In this 11 days tour you will see the most of historical and cultural sites in seven regions of Georgia. You will see 5 UNESCO heritage sites including highest settlement in Europe - Ushguli village located in Svaneti. You will travel from Alazany valley to the highlands of Svanety and then to the cost of Black See in Ajara region, descend deep into Prometheus caves, and in a day watch the sunset from the top of Hatsvali on the level of 2350 m.
11 Days / 10 nights
MAIN HIGHLIGHTS & SITES TO VISIT
TBILISI CITY: Holy Trinity Cathedral; Georgian National Museum; Rustaveli Avenue; Metekhi Church (13th c.); Naricala Fortress (4th c.); Tbilisi Mosque (19th c.); Legutakheuli waterfall; Sulfur Bathhouse District; Maidan Square; Sharden & King Erekle II streets; Sioni Cathedral (13th c.); Anchiskhati Basilica (7th c.).
KARTLI PROVINCE: Gori Town; Museum and House of Stalin; Uplistsikhe Caves 1st millennium B.C.
IMERETI REGION: Kutaisi City Bagrati Cathedral (11th c.) (UNESCO); Gelaty Academy (12th c.) (UNESCO); ; Prometaus Karst Caves; Okatse canyon
MTSKHETA TOWN: Svetitskhoveli Cathedral (11th c.) (UNESCO); Jvari Monastery (6th c.) (UNESCO)
KAKHETI REGION: Bodbe Monastery (9th c.); Signagi Town; Velistsikhe Wine Cellar (16th c.); Telavi Town; Tsinandali
SAMEGRELO AND ZEMO-SVANETI: Dadiani palace, Mestia, Svaneti museum, Ushguli UNESCO site
SAMTSE DJAVAKHETI: park Kharagauli; Rabat fortress; Khertvisi fortress (9 c.) , Vardzia (12-13 c.)
1 DAY. TBILISI
Agency representative meets you in the airport. Transfer to hotel. Tbilisi historical district tour: visit Holy Trinity Cathedral (Sameba) built in 21st c which presents a mixture of traditional Georgian church architecture. Afterwards visit Golden Treasury of Georgian National Museum on Rustaveli Avenue. The Museum houses various archeological collections. Some of artifacts are dating back to 40 million years. Continue the tour from Meteckhi plateau and visit Metekhi Church of 13th c. overlooking Mktvari river. Nearby the church stands the monument of king Vakhtang I Gorgosali (Vakhtang the Wolf Head) who established the city of Tbilisi – the capital of Easter Georgia. Continue to Narikala fortress by cable car and enjoy views of the city from the top. The fortress was built first built in 4th c. AD. Stroll down to the old city and visit Tbilisi Mosque, Legutakhevi (Fig ravine) waterfall and take a walk towards Sulfur bathehouse district – one of the oldest districts in Tbilisi. Walk on Maidan square. Sharden and Erekle II streets. Lots of cafes and pubs, souvenir shops and art galleries are located here. Sioni Cathedral the former seat of patriarch, also stands here. The Cathedral was built in 6th – 7th cc. Continue to Anchiskhati basilica, which is the oldest church in Tbilisi dating from 7th c.
Lunch in Tbilisi restaurant.
In the evening dinner in authentic restaurant with vine and entertaining program – Georgian polyphonic singing, folk dances and music.
Overnight in Tbilisi hotel.
2 DAY. TBILISI – TSINANDALI – GREMI – SHILDA – NEKRESI – VELESTSIKHE – SIGNAGI
Breakfast in the hotel. Hotel check out. 9:00 Start from Tbilisi to Tsinandali via Telavi.
Village of Tsinandali is a source of a famous white wine and site of the Chavchavadze family estate - the 19th-century poet, public figure, and Kakhetian prince Alexander Chavchavadze (1786-1846). Have excursion with a guide and one glass of wine. See the house which is nowadays a museum and a wonderful garden.
Continue our tour to see Gremi – 15th century Kakhetian Royal family residence, the fortress has several inbuilt facilities including Church of Archangels (1565 ).
Drive to Shilda Chelti Wineyard and Winery to have lunch and wine tasting (3 types of wine). We also see here marani (traditional wine cellar), wineyards (depending on the time of the year).
After Chelti Winery we drive to Necresi Monastry - one of the most important cultural centers of Georgia. Beautifully set on the hilltop in the woods the monastery includes several structures built in different periods (4th.5th, 6th, 9th, 16th centuries).
