Bodbe Monastery of St. Nino

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Bodbe Monastery of St. Nino: Our most recommended tours and activities

From Tbilisi: Kakheti Wine Region Full-Day Group Tour

1. From Tbilisi: Kakheti Wine Region Full-Day Group Tour

Explore Kakheti, the wine region of Georgia, located in the eastern part of the country. Kakheti wine region is an excellent place to visit beautiful sightseeings, try delicious local food, listen to traditional folk songs, study how Georgian wine is made, and have wine degustation. Your first stop is village Badiauri, where guests are welcome to see a local bakery and taste delicious Georgian bread, cheese, and Chacha (Georgian Vodka). The second stop is Bodbe Convent. According to the legend, it is built on the burial place of Saint Nino. A Saint for Georgians who converted their religion into Christianity. The site is very spiritual and has impressive views for taking beautiful pictures. Then go to Sighnaghi, known as "The City of Love." You will have a walking tour in Sighnaghin and discover " The Great Wall of Georgia." After the walking tour, you can join lunch with a beautiful view of Alazani Valley, and try traditional Georgian food. The fourth site of the day is Khareba Winery, the largest of Georgia's wine cellars. Khareba is a unique place with perfect storage conditions for wine, 7.7 kilometers of tunnels, and galleries that maintain a constant temperature of 12-14 degrees 0C. Listen to traditional Georgian folk songs, have a walking tour in the tunnel, explore the ethnographic museum, get information on how Georgians make wine, and finish it with wine degustation. The last place to visit during the day is Corporation Kindzmarauli. The winery's history dates back to 1533 and produced wine exclusively for the royal family for much of its history. You have a tour in the winery and wine degustation for four different wines.

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Tbilisi: Full-Day Kakheti & Sighnaghi Tour with Wine Tasting

2. Tbilisi: Full-Day Kakheti & Sighnaghi Tour with Wine Tasting

Departing from the center of Tbilisi, embark on a full-day tour to visit the sunniest regions of Georgia. The eastern region of Kakheti is Georgia’s premier wine-producing area, where almost everywhere you go you’ll be invited to drink a glass of traditional amber wine. Along the way, make a stop at the village of Badiauri where you can learn how to bake traditional Georgian bread and can even try to do it by yourself. For those that love cheese, there are many cheeses in Georgia which you can try accompanied by hot, fresh, crusty bread. Next up, visit the Bodbe Monastery, one of the most important religious sites in Georgia. Today there is a nunnery where the monastery used to be, and the St. George Cathedral, part of the monastery, which holds the remains of St. Nino. There is also a new cathedral built, using much of the same construction methods used to make the most famous cathedrals in Georgia centuries ago. You'll then arrive to Sighnaghi, known as the town of love. There your guide will tell the legend that happened in this city many centuries ago as you walk along the cobbled streets of the city, climb the fortress wall, and visit one of the towers. There is also a local market where you can try and buy Georgian spices, sweets, sauces and much more. Finally, it's time to go to a winery to taste Georgian wine. There are so many different wines, and you are bound to find something that you like. Your local guide will also tell you the secrets of making wine and how to drink it.

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David Gareja Monastery and Sighnaghi Tour

3. David Gareja Monastery and Sighnaghi Tour

In the morning, the guide and driver will pick you up from your accommodation in Tbilisi (if you choose the private option), or alternatively meet the tour group at Europe Square. Then, head to David Gareja complex via Sagarejo village. Turning from the Eastern main road, drive on a dirt road to the semi-desert. The complex was established in the 6th century AD by one of the 13 Assyrian monks and expanded through the centuries. Here, have a tour of the caves and monasteries, and enjoy 2-3 hours easy trekking in the semi-desert. On your way to Signagi, you’ll visit the Bodbe monastery. The monastery is one of the major pilgrimage sites in Georgia, due to its association with St. Nino, the 4th-century female evangelist in Georgia. In Sighnaghi, a small town surrounded by 18th-century defensive wall and remnants of fortifications, take a relaxing walk in the town, explore the defensive wall and fortifications, and enjoy the views of Alazani Valley. In the evening, drive back to your place of stay or Europe Square in Tbilisi.

