8 days 7 nights
This private tour is tailor-made for you to experience the sights and way of life of two very distinct parts of Georgia. We focus on exploring the unique culture and ancient watchtowers of the mysterious Svaneti Region, and enjoying the gardens, architecture, and sea views of the historic port town of Batumi. We visit two of Georgia’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites (Jvari Church, one of the historical monuments of Mtskheta; and the Upper Svaneti ), as well as several of Georgia’s other tourist highlights, including Old Tbilisi, Stalin’s home town of Gori, and the ancient rock-hewn town of Uplistsikhe.
Day 1: Tbilisi – arrival
Our driver will meet you on arrival in Tbilisi and take you to your hotel for check-in (which is possible from noon onwards). After check-in, our guide will meet you at the hotel to take you on a sightseeing tour of Tbilisi. Starting at Holy Trinity Cathedral, one of the largest Orthodox cathedrals in the world, the tour will continue to Metekhi church and the monument to Vakhtang Gorgasali, the legendary founder of Tbilisi. We’ll then take the cable car to Narikala Fortress to enjoy a breathtaking panoramic view of the city. Next, we’ll walk past the only mosque in Tbilisi, down to the sulphur bath house district. We’ll enjoy a stroll through the Sharden area, which is full of narrow streets with cozy cafés, wine bars, and souvenir shops, and breathe in the history of Old Tbilisi. We’ll also visit Sioni Cathedral, Anchiskhati Basilica, and the famous Rezo Gabriadze Theatre’s clock tower, before crossing the Bridge of Peace to Rike Park. Our last stop on the Tbilisi tour will be the Open-Air Museum of Ethnography, which showcases traditional buildings and lifestyles from across Georgia. After a busy day, we’ll spend the night in Tbilisi at the hotel.
Day 2: Tbilisi – Jvari – Gori – Uplistsikhe – Kutaisi
After breakfast at the hotel, we’ll depart Tbilisi and drive towards Gori. On the way, we’ll visit Jvari Church, which is built on a hilltop and is a true architectural masterpiece of the early Medieval Period. We’ll enjoy the views of the confluence of Aragvi and Mtkvari rivers, before reaching Gori and visiting the Stalin Museum. This museum includes more than 60,000 artifacts, the tiny house where Stalin was born, and the impressive bulletproof train Stalin used to travel to Yalta and Potsdam. We’ll continue to Uplistsikhe and explore this cave town that dates to the Hellenistic Period. Uplistsikhe is notable for its unique combination of various styles of rock-cut architecture, including both pagan and Christian architecture. Then, we’ll drive to Kutaisi, the central city of Western Georgia, which was once called “Aia”. The road to Kutaisi will take us over the Rikoti Pass and through Georgia’s longest tunnel (1,722 m). The tunnel is also considered to be a border between the western and eastern parts of Georgia. After arriving in Kutaisi, we’ll spend the night at the hotel.
Day 3: Kutaisi – Prometheus Cave – Zugdidi – Mestia
In the morning, we’ll drive to the Prometheus Cave and see its numerous stalactites and stalagmites. We’ll then head to Zugdidi to visit the Dadiani Palace, before continuing through the Inguri Gorge to the mysterious Svaneti region. Svaneti is the home of a unique ethnic group—the heroic and courageous Svans—who are distinguished from other Georgians by their culture, traditions, and customs. The region is also famous for its original architecture and is called “the Country of Thousand Towers”. These towers historically played both economic and defensive functions. Mestia still has dozens of medieval stone houses with the watchtowers and inhabited towers that were used to protect valleys and churches between the 10th and 14th centuries. We’ll visit an original Svan house (“machubi”) and tower (“koshki”). We’ll then have dinner and stay overnight at a hotel in Mestia.
Day 4: Mestia – Ushguli – Mestia
After breakfast at the hotel, we’ll drive in a 4×4 vehicle to Ushguli village, one of the highest continually inhabited settlements in Europe (2,200 m). In recognition of its outstanding cultural value to humanity, the Ushguli architectural complex is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. We’ll stroll through Ushguli’s old, narrow, streets and visit the Lamaria Church complex with its impressive 12th century wall frescoes. Locals believe that Queen Tamara was buried under this church. We’ll also enjoy a picturesque view of Mount Shkhara. After returning to Mestia, we’ll have dinner and spend the night at the hotel.
Day 5: Mestia – Batumi
In the morning, we’ll visit the Mestia Ethnographic Museum. This was established in 1936 and has one of the richest collections of artifacts in the region. At noon, we’ll depart for Batumi (150 km away). On the way, we’ll stop at Petra Fortress, which has green gardens beautifully overlooking the Black Sea. Finally, we’ll arrive in Batumi, which is located in a natural Black Sea bay. Batumi is not only one of Georgia’s most important seaports, but also one of the country’s tourism capitals. For the rest of the day, you’ll have free time to explore the city. One option is to watch the fascinating sight of ships departing from the harbour (best seen from Batumi Quay). After you’ve finished exploring, you’ll spend the night at the hotel.
Day 6: Batumi
In the morning, we’ll visit the Batumi Botanical garden, which is located on the Green Cape and offers amazing views of the Black Sea. Established in 1880, it is the biggest and the oldest botanical garden in the South Caucasus, and hosts an incredible collection of more than 2,000 species of trees. We’ll return to Batumi for lunch, followed by a walking tour around the old city. Here, most of the houses were built in the 19th century and you can feel history come alive in the rows of small shops where craftsmen are making copper ware, and in the small cafés that produce a magnificent aroma of freshly brewed coffee. The old city is known for its variety of small and intricate architectural details: buildings are decorated with chimeras, mermaids, atlantes, and other mythical creatures. We’ll also visit Batumi’s Europe Square, Piazza Square, Alphabet tower, and Ali and Nino statue, and take a cable car ride on Georgia’s longest cableway (about 6 minutes). Afterwards, you’ll say goodbye to your guide and driver as the tour ends, and then spend the night at the hotel.
Day 7: Free time in Batumi – train to Tbilisi
You can check out of your hotel at any time before noon, and then spend the day at leisure in Batumi. We suggest visiting:
At 17:00, our driver will take you to the train station. You’ll take the evening train to Tbilisi, which departs at 17:55 and arrives at 22:50. Our driver will meet you when you arrive, and take you to your hotel.
Day 8: Tbilisi – departure
You can check out of your hotel at any time before noon. After that, you’ll enjoy free time in Tbilisi until our driver picks you up and takes you to Tbilisi International Airport, where the tour ends.