Next site to visit is Numisi old wine cellar in the village of Velistsikhe. It is represented by 16th century vine storage with old limestone wine pressor and 33 big wine jars (kvevri) sunk underneeth the ground. The place has a rather rich expositions of old hosehold items, pottery, utensils, jewelries, and other staff ralated to different ages.
Arrival to Signagi. Dinner in Signagi restaurant. Night in Signagi hotel.
3 DAY. SIGNAGHI – BODBE – NINOTSMINDA - TBILISI
Breakfast in the hotel. Hotel check out.
10:00 Excursion in Signaghi. Visit Signaghi Museum wich features rich collection of ethnographic, numizmatic, photo and documentaty items. Also the museum has a gallary where the pictures of Niko Pirosmani are exibited.
Visit St. Nino’s Monasteri in Bodbe located very close to Signaghi. The Shurch was originally built between the 9th and 11th centuries, but has been significantly modified since then. The monastery now functions as a nunnery and is one of the major pilgrimage sites in Georgia, due to its association with St. Nino, the 4th century female evangelist of Georgians, whose relics are shrine there.
Lunch in Halichebis Sakhli. Wine tasting.
Ninotsminda Cathedral is highly significant to the development of Georgian architecture, as it predates Jvari Monastery in Mtskheta, and served as a model for the development of the later tetraconch (four-apse) form. The site is ruined today, with only the eastern apse and a portion of the western wall remaining. Th
e ruined apse is decorated with 16th century frescos of the Hodegetria, severely vandalized with bullet holes from Dagestan bandits in the 18th and 19th centuries. Outlines of the foundations indicate that the church originally had an octagonal center, surrounded by corner niches. Historical records indicate that restoration work was undertaken in the 10th and 11th centuries, and also during 1671 and 1774. However, the cathedral collapsed during earthquakes in 1824 and 1848 and was not reconstructed.
Arrival to Tbilisi. Dinner in Tbilisi restaurant. Night in Tbilisi hotel.
4 DAY. TBILISI – MTSKHETA – GORI –UPLISTSIKHE – TSKALTUBO
Breakfast in the hotel. Hotel check out. 9:00 leave Tbilisi for Mtskheta - one of the oldest Georgian cities, which was a capital of Eastern Georgia up to the 5th c. then the royal residence was moved to Tbilisi. Archeologists discovered remains of the city dating back to 1000 year BC.
Mtskheta is a popular tourist destination as it contains two of the UNESCO World Heritage sites – Svetitskhoveli Cathedral of 12th c. and Jvari monastery of 6th c. Both of the sites represent true masterpiece of different styles of Georgian church architecture.
Visit the museum and house of Joseph Stalin, located in Gori town, where Stalin was born. The museum presents items related to Soviet leader’s life.
Continue to Uplistsikhe, an ancient village, located near Gori. Uplistsikhe is a rock-cut town approximately covering 8 ha., can be divided into 3 parts, the middle one is the largest and connected to the other two with passes and tunnels. The complex contains structures dating back to Early Iron Age.
Lunch in Gori. After the lunch continue driving to Tskhaltubo via Ricoti Pass. See baskets and ceramic jars and other handmade crafts at markets by the road.
Arrive to Tskhaltubo. Hotel check in. Dinner in the hotel. Night in Tskhaltubo Hotel.
5 DAY. TSKALTUBO – OKATSE CANYON – PROMETHEUS CAVE
After breakfast in the hotel drive to Okatse Canyon. Enjoy breathtaking views of wild nature and unbelievably beautiful waterfalls. Canyon is about 14 km in length and between 20 to 100 meters in depth.
Come back to Tskhaltubo for Lunch. Take a short drive to Prometheus caves after lunch. It is one of the largest caves in the word, has more than 16th halls and many underground rivers. The length of the tourist route is 1060 m., total length 15 555 m, the maximum height is 20 m., air temperature is 15 – 17 C all year round.
Dinner in Tskhaltubo hotel. Night in Tskhaltubo hotel.
6 DAY. TSKALTUBO – SATAPLIA – ZUGDIDI – MECTIA
Breakfast in the hotel. Hotel check out. Drive to Sataplia National Park to see Sataplia cave with footprints of dinosaurs. The cave has lots of stalagmites and stalactites of different shapes.
