Shida Kartli Archaeology

Our most recommended Shida Kartli Archaeology

Tbilisi: Mtskheta, Jvari, Gori and Uplistsikhe Day Tour

1. Tbilisi: Mtskheta, Jvari, Gori and Uplistsikhe Day Tour

Explore one of the most mysterious regions of Georgia – Kartli and hear a lot about the country's history. First, visit memorable Uplistsikhe cave-town and dive into the antique life of Georgia. Then, find out more interesting facts in Gori, the hometown of the most famous Georgian, Stalin, and see the unique old capital of Georgia – Mtskheta, where you visit two UNESCO heritage sites Jvari Monastery and Svetitskhoveli Cathedral. Your first stop is Uplistsikhe, an antique rock-hewn town in eastern Georgia. It contains multiple structures dating from the Early Iron Age to the Late Middle Ages. It is notable for the unique mixture of various rock-cut cultures from Anatolia and Iran's pagan and Christian architecture coexistence. After exploring Uplistsikhe, you have a chance to have lunch in the region and try delicious local food. After lunch, you have two options, have free time and explore Gori, the hometown of Stalin, or visit Stalin Museum, which is a museum dedicated to the life of Joseph Stalin, the leader of the Soviet Union, who was born in Gori. The Museum retains its Soviet-era characteristics, Stalin's Original house, and Stalin's railway carriage. The next stop is Jvari Monastery. The name of this monastery is translated as the "Monastery of the Cross." Jvari Monastery is the 6th-century Georgian Orthodox monastery near Mtskheta. Along with other historic structures of Mtskheta, it is listed as a world heritage site by UNESCO. Jvari Monastery stands on the rocky mountain top at the confluence of the Mtkvari and Aragvi rivers, overlooking the town of Mtskheta, which was formerly the capital of the kingdom of Iberia. The last site on tour is Svetitskhoveli Cathedral in Mtskheta. UNESCO recognizes Mtskheta as a World Heritage site due to its historical significance and several cultural monuments. It was the capital of the early Georgian Kingdom of Iberia from the 3rd century BC to the 5th century AD. Svetitskhoveli is known as the burial site of Christ's robe and has been one of the principal Georgian Orthodox churches and is among the region's most venerated places of worship.

From Tbilisi: Mtskheta, Uplistsikhe, Gori Day Trip

2. From Tbilisi: Mtskheta, Uplistsikhe, Gori Day Trip

Explore the key historical sites of central Georgia, focusing on three different eras: the pagan period, the Christian period, and the Soviet period. Join your guide and a small group to witness the history of Georgia unfold on this full-day tour from Tbilisi.   After pickup from your hotel, your first stop will be the cave town of Uplistsikhe. Its caves and tunnels create a marvelous structure of natural architecture which still holds remnants of its ancient pagan culture.   Then, visit the nearby town of Gori and see the pompous Soviet Museum dedicated to Joseph Stalin, who was born here. After Gori, you’ll drive 1 hour to Mtskheta, the old capital of Georgia, where the country’s conversion to Christianity started in the 4th century. See the Svetiskhoveli cathedral and the monastery of Jvari, built on a high hill above the town.   Finally, see the Georgian Stonehenge, an impressive monument of Georgian history off the beaten path. Return to Tbilisi for drop off at your hotel.

Tbilisi: Uplistsikhe - Gori - Mtskheta - Jvari Private Tour

3. Tbilisi: Uplistsikhe - Gori - Mtskheta - Jvari Private Tour

Explore one of the most mysterious regions of Georgia. Visit the cave town of Uplistsikhe, Stalin's hometown of Gori, and the UNESCO World Heritage sites of Mtskheta. Start at the cave town of Uplistsikhe, an antique rock-hewn town in eastern Georgia. View its unique mixture of cut-out cultures from Anatolia and Iran's pagan and Christian architecture, then pause to purchase a local lunch. Next, visit, Gori, the hometown of Stalin. Explore the town or visit the Stalin Museum, including the dictator's old house and railway carriage. Follow that with a trip to Jvari Monastery. Admire this 6th-century Orthodox structure which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Enjoy the view from the rocky mountain top down onto the Mtkvari and Aragvi rivers. Conclude your tour at the Svetitskhoveli Cathedral in Mtskheta, the old capital of Georgia, another World Heritage Site. Spend some time at a location known as the burial site of Christ's robe, which is among the region's most venerated places of worship.

