Mtskheta, Uplistsikhe and Gori Day Tour
Jvari Orthodox Monastery, Svetitskhoveli Cathedral, Samtavro Monastery, Ateni Sioni Church, Uplistsikhe Cave Town, Stalin Museum
On the Mtskheta, Uplistsikhe and Gori Day Tour you’ll spend a day away from the capital as you tour monasteries and cathedrals in Mtskheta, wine and dine Georgian-style in Chardakhi Village, climb among abandoned rock homes in Uplistsikhe Cave Town and see the birthplace of Stalin in the small town of Gori. One of our most diverse Georgia day tours, this full-day excursion includes a side trip to Ateni Sioni Church and transportation to and from Tbilisi.
Mtskheta, Georgia is more than a small town boasting of three UNESCO World Heritage Sites – it’s the religious capital of Georgia, considered a holy pilgrimage site for the Georgian Orthodox Church. Likely inhabited since before the 1st millennium BC, this former capital of Iberia is a gorgeous town of idyllic churches and tangible history. Just north of Mtskheta lies quirky and captivating Uplistsikhe Cave Town, built into the side of a mountain and considered one of the oldest settlements in Georgia.
In the morning, your guide and driver will meet you at your hotel in Tbilisi to begin your private tour. Drive to the small town of Mtskheta (25km, 30min) to explore three UNESCO World Heritage Sites:
- Jvari Orthodox Monastery (6th century), a unique remnant of the early Georgian church built at the top of a hill. The church overlooks the confluence of the Mtkvari and Aragvi Rivers and amazes its visitors with simple yet beautiful facades.
- Svetitskhoveli Cathedral (11th century), where one of the holiest items of the orthodox Christian world - the seamless robe, or chiton, worn by Jesus Christ at crucifixion - is believed to be buried. Admire its stunning architecture and moving frescoes as you learn the various legends connected with the church.
- Take a walk on the lovely streets of Mtskheta to admire the homes and balconies or shop for Georgia’s famous national sweet, churchkhela.
- Samtavro Monastery (11th century), former center of the Georgian Orthodox Church and burial site of Wueen Nana and King Mirian, who founded the monastery. The complex attracts many religious pilgrims and includes several churches, bell towers, frescoes and an active convent.
After the tour of Mtskheta, drive to Chardakhi Village for a special Georgian lunch and wine tasting at a family vineyard.
Continue your tour to Uplistsikhe Cave Town (1st millennium BC) to explore the ancient cave fortress built entirely from rock.
Translated as “Fortress of the Lord”, this amazing town was inhabited across millennia. Trace the various civilizations that inhabited the town as you climb through homes, churches and even a secret tunnel. Your next stop is Ateni Sioni Church (7th century) a remote Georgian Orthodox chapel famous for its frescoes.
Finish your tour in Gori, a town built by King David the Builder in 1089-1125 and placed on the map by Joseph Stalin, who was born here in 1920. Learn more about the Soviet leader at the Stalin Museum, which includes the house in which Stalin was born, while enjoying the panoramic view of Gori.
Return to Tbilisi (100km, 1.5hrs). End of Mtskheta, Uplistsikhe and Gori Day Tour.
Tour duration: approximately 9 hours
- Private, local guide;
- Entrance fees to the sights as per itinerary;
- Lunch and wine tasting;
- Bottled mineral water (0.5 liter per person);
- Transportation throughout the tour.
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