DESTINATION GEORGIA 8 DAYS/ 7 NIGHTS PILGRIMAGE TOUR PACKAGE FOR 2017
DAY 1: ARRIVAL IN TBILISI
Meeting at Tbilisi International Airport with a guide. Transfer to the hotel. Hotel check-in and short rest.
DAY 2: TBILISI CITY TOUR
Breakfast in the hotel. First, they can celebrate Mass in a Catholic church in Tbilisi. After the mass meeting with the clergy of the Catholic church in Georgia. Explore Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia founded in the 5th c by King Vakhtang Gorgasali. First visit to Metekhi church (13th cc) a cross – cupola church, part of the Royal residential complex. Continue the tour going down to Sioni Cathedral, considered the symbol of Tbilisi. A short glimpse Anchiskhati basilica and bell tower (6th -18th cc). Lunch at the restaurant. After lunch visit to Narikala Fortress (4th c) – main citadel of the city, which overlooks the oldest part of Tbilisi. During centuries Narikala was considered the best strategic point of the city. Ascending by funicular road, descending by foot. After the getting panoramic view we visit Sulphur bath houses. Walk through the old town, the ancient streets where the souvenir shops are located. Next visit to National Museum of Georgia that contains an exhibition of gold work. These are extraordinary specimens of gold filigree and reposes work discovered at important archaeological sites. Dinner at a local traditional restaurant. Overnight in Tbilisi.
DAY 3: TBILISI – MTSKHETA – STEPANTSMINDA (KAZBEGI)
Breakfast at the hotel. Hotel check-out. Ride to Mtskheta – the ancient capital of Georgia. En route visit Jvari Church (6th – 7th cc) – church of the Holy Cross, masterpiece of the early Medieval Period. In Mtskheta you will have the opportunity to visit: Svetitskhoveli Cathedral (11 th c) – one of the sacred places of Georgia, the burial place of the Holy Mantle of Christ and Samtavro Archbishopric Cathedral (11 th c) – the altar and the dome of it still bear some fragments of the paintings, particularly image of the Savior inside an oval on the dome hemisphere – unfortunately, greatly damaged – and themes from the Gospels. Lunch at the local restaurant. Drive to Stepantsminda, crossing the Jvari pass (2395m) with stunning panoramic views. Arrival in Stepantsminda (formerly Kazbegi) – a small town located in 15 km from the Russian- Georgian border. Hiking on the terrain and visiting Gergeti Ttrinity Church – located at an altitude of 2170 m, offering beautiful views of Mount Kazbek (5047m). Hotel check-in. Dinner and Overnight in Kazbegi.
Breakfast at the hotel Hotel check-out. En route we will visit Ananuri architectural complex (16-17cc) – one of the best monuments of the Georgian architecture of the later period. In the later middle ages Ananuri served as the residence palace of Aragvi Eristavis (rulers) and hub of the Saeristavo – land ruled by an eristavi. Lunch at the restaurant. After lunch at the local restaurant drive to Tskaltubo. En route visit Ubisa church (9th c.) unique with its wall paintings and stop at Shrosha ceramics fair. Arrival in Tskaltubo. Dinner and overnight in at the hotel in Tskaltubo.
Breakfast at the hotel. Hotel check-out. Departure for Kutaisi – one of the oldest cities of Georgia, located in the valley of the river Rioni, which is mentioned in the myth about the Argonauts and the Golden Rune. The ancient capital of kingdoms of Kolkhi and Imereti. First visit to Bagrati Temple (10-11cc) – ruins of a temple built during the reign of King Bagrat III. Next visit to Gelati – monastery complex (12th century) – Churches of the Virgin, St George and St Nicholas, on the walls of which were preserved the unique frescoes. Lunch at the local restaurant. After lunch visit the Motsameta church built in honor of the brothers David and Constantine who were martyred by the Arabs in the seventh century. Return to Tbilisi. Dinner in city restaurant and overnight in Tbilisi.
DAY 6: TBILISI – ALAVERDI – GREMI – NEKRESI – VELISTSIKHE – TELAVI
Breakfast at the hotel. Drive to Kakheti region via Gombori Pass (1620 m). First visit to Alaverdi Monastery – the greatest temple of the mediaeval Georgia. The present day cathedral dates to the 11th century. The monastery as well as other cathedrals in Kakheti is almost deprived of all decors however, it still makes a strong impression thanks to its immense sizes and harmony and the stretched high in the sky accentuated dome. Next visit – Gremi –16th century architectural monument. The complex is what has survived from the once flourishing town of kingdom of Kakheti in the 16th and 17th centuries. It functioned as a lively trading town on the Silk Road and royal residence until being razed to the ground by the arms of Shah Abbas I of Persia in 1615. Lunch at the local restaurant. After we will visit Nekresi complex that includes: The oldest church in Georgia built in the fourth century and the Basilica of the Virgin Mary (VII sec.) with wall paintings of the sixteenth century.On the way to Telavi we will visit 300 year-old wine cellar (marani) in Velistsikhe .Tasting georgian red and white wines will give you opportunity to join the Georgian culture and traditions. Arrival in Telavi. Dinner and vernight at a hotel in Telavi.
Breakfast at the hotel. Drive to Gujaani, and visit church of Gurjaani Kvelatsminda, that is a wonderful example of a transitional period in the Georgian culture. This 8th century church of Dormition of the Virgin is unique in the way that it is the only two-domed temple in Georgia. Next visit to St. George’s monastery complex in Bodbe. The monastery now functions as a nunnery and is one of the major pilgrimage sites in Georgia, due to its association with St. Nino, the 4th c. female evangelist of Georgians, whose relics are kept there. Lunch at a local restaurant. Arrival to visit Sighnaghi. The town of love and a popular tourist destination due to its location at the heart of Georgia. Departure for Tbilisi. Hotel check-in. Dinner at a local restaurant. Overnight in Tbilisi.
DAY 8: DEPARTURE DAY
Transfer to the airport and departure.
– All museums are closed on Monday and tour is revised according to opening days at the museums.