Welcome to Georgia!
Route: Airport (Kutaisi) - MONGESTED MHVIMEVI - CHIATURA - STATION KAZKHI - TEMPLE KATSHI-VARDIZIA-HERTVISI - Rabat-Gori-Uplistsikhe-Tbilisi-Bodbe-Sighnaghi-Mtskheta-Svetitskhoveli-Jvari-Chateau-Mushani-Ananuri Airport Tbilisi)-
7 days / 6 nights
Day 1 of Kutaisi
Arrival in Kutaisi. Meeting with a representative of the company. Tour of the ancient city of Kutaisi, which is more than 3 thousand years old. Visit to the monastery and academy of Gelati (12th century), founded by the great Georgian king David IV the Builder. The Gelati Monastery preserved a great number of wall paintings that date back to the 12th-18th centuries. And therefore the most wonderful in the architecture of the Gelati complex is its frescoes and mosaics, which return the past days and remind of its creators. Further, an excursion to the Bagrati Cathedral, which was erected in Kutaisi in the reign of Bagrat III, bears the name of the first king of united Georgia as the main cathedral of his kingdom, consecrated in 1003. Like the monastery and the academy of Gelati and Bagrati Cathedral are included in the number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Next, a survey of the "monastery of fulfillment of desires" by Motsamet. The monastery rises above the river Rioni, surrounded by rugged coastal vegetation. The legend says that this small monastery stands on the spot of execution of Georgian kings David and Konstantin Mkheidze by Muslims because they proved to be faithful to Christianity. Princes David and Constantine are listed as saints, their relics are stored in a large rectangular ark on a raised platform in a small monastery hall. Among the tourists there is a legend that it is worth asking about something of the holy princes, creep under the ark three times and attach to their relics, then the desire to be fulfilled. Excursion to the cave of Prometheus, where we remember the legend of Prometheus. According to legend, he gave fire to people and was chained for it to the rock. The cave is located 5 km northwest of the city of Tskhaltubo. It was opened in the early 80-ies of the twentieth century. It is one of the most attractive caves, thanks to the variety of underwater rivers and landscapes. Almost all underwater karst forms are represented here: stalactites, stalagmites, heliktits, etc. Accommodation in the hotel. Overnight at hotel Kutaisi.
Day 2 MONASTERY MHVIIMEVI - CHIATURA - KAZKHI STEPP - KAZKHI TEMPLE
Breakfast. We go to the north-east of the Imereti region.
The monastery of Mgvimevi is a very interesting place to visit. Historical information about this amazing monastery is almost not preserved. It is known that it was built in the XIII century by the prince (eristav) Rati, whose authority spread over the upper Imereti and Rachi. At the end of the 14th century, the monastery survived the invasion of Tamerlane. Today there is a functioning nunnery (very well maintained). It is located in a large natural cave that penetrates the rock to a depth of 35 meters and consists of several buildings. You can climb into the monastery along a long stone staircase, then a tunnel and another staircase. In the cave is a large hall of the Savior's temple, in which the divine service is held. There are several separate buildings in the complex and all of them are on the right side of the cave. The facades of the buildings are decorated with beautiful ornaments, fragments of the painting are preserved here and there. The terrace overlooks the surroundings.
Acquaintance with the "city of cable cars" - Chiatura. Chiatura is a fairly young city, was established in 1921 on the site of a deposit of manganese ore. Manganese were found here in the middle of the XIX century, and they began to mine in 1879. They say that the idea of mining and mining of ore belonged to the famous Georgian poet Akaki Tsereteli (he was born and raised nearby, in the village near Sachkhere). Already in 1892 Chiatura extracted 38% of manganese in the world, and in 1912 - 58%. This increased interest in manganese arose after the appearance of the open-hearth melting method of steel. The city is located in a very picturesque place, in the valley of the river Kvirila. The city center is located in the lowland, and the mines and remote areas of the city are on the rocks on both sides of the river. Elevation differences are more than 100 meters. In connection with such an unusual location, the main means of transportation around the city is the cable car (10 lines of passenger cable cars and 2 lines for transportation of manganese). Thus, Chiatura can be viewed from a height, and from many angles. Impressions unforgettable! Lunch in Chiatura (for additional fee).
Pillar Katzhi (Katzkhis Sveti) - is located in the homonymous village of Katzha (63 km from Kutaisi). In the Svan translation, "katshi" means "top". The height of the pillar is 40 meters. It consists of limestone. Until 2008, there was nothing on the top of the pillar, except for the remains of the foundations of two small churches of the 5th and 6th centuries, as well as an unknown burial. At the foot of the pillar was carved the so-called "Bolnis Cross", dating from the VI century (analogues of such a cross can be found in the temple of Bolnisi (south of Georgia) and in Syria). And already in the VIII century a church was built here. By the XVIII century in this place no one has lived. In 2008, on the top of the pillar, the church of St. Semeon Stylites was built. From the foot to the top leads one iron staircase. You can climb it only with the permission of the local abbot - Father Maxim. Women are not allowed upstairs !!! Someone from the founders of the monastery so decided in the distant past. There is no water here, it is brought here in barrels from the vicinity. At the moment, the complex of Katzha includes: the stone pillar itself, the church of St. Semeon the Stylite on top of the pillar, the crypt (also on the top), 3 monastic cells, a wine cellar, a stone fence and the "Svimon Mesveti" church at the foot of the pillar with stone remains Fence, old belfry. The monastery of Katzha is very similar to the mountain monasteries of Meteora in the province of Thessaly (Greece), which are also built on inaccessible rocks. It is symbolically considered that these monasteries symbolize the place of the union of heaven and earth.
