Georgia Explorer Duration: 8 Days / 7 nights

TOUR HIGHLIGHTS:

We journey to the heart of the Caucasus Mountains and enjoy the magnificent scenery of Mt Kazbek and its eternal snows. Then we travel to western part of the country and visit the sites in and around Kutaisi, including Gelati Monastery. Our journey will continue to Svaneti. Svaneti province is located in the heart of the Central Caucasus surrounded by mighty 5000 metre peaks. We explore the remote villages lying at their feet, admire their unique towers and discovery of ancient local cultures preserved for thousands of years. Finally we explore Tbilisi.

Day 1: Arrival in Tbilisi.
Arrive in Tbilisi airport. Transfer to Hotel.

Day 2: Tbilisi – Mtskheta – Kazbegi - Gudauri
We start our trip by driving to Mtskheta. Mtskheta, the ancient capital of Georgia is situated 20km from Tbilisi. Historians date the town back to the 2nd millennium B.C. Mtskheta was the capital of Georgian Kingdom of Iberia between 500BC - 500AD. Here Georgians accepted Christianity in the beginning of the 4th century.
The town and its architectural monuments are listed as the World's Cultural Heritage sites by UNESCO. Visit Jvari Monastery (6th c.) and Svetitskhoveli Cathedral (11th c.).

We continue driving along the Georgian Military Highway, the historical road leading north into the Caucasian Mountains. It passes the spectacular Ananuri fortress (16th – 17th cc), where we have excursion. Then we drive along the sides of the dramatic Aragvi River Valley up to the Jvari Pass (2395m) and then down into Kazbegi (1700m).
Surrounded by gigantic mountains Kazbegi is a picturesque settlement overlooked by the biggest of all - Mount Kazbek (5047m) - one of the six 5000 metre peaks of the Caucasus. According to the legend, Prometheus was chained on the mount Kazbek. Walk up to the Sameba Church beautifully situated on the hill above the hill and providing splendid views of Mt. Kazbek. Overnight in Gudauri (2000m). (B. D).

Day 3: Kazbegi - Gori & Uplistsikhe - Gelati Temple – Kutaisi.
In the morning we again take trip along the Georgian Military Highway and then to the western part of the country. En route we visit Gori. Today the town is mainly known for its huge Fortress and as a birthplace of J. Stalin. Drive to Uplistsikhe cave town dated to 7th c. BC.

We arrive in Kutaisi. Kutaisi, dated back to the Argonauts times (13th -12th cc. B.C), was the capital of old Colchida and later of Western Georgia. Visit Gelati monastery, founded in the 12th century by the most famous Georgian King David the IV, the Builder (1073 – 1125). Here he founded an academy and monastery, which became the foremost centre of education in Georgia. The unique murals of saints and Georgian monarchs are inside the main Virgin Cathedral. This site is included in the World's Cultural Heritage of UNESCO. Overnight in Kutaisi or in Tskaltubo at the hotel. (B. D).

Day 4: Kutaisi – Mestia, Svaneti.
Morning drive to Zugdidi passing Colkhida lowlands with nice villages. from Zugdidi we journey to Svaneti along the Enguri river valley. We have photo stops and have views of the summits. Through the mountain road we get to Mestia (1400m), the provincial centre of Svaneti. Overnight in Mestia at the hotel. (B. D).

Day 5: Mestia – Ushguli – Mestia.
Mestia is a small provincial settlement surrounded by huge Caucasian Mountains, the most impressive of which are Mountains Ushba (4710m) and Tetnuldi (4975m) some of the most severe and beautiful summits of the Caucasus. Drive to Ushguli, (2400m). On the way visit Nakipari church (10th – 11th cc.). Arrive Ushguli. Visit the village, its medieval towers, and Lamaria Church. Enjoy the views of Mt. Shkhara (5201m), the highest summit in Georgia. Take easy walk towards in the valley to the foot of Mt. Shkhara. Return Ushguli. Drive back to Mestia. Visit traditional Svanetian house. Overnight in Mestia at the hotel. (B. D.).

