Nestled in the northeastern expanse of Kakheti Province, Georgia, lies the picturesque town of Kvareli. A jewel in the Alazani Valley cradled near the foothills of the majestic Greater Caucasus Mountains, this town echoes the legacy of Georgian author Ilia Chavchavadze.
A Brief History of Kvareli
According to historical sources, in the early medieval period, the Pshavs from the village of Kvara, which were called Kvarleli, were settled in the territory of today’s Kvareli. From here comes the toponym Kvareli.
The allure of Kvareli transcends its historical significance. Positioned at the nucleus of the Kakheti wine-producing region, the town emerges as a viticultural haven, enticing wine enthusiasts from far and wide. Kvareli’s vinous claim to fame is none other than the renowned Kindzmarauli wine, a luscious semisweet red variety that paints the town’s identity with vibrant strokes.
The geography of Kvareli is a symphony of diversity. From the undulating valleys to the towering peaks of the Greater Caucasus Mountains, the town paints a vivid picture. Diverse forests, ranging from oak and aspen to ash and alder, add a touch of natural elegance. The region is not merely a tableau of flora but a habitat for an array of fauna, creating a harmonious balance between man and nature.
Infrastructure around it
- Accommodation: There are several hotels, guesthouses, and small inns in and around the city to accommodate tourists. Many of these offer traditional Georgian hospitality. You can reserve here on www.booking.com
- Restaurants and Cafes: Kvareli has plenty of restaurants and cafes serving both traditional Georgian cuisine and international dishes. You can find various dining options to suit different tastes and budgets.
- Medical Facilities: There are several medical clinics in Kvareli to cater to the healthcare needs of residents and visitors.
- Shopping: The town has some shops and markets, where you can purchase locally-made products, souvenirs, and necessities.
- Cultural and Tourist Attractions: Kvareli is known for its beautiful historic architecture, including the Kvareli fortress. Kvareli’s beauty extends beyond its city limits. Venture into the surrounding countryside to discover even more wonders. The Alazani Valley offers hiking and biking trails that lead to stunning viewpoints, allowing you to soak in the natural beauty of the region. Nekresi Monastery Complex and Gremi Fortress are just a few kilometers drive away. Both of them are another must-visit spot, with its serene atmosphere and historical significance.
- Wine Tourism: The Kakheti region, where Kvareli is located, is famous for its wineries and vineyards. Wine enthusiasts can explore the wine routes in the region and visit the numerous wineries, such as Corporation Kindzmarauli, or Gvirabi for tastings and tours.
- ATMs and Banking Services – Access to banking services and ATMs is available in Kvareli, where you can withdraw local currency and manage your financial needs.
How to get there
Kvareli 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: Kvareli is located 140 kilometers east of Tbilisi. Traveling via the Gombori Pass, it takes around 2.5 hours to reach the city by road. Marshrutka vans and shared taxis to Kvareli depart daily from Isani and Ortachala. There is no passenger train service to Kakheti at present.
From Sighnaghi: The distance between Kvareli and Sighnaghi is 60 kilometers, taking 1.5-2 hours 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 Kvareli
Main Sights of Kvareli
- Ilia Chavchavadze Kvareli State Museum
- Kote Marjanishvili House Museum
- Isev Kvareli