The temple in Katzhi was built in the 11th century, during the reunification of Georgia by Tsar Bagrat III (960-1014), at the same time as the Bagrat Temple in Kutaisi. Immediately after construction, the temple was in the possession of a strong and rebellious princely family of Baguasi, known for its struggle with centralized power. One of them, Liparit Baguashi, who lived in Baghata IV etogo (1018 - 1072), is buried here (the tomb is still preserved). Only King David IV (1073 - 1125 gg.) Was able to defeat the princely clan of Bagaush and expel all the surviving representatives from Georgia. Later the temple of Katzha was twice seriously damaged, but was rebuilt. In XVII-XVIII centuries the temple was owned by a very influential princely family Abashidze. In 1854, the church was reconstructed, but very unsuccessful, as a result of which he lost some of his ancient beauty. Today the temple of Katzha is surrounded by a stone fence, the entrance to it is through the chapel (XVI-XVII centuries). In architectural terms, the temple of Katzha is very original, this form of construction is more common in Georgia. On its walls there are samples of very fine carvings on the stone, as well as numerous inscriptions made with the ancient Georgian font "asomtavruli".
Moving to Borjomi. Borjomi is a resort town located in Borjomi Gorge and famous for its mineral water. There is a wonderful beauty and unique healing climate. But it was thanks to Borjomi's mineral water that he became famous worldwide. The city is located on the bottom of the gorge, so all its buildings are stretched in a line along the river bank for about 5 km. This is a great place for relaxation. We will walk along the beautiful Borjomi park, try the mineral water directly from the springs.
Overnight in Borjomi
Day 3 VARJZIA-HERTVISI - RABAT
Breakfast. Today we go to the side of Vardzia - the cave monastery complex (XII-XIII cc.). The first caves here were carved under George III (1156 - 1184), the father of the famous Queen Tamar. Then Vardzia became the residence of Queen Tamar (1166-1209 / 1213). It is an outstanding monument of the medieval Georgian architecture. For 900 m in the steep tuff wall of Mount Erusheti ("Bear"), it is carved up to 600 rooms: churches, chapels, living cells, storerooms, baths, refectory, treasures, libraries. The premises of the complex go 50 meters deep into the rock and rise to a height of eight floors. Modern Vardzia is a modest part of what was originally. The earthquake of 1283 almost destroyed the cave city. The whole front side of the city collapsed - walls, galleries and stairs. Nevertheless, Vardzia is still unique and unrepeatable.
Further the Fortress of Khertvisi is a well-preserved fortress, the date of its construction is not known. This ancient outpost as if grows out of a rock. That building, which we see now, dates back to the 10th-14th centuries. Khertvisi was not only a defensive citadel, but also a significant city, the center of the entire region. But in the first half of the 13th century the fortress fell before the Mongols, which greatly undermined its power. All this time and until the XV century Hertvisi was governed by the princely family of Dzhakeli (rulers of the Samtskhe-Javakheti region). At the end of the XVI century, the fortress was captured by the Turks, who subdued all of Southern Georgia. Three times (in the XVI, XVII and XVIII centuries), the Georgians tried to win back Khertvisi, but without success. Only in 1828, together with the efforts of the Georgian and Russian armies, the fortress was repulsed from the Turks.
We return to Akhaltsikhe - the capital of the southern region of Georgia - Samtskhe-Dhahvakheti. The city is located on the Potskhovis-Tskali River (tributary of the Kura River) and was founded in the early 12th century. From XIV to the end of the XVI century, Akhaltsikhe was the residence of local rulers (atabegs) of the Djakeli clan. At the end of the XVI century the city fell under the rule of the Ottoman Empire. Only in 1829 Akhaltsikhe was conquered from the Turks, and the entire region of Samtskhe-Javakheti was annexed to the Russian Empire.
The fortress Rabat was built in the XII century in the center of Akhaltsikhe. The citadel occupies the territory of 7 hectares and is divided into two parts: the Upper (historical) and the Lower (modern). In the upper fortress there are: the historical museum of the Samtskhe-Javakheti region, which is located in the family castle of Jakeli, the Haji Ahmed Pasha mosque, the madrasah, the tomb of the pasha, the 9th century Orthodox church, the citadel and the amphitheater. On the territory of the Lower part of the fortress there are mainly facilities for tourists: a hotel, a restaurant, two cafes-bars, a wine cellar, shops, a Wedding House. On the territory of the fortress in 1828 there was a major battle between the Russian troops and the Turkish army, as a result of which the city of Akhaltsikhe and the entire region of Samtskhe-Javakheti were liberated from Turkish domination, which lasted more than 300 years.
