Spring season has brought more and more good warm days and sunny weather. And so going out and traveling also becomes far more enjoyable. Due to the busy schedule, traveling far for a few days is often difficult to plan. However, there are many interesting places near Tbilisi.
Therefore, we offer Uplistsikhe – Ateni route, which is ideal for a 1-day trip near Tbilisi.
A Daytrip near Tbilisi: Uplistsikhe – Ateni
If you are planning a daytrip from Tbilisi and do not know where exactly to go then Uplistsike – Ateni route is one of the best options. Head west in the direction of Gori and in nearly 70 kilometers you will find yourself in an amazing place rich in history, culture and beauty.
Uplistsikhe is a cave town, one of the oldest settlements and city center in the Caucasus. Uplistsikhe is first found in written sources in the 7th century. Archaeological and architectural monuments are preserved in Uplistsikhe and its surroundings, the oldest of which dates back to the Early Bronze Age. There is also a three-aisled brick basilica on the territory of Uplistsikhe town, which stylistically belongs to the IX-X centuries. It is preserved almost in its original form.
The cave town – fortress contained not only a palace, a chapel, and houses, but also a theater, a pharmacy, a bath, and a winepress. Uplistsikhe city complex has streets, squares, water sewerage system, four gates, a secret tunnel that leads to the river Mtkvari, a fence, etc.
Uplistsikhe was the residence of the leader of the local tribes. It was so named because the tribal leader apparently had great power. Hence, the name derives from this – the castle of someone like Lord (in Georgian: upali = lord; tsikhe = castle).
The Uplistsikhe cave town has been on the UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List since October 24, 2007.
Admission fee to the area is 1 GEL for students and 7 GEL for adults.
Vacheishvili Wine Cellar
After visiting Uplistsikhe, follow the road to Ateni, which is just 17 kilometers away. By this time you will probably be tired and we recommend you to first stop in Vacheishvili Cellar in Ateni to have a nice lunch.
The cellar is located in a historic space, with traditional vineyard terraces and gardens. The area around it is wonderful for small hikes. This place is best if you want to be close to the nature, if you are looking for a place that will fill you with emotions, if you love natural produce and want to taste a special wine. Besides, the hosts will definitely make sure you fall in love with the place.
Ateni Sioni Church
At the end of the trip, be sure to stop on the way to see the Ateni Sioni, which is a total of 400 meters from Vacheishvili Cellar and a pleasant way for a walk as well. The church dates back to the first half of the 7th century and is named after the Assumption of the Virgin Mary. The architecture of the temple is analogous to the architecture of the Mtskheta Cross Church. The frescoes dating back to the 11th century are one of the best examples of medieval Georgian monumental painting. On the walls of the temple there are unique Georgian Asomtavruli inscriptions and inscriptions of different times, in which various historical figures are mentioned.
Ateni Sioni was awarded the category of Immovable Cultural Monument of National Importance on November 7, 2006 by the Decree of the President of Georgia.
And soon the day will slowly go to the end and you can head home full of emotions and memories.
Wish you a nice journey!