The medieval monastery complex is located in 128 km (79.5 mi) from Tbilisi and is quite well hidden. Though, while passing by the road from Telavi to Kvareli, you might notice this monastery on the green slope of a mountain – a piece of red roof is very visible among the trees. In order to get there, you will need to turn from the main road and follow the road signs, unless you reach the lower gate of the monastery. As you might understand, it’s possible either with a private car, or if you step up from the marshrutka that is going along the road.
The way up is super steep, that’s why you can buy a ticket for 1 GEL (0.4 USD) for a shuttle bus that will take you to the hill. Be aware that it doesn’t stop on the way due to the steepness of the road, so if you decide to walk up on foot, be sure that you are fit enough to finish it.
What is expecting you up the hill? A fantastic monastic complex that started in the IV century, as the local kind Thrdat has built a church there in the IV century. In the VI century by father Abybos, one of thirteen Assyrian priests who came to Georgia with the holy mission, has found shelter there, and since that time the monastery started growing. At the moments, there is IV century basilica, VI century Blessed Virgin church, IX century bishop palace, a wine cellar and bell tower.