Tbilisi – Mtskheta – Borjomi – Bakuriani – Vardzia – Kutaisi – Uplistsikhe – Tbilisi
1 st Day.
Meeting at the airport, transfer to the hotel. Supper and overnight in Tbilisi.
It is well known that Georgia is rich with holy places. Today you will visit the most important churches and museums of the capital of Tbilsi which was founded by Vakhtang Gorgasali in V century. You will visit Sioni Cathedral where St. Nino’s, cross is kept, (St. Nino preached Christianity in Georgia), Metekhi and Anchiskhati churches, Trinity Cathedral Church, the bridge of Peace, Puppet Theatre e.t.
Then we’ll will visit The National Museum and its Gold Fund where priceless findings of different era, from bronze age (3500 – 1200 b.c.) up to XX century are exibited. Here are kept most of the samples of Caucausian National Culture.
Supper and overnight in Tbilisi.
On this day you will visit old capital of Georgia. The city is very important for history of our country because christianity as state religion first was declared here in 326 year. Here in Mtskheta you will visit Svetitskhoveli (XI c) the Cathedral of Twelve Apostles where The Lord’s tunic is rested in the basement. That is why Mtskheta is called the second Jarusalem. According to legend the church was built over the cedar stump that seeped aromatic oil, myrrh. Under that cedar St. Nino, who preached Christianity in Georgia, prayed.
Then you will visit the church Jvari (VI) on the hill, from which you have a beautiful view of the old capital.
Then we drive to Borjomi and visit Seraphim Sarovski’s church who is the most popular Russian saint in Georgia. There are churches dedicated in his name in Borjomi and Dedoplistskaro.
On the way to Bakuriani we will visit Timotesubani, The Church of the assumption of the blessed virgin Mary. It is one of the most important monuments of Georgian cultural heritage and belongs to Borjomi-Bakuriani aparch. The church was built on the ruins of ancient monastry between 1195 – 1215.
Supper and overnight in Bakuriani.
After breakfast we’ll drive to Vardzia, cave monastery complex (XII- XIII c. built during the reign of King George III and his daughter Qween Tamar) – 13 stepped rock town. For 1300 m along the left bank of Kura river, near the Turkish board. It is cut in the plumb wall of the mountain, around 600 buildings are cut out – churches, chapels, par rocks, pantries, baths and libraries. There are preserved secret passages, remains of plumbing, and irrigation system. Vardzia- is the site of the era of Golden Age of Georgia. More than thousands of monks lived there, and when being attacked, there could shelter at about 50 thousand people.
After visiting Vardzia we go to Akhaltsikhe, the central city of Samtskhe-Javakheti (one of the oldest regions of Georgia). The Akhaltsikhe fortress is dated by 9th century. The castle complex Rabat Fortress was renewed in 2011-2012: the castle rampart, the citadel and the XIX-XX century orthodox church were rebuilt. Haji Ahmed-Pasha Jaqeli mosque, the madrasa, the minaret and Jaqeli castle were restored. Nowadays, exhibition halls of Samtskhe-Javakheti Historical Museum are located there.
Currently the lower part of the fortress is changed into the tourist area: restaurants, cafes and souvenir shops.
Supper and overnight in Bakuriani.
This morning we drive to the west of Georgia in the direction of the second largestcity of Georgia – Kutaisi. Here you have the opportunity to admire historical monuments – the Cathedral Bagrati (included in UNESCO World Heritage Site), Bagrati Cathedral was built in the early years of the 11th century, during the reign of King Bagrat III, due to which it was called “Bagrati”. It is presently of limited use for religious services, but attracts many pilgrims and tourists.
Gelati is a medieval monastery complex near Kutaisi, in the Imereti region of western Georgia. A masterpiece of the Georgian Golden Age, Gelati was founded in 1106 by King David IV of Georgia and is recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. Georgians have always had a knack for choosing the most superb locations for their churches and this monastery complex, on a wooded hillside 10km northeast of Kutaisi, is no exception. Beautifully situated on a forest-covered hill the Gelati Monastery complex consists of the main church (Cathedral of the Virgin), the Church of St. George (east of the main church), the Church of St. Nicholas (west of the main church), the Bell tower, the Academy Building (west of the Church of St. Nicholas), the South Entrance and the Chapel containing the tomb of King David Agmashenebeli. The first and most significant building built there was church of Virgin Mary the Blessed, which was finished in 1130. During the reign of Qween Tamar were built two more churches. One of them is St. Nicholas church which is above an arcade.
The next place of interest is Prometheus Cave which is one of Georgia’s natural wonders and one of the largest in the world and has many underground rivers. It was discovered in 1984. Its unique features include a variety of halls and landscape diversity. Four distinct layers were formed during different stages of the Earth’s development and tourists are able to journey through the historic territory by foot or in boats. Prometheus Cave is one of the most popular international tourist caves, and includes various types of stalactites, stalagmites, curtains, petrified waterfalls, cave pearls, underground rivers, and lakes. There is a constant comfortable 14 degree Celsius (57F) temperature inside the cave.
Supper and overnight in Kutaisi.
On the way to Tbilisi we visit a small monastery complex Ubisi, medieval monastic complex in Georgia, particularly in the region Imereti, some 25 km from the town Kharagauli.
The monastic complex of Ubisa comprises a 9th-century St. George’s Monastery founded by St. Gregory of Khandzta, a 4-floor tower (AD 1141), fragments of a 12th-century defensive wall and several other buildings and structures.
The monastery houses a unique cycle of murals from the late 14th century made by Damiane apparently influenced by art from the Byzantine Palaiologan period (1261-1453).
Then you will see Uplistsikhe,”the lord’s fortress”, an ancient rock-hewn town in eastern Georgia, some 10 kilometers east of the town Gori, Shida Kartli. Uplistsikhe is identified by archaeologists as one of the oldest urban settlements in Georgia (1000 b.c.). Strategically located in the heartland of ancient kingdom of Kartli (or Iberia as it was known to the Classical authors), it was completely deserted in XIX c.
In the evening, farewell supper acompanied by Georgian folklore in therestaurant in Tbilisi.
reakfast and Transfer to the airport.
Tour package price 688 $
Services included in tour package price:
- Transfer to / from the airport in Tbilisi;
- Accommodation in hotel 6 nights;
- 6 x breakfasts,
- 6 x Lunches
- English speaking guide service;
- Transportation in modern, comfortable coaches;
- Entrance tickets to the museums;
- Accommodation and food for the guide and the driver;
Services NOT included in the price:
- Air tickets;
- Travel Insurance;
- Alcoholic drinks.