Meeting at Tbilisi airport. A big excursion around the capital of Georgia: temples, Tbilisi courtyards, sulphur baths, cable car ride, leading to Narikala fortress, walking tour to the entertainment complex on Mtatsminda mountain, climbing and descending on the funicular railway, the oldest bakery, Tbilisi wine tasting with sommelier, culinary Master-class from the chef of the Tbilisi restaurant. Overnight in Tbilisi.
The capital of Georgia
Tbilisi is one of the most beautiful cities in Europe, a city with a unique style, its own sound and aroma. Tiflis is one and a half thousand years old. Centuries left their imprint on the shape of the Georgian capital. The streets of Tbilisi are a kind of time machine. Behind every turn lies a secret, every building breathes history, itself it is a history: narrow streets, famous hinged balconies, patios and ancient churches. It is nice to take a walk at any time of the year, getting lost in the labyrinths of streets, finding for yourself more and more interesting places.
We will show you a living city. We will climb Narikala fortress by cable car, walk along the centre and the main street of Tbilisi - Rustaveli Avenue, we will see one of the new symbols of the city - the Peace Bridge, Rijke Park, famous for the musical fountain and the Cathedral of Sameba (Holy Trinity). You will visit the Tbilisi wine cellar, where the tasting of Georgian wines and cognacs awaits us, and one of the oldest bakeries. Also, you will get a culinary master class from the chef of the Tbilisi restaurant.
Kakheti: The city of love of Sighnaghi, the monastery of Bodbe, the holy spring, wine tasting and a tour of the winery in Kindzmarauli, the Tsinandali estate with wine cellars. Master-class on preparing churchkhela and national cuisine of this region. Lunch in kakhetian family with shish kebab. Overnight in Tbilisi.
Homeland of the wine
Almost every Kakheti village became famous for the whole World with a wine brand. Tsinandali, Kindzmarauli, Akhasheni, Teliani, Mukuzani were, first, the names of regions and villages, and only then the name of wine brands.
In Kakheti, there is the grave of a particularly revered Georgian saint, the Equal-to-the-Apostles Nina of Cappadocia. Today, the remains of Nina are buried in the monastery of Bodbe, who grew up from a small church above the grave of a saint. Nearby beats life-giving source. After that, we will visit the city of love of Sighnaghi - one of the most beautiful cities in Georgia. There is an ancient fortress, with towers which offer a magnificent view of the Alazani Valley. There you will find a master class on cooking of Kakhetian cuisine and churchkhely in a traditional Kakhetian family and a hearty lunch with shish kebab. Our path lies in Kindzmarauli, where you will visit the winery, learn how to make this famous wine. And then you will taste several wine varieties with the professional sommelier of this winery.
But Kakheti is not just wine. This is an amazing place - the focus of ancient monuments and Christian culture.
We will stop at Tsinandali - the ancestral village of one of the most famous Georgian families, the princes Chavchavadze. This genus gave the world-famous politicians, military leaders, poets and scientists. We will visit the princely wine cellars, which store a unique wine collection, collected more than a hundred years. 16 thousand bottles! You can wander through the park, which once walked a Russian diplomat and writer Alexander Griboyedov with his young wife, Nina Chavchavadze. With your own eyes see how Georgian aristocrats lived.
Military-Georgian road, Kazbek. Fortress Ananuri, Zhinval water reservoir, mineral springs, the village of Kazbegi, the museum of mountain culture, the Church of the Holy Trinity at the foot of the mountain Kazbeg. Master class on making khinkali and lunch in a mountain family. Overnight in Tbilisi.
To visit Georgia and not see the Great Caucasus, it's just a sin. You will do not forgive yourself for such an omission. Therefore, on the fourth day, we will travel with you on a tour of the Military-Georgian road. It was built two hundred years ago, after Georgia joined the Russian Empire. In those years, the trip from Tiflis to Russia took at least a month. In the village of Gudauri, today it is some young developing, but already well-known ski resort, the postal station building on which travellers could change horses was preserved.
Prior to the Cross Pass, the road runs along the Aragvi River. By the wonderful beauty of the Zhinval water reservoir and the traditional mountainous Georgian villages. We will stop at Ananuri, at the once impregnable fortress, serving as an outpost of defence and the residence of the rulers of this land 400 years ago.
