We did overnight next to the monastery, beautifully situated uphill in a cypress grove. It was one of two famous medieval Georgian Neoplatonist academies, the other being Gelati near Kutaisi. Shota Rustaveli, the national poet, is thought to have studied here. The main Transfiguration Church was built in the 8th and 9th centuries. The roofless building along the south side of the compound was the Academy. And an 8th-century stone wine press survives to its left (Georgian monasteries have always been enthusiastic winemakers).
Parking location – Ikalto: 41.937135N 45.380442E (🚻)