that settlement has existed in the fort area since the 13th century. The fort is a closed perimeter of walls, within which there is a channel when the wall is almost completely preserved. In time, the city "left" the fort. It began to accumulate on the mountain ranges behind the walls on the south side. And now the preserved walls mostly surround an empty area within which only a few streets and St. George's Church (a small part of the city) remain. That is, it turned out that the city stands separately, and its walls are separate. The walls are reminiscent of the Great Wall of China which runs from hill to hill.

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Khareba Winery

 

About an hour from Signagi, you will find a dreamy winery called Khareba. The winery offers a tour of the vineyards, an authentic Georgian meal, collecting grapes for wine production on site and a stunning tour of the wine cellar which is actually a tunnel 8 km long (!!!) that allows storage and aging of wine in optimal conditions. The tunnel was established and opened in 1962 This is an award-winning winery that produces wine using ancient methods combined with state-of-the-art technological tools.

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Marani Winery

A short distance from Signagi city center you can reach the Marani winery which is characterized by a family atmosphere with warm and pleasant hosts who will enrich your knowledge of wine. Forget about the subject of wine gargling, tasting, spitting, etc. you may have come across wineries in France, here the idea is different. The visit offers a tasting of 7 wines with funny explanations and examples. The tastings take place on a kind of terrace in the open air that overlooks nature and the tastings are accompanied by cheeses, breads, eggplants and nuts. For the most part, the hosts also let visitors sample the brandy and cha cha (a local Georgian alcoholic beverage) they make on site.

Be prepared to be asked to come to life and say a few positive words.

The price is a bit higher than the other places (about 10 euros) but the value for money is excellent and the experience is great.

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Additional wineries that offer wine tasting

Okro's Winery

One of the most popular destinations for Signagi. The location is excellent and does not require a trip as the winery is located in the center of town and the tastings take place on the roof that overlooks the surrounding landscape. Prices start from about 8 euros for tasting 3 types of wine and cha cha. Worth a visit!

Pheasant's Tears Winery

One of the previously recommended places in the area is the wine cellar of the pheasant tears.

With a great outdoor area, a restaurant with authentic food and a selection of wines, the place used to be the most recommended place to visit when coming to the Signagi area but the rise in prices has led many visitors to choose other places for wine tasting. The restaurant was established at the winery, which was founded by American artist John Wardman, who came to Georgia as early as the 1990s. Today, pheasant tears produce about 150,000 bottles of wine a year and are made in clay vessels. This wine is exported to 15 countries, but rarely goes up for sale and is sold to boutiques and restaurants.

Tip for aviation and extreme enthusiasts

You can enjoy a paragliding in Signagi using the Georgian paragliding federation, which offers gliding with a guide over the Al-Azani Valley. Definitely a recommended experience.

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