Georgia – A Country of Wonders
Georgia is a country with the spectacular views. Since ancient times – peaks of the Caucasus and Black Sea coast charms visitors with its breathtaking landscapes, ancient culture and interesting history. In Georgia have been crossed the eastern and western civilization. Georgia has an ancient alphabet. It is one of the fourteen scripts around the world. The history has preserved the fact that Georgia was visited by the Argonauts, Marco Polo and many other famous travelers. Territory was crossed by the famous Silk Road. Georgia is the oldest wine region in the world.
In Georgia we have approximately all types of landscape zones, which range from humid, dry-subtropical valleys to high mountain alpine and glaciers zone; There is the sharply expressed vertical zonation of landscapes. The country’s highest peak is mount Shkhara (5203 m), while the lowest point is located between Poti and village Kulevi (1.2-2.3m below sea level). The high percentage of the virgin landscapes, which includes the 10% of the territory of Georgia.
|Day 1||Meeting in Tbilisi. Brief tour in Tbilisi visit a unique shop-museum “Sarcho” in the city center.
Overnight in Tbilisi.
|Day 2||Visit the Cathedral Sameba (XXIc), the temple Metekhi (V-XIII c), Abanotubani (baths
district), Muslim temple (Mosque), Botanical Gardens (XIXc), fortress Narikala (IVc), Armenian
and Catholic churches, Synagogue, the Shardeni street, the Peace Bridge.
Overnight in Tbilisi.
|Day 3||Departure to the ancient capital of Georgia – scent city Mtskheta, visit the temple of the
monastery Jvari (VIc), Stepantsminda (Kazbegi), the fortress Ananuri (XVIIc), Zhinvali
reservoirs, Gudauri, the Church of the Holy Trinity Gergeti.
Overnight in Kazbegi.
|Day 4||Visit the Daryal Gorge, the Russian-Georgian border, tourists will visit the temple-monastery
(XXIc.) named in honor of Archangels Michael and Gabriel, the Sno fortress (XVIc), Then
visitors will go through the Zhinvali reservoir to the famous wine region – Kakheti.
Overnight at the Axmeta
|Day 5||Departure to visit a traditional Georgian family, where guests have opportunity to get
acquainted with the technology of manufacture of Georgian wine. Also, guests can taste local
honey and honey vodka. Visit the Cathedral Church of Alaverdi (VI-XIcc.), the medieval fortress
city of Gremi (XVIc.), the monastery complex Nekresi (IVc.) which is situated on a hilltop
overlooking a stunning view of the Alazani Valley. Drive in Kvareli where tourists we’ll visit
house museum of Ilia Chavchavadze. Go to the winery and taste the unique Georgian wine from
the vineyards of microclimatic zones “Kindzmarauli”.
Overnight in Kvareli.
|Day 6||Visit the ancient wine cellar which is a museum too (300 years old). After that, going to the
medieval city of love – Sighnaghi (XVIII c.). Visit the convent, St. Nino the Enlightener of
Georgia in Bodbe (IV-XIIcc). Visit the St.Nino spring, which has healing properties according to
Overnight in Tbilisi.
|Day 7||Departure to Gori. Visit the house-museum of Stalin, the cave city “Uplistsikhe” (“Fortress of
the Lord,” a millennium BC), visit of the cathedral “Bagrati” (X-XI c) (UNESCO Heritage) and
the famous Gelati Academy.
Overnight in Kutaisi.
|Day 8||After a little tour of Kutaisi, passing through the resort Tskhaltubo trip cave ”Sataplia.” After
that, tourists will leave for the region Svaneti, by the way thay pass the dam of the Inguri
Overnight in Mestia.
|Day 9||In Mestia tourists will visit the Svaneti Museum of History and Ethnography, as well as the
house-museum of the greatest mountain climber Michael Khergiani and the medieval Svan
towers. Then go to the Ushguli, will visit the Ethnographical Museum.
