This trip will take you to a most beautiful region of Georgia and the cradle of wine
production--Kakheti--where you will find out about the centuries-old, traditional way of
making wine in vessels buried in the ground, and taste the product of some of Georgia’s
more than 500 grape varieties. The surroundings of Georgia's ancient capital, Tbilisi,
are very inviting and the city has unique architecture. Besides historical information,
local lore and legend abound. You will visit Sighnaghi, the city of love. You will stand in
awe of an amazing monastery hews out of the rocks. We will introduce you to
churchkhela--a cleverly made delicious and nutritious sweet, and you will not be able to
resist warm bread freshly ‘hooked’ from the typical round, stone oven.
Places to visit
Until 1936 Tbilisi was known as Tiflis and comprised the suburbs of Abanotubani,
Kharpukhi, Kala, Isan-Avlabari, Sololaki, Mtatsminda, Vere, Ortachala, Chugureti,
Didube and Nadzaladevi. Most historical sights are concentrated in Old Tbilisi which
has been a candidate for a UNESCO World Heritage Site listing since 2007.
The old historical neighbourhood is perched on a cliff overlooking the Mtkvari (Kura)
River. The district is one of the earliest inhabited areas of Tbilisi and features Narikala
fortress--originally also royal residence--built on foundations laid by king Vakhtang
Gorgasali in the 5th century AD. Abo of Tbilisi, the patron saint of the city, was
incarcerated here in the 8th century.
The fortress affords a wide view over the city and the Mtkvari river as it has done since
the 5th century. Narikala district is among the most beautiful of Tbilisi. The fortress
functioned as a prison from the 7th century on and archaeologists keep unearthing
remains of the city's ancient walls here.
According to legend king Vakhtang Gorgasali’s falcon fell into one of the hot springs,
which is where he decided to establish his capital. This old district of Tbilisi is famous for
its multi-ethnicity and for its sulphur baths among which the Asian-inspired, elegant Blue
Bath. The colourful architecture of this neighbourhood makes it a paradise for painters.
The monastery complex on Mount Gareja was founded in the 6th century by Davit, one
of the Assyrian Fathers. The Bolshevik take-over in 1921 forced the closing of the
monastery, and its territory was used for military training. Since 1991 an active
monastic community makes use again of the cells, chapels, refectories and living
quarters that are hewn out of the rock. The history of Davit Gareja truly reflects the
larger story of Georgia itself.
The Sighnaghi defensive wall that encircles the old centre of town dates from the early
18th century. From the 28 observation towers set into the wall, guards could see every
part of the countryside around, from the Alazani valley to the western outposts. Each of
the more than 20 gates has the name of the village whose inhabitants would rush in for
protection during times of danger.
On the outskirts of Sighnaghi, in an quiet rural setting and surrounded by well-kept
gardens, stands Bodbe convent. St Nino’s tomb is a favourite destination and pilgrims
can immerse themselves in a spring with healing powers.
The palace of the Chavchavadze princes was the place where the Georgian social elite
of the 18-19 century would gather. It is now a house museum for all to enjoy, set in the
beautifully maintained park that features plants from many corners of the world. The
marani (wine cellar) has recently been restored and offers an opportunity for
Day 1: Arrival at Tbilisi International Airport, transfer to the hotel, overnight in Tbilisi
Day 2: David Gareja, Sighnagi tour and Bodbe complex, overnight in Sighnagi
Day 3: Tsinandali, wine degustation, overnight in Telavi
Day 4: Alaverdi, Tbilisi night tour, overnight in Tbilisi
Day 5: Tbilisi tour, sulphur bath if desired, overnight in Tbilisi
Day 6: Transfer to the airport
Note: Price depends on type of accommodation and number of persons.