Overnight in Borjomi.
Day 4 Gori-Uplistsikhe
Breakfast. The city of Gori is located at the confluence of the rivers Kura and Liakhvi, in the picturesque Kartli Valley. From the south and west the city is surrounded by picturesque mountains. Despite the fact that in historical sources the city is known since the VI century, the world fame brought to it the name of Joseph Dzhugashvili (Stalin), who was born here. In Gori there is a museum of JV Stalin, which is devoted to all aspects of the leader's life. The museum consists of three parts: the museum itself, the house where the Soviet leader and armored car lived in childhood, in which Stalin traveled around the country. We will also see the medieval fortress Goriszikhe, which is located on a hill in the center of the city. Historians assume that it is built on the site of an earlier, still ancient fortification. The present appearance of Goriszikhe acquired already in the XVIII century. The fortress is surrounded by massive, well-preserved walls. At the foot of the sculptural group of medieval knights with chopped parts of the body of the work of Zurab Tsereteli (produces an unusual impression) is located. A dinner in Gori (for an additional fee).
Uplistsikhe is the first Georgian cave city (20 km from Gori, half an hour drive). It is assumed that the city was formed around 1000 BC, and finally was emptied only in the XIX century. Prior to the adoption of Christianity Uplistsikhe was the sacred, cult center of the state of Kartli (Iberia). The main was the temple of the Sun at the highest point of the city. After the baptism of Georgia in 337, Uplistsikhe withdrew into a deaf opposition. The conflict with the then Christian Mtskheta turned into a direct war, the city was seriously damaged, the temple of the Sun was destroyed. Uplistsikhe is a multilayer archaeological site, one of the most important monuments of Georgian culture. The uniqueness of the monument lies in the fact that, thanks to its structure, it retains the remains of architectural and religious buildings built over several millennia. In the heyday Uplistsikhe included more than 700 caves and cave structures, of which only 150 have survived to the present day.
Moving to Tbilisi. Walking tour around Old Tbilisi. Old town, the area of Tiflis sulfur baths, the waterfall in the Inzhir ravine, the Shardeni region, the bridge of the World, the lift on the cable car to the Narikala fortress (those who wish can visit the sulfur baths)
Dinner in the restaurant with a folklore show. (As desired)
You will get acquainted with the incendiary Georgian dances with songs and national cuisine of Georgia. (For additional payment $ 20 per person)
Overnight hotel in Tbilisi.
Day 5 Tbilisi - Bodbe - Signagi-Tbilisi
Breakfast. Continuation of the excursion to Kakheti. After breakfast drive to the region of Kakheti; Monastery of Bodbe. Continuation of the excursion to Sighnaghi is a city in eastern Georgia, on the mountainside, in the historical region of Kakheti. It is located on terraces, connected by winding steep streets. In the center of Sighnaghi there is a museum of the famous painter Nioloz Pirosmani, which We will visit, It's a story of his life performed by the famous singer Alla Pugacheva in her song / A Million Scarlet Roses /
Further excursion to Telavi - the former residence of Kakheti Tsar Erekle, the "Tsinandali" museum - laid in the XIX century in the possessions of the famous Georgian poet Alexander Chavchavadze. We will see a unique park, a winery, in the cellars of which wine is stored, the oldest of which were produced in 1814. Here we will tasting the best wines. Returning to Tbilisi via the Gombori Pass.
Day 6 Mtskheta - Svetitskhoveli - Jvari - wine factory Chateau-Moura-Ananuri
Mtskheta - the ancient capital of Georgia - the second Jerusalem.
The Svetitskhoveli Temple is the main shrine of Georgia. Hence the baptism of Georgia began. The temple was erected in the XI century.
More ... Excursion to the winery of the company Chateau-Moukhran. After the tour - wine tasting.
Château Mukhrani (Château Mukhrani) is a winery, which owns a winery in the village of Muhrani. Unique and interesting for many reasons. Now this is one of the few wineries in the Kartli region, which is very close to Tbilisi. Here, white wine "Goruli mtsvane" is made, which is nowhere more industrially produced. Here you can see a rare for Muscat. The winery owns the estate Bagration-Muhran, a park and a stable, excursions are conducted here and tastings are conducted.
Excursion to the architectural complex Ananuri, the residence of the Argavian Eristavs (feudal lords). After inspecting Ananuri lunch in the colorful restaurant Ananuri. Guests will be able to taste khinkali, and also Lobio-serve in special clay pots with corn tortillas according to the Georgian tradition. Return to Tbilisi.
Day 7 of Tbilisi. Free day
Breakfast in the hotel. Room service
Free time to buy Georgian souvenirs.
Transfer to the airport, departure