(CNN) — Driving through the beautiful, winding country lanes of Georgia’s remote, western Imereti region is an immensely pleasurable travel experience — but not one you’d immediately associate with religious experiences. Until, that is, you pass a hidden lane signposted with a picture of a church.
This is the way to the Katskhi pillar — a natural limestone monolith that towers more than 130 feet, or 40 meters, into the air and on top of which stands what is probably the world’s most isolated, and most sacred, churches.
Situated approximately 200 kilometers (about 125 miles) west of Georgia’s capital city Tbilisi, this remarkable landmark is notoriously difficult to reach. There are no trains in this part of the region, so the only way to get there is by car or bus, but it’s worth the trek.
The final approach is done on foot, a 20-minute hike during which the monolith appears suddenly on the horizon of the vivid Georgian landscape. It’s a magical experience that only intensifies as you draw closer to the pillar itself. A steep climb up some half-finished steps is a sign that visitors are almost there.
At the base of the pillar, a monastery and a small chapel come into view on the right-hand side. To the left stands the 130-foot tall limestone column in all its mesmerizing glory.
Sent us by Maui Surfer