Tbilisi, Telavi , Alaverdi , Napareuli , Neckresi , Sighnaghi, Mtskheta , Jvari , Kazbegi , Truso valleys , Juta , Gori, Uplistsikhe, Borjomi, Rabat , Vardzia, Tbilisi
DAY 1: ARRIVAL IN TBILISI, SIGHTSEEING TOUR IN TBILISI
Arrival to Tbilisi International airport. Transfer to the hotel.
Lunch in Georgian restaurant.
Walking tour in Tbilisi. We begin our journey at the famous Metekhi temple, from where a picturesque view of the Kura River (Mtkvari) opens to the old part of Tbilisi, to the amazing, bizarre shape of the glass “Peace Bridge” that was built in Tbilisi in 2009 and of course to the Narikala fortress. Rising the cable car to the Mother of Georgia monument gives us a magnificent view of the whole Tbilisi. Descending from there you can make wonderful photos of the central part of the old city from a bird's eye view. Next we get to Narikala, a fortress complex. The exact time of the foundation of the fortress in Tbilisi is unknown, but in the VII century it was already the main defensive structure of the city. Coming down from Narikala, we will definitely look into the sulfur baths, in which Pushkin and Lermontov took bathing. We will walk along the famous pedestrian street Chardin, which is famous for the huge number of open cafes and bars, oriental hookahs, restaurants of European, oriental and of course national Georgian cuisine.
20:00 Dinner in Ethno-Tsiskvili restaurant. It is a restaurant space that emerged from the Georgian culture, the entire essence of which is connected with the Georgian roots, culture and time-honored customs. The high-class restaurant was founded in 2002 and since then it has not lost its significance.
The Georgian spirit is felt in each corner of the restaurant. The museum exhibits, used to arrange the interior, would tell you short stories of Georgian history from the ancient period to the present day.
The exterior is as impressive as the interior with its natural waterfall, due to which the mill has been functioning so far.
In addition to the delicious traditional Georgian dishes of ‘Ethno-Tsiskvili’, one can enjoy the diversity of Georgian folklore and dances, as well as charisma that together leave unforgettable impressions on each guest.
DAY 2: KAKHETI - TELAVI, ALAVERDI, TWIN’S WINERY, NECKRESI MONASTERY, SIGNAGHI
Breakfast in the hotel.
Kakheti is the most famous wine region in Georgia, the center of which is the famous Alazani Valley. And Georgia is the first country in the world in which a human started cultivating grapes, planted the first vineyards and began to produce wine.
The first point on our way is Telavi, located on the slope of the Tsivi-Gomborsky ridge. The city is located at an altitude of 490 m above sea level, so the air here is fresh and transparent. The landscapes of Telavi and its environs are very impressive. Here you can simultaneously enjoy the greenery of river valleys, the slopes of the mountains of the Greater Caucasus, crowned with thousand-meter peaks.
20 km from Telavi you will visit one of the most famous medieval temples in Georgia - Alaverdi Cathedral (in the village of the same name). It was built at the beginning of the XI century and is one of the highest structures of its time.
The history of winemaking in Georgia has more than 8 thousand years and today you will plunge into the world of wine in the old cellar of the Twins’ in their farm in Napareuli village. You will visit the qvevri museum - a unique museum of the wine production in clay jugs that store real Georgian wines. As well there will be lunch in best Georgian traditions.
On the slopes of the Caucasus Range above the Alazani Valley, there is a small but very atmospheric Neckresi Monastery. Previously, there was a whole ancient city with the same name, but only its ruins have survived to this day. But the monastery on the mountain still pleases visitors with its beauty.
And the last stop for this day is Sighnaghi, one of the attractions of which is the second in the world longitudinal defensive fortress wall, second only to the Great China. In Sighnaghi was born and was inspired the famous Georgian primitive style artist, the prototype of the most famous Soviet song “A Million Scarlet Roses”, Niko Pirosmani. The town has recently undergone significant restoration and infrastructural improvement, rendering Sighnaghi a must-see destination in Georgia. A stunning view of the Alazani Valley make Sighnaghi one of Georgia’s most attractive small towns.
Return to Tbilisi. Overnight at hotel Tbilisi.
DAY 3: MTSKHETA, KAZBEGI
Breakfast in the hotel.
Georgia is one of the oldest states in the world where many historical and cultural attractions are located.
One of them is Mtskheta - ancient capital of the Eastern Georgian kingdom of Iberia.
Mtskheta is special with monuments that tell about the ancient history. The city is tightly related to the Christianity and preserves numerous sanctuaries that are dear to every Georgian. We will discover the ancient capital of Georgia that is included in the UNESCO World Heritage List as a unique city-museum. People also call it “The second Jerusalem”. Prepare to see Jvari monastery 6th that is the culmination of artistic and architectural aspirations in early
Georgian Christian architecture. The confluence of the two rivers Aragvi and Kura is one of the most famous landscapes in Georgia, opening from the Jvari Monastery.
