The Path of St. Nino

Day 1

Arrival in Tbilisi. Transfer to the hotel. (25 KM)

Overnight in Tbilisi.

Day 2

Tbilisi/Gori/Kutaisi (300 KM)

After breakfast drive to Gori. The city was founded by one of the greatest kings of Georgia, David the Builder (1089–1125). On the way visit Samtavisi, an 11th century Georgian Orthodox cathedral. The first monastery on this place was founded by the Assyrian missionary Isidore in 572 and later rebuilt in the 10th century. Visit The Joseph Stalin Museum in Gori (entrance fee: USD 6). Afterwards drive to Kutaisi. On the way stop at ceramic market and visit place where tourist will be available to see how locals make different house hold things by ceramic. Kutaisi is the second largest city of Georgia in its west part founded about 40 centuries ago, former capital of the west Georgian Kingdom Colchis, to which is related the myth of Golden Fleece and Argonauts. Visiting Bagrati Temple (11th c. UNESCO heritage). Visit Gelati Monastery (12th c. UNESCO heritage). Visit smaller monastery of Motsameta, spectacularly sited on a cliff-edge.

Dinner and overnight in Kutaisi.

Day 3

Kutaisi/Vardzia/Bakuriani (450 KM)

After breakfast drive to Vardzia (entrance fee: USD 1, 70). On the way visit Khertvisi Castle (9th-10th c.c.); Vardzia, a rock-hewn complex on the left bank of the river Mtkvari was founded in the 12th -13th c.c., during the reign of Giorgi III and Queen Tamar. Initially planned as a town-fortress, the complex became a well fortified monastery, which had a significant role in political, cultural, educational and spiritual life of the country. In the middle of the complex there is a Church of Assumption, richly decorated with mural painting. Afterwards drive to famous Georgian ski resort Bakuriani.

Dinner at the hotel and overnight in Bakuriani.

Day 4

Bakuriani/Borjomi/Uplistsikhe/Gudauri (350 KM)

After breakfast drive to Borjomi. Have a stop to taste the Borjomi natural mineral water. Have free time to take a walk in Borjomi Park (entrance fee: USD 0, 90). Taste natural mineral water "Borjomi". Drive to another Georgian ski resort Gudauri. On the way visit Uplistsikhe (entrance fee: USD 1, 70), "the lord's fortress", which is an ancient rock-hewn town in eastern Georgia. Built on a high rocky left bank of Mtkvari River, it contains various structures dating from the 2nd ML BC to the Late Middle Ages, and is notable for the unique combination of various styles of rock-cut cultures. Afterwards drive up the famous Georgian Military Highway (leading to the Georgian-Russian border) to famouse Geogrian ski resort Gudauri. On the way visit Ananuri architectural complex (17th century), the two churches and the fortress overlook the Zhinvali water reservoir. The drive is very scenic through high Caucasus Mountains.

Dinner at the hotel and overnight in Gudauri.

Day 5

Gudauri/Kazbegi/Tbilisi (200 KM)

After breakfast drive to Kazbegi. A stunning drive from Gudauri along the Tergi River will bring us to Kazbegi – the main town in the region. On the way we pass Ananuri Castle and Jinvaly woter reservoir of amazing beauty. From Kazbegi a leisurely 1.5 hour walk up through beautiful valleys and woodland leads us to Gergeti Trinity Church located at 2170m. Weather permitting you may catch a glimpse of one of the highest glaciers in the Caucasus – Mt Kazbegi (5047m). We walk back to the town and before returning to Gudauri drive to Dariali Gorge. (NOTE: to drive to Dariali Gorge or Trinity Church we need 4X4 cars, and in case of the group travel, when group is travelling by bus, we can rent 4X4 cars on the spot and price is USD 15 per person to drive both sights). From Gudauri we drive to Tbilisi. En route visit village and see how locals make different hand made things (thick felt, embroidery, iconographic painting).

Drive back to Tbilisi. Overnight in Tbilisi.

Day 6 Transfer to the airport.