Georgia - Culture & History

This trip takes you to the routes of the unique cultural heritage of Georgia. The tour includes all the best that can offer you this beautiful country. Visit the capital Tbilisi - a pleasant, charming and vibrant city, enjoy the variety of landscapes which are absolutely breathtaking. In 15 days, you will visit the essential sites of the country and discover the most beautiful landscapes of Georgia, historical and cultural monuments and the mountains of the Greater and the Lesser Caucasus. Apart from these you will experience a sincere hospitality of its inhabitants in the magnificent cities and very authentic villages which are often dominated by imposing fortresses and medieval monasteries.

ITINERARY

Day 1 

Tbilisi – Arrival

Day 2

Tbilisi

Day 3

Tbilisi - Ninotsminda - Signaghi

Day 4

Signagi -Telavi – Ikalto - Alaverdi -Tbilisi

Day 5

Mtskheta - Ananouri – Kazbegi

Day 6

Kazbegi - Gori

Day 7

Ateni - Gori – Kutaisi

Day 8

Kutaisi – Racha

Day 9

Kutaisi – Mestia

Day 10

Mestia - Ushguli - Mestia

Day 11

Mestia - Zugdidi - Batumi

Day 12

Batumi – Gonio - Shuakhevi - Batumi

Day 13

Batumi –Tskaltubo – Borjomi

Day 14

Borjomi - Vardzia - Tbilisi

Day 15

Tbilisi - Departure

Day 1
Arrive - Tbilisi

Arrive in Tbilisi, meeting at the airport and transfer to the hotel.

Overnight in Tbilisi.

 

Day 2
Visit the capital of Georgia

Discover the capital of Georgia – Tbilisi, explore its old district with cobbled streets and traditional houses with wooden balconies, at the bank of Mtkvari river. We visit the landmarks of the city: Metekhi church and its plateau which unfolds a superb view of the old city, Narikala Fortress - the ancient symbol of the city, the district of baths (Abanotubani) known for its Sulphur hot springs. 

 

In the afternoon we visit the National Museum and its collections of “golden treasure” from the ancient period. At the end of our day we visit Dry Bridge - place which attracts visitors with its flea market.

Walking hours: around 3h.
Overnight in Tbilisi.

 

Day 3
Panorama of Alazani Valley and history of the religion in Georgia


We depart to discover one of the most beautiful sites of Kakheti region, the East part of the country. Visit Ninotsminda Monastery in Sagarejo, which was built in the 6th century AD and was one of the earliest achievements of Georgian classical architecture. The cathedral itself is in ruins today, but the side of the four apses is still standing miraculously, with magnificent frescoes from the 16th century.

 

Short break at Bodbé monastery where St Nino stop of rest during spreading the Christianity in Georgia, this visit allows us to learn the history of the holy evangelizer, very important figure of Georgian religion.

 

We continue our trip to the small and charming village Sighnaghi, stroll through its cobbled streets and along the wall, admire the splendid panorama of Alazani Valley and the Caucasus.

Transfer: Private vehicle, around 3h.
Walking hours: 1 hour.
Overnight in Tbilisi.

 

Day 4
Discover the Wine Region

We continue our discovery of Kakheti region, appreciated for its wine traditions and richness of historical sites. We visit Tsinandali - palace and historic winery-estate which once belonged to the 19th-century aristocratic poet Alexander Chavchavadze, the palace combines Georgian architecture with Italian inspiration.

 

We pass through capital and historical city of Kakheti – Telavi where we discover a very colorful local market.

 

Then we explore the ruins of Ikalto academy where was studied the eminent poet Shota Rustaveli in the 12th century, an author of the great masterpiece of Georgian literature "The Knight in the Panther's Skin “.

 

We continue our trip to the local house with an old wine cellar, where the locals show us their traditional methods of winemaking, very different from European practice. Degustation of wine.

 

The next step allows us to discover the 11th century Alaverdi Cathedral.

 

Return to Tbilisi via Gombori pass, 1600 m, with the picturesque landscapes.

Transfer: Private vehicle, around 2h30.
Walking hours: 1 hour.
Overnight in Tbilisi.

 

Day 5
From UNESCO sites to the Greater Caucasus

Departure for Mtskheta – an old capital of Iberia kingdom, visit Jvari (Cross) monastery perched on a hill and overlooking the confluence of the Aragvi and Mtkvari rivers. Visit Svetitskhoveli Cathedral ("Life-giving column") dated back to the 11tcentury. Shopping of Georgian national handmade souvenirs. Possibility of buying national handcrafted souvenirs.


On the way of Kazbegi visit Ananuri Fortress offers picturesque views over the Jinvali Reservoir. Cross the legendary Georgian Military Highway, one of the world’s most beautiful roads, through the valleys, ravines and finally over the 2300 meter Cross Pass. Arrive in Stepantsminda, Kazbegi. Visit Gergeti Trinity church situated 300 m above the village. Option: hiking up to Gergeti church (2 h, 6 km).

Transfer: Private vehicle, around 3h.
Walking hours: 2 h.
Option: elevation of hiking +/- 450 m 
Overnight in Kazbegi.

 

Day 6
The region with its history since the 1st millennium BC till XX C

Early departure for Gori – soviet city and the central part of Georgia, the hometown of J. Stalin, where you can visit the house-museum of Stalin and its armored car.