Overnight in Ushguli.
|Day 10||Departure in the direction of Zugdidi, will visit the Palace Museum Prince Dadiani. Then tourists
go in the direction of modern climate of the Black Sea resort of Anaklia.
Overnight in Anaklia.
|Day 11||Departure to Batumi, will visit the castle of Peter (VI c.), the botanical garden.
Overnight in Batumi.
|Day 12||Visit the dolphinarium and Gonio Fortress (I – II cc.). Then we will have a rest at the beach at
the resort or Kvariati or Sarpi.
Overnight in Batumi.
|Day 13||Departure back to Tbilisi. A farewell banquet in the evening.|
|Day 14||Free day, Buying souvenirs. Returning to the homeland.|
1. Shop-Museum ,,Sarcho”. After a brief tour in Tbilisi, visit a unique shop-museum “Sarcho” in the city center. Tourists can see how the real Georgian wine, stored in clay jars, taste it and purchase favorite one. Also get a great variety of handmade souvenirs.
2. Sameba Cathedral. Tsminda Sameba – in Georgian “Holy Trinity”, the main cathedral of Tbilisi Georgia Orthodox Church. Its construction began in 1995 and ended after 9 years, in 2004. After lighting it became one of the highest Orthodox churches in the world. Its height is 98 meters, an area of over 5000 square meters and capacity 15,000 parishioners. Temple Metechi First, there stood a palace of local kings, which was allegedly built by Vakhtang Gorgasali, founder of the city. In the XII century the church itself was built, which has been preserved to date. Legend has it also that the Metekhi cliff was a site of the martyrdom of Habo (8th century), Tbilisi’s patron saint. A small church in his honor is now under construction at the foot of the cliff.
3. Temple Metechi. First, there stood a palace of local kings, which was allegedly built by Vakhtang Gorgasali, founder of the city. In the XII century the church itself was built, which has been preserved to date. Legend has it also that the Metekhi cliff was a site of the martyrdom of Habo (8th century), Tbilisi’s patron saint. A small church in his honor is now under construction at the foot of the cliff.
4. Sulfur Baths.Sulfur Baths are the chief attractions of Tbilisi. The reason for this is the story of the town, according to which the king Gorgasali saw warm sulfur springs, gave the decree on the construction of the new capital of his state at this place. Even the name of the city is translated as “warm”. Muslim Temple (Mosque) the mosque constructed in 1723-1735 during the Osman reign, which was destroyed in the middle of the 18th century by the Persians. In 1846-1851 the mosque was renovated according to the project of the architect Jovanni Scoudier , but this latter one was also destroyed at the end of the 19th century and the present mosque was constructed on its place.
5. Muslim Temple (Mosque). The mosque constructed in 1723-1735 during the Osman reign, which was destroyed in the middle of the 18th century by the Persians. In 1846-1851 the mosque was renovated according o the project of the architect Jovanni Scoudier , but this latter one was also destroyed at the end of the 19th century and the present mosque was constructed on its place.
6. Botanical Garden. Its history spans more than three centuries. It was first described, in 1671, by the French traveler Jean Chardin as royal gardens which might have been founded at least in 1625. The gardens appear in the records by Joseph Pitton de Tournefort (1701) and on the Tbilisi map composed by Prince Vakhushti (1735). Pillaged in the Persian invasion of 1795, the garden was revived in the early 19th century and officially established as the Tiflis Botanical Garden in 1845. In the lists of the Garden there listed about 3500 types of plants from around the world.
7. Fortress Narikala. Founded around the IV century, it is the same age as the city, and perhaps surpasses its age. Originally called the citadel Shuris-Tsikhe that can be translated as “enviable stronghold”, but during Mongol invasion it received a new name – the Naryn-Kala, which is translated to Mongolian as “Small Fortress”.
8. Church Norashen. Church Norashen is an Armenian church Norashen. Norashen means “newly built” in Armenian. The church was founded by Sadat in 1467.
