DAY 0: Arrival.
Arrive at Kutaisi International Airport. Meet your guide and drive to Kutaisi. Check-in to the hotel upon arrival.
Day 1: Kutaisi – Borjomi – Akhaltsikhe
After breakfast start sightseeing in Kutaisi. Visit Bagrati Cathedral (11th century), one of the best samples of late medieval architecture, towering over Kutaisi and visible from almost any point of the city. Next stop is the Gelati Academy (12th century) built by King David the Builder. Gelati was the center of spiritual and scientific life during the Middle Ages, the tomb of Georgian kings and a cult place for pilgrims. It is under UNESCO protection as an object of cultural and historical legacy. Continue to Borjomi. Take a walk in National Park famous worldwide with its mineral water reserves. Later in the evening arrive in Akhaltsikhe for overnight.
Day 2: Akhaltsikhe – Vardzia – Rabati – Tbilisi
In the morning drive to Vardzia erected in the 12-13th centuries during the rule of George III and his daughter Queen Tamara to protect southern boundaries of Georgia. Vardzia is not just a set of random rooms cut in rocks. It is a multi-storied complex with streets, tunnels and stairs leading to monasteries, temples, fortresses, baths, libraries, dwelling houses and so forth. Return to Akhaltsikhe to explore the Rabati fortress. The old stone Rabati fortress, the main sight of the Akhaltsikhe town, is standing on the small hill on the very shores of the Potskhovi River. Its name means “fortified place” from Arabic. Drive back to Tbilisi for overnight at the hotel.
Day 3: Tbilisi city tour and half day free
After breakfast start exploring the capital of Georgia. Start at Holy Trinity Cathedral, one of the largest orthodox cathedrals in the world. Continue to Metekhi Church and monument to Vakhtang Gorgasali, the legendary founder of Tbilisi. Take cable car to Narikala Fortress to enjoy stunning panoramic view of the city. Walk down to the district of Sulphur bath houses passing by the only mosque in Tbilisi. Stroll through the Sharden area full of narrow streets with cozy cafés, wine tasting bars, souvenir shops, and breathe in the living past. Visit Sioni Cathedral, Anchiskhati Basilica, and the clock tower of famous Rezo Gabriadze Theatre. Transfer to the hotel or guests can stay in a city and enjoy free time.
Day 4: Tbilisi – Telavi – Tsinandali – Alaverdi – Napareuli – Telavi
After breakfast depart towards the Kakheti region of Georgia, the cradle of Georgian wine. Beautiful road lies through Gombori pass. Our first stop will be in Tsinandali, the residence of dukes of Georgia with beautiful English garden, a museum, and the wine cellar which belonged to prince Chavchavadze, 19th century public figure and poet. Continue to Alaverdi Cathedral, the second tallest cathedral in Georgia and an outstanding example of the medieval Georgian architecture (11th century). Final stop for today will be a private winery «Twins Wine Cellar» in Napareuli village. The premises of the winery include a vast vineyard, traditional Georgian winemaking museum, and facilities for various workshops. Try yourself at baking Georgian bread puri, cooking national dessert churchkhela, harvesting and squeezing grapes for wine (subject to seasonality). An excellent round-up of the tour will be tasting five different wines made in a traditional way in qvevri, large earthenware vessels, at Twins Winery. Return to Telavi for overnight.
Day 5: Telavi – Gremi – Wine Tunnels – Sighnaghi – Bodbe – Tbilisi
Continue exploring Kakheti region and Alazani valley. Check-out from the hotel and drive to Gremi architectural complex, 16th century royal residence and the capital of Kakheti Kingdom. Gloomy and monumental, the Gremi castle is one of the most visited tourist sights in Georgia. Next stop will be at a unique wine cellar “Khareba” located in the tunnel carved out of the rock. Originally built for military purposes, today the tunnel is used to store Khareba’s finest wines. Wine tour and wine tasting. Continue to Sighnaghi, the city of love and the Royal Town, one of the crossroads of the Great Silk Road surrounded by defensive walls with 23 towers. Depart to Tbilisi, making en-route stop at Bodbe convent. Continue driving to Tbilisi. Drop off at your hotel.
Day 6: Tbilisi – Mtskheta – Ananuri – Kazbegi- Tbilisi
After breakfast, drive to Mtskheta, one of the oldest towns and the cultural and religious center of Georgia. Mtskheta was the capital of the Eastern Georgian Kingdom of Iberia from the third century BC. Visit Jvari Church, a true architectural masterpiece of the early Medieval Period built on a hilltop. You will enjoy the views of the confluence of Aragvi and Mtkvari rivers. Visit Svetitskhoveli, the main cathedral of Mtskheta and a sacred place where the robe of Christ is being kept. Continue to Ananuri architectural complex, a former residence of Argveti Dukes. The complex features churches and towers dating back to the 16-17th centuries, overlooking the Jinvali reservoir. Arrive in Kazbegi, a small town with the views of Mount Kazbek (or Mkinvari) 5033 m, the seventh highest peak in the Caucasus Mountains. Arrive in Kazbegi, change the car to 4×4 WD vehicle and drive to Gergeti Holy Trinity Church located at an altitude of 2170 m. You will enjoy breath-taking views to the Mount Kazbegi (Kazbek or Mkinvari) 5033 m, the seventh highest peak in the Caucasus Mountains. Drive back to Tbilisi for overnight at the hotel.
Day 7: Tbilisi– Gori – Uplistsikhe – Kutaisi
After breakfast we will go to Uplistsikhe- an ancient rock-hewn town. It contains various structures dating from the Early Iron Age to the Late Middle Ages. On the way, we will drive through Gori where the guests will be able to see Stalin State Museum and the house where the great leader was born and grew up. After lunch at the Georgian restaurant , we will continue our journey to Kutaisi and check in at the hotel.
Day 8: Kutaisi – departure
Check-out from the hotel and transfer to Kutaisi International Airport. End of the tour.