Georgia from the Golden Fleece to the present day

 

Itinerary

Day 1

Arrival - Kutaisi

Day 2

Kutaisi - Gelati - Borjomi - Vardzia

Day 3

Vardzia - Poka - Paravani Lake - Tsalka - Tbilisi

Day 4

Tbilisi 

Day 5

Tbilisi - Mtskheta - Gori - Uplistsikhe - Kutaisi

Day 6

Kutaisi - Martvili - Mestia

Day 7

Mestia - Adishi - Ushguli

Day 8

Ushguli - Mestia

Day 9

Mestia - Zugdidi - Batumi

Day 10

Batumi – Gonio - Shuakhevi - Batumi 

Day 11

Kutaisi - Departure

Day 1
Arrival - Kutaissi

Arrival in Kutaisi. Kutaisi is the second largest and the most important city in Georgia - in the West part of the country. Here is one of three international airports of Georgia, mostly low cost airlines operate in Kutaisi airport. Transfer to the hotel.

Night in Kutaisi.

 

Day 2
Visit Kutaisi and departure to the South part of the country

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.

We depart to Borjomi, remarkable with its natural mineral springs, visit Borjomi park, take taste to Borjomi sour springs.

Arrive in Vardzia.

Transfer: Private vehicle, around 3h35, 210 km.
Walking hours: 3 h.
Overnight in Vardzia.

 

Day 3
Region of the medieval fortress and lakes

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 4h15, 220 km.
Walking hours: 2h30.
Overnight in Tbilisi.

 

Day 4
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, here you can find everything with a minimum price: furniture, crockery, medals, caps of the Soviet army, antiques and paintings.
 

Walking hours: around 3h.
Overnight in Tbilisi.

Day 5
The old capital and rock-hewn town

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.

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.

Arrive in Kutaisi.
 

Transfer: Private vehicle, around 4h30, 270 km.
Walking hours: 4h.
Overnight in Kutaisi.

Day 6
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 5h30, 265 km.
Walking hours: 1 h.
Overnight in Mestia.

Day 7
Admire Svanetian mountains

Sightseeing of Mestia: Ethnographical museum with its extraordinary treasure, famous Svanetian towers, picturesque landscapes and architectural treasures.

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. 

Transfer: Private 4x4 vehicle, around 2h, 45 km.
Walking hours: 3 h.
Overnight in Ushguli.

Day 8
Discover Ushguli village and the glacier Shkhara

We visit Ushguli, one of the highest villages in Europe and the UNESCO site, with beautiful defense towers.
Hiking (3 h easy hike). Ushgouli is located at the foot of one of the highest peaks in the Caucasus, Shkhara (5068 m). Visit to the Lamaria church.

Return to Mestia.

Transfer: Private 4x4 vehicle, around 2h, 45 km.
Walking hours: 3 h.
Overnight in Mestia.

Day 9
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, 270 km.
Walking hours: 2h.
Overnight in Batumi.

Day 10
Batumi and Adjarian mountains

Short 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.

Return back to Kutaisi.
 

Transfer: Private vehicle, around 4h30, 230 km.
Walking hours: 3h.
Overnight in Kutaisi.

 

Day 11
Kutaisi - Departure

Transfer to the airport, departure.
 

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Georgia from the Golden Fleece to the present day

11 Days