We will pass along the mountain gorges, climb the steep rocks along the fast mountain rivers. On the right and left from us will be the snow-covered giants, and the main and most powerful of them is Kazbek.
Village of Stepantsminda (Kazbegi)
At the foot of it is the goal of our journey. Village of Stepantsminda (Kazbegi). This is a unique climatic zone. The village is located on the left bank of a still young but already turbulent Terek, which begins its journey to the Caspian Sea from these places.
In addition to the beautiful view of the mountain Kazbeg, the amazing beauty of the surroundings and the cleanest mountain air, the village boasts unique cultural monuments. In the village, there is an ethnographic museum and a museum of writer Alexander Kazbegi. We will visit a unique temple, located at an altitude of 2170 meters above sea level. From the bottom, from the shore of the Terek, the Gergeti Church of the Holy Trinity (Gergetis Tsminda Sameba) looks like a tiny fragment of former centuries, times of greatness of the human spirit. We will dine in a family Georgian restaurant, where the hostess will tell about the peculiarities of local cuisine and teach those who want to sculpt khinkali - pride and national dish of the region.
Mtskheta, the monastery of Jvari, Gori, Uplistsikhe
The ancient capital of Georgia is Mtskheta, Jvari temple, Stalin's museum in Gori, cave town Uplistsikhe. Overnight in Tbilisi.
And on the fourth day we will go to Mtskheta. Mtskheta is located a few kilometres north of Tbilisi. It is the ancient capital of the Kartvelian kingdom, the heart of Georgia. Kartli gave the name to the whole country (in Georgian - Georgia - Sakartvelo), becoming the centre of the unification of Georgian lands. You cannot fully understand Georgia, if you do not visit Mtskheta. Having lost the status of the state capital, the city retained the status of a spiritual capital.
In Mtskheta is the main Georgian Cathedral of Svetitskhoveli, several ancient monastic complexes. In one of them, per legend, St. Nina lived. The other was described in the famous poem by M.Yu. Lermontov "Mtsyri" - it is the monastery of Jvari, located on the top of the rock from where you can see a wonderful view of Mtskheta and the place where the rivers Aragva and Kura merge. The town is woven from antiquities of the early Middle Ages, here every building is a cultural monument, not without reason Mtskheta is under the protection of UNESCO. Here we are waiting for dinner in the best restaurant Mtskheta with authentic cuisine and a story about its features from the chef.
From Mtskheta we will go to Uplistsikhe. This city is about three thousand years old.
The houses and temples in the city were carved in a soft rock towering above the left bank of the Kura. The city remained "alive" until the Middle Ages. For some time, it was chosen as residence of the famous Queen Tamara. To date, from the ancient city preserved 150 caves and some religious buildings of different eras.
Not far from Uplistsikhe is located the ancient temple of Ateni Sioni (Zion of Aten). This temple was built in the centric style prevalent in Georgia in the era of the early Middle Ages. In the cathedral, ancient frescoes are preserved, and the walls of the temple are decorated with traditional for local temple architecture ornaments, figurines and inscriptions.
Finally, we will visit Gori. Today it is a small provincial town, but once it had a capital status. Gori is about a thousand years old. About the former greatness, we are reminded of the ruins of a powerful fortress located on a high hill. From the height of its walls, a magnificent view of the surrounding mountains and the winding ribbon of the Kura opens.
In the twentieth century, the town became famous without exaggeration to the whole World, as the homeland of the most controversial leader, Joseph Stalin. Until recently, here stood one of the last monuments on the territory of the former USSR to the Leader of Peoples. The monument is no longer there, but Stalin's house museum welcomes guests with pleasure.
Tbilisi: free day, purchase of souvenirs and wine
Visiting sulphur baths, Georgian theatres, museums and other interesting places in Tbilisi. Overnight in Tbilisi.
This day we will devote to buying souvenirs in Tbilisi, walking around the city, visiting the famous sulphur baths or the Georgian puppet theatre of Rezo Gabriadze. Dinner in an excellent restaurant of the capital with a folklore program.
