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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.

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Mtskheta - Jvari - Gori - Uplistsikhe Full Day Private Tour

2. Mtskheta - Jvari - Gori - Uplistsikhe Full Day Private Tour

Explore Kartli, 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 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 for a spot of local lunch (own expense). Next, visit, Gori, the hometown of Stalin. Explore the town or visit the Stalin Museum, which includes 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, another World Heritage Site. Spend some time at a location known as the burial site of Christ's robe, and which is among the region's most venerated places of worship.

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Tbilisi: Guided Mtskheta, Gori, and Uplistsikhe Tour

3. 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.

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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. 

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Tbilisi: Gori and Upliscikhe Private Tour

5. Tbilisi: Gori and Upliscikhe Private Tour

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.

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Tbilisi: Walking Sightseeing Tour

6. Tbilisi: Walking Sightseeing Tour

Your Tbilisi sightseeing tour will begin as your guide meets you at the reception of your hotel. The city of Tbilisi offers a wide variety of sights, most of them very ancient. Starting at the church of Metekhi, you will walk to the brick domes of the sulfur baths, before advancing onward to the spectacularly located Narikala’s fortress. This is one of the oldest fortresses in Georgia, and overlooks the Mtkvari river gorge. Following this, you will visit the synagogue and the Sioni and Anchiskhati churches, which both mark the end of the Old Town. You will then visit the treasury of the National Museum of Georgia (Georgian Archaeology from 8th millennium B.C.), walking along Rustaveli Avenue, which is the main street in Tbilisi. You will also visit the treasury or the Georgian Museum of Fine Arts. Here you will learn that the treasury preserves and presents works from the Bronze Age, Antic-Hellenistic, and Medieval periods, as well as significant modern artifacts up through the 20th century. Your tour will then conclude with a visit to the Holy Trinity Cathedral, which is the third-biggest church in the world.

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From Tbilisi: Full-Day Snowshoeing Tour to Kazbegi

7. From Tbilisi: Full-Day Snowshoeing Tour to Kazbegi

Start the tour early in the morning with a pick-up from your hotel in Tbilisi. Head to the north of Tbilisi through the Georgian Military Road. The road runs between Tbilisi (Georgia) and Vladikavkaz (Russia) and follows the traditional route used by traders and invaders throughout the ages. On the way to Mt. Kazbegi, enjoy views of Ananuri Fortress arising above Jinvali Lake and surrounding the mountain area. Farther on, the road continues to the Gudauri Skiing Resort located 120 kilometers north from Tbilisi at a height of 2,196 meters (about 7,200 feet). It is a young and rapidly developing winter resort located on the southern slopes of the Greater Caucasus Mountain Range. Here, one can reach the summit of Mount Sadzele taking an aerial lift at an altitude of 3000 meters. In just a few minutes drive, one can reach Cross Pass, the highest point of the Georgian Military Road (about 2400 meters). From Cross Pass with the Serpentine Road, arrive down to the small village of Stapantsminda at the foot of Mt. Kazbegi from where you will start the snowshoeing tour to the awesome Gergeti Trinity Church. Walking up to the church takes 1 to 2-hours of winter hiking through the snowy forest up to the hills. The difference of altitude from Stepantsminda to Gergeti Trinity Church is 400 meters. Reaching the main highlight of the day, Gergeti Trinity Church (2170 meters) overlooks the area proudly as a steady symbol of Georgia. Enjoy the stunning views in a fabulous atmosphere. Due to your wish and possibility, it's available to prolong your trip after covering the main area and examine your opportunities  beyond. By the church as an award, you will have a warm coffee with a light snack and hot drinks overlooking the Tergi River gorge and village Gergeti covered with deep snow. After the trip, you will be driven you back to Tbilisi. On the way back, due to your wish, have a short stop at Ananuri Fortress. (16th to 17th century).

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From Tbilisi: 2-Day Tour to Kutaisi

