Georgia (Tbilisi, Kakheti) Tour Itinerary (7 Days)
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Arrival at Tbilisi
Transfer to the hotel and check in
Lecture in the conference room
Morning walking tour Observation and visits to the most important Tbilisi sights:
The Sioni Cathedral of the Dormitionis the Georgian Orthodox cathedral in Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia. Following a medieval Georgian tradition of naming churches after particular places in the Holy Land, the Sioni Cathedral bears the name of Mount Zion at Jerusalem. It is commonly known as the "Tbilisi Sioni" to distinguish it from several other churches across Georgia bearing the name Sioni.
The Narikala an ancient fortress overlooking Tbilisi and the Mtkvari River. The fortress was established in the 4th century. Most of the extant fortifications date from the 16th and 17th centuries. In 1827, parts of the fortress were damaged by an earthquake and demolished.
The Anchiskhati Basilica of St Mary. According to the old Georgian annals, the church was built by the King Dachi of Iberia (circa 522-534) who had made Tbilisi his capital. Originally dedicated to the Virgin Mary, it was renamed Anchiskhati (i.e., icon of Ancha) in 1675 when the treasured icon of the Saviorcreated by the twelfth-century goldsmith Beka Opizari at the Ancha monastery in Klarjeti ( now part of Northeastern Turkey) was moved to Tbilisi so preserve it from the Ottoman invasion. The icon was preserved at the Basilica of St Mary for centuries (it is now on display at the Art Museum of Georgia).
After lunch pay a visit to the Georgian National Gallery, established in 1920. Dimitri Shevardnadze, a well-known Georgian painter, contributed significantly to the development of the gallery. Since its foundation, the gallery has served the development of Georgian fine arts.
Afternoon programme also includes the Giorgi Chitaia Open Air Museum of Ethnography an open-air museum in Tbilisi, which displays the examples of folk architecture and craftwork from various regions of the country. The museum is named after Giorgi Chitaia, the Georgian ethnographer, who founded the museum on April 27, 1966. Since December 30, 2004, it has been administered as part of the Georgian National Museum.
Morning transfer from Hotel to Mtskheta
Stop at the Jvari Monastery. At the top of the mountain above the ancient capital Mtskheta, city of the Iberia Kingdom where the Kura and Aragvi rivers merge, towers the monastery of Jvari - the first monument of Georgia, inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List as one of the best masterpieces of medieval Georgian architecture.
Arrival at Mtskheta, the ancient capital of Georgia. The city was founded in the second half of the first millennium and is one of the most visited places in Georgia. Due to its historical significance and several cultural monuments, Mtskheta was stated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Being a birthplace of Christianity in Georgia and one of the most vibrant religious centers, Mtskheta was declared as the "Holy City".
Vist the Svetitskhoveli Cathedral, the main cathedral of the whole Georgia. Many legends are associated with this cathedral, but they all have a common content telling that Svetitskhoveli was built on the site where the shirt of Jesus he wore during crucifixion was buried. In Georgian its name – 'Svetitskhoveli' means 'Life-giving pillar'.
Transfer to the Tbilisi
Vist the Georgian National Museum, which was established at the end of 2004 which preserves the nation's rich, authentic content of cultural heritage. The Museum mission is to manage the nation's collections, both material and living, and to expand and sustain access to its treasures for current and future generations.
Visit the Armenian District and the Holy Trinity Cathedral of Tbilisi (Sameba). Sameba is the residence of the Archbishop of the Georgian Orthodox Church. Constructed between 1995 and 2004, it is the third tallest Eastern Orthodox cathedral in the world and one of the largest religious buildings in the world by its total area. Sameba is a synthesis of traditional styles dominating the Georgian church architecture at various stages in history and some Byzantine undertones.
Morning transfer from hotel to Gori
Arrive at the Uplistsikhe (God's Fortress) - an ancient cave city, one of the first cities on the territory of Georgia. Uplistsikhe is carved in a rock located 12 km east of the town of Gori on the left bank of the Kura River.
Lunch at a family wine cellar in Gori, tasting of Georgian wine and Chacha with Georgian traditional dishes.
Visit the The Joseph Stalin Museum in Gori, an historical museum in Georgia devoted to the life of the most famous native of the city, who became the head of the Soviet government and led the Soviet Union from 1925 to 1953. Opened in 1937.