Georgia: Day-Trip to Mtskheta, Stalin Museum & Uplistsikhe

4. Georgia: Day-Trip to Mtskheta, Stalin Museum & Uplistsikhe

Start your tour at your accomodation in Tbilisi where your driver/guide will be waiting to meet you. After a short meet and greet you will set-off to your first location, starting your sightseeing adventure for the day! After a short and scenic drive your first stop will be Jvari Church (6th -7th cc), the most important religious center and an architectural masterpiece of medieval Georgia. Enjoy the breathtaking view from the church that towers over the city of Mtskheta. Continue on to Svetitskhoveli Cathedral, known as the burial site of Christ's robe and the second largest church building in the country. The Cathedral has long been the principal Georgian church and remains one of the most venerated places of worship to this day. Take an excursion to Uplistsikhe Cave Town, an ancient cave town and one of the oldest urban settlements in Georgia. The town represents a complex of various structures dating from the 12th-century. BC to the 17th-century. AD. Finish your tour at the Stalin Museum in Gori, dedicated to the life of Joseph Stalin. This museum is the perfect location for any Stalin or politic enthusiasts. End your day in comfort with a relaxing car ride back to your accomodation in Tbilisi. 

Mtskheta, Gori, and Upliscikhe Private Tour

5. Mtskheta, Gori, and Upliscikhe Private Tour

Escape the crowds and visit the oldest city of Georgia, Mtskheta, which used to be the capital in the early Georgian Kingdom of Iberia from the 3rd-century BC to the 5th-century BC. Enjoy panoramic aerial views of the mountains around the Jvari Monastery, which was Georgian Orthodox in the 6th-century. The name translates as the Monastery of the Cross. It represents the peak of architectural typology as a true masterpiece of the early Medi period. It overlooks the confluence of the Aragvi and Mtkvari rivers from the top of the hill.  Journey back to the early centuries at the Svetitskhoveli Cathedral and Samtavro Church. Svetitskhoveli Cathedral was built in the 11th-century but the site itself is even older, dating back to the early 4th-century. It differs in artistic value and the special role that it has played in history. The monument has an elongated cross which appears to touch the sky. It was the main pilgrimage place on the Silk Road, the burial place of the Christ"s Robe, and the tomb of Georgian Kings. The cathedral is the second largest church building in Georgia and is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Samtavro monastery complex was built in the 11th-century. It contains the graves of queen Nana and Mirian III King of Iberia, who established Christianity as an official religion in Georgia. The famous Georgian monk Gabrieli is also buried inside the Samtavro church. Complete your tour of Mtskheta with a Georgian wine degustation. In Gori-Uplistsikhe, visit several sites from different periods of Georgian history, including Uplistsikhe cave town, Joseph Stalin’s home museum, and Gori fortress. Uplistsikhe, translated to Fortress of the Lord, is a cave town fortress situated on a rocky massif on the bank of the river Mtkvari. Dating back to the first and second millennium BC, Uplistsikhe was an important religious, political, and cultural center in the Hellenistic and the late Antique periods. Take a walk among the ancient streets, rock-carved theatre, royal halls, pharmacy, pagan temples, and Christian churches, while the remains of granaries and large clay wine vessels give clues as to the daily life of the inhabitants.  Continue to the Joseph Stalin Museum in Gori. Stalin was originally Georgian and the secretary general of the Communist Party during the second world war. He is one of the most influential dictators of modern times. The museum features Stalin’s home, a hut where he was born, his armour plated railway carriage, and a statue that controversially stood in the main square of Gori until 2010. In addition, see many items owned by Stalin, including some of his office furniture, his personal belongings, and gifts given to him over the years. Gori Fortress is a medi citadel in Georgia. It stands above the city of Gori on a rocky hill. Archaeological evidence shows that the area was already inhabited in the final centuries BC. The fortress controlled major strategic and economic routes and accommodated a large garrison.

