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ANCIENT GEORGIA

 

Situated on the eastern shore of the Black Sea and nestled in the Caucasus Mountains, Georgia has been the crossroads of the ancient world. Greeks, Iranians and local nations interacted to create a rich culture

 

According to archaeological excavations in the territory of Georgia, there are the first hominids in Europe 1.8 million years ago. It is believed that they were the first Europeans, and that Georgia is a country where they have spread to other parts of Europe.

 

A tribal union of early-Georgians first appear in written history in the 13-12th century BC. Archaeological finds and references in ancient sources reveal elements of early political and state formations characterized by advanced metallurgy and goldsmith techniques that date back to the 7th century BC and beyond.

 

Day 1 arrival in Tbilisi

 

Arrival in Tbilisi, Transfer to hotel. Rest

 

Day 2 Tbilisi (warm city) - capital of Georgia

 

Discover Tbilisi, more than 1500 years old city, in all its historical and architectural diversity.

Main sights:

  • Metekhi fortress, Abanotubani - famous sulphur bathhouses. Narikhala fortress, the main citadel of the Tbilisi with the superb panoramic view of the city. Meidani, Sioni Cathedral, Antchiskhati Church (6-th c), the oldest basilica in Tbilisi.
  • Ruins of Roman bath
  • National museum of Georgia – Georgian Archeology

 

Evening in a Georgian restaurant with a folk concert will slightly open the curtain in your knowledge of Georgian cuisine

Overnight in Tbilisi.

 

Day 3 - Dmanisi

 

The hominid remains discovered in Dmanisi, (1.8 million years old) are the oldest found outside of Africa

 

Main sights:

  • Archeological museum - rich collection of ancient and medieval artifacts and the ruins of various buildings and structures, unique remains of prehistoric animals and humans.
  • Bolnisi Sioni church (478–493) Bolnisi inscriptions (he Old Georgian inscriptions written in the Georgian Asomtavruliscript)

 

Overnight in Tbilisi.

 

Day 4 - kakheti - wine cellar of Georgia

 

We are heading to Kvareli - Kindzmarauli microzone! On the way, we get to one of the first fortress-cities of Kingdom of Iberia

 

Main Sights:

  • Ujarma – one of the first fortress-cities of Kingdom of Iberia (III-IV cc)
  • Telavi - capital of Kakhetian Kingdom, Batonistsikhe citadel and 900 years old giant plane tree,
  • Gremi Complex – Archangel Church (1565), the royal residence and the commercial neighborhoods
  • Nekresi - The town of Nekresi was founded in the 2nd century BC. In the 4th century AD was built a church in the town, which is now one of the oldest Christian churches in Georgia.
  • City of Kvareli, Kvareli fortress
  • Kvareli tunnel – wine cellar in the tunnel of Caucasus mountain - acquaintance and tasting of Georgian ( Kvevri) wine (The fertile valleys and protective slopes of the Transcaucasia were home to grapevine cultivation and neolithic wine production for at least 8000 years)

Overnight in Kvareli

 

Day 5 Sighnaghi ( which mean a shelter in Turkish )


  • Sighnaghi city tour - Defensive wall surrounding Sighnaghi; Historical-Ethnographic Museum; Carpets’ House;
  • Ethnographical yard and museum

Overnight in Tbilisi

 

Day 6 Ancient Kartli

 

Main Sights

  • Mtsketa ancient capital of Georgia. Svetitskhoveli Cathedral and Jvari Monastery (VII- VIII c) - UNESCO World Heritage Sites;
  • Armazi fortress (4 rd c BC – VIII AD );
  • Green monastery (IX c)
  • Borjomi - resort town is famous because of Borjomi mineral water and Borjomi Park; Romanov summer palace in Likani, World Wide Fund for Nature-site Borjomi-Kharagauli National Park.

Overnight in Borjomi

 

Day 7 – Cave towns of Samtskhe Javakheti

 

Vardzia, Georgia’s unique cave city continues to amaze people from all over the world. It can freely be called the Honor of Georgians

 

Main Sights

  • Vardzia (XII c) - a rock-carved fortress stretched over 500 meters. Underground fortress eventually had 13 levels constructed with natural caves and contained over 600 rooms,
  • Khertvisi (IIc BC) - oldest fortresses in Georgia.
  • Sapara Monastery – (X c) – amazing place hidden in the mountains and in the forest
  • Rabati castle (XIII c) - 18th century Akhaltsikhe Fortress is often called the symbol of tolerance - A church, mosque, minaret, synagogue, as well as Jaqelebi Palace, a historic museum, old baths and a citadel, have been restored on the territory of Rabat Castle.

Overnight in Vardzia

 

Day 8 Trip to West Georgia - Kutaisi

 

Kutaisi - biggest city of West Georgia was the capital of the ancient Kingdom of Colchis as early as the second millennium BC.

 

Main Sights

  • Kutaisi city tour "Okros Chardakhi" – Georgian Kings’ Palace;
  • Geguti Palace - one of the residences of Georgian monarchs;
  • Bagrati Cathedral (XXI c) UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • Gelati Complex - Main cultural and intellectual centers in Georgia for a long period; UNESCO World Heritage Site;

Overnight In Kutaisi

 

Day 9 Vani - cultural and business center of ancient kingdom of Colkheti

 

in the footsteps of the Argonauts

Main Sights

  • The cave of Prometheus - is one of the richest caves in the world with its unique minerals and different types of materials and places.
  • Vani and Vanis Nakalakevi - cultural and business center of ancient kingdom of Colkheti. Vani’s archeological museum
  • Archeological site - Nokalakevi (also known as Archaeopolis and Tsikhegoji) – ( III BC)

Overnight in Batumi

 

Day 10 –Batumi - a seaside city on the Black Sea

 

Adjara is a fascinating and unique area, where the sea collides with mountain range. One of the must-see regions in Georgia, Adjara has fairly built up a superb reputation as one of the best resort areas,

 

Main Sights

  • Petra fortress - ancient city-fortress (VI c. AD);
  • Gonio fortress is a Roman fortification in Adjara. ( VIII-VII BC – I AD)
  • Batumi old and new boulevards - famous Seaside Park; Dolphinarium

Overnight in Batumi

 

Day 11 - Batumi

 

Batumi is a city which visitor find easy to fall in love with, thanks to its unique blend of subtropical coastline and beaches, framed by spectacular snow-capped mountains and boasting legendary nightlife. The health restoring qualities of this combination of sea and mountain air is renowned and perhaps one reason why Georgia boasts an unusually high number of centenarians

 

Main Sights

  • Gonio fortress is a Roman fortification in Adjara.
  • Sarpi is a border village on the coast of the Black Sea, on the border between Turkey and Georgia.
  • Makhuntseti waterfall and Arch Bridge

Overnight in Batumi

 

Day 12– back to Tbilisi

 

  • Uplistsikhe - ancient rock-hewn town in Kartli; one of the oldest urban settlements in Georgia;

 

Overnight in Tbilisi

 

Day 13– Tbilisi - From the medieval city to the bourgeois

 

You will meet with the bourgeois city of the 19th century.

Main Sights:

  • Gudiashvili square ( XV-XIX cc)
  • Rustaveli av. - Central Avenue in Tbilisi
  • Agmashenebeli av. – one of the main avenues on the left bank of the Kura River
  • Dry Bridge flea market

 

Overnight in Tbilisi

 

Day 14– Tbilisi departure

Transfer to Tbilisi international airport for departure