Katskhi Pillar and Chiatura Tour
Katskhi Pillar, Katskhi Monastery, Chiatura Cable Cars, Mghvimevi Monastery, Terjola Wine Factory
Let the Katskhi Pillar and Chiatura Tour whisk you away to bygone eras and otherworldly lands. Come face-to-face with life as a reclusive monk atop the remote Katskhi Pillar and step into Soviet times with an exhilarating ride on Stalin’s Rope Roads, otherwise known as the cable cars of Chiatura. Combined with visits to the unusual architecture of Katskhi Monastery and Mghvimevi Monastery and the tunnels of Terjola Wine Factory, Katskhi Pillar and Chiatura Tour is truly unforgettable.
Amid Georgia’s plethora of monasteries, Katskhi Pillar towers above the rest as a true sight to behold. The pillar served as a pagan center of worship for years before being converted into one of the world’s most hard-to-access monasteries. In stark contrast with the monastery’s natural solitude, the mining town of Chiatura continues to make headlines for its tireless cable cars, remnants of the Soviet era which zip miners and tourists across a town as determined as the cable cars themselves.
In the morning, a private guide and driver will meet you at your hotel in Kutaisi and drive to Katskhi Pillar (65 km, 1hr 15min).
Discover Katskhi Pillar (8th century), a monastery perched on a 40-meter-high rock. Monk Maxime has been living in solitude at Katskhi Pillar for 25 years. Soak in the silence and breathtaking views that surround the isolated hermitage.
Continue driving to Chiatura (12km) via Katskhi Monastery (11th century), whose unique architecture and intricate hexagonal form are found nowhere else in Georgia.
Arrive to Chiatura, a small town founded in 1879 which has managed to retain a distinct Soviet aura. Have a look around the city and ride the famous Chiatura Cable Cars that connect nearby mines with the town’s residential areas. Remnants from the communist era, the cable cars display some of the most incredible engineering in the world.
Visit Mghvimevi Monastery (13th century), an active nunnery that is partially embedded in mountain rock and notable for its impressive wood carvings and frescoes.
On the return drive to Kutaisi, stop at Terjola Wine Factory, a tunnel winery which uses traditional and organic processes to produce their wines.
Arrive in Kutaisi. End of Katskhi Pillar and Chiatura Tour.
Tour duration: approximately 6 hours
- Private, local guide;
- Entrance fees to the sights as per itinerary, including cable car ride;
- Mineral water (0.5 liter per person);
- Transportation throughout the tour.
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