Today we will leave the capital of Georgia to visit the spiritual heart of Georgia- at Mtskheta- the first capital of the Georgian empire from the 3rdcentury 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.
Then, we drive down to the town dominated by the impressive 11th century cathedral called “ Life-Giving Pillar” or Svetitskhoveli in old Georgian language. According to ancient legend, the first church (4th century AD) was built on the burial site of Christ’s robe.
We continue our drive to Western Georgia via the Rikoti Pass which is said to be the borderline between Europe and Asia and we head to the town of Kutaisi which is believed to have been the capital of the Dazzling Empire of the sun -Colchis around 3000 years ago where,according to Apollonius of Rhodes and Euripides, a group of Greek heroes led by Jason arrived in search of the Golden Fleece.
We make our way to the 12th century Gelati Academy-one of the country’s most treasured religious and cultural landmarks, then we drive to our hotel
Overnight in Kutaisi.