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Tbilisi: Kakheti, Signagi, Telavi & Alaverdi Full-Day Tour

4. Tbilisi: Kakheti, Signagi, Telavi & Alaverdi Full-Day Tour

After being picked up from your hotel at 8:00AM, your first stop will be the Ujarma fortress. It is believed that in the second half of the 5th century, the famous Vakhtang Gorgasali (founder of Tbilisi) erected numerous buildings in Ujarma and moved his residence there. In the 10th century, Ujarma was destroyed by the Arabian forces of Abul Kassim. Later on in the 13th century, the fortress was restored by King George III, where he arranged treasury. Moving on, your tour will continue through the Gombori Pass, which will see you drive to an altitude of 1,650 meters (5,414 feet). At the top you will discover an observation deck, the perfect place for a photo shoot. After a small stop, you will continue your journey through the magical forest, where you will be able to make a wish. The next stop will be to the Alaverdi Monastery. At a height of over 55 meters, the Alaverdi Cathedral is the second tallest religious building in Georgia. You will then visit the city of Telavi, the main city and administrative center of Georgia's eastern province of Kakheti. On the way to Kvareli, you will stop at the Gremi. Standing above the green valley of Alazan, Gremi attracts travelers whose road goes between Telavi and Kvareli. Gloomy and monumental, the castle is one of the most visited tourist points in Georgia. In Kvareli, you will have the opportunity to taste Georgian wines, finding out how they are made. Following your wine tasting, you should find yourself with a new strength. You will then go to the Bodbe Monastery, which is one of the most important religious sites in Georgia. Continuing your trip, you will venture toward Sighnaghi. Its charming cobblestone streets and alleys consist of restored original nouveau woodwork, and detailed facades give the town a romantic mystique. Billed the "City of Love", Sighnaghi is a popular wedding venue. The wedding chapel here was the first to operate around the clock, and put Sighnaghi on the map as a destination. Its marriage chapel now hosts ceremonies which take place at all hours of the day and night.

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Kakheti Wine Region

5. Kakheti Wine Region

Enjoy an excursion to a wine cellar with a free wine tasting. This traditional family-run wine cellar is on the way to the city of love, Signagi. This is an ideal place for those who prefer homemade Georgian wine and chacha prepared according to all traditional standards and recipes. Be greeted by your host who will show the superb ChachaGon and tell a real colloric Georgian toast. Taste the Georgian bread Puri, which is traditionally baked in a deep circular clay oven called tone. Visit Pirosmanashvili Museum. The Niko Pirosmanashvili State Museum was established in Pirosmani’s home village of Mirzaani in 1960 and includes his family house and an exhibition hall displaying some of the artist’s original works and personal belongings. The Monastery of St. Nino in Bodbe was originally was built in the 9th-century. It is one of the major pilgrimage sites in Georgia. It holds the tomb of St. Nino, the Cappadocian maiden who converted Georgian people to Christianity as early as 337 AD. See the breathtaking view of the Alazani valley and snowcapped Caucasus mountains.  See Sighnaghi, the City of Love. It is the prettiest town in Kaheti. Sighnagi originally was developed in the 18th-century by King Erekle II. The defensive walls and 28 towers were built by him against a Lezgian invasion. The city has wonderful views over the Alazani valley to the Caucasus beyond. After a walk, have a traditional dinner with a workshop to learn how to cook traditional meals. You can also taste traditional candies, with grape juice, called Churchkhela and Pelamushi.

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Tbilisi: David Gareja Monastery Full-Day Tour

