Tbilisi
Archaeology

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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: Ancient Capital of Georgia Private Half-Day Tour

2. Mtskheta: Ancient Capital of Georgia Private Half-Day Tour

Begin your journey at Jvari. Enjoy a beautiful view of the ancient city and its natural beauty. Continue to Svetitskhoveli Cathedral, located in the Holy City.  Follow the road to Samtavro Monastery. Visit the urban area of Mtskheta, a renewed, stunning town. Explore the little shops and picturesque architecture. Take the opportunity to relax with a glass of wine.  Travel to the Shio-Mgvime monastery, a medievel monastic complex, located in the forest on the bank of the river Kura. Pass through a limestone canyon on the way. End your trip with lunch on the river bank. 

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Off-road Tour to David Gareja Monastery and Rainbow Mountain

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

Go on a one-day tour to the David Gareja Monastery complex. This short but eventful journey will allow you to explore one of the most ancient and important religious sites in Georgia. Davit-Gareja cave city, an extraordinary site with fantastic semi-desert landscapes, is located 100km south-east from Tbilisi, and it was founded in the 6th Century by David (St. David Garejeli). The complex of temples stretches for several kilometers in the south-east of the country and along the border with Azerbaijan. The David Gareja Monastery is unique due to the fact that many of its buildings are cut into a huge tilted rock and some of its temples still preserve millenary frescos. Be ready to walk and climb on uneven ground. The walking route last approximately 8 km (5 miles). On the way back, you will stop at a nice cozy house for lunch (not included) and for a wine tasting.

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Mtskheta - Jvari - Gori - Uplistsikhe Full Day Private Tour

4. 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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Mtskheta: Day Tour to Oldest City in Georgia

5. Mtskheta: Day Tour to Oldest City in Georgia

Visit Mtskheta, one of oldest cities of Georgia near Tbilisi. Mtskheta was the capital of the early Georgian Kingdom of Iberia from the 3rd century BC to the 5th century AD. Here Georgians accepted Christianity in 317 and, today, Mtskheta remains the headquarters of the Georgian Orthodox and Apostolic Church. Experience Jvari Monastery, a Georgian Orthodox monastery of the 6th century near Mtskheta and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The name is translated as the "Monastery of Cross." The great church represents the peak of architectural typology. It is a true architectural masterpiece overlooking the confluence of Aragvi and Mtkvari rivers from the top of the hill. Next, Svetitskhoveli Cathedral. Built in the 11th century, the site itself is even older and dates back to the early 4th century. It differs in its artistic value, magnificence, harmony and the special role it has played in the 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 Christ's robe and the tomb place of Georgian Kings. The cathedral is the second largest church building in Georgia and is listed as a UNSECO World Heritage Site along with other historical monuments of Mtskheta. Discover Samtavro Monastery complex, built in the 11th century. It contains the grave of Queen Nana and Mirian III and the King of Iberia, who established Christianity as an official religion in Georgia. The famous Georgian monk Gabrieli is buried inside the Samtavro church as well. Don't forget to stop by Wine Degustation, where you can taste and buy Georgian wine!

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Mtskheta, Ananuri, Gudauri and Kazbegi Tour from Tbilisi

6. Mtskheta, Ananuri, Gudauri and Kazbegi Tour from Tbilisi

Benefit from pick-up at your hotel in Tbilisi, and then drive by air-conditioned minivan to the ancient capital of the Kingdom of Iberia in Mtskheta. Visit the beautiful 6th-century Jvari Monastery to experience one of the most important monuments in Georgia. Next, head to Zhinvali to see the largest reservoir in eastern Georgia. Continue to the castle complex of Ananuri on the Aragvi River and learn about the feudal dynasty that ruled the area from the 13th century. Get back to nature in the Caucasus Mountains and visit the ski resort of Gudauri. See an impressive example of public art at the Russia–Georgia Friendship Monument on the Georgian Military Highway. Head to the Gergeti Trinity Church perched 2,170 meters above sea level. Get 2.5 hours of free time in the town of Kazbegi (also known as Stepantsminda) before the return trip to Tbilisi in the late evening.

