We will leave the capital of Georgia 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. As the church was being constructed, a wooden pillar rose into the air and a miraculous chrism started to flow from it, healing all the diseases which gave its name to the church.
Later, we start to drive along the Great Military Highway of Georgia and enjoy breathtaking views of the Great Caucasus Mountains, En-route we visit Ananuri Architectural Complex overlooking a water-reservoir .Later, the road starts to wind up through beautiful deciduous forests and alpine meadows along the Tergi river up to the town of Stepantsminda (St. Stephan) – the main town of the area. Arriving there, we go for a rough drive in a 4 WD car along the forested slopes of the mountain to Gergeti Trinity church (14th century) to enjoy great views of different glaciers of the Caucasus Mountains including mount Kazbegi (5047m).
We arrive back to Tbilisi in the evening