Hidden Gems in Georgia Tour12 Days | Tbilisi, Telavi, Tsinandali, Shumi, Nekresi, Kvareli, Sighnaghi, Bodbe, Mtskheta, Ananuri, Kazbegi, Gudauri, Gori, Uplistsikhe, Kutaisi, Prometheus Cave, Gelati, Nikortsminda, Katskhi Pillar, Chiatura, Borjomi, Akhaltsikhe, Vardzia

Hidden Gems in Georgia Tour

There are plenty of places to explore in Georgia, from popular sights to hidden wonders. Take a 12-day tour to explore them all, with stops in several regions in Georgia. Start with a tour of the capital, Tbilisi, and then head out into wine country, with visits to some of the best places in the Alazani Valley and eastern Georgia. The next couple days are all about churches, and some of the most important places in the Georgian Orthodox Church: Bodbe Convent, Jvari, Mtskheta, and Gergeti Trinity Cathedral. Then discover some of Georgia’s natural wonders, from the caves of Uplistsikhe and Vardzia to the waters of Borjomi and Shaori Lake. In western Georgia, there are still plenty of places to explore. Of course there are more monasteries and churches, but there are also places like Chiatura (with Soviet-era cable cars) and Prometheus Cave (with underground rivers and stunning stalactites). And for just 12 days of traveling, you’ll go beyond these sights to discover Georgia in all its diversity and beauty.

Tour itinerary:

Day 1: Tbilisi – arrival – city tour
Arrival in Tbilisi. You will be met by our driver and transferred to the hotel. Check-in at noon.
You will start your journey in Georgia with a Tbilisi city tour. Start at Metekhi church and the monument of Vakhtang Gorgasali, the legendary founder of Tbilisi. Take a cable car to Narikala Fortress to enjoy a breathtaking panoramic view of the city. Walk down to the district of sulfur bath houses, passing by the only mosque in Tbilisi. Stroll through the Sharden area, full of narrow streets with cozy cafés, wine tasting bars, souvenir shops, and breathe in the living past. Visit Sioni Cathedral, Anchiskhati Basilica, and the clock tower of famous Rezo Gabriadze Theatre. Cross the Bridge of Peace to Rike Park. An excellent round-up to the city tour will be a visit to Open Air Museum of Ethnography, a miniature model of Georgia. In the evening, visit a local restaurant to taste dishes of traditional Georgian cuisine. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 2: Tbilisi – Telavi (Batonistsikhe Museum) – Tsinandali – Shumi – Akhasheni
After breakfast depart for the Kakheti region of Georgia, the cradle of Georgian wine. The beautiful road lies through the Gombori Pass. Our first stop will be in Telavi, the administrative and historic center of the region. Have a short walk through charming streets of old Telavi and have a photo stop at the monument to Erekli II. Visit newly opened royal castle museum, Batonistsikhe, originally built in the 17th century. Drive to Tsinandali, a residence of Georgian dukes, with a beautiful English garden, museum, and the wine cellar, which belonged to Prince Chavchavadze, a 19th century public figure and poet. Continue to Shumi winery. Take a part in tradition of grape picking (rtveli)* and try baking Georgian traditional cheese pie, called khachapuri. A delicious lunch will be served in the winery. Drive to Akhasheni for overnight.
*Grape harvest is usually possible from mid-August till end of October
Day 3: Akhasheni – Nekresi – Kvareli – Sighnaghi – Bodbe – Tbilisi
Continue exploring Kakheti Region and the Alazani Valley. Check out from the hotel and continue to Nekresi Monastery. This complex was founded in the 6th Century CE and since then has been the religious center of the region. Continue to the unique Winery Khareba, located in a tunnel carved out of the rock. Originally built for military purposes, today the tunnel is used to store Khareba’s finest wines. Wine tour and wine tasting. Drive to Sighnaghi, the city of love and a royal town, one of the crossroads of the Great Silk Road, surrounded by defensive walls with 23 towers. Have a lunch in Sighnaghi. Depart to Tbilisi, making a stop at Bodbe Convent. Legend says that the burial place of St. Nino, who converted Georgia to Christianity in the 4th century, is here. According to the decree of Tsar Alexander III of Russia, since 1889 Bodbe has been functioning as a nunnery. Continue driving to Tbilisi. Drop off at your hotel.
Day 4: Tbilisi – Mtskheta – Ananuri – Kazbegi – Gudauri
After breakfast, drive to Mtskheta, one of the oldest towns and the cultural and religious centre of Georgia. Mtskheta was the capital of the Eastern Georgian Kingdom of Iberia from the third century BC. Visit Jvari Monastery, a true architectural masterpiece of the early Medieval Period, built on a hilltop. Enjoy views of the confluence of Aragvi and Mtkvari rivers. Visit Svetitskhoveli Cathedral, the main cathedral of Mtskheta and a sacred place where the robe of Christ is kept. Continue to Ananuri architectural complex, a former residence of Argveti Dukes. The complex features churches and towers dating back to the 16-17th centuries, beautifully overlooking the Jinvali Reservoir. Continue driving on Georgian Military Highway, passing through the highest point of it at 2394 m above sea level. En-route, make a stop at the mineral water spring flowing down from a hilltop. Arrive at Kazbegi, a small town with the views of Mt. Kazbek (or Mkinvari) 5033 m, the seventh highest peak in the Caucasus Mountains. Visit Gergeti Holy Trinity Church, located at an altitude of 2170 m, and enjoy breathtaking views to Mt Kazbegi. Overnight at the hotel in Gudauri.
Day 5: Gudauri – Gori – Uplistsikhe – Kutaisi
After breakfast at the hotel, drive to Gori to visit Stalin Museum. The museum includes more than 60,000 artifacts, the tiny house where Stalin was born, and impressive bulletproof train Stalin used to travel to Yalta and Potsdam. Explore the cave town Uplistsikhe, dating back to Hellenistic Period and notable for the unique combination of various styles of rock-cut cultures and the co-existence of pagan and Christian architecture. Drive to Kutaisi, the central city of Western Georgia, once called "Aia". The road to Kutaisi will take you over Rikoti Pass and through the longest tunnel of Georgia (1,722 m). The tunnel is also considered as a border between western and eastern parts of Georgia.
On the way make a stop to visit Ubisa Monastery, famous for its well-preserved and colorful frescoes dating from the 9th century. Have another stop at the village of Shrosha, where you will have a chance to see versatility of Georgian pottery:"doqi" - jug," piala" - bowl," ketsi" - plate and many more are made from clay that is extracted from the soil of the area. Arrive to Kutaisi for overnight at the hotel.
Day 6: Kutaisi – Prometheus Cave – Okatse Canyon – Kutaisi
In the morning, have a short walk around charming old town of Kutaisi. Visit Bagrati Cathedral (11th century), one of the best samples of medieval architecture towering over Kutaisi and visible from almost any point in the city. We will leave the city and drive to Prometheus Cave, where you will walk in a 1.5 km long tunnel and enjoy breath-taking views of stalactites, stalagmites, petrified waterfalls, underground rivers and lakes along the cave. The underground light system is filled with LED lights of all the colours of the rainbow, marvelously highlighting the natural beauty of the Prometheus Cave. Continue to Okatse Canyon, a natural monument of Georgia with scenic views. Drive back to Kutaisi. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 7: Kutaisi – Gelati – Shaori Lake – Tskhrajvari – Nikortsminda – Kutaisi
After breakfast, drive to Gelati Academy, built by King David the Builder in the 12th century. Gelati was the center of spiritual and scientific life of the Middle Ages, the tomb of Georgian kings and an important place for pilgrims. It is under UNESCO protection as an object of cultural and historical legacy. Head north passing over the beautiful Nakerala Pass, making stop at Tskhrajvari ("nine crosses"). The crosses are arranged on numerous high summits that look over a wide horizon. In one of the many legends associated with this location, a parent who sent nine children out to battle prayed to God and pledged to build nine crosses on the mountain in exchange for their safe return. All nine of them made it safely home after the war. Continue to Shaori Lake. The crystal-clear water and beautiful forest around will make you feel part of untouched nature. Have a photo stop at Shaori Lake. Then visit Nikortsminda Monastery, famous for its unique frescos and architecture. Drive back to Kutaisi. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 8: Kutaisi – Katskhi Pillar – Chiatura – Borjomi
After breakfast, check out from the hotel and head to explore other parts of Western Georgia. Drive to Katskhi Pillar. Stunning and mysterious, this 40-meter high natural limestone monolith towers over the gorge of the Karshuna River. Atop the pillar is a monastery and reconstructed 8th-century church which was likely built by a stylite. Today it has only one inhabitant: a monk named Maxime who has been living in the monastery in silence and solitude for the past 25 years.
Continue to Chiatura, an industrial town founded in 1879. Located between steep valleys and deep ravines, Chiatura leaves an unforgettable impression on anyone visiting this off-the-beaten track Georgian destination. In Soviet Georgia the town was a center of manganese mining, and present-day Chiatura attracts visitors with a fascination for Soviet-era industrial leftovers. The city is most famous for its network of dozens of cable cars which ran above Kvirila River and served as a key means of city transport until the old ropeways were permanently shut down in the late 2010s. The historic lines have been replaced with new cable cars on which we will take a ride during our tour.
Our final stop for today is a rock-hewn Mghvemevi Monastery. The site draws tourists and locals due to its well-preserved frescoes which document the life of Jesus and his 12 apostles. We will then drive to Borjomi for overnight.
Day 9: Borjomi – Akhaltsikhe
In the morning, take a walk in Central Park, famous worldwide for its mineral water reserves. In the afternoon, drive to Akhaltsikhe to explore Rabati fortress. The old stone Rabati Fortress, the main sight of Akhaltsikhe, stands on small hill on the very edge of the Potskhovi River. Its name means “fortified place” from Arabic. Overnight in Akhaltsikhe.
Day 10: Akhaltslikhe – Abastumani Observatory – Vardzia
After breakfast check out of the hotel. Head to Georgian National Astrophysical Observatory in Abastumani*. Continue to Vardzia, a cave city built in the 12-13th centuries during the rule of George III and his daughter Queen Tamara to protect the southern boundaries of Georgia. Vardzia is not just a set of random rooms cut in rocks. It is a multi-storied complex with streets, tunnels and stairs leading to monasteries, temples, fortresses, baths, libraries, dwelling houses and more. Overnight in Vardzia.
*Since Abastumani Observatory is not a museum but a functioning scientific institution, the visit depends on internal regulations, which are subject to change.
Day 11: Vardzia – Poka – Paravani Lake – Tsalka Canyon – Tbilisi
In the morning drive to Poka Nunnery / St. Nino Monastery (11th century). Here you’ll have a chance to taste different kinds of unique Georgian cheeses: white and red Abuli, Javakhetian blue, Albio in a pot and others prepared by old Georgian traditions and other local products, such as jams, oil, chocolate, and honey. We will reach Tbilisi passing by the biggest lake of the country – Paravani Lake, enjoying a scenic drive. Continue to Tsalka, an impressive hanging glass bridge was open here in 2022 at the height of 180 m, and since then itis a major attraction in the region. In the middle of the bridge there is a diamond-shaped observation platform from which you can enjoy 360 degrees panoramas to the canyon. This natural wonder is 7 kilometers and 300 meters deep. Its major attraction is spectacular cascading waterfalls called the "Weeping Wall." To reach the site we must hike down the canyon’s slope along a concrete path. The hike to the waterfall is 1.5 km long. Around 1-1.5 hours is required to make a round-way trip. Arrive Tbilisi. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 12: Tbilisi – departure
Check out from the hotel till noon. Transfer to Tbilisi international airport. Departure. End of the tour.
  • All transfers (1-2 pax by sedan, 3-4 pax by Mercedes Vito or similar, 5-10 pax by Mercedes Sprinter passenger van);
  • Accommodation based on double/twin room sharing, breakfasts included;
  • Sightseeing tour program with English speaking guide;
  • Entrance tickets to sights as per itinerary;
  • Wine tasting, cooking masterclass and lunch in “Shumi” winery;
  • Wine tasting at Khareba winery;
  • Welcome dinner on Day 1;
  • Mineral water (0,5l per person per day).
  • Full board (lunches and dinners);
  • Hotel charges for additional services;
  • Personal travel insurance;
  • Tips are not included, but would be appreciated.