Tbilisi: Guided Mtskheta, Gori, and Uplistsikhe Tour

6. Tbilisi: Guided Mtskheta, Gori, and Uplistsikhe Tour

Your tour will begin in the morning as you are picked up from your hotel, after which you will begin with a drive through the fertile lands of the Kartli region. Your first stop is the 6th-century Jvari Monastery, which is located 19 kilometers away from Tbilisi. Here you will receive an introductory story of the area, whilst enjoying the wonderful panorama of the conjunction of the two rivers Aragvi and Mtkvari, the Armazi Mountains, and the city of Mtskheta. You will then drive 88 kilometers west of Tbilisi to Gori, a city in the Kartli province. Gori was an important military stronghold in the Middle Ages, and at the foot of a sand-stone hill stands the Medieval Gori Fortress Tskhra-kara. You will do a short walk around the area, before then continuing to the Stalin Museum. Excursions in Joseph Stalin's museum will take about 30 minutes, with the museum consisting of 3 sites. Following your museum tour, you will drive to the ancient temple town of Uplistsikhe. Translated as the “Fortress of the Lord“ and dating back to the 6th century B.C., this town is mentioned in the "Chronicles of the 1st Century A.D". Here the echoing halls, long meandering corridor-streets, chambers of pagan worship, and even the remains of the oldest theater in Georgia are all carved into the rocky plateau and waiting to be explored. You will then drive back to Tbilisi passing through the ancient capital Mtskheta, which presents a living museum including the UNESCO Heritage Listed Site of the Svetitskhoveli Cathedral, as well as other architectural landmarks. You can take a walk through the historical part of town, and enjoy a relaxing evening tasting local sweets at the souvenir shopping rows.

Mtskheta, Gori Uplistsikhe Group & Private Day Tour

7. Mtskheta, Gori Uplistsikhe Group & Private Day Tour

During this tour, you will visit the ancient capital city of Georgia – the city of Mtskheta, which is just less than 12 miles (20 km) from Tbilisi. Here you will see two wonderful UNESCO heritage sites. The first being the 7th-century Jvari Monastery, where you will see a beautiful view of two rivers Mtkvari and Aragvi meeting. The second monument is the 11th-century Svetisckhoveli Cathedral which is an architectural masterpiece of Georgian Renaissance. Tbilisi, Mckheta, Gori, Uplistsikhe tour gives you a perfect opportunity to discover Central Georgia, to open its ancient landmarks, to know its history, infrastructure, and to try it special wines and Georgian snacks. During this tour you will visit the ancient capital city of Georgia – the city of Mckheta, which is not farer than 20 km from Tbilisi. Here you will see wonderful UNESCO heritage monuments like: the Jvari monastery of VII c., where the beautiful view on the confluence of two rivers Mtkvari and Aragvi are seen from, and the Svetisckhoveli cathedral of XI c – the architectural masterpiece of Georgian Renaissance. After that you will set off for the West of the country to the city of Gori – “the apple capital city” of Georgia. The city is famous for its fertility and moreover is famous as the motherland of Joseph Stalin (Jugashvili). Here we offer you an excursion in the house-museum of famous generalissimo or we after you to come to the most ancient cave city in Georgia Uplistsikhe, which was founded in II millennium B.C. Also in Uplistikhe you will have opportunity to taste 4 kinds of wine with cheese and Georgian nuts in restored historical wine cellar . This tour will bring you a lot of memorable impressions! Drive back to Tbilisi

Tbilisi: Private Uplistsikhe and Borjomi Hot Pools Day-Trip

8. Tbilisi: Private Uplistsikhe and Borjomi Hot Pools Day-Trip

Enjoy a day trip to the most scenic sight of central and southern Georgia, visiting a local family in their countryside house for a traditional dinner. After the pick-up from your hotel at 9:00AM, you will soon reach the ancient cave town of Uplistsikhe. Here you can walk through the ruins and beautiful rock formations and see the remains of formal ancient glory of what used to be once the center of Pagan culture. Right next to Uplistsikhe lies Gori, the town known as the birth place of Stalin, where you can still see the house where he grew up. After about 1.5 hours, you will reach the cozy resort town of Borjomi, surrounded by the largest national park of Georgia. You can wander through the beautiful central park, taste the legendary mineral water of Borjomi directly from the springs and take a bath in the open air thermal pools in the middle of the forest. You can reach the pools by hiking through the forest or taking a ride with a local car operating this route (at own expense). Enjoy a day full of history and nature.

