In the morning we leave our hotel to visit glorious ruins of Ikalto academy complex. Established as a monastery by Assyrian missionary Zenon in the 6th century, it grew as an important educational-scholastic center in the 12th century where, according to a legend famous Georgian poet and author of epic “The Knight in the Panther’s Skin” Shota Rustaveli (12th c.) studied.
Afterwards, we follow a less traveled route towards the foothills of the Great Caucasus Mountains and continue our trip though beautiful forests and rustic landscapes where nature’s benevolence can truly make human happiness possible. On our way to the mountains we stop to take a leisure walk up along the forested pathways to the ruins of Kvetera- early Medieval period complex of different palaces, towers and a central domed church famous for its exquisite look.
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.
In the evening we reach the town of Stepantsminda nestled in the heart of the mountains which is our base for two nights.
Overnight in Stepantsminda.