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Arrival in Tbilisi. You will be meet your guide and transferred to the hotel. Check-in at noon. Free time 1 hour. Afrerwards start your journey in Georgia with Tbilisi city tour at Metekhi church and the monument to Vakhtang Gorgasali, the legendary founder of Tbilisi. Take a cable car to Narikala Fortress to enjoy breathtaking 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. Cross the Bridge of Peace to Rike Park. In the evening, visit a local restaurant to taste dishes of traditional Georgian cuisine. Overnight at the hotel in Tbilisi.
After breakfast departure from Tbilisi to Uplistsikhe. It is a rock-hewn town, one of the oldest settlements in the Caucasus and a city center. Nowadays, it is a historical-architectural museum-reserve of Uplistsikhe. There are streets, squares, a sewer system, four gates, a secret tunnel that leads to the river Mtkvari, a fence, and so on. Nowadays, it is considered to be an open-air museum. In the written sources it is first mentioned in the VII century. Archaeological and architectural monuments are preserved in Uplistsikhe and its surroundings, the oldest of which dates back to the Early Bronze Age and belongs to the Mtkvari-Araksi culture. After Uplistsikhe back to visit Jvari Monastery- VI century church and monastery, located in the east of Mtskheta, at the mouth of the river Mtkvari and Aragvi, on the rocky mountain peak. Jvari Monastery is included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. Upon adoption of Christianity, King Mirian raised a high wooden cross on this territory, which was worshiped by other Caucasian Christian nations. Guaram, the leader of Kartli, built a small church next to the cross nowadays known as “a small cross”. At the end of VII and VII century, Guaram’s son – Stepamoz I built a big temple next to a small cathedral, nowadays known as Jvari monastery. The wooden cross got covered up by a temple. The Mtskheta church of Jvari is the first sample of the cross-shaped type churches, it is a new thing in the architecture. Other structures around the monastery (tower, fence) are much older. On the facades of the temple, you can see religious and historical persons, there are old inscriptions too. Afterwards come down and visit Mtskheta city. Town is restored in historical-architectural style. Here you will find houses, restaurants, bazaar, souvenirs and many touristic places. But most important is Svetitskhoveli Cathedral, located in city center. It is main patriarchal cathedral of the Georgian Orthodox Church, the Mother Cathedral of Georgia, the place of enthronement (enthronement) of the Georgian Catholicos-Patriarchs, the burial of many kings of Georgia, their family members and patriarchs from the great cathedrals. Monument of Georgian architecture of the XI century, one of the four great cathedrals (Oshki, Bagrati Temple, Alaverdi). Svetitskhoveli is the largest historical church building among the survived ones in Georgia. It has been the religious center of Christian Georgia for centuries. On the advice of St. Nino, King Mirian, who converted to Christianity in the 4th century, built the first church here that has not survived and reach us. In 1970-1971, during the repair and restoration works (supervised architect V. Tsintsadze), traces of its foundation were found. Also, the plan of the basilica built here was completely outlined, which Vakhtang Gorgasali in the second half of the 5th century built here, after the demolition of Nino’s Church. The Catholicos of Kartli Melkisedek built a new church on the site of the damaged basilica in the XI th century. He invited Arsukisdze as an architect. Construction began in 1010 and was completed in 1029. During its existence, Svetitskhoveli has been renovated many times. In 1283 the temple was damaged by an earthquake. In the 14th century, Giorgi Brtskinvale restored the dome of the temple. The same century, the cathedral was damaged by the invaders. At the beginning of the 15th century, King Alexander the Great rebuilt the temple. In 1656, under the leadership of King Rostom and Queen Mary, the dome was restored. Dinner in Mtskheta. After dinner departure to Tbilisi and return to the hotel. Overnight at the hotel in Tbilisi.
