08 DAYS GRAND GEORGIA TOUR
DAY 1 HOME – TBILISI
Arrival at Tbilisi International Airport. Meet your guide and drive to Tbilisi. Check-in to the hotel at noon. After short rest, start a sightseeing tour in Tbilisi. Start at Metekhi church and the monument to Vakhtang Gorgasali, the legendary founder of Tbilisi. Take cable car to Narikala Fortress to enjoy breathtaking panoramic view of the city. Walk down to the district of Sulphur 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. After lunch, 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 Svetitskhoveli, the main cathedral of Mtskheta and a sacred place where the robe of Christ is being kept. Return to Tbilisi. Overnight at the hotel.
DAY 2 BILISI – JVARI – GORI – UPLISTSIKHE – KUTAISI
After breakfast at hotel, depart Tbilisi and drive towards Gori. On the way, visit Jvari Church, a true architectural masterpiece of the early Medieval Period built on a hilltop. You will enjoy the views of the confluence of Aragvi and Mtkvari rivers. Reach Gori and visit the 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. Continue to Uplistsikhe and explore the cave town 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. Arrive in Kutaisi, overnight at the hotel.
DAY 3 KUTAISI – MARTVILI CANYON – MESTIA
Breakfast at hotel. In the morning drive to Martvili Canyon. On the way to Martvili you will pass local villages with the eye-catching charming yards typical only to this area. Take a small boat trip inside the Canyon, see one of the nature's most wonderful creations – waterfall. After that enter the gorge's another side and stroll over the canyon's waters watching it changing its colors on every turn and stone. The best place for selfies.
In the afternoon, head to mysterious Svaneti region through Inguri gorge. The region is home to a special ethnic group of people – heroic and courageous Svans – distinguished by their culture, traditions and customs from the rest of Georgia. Svaneti is also known for its original architecture and is called “the Country of Thousand Towers”, which had played both economic and defensive functions. Mestia still has dozens of such medieval stone houses with the watchtowers and inhabited towers that were used to protect valleys and churches (10-14th centuries). Visit Svan original house “machubi” and tower “koshki”. Dinner and overnight at the hotel.
DAY 4 MESTIA – USHGULI – MESTIA
After breakfast, have a fascinating drive on 4x4 WD to Ushguli village, the highest standing settlement in Europe (2200 m). Spend time in Ushguli strolling through the old narrow streets. Visit Lamaria Church, complex with impressive wall frescos (12th century). Locals believe that Queen Tamara was buried right under this church. Enjoy picturesque view of the Mount Shkhara. Ushguli architectural complex is a valuable architectural and historical monument listed in the World heritage of UNESCO for its exclusiveness. Return to Mestia. Dinner and overnight at the hotel.
DAY 5 MESTIA – ZUGDIDI – KUTAISI
Breakfast at hotel. In the morning visit the Mestia Ethnographic Museum. The museum was established in 1936 and has one of the richest collections of artifacts in the region. At noon depart to Kutaisi (240 km). Stop on the way at Dadiani palace in Zugdidi. Arrive in Kutaisi. Free time. Overnight at the hotel.
DAY 6 KUTAISI – PROMETHEUS CAVE – TBILISI
Breakfast at hotel. In the morning, drive to the Prometheus cave with numerous stalactites and stalagmites. Continue to Bagrati Cathedral (11th century), one of the best samples of late medieval architecture and is towering over Kutaisi and visible from almost any point of the city. Next stop is the Gelati Academy (12th century) built by King David the Builder. Gelati was the center of spiritual and scientific life of the Middle Ages, the tomb of Georgian kings, and a cult place for pilgrims. It is under UNESCO protection as an object of cultural and historical legacy. In the afternoon head to Tbilisi (250 km, 5 h). Overnight at the hotel.
DAY 7 TBILISI – BODBE – SIGHNAGHI – KVARELI – TBILISI
After breakfast depart towards the Kakheti region of Georgia, the cradle of Georgian winemaking. Our first stop will be at Bodbe convent. As the legend says, it is a burial place of St. Nino, who converted Georgia to Christianity in the 4th century. Since 1889 Bodbe complex functions as a nunnery as per the decree of Tsar Alexader III of Russia. Continue driving to Sighnaghi, the city of love and the Royal Town. Historically, one of the crossroads of the Great Silk Road is surrounded by defensive walls with 23 towers. Next stop will be at a unique wine cellar Khareba located in the 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. Return to Tbilisi.
DAY 8 TBILISI – HOME
Breakfast at hotel. Check out from the hotel at noon. Free time until transfer to the airport. Our services end here…