In the morning we start driving along the Tergi river up to the town of Stepantsminda (St. Stephan) – the main town of the area. Arriving there, we can optionally take local 4WD cars to drive up to Gergeti Trinity church and enjoy great views of different glaciers of the Caucasus Mountains including mount Kazbegi (5047m).

For lunch,we have a great option to visit a local hunter’s house and enjoy  home –made dishes as well as well as to learn and observe the secrets of the Georgian cuisine as we will be shown cooking and baking process of local delicacies : Khinkali and Khachapuri .( To be arranged in advanced)

We arrive in Tbilisi and check in at our hotel.

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After Breakfast we drive to visit the spiritual heart of Georgia – at Mtskheta – the first capital of Georgian empire from the 3rd century BC to the 5th century AD. First we drive up to the mountains to visit one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Mtskheta – 6th century Jvari (Holy Cross) monastery and enjoy the spectacular views of Mtskheta and the confluence of the two rivers below.

Then, we drive down to the town dominated by the impressive cathedral called  “Life-Giving Pillar” or Svetitskhoveli in Old Georgian. According to ancient legend, the first church (4th century AD) was built on the burial site of Christ’s robe

In the afternoon we start to drive along Georgia’s famous Military highway which was first times mentioned  as a major  route linking Roman Empire  to the  Caucasus by Strabo as early as the 1st c A.D. En-route , En-route we visit Ananuri Architectural Complex overlooking a water-reservoir. This  17th -18th c complex includes several churches, bell-towers and well-preserved defensive wall with its built-in towers. Later, the road starts to wind up through beautiful deciduous forests and alpine meadows and we reach one of Georgia’s most important ski-resorts – Gudauri (2200 m).

Dinner and overnight at our hotel in Gudauri

Overnight in Gudauri

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The best opportunity to acknowledge the ancient traditions of world’s one of the first wine-makers is to visit  East Georgia’s Kakheti region famous for its fertile valleys, endless lines of vineyards, ancient monasteries, castles and delicious cuisine.

In the morning we drive to visit the town of Signaghi – a place of romance and  love as it has been called in recent years. Perched on the mountain cliff  with its 4,5 km. long  defensive wall of the 18th  century  Sighnaghi  is one of the prettiest  towns of the country which still retains its original scent and style with its narrow, cobbled streets full of one or two storey houses with bright red tiled roofs and beautifully carved balconies. The city has wonderful views over the Alazani  Valley to the snow capped  Caucasus mountains beyond.

After our leisurely walk through the winding streets and backyards of the town, we continue to drive to a local peasant’s wine-cellar and taste different home-made wines from Qvevri (clay jar). Qvevri wines are unique for their rich chemical composition, very distinctive bouquet and for  their nutritional and curative qualities. Our host will tell us the way his ancestors have preserved the Kakhetian method of wine-making from generation to generation and will propose different traditional toasts.

Later, we continue to drive through different villages and beautiful countryside to Gremi Complex – once a symbol of the thriving cultural and political life of Kakheti Region and the capital of the area before Persian Shah Abas razed it down to the ground. Giving an impression of floating in the air over the river, the Gremi Complex includes the church of Archangels with its beautiful frescos and adjacent royal tower as well as the ruins of different old bath-houses and watchtowers.

Overnight in a family guesthouse in Telavi

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We assemble at 10:00 in our hotel lobby and  meet a local English-speaking guide and driver to  explore the tremendous heritage of Georgia’s capital city-Tbilisi. Reaching the Old Town, we take a walk through its narrow, cobbled streets, ancient twisted pathways and boulevards, marvelling at the 1500 year history of this great town.

Throughout its history, Tbilisi has been a crucial location for many different trade routes and has been famous for its multi religious  and multicultural character.  Its diversity and cultural richness can be seen in the magnificence of Tbilisi’s architecture which been influenced by Byzantine, European and Oriental art. In the heart of the old town we will find churches, synagogues, mosques, Caravanserai, and even a Zoroastrian temple  as well as the famous  Sulphur Baths and glorious ruins of Narikala castle – which was the main fortification of Tbilisi.

Overnight in Tbilisi

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