Excursion route with gastronomic master classes: a trip for those who are determined to make historical and cultural discoveries, to get acquainted with the local customs, to taste the excellent Georgian cuisine and wine, to learn the secrets of cooking traditional dishes.
Day 1 Tbilisi
Arrival at the international airport „Shota Rustaveli“ in Tbilisi, meeting with the representatives of the travel agency, transfer to the hotel.
Check-in, free time.
20:00 Dinner at the restaurant* – traditional Georgian cuisine, abundance of dishes, Georgian wines and enchanting performance of the Georgian dance group.
*Please note: the dinner on the first day is available only for the tourists arriving on the morning or afternoon flight. For the tourists arriving late at night the dinner will be rescheduled on any other day.
Day 2 Tbilisi
Breakfast at the hotel.
Sightseeing tour along the main sights of Georgia’s capital. It’s going to be truly a time travel – from the ancient times till nowadays. On our route you will visit: the oldest district of the city Abanotubani (sulfur baths district), armenian temple Surub Gevork (XIV c.), Tbilisi Cathedral Synagogue, Tbilisi Cathedral Mosque (XIX c.), town fortress Narikala (IV-VIII c.), the Bethlehem street-staircase, the residence of the Patriarch of Georgia, the oldest Anchiskhati church in Tbilisi (V c.), Peace Bridge, Metekhi temple (XI c.), The Holy Trinity Cathedral (Sameba), Zion cathedral (VIII-XI c.).
The Narikala fortress
The legend about the origin of Tbilisi says: once upon a time the Georgian king Vakhtang Gorgasali (V c.), was hunting in the forest and shot a pheasant. The bird fell into a warm sulfur source and boiled in it. The king was so surprised by the properties of this water that he decided to lay down the city on the site of sulfur sources, which was called Tbilisi (from Georgian “Tbili” – warm). It is believed that exactly in the place where the king once hunted, the Narikala fortress was built. At the foot of the citadel the Abanotubani district with its famous sulfur baths is located. The fortress offers a panoramic view of the city.
At noon, you will get acquainted with the culinary specialties of Georgian cuisine – a hot lunch in a traditional Georgian restaurant in Tbilisi and a glass of wine.
The Holy Trinity Cathedral
The Holy Trinity Cathedral, or Sameba – Cathedral of the Georgian Orthodox Church in Tbilisi, erected on the hill of St. Ilya. One of the newest religious buildings in Georgia, was founded in 1995, consecrated in 2004. The magnificent temple can be seen from anywhere in the city center.
The Holy Mount Mtatsminda is known for its ancient history: in the V century on its slope, in a cave, lived St. David Garedzhi, highly respected in Georgia. In the XIX century over the cave of St. David a temple was erected, and over time it was surrounded by the Pantheon. One of the first to be buried on the Holy Mountain was Russian writer and diplomat Alexander Griboedov. The graves of the writer and his wife Nina Chavchavadze are still there.
At the end of the excursion program you will have free time to visit the open bazaar where cloisonne enamel is sold – this is a special pride of Georgia; You will also have the opportunity to look at a few souvenir shops and visit the “Dry Bridge” (Flea Market). There is a large market of paintings and souvenirs in this place, as well as a flea market, which sells antique dishes and old photographs, backgammon, chess, jugs, barrel organs and other rare things. Along the embankment there are book rows where you can buy pre-revolutionary books or old albums in Georgian or English.
Return to the hotel in Tbilisi.
Day 3 Mtskheta — Gori — Uplistsikhe
Breakfast at the hotel.
Sightseeing day will begin with a visit to the ancient capital of Georgia, Mtskheta. Mtskheta is one of the most ancient cities of Georgia, references to which date back to the 5th century BC.
You will visit the Svetitskhoveli Cathedral (XI c.), in which the chiton of the Lord is kept, the cloak of the Old Testament prophet Elijah and the life-giving Dzelitshoveli cross made of the cross on which they crucified Jesus Christ, and the relics of the Apostle Andrew the First-Called. No wonder the city of Mtskheta is called the second Jerusalem. After that, you will rise to the monastery Jvari (VI c.), towering over the city. According to the legend, this temple was erected above a cedar stump that oozed fragrant oil (miro), under which St. Nino, an enlightener of Georgia, once prayed. Here, as you remember, the Lermontov Mtsyri stood on the edge of the abyss, looking thoughtfully at the ancient city, built on the confluence of the Aragvi and Kura rivers.
At noon, you will get acquainted with the delicious peculiarities of Imereti cuisine – a hot lunch in a traditional Georgian restaurant in Mtskheta and a glass of wine.
Cave city Uplistsikhe
There are many interesting monuments in the vicinity of Gori, one of which is the cave city Uplistsikhe (4th century BC – 1st century AD). Even from afar, this quaint rocky city captivates with its unusual appearance. Like gigantic windows on the rocks, cave grottoes can be seen, inside of which ordinary life once flowed. There were huge majestic halls, temples and dwellings inside the caves, connected by winding streets and corridors.
Next, you will take a tour to the one of the oldest cities in Georgia – In historical sources it has been known since the 6th century, but the worldwide fame was brought to it thanks to the name of the «father of nations» Joseph Dzhugashvili, better known as Stalin. The main street of Gori is still named in his honor – Stalin Avenue. The main attraction of the town is the house-museum of Stalin, built in the form of a marble sarcophagus, with a sculpture of Stalin in front of him, one of the few installed today in memory of him.
