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The Best of Georgia 8-day Cultural Small Group Tour
One of the oldest wine regions of the world, Georgia is a country at the intersection of Europe and Asia. A former Soviet republic it is home to Caucasus Mountain villages and Black Sea beaches.
On the fertile valleys of the South Caucasus, according to historians, the culture of the wine was originated in the Neolithic period. The territory of modern-day Georgia was inhabited by Homo erectus since the Paleolithic Era. The proto-Georgian tribes first appear in written history in the 12th century BC. The earliest evidence of wine to date has been found in Georgia, where 8000-year old wine jars were uncovered.
Archaeological finds and references in ancient sources also reveal elements of early political and state formations characterized by advanced metallurgy and goldsmith techniques that date back to the 7th century BC and beyond. In fact, early metallurgy started in Georgia during the 6th millennium BC,
The capital, Tbilisi, is known for its diverse architecture and the maze-like, cobblestone streets of its old town. Also famous for Vardzia, a sprawling cave monastery dating to the 12th century, and the ancient wine-growing region Kakheti.
This country has plenty of surprises in store that can really defy your expectations. Travel through medieval towns, charming countryside, unique mountains and enjoy the tasty food.
Transport as per program
English speaking tour guide
Accommodation: 2 nights in Tskaltubo, 2 nights in Tbilisi, 2 nights Gudauri, in Alkhalsihke
Meals as mentioned in the itinerary
Entrance fees to: cable car in Tbilisi, national museum of Georgia, Uplistsikhe cave town, Borjoni Park, Vardzia, Prometheum cave
1 degustation of white/red wines and chacha in Guramishvili cave
Complimentary water (1 bottle per day)
Flights to Georgia
Entrance fees not mentioned in the program
Tips and personal expenses
Meals not included in the program
Ladies will require a headscarf when entering the Georgian Orthodox Churches and in some churches require to wear a skirt. Short trousers are not allowed in churches
Slow Tours offers a number of other Small Group Tours in Europe
Arrival in Tbilisi. Pick up from Tbilisi international airport. Hotel accommodation and overnight in Tbilisi (-/-/-)
Tbilisi city tour
After breakfast at the hotel start a few unforgettable hours of familiarization with the capital. A charming town built in the 5th century along the twisting valley of Mtkvari River. All the places of interest are very close to each other, within a few minutes’ walk. Start our excursion from Metekhi (13th century) plateau, before taking the cable car to Narikala Fortress which dominates the skyline of the Old Town. Proceed to explore brick-domed underground sulphur baths (17th century) – the districts of naturally hot mineral waters and discover the hidden waterfall. Afterwards proceed to cafe street Shardeni and walk across the Bridge of Peace which is a stunning design as well as convenient crossing between the newly constructed Rike Park and the Old Town. It also provides superb views over the city. Visit National museum of Georgia that displays the country’s principal archaeological findings. The Museum houses hundreds of thousands of artefacts of Georgia’s and the Caucasus’ archaeology and ethnography. Dinner in Georgian restaurant followed with folk show. Hotel accommodation and overnight in Tbilisi. (B/-/D)
Tbilisi – Ananuri - Kazbegi - Gergeti Trinity Church – Gudauri (190 km.)
After breakfast at the hotel, start our very scenic drive up through the High Caucasus Mountains along the Georgian Military Highway towards Kazbegi region. En route visit Ananuri architectural complex (17th century) overlooking a reservoir on the Aragvi River. On the way we will drive across the Cross Pass (2 395m.) and along the Tergi River that brings us to Kazbegi – main town in this region. From the centre of Kazbegi a leisurely 4 hours walk through beautiful valleys and woodland that leads us to Gergeti Holy Trinity church (14th century), stunningly located on a hilltop (2170 m.) both overlooking the surrounding snowy peaks of the Greater Caucasus Mountains. (You can also hire the 4X4 vehicle to reach Gergeti Trinity Church – € 35 per car 6 seats). Here we will enjoy unique nature with beautiful panoramic views of Caucasus, including mount Kazbegi (5047m.). Dinner and overnight in Gudauri. (B/-/D)
Gudauri – Gori – Uplistsikhe – Borjomi - Akhaltsikhe (310 km.)
After breakfast at the hotel, proceed along the Silk Road and arrive in Gori - the birthplace of the Soviet leader Stalin. Photo-stop at the museum of Stalin. Visit the cave town Uplistsikhe (1st millennium BC) - one of the first cities in Georgia carved into the rock. The caves were the site of pagan rituals before Georgia became a Christian country. Afterwards proceed to Borjomi famous for its mineral waters. Visit mineral water park, quick stroll and savour the famous water of Borjomi. Arrive in Akhaltsikhe. Dinner and overnight in Akhaltsikhe. (B/-/D)
Akhaltsikhe – Khertvisi – Vardzia – Akhaltsikhe (120 km.)
After breakfast start our drive to Vardzia – the magnificent cave town of the Golden Age. En route photo-stop at Khertvisi Fortress (10th century). Arrive in Vardzia (12th century). The cave complex stretching over half a kilometre once was a hiding place for 50 000 people. It has got a church hewn out in rock with unique 12th century frescos. The complex also includes dwellings quarters, small hall - type churches, refectories, wine cellars, etc. Drive back to Akhaltsikhe. Hotel accommodation and overnight in Akhaltsikhe. (B/-/D)
Akhaltsikhe – Gelati - Prometheus caves – Tskaltubo (220 km)
After breakfast in the morning proceed to Gelati Monastery Complex and Academy (12th century) once a major centre of enlightenment in Georgia, founded by King David the Builder in 1106 that represents the flourishing mediaeval architecture in Georgia. The complex is UNESCO World Heritage site. Drive to explore magnificent Prometheus Caves – one of Georgia’s natural wonders providing visitors with breath-taking examples of stalactites, stalagmites, curtains, petrified waterfalls, cave pearls, underground rivers, and lakes. Drive to Kutaisi and visit the city centre and the local market. Dinner and overnight in Tskaltubo. (B/-/D)
Tskaltubo – Saguramo – Mtskheta – Tbilisi (280 km)
Breakfast at the hotel. Proceed to Saguramo and enjoy the hospitality of the local people and sample some home-made food and wine. Drive to Mtskheta – an ancient capital of Georgia, important religious centre and city-museum which is inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Along the way we will stop to visit the Jvari Monastery (6th century). This well-known monastery is located on the top of the mountain, at the confluence of the Mtkvari and Aragvi rivers. Then head to Svetitskhoveli Cathedral (11th century) which is known as a place where Christ’s robe was buried. Walk along the narrow streets of Mtskheta with souvenir shopping possibility. Arrive in Tbilisi. Hotel accommodation and overnight in Tbilisi. (B/L/-)
Breakfast at the hotel. Transfer to Tbilisi International Airport and departure at 13:10. (B/-/-)
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