Sighnaghi - City of Love
Sighnaghi is the prettiest town in Kakheti, sitting on a hilltop 60 km southeast of Telavi and full of 18th- and 19th-century architecture with an Italianate feel. A big tourism-oriented renovation program has seen a rash of new accommodation spring up, but the town’s original style has been maintained. Sighnaghi has wonderful views over the Alazani valley to the Caucasus beyond, and is a pleasant place to spend a night or two. Hopefully they will have stopped the rented quad-bikes roaring up and down the main street by the time you get there.
The territory of the modern-day town has been settled since the Paleolithic period and was known as Hereti in the Middle Ages, and as Kiziqi after the 15th century. Sighnaghi (literally, "shelter" in Azeri) as a settlement is first recorded in the early 18th century.Sighnaghi is situated in the eastern foothills of the Gombori Range, a watershed between the Iori and Alazani valleys, in a productive agricultural and fruit-growing region. At the elevation of about 790 m above sea level, the town overlooks the Alazani Valley and faces the Greater Caucasus mountains. Sighnaghi has a mild humid climate. There are four seasons, with winters being moderately cold while summers can be hot. The highest average temperature is in July at 24.3°C while the lowest average temperature is in January at 0.2°C. Average annual precipitation ranges from 602.1 to 949.7 mm, with the heaviest occurring during the spring months and early summer. XVIII century Sighnaghi town wall, (Take the cobbled road down to Tsnori, enter through the tower at the arch.). Sighnaghi's fortifying wall is one of the biggest in Georgia, its area occupies 40 hectares. Town wall has 23 towers, each one named for a nearby town, and 6 gates, its width is 1.5 m, height 4.5 m and total length is 4.5 km. A small section of the wall has been restored for tourism. You can enter this portion through the tower at the gate on the road to Sakobo/Tsnori where there is also a restaurant. This "tourist track" as the signs call it, will spit you out on the same road, above where you entered.