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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 in the direction of Ananuri. Ananuri Fortress Complex is a fortress of the feudal era (XVI-XVIII centuries) near the village of Ananuri. It is located on the Georgian military road, at the beginning of Zhinvali reservoir, at 900 meters above sea level. The buildings included in the complex are: upper and lower fortress, fence, towers, Church of the Mother of God, Church of the Deity, “Mkurnali” Church, bell tower, octagonal cell and reservoirs. Ananuri Architectural Ensemble is one of the best monuments of the late feudal era of Georgia. This area (village) has been inhabited since ancient times. However, no traces of early buildings have survived. After the creation of Aragvi Saeristavo, it was included in this Saeristavo. Here was the main fortress of the Aragvi nobility. Its strategic importance increased even more after the weakening of the central government in Georgia (XVII-XVIII centuries). It was the residence of the nobles of Aragvi. The strengthening and restoration of the Ananuri fortress also belongs to this period. After Ananuri, departure in the direction of Kazbegi. Visit to Gergeti Trinity. The exact date of construction of the Gergeti Temple is unknown (However, according to ancient sources and architectural styles, the Trinity was built in the XIV century during the ascension of the Georgian Church), there is no information about the builders and its construction as well. In its name, the term “Gergeti” is attributed to the location where the temple was erected. Earlier, the village of Gergeti was cultivated on the left side of the river Tergi, and on the right side -the administrative center of the historic gorge- Stepantsminda. The temple is built on the left side, on the territory of Gergeti settlement. In the last third of the XX century, in 1966, the village of Gergeti joined Kazbegi, but the old name of the church remained unchanged, and it is still called the Gergeti Trinity. The Trinity Church of Gergeti, with its history and location, is the face of Georgia – a Christian island hidden in the most beautiful nature. Afterwards return to Kazbegi and dinner. After dinner departure to Mtskheta and visit Jvari Monastery. 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. Then return to the hotel. Overnight at the hotel in Tbilisi.
After breakfast departure from Tbilisi in the direction of Kakheti. You will visit the city of love Sighnaghi, which is surrounded by a protective fence. The city of Sighnaghi is beautiful with its architectural form and excellent views of the Alazani Valley and the Caucasus Mountains. It is also called the city-museum. It is determined by archeological excavations that this area played an important role since the Paleolithic, Neolithic and Bronze Ages. The territory of Sighnaghi district was formerly known as Kambechovani, and later it was called Kiziki. After the recognition of Christianity as the state religion in Georgia, this side acquired great importance. St. Nino was executed and buried here. Sighnaghi is a word of Turkish origin and means shelter. City tour and lunch. After visiting Sighnaghi, drive to Tsinandali village. In Tsinandali you will find Alexander Chavchavadze House-Museum, beautiful garden of Tsinandali and the 19th century unique wine cellar. The Tsinandali Palace belonged to Garsevan Chavchavadze – Ambassador of Georgia in Russia during King Erekle II. The palace was inherited by his only son, Alexander Chavchavadze, the founder of Georgian romanticism, poet and public figure. Chavchavadze Palace in Tsinandali was built in 1886 and is now is a House-Museum of Alexander Chavchavadze. There are preserved personal belongings of Chavchavadze family members. The Tsinandali decorative garden is the first European type recreation zone in Georgia and the park covers 18 hectares. Alexander Chavchavadze brought European landscape architects to build it. It is unique with exotic varieties and planning. You will also meet exotic plants from China, America, Japan, Mediterranean Sea and other countries. There you will see the valley of love in Tsinandali garden. According to legend, if the couple are able to walk in this avenue with closed eyes, their love will be happy. Wine storage of Tsinandali is located on the territory of the park and it is one of the first cellars in Georgia, which was built in 1835. That was the time when Georgian wine was bottled for the first time. Alexander Chavchavadze is the first person in Georgian history who bottled Georgian wine made in European style. In the Tsinandali cellar are preserved 16,500 bottles of wine bottled in various countries. Wine tasting in Tsinandali Wine Cellar. Continue our tour and visit local wine cellar and wine factory “Shumi”. Wine museum and wine tasting. Afterwards drive from “Shumi” to Telavi. Check-In hotel. Overnight in Telavi.