Economy Option
Comfort Option
Luxe Option
Tbilisi - 3 nights
Old Kopala, Ramada By Wyndham Tbilisi Old City, Tiflis, Brigitte, ZegRiver Side, Ibis Styles, New TiflisAmbassadori, Tiflis Palace, Wyndham Grand, Rooms Hotel
Akhasheni - 1 night
Telavi Inn, Wine Hotel Telavi, Alazani Valley, Old TelaviHoliday Inn Telavi, Savaneti, Hotel & Wine Cellar ARGEAkhasheni, Schuchmann Hotel, Esquisse Hotel Telavi
Gudauri - 1 night
Club 2100, AlpinaMonte Hotel, Carpe Diem, Quadrum Hotel, Gudauri InnMarco Polo, Best Western Gudauri
Kutaisi - 3 nights
King David, Solomon Kutaisi, Terrace Kutaisi, Sanapiro, Green Town, PonteBest Western Kutaisi, Grand Opera, Newport, Aria Resort, Prometheus EpicBest Western Kutaisi, Grand Opera, Newport, Aria Resort, Prometheus Epic
Borjomi - 1 night
Verde Borjomi, Holiday Borjomi, 10 Keys, Old BorjomiGolden Tulip, Borjomi Underwood, Borjomi Palace, Bridge BorjomiCrowne Plaza Borjomi, Borjomi Likani Health & Spa Centre
Akhaltsikhe - 1 night
Almi guesthouse, Beni, Lotus, TiflisLomsia, Gino Wellness RabatiLomsia, Gino Wellness Rabati
Vardzia - 1 night
Valodia's CottageVardzia ResortVardzia Resort

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