After breakfast departure from Tbilisi to Kutaisi and visit Gelati complex. Gelati Monastery was founded by David the Builder in 1106. Here the greatest king of Georgia is buried. The ensemble includes the main church of the Assumption of the Virgin, St. George’s Church, St. Nicholas Church, bell tower, academy and fence. Gelati Monastery was the largest cultural and educational center, at different period. David could not finish the construction of the monastery and his son Demeter continued the work. In the XII-XV centuries the Gelati Monastery was granted full autonomy, recognized only the supreme right of the king, even the Catholicos-Patriarch of Georgia had no governmental power. After the political collapse of Georgia, Gelati Monastery passed into the hands of the kings of western Georgia. On November 23, 1510, it was burned by the Ottoman army invading Imereti. The kings of Imereti Bagrat III and George II restored the Gelati Monastery and donated new lands. Bagrat III was called the “second builder” of Gelati. In the second half of the XVI century, the residence of the Catholicos-Patriarch of Western Georgia was moved from Bichvinta to Gelati. From the XVIII century, large-scale restoration works were carried out in Gelati Monastery by George VI, Alexander V, Solomon I, Solomon II and the bishops of Gelati. After the unification of the Kingdom of Imereti with the Russian Empire, the monastery was transformed from a church seminary into a state institution. Gelati Monastery owned a rich collection of manuscripts and engraved works of art that are now preserved in museums. Gelati complex is included in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Motsameta monastery is a complex of monasteries near Gelati. Its name, whose meaning is the “Place of the Martyrs”, is related to the brothers of a noble family of Argveti, David and Constantine, who organized a rebellion against the occupying Arabs in the 8th century. When the rebellion failed, they were captured and then they were promised forgiveness in exchange for converting to Islam. None accepted the offer, and they were later tortured and killed, and their bodies were thrown into the river. The water turned red and in memory of this event, the river was called Ckalcitela, which means red water. According to the story, the brothers’ remains were captured by the lions and taken to the hill, where the Gelati monastery is located. Later, the Orthodox Church of Georgia recognized them as Saints, and in the 11th century, the king Bagrat IV of Georgia founded a temple there. Officials from the Bolshevik secret police in 1923 took the remains of David and Constantine from the Gelati monastery to the museum in Kutaisi, but this caused such a scandal that the relics were delivered quickly and are still in the monasteries today. According to legend, there is a secret passage between the Motsameta monasteries and the Gelati monastery, used during the wars. Dinner at local restaurant in Kutaisi. Afterwards drive to city center and visit Bagrati Cathedral. Bagrati Cathedral was built in 1003, during the reign of Bagrat III. Bagrati Temple is an important monument of Georgian culture, both in terms of architectural solution and symbolic significance. It is a symbol of the unity and strength of our country. “Matiane Kartlisai” tells us that Bagrat III gathered representatives of different parts of Georgia and invited guests from abroad for the celebration of the blessing of Bagrat III temple. “All the rulers, the Catholics, the priests, and the heads of all the monasteries, and all the nobles of the upper and lower kingdom of the land, and all the other nations, were gathered together “. Doing so, he gave Bagrati Cathedral general national significance. It should be noted that the inscription near the north window of the building, which is the oldest example of the use of Arabic numerals in Georgia, gives the exact date of construction of the church: “The church was built in 223”. If we put this date in the Christian calendar, it turns out to be 1003 years. Until the end of the XVII century, the monument was safely preserved. In 1692, the Ottomans, entered from Akhaltsikhe, captured the Kutaisi fortress and blew up the Bagrati temple during the battle. They also seized the wealth of the church. In 1770, King Solomon I of Imereti recaptured the fortress and liberated the Bagrati Temple from the Ottomans, although the monument was further damaged during the battle. Nowadays, the church is completely restored. The Bagrati Temple has been on the UNESCO World Heritage List since 1994, but was removed from the list after restoration. After visiting Bagrati Cathedral departure to the hotel and Chek-In. Overnight in Kutaisi.
After breakfast departure from Kutaisi to Tskaltubo. Natural monument Prometheus Cave is 1,8 km and is formed within the depth of 40 meters. The Prometheus Cave is a notable beautiful natural monument of the world. It is about 60-70 million years old. This beautifully shaped karst cave with stunning strips of stalactites and stalagmites once again will convince you of the enormous power of nature and will travel you in the fairy world. In the cave are found 22 halls, from which for tourists is opened only 6. In the cave, it is possible to walk through the length of 1420 meters, see the halls and travel by boat on the river flow. In the Prometheus Cave, you will meet a lot of real masterpieces of nature – stalactites, and stalagmites, beautiful forms of it leave the impression of the fairy environment. Also, When walking in the cave, there are “petrification waterfalls,” “hanging stone curtains,” helictites and etc. After visiting Ptometheus Cave drive to Martvili. Martvili Canyon – is the monument of nature. This monument of nature represents the ravine, created by the river Abasha, cut out through the limestone rock sides. The length of the canyon is 2400 meters, and the depth of carving is 20-30 meters, and as for the width, – 5-10 meters. In the middle reaches of the canyon, there are arising 12-15 meters long waterfalls, with a small falling. One section is highly distinguished, as it is really charming. It is called Ophutskhole, which is also known as the “Dadiani Bathe” as well. From the entrance starts the tournament footway path, which is cobbled with stones and in total, is 700 meters long. It leads you to the Dadiani historical by-path. There are placed two bridges, 3 panorama platforms, and a huge, chalk-stoned, man-made historical, 30 stepped stairway. You can also take a walk or row down the river Abasha. This “trip” is about 300 meters long interspace, (one way) and take pleasure in the extremely beautiful and pretty views of the river and canyon. Afterwards drive to local restaurant and dinner. After dinner visit to Martvili Monastery. Martvili Monastery Complex is early medieval Christian church and monastery complex in Georgia. The monastery is enclosed. The main temple is named after the Assumption of the Virgin. And the Megrelian name Chkondidi originated from “Didi Chkoni” – big oak. In the past, the high hill of Chvenia, on which the monastery stands now, was decorated with millennial trees of “Chkoni” (oak). The buildings included in the Martvili monastery complex are a fence, rectangular storeroom, main temple, Chikvanebi church, bell tower, chapel. In the Middle Ages, Martvili was a large cultural and educational center, where many famous scribes worked and many unique manuscripts were kept. The central temple is cross-domed. The facades of the temple are carved. The figures and plant ornament form a whole picture and depict the scenes from the Old Testament and the Gospels. The paintings of the XIV-XVI and XVII centuries are preserved in the temple. Next to the main temple is a two-story church of the X century. To the west, near the main temple, stands a high pillar on which is the church-room of the pillarist. The last pillarist monk lived here in the early 20th century. Return to the hotel. Overnight in Kutaisi.
