Transfer to airport and departure
Today we will explore the country’s largest and most fertile region-Kakheti(East Georgia). Our first destination is the cave city of David-Gareja out in the semi-desert. Such a stark, remote, steppe-like environment has always attracted hermits to seek solitude and spiritual peace here.
Out of the 19 ruins and caves of the once glorious monastery first we visit Lavra and its seven-storey cave and church of the Transfiguration where David was buried, then we take a 3 hr walk up to the Udabno caves and visit the great frescoes that have been etched on the top of the cliff side and from where we have dramatic views over Azerbaijan.
Trekking time -4 hrs
In the evening we drive back to Tbilisi. Dinner is at a traditional restaurant with a folk show.
We will leave the town of Stepantsminda and drive to one of Georgia’s most scenic valleys- Truso, dotted with several small,abandoned villages leading deep into the heart of the Caucasus mountains. During our gentle 5-hour walk along the river we enjoy breathtaking views of endless meadows,carbonated lakes, snow-capped mountains as well as some unique species of alpine flowers.
After walk we continue driving to Tbilisi and check into our hotel.
Trekking time 5 hrs
Overnight in Tbilisi
In the morning we will enjoy our leisurely walk up to the 14th century Gergety Trinity church(3-4 hrs round trip) from where spectacular views of different snow-capped glaciers and canyons open up. Weather permitting, we may also be able to catch a glimpse of one of the highest glaciers in the Caucasus – Mt. Kazbegi (5047m). We take small village backstreets to walk down to the town and head to a local hunter’s house to enjoy home–made dishes as well as observing and learning the secrets of Georgian cuisine as we will be shown cooking and baking process of local delicacies: Khinkali and Khachapuri.
After lunch we drive through the dramatic Dariali gorge up to the Georgian-Russian border and on the way take a walk up to Gveleti waterfalls.
Overnight in Stepantsminda
Trekking time-4 hrs
Today we will enjoy a breathtaking drive passing through remote, abandoned villages and the cforested slopes of the Sno valley to reach the small, alpine village of Juta perched on the top of the mountain. Visiting local villagers’ families will leave you with an unforgettable imageof life the Middle Ages. From here we start to walk along the narrow mountain trails to Mt. Chaukhebi famous for its waterfalls and alpine meadows. Our 4 to 5-hour pleasant mountain walk ends back in Juta and we drive back to Stepantsminda
Trekking time-4 to 5 hrs
Ovenight in Stepantsminda
We will leave the capital of Georgia to visit the spiritual heart of Georgia-Mtskheta- the first capital of the 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 where we enjoy spectacular views of Mtskheta and the confluence of the two rivers below.
Then, we drive down to the town towered over bythe grand building whose literal name is“Life-Giving Pillar” Cathedral- Svetitskhoveli (11th century). According to legend, the first church here was built in the 4th century on the burial site of Christ’s robe.
Our afternoon drive along Georgia’s famous Military highway takes us to the Great Caucasus Mountains. En-route we visit Ananuri Architectural Complex overlooking a water-reservoir.
In the evening we reach the town of Stepantsminda and check in to our hotel.
Today we will explore the heritage of Georgia’s capital city and take a glimpse into the history of a 1500 years old town by walking through its narrow, cobbled streets, ancient twisted pathways and boulevards.
Throughout its history, Tbilisi has been a crucial location for different trade routes and has been famous for its multi-religious and multicultural character. The richness and diversity of its cultural history can be seen in Tbilisi’s architecture which has been influenced by Byzantine,European and Oriental styles. In the heart of the old town we will find churches, synagogues,mosques, the Caravanserai, a Zoroastrian temple as well as the famous sulphur baths and the glorious ruins of Narikala castle-the major fortification of Tbilisi.
Overnight in our hotel in Tbilisi.
Arrival in Tbilisi Airport and transfer to your hotel