David Gareji Monastery is a rock-hewn complex located on the half-desert slopes of the Mount Gareji, some 60–70 km in the Kakheti region southeast of Georgia’s capital Tbilisi. The complex includes hundreds of cells, churches, chapels, refectories and living quarters hollowed out of the rock face. The complex was founded in the VIth century by David (St. David Garejeli), one of the Thirteen Assyrian monks who arrived in the country at the same time. Despite the harsh environment, the monastery remained an important centre of religious and cultural activity for many centuries. David Gareji is a functioning male convent. Being partially located on the territory of Azerbaijan, this complex has become a subject to a border dispute between Georgia and Azerbaijan, with ongoing talks since 1991.
After visiting the monastery, we drive to the village of Udabno to enjoy authentic Georgian cuisine and extraordinary scenery.