This program has been designed in the way to give the visitor as complete picture of the culture, history, ecology and traditions of Georgia as possible. During the tour you will traverse Georgia from the snowy, severe and inaccessible summits of the Caucasus to the subtropical Black Sea coast; from the barren highlands to the rich and fertile agricultural lowlands and from deserts to lush forests and coniferous woods. You will sample some of the many traditional Georgian dishes and famous Georgian wines.
Day 1: Arrival in Tbilisi airport by QR 251 flight at 13:30 (TUE/THU/FRI). Tbilisi - Kazbegi
Today we drive Along Georgian Military Highway and visit Ananuri Architectural complex-former residence of Dukes of Aragvi region. Complex featuring churches and towers dating back to the XVI-XVII cc. is beautifully overlooking Jinvali reservoir. Arrive in Kazbegi, which is a small town with the views of Mt. Kazbek - the seventh highest peak in the Caucasus Mountains. Mt. Kazbek is associated with myth of Prometheus, according to the legend he was chained on the mountain in punishment for having stolen fire from the gods and having given it to mortals. (-/L/D)
Day 2: Gergety Tsminda Sameba Church
Visit Gergety Trinity Church built in XIII-XIV c is the only cupola church in the Khevi region. Perched on the top of the Tsminda Sameba (Holy Trinity) hill at 2170 meters above sea level, it is something of a symbol of Georgia and Khevi Province. The severe beauty of glaciers and austerity of local people are reflected in the construction of such a huge church on such a height. Hike up to the Gergety Trinity church starts at the village Gergety and passes through lush forests and alpine fields(1,5 hours one way). Free time in the evening. Overnight in Kazbegi (B/L/D)
Day 3: Kazbegi – Akhaltsikhe
Drive to the center of Shida Kartli region - Gori, known as the birthplace of the Soviet leader Joseph Stalin. Visit Stalin’s Museum in Gori where you can see the house, where Stalin was born and his personal railway carriage. Drive to visit Uplistsikhe (“Fortress of God”) rock-hewn town (1st Millennium BC). Uplistsikhe is located on the left bank of Mtkvari River and is notable for unique combination of various styles of rock-cut cultures and the co-existence of pagan and Christian architecture. Here you can also see ancient wine presses carved in stone. Drive to Akhaltsikhe for overnight (B/L/D)
Day 4 Akhaltsikhe – Varzia – Rabati – Bakuriani
This tour leads us to Samtskhe - Javakheti region, which is known by important historical events, numerous fortresses, churches and old settlements.The road leads past arid and stone-terraced landscapes, green valleys littered with centuries old fortresses. Visit Rabati Complex in Akhaltsikhe old town and it’s historical museum. Have view stops at Khertvisi Fortress (11th c) Drive to Vardzia rock-cut town built in the 12th -13th cc. The caves are arranged on several levels and extend over some 500 meters. The caves were hewn out one next to another & their individual porches & balconies connected by means of doors & passages and steep tunnels. The central part of the complex was converted into a huge monastery church. Drive to Bakuriani mountain resort.
Dinner and overnight in Bakuriani (B/L/D)
Day 5 Bakuriani – Rikothi Pass – Kutaisi
Spend two days to discover the beautiful land of Imereti Province, which is known with its green fields and delicate, manicured gardens. Imereti has an atmosphere with an unusual landscape of plains, mountains, lakes, and rivers laced with many historical, cultural & archaeological sites. Learn more about period of Golden age in Georgia and visit architectural masterpieces of that time – Bagrati Cathedral (11th c) and Gelati Complex (12th c). Here you find the capital of ancient Kingdom of Colchis - Kutaisi. Overnight in Kutaisi (B/L/D)
Day 6 Kutaisi – Tbilisi
Drive back to Tbilisi via Rikoti Pass. In the morning visit local food market in Kutaisi
Take free time for Shopping in Tbilisi
Overnight and dinner in Tbilisi. (B/L/D)
Day 7: Tbilisi city tour / Departure
Have Tbilisi Sightseeing tour: visit Metechi Church (12th -13th cc), built under the order of king Demetre the 2nd, although the former church stood here already in 5th century. Afterwards we visit Jewish prayer house – Georgian Synagogue, built from 1895 to 1903. We continue walking through cobbled streets, where you have an opportunity to see typical Georgian old houses with wooden, curved balconies. Visit Sioni Cathedral (7th -19th cc) and Anchiskhati Basilica (6th -18th cc) – the oldest surviving church in Tbilisi. After wondering in old city, we visit Narikhala Fortress - the main citadel of the city, enjoying the wonderful views of Tbilisi. We come down at the Sulphur Baths, characterized with a therapeutic nature having the constant temperature of 40 C.
Departure; transfer to the airport to fly back by QR (B/L/-)
QR254 flight at 20:00 (MON, WED, SAT, SUN)
QR 255 flight at 14:30 (TUE, THU, FRI)