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Discover unspoilt Georgia
With unspoilt scenery and ancient history, Georgia is a joy to discover. At the crossroads of Europe and Asia, between Russia, Turkey, Armenia and Azerbaijan, Georgia is known as the Pearl of the Caucasus. Seemingly untouched by time, you'll find some of the oldest churches in Christendom, ancient cave towns and thousand-year-old vineyards. You'll also enjoy food and wine influenced by the country's neighbours.
Beginning your trip in the capital, Tbilisi, you'll love wandering cobbled streets and watching the world go by from its many cafes. You'll then head to the 6th-century Davit Gareja cave complex, and a local family will cook you a traditional lunch. Crossing the picturesque Gombori Pass, you'll follow the Georgian Military Road to Stepantsminda, in the heart of Kazbegi National Park, and walk through woods and valleys to the spectacular Gergeti Trinity Church high up in the mountains. You'll also see Jvari Monastery, Svetitskhoveli Cathedral, Rabati Castle and Khertvisi fortress, plus the 12th-century 'cave town' of Vardzia, which is carved into the hillside. You'll also take a pottery masterclass, sample local wines, explore busy markets and see traditional methods of making cheese and bread.
Reasons to book
Stay in Tbilisi
Unique foodie experiences
Travel in a small group
- Stay in historic Tbilisi.
- Explore cave monasteries and towns hewn into cliff faces.
- Discover the remote desert monastery complex at Davit Gareja.
- Soak up the scenery in the Caucasus Mountains.
- Spend the night in guesthouses and three- and four-star hotels on a full-board basis**.
- Enjoy a wine-tasting, experience a home-cooked meal with locals and watch a Georgian cooking demonstration.
- Make the most of the services of a Wild Frontiers tour leader, local guides and drivers.
- Contribute to carbon-offsetting via Eco Act, if booking international flights with Wild Frontiers.
Day1Tour begins in TbilisiTbilisi, Georgia
Those on the suggested group flight will be met at the airport in the early hours of day 2 and transferred to the joining hotel for immediate check-in. For those arriving earlier, rooms will be available from mid-afternoon.
After an initial meeting this morning at the hotel we will head out on foot for a city tour that will focus on Old Tbilisi. From the 13th century Metekhi Church overlooking the river Mtkvari River we'll head to the Sulphur Baths, the synagogue, the Anchiskhati Church and the Sioni Cathedral which houses the cross of St. Nino, the woman who brought Christianity to Georgia back in the 4th century. All these sights are in close proximity making for a very pleasant walk. You'll then have the rest of the day to soak up the café culture of Tbilisi, relax and shop.
Day3Narikala Fortress and potteryTbilisi, Georgia
Exploring more of Georgia's fascinating capital this morning we'll first head up to the 4th century Narikala Fortress, one of the oldest buildings in Tbilisi and which offers stunning panoramas over the city. After a cable car journey down and a visit to the acclaimed National Museum, with its memorable gold collection, we'll then make for our masterclass in traditional pottery-making. Here we'll observe the age-old skills in practice and have the chance to try our own hand at this ancient craft.
Day4Davit Gareja monasteryDavit Gareja, Georgia
In the morning we travel to Davit Gareja cave complex (6th century) located in a stark, semi-desert landscape. After seeing Lavra Monastery we walk up to Udabno Monastery to enjoy its wonderful painted caves and dramatic views across to Azerbaijan. For lunch we will enjoy a picnic before continuing on to Telavi. We will stop along the way to visit a unique 300-year-old wine cellar, where the wine is produced and stored, and we'll learn more about the wine-making process and sample several Kakhetian wines. We will then end the day with a visit to a local family and enjoy a delicious home-cooked dinner, where we can see how Georgian bread is baked and sample the famous Georgian cheese and the local sour yoghurt - Matsoni.
Day5Telavi - StepantsmindaStepantsminda, Georgia
Before leaving Telavi we will visit the local market before heading on to the New Shuamta Nunnery and a local qvevri maker (traditional earthenware vessels used in wine-making). After this we will drive to Khevi region via the picturesque Gombori Pass. We will stop at Ananuri to visit two fortified churches beautifully situated on the Jinvali water reservoir. As we follow the Georgian Military Highway we will enjoy wonderful views of the Great Caucasus Mountains as we make our way to the beautiful setting of Stepantsminda in the heart of Kazbegi National Park.
Today we set out on foot for a three-hour walk up through beautiful valleys and woodland to Gergeti Trinity Church (14th century) located at 2170m. Weather permitting you may catch a glimpse of one of the highest glaciers in the Caucasus on Mt Kazbegi (5047m). After lunch in Kazbegi we then drive through the dramatic Dariali Gorge, where we have the opportunity to walk to Gveleti waterfalls and visit a local master who will tell us more about Georgian Teka (felt) making. End the day with a cooking demonstration in one of the local houses.
Day7Mtskheta - AkhaltsikheMtskheta, Georgia
This morning we set off for the ancient capital and religious centre of Georgia, Mtskheta, where we will visit Jvari Monastery (6th century) and Svetitskhoveli Cathedral (11th century), both of which are UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Near to Mtskheta we will visit a well-respected winery for a wine-tasting experience different to that we had in Kakheti, before continuing on to the town of Akhaltsikhe.
Day8Akhaltsikhe – VardziaAkhaltsikhe, Georgia
This morning we will visit the beautiful citadel of Rabat, after which we will continue on to Vardzia, stopping along the way to visit the Khertvisi Fortress (10th century). Vardzia is a magnificent 12th century cave town carved out of the hillside in the Golden Age of Georgia, and is one of Georgia's highlights. The cave complex, which stretches over half a kilometre, once consisted of almost 3000 caves and was one of the best examples of Georgia's renaissance. The complex also includes dwellings quarters, refectories, wine cellars, and small hall-type churches, one of which is even hewn out in rock with some stunning 12th century frescoes to admire. You'll stay overnight in a guesthouse nearby.
Day9Vardzia - TbilisiVardzia, Georgia
As we head back towards Tbilisi, we will stop at Gori, located in the Kartli region, the birthplace of the most famous Georgian of all times - Josef Stalin. We will take some time to visit the surreal Stalin Museum, his house and private carriage. Back in Tbilisi this afternoon we'll have the chance to paint our completed works from the pottery masterclass we visited at the beginning of the tour and then have some free time to explore at leisure.
Day10Tour ends in TbilisiTbilisi, Georgia
The tour will end this morning at your Tbilisi hotel.