9. Catholic Church. The church (Polish Roman-Catholic church) was built in the first half of the 19th century. Before Rome Pope’s visit to Georgia in 1999, this Polish Roman-Catholic church was restored and now beside catholic messes one can listen to organ music there. The major part of its parish are Georgian Catholics and Poles.
10. The Sinagogue. The Sinagogue was built from 1895 to 1903 in an eclectic style by Georgian Jews from Akhaltsikhe who migrated to Tbilisi in the late 19th century.
11. The Bridge of Peace. This Bridge is a bow-shaped pedestrian bridge over the Mtkvari River in Tbilisi, capital of Georgia. The 150 metre (490 ft) bridge was designed by the Italian architect Michele De Lucchi and was officially opened on May 6, 2010. The Bridge of Peace is a stunning design as well as a convenient crossing between the newly constructed Rike Park and the Old Town. It also provides superb views of the city.
15. Ananuri Castle. Ananuri is a castle complex on the Aragvi River, about 45 miles (72 kilometres) from Tbilisi. It was built by the Dukes of Aragvi and its earliest parts date from the 13th century. The fortress is on the UNESCO Tentative list.
16. Gergeti Trinity Church. Gergeti Trinity Church is a popular name for Holy Trinity Church near the village of Gergeti. The church is situated on the right bank of the river Chkheri (the left tributary of the river Terek), at an elevation of 2170 meters, under Mount Kazbegi. The Gergeti Trinity Church was built in the 14th century, and is the only cross-cupola church in Khevi province.
18. Dariali Gorge. The Dariali Gorge is the gorge on the border between Russia and Georgia. It is at the east base of Mount Kazbek, pierced by the river Terek for a distance of 8 miles between vertical walls of rock (1800 m/5900 ft) and is located south of present-day Vladikavkaz.The gorge, alternatively known as the Iberian Gates or the Caucasian Gates, is mentioned in the Georgian annals under the names of Darialani;
19. Monastic Complex of Sacred Archangels of Michael and Gabriel. There we will visit a monastic complex of sacred Archangels of Michael and Gabriel (XXIcentury).
21. Zhinvali Dum and Reservoir. The Zhinvali Dam is a hydroelectric dam on the Aragvi River in the Caucasus Mountains in Zhinvali, Georgia. The Zhinvali Hydroelectric Power Plant has two turbines with a nominal capacity of 65 MW each having a total capacity of 130 MW. The building of the dam in 1986 formed the Zhinvali Reservoir.
22. Alaverdi Monastery. Alaverdi Monastery was founded in the second half of the 6th century by Assyrian Father Josef from Alaverdi who is buried in the Monastery. Alaverdi St. George Cathedral was built by Kakhetian King Kvirike in the 11th century. It is 50 m high. The cathedral has retained remains of artwork of the 11th and 15-16th centuries. In the past Alaverdi was a significant spiritual and educational center.
23. Gremi. Gremi is a 16th-century architectural monument – the royal citadel and the Church of the Archangels – in Kakheti. Gremi was the capital of the Kingdom of Kakheti in the 16th and 17th centuries. The Archangels’ Church complex is located on a hill and composed of the Church of the Archangels Michael and Gabriel itself, a three-story castle, a bell tower and a wine cellar.
24. Nekresi Monastery Complex. Nekresi Monastery is one of the largest monastery complexes in the Kakheti region of Georgia and was founded by St. Abibos Nekreseli, one of the famous thirteen Syrian fathers. Situated on top of a steep hill overlooking the Alazani valley, the complex contains various ecclesiastical buildings built at different times, including: the Blessed Virgin Church (VI-VII century); a basilica-type church that dates to the IV century (one of the earliest surviving Christian churches); a two-storey bishop’s palace (IX century); a four-storey tower (XVI century); and a wine cellar (marani).
