DESTINATION GEORGIA 12 DAYS/ 11 NIGHTS REGULAR 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
Explore Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia founded in the 5th c by King Vakhtang Gorgasali. First visit to Metekhi church (13th c.) a cross – cupola church, part of the Royal residential complex. Continue the tour going down to Sioni Cathedral (7–19th cc.), considered the symbol of Tbilisi. A short glimpse Anchiskhati basilica and bell tower (6-18th cc.). Next 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. Take a walk around the old town which developed within the walls of a citadel and reached the bank of the river Mtkvari. After the getting panoramic view we visit the area of Sulphur bath houses. Lunch at a local restaurant. After lunch 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 restaurant. Overnight in Tbilisi
Breakfast at the hotel. Departure for Kakheti region and David Gareji Monastery Complex. David Gareji monasteries (7-8th cc.) differ very much from the monasteries of earlier period. Instead of earlier simplicity of main churches and refectories, you can notice the greatness and majesty here. David Gareji’s art pays especial attention to Ktitors’ numerous images, among which are portraits of kings. Sightseeing of Lavra monastery complex and Udabno range. The walking tour up to Udabno and back will take 2 hours. Picnic lunch. After the picnic lunch driving to Telavi. On the way visit Georgian Duke`s palace-museum of Prince Alexander Chavchavadze in Tsinandali. Arrival in Telavi. Hotel check-in. Dinner and overnight at a hotel in Telavi.
Breakfast at the hotel. First visit to Alaverdi Monastery – the greatest temple of the mediaeval Georgia. Earliest parts of it date back to 6th century. The present day cathedral dates to the 11th c. 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. Diversity in the tour will be visiting the “Tunnel” – modern tourist complex, situated near the town of Kvareli. “Tunnel” is a place where you can relax in the cool of the Kvareli Mountains during the hot Kakhetian summer. Here you can visit a historic wine cellar located in a tunnel. Lunch at a local retsaurant. After lunch driving to Velistsikhe and visit 300 year – old wine cellar (marani). Tasting homemade wines will give you opportunity to discover Georgian culture and traditions. Departure for Tbilisi. Dinner at a localrestaurant. Overnight in Tbilisi.
Breakfast at the hotel and ride to Mtskheta – the ancient capital of Georgia. En route visit Jvari Church (6–7th cc.) – church of the Holy Cross, masterpiece of the early Medieval Period. In Mtskheta you will have the opportunity to visit: Svetitskhoveli Cathedral (11th c.) – one of the sacred places of Georgia, the burial place of the Holy Mantle of Christ Shida Kartli region. Lunch at the local restaurant. After lunch drive to town Gori, birthplace of Joseph Stalin and see the house-museum from outside. Next visit to cave-town Uplistsikhe (end of 2 – beginning 1BB BC) – “God’s Fortress”, the ancient cave town hewn into the rock. Departure for Akhaltsikhe. Dinner and overnight at a hotel in Akhaltsikhe.
DAY 6: AKHALTSIKHE – VARDZIA –TSKALTUBO
Breakfast at the hotel. Departure for Vardzia. En route photo –stop near Khertvisi fortress – one of the oldest fortresses in Georgia and was functional throughout the Georgian feudal period. As the legend says, Khertvisi was destroyed by Alexander the Great. Arrival in Vardzia and visit to cave monastery complex. In the mountain carved about 600 rooms: churches, chapels, living cells, store-rooms, baths, refectories, treasuries and libraries, with the unique mural paintings. Lunch at a local restaurant. After lunch departure for Imereti region, Tskaltubo – famous spa resort. Dinner and overnight at a hotel in Tskaltubo.
DAY 7: TSKALTUBO – KUTAISI – LATALI – MESTIA
Breakfast at the hotel. 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 (10-11th cc.) – ruins of a temple built during the reign of King Bagrat III. Next visit to Gelati – monastery complex (12th c.) – Churches of the Virgin, St George and St Nicholas, on the walls of which were preserved the unique frescoes. Lunch at a local restaurant. After lunch departure for Upper Svaneti region. On rout visit to Matskhvarishi church in Latali. Arrival in Mestia. Dinner and overnight at a hotel in Mestia.
DAY 8: MESTIA – USHGULI – MESTIA
Breakfast at the hotel. Departure for Ushguli, the settlement recognized by UNESCO as world heritage site – one of the highest living places in Europe (2200 m). The way takes approx. 3 hours, along mountain and unsurfaced, worn-down road. Upon arrival in Ushguli visit tower of love and walk in villages Murkkmani and Jibiani, the part of Ushguli. During lunch you will try unforgettable cuisine of Svanetia. Lunch in a family house. After lunch visit to Lamaria- church of the Assumption of the Mother of God. On our way to Mestia visit to Nakipari church (11th c) in village Ifari. Returning to Mestia. Dinner and overnight at a hotel in Mestia.
Breakfast at hotel and after visit Svan tower, known as Svan House. Next visit to Svanety Historical – Ethnographical Museum. Departure for Tskaltubo. Lunch at a local retsaurant. After lunch departure for Tskaltubo. En route visit to the Cave of Prometheus, full of stalagmites and stalactites. The total length of tunnels is scanned over 20 000 meters, pedestrian tourist route is 1420 meters long and the internal temperature reaches 14-17 degrees. Arrival in Tskaltubo. Dinner and overnight at the hotel in Tskaltubo.
DAY 10: TSKALTUBO – UBISA- ANANURI -GUDAURI
Breakfast at hotel. Departure for Mtianeti region. Drive along the Georgian Military Highway. En route we will also visit Ubisa church (9th century). Lunch at a local retsaurant. Next visit Ananuri architectural complex (16-17th cc.) – 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. Arrival in Gudauri. Gudauri is a skiing resort, situated 75 miles from Tbilisi, near Cross Pass, at an altitude of 2200m above sea level. Dinner and overnight at a hotel in Gudauri.
Breakfast at the hotel. 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). Lunch at a local retsaurant. After lunch departure for Tbilisi. Arrival in Tbilisi. Dinner at a local restaurant. Overnight in Tbilisi.
DAY 12: DEPARTURE DAY
Transfer to the airport and departure