Day 6: Mestia – Tbilisi.
Today we have a long trip back to Tbilisi (520km). Arrive in Tbilisi in the evening hours. Hotel. (B.).

Day 7: Tbilisi.
Tbilisi, capital of Georgia from the 5th century AD, has a long and fascinating history. Founded in the 4th century by King Vakhtang Gorgasali on the site of its warm mineral-water springs – it developed into the main city of the Caucasus. By the 12th century Tbilisi was one of the most important political, economic and cultural centres of the Middle East. It stood as a key stop on the famous Silk Road - right on the border between Europe and Asia (west and east). Tbilisi’s Old Town, the most ancient part of the city, is renowned for its wonderful mix of cultures. The mosque, the synagogue, the Armenian and Roman Catholic churches mingle harmoniously with the splendid Georgian churches and architecture. The wooden houses with open, carved balconies seem to welcome every visitor. The balmy sulfur baths have hosted poets, writers, musicians, kings down through the centuries.

Full-day city tour of Tbilisi with visits to the Old Town, Metekhi Temple, 12th c. “Abanotubani” – the baths area, Narikala, - The main fortress of Tbilisi. Walking through narrow streets, along which some carpet and souvenir shops are situated. We will continue excursion in the old town. We visit the Sioni Cathedral 11th c. Anchiskhati Church 6th c. Visit the National Museum. Visit Freedom Square and Rustaveli Avenue, the main street of Tbilisi. We explore other sites of the city including David Agmashenebeli Avenue or the Funicular. Hotel. (B).

Day 8: Departure.
Transfer to the airport. End of the tour.

Included in the Tour Price:
Accommodation (in twin rooms):
- 3 nights in Tbilisi at the centrally located hotel. Please, see below options.
- 1 night in Gudauri at a 4star Marco Polo Hotel.
- 1 night in Kutaisi or in Tskaltubo at 3* / 3*+ hotel.
- 2 nights in Mestia at a 3star “Hotel Tetnuldi” or similar.

Meals:
- As specified in the itinerary: B-breakfast; D – dinner.

Transportation:
- For 2 persons we provide a comfortable jeep style vehicle.
For 3 and more persons we use a comfortable minivan or
minibus and also use 4x4 vehicles for trip from Mestia to
Ushguli and back. All transport is with air-conditioning.

Guiding:
- English (German, Spanish, French, Italian) -speaking guide as per itinerary.

Entrance fees:
- All entrance fees to the sites and museums except entrance fee to Stalin Museum (approx. $6).

INDIVIDUAL & SMALL GROUP PRICES:

Option 1: Price based on accommodation in Tbilisi at 3 star Hotel Tori or similar.


Price Per Person:
1 person: USD 2960
2 persons: USD 2015
3 persons: USD 1660
4 persons: USD 1475
5 persons: USD 1395
6 persons: USD 1325
Single room accommodation supplement: USD 750

Option 2: Price based on accommodation in Tbilisi at 4 star “Courtyard Marriott Hotel” or 4* “Holiday Inn”.

Price Per Person:
1 person: USD 3495
2 persons: USD 2300
3 persons: USD 1955
4 persons: USD 1765
5 persons: USD 1685
6 persons: USD 1610
Single room accommodation supplement: USD 1000

Option 3: Price based on accommodation in Tbilisi at 5 star “Tbilisi Marriott Hotel”

Price Per Person:
1 person: USD 3725
2 persons: USD 2415
3 persons: USD 2060
4 persons: USD 1875
5 persons: USD 1800
6 persons: USD 1725
Single room accommodation supplement: USD 1090

Tour Price Does Not Include:
-Travel or personal insurance.
- Other services, meals or alcoholic drinks unless specified in the itinerary. - Luggage portage fee at the hotels.
- Tips and extras.


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