After breakfast starts our tour from city center. Here you will learn about the sights of the city: the Nine Century plane tree and House-museum of King Erekle II (Erekle’s palace). It Founded in 1927 as a museum of local lore. The architectural complex of “Batonis Tsikhe” is a castle which still remains as the only Royal Palace in Georgia. The complex is a remarkable monument of cultural heritage with its architectural-historical features. Museum complex embraces: XVII-XVIII c.c Royal Palace of the king of Kakheti, X-XVIII c.c churches of the court of the king, the remains of the philosophical and theological schools founded by Erekle, XVII centuries’ King’s Bath, tunnel paved on the territory of the palace – XVIII century, unique gates of the East and West Side. In the museum there are also preserved: numismatic material, early medieval sarcophagus, late medieval armor, collections of XVII-XIX c.c. copper household objects, weapons, Khevsureti clothes, rich collections of rugs, manuscripts, books printed in King Erekles’ press, interesting patterns of art and etc. After visiting King Palace drive to local restaurant and dinner in Telavi. After dinner drive to Alaverdi. Alaverdi Cathedral and Monastery is one of the largest church buildings in Georgia. Its height including dome is above 50 meters. The complex includes buildings: Alaverdi St. George Cathedral, defensive wall, chapel, Peikar-Khan’s palace, wine cellar and bath. Alaverdi Monastery was founded by Joseph Alaverdeli, one of the Assyrian fathers in the middle of the VI century. At the beginning of the XI century, Kvirike the King of Kakheti built a cathedral (which is known by the name of Alaverdi) at the site of the little church of St. George. Alaverdi was one of the most outstanding chapels of medieval Georgia. After visiting Alaverdi drive to local wineries and wine cellars and wine tasting. Then return to the hotel. Overnight in Telavi.
After breakfast departure from the hotel to Gremi. The history of Gremi, as a city, begins from XV century, when the first king of Kakheti George (1466-1476) turn it into the capital of Kakheti Kingdom. This status was maintained by Gremi for over two centuries. There were active bookish activities here and caravan roads as well. That is why it became the center of political, economic and cultural life of Kakheti. The architectural complex of Gremi consists of various buildings. There are the Archangel domed church, a three-story palace-bell tower, agricultural buildings, a curtain wall and the secret exit to the river Intsobi. There are also baths, market and caravansary. The most visible part of Gremi is so called The Archangels’ complex, which is on the end of the rocky ridge and consists of a high wall of domed church and palace-bell tower. There are 2 056 exhibits in the museum. Some of the items found in Gremi are kept in the National Museum of Georgia. Museum-Reserve also represents a series of paintings- portraits of kings. After visiting Gremi complex, drive to Nekresi Monastery. Nekresi Monastery Complex and urban archaeology founded by King Pharnajom (II-I centuries BC). In the IV century AD, king Thrdat built a church on this place, where one of the Assyrian fathers, Abibus settled there in the VI century. On this time period Nekresi Episcopacy (existed until the XIX century) established. Nekresi immediately was given a great importance. The political and cultural influence of Kartli was spread over the mountainous region of Eastern Caucasus. Bishops of Nekresi took part in writing activities as well. After visiting Nekresi drive to Kvareli. Dinner in Kvareli at local restaurant. After dinner visit to Ilia Chavchavadze Houss-Museum. Museum complex includes family castle and house of outstanding Georgian poet and public figure Ilia Chavchavadze (1837-1907) and exposition hall as well. The museum houses memorial objects of the poet and his family, poet’s manuscripts, sets of established by him periodicals, family coat of arms, seal, household objects, XVIII-XIX c.c. weapons, furniture, manuscripts of Georgian and foreign public figures, paintings inspired by the poet’s works (by H. Hrinewski, L. Gudiashvili, K. Guruli, S. Meskhi, T. Mirzashvili), rich collection of photographs and archive documents, collection of poet’s works editions on various languages. Afterwards drive to local winery Khareba. Winery Khareba owns an unique and rare wine cellar located in Kvareli, in the Alazani Valley. Carved inside the Caucasus mountains and opened in 1962 for the OIV World Congress, the cellar/tunnel is 7,7 kilometers long. The best wines of the Kakheti region have been stored and aged here for decades. The tunnel preserves a natural temperature of 12-14° Celcius with a humidity rate of 70%; the ideal conditions for wine preservation. Wine tasting and masterclasses: bread baking in Tone (clay pot), “churchkhela” making. After visiting Khareba departure to Tbilisi and Check-In hotel. Overnight 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. Afterwards continue our tour to Ateni Gorge. Visit local wineries. Wine tasting and masterclasses: bread baking in Tone (clay pot), “churchkhela” making. Dinner at the local restaurant and return to the hotel. Overnight in Tbilisi.
After breakfast departure from your hotel to Tbilisi International Airport.