The culmination of the day is going to be a dinner in a traditional restaurant in Tbilisi and acquaintance with the specialties of Megrelian cuisine.
Return to the hotel in Tbilisi.
Day 4 Kakheti
Breakfast at the hotel.
During this trip you will visit the most outstanding sights of Kakheti. The excursion will begin with at the monastery in Bodbe named after Saint Nina — especially revered Georgian Saint who brought Christianity to this region. Here in Kakheti her grave has been preserved, next to which beats a life-giving source.
Next on your route you will visit a small town Signagi. Its main sight is one of the most famous fortress in Georgia founded by the Georgian king Irakly II (XVIII century) on the mountain slopes.
After the sightseeing tour of Signagi you will be offered lunch in a traditional Georgian restaurant where you will get acquainted with the peculiarities of the cuisine of the homeland of Kakheti winemaking and taste the Kakhetian wine from “Kvevri”, prepared in the traditional millennial way.
Further we will continue our trip around Kakheti and go to Tsinandali, to the family estate of the famous Georgian poet Prince Alexander Chavchavadze – the general of the Russian Empire and the famous poet of the XIX century. The house-museum is surrounded by a luxurious park with a chapel, and in the wine cellars there are 16,000 bottles of wine from the end of the 19th and 20th centuries. We will walk through the park, inspect the winery and taste the wine in the ancient cellars.
Check in at the hotel in Telavi.
Dinner at the hotel’s restaurant.
Day 5 Kakheti – Tbilisi
Your excursion day will begin with a sightseeing tour of the capital of the Kakheti kingdom of the first quarter of the 11th century – the city of Telavi. During the excursion you will see a thousand year old platan and visit the architectural complex of the Telavi Palace – “The Lord’s Fortress” in which the residence of the kings of Kakheti, including King Erekle II, was located in the XVII-XVIII centuries. Next, you will go to the municipality of Akhmeti, visit the cathedral of the first quarter of the XI century «Alaverdi» and the city of Gremi – the capital of the Kakhetian kingdom of the XVI-XVII centuries.
During one of the breaks between the excursions, the company Mouzenidis Travel will invite you to a master class and tasting of the excellent wines in the Khareba wine tunnel:
• master class: cooking of 2 khinkali, 1 shotis puri (bread), 1 churchkhela
• tasting: 1 glass of white wine «Kvevri» and 1 glass of white wine «European»
On the way back you will visit the Nekresi monastery complex, founded in the 6th century by one of the 13 Assyrian fathers and stop for lunch at the Georgian traditional restaurant, where you will continue to get acquainted with the gastronomic features of the cuisine of Kakheti region. After that, you will return to Tbilisi along a scenic road through the Gombori Pass.
In the evening, you will have dinner in a traditional restaurant in Tbilisi.
Day 6 Tbilisi
Breakfast at the hotel. Free day.
This day you can choose an optional excursion for an additional fee.
For example, a trip to the largest nature reserve in Europe – Borjomi-Kharagauli park.
Borjomi-Kharagauli Park is one of the largest national parks in Europe, includes six administrative districts, stretching from the resort of Borjomi to the city of Kharagauli. Its area is 5.3 thousand km ², which is 7.6% of the entire territory of Georgia. On the excursion you will visit the town of Borjomi – a wellness resort, famous for its healing mineral waters and thermal baths, where you will visit Borjomi park and at the source of mineral water from which you can try one of the most useful mineral waters in the world. Here you can ride on the cable car, which was built in the 60s of the twentieth century. At an altitude of 100 m above sea level. m. you will enjoy an amazing view of the small resort town, immersed in greenery.
Stop for lunch at a restaurant in the city of Borjomi (paid extra).
Next, we move to the capital of Samtskhe-Javakheti, the city of Akhaltsikhe.
The city of Akhaltsikhe (translated from the group “New Fortress”) was once as strategically important as Vardzia. To protect the country from the invasion of the Turks, who constantly claimed the Georgian lands, the Rabati Castle was built on its territory. Today, the fortress is one of the most beautiful medieval fortifications, occupying an area of 7 hectares, where you may visit a unique museum and see the valuable exposition.
Return to the hotel.
Day 7 Tbilisi
Breakfast at the hotel, check out.
Transfer to the airport.
The tour price includes:
• Transfers during the whole tour (comfortable bus)
• Accommodation in hotels
• Entrance tickets to Chavchavadze estate
• Meals according the program
• Master classes according the program
• Wine tasting according to the program
• 3 guided tours with an English-speaking guide:
1. Sightseeing tour of the city of Tbilisi
2. Excursion to Kakheti «Bodbe – Sighnaghi – Telavi»
3. Excursion «Mtskheta – Gori – Uplistsikhe»
The tour price does not include:
• Entrance tickets to museums, archaeological sites and monasteries
• Everything that is not specified in «The tour price includes» paragraph
Check in / chek out is done according to hotel policy (check in after 13:00, check out before 11:00- 11:30).
The company has the right to change the sequence of the excursions.
Entrance fees to museums and archaeological areas:
Stalin museum – 7€
Uplistsikhe museum – 3€
Cable car Tbilisi – 1€
Rabati Castle – 7€
National park Borjomi – 1€
Tour price (per person):
|4* / 6 nights
|3* / 6 nights