What to See Near Tbilisi
If you live and work in Tbilisi and don't have much time for multi-day tours, going to the mountains or the sea, hiking, or even vacationing abroad, don't worry. Tbilisi is located close to both natural and man-made sights. This article will help you to find the desired destination in a 1-hour drive or less from Tbilisi and have a good time.
We offer you the top 10 places you can discover near Tbilisi:
Mtskheta Municipality is distinguished by the diversity of cultural monuments. It is the ancient capital of Kartli and different eras of history are harmoniously combined in the city. Mentioning it, we first think of Svetitskhoveli Cathedral, which is an 11th-century architectural monument and is the Christian religious center of Georgia. Nearby, you can also visit the Jvari Monastery, which is a 6th-century temple and has one of the most unique and rarest architecture not only around Georgia but all over the world.
While visiting Mtskheta, you can discover the historical part of Mtskheta, which, along with Svetitskhoveli and Jvari Monastery, is included in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites, which emphasizes the city's global importance.
One of the sites of Mtskheta is the Samtavro Monastery, where King Mirian and Queen Nana are buried. St. Nino also lived here for a short time.
2. The Surroundings of Mtskheta
We also meet important cultural monuments near Mtskheta. One of them is Armazi, which was an important settlement by the 3rd century BC. Here you can see the Armazi Fortress, which was built in the XIII-XIV centuries and is located on a high mountain.
In Armazi, you can visit the Church of the Mother of God, which belongs to the second half of the XII century and is located two kilometers away from Mtskheta.
From Tbilisi, through Mtskheta, you can also visit the Shiomghvime Monastery, built in the second half of the 6th century by one of the Assyrian fathers, Shio. This complex is distinguished by its grand architecture and breathtaking nature. Therefore, if you visit Mtskheta, do not miss the chance to see Shiomghvimi.
If you choose to visit Saguramo, then an interesting trip awaits you. After turning off the main highway, you will soon reach the Tsitsamuri forest. In addition to its historical significance, this place is known for the fact that Ilia Chavchavadze, known as the "Father of the Nation", was killed there in 1907, and his monument was erected on the site.
Ilia Chavchavadze House-Museum is situated in Saguramo. It has been the estate of Ilia's wife Olga Guramishvili received as a dowry, in 1895, and under the leadership of Giorgi Leonidze, was transformed into a museum in 1949. This museum is a very popular place for tourists and vacationers because of its cultural significance and diversity of nature.
4. Zedazani Monastery
Zedazeni Monastery is one of the oldest monastic complexes, about which there are many legends or true stories. According to the legend, the name "Zedazeni" is connected with the name of the idol erected here - Zedani. There also is a monastery, the construction of which is associated with the name of another Assyrian father, John the Baptist, and dates back to the middle of the VI century. It should be noted that there are many large forests near the monastery. This territory along with the Saguramo forests is declared a natural reserve.
23 kilometers away from Mtskheta the village of Mukhrani is located, one of the most important settlements in the history of Georgia. The noble surname here - Mukhranbatoni was influential in the medieval Georgian royal court. Their descendants even sat on the throne of Kartli. Here you can see the restored Chateau Mukhrani Palace, which is the first chateau in Georgia. It aims to continue the unique tradition of winemaking, which was created by Ivane Mukhranbatoni, a representative of the Bagrationi dynasty.
Mukhrani Fortress is one of the sights of Mukhrani located in the historic Shiosubani and dates back to the XVIII century. It was the defensive spot during battles. The castle includes several buildings, among them several churches.
6. Archeological Site of Dzalisi
As for the Archeological Site of Dzalisi, not many people know about this cultural heritage site. It is located near Mukhrani and dates back to BC. II - AD. VIII. It was discovered in the 1970s. Ruins of a temple-palace and bath complex have been found on its territory. The swimming pool with a unique structure has also been found in Dzalisi. It dates back to the A.D II-III centuries. This city is another proof of the rich Georgian history and its connection with the ancient world, as it was also mentioned by Ptolemy.
7. Tbilisi National Park
Tbilisi National Park is located around Tbilisi, in Mtskheta-Mtianeti and Kvemo Kartli regions. It presents a variety of landscapes and sights. This is the best place to relax. There are special picnic areas in the park. Visitors also have the opportunity to choose the form of relaxation: horse riding, hiking, or car tour. The park also has easy, medium, and difficult types of bicycle routes. It is also possible to spend the night in a tent in the park, as the locations are marked.
Tbilisi National Park also includes the Sabaduri forest, which is becoming an extremely popular tourist destination. This forest is beautiful in all seasons, but it is especially beautiful in autumn and winter when it is covered with colorful leaves and/or snow. It is possible to get there by car.
Lake Bazaleti is located 40 kilometers from Tbilisi and is known for its beauty and healing properties. Lake Bazaleti is popular among tourists during any season, as the resort has all the infrastructure and can be reached by car or public transport. On Bazaleti lake you can see a colonnade of white columns - a symbol of 2500 years of friendship and love between Georgians and Jews.
9. Ananuri Complex
Ananuri Complex is a famous historical monument located on the edge of the Georgian military road. The complex was built in the XVI-XVII centuries, the feudal era in Georgia, and includes several buildings, such as towers, a fence, and a church. Ananuri Fortress had great importance in any period. It was even turned into the king's residence for a short time.
From the Ananuri Castle stunning views of Zhinvali Reservoir unfold. If you are lucky, you can also see the Church of the Cross in the complex, which is covered with water when the water level rises.
10. Didgori Monument
This is a memorial complex located in Didgori Valley. It was dedicated to the great battle of Didgori that took place on August 12, 1121. The battle was fought by the Georgians and the Turk-Seljuks and ended with a brilliant victory of the Georgians. Historians called the battle a "'Miraculous Victory". The memorial occupies a large area. In the center of the complex, on a hill, stands a monument depicting a Borjgali (a Georgian symbol of the Sun and eternity), surrounded by large swords, ceremonial columns, bells, and other elements. Every year in August, the feast of Didgoroba is celebrated, which is dedicated to the victory in battle.