Historical Heartland UNESCO Tour

This tour explores the main attractions, including the UNESCO world heritage sites of Mtskheta - the old capital of Georgia, Gelati-Bagrati monasteries and Svanetian villages of Ushguli. Come and discover amazing Georgia!
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Dates and Booking: For more information regarding tour dates and bookings, kindly send us a request via the link below.
Description
 

Day 1 Arrival
Arrive at Kutaisi International Airport and transfer to your hotel for overnight accommodation.



Day 2 Kutaisi
Start your day with breakfast at the hotel and afterwards set off on a full-day tour of Kutaisi. Kutaisi is one of the most beautiful of the ancient Georgian cities, and is situated in Western Georgia on the banks of the picturesque Rioni River. The Rioni River is mentioned in the legend of Jason and the Argonauts as it was the place of origin of the Golden Fleece. In ancient Capturetimes the local residents used to extract gold from the river, and a sheep skin (fleece) was used to rinse the gold nuggets. The symbol of a sheep skin covered with gold was later named the Golden Fleece.
You’ll get to explore two UNESCO World Heritage Sites. These unique masterpieces of Georgian architecture are located in and around Kutaisi. We start off with a visit to Bagrati Cathedral, a cross-domed, tri-conch Cathedral located on the top of Ukimerioni Hill and was built in the 11th century. The cathedral is distinguished for its elegant proportions, grand size, facade composition, decorative relief carvings. The Gelati Monastery Complex was once a major cultural and intellectual centre in Georgia and was founded by King David the Builder in 1106. This complex is a great example of the flourishing medieval architecture of Georgia. Afterwards we visit the Prometheus Caves. The tourist pedestrian path is 1,420 meters and the temperature inside at any time of year varies between 14-17°C degrees, the water temperature is 13°C and humidity is 97-98%, while the oxygen content in the air is 21%. Upon finishing the journey, the management provides a boat for your exit from the cave. You float slowly for 300 meters with accompanied music and beautifully illuminated stalagmites in the background. After this fantastic experience we enjoy dinner and an overnight stay in Kutaisi.



Day 3 Kutaisi – Mtskheta - Tbilisi
After breakfast we drive to Mtskheta, the ancient capital and religious centre of old Georgia with its beautiful old churches, and we get to explore two of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites. We first stop at the Jvari Monastery founded in the early 4th century by Saint Nino, a female evangelist credited with converting King Mirian III of Iberia to Christianity who erected a large wooden cross on the site of a pagan temple. The cross was reportedly able to work miracles and therefore drew pilgrims from all over the Caucasus. A small church was erected over the remnants of the wooden cross in c.545 and named the "Small Church of Jvari".church
From there we proceed to the 11th century Svetitskhoveli Cathedral, known as the burial site of Christ’s mantle. This has long been the principal Church of Georgia and remains one of the most venerated places of worship to this day. It presently functions as the seat of the archbishop of Mtskheta and Tbilisi, who is at the same time Catholicos-Patriarch of All Georgia. We then continue towards Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia. We embark on a sightseeing tour of Old Tbilisi, a charming town built in the 5th century along the twisting valley of the Mtkvari River. We start the tour in Old Tbilisi at the 13th century Metekhi Church, and then continue to the Synagogue, Syoni Cathedral and Anchiskhati Basilica. Afterwards our transport will take us up to the 4th century Narikala Fortress perched on the mountain top from where you can enjoy a picturesque panoramic view of Tbilisi. Also see the statue of the Mother of Georgia holding in one hand a cup of wine to her friends and in her other a sword to warn the enemies of the country. From there we take a slow walk to the ancient brick-domed Sulfur Baths. Dinner will be at a traditional Georgian restaurant where you can enjoy the best of the local cuisine. Stay overnight at a hotel in Tbilisi.



Day 4 Tbilisi - Gori – Uplistsikhe - Kutaisi
Enjoy a leisurely breakfast at the hotel and have bit of free time for wandering around in the morning. After lunch we visit Gori, one of the oldest cities in Georgia and the birthplace of museum of Stalinthe Soviet leader Joseph Stalin. In Gori we visit the house where Stalin was born, his personal railway carriage and the Stalin Museum. On the way to Kutaisi we first stop at Uplistsikhe Cave Complex, built on a high rocky left bank of the Mtkvari River. The town contains various structures dating from the Early Iron Age to the Late Middle Ages and is notable for the unique combination of various styles of rock-cut cultures from Anatolia and Iran, as well as the co-existence of pagan and Christian architecture. Late afternoon we head for overnight stay at a hotel in Kutaisi.

 





Day 5 Kutaisi - Mestia
After breakfast we head towards Svaneti, a mountainous region with deep gorges covered by coniferous forests and is also the highest inhabited region of the Caucasus. We drive to svanetiMestia, the main town in Upper Svaneti, a region that is called The Kingdom of a Thousand Towers. Mestia also has a number of churches and fortresses included in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Along the way we visit Enguri power station and hydroelectric dam on the Inguri River surrounded by spectacular mountain scenery. This is also the second highest dam arch wall in the world. Experience true Georgian hospitality with a traditional dinner and overnight stay at a private guesthouse in Mestia (shared facilities).

 

 



Day 6 Mestia – Ushguli – Mestia
After breakfast we visit the 4 villages of Ushguli which at 2200m is the highest permanently inhabited community in Europe and also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The villages are well known for its abundance of watchtowers and this is where you enjoy the breathtaking views of the highest mountain in Georgia, Mount Shkara at 5068m. We will also visit the 12th group bookingcentury LaMaria Church. Local residents believe that it was under this church that Queen Tamar, who was a central figure in Svans history, was buried. They considered her to be a Christian benefactor who built all their temples, and she gave generous gifts to churches. You can also enjoy a walk in the direction of Mount Shkara and experience the beauty of the Shkara Glacier which is also the Russian frontier. Late afternoon we return to the village and drive to Mestia for dinner and overnight accommodation.

 

 


 

Day 7 Mestia – Kutaisi

After a relaxed breakfast in Mestia, we return to the hotel in Kutaisi where you have the afternoon off to explore and do some shopping. Enjou dinner and overnight accommodation at the hotel.



Day 8 Departure
Enjoy breakfast before transfer to the airport.

 The price includes  The price does not include

• Airport transfers;

  • Transportation according to the tour program;

  • Accommodation on a Half Board basis (1 overnight at a 3 * hotel in Tbilisi, 4 overnights at a guesthouse in Kutaisi, 2 overnights at a guesthouse in Mestia);

  • Museum entrance fees;

  • Tour guide service;

  • Excursions mentioned in the program;

• Air tickets; 
• Travel insurance.

 

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