6. Tbilisi: David Gareja Monastery Full-Day Tour

Discover some of the most important sites of the historic Kakheti region in eastern Georgia, home to the rock-hewn Davit-Gareja Monastery Complex and the beautiful Alazani Valley. Following an early morning departure from Tbilisi, drive to the Gareja Desert, a distance of approximately 60 miles (100 kilometers). Here, you will discover the rock-cut Davit-Gareja Orthodox Monastery complex, established in the 6th century by David, one of the 13 Assyrian monks that preached the name of Christ. Located in a semi-desert, the complex consists of 19 religious buildings, the oldest being the Lavra Monastery, where St. David is buried. Learn how Mongol invaders destroyed and looted the complex in the 13th century, and how it was later restored by the Georgian kings. Marvel at the hundreds of cells, chapels, refectories, and living quarters hollowed out of the rocks. Then, continue to Sighnaghi, stopping en route at the village of Badiauri to see a demonstration of how Georgian bread is baked. Upon arrival in Sighnaghi, visit the holy Bodbe Monastery, where St. Nino is buried. Learn how she brought Christianity to Georgia in the 4th century, and the legend of her healing properties. Nestled among cypress trees, the monastery affords stunning views of the Alazani Valley. End your tour by exploring the city of Sighnaghi, founded by King Erekle II in 1772. You will see buildings in the style of southern Italian Classicism, with Georgian elements. Known as the “City of Love,” Sighnaghi is one of Georgia’s most compact towns, with delightful red-roof tiles and panoramic views of the Greater Caucasus Mountains. Transfer back to Tbilisi for the end of your tour services.

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David Gareji Monastery and Signagi Wine Tasting Private Tour

7. David Gareji Monastery and Signagi Wine Tasting Private Tour

Depart Tbilisi and travel to a dry desert region surrounded by hills and only inhabited by a few shepherds. Arrive at the historic David Gareji Monastery complex, founded by hermits who chose a secluded life in the early Middle Ages. Take an optional hike to the top of the hill separating Georgia and Azerbaijan, and get stunning views of the surroundings as you look for more of the abandoned caves. Continue to the small town of Signagi overlooking the Alazani Valley and Caucasian Mountains. Stroll the narrow streets to buy souvenirs and enjoy lunch at leisure. Sample the local Marani wine and an authentic chacha (brandy) at a traditional winery and learn the history of wine making in Georgia. Visit the nearby convent at Bodbe, famed as an important site of pilgrimage for Orthodox Christians. Return to Tbilisi via a village that makes the local churchkhela candies to try some of the best sweet treats in Georgia!

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Kakheti: Individual Day Tour To Sighnaghi From Tbilisi

8. Kakheti: Individual Day Tour To Sighnaghi From Tbilisi

Departure from Tbilisi early in the morning and head East. On the way make a short stop at Badiauri village. Here you can watch the process of how Georgian bread is baked in special ovens. From Badiauri, continue on towards the Bodbe monastery. Bodbe is considered as one of the most important monasteries in Georgia, as here lies the grave of St. Nino who brought Christianity to Georgia in the middle of the 4th Century. Finally, arrive at the small, charming city of Sighnaghi that promises stunning views of the great Caucasus mountains and of the River Alazani valley. It is a walled town with remnants of 18th-century fortifications. You can climb the watchtowers to get a magnificent view. In Sighnaghi you will enjoy a Georgian wine tasting.

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Caucasus Wine Trip from Azerbaijan to Georgia

