Seated in the far southeastern expanse of Georgia within the Shiraki Plain—also recognized as the Georgian steppe—south of Sighnaghi and the thriving Alazani Valley famed for its vineyards, Dedoplistskaro is an often overlooked small town nestled in Kakheti. It stands as the gateway to some of the region’s most stunning natural landscapes.
A Brief History of Dedoplistskaro
This quaint locale finds its inception in the medieval annals, emerging as a military post established by King David IV of Georgia during his reign from 1089 to 1125. Traditionally, the name, “the Queen’s Spring,” attributed to Queen Tamar’s reign (1184–1213), adds an air of regality to its historical significance.
Post the annexation of Georgia, the terrain witnessed a significant metamorphosis. In 1803, the Russians erected a strategic bulwark, a military fort, christening the village as Tsarskie Kolodtsy symbolizing “the royal wells.”
869 marks a notable chapter with the arrival of German entrepreneurs Carl Heinrich von Siemens and Ernst Werner von Siemens. The duo established an oil refinery near the village, a beacon of industrial advancements that functioned up until the mid-1870s.
The village stood witness to the tempestuous era during Georgia’s brief independence from 1918 to 1921. On February 18, 1921, Dedoplistskaro became a battleground, with the invading Soviet Russian forces clashing with Georgian troops. The tragic event resulted in the fall of the Russian commander, Pyotr Kuryshko.
Under Soviet rule, the town underwent a transformation, rebranded as Tsiteltskaro, and eventually granted the esteemed status of a town in 1963. However, in 1991, the town regained its historical identity, once again reverting to its original name of Dedoplis Tskaro, preserving its cultural heritage and historical legacy.
The enigmatic journey of Dedoplistskaro traverses through the corridors of time, weaving tales of triumphs, transitions, and transformative periods, encapsulating a realm of historical resonance and captivating antiquity. The town stands as a testament to a bygone era while embracing the essence of its rich historical narrative.
Infrastructure around it
- Accommodation: There are several hotels, guesthouses, and small inns in and around Dedoplistskaro to accommodate tourists. Many of these offer traditional Georgian hospitality. You can reserve here on www.booking.com
- Restaurants and Cafes: Dedoplistskaro has a few restaurants and cafes serving both traditional Georgian cuisine and international dishes.
- Medical Facilities: There is a medical clinic in Dedoplistskaro to cater to the healthcare needs of residents and visitors.
- Shopping: The town has a few shops and markets, where you can purchase locally-made products, souvenirs, and necessities. It has also a small vegetable market in the center.
- Cultural and Tourist Attractions: Embark on a journey to Dedoplistskaro, a treasure trove of history and culture, offering access to remarkable landmarks like Khornabuji Fortress and Elia Monastery. Adjacent to the city is the Vashlovani protected areas, showcasing an array of natural wonders, including the Dali Mount Reservoir, Takhtitepha Mud Volcanoes, Datvis Khevi, Pantishara Valley, Eagles Canyon, Mijniskhure and more.
- Wine Tourism: Wine tourism in Dedoplis Tskaro offers a captivating journey into Georgia’s winemaking heritage. This region, nestled in the heart of the country, boasts a rich viticulture history and scenic vineyards that invite visitors to explore the art of winemaking and savor local wine traditions. Travelers can indulge in wine tastings, visit vineyards, witness traditional winemaking methods, and relish the serene landscapes, making Dedoplis Tskaro a perfect destination for wine enthusiasts seeking an authentic and immersive experience.
- ATMs and Banking Services – Access to banking services and ATMs is available in Dedoplistskaro, where you can withdraw local currency and manage your financial needs.
How to get there
Dedoplistskaro is accessible by car, bus, or taxi from Tbilisi, the capital city. If you’re driving, be prepared for winding roads. Public transport is affordable and reliable.
From Tbilisi: Dedoplistskaro is located 135 kilometers east of Tbilisi. It takes around 2.5 hours to reach the city by road. Marshrutka vans and shared taxis to Dedoplistskaro depart daily from Isani and Ortachala. There is no passenger train service to Kakheti at present.
From Sighnaghi: The distance between Dedoplistskaro and Sighnaghi is 40 kilometers, taking 1 hour to travel by road. There are infrequent van services between the two centers so it can be more convenient to travel by shared or private taxi.
Tours via Dedoplistskaro
- Travel Lightly – Georgia is known for its traditional supra feasts and delicious local wines. Leave some space in your luggage for unique souvenirs like Georgian wine and handcrafted items.
- Weather Matters – The region experiences distinct seasons. Summers can be hot, so pack accordingly, while winters are relatively mild. Be prepared for changing weather, especially if you’re exploring the surrounding mountains.
- Local Cuisine – Don’t miss the chance to savor traditional Georgian dishes. Try khachapuri (cheese-filled bread) and khinkali (dumplings). Visit local restaurants, and indulge in the country’s diverse culinary delights.
- Wine Tasting – Take a wine tour and visit local wineries to learn about the ancient winemaking traditions and, of course, enjoy tastings.
- Respect Local Traditions – Georgia has a rich cultural heritage. When visiting churches and monasteries, be sure to dress modestly and remove your shoes. It’s customary to toast with wine during meals, so join the locals in their heartfelt “Gaumarjos!” (Cheers!)
- Explore the Outdoors – The Kakheti region boasts stunning natural beauty. Venture beyond the town and explore the Vashlovani National Reserve. Be sure to bring comfortable shoes, sun protection, and plenty of water.
- Be Open to New Experiences – Most importantly, be open to new experiences and the warmth of Georgian hospitality. Engage with the locals, immerse yourself in the culture, and let the beauty of Dedoplistskaro leave an indelible mark on your journey.
Main Sights of Dedoplistskaro