Revealing Georgia from the capital to the coast - remote settlements high up in the Caucasus mountains, unknown Black Sea coast, churches, superb wines and warm hospitality
Tbilisi - 2 nights
Borjomi - 2 nights
Kutaisi - 1 night
Mestia - 3 nights
Batumi - 2 nights
Lying at the crossroads of trade and tradition for centuries, Georgia is one of Europe’s best-kept secrets, blessed with stunning scenery, a rich variety of flora and fauna with enclosed high valleys, wide plains, health spas with famous mineral waters and cave cities. Georgia has a rich national story stretching back over 5,000 years with several invasions and conquests by Greeks, Romans, Persians, Ottomans and Russians with all of them leaving an indelible mark.
Explore the lesser-known towns and regions of this intriguing country away from the crowds without forgetting the capital with its cobble-stoned old town.
Mtskheta has been Georgia’s spiritual heart since Christianity was established here in AD 327. It was the capital of most of the eastern part of the country from the 3rd century BC to 5th century AD, when King Vakhtang Gorgasali moved his base to Tbilisi.
The Samtskhe-Javakheti region in the south of the country was historically known as Meskheti and has played an important part in Georgian history. It was part of TaoKlarjeti, a collection of princedoms from which the Bagrationi dynasty expanded its power in the 9th and 10th centuries, leading to the unification of most of Georgia in 1008.
Svaneti is so remote that it was never tamed by any ruler and even during the Soviet era it largely retained its traditional way of life. The area has picturesque villages, flower-strewn alpine meadows and snow-covered peaks rising over 4000m. Here traditions are more alive than elsewhere and the hospitality is almost compulsive in its intensity.
Batumi, the country’s summer capital, is set on the semitropical Black Sea coast with a backdrop of mist-wrapped hills near the Turkish border. Its history is shorter than most Georgian cities and it owes much of its charm to the elegant fin-de-siècle architecture of its original boom time.
Tbilisi, capital since the 5th century, brims with history and has a dramatic setting on hillsides either side of the swift Mtkvari River. The Old Town is still redolent of an ancient Eurasian crossroads, with narrow, winding alleys, handsome religious buildings, old balconied houses and caravanserais.
The country has a long history of viniculture, and was the vineyard of the Soviet Union.
Cultural & Countryside
Jules Verne Sightseeing
3 UNESCO Heritage Sites
Local Expert Guide
Group Size: 6 – 25
Day 1 Fly from your chosen airport via Istanbul to Tbilisi. Transfer to the 4-star Mercure Tbilisi Old Town.
Day 2 Walking tour of Tbilisi’s old town, visiting Metekhi Church, Sioni Cathedral, the National Museum of History and Soviet Occupation Museum. (B)
Day 3 Visit Svetitskhoveli Cathedral and Jvari Monastery in Mtskheta. Travel to Chateau Mukhrani to enjoy a wine tasting, bread baking and a churchkhela making class at this award winning estate. Continue to Borjomi, a town famous for its mineral water. Spend two nights at the 4-star Crowne Plaza Borjomi Spa. (B, L)
Day 4 Travel to Vardzia in Samtskhe-Javakheti region to visit the cave monastery, founded in the 12th century BC. Continue to Akhaltsikhe, visit Rabati Castle, which has a church, mosque, minaret and synagogue inside as it developed under different cultures and religions. (B)
Day 5 Drive to Ubisi to visit the 9th-century St. George’s Monastery, then to Kutaisi. Visit Bagrati Cathedral, built in the 11th-century during the reign of King Bagrat III, known as the symbol of united Georgia. Drive to Gelati Monastery, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site, dating from the 12th-century. Overnight at the 4-star Best Western Kutaisi Hotel or similar. (B)
Day 6 Travel to Svaneti region and drive up the Enguri Gorge and visit Prometheus Caves, the largest caves in Georgia, followed by a boat ride on the underground lake. Continue to Mestia for three nights at the 3-star Hotel Posta. (B, D)
Day 7 Tour of Mestia, visiting the Margiani House Museum and the Historical-Ethnographic Museum, for insight into the region’s unique culture. (B, L, D)
Day 8 Drive on a rough road through spectacular scenery to Ushguli, situated at an altitude of 2,100 metres and arguably the highest settlement in Europe. Ushguli and the Upper Svaneti area are on the UNESCO World Heritage list. Visit Lamaria Church. Enjoy lunch at a local family home and a light walk towards Mt. Shkara, the highest peak in Georgia. (B, L, D)
Day 9 Travel to Zugdidi and visit the Dadiani Palace, a castle like building from the 17th to 19th centuries. The museum houses a Napoleon Bonaparte bronze death mask. Travel to Batumi, one of Georgia’s oldest cities and the principal Black Sea port, for two nights at the 4-star Divan Suites Hotel. (B)
Day 10 Tour of Batumi including a visit to the Gonio-Apsaros Fortress on the Chorokhi river to the south of the city and the Batumi Botanical Garden. (B)
Day 11 Return flight via Istanbul. (B)
This is a full itinerary with most visits on foot including several sites with inclines or steps.