Tbilisi: Guided Gori Fortress, Uplistsikhe and Borjomi Tour

9. Tbilisi: Guided Gori Fortress, Uplistsikhe and Borjomi Tour

Take the chance to visit Uplistsikhe, a cave town fortress situated on a rocky massif on the left bank of the river Mtkvari. Dating back to the 1st and 2nd millennium B.C., Uplistsikhe was an important religious, political and cultural center in the Hellenistic and late Antique periods. The place was founded in the late Bronze Age, around 1000 B.C., and continued to be inhabited until the 13th century A.D. Between the 6th century B.C. and the 11th century A.D., Uplistsikhe was one of the most important political and religious centers of pre-Christian Kartli, one of the predecessors of the Georgian state. Visitors can still walk among the ancient streets, rock-carved theater, royal halls, pharmacy, pagan temples and Christian churches, while the remains of granaries and large clay wine vessels give us some clue as to the daily life of the inhabitants. You can also visit Joseph Stalin’s Museum in Gori, Stalin (originally Georgian) was the secretary general of the Communist Party during World War II. The museum features Stalin’s house (a hut where he was born), his armor plated railway carriage and a statue that was controversially standing in the main square of Gori up until 2010. Afterwards, discover Gori Fortress, a medieval citadel in Georgia which stands above the city of Gori on a rocky hill. Following this, you will venture to Borjomi, a picturesque resort town in south-central Georgia located on the edge of the Borjomi-Kharagauli National Park. It is one of the districts of the Samtskhe-Javakheti region and is situated in the northwestern part of the region in the picturesque Borjomi Gorge, on the eastern edge of the National Park. The town is famous for its mineral water, which is the number one export of Georgia. Borjomi is also home to the most extensive ecologically themed amusement park in the Caucasus. Due to the supposed curative powers of the area's mineral springs, it is a frequent destination for people with health problems.

From Tbilisi: Uplistsikhe Caves and Mtskheta Town Day tour

10. From Tbilisi: Uplistsikhe Caves and Mtskheta Town Day tour

Visit the sights that reflect the historical significance of the Kartli region on a guided tour with included tickets to Uplistsikhe. The region was the crossroads of the Old Silk Road and the birthplace of the spread of Christianity in Georgia. Embark on a journey through the Kartli region from the period of the Kingdom of Iberia to present day. The first place you'll visit is Jvari Monastery, built on a high hill near Mtskheta in the sixth century. Jvari is one of the rare sights preserved in Georgia with its important religious purpose and architectural solidity. The monastery is listed as a World Heritage site by UNESCO. From this place is an unobstructed view above the city of Mtskheta. The next stop is for a walking tour in Mtskheta. Visit another World Heritage Site listed by UNESCO: the Svetitskhoveli Cathedral. Through the centuries it represented the religious center of Christian Georgia. In the cathedral is buried the Robe of Jesus Christ. The next city to visit is Gori, where you'll see a medieval citadel of the city. If you wish, you can visit the museum of Joseph Stalin, the leader of the Soviet Union (entry fees not included). After lunch, travel even further in history to explore the Uplistsikhe cave town. The city was carved out of rock and is one of the oldest settlements in the Caucasus. There are archaeological monuments kept around Uplistsikhe, of which the oldest one belongs to the Early Bronze Age and Mtkvar-Araksi culture. The whole complex of caves served a variety of household purposes: residence, cellar, storehouse, chapel, prison, etc. It is impossible to correctly describe in words what the ancient people created at the cost of labor.

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What people are saying about Shida Kartli

Overall rating

4.3 / 5

based on 4 reviews

Excellent guide and well explained. We loved the cave tour and the fun exchange of ideas on what each room could be. The lunch was amazing....too many plates to try

A fantastic day full of historic sites, beautiful nature and a wonderful guide (Thanks Lika!). The lunch was delicious (and plentiful).

Really good experience . Maryam/May was an amazing guide must do trip if you are in tbilisi

Excellent day out with an excellent guide (Lika) and driver.

A history trip around Tbilisi and interesting Uplistsikhe