Then we discover an abandoned rock-hewn town Uplistsikhe (about 1h30), dug into the rocks dates back to the 2nd century, is overlooking to the river Mtkvari.


We continue our tour to visit Atenis Sioni - an Orthodox church of the seventh century located almost 10 kilometers south of the town Gori. The church is situated in valley of Tana, well known with its historic monuments, authentic landscapes and its very special regional wine.

Visit local wine cellar of Ateni region, degustation.

Transfer: Private vehicle, around 3h30.
Walking hours: 2 h.
Overnight in Ateni or in Gori.

 

Day 7
Visit UNESCO Heritage Sights

In the morning departure for Kutaisi, the second city of Georgia. 


Visit the city and its UNESCO sites: Gelati monastery, which is the illustration of the Georgian culture since X C until the XVIII C, the masterpiece of the Golden Age of medieval Georgia, the center of science and education during that period. After we visit recently renovated Bagrati cathedral – the symbol of the city, dated back to the X century.

Transfer: Private vehicle, around 3h.
Walking hours: 1 h.
Overnight in Kutaisi.

Day 8
Mountain region Ratcha with its special wine

Departure for Ambrolauri, Ratcha region via Nakerala Pass, on the way enjoy with the views over Tkbuli reservoir and Shaori Lake. Ratcha is the mountain region which is known for its specific wine due to its terrain. Visit Barakoni Church – XVIII C. Visit the 10th century church, Nikortminta, a pearl of Georgian architecture with its lapid carvings. Visit an industrial wine cellar which produces famous and very pleasant semi-sweet red wine Khvanchkara, a famous local appellation. Wine degustation.

Return back to Kutaisi.

Transfer: Private vehicle, around 4h.
Overnight in Kutaisi.

 

Day 9
Visit Martvili Canyon and the way to Svanetian mountains

In the morning departure to Martvili, Samegrelo region. Visit Martvili canyon which used to be a bath place of Dadiani family, enjoy the scenary, its waterfalls and take a boat trip in river with deep green color. 

Option: visit to an archaeological site - Nokalakevi (III BC), which shows the ancient culture of the kholkhid, or / and visit the Monastery of Martvili (VII-X ss), significant for its beautiful frescoes. 

Continue to Mestia, Svaneti, mountain region, via Zugdidi. Svaneti is one of significant areas of the myth of Argonauts, here used to get the gold with lamb leather. Situated on the southern slopes of the central Greater Caucasus, surrounded by 3,000–5,000 meter peaks.

Transfer: Private vehicle, around 6h.
Walking hours: 1 h.
Overnight in Mestia.

 

Day 10
Svaneti Region and the village Ushguli

Visit Ethnographical museum of Mestia with its extraordinary treasure.

Difficult road goes to the Upper Svaneti. On the way visit the village Adishi and a small church in the village decorated with the mural painting characteristic of this region. Then we continue our road to Ushguli, one of the two highest villages in Europe and recognized by UNESCO, with very authentic Svanetian towers. 

Return back to Mestia.

Transfer: Private 4x4 vehicle, around 4h.
Walking hours: 2 h.
Overnight in Mestia.

 

Day 11
Discover Palace of the prince and Black Sea coast

In the morning departure from Mestia to Zugdidi. Visit Dadiani Palaces to see the exhibition of Georgian cultural heritage connected to the emperor of France, Napoleon Bonaparte, Tagiloni treasure materials and the memorial relics of Dadiani dynasty.

Continue to Batumi. On the way visit Batumi Botanical Garden, located on the beautiful coastal hills.

Transfer: Private vehicle, around 5h30.
Walking hours: 1h.
Overnight in Batumi.

Day 12
Batumi and Adjarian mountains

City tour of Batumi - the seaside city on the Black Sea coast, with attractive European and Asian architecture, churches, cobbled streets, active night and day life, especially during the summer.

Visit an archaeological site - Gonio Fortress with its museum, and then a short hiking up the mountains to visit the Makhuntseti waterfall and the ancient stone bridge.
 

Transfer: Private vehicle, around 4h.
Walking hours: 3h.
Overnight in Batumi.

 

Day 13
Visit Prometheus Cave and the balneological resort

We depart in the morning towards the center of Georgia to go to Borjomi, remarkable with its natural mineral springs. 

On the way, near Kutaisi, visit Prometheus cave, the karst cave full of stalactites and stalagmites decorated with colored laser lights. 

We then stop on the road, near Rikoti pass, to visit Ubisa church and its very pretty medieval frescoes.

Transfer: Private vehicle, around 6h.
Walking hours: 1h.
Overnight in Borjomi.

 

Day 14
Region of the medieval fortress

Departure for Vardzia Cave Town, located in Javakheti region at the left bank of Mtkvari river. The monastery complex caved in a rock, is XII-XIII CC Georgian picturesque monument, high mountains and rock cliffs, special kind of architecture. We visit this site which still requires a good physical shape - the multi-storey caves are connected by narrow tunnels, carved into the rocks.

Return back to Tbilisi via Tsalka, on the way visit Poka monastery located on the edge of the alpine lake Paravani. Arrive in Tbilisi in the evening.

Transfer: Private vehicle, around 5h30.
Walking hours: 2h.
Overnight in Tbilisi.

Day 15
Tbilisi - Departure

Transfer to the airport, departure.