Upon arrival at the airport, you are welcomed and escorted to your hotel. The rest of the day is free at leisure.
TBILISI CITY TOUR (B)
After Breakfast start to explore the capital city of Georgia. During your full day tour, visit all the main attraction. Start with the Holy Trinitiy Cathedral, which was built in 21st century and being the main Christian Orthodox cathedral in the country. Continue to Metekhi Churchof located by the bank of the Mtkvari river. Ride up to Narikala Fortress by aerial cable car. The fortress dates back to the 4thcentury AD. It has a superb location with magnificent panoramic views over the city. Stroll down to Legvtakhevi (translated literally as “Fig Ravine”) – a beautiful place with a waterfall. Take a walk into the park near the Sulfur bathhouses, which is well-known for their healing powers. The Shardeni street and its neighbourhood and Meidan square with its outdoor cafés, galleries and souvenir shops, is your next stop. Visit then the Caravanserai – the Tbilisi History Museum. The museum presents unique items, household accessories and weapons dating back to the Bronze Age. Cross the Bridge of Peace – a modern glass bridge in hightech style. Your last stop for today is the National Museum of Georgia on Rustaveli Avenue. The museum collection includes artefacts of natural and human history, with animal remains, and rich ethnographic and archaeological collections beginning from Palaeolithic era to Middle Ages.
TBILISI – MTSKHETA – ANANURI – KAZBEGI (B)
After breakfast drive to Mtskheta, which functioned as the capital of Eastern Georgia – Iberia – from 3rd century BC to the 5th century AD. Mtskheta historical monuments –Jvari Monastery and Svetitskhoveli Cathedral – are UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Drive then north to the Gudauri ski resort via the Georgian Military Highway. The way to Gudauri is quite picturesque with attractive views of the Great Caucasus Range, serpentine roads and waterfalls. On the way, visit Ananuri fortress which was the residence of Aragvi Eristavis’ (Dukes) during 16th-17th century. Continue to Kazbegi (Stepantsminda), the administrative centre of the Khevi province.
KAZBEGI. GERGETI & DARIALI (B, L)
Enjoy today the impressive Caucasus Mountains. Hop onto your horse and ride to Gergeti Mountin, where you find the Holy Trinity Church (14th century). Return back to Kazbegi for your local lunch in a local house with home-made dishes. Spend the afternoon in Dariali gorge and at the Gveleti waterfalls. A short hike has to be done in order to see the impressive nature.
KAZBEGI – JUTA – CHAUKHI – GUDAURI (B)
Hop on a 4x4 car and drive to Juta village. From here, hike to the lake at the base of Chaukhi Mountains (10km, 3-4hours). Continue then to Gudauri, where you can enjoy the afternoon on your own for own exploration.
GUDAURI – GORI – UPLISTSIKHE – BORJOMI (B)
After breakfast at the hotel drive to Gori. The Soviet dictator J. Stalin was born here and spent his first four years at Gori. Nowadays, his house functions as a museum and presents items related to Stalin’s life. After excursion at Stalin’s house-museum, visit the Uplistsikhe caves, which date back to the 1st millennium BC. Continue then to Kutaisi via the Rikoti pass. Make a couple of stops on the way to visit a pottery and a farmers’ market. Drive towards Borjomi spa-resort, take a walk in the Borjomi Central Park and taste the bubbling mineral waters from the springs. Mineral waters of Borjomi have been famous since the early 19th century and are still exported to the world.
BORJOMI – AKHALTSIKHE – VARDZIA (B)
Visit today the Akhaltsikhe, a historical town that was the once the seat of the dukes of Samtskhe during the 12th & 13th century. The complex comprises a beautiful castle of 14th century, several churches, a mosque and a museum. The museum presents manuscripts, old printed books, photographic collections, archaeological and numismatic collections and etc. Continue exploring Samtskhe – the Javakheti province and drive along the Mtkvari river to Vardzia cave town. Vardzi is a cave city established in the 12th century and became a well-defended monastery in the 13th century. It contains one of the famous frescos of Queen Tamara – the first woman who ascended to the throne in feudal Georgia.
VARDZIA & SURROUNDINGS (B)
Begin your day at the Vanis Qvabebi cave monastery. The complex dates from 8th century and consists of a defensive wall built in 1204 and a maze of tunnels running on several levels in the side of the mountain. Continue to the ruined fortress of Tmogvi fortress. It is first mentioned in sources from the 9th century and was built as a defensive work controlling the ancient trade route between the Javakheti plateau and the gorge of Kura, over a gorge formed by the Kura River. Next, visit the Khertvisi fortress. This is one of the oldest fortresses in Georgia and was functional throughout the Georgian feudal period. Situated in Southern Georgia, in Meskheti region, the fortress was first build in the 2nd century BC.
VARDZIA – TBILISI (B)
On your way back to Tbilisi, drive via the lakes Sagamo, Paravani and Tsalka. Visit Poka Monastery. The establishment of Poka Monastery is credited to St Nino of Cappadocia who is said to have brought Christianity into Georgia. Saint Nino came to Georgia through Javakheti and stood near Pharavani Lake where she had a vision of an angel who gave her a letter addressed to the pagan King. In the 11th century, a cathedral was built at this very spot. As a result of invasions in the 17th century, Javakheti, and the cathedral were destroyed, but you can still see the remains of the original stone church, including fragments of the original frescos.
TBILISI DEPARTURE (B)
After breakfast check-out from the hotel and transfer to Tbilisi International airport.