After breakfast departure from Kutaisi to Mestia. On the way visit to Enguri Dam which is a hydroelectric dam on the Enguri River in Georgia. Currently it is the world’s second highest concrete arch dam with a height of 271.5 metres. Construction of the Enguri dam began in 1961. The dam became temporarily operational in 1978, and was completed in 1987. Continue tour to Mestia. Dinner at the local restaurant. Afterwards visit to Svaneti Historical-Ethnographic Museum. It was founded in 1936. Museum includes a diverse exhibition featuring almost all fields of Svaneti ethnocultural heritage and handicrafts. The visit to the museum begins with the introduction of archeological material dating back to the III millennium BC. It is followed by a numismatic cabinet. Treasure of Christian art of IX-XVIII centuries, exposition of printed books, religious and secular manuscripts of IX-XIX centuries. The temporary exhibition space of the museum is dedicated to local and international expositions. The museum preserves the materials obtained as a result of archeological excavations on the territory of Svaneti region, unique works of Georgian engraving art and icon painting (icon of the Savior of the X century, icons of the first half of the XI century with the image of Christ enthroned and icon of St. George of Asani, icon of forty martyrs of the XII century and icon of the Crucifixion, painted icons of the Virgin Mary of IX-X centuries and others, ritual items – long-handled fans of IX-XIV centuries and others, ancient manuscripts (XI-XIII c), samples of early and late medieval military equipment, iron, silver, copper handicrafts, jewelry, tableware, textiles, ethnographic items depicting the life of old Svaneti and others. Afterwards check-in hotel. Overnight in Mestia.
After breakfast departure from Kutaisi to Village Ushguli. During the trip you can enjoy the beautiful views of nature – great mountains, rivers, waterfalls, canyons. On the way you can visit Love Tower which has a great history. Then continue tour to Village Ushguli. The altitude of Ushguli community varies from 2060 to 2200 metres. According to these statistics , Ushguli was considered to be the highest settlement until 2014. But in census of 2014 in the village Bochorna Akhmeta municipality (Georgia), only one permanent inhabitant was recorded. After that Bochorna became Europe’s highest settlement. Ushguli is connected to Mestia and Lentekhi with roads having intrastate importance. The road which connects Ushguli to Lentekhi passes through the Ughviri Pass, which is open only for three months in a year, the rest of the time it is covered with snow. In the area where Ushguli is located, there is a high risk of avalanche. In 1987, because of the great avalanche, locals became the ecomigrants. Nowadays approximately 70 household leave in the community. Close to Ushguli in the beginnings of Enguri flows the mineral water. One of the villages of Ushguli community, Chajashi, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Typical Svan defensive towers are common here. Their number is currently up to 30. Visit to Ushguli Archaeological Museum and Lamaria Monastery. Lamaria of Ushguli is a church of the Mother of God. The church has a fence around it with a fortified tower. It is a basilica-type building of the IX-X centuries, with a three-sided, projecting apse. The church has an entrance from the west, and the chapel- from the south-west. The iconostasis is made of stone, the chambers of which rest on the stone pillars starting from the floor and are decorated with plain pillars. Ushguli Lamaria is one of the most important and highly cultural-historical monuments of Svaneti. Several layers of paintings are preserved in the temple. The iconostasis painting is contemporaneous with the construction of the church. And the plot images of the interior, fragments of which appear under the later layers of the painting, date to the end of the X century and the beginning of the XI century. The church was last painted in the XIII century. Dinner at the local restaurant in Ushguli. Afterwards hike to the headwaters of Enguri river. Return to the hotel. Overnight in Mestia.
