Day one: Tbilisi
Arrival in Tbilisi, meeting and accommodation at the 4 **** Astoria hotel, rest after the flight. A welcome dinner at one of the city’s restaurants with a national show in the evening.
Day two: Tbilisi
After breakfast sightseeing tour around Tbilisi
Excursion around Tbilisi
Metekhi Church: this temple was built in the XII century and has a tragic story. First it was used as a chapel of Georgian royal family. It has been destroyed several times during the invasions of Muslims and Tatar-Mongols. During the Soviet period the temple was a prison and theater.
Sulfur baths: the famous Tbilisi baths are located on one «bath» street, on a small plot. They are built on warm sulfuric-alkaline springs flowing from under Mount Tabor. The water temperature ranges from 37 to 47 degrees and has healing properties. As for the baths, most of the architecture resemble Turkish baths and belong to the XVI-XVIII centuries.
Narikala Fortress: this citadel is located on Mount Mtatsminda since IV century. The fortress was known as Shuris-Tsikhe, and they believe that modern name was given to it by the Mongols. The main part of the fortress was destroyed in 1827 by an explosion of gunpowder stored in one of the bastions.
Caravanserai: caravanserais in Tbilisi belong to the XIX century. Some of them are used as apartment houses.
Tbilisi Sioni Cathedral: this temple was built in VI century. Many historical events are associated with it. It also contains one of the main sanctities of Georgia – the cross of St. Nino – enlightener of Georgia.
Anchiskhati Basilica of St Mary: the oldest church in Tbilisi, that was built in VI century.
Bridge of Peace: pedestrian glass Bridge of Peace on Mtkvari River connects the Old Town and modern Tbilisi. Here is an excellent panoramic view to many sights of the city. Wave-shaped construction (156 m) was designed by Italian architect Michele de Lucci in cooperation with the French lighting engineer Philippe Martino.
After lunch in the tavern with Georgian cuisine city tour continues. A visit to Ethnographic museum in the open air, visiting sulfur baths (for an additional fee if desired).
Day three: Kazbegi
After breakfast comes a trip to the ancient capital of Georgia – the city of Mtskheta, which is a holy and cult place for every Georgian. The city was founded in the second half of the 1st millennium BC. It became a capital of the Eastern Georgian kingdom – Kartli (Iveria), which was created at the same time.
Jvari Monastery. Jvari («the temple of the Holy Cross»)was built in the VI century. It is on a high mountain with beautiful panoramic view of the fusion of two majestic rivers – Aragvi and Kura (Mtkvari). The legend says, the cross of holy Equal Apostles Nino was set up on this mountain. Jvari is the first monument of World Heritage in Georgia.
Svetitskhoveli Cathedral. According to the legend, the Cathedral was set up at the place, where the Chiton of Jesus Christ has been buried. The temple was consecrated in honor of the Twelve Apostles. The coronation and wedding of the Georgian kings took place in Svetitskhoveli, the main temple of Georgia. In the church there are many paintings (XVI-XVIII centuries), some of which were restored in the XIX century. After sightseeing comes lunch in a tavern: famous beans in a pot and traditional Georgian cornbread – mchadi.
Next: visit to Ananuri architectural complex (XVI-XVII centuries). The fortress is on the Georgian Military Road in 70 km from Tbilisi, where a small river Vedzatkhevi flows into Aragvi. Ananuri was the main stronghold for Aragvi Eristavs, the rulers of this region. The fortress complex includes the Upper Fortress (XVII-XVIII centuries), the Lower Fortress (XVIII century), churches of the Savior and of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary. After leaving the Cross pass comes arrival to Kazbegi and accommodation at the hotel.
Day fourth: Kazbegi
Breakfast at the hotel. A trip to Kazbegi. The urban settlement located at the foot of Mkinvartsvi (Kazbek mountain) 5047 m.
Visit to the church of St. Trinity in Gergeti (on the jeeps). One of the highest mountain temples was built at an altitude of 1800 m in XIV century. This is an impressive landscape of a church with one of the highest mountains of the world – Mkinvartsveri (Kazbek) on the background. Some sources tell us there was a whole monastic complex of the Holy Trinity where the church is now. In ancient times Gergeti Church of Holy Trinity was also called «the repository of the Mtskheta treasure». The Cross of Saint Nino-Enlightener of Georgia was kept here during the enemy attacks. After somes a transfer to Uplistsikhe Cave Town, arrival in Tbilisi and accommodation at Shota Boutique Hotel.
Day fifth: Tbilisi
Day sixth: Kakheti
Tbilisi – Bodbe – Sighnaghi – Tsinandali – Tbilisi
Breakfast at the hotel, leaving for the wine region of Kakheti, which is located in the eastern part of Georgia and is considered the cradle of Georgian winemaking. Here are cultivated unique grape varieties, such as Kindzmarauli, Manavi, Saperavi.
Bodbe Monastery. The monastery and episcopal complex of St. George was built in the 9th century in Bodbe, Kakheti. Here are buried the relics of Saint Nino – the Enlighter of Georgia. In the XVI-XVI centuries Bodbe was an important educational center. In 1837 the monastery was abolished. In 1889 there was opened a convent of Holy Equal Apostles Nino, which is still functioning.
Sighnaghi: this small town, located on the mountain next to Bodbe, is one of the most popular tourist routes. Sighnaghi attracts visitors with views of the Alazani Valley and the Caucasian Range. The city is also famous for the fortress, that was built in the XVIII century during the reign of the king Erekle II. The citadel is included in the list of the most famous and large fortresses of Georgia. The walls of the Signagi fortress miraculously survived and today surround the old part of the city and go far beyond the city borders. The fortress consists of 28 towers, each of which was built by residents of nearby villages and has similar names.
Wine tasting in Sighnaghi.
Next: a trip to the residence of Georgian dukes – Tsinandali (XIX century). Alexander Chavchavdze was the first one who established wine production in the European style in Georgia. Tour around the residence and park. Transfer to the wine farm Shumi – wine and cognac tasting, master classes for shish kebab (barbecue), khinkali, shotis puri – Georgian bread.
Return to Tbilisi and accomodation at the Biltmore hotel.
Departure, coming home.
The cost of the program for one person in a double room is 495 $
- hotel accommodation: Astoria Hotel – 2 nights, Shota Boutique Hotel – 2 nights, Porta Caucasia Kazbegi Hotel – 1 night, Biltmore Hotel – 1 night;
- all transfers;
- English speaking guide;
- all entrance fees;
- breakfasts, lunches and dinners provided by the program;
- masterclass in Kakheti;
- tasting in the kakheti at the wine farm.
Program doesn’t include:
- sulfur baths;
- meals on a free day, except breakfast at the hotel;