Getty Images/Lonely Planet Images

Davit Gareja

The ancient monastery complex of Davit Gareja is one of the most remarkable of Georgia’s historic sites. Its uniqueness is heightened by its remote setting on the border with Azerbaijan and the surrounding semidesert landscape. Add to this the total lack of provision for visitors, the absence of any efforts to restore or protect the frescoes, the frequent tensions with Azerbaijan, and visiting Davit Gareja remains a real adventure.

In July and August it can get fearfully hot here by the middle of the day, so an early start, getting here by 10am, is ideal. Bring sunscreen, water and sensible shoes as you'll have to scramble up the hillside with no shade. Also be sure to have your passport or ID card with you, as you're in border area and could potentially be stopped by both Georgian and Azeri military patrols.

Explore Davit Gareja

Top attractions

These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Davit Gareja.


Learn more about Davit Gareja

Uncover the heart of travel and be inspired to see new sights with one of Lonely Planet’s in-depth, award-winning guidebooks.