After breakfast departure from Mestia to Zugdidi. Dadiani Palace was the residency of Dadiani, princes of Samegrelo. It was built in17th century by the prince of Odishi, Levan Dadiani. It is located in the center of Zugdidi. Nowadays, Dadiani Palace is a historical and architectural state museum. It is part of the palace complex of Samegrelo, which also includes a palace for Ekaterine Chavchavadze-Dadiani, a residence of her son Niko Dadiani, a church, and an adjacent botanical garden. The Queen’s Palace was reconstructed in the1860s by german architect Jacob Rice. Before that, It was a palace of Pupi, the sister of the Megrelian prince. Rice built arches on the second floor and added wide wings to it. Niko Dadiani’s Palace was built in the 1880s by the Russian architect Leonid Vasiliev. It is a two-storey residence with a stone balcony and the biggest ballroom in Georgia. The museum was founded in April 1921 on the basis of the cultural heritage of Megrelian prince David’s son Levan Dadiani, taken from the treasury and the churches and monasteries of Samegrelo. Dinner at the local restaurant in Zugdidi. Continue tour to Batumi. Batumi is a wonderful seaside city with glittering beaches and attractive surroundings. The territory of Batumi was even populated in the Bronze Age. There was life during the antiquity period here, and the population had trade links with neighboring and distant countries. Ancient history, light and dynamic architecture, sunny seaside, boulevard, Batumi Botanical Garden, delicious Adjarian cuisine and many entertaining places, cultural or leisure destinations make this city incredible and it attracts many visitors. It is very popular not only across the republic but also across the region. This sunny, seaside city is unimaginable without a boulevard, fountains, modern architecture, yachts and the landscape of sunset. You should start visiting Batumi by exploring its streets and the architecture of the XIX-XX centuries. You can visit all the main religious buildings (Orthodoxy, Catholicism, Islam, Judaism). After Batumi City Tour visit to Batumi Dolphinarium. Dolphinarium is one of the most favorite places of Batumi visitors. It is always crowded. You will find wonderful performances of dolphins here. The Batumi Dolphinarium was one of the largest dolphinariums in the world. Dolphinarium is a modern design architectural building, which is equipped with the newest technology, marine life opportunities for sea animals and amazing performances. After Dolphins Show drive to the hotel and Check-In. Overnight in Batumi.
After breakfast departure from Batumi to Gonio. Gonio Fortress, Apsaros – (1st Century) Historical Fortress in Adjara, Khelvachauri Municipality, seaside resort Gonio. The Gonio-Apsaros archaeological-architectural museum-reserve is located in the northern part of historical Chaneti, at the confluence of River Chorokhi to the black sea, 12 km far from the southern Batumi. The Gonio-Apsaros Fortress had unique strategic importance: it protected the entrances of the Chorokhi and Adjaristskali valleys, connecting inner regions of southwestern Georgia with the Black Sea coast. Because of its location, Gonio fortress became one of the pillars of the Roman Empire and then for Byzantine and Ottoman too. The Gonio fortress has been a museum-reserve since 2010. There are exhibits dated back from the early years of the nineteenth century to the 80’s. Afterwards drive to Petra. Petra Fortress – a historic fortress-town in Adjara, Kobuleti municipality, in the territory of the village Tsikhisdziri. The castle was built by John Strathegos in 535. “Petra” is the Byzantine name of this fortress and “Castle of Kajeti” is Georgian one. It is supposed this is a castle which is mentioned in the poem of Rustaveli “The knight in panther’s skin.” The fortress-town is located on the Black Sea coast, 440 meters above sea level, 9 km from Kobuleti. Dinner at local restaurant. After dinner visit to the greenery of Batumi Botanical Garden, with its diverse vegetation and beautiful sceneries, will definitely give you tranquility and admiration. Batumi Botanical Garden located on the coastline between the Green Cape and the River Chaqvistskali mouth. The garden is about 1 km southwest of the coastline and it spreads from 0-220 meters above sea level. Batumi Botanical Garden is one of the largest and richest botanical gardens in the world, it is situated on 111 hectares and was set up in 1912. The garden includes the Colchis Forest Reserve and many different floristic landscapes. There are many species and varieties of plants in the garden. The botanical garden is the best place for nature lovers. There is no similar botanical garden in the world in the sense that the species of plants derived from completely different climatic and landscape zones coexist in Batumi Botanical Garden. In this magical garden, both the palm of the Canary Finch and the Japanese Sakura are equally flourished. After Batumi Botanical Garden return to the hotel. Overnight in Batumi.
After breakfast departure from Batumi to Tbilisi International Airport.