25. Prince I.Chavchavadze. Prince Ilia Chavchavadze (1837–1907) was a Georgian writer, poet, journalist and lawyer who spearheaded the revival of the Georgian national movement in the second half of the 19th century, during the Russian rule of Georgia. Today he is widely regarded as one of the founding fathers of modern Georgia. In 1987 he was canonized as Saint Ilia the Righteous by the Georgian Orthodox Church. Today, Georgians revere Chavchavadze as The Uncrowned King and the Pater Patriae (Father of the Fatherland) of Georgia. The museum encompasses the family tower and the residential house of the Chavchavadze family, also an exhibition hall, a lecture hall, an archive fund and the works displaying Chavchavadze’s life (1837-1907). The museum is surrounded by a picturesque garden formerly owned by Chavchavadze family.
26. Wine Cellar in Kvareli. Kvareli wine cellar is located 83 miles away from the capital of Georgia – Tbilisi, in the country’s eastern part – Kakheti, which has always been the most important viticulture region in Georgia. 65-70% of Georgian vineyards are concentrated in Kakheti. According to the climate and the types of wine two macro and nearly 25 micro-zones are distinguished in Kakheti. Kvareli wine cellar can produce specific wines that can have the name of their places of origin in the microzones, and this is the main advantage of the plant.
27. Kvareli Lake. Kvareli Lake is located east of the town of Kvareli, at the foothills of the southern slopes of Caucasian mountains. Surrounded by a forest of centuries-old trees, the hotel grounds open to the lake feeding on the Bursa and Chagurgula rivers, and overlook the boundless Alazani valley.
28. ,,Numisi” Muzeum-Celler in Velistsikhe. “Numisi in Gurjaani region, in the oldest village Velistsikhe represents the XVI century wine cellar. The building itself is a monument of ancient classical architecture, built of white river stone and rectangular Georgian brick. From the outside, a glance is, as if a small and modest, but the vast interior space. We introduce with a very interesting and arched wine cellar excellent storage, with limestone wine old presser, 33 different-sized clay pitchers and large penthouse that attract the interest of thouthands of visitors of Georgia.
29. Signaghi. The territory of the modern-day town has been settled since the Paleolithic period and was known as Hereti in the Middle Ages, and as Kiziqi after the 15th century. Sighnaghi (literally, “shelter” in Azeri) as a settlement is first recorded in the early 18th century. In 1762, King Heraclius II of Georgia sponsored the construction of the town and erected a fortress to defend the area from marauding attacks by Dagestan tribesmen. As of the 1770 census, Sighnaghi was settled by 100 families, chiefly craftsmen and merchants. When Georgia was annexed by Imperial Russia in 1801, Sighnaghi was officially granted town status. In 1812, Signaghi joined the rebellion with the rest of Kakheti against the Russian rule. During the Caucasian War, the town was considered an important point on account of its proximity to Dagestan. 30.Sighnaghi is known as a “Love City” in Georgia.
30. Bodbe Monastery. Monastery, 4-9th centuries; Sighnaghi District History ascribes building and decorating the temple to the first Christian King of Georgia Mirian and his son Bakar. This is where St. Nino, enlightener of all Georgians, died and was buried. The church acquired its current shape in the 9th century. In 1823 it was restored and painted. Bodbe has always been an important monastic and educational center and had a significant role in the political life of the country. It managed to retain its importance as a spiritual center in the Caucasus throughout the years when Georgia was part of the Russian Empire (19th century). Near the monastery there is also a spring. According to legend St. Nino has healing properties. After breakfast guests’ll visit the ancient wine cellar which is a museum also (300 years old) , where they can taste wine directly from clay jugs buried in the ground and get acquainted with the technology of production of Georgian wine, and guests we’ll have the opportunity to taste locally produced vodka -,,Chacha”
32. Uplistsikhe. Literally, “the lord’s fortress” is an ancient rock-hewn town in eastern Georgia, some 10 kilometers east of the town of Gori, Shida Kartli. Built on a high rocky left bank of the Mtkvari River, it contains various structures dating from the Early Iron Age to the Late Middle Ages, and is notable for the unique combination of various styles of rock-cut cultures from Anatolia and Iran, as well as the co-existence of pagan and Christian architecture.