Arrive at the Chateau Mukhrani (wine Tasting, tour & dinner). Ivane Mukhranbatoni began the construction of this castle in 1873 and it took 12 years to complete the project. The castle and surrounding gardens were designed by French architects and Versailles gardeners.
The huge venue was a cultural centre for the Georgian elite. Ivane Mukhranbatoni hosted many guests including famous Georgian public figures, great writers and poets such as Ilia Chavchavadze and Akaki Tsereteli, along with the Russian Emperor of the time. The castle was famous for its Italian gilded furniture and the first European parquet in Georgia. Now it contains a winery. Underground cellars comprise 20 compartments and the main tunnel connects the winery and the castle. To compliment the modern winery the Chateau cellar was restored to its original historical design. Today the cellar stores 60,000 barrels of wine at a constant fifteen degrees C temperature.
Return to Tbilisi
Morning transfer to Kakheti
Visit the Monastery of St. Nino at Bodbe. in a small Georgian village . Degustation of freshly baked bread and traditional cheese in Badiauri
11:45 - 12:45 The Monastery of St. Nino at Bodbe, constructed in the 4th century AD on the tomb of St. Nino who introduced Christianity in Georgia. The Georgian king Demetre I played an important role in decoration of the monastery. Bodbe monastery was renovated many times by the Georgian kings. In the end of 1990s a tub for ritual bathes and a small church were built around the spring of water which emerged through the prayers of St. Nino. The church was named after her parents – St. Zabulon and St. Sosana.
Lunch in Sighnaghi
Sighnaghi (City of Love) is a small town in the east of Georgia situated on the mountainside in the historical region of Kakheti. It was founded in the 17th century during the reign of King Heraclius II of Georgia, and as locals say, it is the only city in Georgia that has fully preserved its fortress walls that are crowned with watchtowers, where one can climb to get the magnificent view of the Alazan valley.
Sightseeing in Signagi includes a visit to the Signagi Museum, established in 2007. It is the first high standard museum in Georgia. The Museum exhibits archeology, ethnography and medieval expositions. The Signagi Museum features diverse ethnographic material: musical instruments, weapons, vestments and items reflecting the lifestyle of this town. Medieval expositions include samples of the 4th-18th cc. Displayed are 16 paintings by Niko Pirosmanashvili.
Sightseeing will be followed by wine tasting and a light, early dinner at the Morani Cradle of Wine vineyard.
Drive to the Kvareli Lake hotel and check in
Morning transfer to Telavi
Batonis Tsikhe (the Master’s Fortress), the residence of Kakheti with the area of 3 ha is located In downtown Telavi. Its territory embraces: the fence (constructed under the king of Kakheti Erekle II in 1753), the Royal Palace (constructed in the 60s of the 17thI century by king Archil; in 1865 the Women’s College of St. Nino opened in this building and the Palace was remade into a three-level building; today - the Telavi museum), the bath (in southern part bathing room and boiler are preserved; walls of the bath were painted), and two churches (Small Church and Church of the Court of Erekle II, built in 1758, the latter being simultaneously a defense facility – it has gun emplacements). To the south-west from the citadel, in tens of meters there is a big abutment (diameter – 14 m). Up to the 40s of the 19th century a big 7,5 m long cannon stood on it.
The Ikalto monastery founded by Saint Zenon, one of the 13 Syrian Fathers, in the late 6th century. It was known as one of the most significant cultural-scholastic centers of Georgia. An academy was founded at the monastery during king David the Builder by Arsen Ikaltoeli (Ikaltoeli meaning from Ikalto) in the early 12th century. According to a legend the famous 12th century Georgian poet Shota Rustaveli studied there.
After lunch visit the Alaverdi Monastery, a Georgian Eastern Orthodox monastery. While parts of the monastery date back to 6th century, the present-day cathedral was built in the 11th century by Kvirike III of Kakheti, replacing an older church of St. George. The monastery was founded by the Assyrian monk Joseph (Yoseb, Amba) Alaverdeli, who came from Antioch and settled in Alaverdi, a small village and former pagan religious center dedicated to the Moon. At a height of over 55 meters, Alaverdi Cathedral was the tallest religious building in Georgia, until the construction of the Holy Trinity Cathedral of Tbilisi in 2004.
Return to Tbilisi by the Gombori road
Check in to hotel
Transfer to the airport