Svetitskhoveli Cathedral built in11th century is one of the most sacred places in whole Georgia, with the Christ’s robe preserved in the Cathedral.
More than 70% of the territory of Georgia is occupied by mountains and now we are going to enjoy breathtaking views.
Kazbegi is rising above sea level by 5054 meters. We are making our way from Tbilisi to Kazbegi along one of the most famous and beautiful roads in the world - the Georgian Military Highway, along beautiful gorges and passes, past beautiful mountain lakes and mineral springs.
Our first stop is the architectural complex of the Ananuri fortress-monastery, included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. Revived in the 16th century it was a reliable guarded entrance to the mountains. The tower rises above the monastery, offering stunning views of Lake Zhinvali.
We will stay at the observation deck constructed in the form of a mosaic in honor of the signing of the St. George Treatise on the unification of Russia and Georgia.
And here it is - handsome Kazbegi! Covered with eternal snows, this mighty giant rises above the Caucasus.
Lunch and master class on cooking national Georgian dish – khinkali.
Check-in. Overnight at hotel in Kazbegi.
DAY 4: GERGETI, JUTA, TRUSO
Breakfast in the hotel.
Right at the foot of Kazbegi, at an altitude of 2200 meters, is the Church of the Holy Trinity. The temple itself looks very ascetic - there are no frescoes here, the walls are complex of massive stones, there is no electricity, and the rays of the sun enter here only through the narrow windows in the walls.
Lunch on the farm.
Then you will have a track to the village of Juta (4 km), where you will visit the Truso valleys and gorge. The road from Juta will take approximately 1 hour 20 minutes. This amazing gorge is known for its magnificent nature, mineral acidic waters originating from underground. You will also see the famous Truso Travertine, Cassara Canyon, Abano Mineral Lake and the old town of Keteris.
Overnight at Kazbegi Hotel.
DAY 5 UPLISTSHIKHE, GORI, BORJOMI
Breakfast in the hotel. Check out.
The first stop on our route is the city of Gori, where there is a museum of one of the most controversial leaders of the world - Joseph Stalin.
The next impressive sight we are going to visit is the cave city of Uplistsikhe, carved into the rocks in the Bronze
Age. In the 10th century BC, it was one of the largest trading cities in this area, in which about 20 thousand people
lived. Many legends and tales tell the walls of these caves.
Lunch at a local Georgian restaurant.
Next, we will go to the homeland of Borjomi mineral water. The magnificent Borjomi gorge shrouded in green mountains is surrounded by the cleanest air filled with relict forest aromas, rivers, waterfalls, ringing silence and, of course, healing mineral springs. You will try original healing Borjomi water directly from the spring, admire the scenery from the height of the cable car and, if desired, you can plunge into the thermal mineral pools.
Overnight at the hotel Borjomi.
DAY 6: RABAT, VARDZIA, TBILISI
Breakfast in the hotel.
From the healing embrace of Borjomi, we will go to Akhaltsikhe, where one of the visiting cards of Georgia, the Rabat fortress, will hospitably open its gates before us. After a large-scale restoration, this magnificent defensive complex of the Middle Ages period turned into a real “city in the city” with an area of 17 hectares. We will visit the Akhaltsikhe Citadel, the Jakeli ancestral castle, a historical museum, an Orthodox church and a mosque, stroll through the modern garden and galleries in the Mauritanian style, admire the original fountains and sculptures, climb the fortress walls and enjoy the breathtaking surrounding panoramas.
Lunch at a local restaurant.
Another of the wonders of Georgia is waiting for us - the cave complex Vardzia. This ancient rock city has no equal cities in its historical heritage and scale. Imagine more than 600 different rooms in an almost sheer cliff, skillfully communicated among themselves by a whole system of tunnels, stairs and passages that could accommodate up to 20,000 people! Here were not only living rooms, but also temples, monasteries, pantries, refectories, baths, libraries, etc. The complex even preserved the remains of the water supply system and irrigation system. You will see the central temple of the city with unique frescoes and murals, an old bell tower and a spring with delicious water, located right in the rock.
Return to Tbilisi, check-in at the hotel.
DAY 7: FREE DAY IN TBILISI
Breakfast in the hotel.
Today you will have a free day to walk slowly in Tbilisi, to see its flea market, to observe the city from Mta Tsminda or visit Ethnographic museum on Turtle Lake.
DAY 8: FINAL DAY
Breakfast in the hotel, check out and transfer to Tbilisi Airport according to the flight schedule.