33. Bagrati Cathedral. The Cathedral was built in the early years of the 11th century, during the reign of King Bagrat III due to which it was called “Bagrati” Cathedral.
The cathedral, rebuilt officially on September 16, 2012 after heavy damage ages ago,served as a masterpiece in the history of modern and medieval Georgian architecture.
34. Kutaisi. Kitaisi was the capital of the ancient Kingdom of Colchis. Archeological evidence indicates that the city functioned as the capital of the kingdom of Colchis as early as the second millennium BC. Several historians believe that, in Argonautica, a Greek epic poem about Jason and the Argonauts and their journey to Colchis, author Apollonius Rhodius considered Kutaisi their final destination as well as the residence of King Aeëtes. From 978 to 1122 CE, Kutaisi was the capital of the united Kingdom of Georgia.
36. Inguri Dum. The Inguri Dam is a hydroelectric dam on the Inguri River in Georgia. Currently it is the world’s second highest concrete arch dam with a height of 271.5 metres (891 ft). It is located north of the town Jvari. It is part of the Inguri hydroelectric power station (HES) which is partially located in Abkhazia.
37. Sataplia State National Reserve. Sataplia State Nature Reserve was created in 1935 in order to protect rare paleontological and speleological monuments and unique flora. This large area is ecologically quite complex and is home to a number of geological, paleontological, speleological and botanical treasures. The Sataplia Reserve Areas consist of different locations, each of which is known for its interesting characteristics.Moreover, Sataplia Mountain is renowned for its beautiful caves and is also home to the footprint of a dinosaur.
38. Svaneti Museum of History and Ethnography. The museum was established in 1936. Eexhibition of archaeological discoveries made in Svaneti date back to the 3rd century BC, and the museum’s collection contains many examples of ceramics, jewelry, cult or religious objects and armaments. In the halls of permanent exhibitions encompassing manuscripts from the 9th-18th centuries, unique icons, archaeological and ethnographic items.
39. Mikheil Khergiani House Museum. The museum houses materials belonging to famous Georgian alpinist Mikheil Khergiani (1932- 1969) There are: alpinist’s memorial things and different exhibits of life Svaneti: icons, furniture, vessels, agrarian work implements, clothes, alpinist’s implements, also paintings and different publication about alpinism.
40. Svan towers. The towers were built as protection against invaders and raiders. The towers also protected families during the blood-feuds that often took place in these communities. The towers usually have from three to five storeys and the thickness of the walls decreases, giving the towers a slender, tapering profile. For protection, the entrance to a tower is some twelve feet above the ground, with a ladder or staircase below that could be destroyed in the event of an attack. Inside, large, flat rocks lay beside the ladder holes, ready to be employed as seals.
42. Anaklia. Located on the southeastern coast of the Black Sea, on the left side of the Enguri River where it flows into the Black Sea, in the central = part of the Colchis lowland. The earliest settlement on Anaklia’s territory dates back to the mid-Bronze Age and is typical to the Colchian Coast of modern Anaklia is about 8 km in length, and in the distance of more than 1 km, there’s the resort promenade, and some comfortable hotels are placed along it. At the western end of the promenade begins the 540-meter pedestrian bridge that connects the resort to the village Ganmukhuri, located on the opposite side of the Enguri River.
43. Lamaria church. Lamaria church dedicated to the Assumption of the Virgin Mary (Lamaria), with wall-paintings from the 10th and 12th centuries. Once part of an important religious centre of Upper Svaneti, the church was the first to be restored in this village community where it is still the main church used for celebrating the liturgy. Is located on one of the highest points in Ushguli, Lamaria is a functional temple.