8. From Tbilisi: 2-Day Tour to Kutaisi

Day 1: Tbilisi - Gori - Uplistsikhe - Kutaisi - Gelati (Driving distance: 270 kilometers) Depart at 09:30 from your hotel in Tbilisi. Begin your tour by visiting Joseph Stalin's Museum in Gori, established as a local history museum but clearly intended to become a memorial to Stalin. The main building of the complex is a large palace in Stalinist Gothic style. Enshrined within a Greco-Italianate pavilion is a small wooden hut, in which Stalin was born in 1878 and spent his first four years. After visiting Gori, drive further to Uplistsikhe cave city (10 kilometers east of the town of Gori). Uplistsikhe is identified by archaeologists as one of the oldest urban settlements in Georgia. It was an important religious, political and cultural center in the Hellenistic and Late Antiquity (4th-century BC - 4th-century AD). The central part of Uplistsikhe is the largest, containing a bulk of the Uplistsikhe rock cut structures, and is connected to the southern part via a narrow rock cut pass and a tunnel. Narrow alleys and sometimes staircases radiate from the central 'street' to the different structures. At the summit of the complex is a Christian basilica built of stone and brick in the 9th to 10th-centuries. The Uplistsikhe Cave complex has been on the tentative list for inclusion into the UNESCO World Heritage program since 2007. On the way to Kutaisi (221 kilometers west of Tbilisi) have a stop at picturesque monastery of Gelati, which is a monastic complex near Kutaisi. It contains the Church of the Virgin founded by the King of Georgia known as David the Builder in 1106, and the 13th-century Churches of St. George and St. Nicholas. The site is renowned for its collection of 12th to 19th-century mosaics, wall paintings, enamels and metalwork. King David the Builder began constructing the monastery and academy in 1106 as a grand tribute to his victory over the Turks. The academy was one of the first institutions of higher education founded in the Middle Ages, and became a principal cultural center in Georgia. In 1994, Gelati was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and in 2006 was included on the list of Immovable Monuments of Georgian Cultural Heritage. Overnight in Kutaisi. Either in a guesthouse or 3-star hotel. Day 2: Kutaisi - Sataplia caves - Bagrati Cathedral – Tbilisi (Driving distance: 260 kilometers) Begin a day from visiting Bagrati Cathedral, which is regarded as a masterpiece in the history of medieval Georgian architecture; the Bagrati Cathedral is frequently used as the symbol of the city of Kutaisi. It was built during the reign of King Bagrat III (hence the name) in the 11th-century but was severely devastated in 1692 during the Ottoman invasion. The Bagrati Cathedral sits on a hill just above Kutaisi and offers a magnificent view of the city. It was Unesco World Heritage Site listed in 1994. Have a stop at an interesting place for Kutaisi visitors, at Sataplia Cave complex. The Sataplia karst cave lies 6 kilometers northwest of Kutaisi within Sataplia state preserve. Sataplia is known for its dinosaur traces which were discovered by Kutaisi environmentalist P. Chabukiani, who detected there a settlement of the primitive man, together with the footprints of a dinosaur. The Sataplia karst cave begins from the north and leads to the east. The 300 meter long, 10 meter high and 12 meter wide karst cave abounds in stalactites and stalagmites and a spring winds along its bottom. The air and water temperatures in the Sataplia karst cave are nearly equal ( 12 to 13 celsius). There is a speleological museum near it now. Visit one of the unique natural attractions of Georgia - Martvili canyon. Over millions of years, the water has created a breathtaking gorge in limestone rocks, reaching a depth of 40 meters, at the bottom of which flows a river. The total reachable length of the canyon is one kilometer. In the upper part of the canyon, take a boat trip and reach the beginning with a 7 meter high powerful waterfall. Due to the extremely humid microclimate there are lianas hanging from the huge rocks and centuries-old walls are covered with moss. Here and there, water pulls out from the rocky wall forming small streams and pretty powerful waterfalls.

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Day Tour to Gori, Uplistsikhe and Mtskheta from Tbilisi

9. Day Tour to Gori, Uplistsikhe and Mtskheta from Tbilisi

In the morning your driver meets you at the place of your stay in Tbilisi from where your trip to Central Georgia starts. First stop on the way is Jvari monastery that overlooks the ancient capital Mtskheta. From Jvari there is a nice panoramic view of the confluence of two rivers, Mtkavri and Aragvi. Then, continue your way for Uplistsikhe, an ancient cave city in Central Georgia 110 kilometers away from Tbilisi. Uplistsikhe complex is considered as one of the oldest urban settlements in Georgia by archeologists. After exploring Uplistsikhe, drive to Gori where the museum of Joseph Stalin, dictator of the Soviet Union, is located. At the museum you can see items owned by Stalin, including some of his office furniture, documents and photos. Outside of the museum you can find his personal train carriage which weighs 83 tons. He used that carriage to attend the post-war conferences at Teheran, Yalta and Potsdam. At last, drive back for Tbilisi and on the way visit Mtskheta, the ancient capital of Georgia. Nowadays Mtskheta is a UNESCO site and serves as the center of the Georgian orthodox church. 

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Tbilisi: Stalin's Secret Printing House and Homeland

10. Tbilisi: Stalin's Secret Printing House and Homeland

Enjoy a day of historical discovery as you explore Stalin's secret printing house and homeland. Your day starts with pick-up from your accommodation in Tbilisi. From there, you will drive to your first destination, young Joseph Stalin's secret printing house.  Learn about the history of the printing house, a prime location for the spread of the socialist revolution. Nowadays, the printing house serves as an office for the Georgian Communist party. After exploring the printing house, set off once again as you drive towards Gori, where the museum of Joseph Stalin, leader of the Soviet Union, is located. At the museum, discover items owned by Stalin, including some of his office furniture, documents and photos. Outside of the museum you can find a small wooden hut where he spent his early years, as well as his personal train carriage that was used to attend the post-war conferences at Teheran, Yalta and Potsdam. After an exciting day of discovery, sit back and relax as you are transferred back to Tbilisi. 

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What people are saying about Tbilisi

The trip was literally amazing. The guides, Ika & George Goldman, was fantastic, he is very well educated and he will help you with whatever is required. The driver, Zaza AKA Toretto, is very talented and his driving is safe and responsible. The staff is very polite and hosting. The lunch was an exquisite experience featuring home made food and traditional Georgian family experience! The trip is 10/10 truly recommended, will fill up your jar with great memories and experience!

Givi was a wonderful, knowledgeable guide who shared so much information on the places we visited. He was happy to answer all of our questions. This tour had a great variety of activities done at a perfect pace. We were lucky to have such a compatible group of like-minded travellers to spend the day with. It was a great value for the money and we highly recommend this tour to get a feel for Georgian history.

It was absolutely breath taking. The tour guide 'Guina' was fun and knowledgeable. The tour was give you a combination of guidance and free time. The tour was not overdrawn out but well organized.

Very diverse discovery of the history of Georgia with a cheerful and fascinating guide.

Trip was absolutely gorgeous!!! Highly recommended, especially with May as a guide !!!