Easter holidays in Georgia (8 days, 7 nights)
12.04 – 19.04.
Day 1 (12.04.): Kutaisi – Tbilisi
Arrival in Kutaisi. Transfer to Tbilisi. Meeting with a company representative.
Introducing the city. The capital of Georgia is unique. It is located on the several mountain hills, on which the old blocks "creep". Tbilisi, one of the rare places in the world where Orthodox Church, Catholic Cathedral, Synagogue and Mosque can peacefully coexist in the Old City. In the morning, visit the Cathedral of Georgia Sameba (Trinity). Later, visit Anchiskhati Basilica (VI c.), ascend to the holy mountain Mtatsminda, visit church constructed in honor of Holy Father David (VI c.) and quench your thirst with a holy and miraculous spring water. From the observation deck of Mount Mtatsminda you can enjoy beautiful views of Tbilisi. Through the narrow streets, cross the main street - Rustaveli Avenue and go down to the Old Tbilisi. Bypassing the residence of Georgian Patriarch you reach one of the main churches of the capital - Sioni Cathedral, where the scull of Apostle Thomas is buried at the south wall. Nighttime "city of light". Dinner. Hotel accommodation. Overnight.
Day 2 (13.04.): Tbilisi – David-Gareji – Bodbe – Sighnaghi
Breakfast. Excursion to David-Gareji - Georgian complex of cave monasteries of VI century established by the St. David. According to the legend St. David travelled to Jerusalem, he was overcome with emotions and felt unable to enter the city, he decided to take three stones at the gate of the holy city and return back. The same night the patriarch of Jerusalem had a vision that someone took all the spiritual treasure from the city. His Soldiers followed David and reclaimed back two of the stones. David brought one of the stones to Georgia. In many refectories and churches of David-Gareji there are frescoes of VI-IX centuries among them the mural of Queen Tamari. Departure to the "city of eternal love" – Sighnaghi. Visit village Bodbe - monastery complex of St. George and the grave of St. Nino who brought Christianity to Georgia. There is the burial site of St. Nino and it is believed that having bath in saint water of the monastery can heal the sick and make miserable people happy. Ablutions in this spring is compared to the holy Communion in Georgia. Upon request, for extra charge you can enjoy Georgian wines in one of wineries in Sighnaghi. Hotel accommodation. Dinner. Overnight in Sighnaghi.
Day 3 (14.04.): Sighnaghi – Nekresi – Gremi – Telavi – Tbilisi
Breakfast. Departure to Tbilisi. On the way, visit Nekresi - the oldest temple of Georgia of IV c. Excursion to Gremi - royal fortress (XVI c.). The complex is surrounded by the wall with towers and embrasures. The secret tunnel connecting to the river is still preserved there. There is the church of Archangels (XI c.). Excursion in Telavi - main city and administrative center of Kakheti region with museum in the fortress of King Heraclius II (XVIII c.). He signed Treaty of Georgievsky with the Russian Empire. Visit old and new Shuamta monasteries, Alaverdi Cathedral (XI c.), the second highest (above 50 m.) church in the territory of Georgia and the monastery winery. Excursion in Ikalto academy (X-XII c.) where as it is said Shota Rustaveli got education. He was Georgian philosopher and poet, the author of the poem “The Night In The Panther’s skin”. Hotel accommodation in Tbilisi. Dinner. Overnight.
Day 4 (15.04.): Tbilisi
Breakfast. Free time. Stroll in the city. Preparation for vespers in the cathedral of Georgia Sameba (Trinity). The monumentality and grandeur of this church will forever remain in your memory (worship service in Sameba conducts himself Patriarch of Georgia Ilia II). Overnight.
Day 5 (16.04.): Tbilisi – Mtskheta – Tbilisi
The Resurrection of Christ. Easter.
Breakfast. Excursion in the New Jerusalem, ancient capital of Georgia – Mtskheta – town museum included in the list of protected monument of UNESCO. Visit temple-monastery Jvari (VI c). There you can enjoy Fantastic view of the ancient capital of Georgia - Mtskheta. Visit Svetitskhoveli Cathedral (1010-1029), at the bottom of which one of the major Christian relics Lords Robe is buried. This relic was brought to the city by Jewish citizen of Mtskheta – Ellios who witnessed Crucifixion. Svetitckhoveli is the burial site of many Georgian kings. There is also the part of life-giving pillar. Visit Samtavro monastery, where blackberry bush grows, flowers and fruits whole year round. Near this monastery St. Nino - enlightener, the preacher of Christianity in Georgia of IV century lived and preached Christianity. The date of official adoption of Christianity in Georgia is 324 AD. This fact is associated with the name of St. Nino, with the assistance and participation of the King St. Mirian and Queen St. Nana. It was St. Nino who persuaded the king Mirian and queen Nana to adopt Christianity in Georgia. Wonderworking icon of Iberian Mother of God, wonderworking icon of St. Nino, grave of St. king Mirian and Queen Nana, hallows of St. Abibos Nekreseli, St. Shio Mghvimeli are located inside the church. Return to Tbilisi. Closing dinner with national songs and dances. Overnight.
Day 6 (17.04.): Tbilisi – Kazbegi – Tbilisi
Breakfast. In the morning, departure from Tbilisi in the direction of Stepantsminda (Kazbegi). On the way, we visit the picturesque Ananuri fortress (XVI c.), located at the Aragvi river and attracting visitors with the beauty of Zhinvali reservoir. Leaving behind the ski resort Gudauri (2200 m), enjoy the stunning trip along Tergi river, through Cross Pass (2400 m). Visit Stepantsminda (Kazbegi). Excursion in Kazbegi: church of the Holy Trinity of Gergeti (2170 m. above the sea level). With fair weather condition there is a chance to take a look of the stunning mountain Kazbegi (5147 m), one of the highest tops of Georgia. Return to Tbilisi. Dinner. Overnight.
Day 7 (18.04.): Tbilisi – Akhaltsikhe – Vardzia – Borjomi – Kutaisi
Breakfast. Departure to recently reconstructed Akhaltsikhe fortress, the motherland of Charles Aznavur, the ancient center of Catholicism in Georgia. In the complex, together with Orthodox Church of St. Marina, Mosque, Catholic Church and monastery of Benedictine Sisters, synagogue and Armenian Church are placed. Visit Vardzia cave monastery complex (XII- XIII c.) – 19 stored rock town. 900 m along the left bank of Kura river. In wall of the mountain around 600 buildings are cut out – among them churches, chapels, parrocks, pantries, baths, libraries. There are preserved secret passages, remains of plumbing, and irrigation system. Vardzia - is the site of Golden Age. More than thousands of monks lived there, and when being attacked, 20 thousand of people could find shelter there. Departure to Borjomi. We will taste the worldknown mineral water Borjomi from the spring. Return to Kutaisi. Dinner. Overnight.
Day 8 (19.04.): Kutaisi
Breakfast. Free time. Farewell, Transfer to the airport.
Price does not include:
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