Sighnaghi, Georgia: The Notorious City of Love

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My first stop off in Georgia on my return to the country was in the city of love, Sighnaghi. We had only been absent from Georgia for 10 days backpacking in Azerbaijan. After crossing the border from Zaqatala to Lagodekhi we headed west. Don’t be fooled by thinking Sighnaghi is “off the beaten track”; it’s not and there area  lot of tourists in the area, but truth be told, most of them are Georgian, Azerbaijani and Russian. Population wise, the town of Sighnaghi boasts a mere 2,000 residents. Expect that to double on days in the busy summer months.

sighnaghi in georgia

Excellent views from the city of love – Sighnaghi, Georgia.

The selling point for Sighnaghi is its views. This is like a lofty medieval town which looks down on sparse, remote and flat countryside.  

georgia sighnaghi panorama

A panoramic view of Sighnaghi in Georgia.

Views are simply tremendous, including the balcony views from most of the hotels.  You can wander at leisure around the old city walls, which date back to the 18th century and are well restored.

view of tsnori georgia

From the walls you also get some incredible views down over the region, which includes the town of Tsnori, Alazani Valley and the Caucasus mountains, and down to the Azerbaijan border.

sighnaghi walls georgia

The walls of Sighnaghi, Georgia were built as a means of defense, and they span around 4 kilometres in circumference. Apparently there are 23 towers and 6 gate entrances.  

jonny blair sighnaghi walls

Hiding in one of 23 towers on Sighnaghi’s walls.

Food in the Square

Georgia plays up its cheese and bread and be sure to try the Khachapuri when backpacking through the country. While my favorite Khachapuri was the Adjarian Khachapuri in Batumi , Sighnaghi also was high on the list. A cold beer and khachapuri in the square is a great lunch option here.

One of 6 gate entrances into the lofty town of Sighnaghi, Georgia.

georgia sighnaghi backpacker

Festivals

There were three big events happening while I was there.

1. Break Dancing Competition in the Street!

sighnaghi festival

Random Festivals on in Sighnaghi the time we were there.

2. Azerbaijani Food Tasting!

Random free Azerbaijani "food tasting" session, on the day we had just arrived from Azerbaijan!

Random free Azerbaijani “food tasting” session, on the day we had just arrived from Azerbaijan!

Random free Azerbaijani "food tasting" session, on the day we had just arrived from Azerbaijan!

3. Live Music in the Square

Churches

Georgian towns and cities have lots of churches in them, naturally. Signaghi has a few really beautiful churches, and we visited two of them.

1. Sighnaghi Stepantsminda Church:  This church is up at the top of a hill in the old poky streets:

georgia church

The Stepantsminda Church in Sighnaghi, Georgia.

2. Tsminda Giorgi Church: This church is on a hill in the lower part of Sighnaghi. It dates back to the 19th Century and is well worth a visit.

tsminda giorgi church sighnaghi

Walking around Sighnaghi at your leisure will allow you to also take in the museum, a pretty square and fountain, a clock tower, some unusual statues and monuments. 

church sighnaghi

georgia sighnaghi

Quirky random stuff on the streets of Sighnaghi, Georgia.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jonny Scott Blair
Jonny Blair is a self confessed traveling nomad. He sees every day as an adventure. Since leaving behind his home town of Bangor in Northern Ireland ten years ago he has traveled to all seven continents, working his way through various jobs and funding it all with hard work and an appetite for travel. His website Don’t Stop Living, a lifestyle of travel' contains over 1,000 stories and tips from his journeys round the globe. He wants to show others how easy it is to travel the world, give them some ideas and encourage them to do the same but most of all he aims to constantly live a lifestyle of travel. He is currently based in Hong Kong and on Twitter @jonnyblair.

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