Blessed – this is how Georgians – with awe, bred for thousands of years – call wine. Culture of wine-growing and winemaking are fundamental basis of identity of this people. No wonder! After all, it was proved that Georgia is indeed the birthplace of wine! It was here that the first wine-growing attempts were made and the process of its fermentation was mastered. Genes of Georgian vines can be traced in DNA of different grape varieties worldwide. It is the Georgian word Gvino that is at the root of all words that denote this noble drink. But even in Georgia, there are places that stand out with its wine tradition. We will go to Kakheti – the main wine producing centre of the country!
Duration: 11 days / 12 nights
Distance: 350 kilometers
Stay: Tbilisi, Signagi, Telavi
Meeting at Tbilisi or Kutaisi airport and transfer to a hotel in Tbilisi; Check in after 15:00.
Overnight in Tbilisi.
10:00 – tour starts from Sameba cathedral and Metekhi Church before continuing to the Abanotubani district famous with Sulphur baths. We will take the cable car to visit Narikala Fortress, explore Shardeni Street with its many souvenir and gift shops. No tour of Tbilisi would be complete without visiting Sioni Cathedral and Anchiskhati basilica. From Freedom square we stroll along Rustaveli Avenue, the main street in Tbilisi. Continue to Jvari Church built in the end of VI century. From here we will enjoy beautiful panorama of Mtskheta, which lies between the peaks and the confluence of two rivers. Drive to Mzkheta old city, visit Svetitskhoveli Cathedral and return to Tbilisi.
Overnight in Tbilisi. Meal: breakfast. Tour route: 100 km / 60 miles
09:00 – Driving towards the Caucasus Mountains, we will make a stop on the bank of the Zhinvali reservoir and visit Ananuri castle. Continuing upwards to the alpine ski resort at Gudauri, we will follow the old Georgian Military road through Cross Pass to arrive in Stephantsminda, here we will enjoy view from Gergeti church. After exotic lunch in a local family, return to Tbilisi hotel.
Overnight in Tbilisi. Meal: breakfast, lunch. Tour route: 350 km / 220 miles
09:00 – Drive to fortified city of Signagi which is surrounded with a wall with 28 watch towers, visit convent of Bodbe, the territory of the monastery offers spectacular views of the land of the best Georgian wines – Alazani Valley with peaks of the Greater Caucasus towering behind it. After Bodbe we continue to the tunnel winery at Khareba to taste Kakhetian wines made according local traditions in Kvevri. Visit Gremi fortress and continue to Telavi, visit the old town, check in at hotel.
Overnight in Kakheti province. Meal: breakfast. Tour route: 200 km / 125 miles
09:00 – we will start with Telavi food market and continue to Alaverdi Cathedral. Built in the early XI century, it is one of four Great Cathedrals of the country and the highest of the ancient churches of Georgia. Next stop is in the Tsinandali estate – well known for its beauty. Prince Alexander Chavchavadze was a poet and a prominent figure in Georgia. In his home you can find an art gallery and a bar, where you can try Tsinandali – the first Georgian wine produced in accordance with the European technology. Continue visiting Ikalto Academy and Shuamta monastery complex; drive to Tbilisi hotel via beautiful Gombori pass.
Overnight in Tbilisi. Meal: breakfast. Tour route: 200 km / 125 miles
09:00 – Check out from Tbilisi hotel and drive to Georgia’s second large city Kutaisi; first we will visit Uplistsikhe cave town and Stalin’s birth place and Museum in Gori. After arrival in Kutaisi visit Bagrati Temple, church complex of Gelati and Motsameta monastery. Check in to Kutaisi hotel.
Overnight in Kutaisi. Meal: breakfast, diner. Tour route: 240 km / 150 miles
09:00 – Excursion in Kutaisi old Town and depart to Okatse Canyons – natural monument in Village Gordi, which is deep and narrow ravine, in the vicinity of the river Okatse. 2 hour trekking along the canyon through historical forest, where several waterfalls could be found, 780 m length hanging trail with several footsteps finishes with panoramic view. Continue to Svaneti region, highway changes into a serpentine mountain road and the first stop will be Enguri dam, one of the largest dams in the world. Arrival in Mestia – the old capital of Svaneti province famous with its defense towers, they are preserved for several centuries forming an unique landscape of Svaneti villages. Accommodation and diner in Mestia hotel;
Overnight in Svaneti province. Meal: breakfast, diner. Trekking 2 hours. Tour route: 230 km / 145 miles
09:00 – Drive to Ushguli village situated 2200 m. above the sea level, it is the highest mountain settlement in Europe, with the world of ancient homes, old towers and centuries-old customs. Upper Svaneti is a naturally – formed Museum of alpine meadows, wild glaciers, towering mountains and monuments of the middle-ages. Fortified village of Ushguli has been keeping the essence of Svaneti for a thousand year. A local museum will reveal secrets of the patriarchal life of the Svan, while the church of Lamaria of the XII century will enrich your experience with abundance of legends associated with this church. Back to Mestia and diner at the hotel;
Overnight in Svaneti province. Meal: breakfast, diner. Tour route: 100 km / 60 miles
09:00 – By cable car visit Hatsvali Mountain with fascinating 360 panorama of Ushba and Tetnuldi Mountains. Continue the road to Batumi. Arrival and check in to Batumi hotel. Walk along the seaside to visit unique moving statue of Ali and Nino, Georgian Alphabetic Tower, fountain of Chacha, Piazza Square and Europe Square. Free evening in Batumi Boulevard, offering numerous cafes, discos, bike rental, boat ride, singing fountains and souvenir shops.
Overnight in Batumi province. Meal: breakfast. Tour route: 300 km / 190 miles
Free time for leisure at the sea, at 12:00 check out from a hotel, drive towards the Gonio village, at the easternmost outpost of the Roman Empire, visit Apsaros Fortress and drive to Batumi botanical garden. The 113 acres of the green cape and with more than 5000 species of plants from all continents. Trekking through nine floristic sections around 2 hours. Drive to Kutaisi or Tbilisi, according the return flight; accommodation;
Overnight in Tbilisi. Meal: breakfast. Trekking 2 hours. Tour route: 400 km / 250 miles
Check out from hotel and transfer to airport for departure.