Later we will head to Zugdidi – municipal center of Samegrelo region in the past it was the capital of Mingrelian principality. Visit Dadiani palace – former Mingrelian royal family estate, nowadays it is museum. Many of the museum exhibits are of a grate cultural and historical value.
Leave Samegrelo and travel to Mestia – municipal center of Svaneti region. Mestia is located 1500 m above the sea level. This region attracts tourists for centuries old buildings and watchtowers along with culture and traditions preserved since the medieval ages. Many buildings and Svan towers have the same appearance as they had ages ago.
Dinner and overnight in Mestia guesthouse.
7 DAY. MESTIA – USHGULI – MESTIA
After the breakfast will travel by off road 4xWD to Ushguli village. On our way to Zemo-Svaneti we will pass several villages and visit ancient churches with well-preserved frescoes. Ushguli village with its watchtowers, dwellings and churches is UNESCO world heritage site. Ushguli is also the highest settlement in Europe, it is 2200 m. over the sea level.
Drive to Hatsvali ski station and take a ride on the ski lift to enjoy the panoramic views of mounting landscapes and the sunset in highlands.
Dinner and overnight in Mestia guest house.
8 DAY. MESTIA - BATUMI
After the breakfast in the guesthouse we will explore Svan towers and Machubi dwelling. We will also visit Museum of Svaneti to see unique manuscripts (9 – 12 c.) and a very old Gospel book decorated with gold and silver. Guest house check out.
Drive to Batumi – capital of Ajara region, located on the Black Sea cost. Arrival to Batumi. Hotel check in. have a short tour to see statues of Medea and Jason on Piazza square, listen to the full version of the Golden Fleece legend and enjoy the beauty of the narrow streets and have a pleasant walk to a boulevard where you will find another composition called Ali and Nino of talented Georgian sculpture Tamar Kvesitadze. You will find a lot of interesting facts about the city and its architecture. Take a short and pleasant walk along the boulevard and drop into one of the city restaurants to enjoy local cuisine.
Night in Batumi hotel.
DAY 9. BATUMI – KUTAISI – BORJOMI
Check out after breakfast. At 9:00 start to Kutaisi to explore Kutaisi city and its surroundings: Bagrati Cathedral – a masterpiece of medieval Georgian church architecture. The cathedral was built in 11th c. and it was named after the King Bagrat III, who was the first King of united Georgia. Renovated in 2012, it stands on a hill and dominates the city of Kutaisi. Gelati Academy and Monastery (12th c. ) built during the reign of David the Builder, one of the most prominent Kings of Georgia. Gelati was a cultural and intellectual center for a long time and preserved lots of murals and manuscripts from 12th -17th cc.
Lunch in Rikoti restaurant.
Have a walk in Kharagauli park on arrival in Borjomi. Taste sparkling mineral water from the spring.
Dinner in Borjomi. Night in Borjomi hotel.
10 DAY. BORJOMI - AKHALTSIKHE – VARDZIA – KHERTVISI – TSALKA – TBILISI
Breakfast in the hotel. Hotel check out.
Arrival to Akhaltsikhe. Explore Rabat fortress (14 c.) The fortress was built after the invasion of Ottoman troops. There are many facilities inside the fortress including the citadel, harem, school, mosque, Jakeli castle, bathes and etc. Night in Akhaltsikhe hotel.
Drive to visit one of the oldest fortresses in Georgia - Khertvisi fortress (9th c.)
Continue to Vardzia – cave city built by Queen Tamar and her father in 12th – 13th cc. During the reign of Tamar Vardzia was a monastery accommodating up to 2000 monks. It had 6000 apartments, throne hall and a large church with a tower.
Have lunch near the Vardzia site.
Continue driving to Tbilisi via lakes Sagamo, Paravani and Tsalka.
Night in Tbilisi Hotel.
11 DAY. TBILISI.
Breakfast in the hotel. Check out until 12:00 am. Transfer to airport.
Tour price per person in $ US:
2 people – 1170 $
4 people – 985 $
6 people – 895 $
8 people – 835 $
10 people – 815 $
12 people – 775 $
The price includes:
Accommodation: 10 nights n 3* in double rooms
For hotel upgrade, please e-mail us on firstname.lastname@example.org .
Entertainment and other:
The Price does not Include:
0-4 years - Free
5-6 years - 50 % deduction
7-9 years - 30 % deduction
10 years and over - Adult price