Saint John Monastery

Saint John Monastery: Our most recommended tours and activities

Off-road Tour to David Gareja Monastery and Rainbow Mountain

1. Off-road Tour to David Gareja Monastery and Rainbow Mountain

Explore the rainbow-like mountains of Georgia on this guided 4-wheel drive safari and walking tour. Feel like Indiana Jones as you speed through the colorful mountains and visit the David Gareja Lavr monastery complex, as well as the St. John the Baptist cave monastery. Departing from Tbilisi, start your journey with a low-difficulty 1-hour walk among the colorful hills around Mravaltskaro lake. This is one of the best places in Georgia for bird watching, and specialists from all over the world come here during the season. If you don't want to hike, you can just enjoy the beauty of the area and snap some great photos.  Next, head to the monastery of St. John the Baptist, a cave monastery founded in the 6th century in the desert. Get acquainted with the lives of the monks who live here and visit the church and tower which are built in the cave. You can even see the border with Azerbaijan from the tower.  Finally, head to the oldest monastery in the desert, David Gareja Lavra. On the way back to Tbilisi, stop for lunch at an oasis club restaurant and enjoy a tasting of various Georgian wines.

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What people are saying about Saint John Monastery

Overall rating

4.9 / 5

based on 71 reviews

Cannot stress enough the importance of a good guide in these terrains. We were unfortunate and went on a day after it rained and the mountains were muddy and clay-ey. A lot of us struggled to take even 5 steps in a food deep mud. Koba was extremely helpful and asked us to take pictures and spend the day rather in the monastery. We had to cut the trip short but it was an adventurous journey with the off-roading, getting on top of the watch tower at the monastery, excellent food ta the lunch place. All in all amazing experience

This was a great tour with our guide Koba! I would highly recommend it! I personally enjoyed the 'off-roading' and seeing the Rainbow Mountains. Koba was funny, friendly and even took us to a 'secret' viewpoint and an ancient cave monastery that's not frequented by many tourists. He let us take our time exploring the sites and taking photos. I found the van to be fine (6 travellers in total), but for taller people it might be a little less comfortable :) But overall great tour and day.

Our guide Alex was a friendly person and had a lot of knowledge. The passage in the Georgian desert was fascinating as well as the short hike in the mountains. We had a nice time.

We had an amazing trip! Our guide and driver were both wonderful and friendly! Would highly recommend this for anyone coming to Georgia!

Excellent tour off-road with visit of an isolated monastery in the mountains. Very authentique experience !