9. Caucasus Wine Trip from Azerbaijan to Georgia

Day 1: Arrival and transfer to hotel in Baku You will be met by your driver and transferred to your hotel. This is a free day. Day 2: Baku - Aghsu - Ismayilli Your journey will start with Azgranata where you will have exciting pomegranate wine. The Az-Granata winery was built with the establishment of one of the largest fruit juice producers in the South Caucasus region of Az-Granata LLC, established in 2011. The plant located in Aghsu was built on a plot of 5.5 hectares. The area of the main covered part of the plant is 20,500 m2. The plant operates shops for the reception and primary processing of fruit, the production of alcohol, the production and bottling of wine and other spirits. The plant is equipped with equipment from Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Bulgaria and France. Az-Granata has grape and pomegranate gardens of 450 and 400 hectares, respectively. Pomegranate gardens are organic and certified by the German Institute Lacon GmbH. Fruit gardens, their methods of cultivation and production are regularly checked by local and foreign specialists. In the gardens, a drip irrigation system is used. The grapes grown are Sultanina, Prima, Cardinal, Alfons Lavalle, Medrese, Saperavi, Rkatsiteli, Cabernet Sauvignon, and others. The variations of pomegranate grown are Gyulyovsha, Pink Gyulovsha, Kirmzyzy-kabukh, Nazik-kabukh, Bala Muralsal, Afgan, and others. At Azgranata winery, you will have an unlimited number of wine tastings, including pomegranate wine tasting and organic sparkling wine made of pomegranate, the first in the world, with snacks. You will then be taken to Shato Monolit Winery/Guesthouse where you will have a guided tour through the vineyards, visit the winery, watch the process of wine production and storage in one of the largest wine cellars of Azerbaijan, Chabiant Wine tasting. You will stay overnight at Shato Monolit Guesthouse. Day 3: Ismayilli - Qabala - Ganja The next day after breakfast, you will be taken to Savalan, crystal-clear water cascading down from the great Caucasus Mountains, winding its way through the lavish land in the foothills of the valley and suffusing the sun-bathed vines. These ripe, abundant grapes are then collected and handled with care and love before being transformed by the apparent magic of a master into wine. This is what happens every year in the Savalan valley. On the slopes of the Greater Caucasus ridge and in unique climatic conditions there exists 350 hectare vineyards where 22 wine grape varieties and 12 table grape varieties are grown including, but not limited to Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Alicante Bouchet, Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot, Syrah, Riesling, Moscato White, Aleatico, Traminer and Verdejo. Most are the yield of seedlings from leading companies like Italy’s Vivai Cooperativi Rauscedo (VCR) and France’s Gontard Freres. The vines grow 400 meters above sea level, surrounded by the river, where the average temperature, the amount of precipitation and daily and an annual ratio of sunshine hours consummately combine integrate with each other and create the most favorable conditions for growing grapes. Nowadays a large winery, with state-of-the-art from a technological point of view, is used to create unique wines in the best traditions of international quality. The products are constantly tested at the most advanced plant laboratory and are stored inside high-quality oak barrels produced in France and İtaly. After finishing with Savalan, you will be taken to Ganja where the first winemaking factory in Azerbaijan is located. It is one of the oldest winemaking plants in the South Caucasus, Goygol Wine Factory, which has a history of 150 years. Established in 1860 by Schwab’s Germans, who were then inhabited by present-day Yelenendorf in Goygol. When the Germans lived in this area, that area was called the Hanik village, where the Oguz tribe lived. In 1862 the Joint Force Brotherhood was established. This society was led by X. Forer and his sons Gottlob, Friedrich, Henryk, and Christofer. At that time, the Gummel Brothers Trade House was established, with H.Gummel and his sons Jacob, Albert, Georgie, and Gothlib. The management of the two communities was in Yelenendorf, their representations and sales centers functioned in Ganja, Baku, Tbilisi, Moscow, Kiev, Odessa, Tomsk, and Batumi. On August 8, 1922, the Concordia Cooperative, established on the basis of this plant, was the largest wine-making farm in the Caucasus, producing wine, cognac, and vodka at that time. Thirteen types of grapes are cultivated at Goygol Wine Processing Company. Goygol Wine Factory OJSC has a vast area of 517 hectares of high quality local and European grape varieties. Breaded grape tins are derived from Gontard Freresepinieres Viticles, France’s well-known companies and Italy’s Vivai Marci, adapted to local conditions. Currently, the Grape and Grape varieties grow in the Goygol and Samukh regions of Chardonnay, Merlot, Cabernet-Sauvignon, Saperavi, Madrasa, Shiraz, Sauvignon Blanc, Rkasiteli, Grenas, Muskat, Bayan-juir, grape varieties. After finishing with the winery, you will overnight in a hotel in Ganja. Day 4: Georgia - Azerbaijan border - Sighnaghi - Bodbe - Kvareli - Shilda After breakfast, you will leave for Georgia. You will continue your journey around the Kakheti Region. This time you will have an excursion in the city of love, Sighnaghi, with its houses in European style, and monastery of Bodbe, where is buried St. Nino, Enlightener of Georgians. Then Traveling to Kvareli Village. Next, you will see one of the main attractions of the Kakheti region,  the Khareba Wine Tunnel. The tunnel is located in the rock and has a natural ideal temperature for storing wine. About 25,000 bottles of Georgian wine are stored here. You will have the opportunity to taste the best varieties of Georgian wine, Chacha, take part in a master class of baking Georgian bread and prepare a traditional Georgian dessert,  Churchkhela, as well as wrapping Khinkali, baking Khachapuri and preparing Shashlik. In the evening you will accommodate at the hotel Shaloshvili’s cellar in Village Shilda, taste wine from the Shaloshvili’s cellar and spend the night in this hotel. Day 5: Shilda - Tsinandali - Shumi - Tbilisi. After breakfast, you will move to the house-museum of famous Georgian poet Alexander Chavchavadze in Tsinandali Village. Tsinandali Estate is the cradle of classical winemaking of Georgia, the place where Georgian wine was first bottled. Saperavi of 1841 and other 19th-century historical vintages are still preserved at Princely Collection. In the collection starting from 1814, one can find Tsinandali, Saperavi, Chateau Lafitte, Chateau d’Yquem and other legends of the period. You will taste five taps of wine and Chacha here and continue your trip to Shumi Winery. Shumi owns vineyards in unique micro-zones, famous for their geographical locations. The winery, built in 2001 is furnished with the state-of-the-art equipment, enabling control of all stages of the winemaking process, and is considered as one of the best in Georgia. You will have an excursion in winemaking Shumi, and you will taste four kinds of premium-class wine. At the end of the day, you will travel to Tbilisi and accommodate at the hotel. Day 6: Tbilisi city Tour. Excursion to Chateau Mukhrani. After breakfast, your acquaintance with the capital of Georgia will begin. You will see the main sights of the city: the main cathedral of the Georgian Orthodox Church, Tsminda Sameba (Holy Trinity). Then you will move to the very center of the old city, where you will see Metekhi rock, hanging over the bank of the river Kura, on which the old Church of the Assumption stands picturesquely, and the equestrian statue of the king of Georgia, Vakhtang Gorgasali, decorates the church in front. Walking along the modern Rike Park in the center of the capital, where the famous Peace Bridge is located, you will continue your tour and take the cable car to the ruins of the ancient fortress Narikala, which has guarded the city of Tbilisi since the 4th century. Acquaintance with the capital will end in the area of the city Abanotubani and its hot sulfur springs, from which, according to legend, the history of the founding of the city began. Then you will move to the surrounding of the capital, village Natakhtari, where you are awaited by Chateau Mukhrani. This is the first and the only true Georgian Royal Chateau, which unites four key components: vineyards, winery, castle, and history. You will have a tour around Chateau Mukhrani. The guide will tell you the history of the Georgian royal family, discover the art of Chateau’s winemaking and taste four kinds of premium wine and Chacha. In the evening you will return to Tbilisi. Day 7: Transfer to airport After breakfast, you will be transferred to the airport.

