Samtskhe Javakheti Tour in Georgia
Samtskhe-Javakheti is a highly scenic region whose most popular attractions are: spectacular cave city of Vardzia, impressive Fortress of Rabati, and beautiful Borjomi-Kharagauli National Park, which offers good mountain hiking. Landscapes changes dramatically in the region from the alpine forests and meadows around Borjomi and Bakuriani to the bare volcanic canyons of the Vardzia area.
Sapara Monastery Complex
Vardzia Cave City
Tour cost includes: Transport, Guide, Guesthouse, 2 course meal
Departure at about 08.00 A.M from your hotel located in Kutaisi. After 2 hours of journey we go through Rikoti Pass and head to South Georgia. Our first stop at Green Monastery officially known as Chitakhevi St. George Monastery. According to historians and archeologists, it was built in IX century by Christopher and Tevdore, students of St. Grigol Khandtstheli, a very influential figure in Georgian history. The monastery complex includes a basilica-type church and a bell tower, also built in IX century. People called it “The Green Monastery” as all the trees in the valley are of a special green color. Next stop at town Akhaltsikhe to visit impressive Rabati Castle. Akhaltsikhe is a town in Southern Georgia, founded in Middle Ages. Its name means “a new fortress”, because the town’s fortress used to be the most important landmark of the region. Now, renovated fortress of Rabati remains the main landmark of Akhaltsikhe. Its upper part includes the castle of Jakeli family, where the Museum of Samtskhe-Javakheti region is situated; there are also an Akhmediye Mosque, an orthodox church, an amphitheatre and a citadel. Complex was under control of different dynasties having influenced its architecture and design. Tour continuous to Sapara Monastery. It existed from at least the 9th century, and has numbered among its monks many important figures in Georgian ecclesiastical history. At about 6.00 P.M. return to Akhaltsikhe for overnight.
First site on our list is Vardzia Cave City. Complex is excavated from the slopes of the Erusheti Mountain on the left bank of the Kura River, The main period of construction was the second half of the twelfth century. The caves stretch along the cliff for some five hundred metres and in up to nineteen tiers. The Church of the Dormition, dating to the 1180s during the golden age of Tamar and Rustaveli, has an important series of wall paintings. We should not miss Khertvisi, one of the oldest fortresses in Georgia functioning throughout the Georgian feudal period. It was first build in the 2nd century BC. As the legend says, Khertvisi was destroyed by Alexander the Great. Afternoon we visit Birjomi’s mineral water park, dating back to 1850. It occupies a narrow, wooded valley and has nice recreational facilities. After an hour we continue our way to Kutaisi. Drop off at your hotel.