David Gareja Monastery, Udabno

The Orthodox David Gareja Monastery complex conceals hundreds of cells, churches, and monks' quarters, hollowed out in a rocky mountain verge. In this semi-desert setting you can see shepherds herding their flock and birds of prey hunting, while the monks pick wild herbs emerging from rocky pathways. Visit the monastery and its quarters, and climb a hill from which you can see both Georgia and Azerbaijan. Look for the tomb of St. David Garejeli, the Assyrian monk who founded the complex in the 6th century. The climate at this site can be harsh, so bring warm clothes and have enough food and water for lengthy walks. To find out how to plan a trip to Udabno, use our trip itinerary maker.
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David Gareja Monastery Reviews
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  • From Tbilisi to David Gareja Udabno 2 hours road, I think the best time visiting the complex early spring and autumn, because of hot summer days traveling to a desert places little bit unbearable. I h...  more »
  • David gareji-Syriac monk, one of the first publicized the Orthodox faith. After successful attempts, he founded a monastery in the Highlands of the Gareji. The monastery is located at 60 km. from Tbilisi and most get quite tricky. If you met yourself, you should definitely explore the history of the place, which counts almost 1500 years. A place steeped in mystery and mystery, the path opens amazing landscapes. In the monastery monks still live, which is clearly not happy. It is necessary to climb the Hill through which runs the border with Azerbaijan and offers stunning views. In the same way on the hill there is a small chapel. I was in February in the company of a guy with Pakistan, two Women and a resident of California, who clearly did not expect such cold. Be sure to take warm things up in winter. Place the sole and mist, which sank during our visit, just an incredible mystery.
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  • Taking and jumping on the bus in Tbilisi, through -2 1.5 hours you will find yourself in a dreamlike location in Georgia, which probably doesn't seem like any of the others! The landscape of the mountains is fascinating, huge vast distances. Ideally, it is necessary to go by yourself, without tours and spend the whole day, and maybe stay overnight at the monastery. Was in March will come back again!
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  • Monastery on the border between Georgia and Azerbaijan. Should be mentioned that in Sowjet time this place was restricted for visitors, due to the neighborhood with the military polygon. Today Monastery is operate bu the Georgian Orthodox Church and resides priests. The complex was damaged slightly by the living conditions needs some additional living premises were detached to it. It is surrounded by picturesque views. In summer it is the hottest place in Georgia, some poisonous snakes could be faced during June July and August. Recommended time for visiting in May and September.
  • Don't leave the place without climbing on the ridge behind the monastery. On the top you will see beautiful frescos and enjoy breathtaking views of surrounding areas. Consider that the best time to visit place is during sunrise or sunset.
  • An amazing place to visit, well worth the journey. The views in winter are breathtaking.
  • This is an awesome place to explore, but beware Google Maps! If you are coming from Tbilisi and your maps app tries to send you through Rustavi, DON'T! Rustavi itself is just fine, but eventually, you'll hit a dirt road that only gets more rocky and rough. That being said, you can make it, but I would highly advise against it unless you have four-wheel drive. That route also takes you through what appears to be a military training facility which was a little nerve-wracking. And should you break down, be aware that we didn't see another car until we were about 15 minutes away from David Gareji. That being said, if you take S5 to Sagarejo you'll come up on a turn (41.721338, 45.354982) that will take you down a road called Sagaredjo-Udabno-David Gareji Monastery. I didn't notice a sign, but on an electronic map that is how it comes up. Head south down that road, staying on it the entire time (there will be turns so just pay attention to your map) and it will take you right there. At this point, Google doesn't seem to recognize that route, but it is visible on your map and is much more taken care of that the dirt road. We didn't come upon any closures, just a good amount of potholes. Be sure to load a return map as well before going out there, as we couldn't get one to load even in the areas where we did have service. And If you are the type of person that it counting the countries you have been to, watch closely for the 45-second dip you'll take into Azerbaijan on the road there :) The monastery itself was really neat to see! There is a little church shop where you can buy religious information, relics, water, etc. There is also a bathroom that costs .5 GEL to use. The monastery did have some construction going on when we were there, but we were still able to get in and explore quite a bit. Despite the drive, it really is a cool place to see!
  • Probably the best monastery seen in caucuses, hard to reach (you need a 4wd car) and to hike, but the efforts are paid back. Wonderful building and wonderful view of the Azerbaigian border. Unique.
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