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From Tbilisi: Sighnaghi and Bodbe Full Day Tour

10. From Tbilisi: Sighnaghi and Bodbe Full Day Tour

You will be picked up from your hotel at 10:00 AM and will arrive at Bodbe monastery at 11:45 AM. The monastery is one of the major pilgrimage sites in Georgia, due to its association with St. Nino, the 4th-century female evangelist, whose relics shrine there.  At 12:45 PM, arrive in Sighnaghi town, an old trading town with a 17th-century defensive wall around it. Cobbled streets and terracotta tile-roofed homes with colorfully carved balconies and breathtaking views of the Alazani Valley give it a very charming character.  At 1:45 PM, visit Sighnaghi Museum. The ethnographic collection features five thousand artifacts, including textiles, copper and wooden domestic items, agricultural instruments, materials corresponding to viniculture, goldsmith works, different types of working instruments, and musical instruments. At 5:30 PM, start to journey back to Tbilisi, and at 7:30 PM, you will be dropped back at your hotel. 

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What people are saying about Bodbe Monastery of St. Nino

Overall rating

4.8 / 5

based on 319 reviews

Great Trip to kakheti. George (Giuna) is an amazing guide who brings good vibes and has a lot of knowledge. The lunch is delicious and the program varied.

Kharazza was smart, engaging, and involved. It was such a fun experience, from making bread to exploring the depths of the wine cellars. 10/10!

We learnt a lot about Georgian wine culture and history, how the wines are made, and tasted the different Georgian wines.

The tour was excellent. The guide was professional, and made the whole experience much better with his stories.

One of the best experienced I’ve ever had here in Georgia.