Mineral springs Borjomi, the cave city of Vardzia, a tour of Akhaltsikhe and the ancient fortress of Rabat. Overnight in Akhaltsikhe.
Borjomi is a small town in the mountains. It does not have many attractions built by the hands of a man, but it has become a visiting card of Georgia thanks to amazing mineral water. Its medicinal properties were known in the ancient times. At the excavations at the Borjomi springs, stone baths were found. However, later these places were abandoned and reopened already during the reign of the Russian Emperor. The unique power of water and natural beauty attracted the aristocracy. In the gorge near the natural springs a small town grew quickly. On vacation in Borjomi, to improve their health and breathe the purest mountain air, came members of the imperial house. Especially for the august family in the town built a residence.
Not far from Borjomi in the Kura Valley is one of the most ancient Georgian monasteries - Vardzia. This monastery complex, temples, residential and farm buildings are carved in a rock. Vardzia - a whole cave city, hidden from prying eyes in the thickness of soft tuff. Once the monastery-fortress served as a frontier stronghold. In its walls, up to 50 thousand soldiers were quartered. In 1283 a powerful earthquake happened in these places, causing irreparable damage to the complex. Part of the rock collapsed into the Kura. Underground city lost its strategic importance, however, and to this day remained a unique architectural monument. Today Vardzia is an active monastery.
The city of Akhaltsikhe was as important strategic importance as Vardzia. The new fortress, which was huge at the time, was supposed to protect the southern lands and the entire country from the invasion by the Turks, which constantly infringed upon the Georgian lands. For several centuries, it was possible to deter the enemies. But in 1578 the Ottoman troops still occupied Akhaltsikhe and remained here for a long time. Today the Akhaltsikhe fortress of Rabat keeps a trace of the presence of both cultures. This is one of the most beautiful medieval fortifications, located on seven acres. You will see the Turkish baths and the tomb of the Pasha-governor. The mosque is next to the synagogue and Christian churches of Armenians and Georgians. The recently rebuilt Rabat has become a kind of symbol of the new Georgia, a country where representatives of many religions and nationalities live, and in which everyone who came with the peace is happy. Overnight in Akhaltsikhe.
Kutaisi - the capital of Imeretia
Objects of international heritage of UNESCO: the Bagrat temple, the monastery of Gelati, the monastery of Mozzamet, the cave of Prometheus. Overnight in Kutaisi
Sights of Kutaisi
We will visit the remarkable monument of antiquity - the Bagrat temple. Its construction began in the 10th century AD. - the Georgian Golden Age. And since then it remains one of the most important and largest churches in Georgia. The Gelati Monastery is our next stop. This is the most significant medieval monastic complex in Georgia. It was founded by King David IV the Builder, the father of Georgian statehood, in 1106. Here is the tomb of the Georgian kings. The monastery is decorated with mosaics, which are considered the best in the Caucasus.
Further we will visit the monastery of Motsamet (Martyrs' Monastery), located in a picturesque canyon, the relics of the most venerated saints David and Constantine are buried here. The monastery itself is striking with its beauty and wonderful views of the mountains and canyon.
We will have dinner in a cosy Imeretia restaurant, dishes of local cuisine, where they will tell us about Imeretia, teach Imeretian khachapuri and offer solar Imeretia wine.
Then our way lies near the Imeretia town of Tskhaltubo, where the famous cave of Kumistavi is located, in this place was chained the Prometheus, therefore the second name of this unique natural monument is the cave of Prometheus. Here we must descend into the underworld of the stalactites. We will walk along the beautifully lit grottoes and underground halls and swim with a boat along the underground river.
Overnight in Batumi.
Sightseeing tour of Batumi, Botanical Garden. Overnight in Batumi.
Batumi. Black Sea coast
Excursion along the Black Sea coast to the Turkish border, fortress Gonio, trip to the mountainous Adjara, mountain rivers and waterfalls. Visiting the Adjara winemaker, wine tasting and a master class for cooking Adjara dishes. Overnight in Batumi.
Transfer to the airport of Kutaisi or Tbilisi.
Package price per person:
In guesthouse or family hotel - 495 Euro
In 3* hotel - 690 Euro
In 4* hotel - 1010 Euro
In 5* hotel - 1815 Euro
The package price includes: