12-Day Georgia: Everything you need to see in Georgia
DESCRIPTION: Drive around Georgia and discover the uniqueness of each and every region of the country. If you are a wine lover or want to know more about the Caucasus Region, our guides are ready to introduce you to the best sides of our country.
Places to visit: Tbilisi, Mtskheta, Ikalto, Alaverdi, Tsinandali, Telavi, Gremi, Nekresi, Kvareli, Sighnaghi, Bodbe, Mtskheta, Ananuri, Kazbegi, Gori, Uplistsikhe, Kutaisi, Prometheus cave, Mestia, Ushguli, Batumi, Akhaltsikhe, Vardzia
Included0.5 ml water per person each day4x4 drive to UshguliAccommodation in double/twin room with breakfastBread and Churchkhela masterclass in Khareba wineryChacha and wine tasting in Khareba wineryComplimentary glass of wine in TsinandaliEnglish speaking guideEntrance feesPick up and drop off from/at the hotelTransportation by a comfortable vehicle
Not Included0.5 ml water per personAccommodation in double/twin roomAccommodation in double/twin rooms with breakfast;Bread and Churchkhela masterclass in Khareba winery;Cable car ticketCable car to TatevChacha and wine tasting in Khareba winery;I class train ticket from Batumi to TbilisiLunch in Shumi winery and dinner in Kutaisilunch in Shumi winery and dinner in Kutaisi;Lunch, dinnerMasterclasses in NapareuliTipsTransportation by comfortable vehicleTravel InsuranceWine tasting at Areni wineryWine tasting in AmbrolauriWine tasting in Ambrolauri;Wine tasting in Khareba wineryWine tasting in SalkhinoWine tasting in Salkhino;Wine tasting in the Khareba winery
DAY 1: TBILISI
Start the sightseeing tour of Tbilisi with Holy Trinity Cathedral. The highest church in Georgia whose golden dome can be seen from almost every point of Tbilisi. Continue to the old part of the city and visit the main gems of this historical part of the country:
- Metekhi church - overlooking Mtkvari River from Metekhi cliff. Metekhi dates back to the 13th century, but even before that, there was a smaller church here, built approximately in the 5-6th century.
- Narikala fortress - constructed for defense purposes in the 4th century. Reach the fortress by ropeway. Enjoy stunning views of Tbilisi and walk down to the Meidan Square. Visit Abanotubani – famous for its historic Sulfur Baths.
- Walk through Legvtakhevi canyon to see the beautiful waterfall located in the center of Old Tbilisi.
- Sioni cathedral dates back to the VI century - one of the most important monuments of Georgia, where a symbol of Georgian Christianity, the real cross of St. Nino, is preserved.
From here on, we will continue to walk until the Freedom Square. On the way, we will see the Bridge of Peace, Anchiskhati Basilica and the famous clock tower of Rezo Gabriadze theatre.
DAY 2: TBILISI – IKALTO – ALAVERDI – TSINANDALI – TELAVI
In the morning, drive to the Kakheti region – famous for its ancient winemaking traditions.
Visit Ikalto Monastery - one of the two famous medieval Georgian Neoplatonist academies that dates back to the VI century. The brilliant Georgian poet, Shota Rustaveli, used to study here.
Continue to Alaverdi Monastery. The earliest church of Alaverdi dates back to the 6th century. The present-day Cathedral is part of the 11th century Georgian Orthodox monastery. The complex also includes dwelling houses, the refectory, unique wine cellars, baths and other ancient structures.
Drive to Tsinandali. Visit the XIX century house-museum of famous public figure and poet Alexander Chavchavadze. Walk around the beautiful English Garden surrounding the house. Here you can find a wine cellar where the unique collection of Georgian and European wines are preserved. You will be served with one glass of Tsinandali white wine as a complimentary.
Drive to Telavi, the largest town in Kakheti. Explore Batonis Tsikhe, a museum dedicated to King Erekle II, where you can find the bedrooms, the king’s throne and his sword. See the Giant Plane Tree – unique attraction of Telavi. Overnight at the hotel.
DAY 3: TELAVI – GREMI – NEKRESI – KHAREBA WINERY – SIGHNAGHI – BODBE – TBILISI
In the morning, drive to Gremi fortress built in the XV-XVI centuries. Nowadays, the fortress includes a church, 15th century tower-palace and a small museum containing artefacts from the past.
Continue to Nekresi monastery complex located up on a hill overlooking the stunning Alazani Valley. Monastery has several churches built in the different centuries, a bishop’s palace, a wine cellar and a 16th century tower.
Drive to Kvareli. Visit Khareba winery, a rare wine cellar/tunnel carved inside the Caucasus Mountains. Enjoy the wine tour and tasting.
Continue to the famous city of love, Sighnaghi. Located on a lofty hilltop overlooking the Alazani Valley. Most of the defensive wall of the city, with 23 towers, still stands.
Finally, visit Bodbe monastery - built in the IX century and remodeled in the XVII.
Drive to Tbilisi. Overnight at the hotel.
DAY 4: TBILISI – ANANURI – KAZBEGI – GUDAURI
In the morning, depart to Kazbegi. On the way, visit Jvari monastery – one of the UNESCO world heritage sites in Georgia. It was built in the VI century on a hill overlooking the stunning confluence of Aragvi and Mtkvari rivers.
Next, visit Ananuri fortress. The beautiful complex includes two churches with richly decorated facades, several towers and defense walls. All these buildings, with a view of Zhinvali reservoir, creates the most picturesque panorama.
Continue driving along the Georgian Military highway to Kazbegi. Make short stops at Gudauri Viewpoint, also called the Friendship Monument and Jvari overpass travertine natural monument.
Reach Stepantsminda and hike or drive to Gergeti Holy Trinity Church. Enjoy stunning views of Mount Kazbek (5033 m).
Drive to Gudauri for overnight.
DAY 5: GUDAURI – GORI – UPLISTSIKHE – KUTAISI
In the morning, drive to Gori – the city known as Stalin's birthplace. Photo stop at Gori Fortress and visit Stalin’s house-museum. You will see the house where Stalin was born and spent his childhood, pavilion for defense, Stalin’s personal armour-plated train carriage and a museum.
Next sight for today is Uplistsikhe cave town, situated 15 km away from the town Gori, on the left bank of the river Mtkvari. It dates back to the I-II millennium B.C. In the Hellenistic and the late Antique periods, Uplistsikhe had a very important role in politics, religion and culture - it was an important trade center on the road from Asia to Europe. Complex includes the Theatre - a temple from the 1st or 2nd centuries AD, pre-Christian Temple of Makvliani, the big hall known as the Hall of Queen Tamar, Uplistsuli Church, the triple-church basilica on the top of the hill and a long tunnel going down to the Mtkvari River.
Take a route to the west of Georgia. Pass the Likhi Ridge also known as Rikoti Pass that connects East and West Georgia. Arrive in Kutaisi. This antique city counts almost 3500 years of existence. The earliest records of it are preserved in the ancient Greek epoch that tells the Myth about the Argonauts.
Overnight at the hotel.
DAY 6: KUTAISI – GELATI MONASTERY – PROMETHEUS CAVE – MESTIA
In the morning, visit Gelati Monastery – one of the UNESCO world heritage sites in the region. Symbol of “Golden Age” of Georgia that represents the economic growth and political strength in the XI-XIII centuries. Built by the order of King David the Builder.
Continue to Prometheus Cave near Kutaisi and explore stunning stalactites and stalagmites created by nature. From 22 halls, only six are open for tourists - Argonauts Hall, Kolkheti Hall, Medea Hall, Love Hall, Prometheus Hall and Iberia Hall. This natural monument, with a length of 1,8 km, is located 40 meters below sea level. You can also have a boating tour on an underground flow of river Kumi.
Head to the Svaneti region – the place that leaves a stunning impression on every visitor. Combination of green woods and snow-covered mountain peaks are something unforgettable to witness. However, nature is not the only impressive thing to see in this part of the country, a local defensive stone towers (Koshki), rising from the back of the houses, create an image that every tourist wants to capture.
Overnight in Mestia.
DAY 7: MESTIA – USHGULI – MESTIA
In the morning, take 4x4 drives to the upper Svaneti. Isolated village Ushguli, with more than 40 ancient Svan towers and snowy Mountain Shkhara (5193m - Georgia’s highest peak) in the background, has been on the UNESCO world heritage list since 1996. Walk around the village and visit the X century Lamaria Church located up on the hill.
Return to Mestia. Visit the local house-museum of Margiani. Explore the old svans house ''Margianis Machubi'' and the tower.
Overnight at the hotel.
DAY 8: MESTIA – BATUMI
After breakfast, visit Svaneti Historic and Ethnography Museum that houses historic artifacts from the Svaneti region, including unique icons and engravings, a rich collection of manuscripts, medieval weaponry, iron, silver and copper ornaments, jewelry, pottery and a collection of textile items, ethnographic artifacts depicting ancient life in Svaneti and more.
Drive to the second largest city in Georgia - Batumi, region of Adjara. On the way, visit Dadiani Palace - Historical and Architectural Museum in Zugdidi.
Overnight at the hotel.
DAY 9: BATUMI
In the morning, start a sightseeing tour in Batumi. It is one of the oldest seaside cities in Georgia - founded in the 8th century, but the initial settlement of Batus is mentioned in the texts from the 4th century BC.
Nowadays, Batumi offers to enjoy not only the historical parts of the city, but also the 7km boulevard with modern architecture, bungalows, café-lounges, restaurants, dancing fountains, etc.
During our walking sightseeing tour, we will visit old and new Batumi: Europe Square, amazing Piazza Square with St. Nicholas Church, Chacha Fountain, 6 May & Nuriegel Lake, Alphabet tower, "Ali and Nino" statue, Batumi Port, Seaside Park.
Take a cable car to the panoramic viewpoint of Batumi.
Overnight at the hotel.
DAY 10: BATUMI – AKHALTSIKHE
In the morning, visit Makhuntseti Waterfall and the ancient arched Makhuntseti stone bridge.
Continue driving to Akhaltsikhe, the biggest town in Samtskhe-Javakheti region. The city was very famous for its tolerance and religious diversity, where people of different nationalities and religion lived together. Even today, here, along with a synagogue and a mosque, you can find Georgian, Armenian and Catholic churches.
Explore Rabati Castle. History of the Castle begins from the IX century, but it was completely renovated in 2012. Nowadays, it attracts tourists by its architecture, labyrinths, churches and a mosque.
Overnight at the hotel.
DAY 11: AKHALTSIKHE – VARDZIA – BORJOMI – TBILISI
Drive to Vardzia - one of the three cave towns of Georgia. On the way, have a photo stop at Khertvisi Fortress, X to XIV century fortress above the meeting point of the Paravani and Mtkvari rivers.
Town of Vardzia stretches for five hundred meters along the cliff, offering a fascinating view. The story of the town is connected with King George III and his daughter Tamar, later known as King Tamar, back to the XII-XIII centuries. Nowadays, from 3000 caves only 400 are left. Besides living rooms, the complex includes tunnels, many churches and wine cellars. Here, we can see the portrait of King George and King Tamar.
Drive to Tbilisi. On the way, visit Borjomi - famous throughout the world for its mineral water springs. The resort town is surrounded by forested hills. It used to be one of the most popular resorts in the former Soviet Union. Walk around the Borjomi Central Park.
Continue to Tbilisi. Overnight at the hotel.
DAY 12: DEPARTURE FROM TBILISI
Check out from the hotel. Transfer to the airport. Departure from Tbilisi.