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Tbilisi: Full Day Private Guided Tour to Kazbegi

7. Tbilisi: Full Day Private Guided Tour to Kazbegi

Start the day with pickup from your hotel in Tbilisi and then head to Jinali, the largest reservoir of eastern Georgia. Marvel at the stunning landscape of the scene and then travel to the fortress of Ananuri, which is one of the best monuments of late feudal Georgia. The impressive fortress provides and interesting insight into how the people lived in that long-ago time, and from your guide, learn about how this period of history influenced the country. The Ananurian structures at the fortress are perfectly preserved, unlike other similar historic structures. This feature evokes interest in the fortress of both tourists and historians, and since 2012 the fortress has held the status of a UNESCO World Heritage Site. After the fortress, enjoy a lunch break at a nearby restaurant, or opt for a tasting of the traditional Georgian Khinkali. Following lunch, head to Gudauri, a ski resort situated on a south-facing plateau of the greater Caucasus Mountain. After wandering around the resort, discover the People's Friendship Arch, a creation of the famous sculptor Tsereteli. The Arch was built at an altitude of 2,384 meters in the Kazbegi district, on the cross pass near the Military Georgian Road. Next, visit the Stepantsminda Trinity Church in Gergeti, built on the slopes of the majestic Kazbek Mountain, among the snow-covered ranges. The church is located at an altitude of 2,170 meters near the town of Stepantsminda and the village of Gergeti and provides stunning views across the snow. Towards the end of your tour, enjoy dinner in a Gudauri restaurant before heading back to your accommodation in Tbilisi.

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From Tbilisi: Georgian Highlights in One Day Private Tour

8. From Tbilisi: Georgian Highlights in One Day Private Tour

Your guide will pick you up in the morning in a comfortable car and head first to the Tbilisi sea. You might be surprised by the existence of a sea in the Georgian capital, but in fact, the Tbilisi sea is the unofficial name of the reservoir created in 1952 to serve the city with water. The Tbilisi reservoir is located at a height of more than 500m above sea level and it is a pleasure to spend time here during the summer heat. Here, you’ll also visit a monument that amazes with its size. Known as the Georgian Stonehenge, the monument is officially titled the Chronicle of Georgia and was created by the Georgian-Russian painter, sculptor, and architect Zurab Tsereteli. The memorial was erected in order to celebrate 3,000 years of Georgian sovereignty and 2,000 years of Christianity in Georgia. The next stop will be the Jvari Monastery, the 6th-century Georgian Orthodox monastery built on a hill opposite Mtskheta at the confluence of the Aragvi and Mtkvari rivers. Jvari Monastery is included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. Continue to the Shida Kartli region where you’ll visit Uplistsikhe, an ancient cave town and one of the oldest urban settlements in Georgia. Uplistsikhe — literally “Fortress of God" — is an ancient town that played a significant role in Georgian history over a period of approximately 3,000 years. Archaeological excavations have revealed extraordinary artifacts dating from the late Bronze Age all the way up to the late Middle Ages. The next stop will be at Borjomi Central Park, home to the most remarkable virtues of Borjomi with its striking nature and unique mineral waters. One of the best places to experience this is Mineral Water Park. The park itself dates back to the 1850s and is an attractive destination throughout the year. Here you can taste the natural Borjomi mineral water and relax in a beautiful environment, or you can try riding the cable car up to the top of the park. After this last stop, your guide will drop you off in Borjomi or Bakuriani, or you can return to your accommodation Tbilisi.

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Tbilisi: Guided Mtskheta, Gori, and Uplistsikhe Tour

9. 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

10. 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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What people are saying about Tbilisi

Overall rating

4.4 / 5

based on 30 reviews

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.

Beautiful tour... Full of adventure.. Aleksi was a spectacular guide. Full of information. He was extremely attentive to our needs....allowed us to enjoy the tour at our pace. I highly recommend this tour and more importantly Aleksi as a guide.

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 !!!