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Shida Kartli

Culinary & nightlife

Our most recommended Shida Kartli Culinary & Nightlife

Tbilisi: Private Uplistsikhe and Borjomi Hot Pools Day-Trip

1. 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.

Mtskheta, Gori and Uplistsikhe Cave Town Day Tour

2. Mtskheta, Gori and Uplistsikhe Cave Town 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. You will then 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 you can visit the house-museum of the famous generalissimo before heading to your next stop. After a 20 minute drive, you will arrive at the ancient cave city Uplistsikhe which was founded around the first millennium B.C. Here you will be able to explore the caves and see how peoples used to live from its establishment and the centuries which it was inhabited. Another 15 minutes away you will find the beautiful 7th-century church, Ateni Sioni, which is famous for its unique frescoes.  After you can have lunch and enjoy a wine tasting at one of the best wineries of central Georgia which you can choose. You can visit Iago's Winery, a small but comfortable wine boutique that is famous for its rate wines and perfect atmosphere. Your other option is Nika Vacheishvili winery which has beautiful views of the mountains of Central Georgia.

Uplistsikhe: Ancient Cave Settlement & UNESCO Heritage Tour

3. Uplistsikhe: Ancient Cave Settlement & UNESCO Heritage Tour

Head to one of the oldest settlements of the Caucasus, Uplistsikhe. It is a city carved in rock, which was supposedly founded in the 1st millennium B.C. The name of the place literally translates as Lord’s Fortress, and it is a place which played one of the most important political and economic roles in the history of Georgia. Archaeologists have unearthed numerous temples and findings relating to a sun goddess, worshiped prior to the arrival of Christianity. You can explore the vicinity and find out how an ancient wine cellar was functioning, or how the ancient Georgians used to have complex irrigation systems. The complex counts around 150 cave rooms of different purposes. After exploring Uplistsikhe your journey will continue towards Mtskheta, which was once the capital of the old Georgian kingdom Iberia. Here Christianity became an official religion in 337. Mtskheta boasts two UNESCO cultural heritages: the Svetitskhevli Cathedral (built in the 11th century). and the Jvari Monastery (built in the 6th century). Afterwards, you will continue to the next destination, the monastery complex of Shio Mgvime. The place is steeped in the forest and is located in a beautiful and quiet limestone gorge. The name of the place is literally translated as "The cave of Shio". St. Shio, who was supposedly a founder of the monastery complex in the 6th century, was one of the 13 Assyrian Fathers. His grave is also located here and is considered to be a holy place. Upon request a short hiking (approximately 1.5 hours) to the small chapel up to the hill can be done, from where you will have wonderful view of the surrounded area.

From Tbilisi: Private Trip to Mtskheta, Gori and Uplistsikhe

4. From Tbilisi: Private Trip to Mtskheta, Gori and Uplistsikhe

Explore 3 well-known Georgian towns on a private day trip from Tbilisi. Learn the history behind these places while traveling in the comfort of an air-conditioned vehicle. A break for lunch or dinner provides the perfect opportunity to try a typical Georgian meal. The day starts with hotel pickup in Tbilisi. From here, set off for Mtskheta, one of Georgia's oldest cities and former capital. Here, admire the Svetitskhoveli Cathedral, Samtavro Monastery, and old cobbled streets filled with souvenir shops and cafés. A tour of this city would not be complete without a visit to the Jvari Monastery, perched above the city and rivers below. Explore this UNESCO World Heritage site and admire the rural countryside surrounding it. The next stop of the day is in Gori, the birthplace of Joseph Stalin. Wander through a museum dedicated to this former Soviet leader and take time to admire the city streets and monuments named in his honor. At some point during the tour, the guide will provide a break for lunch. Ask your guide to recommend some Georgian favorites and savor them with a glass of local wine. The last stop of the tour will be in Uplistsikhe, an abandoned rock-hewn town a few kilometers away from Gori. One of the oldest urban settlements in Georgia, you'll enjoy exploring the labyrinth of caves and imagining life in the Early Iron Age. The local partner does its best to ensure socially responsible and sustainable tourism. This includes providing an insurance policy for guests and implementing the highest standards possible for its tours, ensuring that your trip to Georgia will be one to be remembered!

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