44. Dadiani palace. The Dadiani Palace History and Architecture Museum in Zugdidi is considered to be one of the most eminent palaces in Caucasus. The museum complex includes: palaces of the Samegrelo (West Georgia) queen Ekaterine Chavchavadze-Dadiani and Prince Niko Dadiani, court church, and the botanic garden (60-90-ies of the XIX c., architects: G. Rais and L.Vasiliev). In 1850-ies, Prince David Dadiani organized a museum in the palace, where weredisplayed discovered during accidental excavations unique numismatic materials from the Archaeopolis (Samegrelo region, present day village Nokalakevi), theantique period town, as well as Dadiani family collections of medieval European armor and weapons, ethnographic objects, and fine art. Napoleon Bonaparte’s death mask is kept here.
46. Batumi Botanical Garden. Located at the place called “Green cape”. Batumi Botanical Garden has no analogue in the world as plant species from completely different climatic and landscape zones grow together in harmony, for example, the Canary Palm and Japanese Sakura (cherry tree). The garden features thousand species of astonishingly beautiful plants.The lower, upper and seaside parks are located on the main route of the garden. Currently, the garden consists of nine floristic sectors, those of Caucasian humid subtropics, East Asia, New Zealand, South America, the Himalayas, Mexico, Australia, and of the Mediterranean. The garden collection comprises 2.037 taxonomic units of ligneous plants, including 104 of Caucasian origin.
47. Historic fortified town of Petra. Located on the southeastern shore of the Black Sea, near the village of Tsikhisdziri, 7 km south of Kobuleti and 17 km north of Batumi. The remains of the fortress stand on the hill by the seaside. The ruins of the ancient historical city-fortress Petra is located in the village of Tsikhisdziri, Kobuleti region. It dates back to VI c.AD. The Byzantine Emperor Justinian built a city here because of the unique military-strategic and trade-economical location. The city was crossed by the essential road connecting Western Georgia, Byzantine provinces, Iran and Armenia.
50. Gonio Fortress. Previously called Apsaros, is a Roman fortification in Adjara, on the Black sea, 15 km south of Batumi, at the mouth of the Chorokhi river. The village sits 4 km north of the Turkish border. The name derives from one of the characters of the myth of the Argonauts (Apsaros = brother of Medea). The earliest archeological layers date back to the 8th and 7th century BC.
51. Kvariati. A resort places are located 15 km from Batumi at the Georgian-Turkish border. The average sea water temperature here is 25 oC. Hotels and guest houses are distinguished by closeness to the sea, combined sea and mountain air and cozy atmosphere.
52. Sarpi. Sapri is a resort places are located 17-18 km from Batumi at the Georgian-Turkish border. The average sea water temperature here is 25 oC. Hotels and guest houses are distinguished by closeness to the sea, combined sea and mountain air and cozy atmosphere.
53. Batumi. Batumi is one of the oldest cities in Georgia founded as early as BCE. Its initial form – Batus – had already been mentioned in the 4th century BCE. The name must have derived from the Greek word meaning ‘deep’. Aristotle (4th c BCE), Pliny (2nd c CE) and others called the place “Pontus Bathea”. In antique times the local population used to have active trade relations with the neighboring as well as distant countries. During the reign of the Roman Emperor Hadrian (2nd c CE) there used to be a Roman military camp on the territory of present Batumi. Modern Batumi serves as an important port and a commercial center. It is situated in a subtropical zone, rich in agricultural produce such as citrus fruit and tea. While industries of the city include shipbuilding, food processing, and light manufacturing, most of its economy revolves around tourism. Since 2010, the face of the city has been transformed by the construction of new high-rise landmark buildings and the renovation of the Old Town. After breakfast, leisure on the sea coast. In the afternoon departure back to Tbilisi. A farewell banquet in the evening.
54. Tbilisi. Free day. Buing Souvenirs. Returning to the homeland.