7 Days 6 Nights
DESCRIPTION: During this one-week private tour, you will be able to see practically all of the major attractions in East Georgia. Visit the most important historical cities, monasteries, and cave villages of Georgia, try wines in the wine region, and shoot unique images in the highlands.
Arrival in Tbilisi. Pick up from the airport and transfer to the hotel. After some rest, meet your guide and driver in the lobby. Tbilisi sightseeing tour starts at Tbilisi's Holy Trinity Cathedral, Georgia's tallest church built between 1993 and 2004. It is also one of the largest religious structures in the world. Its magnificent golden dome can be seen from practically any point in Tbilisi. Continue to the old part of the city.
In the morning, drive to the Kakheti region that is famous for its old winemaking traditions. Visit the Ikalto Monastery, one of the two well-known medieval Georgian Neoplatonist academies. The complex, which dates back to the sixth century, played a significant part in Georgia's educational history. Shota Rustaveli, a brilliant Georgian poet, is said to have studied there. Continue to Alaverdi Monastery, which was established by monk Joseph Alaverdeli, who came from Antioch and resided in Alaverdi. The first church in Alaverdi was built in the sixth century. The current Cathedral was built as part of an 11th-century Georgian Orthodox monastery. The monastery is surrounded by fortifications. Continue to Tsinandali. Visit the house museum of Alexander Chavchavadze, a famous public figure and poet from the nineteenth century. At the time, Georgian nobles were known for their sophisticated European taste, as evidenced by the exquisite English Garden that surrounds the house. The house's wine cellar contains a unique selection of Georgian and European wines. You will be served a glass of Tsinandali white wine as a welcome gift. Drive to Telavi, the largest town of Kakheti. Visit Batonis Tsikhe, a museum dedicated to King Erekle II. Finally, pay a visit to the Giant Plane Tree, Telavi's one-of-a-kind attraction. Overnight at the hotel.
After breakfast, drive to the Gremi fortress, which was built between the 15th and 16th centuries. The fortress now houses a church, a 15th-century tower palace, and a museum exhibiting site artefacts. Continue to Kvareli. Visit the Khareba Winery - a unique wine cellar/tunnel carved deep within the Caucasus Mountains. Enjoy wine tour and tasting. Continue to Sighnaghi, the famed city of love located on a hilltop with a panoramic view of the Alazani Valley. The remainder of the defensive wall, with 23 towers, is still standing around the town. Climb one of the towers and walk along the wall until you reach the next one. Continue to the Bodbe monastery, which was built in the IX century. It is currently used as a nunnery, but it also serves as a tourist attraction. Drive back to Tbilisi. Spend the night at the hotel.
In the morning, head to Kazbegi. Along the way, stop by Jvari monastery, a UNESCO world heritage site erected in the sixth century on a hill overlooking the Aragvi and Mtkvari rivers' scenic confluence. Carry on to Ananuri Fortress. A magnificent complex consists of two churches with an ornately decorated façade, several towers, and defense walls. With a view of the Zhinvali reservoir in the background, all of these structures create a stunning panorama. Continue to Kazbegi on the Georgian Military Highway. Make photo stops at the Gudauri View Point, also known as the Friendship Monument, and the Jvari Overpass Travertine Natural Monument. Reach Stepantsminda. Hike or drive to Gergeti Holy Trinity Church to take in the breathtaking views of Mount Kazbek (5033 m). Drop off at the hotel.
In the morning, drive to Gori, the city where Joseph Stalin was born. Visit Stalin's house-museum and make a photo stop at Gori Fortress. You will see the house where Stalin was born and spent his childhood, a defense pavilion, Stalin's armour-plated train carriage, and a museum. Continue to Uplistsikhe cave town, located 15 kilometres from Gori on the left bank of the Mtkvari River. It dates back to the first and second millennia B.C. Uplistsikhe played a prominent role in politics, religion, and culture during the Hellenistic and Late Antique periods, as well as being an important trade center on a route connecting Asia and Europe. The complex contains several significant cave structures, including the "Theatre," a temple from the first or second centuries AD, the pre-Christian Temple of Makvliani, the large hall known as the Hall of Queen Tamar, Uplistsuli Church, the triple-church basilica on top of the hill, and a long tunnel leading down to the Mtkvari river. Drive to Borjomi for overnight at the hotel.
After breakfast, drive to Akhaltsikhe, the largest town in the Samtskhe-Javakheti region. Akhaltsikhe derives its name from the Georgian words for "New Castle." The city was well-known for its tolerance and religious diversity since it housed people of various nationalities and religions. Even today, Georgian, Armenian, and Catholic churches, as well as a synagogue and a mosque, can be found here. Explore Rabati Castle. The Castle's history dates back to the IX century, but it was totally renovated in 2012. Its architecture, labyrinths, churches, and mosques now attract tourists. Continue to Vardzia, one of Georgia's three cave towns. Take a photo stop along the road at Khertvisi Castle, an X to XIV century fortress overlooking the Paravani and Mtkvari Rivers. Vardzia spans approximately 500 meters along the cliff, providing a spectacular view. The town's history dates back to the XII-XIII centuries, with King George III and his daughter Tamar, afterwards known as King Tamar. Only 400 of the 3000 caverns remain today. Aside from living rooms, the complex features tunnels, churches, and wine cellars. Here you can see portraits of King George and King Tamar. Drive back to Tbilisi. Drop off at the hotel.
Check-out from the hotel. Transfer to the airport. Departure from Tbilisi.