A modern 4-star hotel in the centre of Tbilisi, five minutes' walk from Metekhi Cathedral. Restaurants, bar, gym, spa, sauna and WiFi (free). 102 air-conditioned rooms with private facilities, hairdryer, safe, mini-bar, tea/coffee making facilities and satellite TV.
A modern 4-star hotel in the heart of the spa town, close to the famous Borjomi Park. Restaurant, bar, gym, pool, sauna and WiFi (free). 98 air-conditioned rooms with hairdryer, safe, mini-bar, tea/coffee making facilities and satellite TV.
A contemporary 4-star hotel a few steps from the White Bridge in Kutaisi. Restaurant, bar and WiFi (free). 45 air-conditioned rooms with hairdryer, safe, mini-bar, tea/coffee making facilities and satellite TV.
A comfortable 3-star hotel close to the Museum of History and Ethnography in Mestia. Restaurant, bar and WiFi (free). 22 air-conditioned rooms with hairdryer, safe, mini-bar, tea/coffee making facilities and satellite TV.
A modern 4-star hotel in the centre of Batumi, a five-minute walk from the Black Sea beach. Restaurant, bar, gym, sauna and WiFi (free). 59 air-conditioned rooms with hairdryer, safe, mini-bar, tea/coffee making facilities and satellite TV.
Kakheti Region Extension
A visit to the main wine growing area in Georgia. Stay one night in Tbilisi and one in Telavi. Enjoy two wine tastings and guided visits. Breakfast daily and two lunches.
Day 1 Fly from your chosen airport via Istanbul to Tbilisi. Transfer to 4-star Brim Hotel for overnight.
Day 2 Travel to the Kakheti region and visit Bodbe Monastery. Proceed to Sighnaghi for a walking tour and wine tasting. Drive via Gremi citadel to Telavi for overnight at the 4-star Holiday Inn. (B, L)
Day 3 Walking tour of Telavi. Visits to Alaverdi Cathedral and Ikalto monastery. Wine tasting at Tsinandali Family Estate. Drive to Tbilisi to join the main tour. (B, L)
A traditional 4-star hotel close to the Presidential Palace in Tbilisi. Restaurant, bar and WiFi (free). 52 air-conditioned rooms with hairdryer, safe, mini-fridge, tea/coffee making facilities and satellite TV.
A modern 4-star hotel close to King Erekle II Palace and the Giant Plane Tree. Restaurant, bar, gym, pool and WiFi (free). 95 air-conditioned rooms with hairdryer, safe, mini-bar, tea/coffee making facilities and satellite TV.
per person in a twin/double room
Turkish Airlines from Heathrow
Supplements per person
NO SINGLE SUPPLEMENT
Aug 8 & Oct 3
Single supplement £565
Turkish Airlines from Birmingham, Edinburgh and Manchester – nil
Turkish Airlines Business Class from £925
Extension - Kakheti Region
2 nights £365
Single supplement £70
Extra Nights- Tbilisi
Mercure Tbilisi Old Town £75
Single supplement £55
Extra Nights- Batumi
Divan Suites Hotel (per night) £60
Single supplement £45
Add £1295 per person
Arrival transfer add £30
Departure transfer add £15
Air travel and taxes, transfers, 10 nights’ accommodation, breakfast daily, 3 lunches and 3 dinners, itinerary as described, services of guides and local representatives. If our specially negotiated airfares are unavailable at the time of booking, a supplement may apply
Travel insurance, visa procurement, optional excursions, tipping, porterage, any government taxes or compulsory charges introduced after publication.
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