Day 1: Tbilisi
Arrival in Tbilisi
Old City tour: explore history of the city from early centuries by walking through narrow streets with churches, synagogues, mosques, famous 19th century colored houses of unique architecture with modern cafes, fashionable art galleries, souvenirs shops. Visit Abanotubani – Sulphur Bath District. Drive to Metekhi church and enjoy panoramic view of the city. Cross the river Mtkvari walking through The Bridge of Peace Visit Georgian historical museum. Drive to the largest Trinity Cathedral of the whole Caucasus.
Day 2: Kaxeti- David Gareja –Kvareli
Few destinations in the hills of Mount Gareja are as picturesque, historical or significant as David Gareja Monastery Complex. This Georgian Orthodox center was founded in the 6th century by one of the 13 Assyrian monks. Travelers who make their way to the semi-desert landscapes where David Gareja Monastery Complex rests—between the border of Georgia and Azerbaijan—will find sheer rock faces slanting into the green foliage of rugged mountains where quiet rooms for worship were carved out. The area known as Lavra still houses studying monks and visitors say the lush grounds thatched with quiet walking trails are worth exploring. After this peaceful place we’ll go to Kvareli, to fresh our minds on the terrace with wine and rethink how this magical world was shaped.
Day 3: Kvareli-Sighnaghi
The small, pretty town of Kvareli is located 45 kilometers from Tsinandali, and is both an interesting place for a day trip. Town is famous for its breathtaking views, wineries and 2 artificial lakes surrounded by forests at the edge of mountains. Here you can taste traditional wine, breath fresh air of mountains at the lake and get pleasure from Alazani valley views. At night we’ll stay in Kvareli.
Drive to Sighnaghi – City of Love, a small, beautiful town perched on top of a hill, it is enclosed by a long, spectacular, defensive wall built by King Erekle II in the second half of the 18th century. Each of the wall’s 23 towers are named after a nearby village and served as a refuge for the whole community. The town offers splendid views of the Alazani Valley and the Caucasus mountain range.
Day4: – Bodbe -Tsinandali
Near Sighnaghi is the beautiful place – Bodbe. St. Nino, who converted Georgian to Christianity in 4th century is burred here. Her tomb in the Bodbe Monastery is visited by thousands of pilgrims and tourists every year. Wall paintings of the cathedral in Bodbe are of special interest: they date back to the 12-17the centuries and the earliest ornaments had appeared already in the 9th century. Garden of the monastery is very beautiful and quite, which gives this place the sacred meaning.
Then visit Tsinandali – the residence of a Kakheti nobleman and military figure of the 19th century, Alexandre Chavchavadze. Alexandre is regarded as the “father of the Georgian romanticism” and as the house of influential person, Tsinandali was main place of gathering for talented and noble Georgians. Therefore this residence is exceptional for its astonishing beauty and Tsinandali winery, which still produces wines according to the methods brought here by Chavchavadze in the fisrt half of 19th century. Take a walk with glass of wine in the garden and you’ll feel that taste of wine is changed by the history. Then we’ll back in Tbilisi.
Day 5: Vardzia – Khertvisi Fortress
Vardzia – the cave complex which the jewel of medieval architecture. This unique cave city is carved into the steep wall of the mountain Erusheti at an altitude of 1300 meters. Vardzia is a place of legends. Its name derived from the story that Queen of All Georgia Tamar was lost in the countless labyrinths of caves in childhood and cried: “ak var, dzia” it means “I’m here, Uncle”, so she was found and rescued. During the reign of Tamar importance of this place was increased and reached surprising prosperity. Because of its strategical meaning, Vardzia is realization of Georgian vigilant nature.
Next stop is one of the biggest fortress of Georgia – Khertvisi, which is located in Meskheti region. Its strategic location guards the road which connects two towns – Akhaltsikhe and Akhalkalaki. A fortification was first built on this site in the second century BC, but according to historical source was reputedly destroyed by Alexander the Great. The present castle dates from the fourteenth century. 1.5 meter thick walls of Khertvisi fortress are stretched up to 20 meters high and give the building picturesque view. After this peaceful place we’ll go back in Tbilisi.
Day 6: Ananuri-Kazbegi
Then we drive up the famous Georgian Military Highway, ending route visiting the Ananuri fortress, which is a XVI century castle complex on the Aragvi River. The Fortress overlooks a large Jinvali Lake and its high, turreted stone walls protect two churches, a watch towel and a reservoir. The main church façade is beautifully carved with animal, floral and Celtic style patterns. Kazbegi is famous for its amazing views and the Gergeti Trinity Church. The Church built in 14th century and it’s located on 1,800 meters above sea level. It seems an impossible experience to climb up to it, but in fact ascent goes quite easy taking only an hour walk up the serpentine road and a thorny forest. Those who prefer not to walk it’s possible to drive up in 10 minutes. At night we will stay in Kazbegi.
Day 7: Mtskheta-Depart
Drive from Kazbegi to old capital of Georgia – Mtskheta has significant cultural and religious value for georgians. It’s place where ancestors of georgians accepted christianity and where robe of Christ is buried. According to legend, Elias, who brought the robe in Georgia, was met by his sister, Sydonia. On seeing the sacred robe, Sidonia was so overcome with emotion that she clutched it to her breast and died. It was impossible to take the robe away, so it was buried with her. After the centuries, royal cathedral of Georgia, Svetitskhoveli was built on her grave. When st.Nino first came in Mtskheta, she saw the sacrifice ritual to Georgian pagan god – Armazi. She prayed to The Lord to help her and take down Armazi, so statue was destroyed by nature and visitors can still find this site to dive in mysterious history. After this peaceful place we’ll go back in Tbilisi.