GEORGIA 6 DAYS
Group size 10 Start Tbilisi
Countries 1 End Tbilisi
Reviews 1 Review4/5
Vacation Style Holiday Type
Activity Level Leisurely
Group Size Medium Group
Once there were the Argo…Driven by the Golden Fleece and led by the brave and reckless Jason, they set sail in search of Colchis. In the imagination of the ancient Greeks that was a risky challenge – probably the first great journey of mankind across the open sea to the end of the known world. Our travel destination Georgia, where the fabulous Colchis was located, still for many travelers today is far and unknown, mysterious and mythical. So, Colchis lies in the deep ravines of the Caucasus, nowadays the western part of the country. The east, on the other hand, is covered with high mountains, capped with eternal snow, where, as legend has it, Prometheus was chained to the steep rocks as a punishment for bringing people fire. The very history of Christianity in Georgia counts 17 (!) centuries. So, as you already understand, you will experience a fascinating country with ancient culture, its own language and writing, with colourful traditions that express all the past centuries, where Georgia was melting pot of Western and Oriental influences.
- 5 nights: 4 x in Hotel Irmeni 3* (or similar) in Tbilisi, 1 x Hotel Abu Hotel 3* (or similar) in Gudauri.
- All-route English-speaking guide.
- Transfer by modern coach throughout the whole trip.
- Meals: HB.
- English-speaking city tours: Tbilisi, Mtskheta, Gori, Gudauri, Sighnaghi.
- Entrance + guided tours: all sacred buildings according to the program; Funicular in Tbilisi; Stalin Museum in Gori, Cave city of Uplistsikhe, visit to winery and wine tasting near Sighnaghi.
- Visa Fee
- Travel Insurance
- Single Supplement
- Any meals not mentioned
- Any transfers not mentioned (e.g. first and last day)
- Any expenses of a personal nature
- Camera/video permits
- Tips to the guide and driver
Today you arrive in Tbilisi. After the usual formalities you check-in at the hotel and have a dinner. You could still have a walk around the city depending on time of your arrival.
The warmest city of Georgia
Today you will make your first acquaintance with the Georgian capital Tbilisi. As we know, the city was situated at the intersection of caravan routes from the Black Sea to the Far East since the 4th century. Ancient rulers used favorable location of the city to profit – so famous traveler Marco Polo reminisced Tbilisi in his notes as a rich “Wonderful city”. We visit the old town on the river Kura, the well-known Metechi church of the 13th c. The name Tbilisi derives from a Georgian word ”tpili”, meaning “warm source”. Indeed on our way we can see sulfur baths and springs, bursting out of the earth. During the city tour we visit the Sioni Cathedral – a sanctuary for all Georgians, as there is kept the grape vine Cross of the princess Nino, who christianised the country in the 4th c. You also see a synagogue and the Anchiskhati Basilica of St Mary – the oldest church in the city dating back to the 6th century.
Ancient capital of Georgia and mysterious Kazbek
In the morning we discover the cradle of Georgian culture – the oldest city in Georgia Mtskheta, its first capital and the religious center of the country. Today this city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. With its numerous archaeological and historical monuments it resembles an inhabited open air museume. In this 3,000 year-old city we visit the Djvari Church (6th c.), which was built on the site where princess Nino erected the large wooden cross in honor of the Christianization of Georgia. Also worth seeing is the Svetitskhoveli Cathedral from the 11th c. On this day we make a longer day stage. Our route runs to the north passing the Georgian Military Highway through a very scenic area. This is the historical name of a highway in the Greater Caucasus and it connects the Russian North Ossetia with Georgia. The path was built in the second half of the 18th century during the 5th Russian-Turkish war. The road, as almost every road in picturesque Georgia, offers much to see. We have a stop not far from Ananuri and visit the fortified church from the 17th century, another UNESCO World Heritage Site on our way. From here you have a wonderful view of the river. For many tourists, Kazbek is the destination itself. A lot of people would either climb this mountain or at least immortalize it on the photo. At the Cross Pass, 2 400 meters above the sea, we have a scenic stop, then continue along the Tegri River. Our next point is the highland alpine-landscape settlement Stepantsminda. From Stepantsminda we take a walk to Gergeti Trinity Church, beautifully situated on the flank of the mountain. On the way we make a stop at the picturesque Dariali Gorge. Passing glaciers and waterfalls we drive back to Gudauri.
Meeting the dictator
In the morning we go for a walk through the town of Gudauri, enjoy morning chill that only can be found in the mountains. Gudauri is a place where massive investments, made by the Swiss and the French, turn the town in a famous ski resort. Later on this day it becomes clear, how original the country is, full of wild untamed nature and great landscapes, where traditions are still alive. Our road goes downhill again. On a clear day, directly in front of us rises the mount Kazbek, to which Prometheus was chained according to Greek myth. We drive along the old Silk Road and visit the cave city Uplistsikhe, which is known since the 1st century BC and was inhabited until the 19th century. In its heyday, the city counted up to 700 rock houses. Today we can still see the old market, old pharmacy and ancient pagan devotion site. Our next point is Gori. The city went down in history birthplace of the bloodthirsty dictator Joseph Dzhugashvili, known under the name Joseph Stalin. Joseph Stalin Museum is set up next to his birth house, which can be interesting especially for the Western visitors, as notorious Soviet heritage is represented here with all its ”glory”. In the evening we return to Tbilisi.
Wine region of Kakheti
From the mountainous region we come to Kakheti valley, birthplace of the wine. The wine tradition is a sanctuary in Georgia. It is considered country of wine’s origin and wine traditions are preserved very carefully even in modern times. Even the typical Kvevris – buried clay jugs for wine storage – have been retained here. On the way there are several ancient monasteries, which were ruined by numerous earthquakes. After lunch we drive to Sighnaghi, called “City of Love”, that lies on the hillside above the Alazani Valley. Te town in a famous ski resorturning this small Georgian town into a tourist destination in Georgia was a successful venture of the Georgian government, based on a certain mystery of this place and its beautiful fortress. In the nearby Bodbe we visit the Monastery of Saint Nino, which was buried here in the 4th century. Finally we enjoy the wine tasting of different local flavours. In the evening we return to Tbilisi.
Today our program ends. You have spent your time very intensively and eventfully, learnt about new cultures, traditions and nature. We hope we have managed to persuade you to come here one more time in the future. You are always welcome here!