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.
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.
*Grape harvest is usually possible from mid-August till end of October
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.
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.
*Since Abastumani Observatory is not a museum but a functioning scientific institution, the visit depends on internal regulations, which are subject to change.
- 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;
- Participation in the grape picking ($60 for a group of 5 people);
- Tips are not included, but would be appreciated.