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TBILISI AND THE CAUCASUS MOUNTAINS

Discover the spectacular scenery and welcoming people of one of Eurasia’s most fascinating countries.

At the crossroads of two vast continents, on the route of the great Silk Road and in the shadow of the Caucasus Mountains, Georgia is one of the world’s most beautiful countries. It’s also a place with an ancient, fascinating history that includes some of the oldest known beginnings of wine-making, and that boasts the legendary hospitality of a population that believes guests are blessings. With a burgeoning tourism infrastructure now bringing 21st-century comforts to its spectacular setting, Georgia is one of the world’s foremost “must see now” destinations.

What does this price include?

  • Six nights’ bed and breakfast accommodation at four-star hotels in Tbilisi (4 nights) and Stepantsminda (2)
  • Three lunches and three dinners
  • Return flights to Tbilisi (overnight on the way out)
  • Coach travel and transfers throughout
  • Fully escorted by a friendly, experienced tour manager

Your Itinerary

  • Fly to Tbilisi’s Rustaveli International Airport.

  • Upon arrival, meet your tour manager and transfer to your hotel, where your rooms will be ready for you. After the chance to rest and have breakfast, enjoy an afternoon’s guided tour of the compact, historic Georgian capital.

    The country’s capital for over 1500 years, Tbilisi sits beside to the Mtkvari River in a dramatic gorge, next to a natural spring and beneath the vast, imposing Narikala Fortress. For centuries, it was the most important trading centre in the Caucasus, a key stop on the ancient Silk Road. Its colourful old town – a cosmopolitan mix of cultures and faiths living in harmony and watched over by the statue of its founder, King Vakhtang Gorgasali – boasts a delightful maze of narrow streets lined with shops, stores and an increasing number of modern bars, cafés and restaurants catering to visitors.

    Your tour will also include a chair-lift ride up to the Narikala Fortress above to take in the views of the city, and this evening dinner will be served in a restaurant, accompanied by some traditional Georgian singing.

  • Board our coach and head west out of the city into the beautiful, rolling countryside. Your first stop will be ancient Gori, beneath its own imposing fortress, best known as the birthplace of Josef Stalin. A fascinating museum houses over 60,000 Stalin exhibits, including the house in which the dictator is said to have been born and the train in which he travelled.

    You’ll also visit the ancient cave town of Uplistsikhe, where dwellings, some dating from the First Century BCE, as well as temples and whole streets of houses and shops, are hewn from the surrounding rock. One of the highlights of your day will be a lunch hosted by some hospitable villagers.

  • Today’s tour takes you east to the picture-book Alazani valley, overlooked by impossibly pretty hilltop town Sighnaghi, and offering spectacular views of the towering Caucasus beyond. Here, you’ll pay a visit to 9th-century Bodbe Monastery, where the remains of Georgia’s Patron Saint, St Nino, are enshrined, before heading to Sighnaghi. This being the centre of the Kakheti wine-growing region, you’ll also enjoy a pleasant lunch and tasting of traditionally grown organic wines at a local farm cellar, and learn about life in rural Georgia through the ages before returning to Tbilisi this evening.

  • On a remarkably scenic day, you’ll head north towards the foothills of the mighty Caucasus, pausing first at the former capital of the Georgian kingdom, Mtskheta. The country’s cultural and spiritual home, and cradle of its Orthodox Christianity, riverside Mtskheta stood at the crossroads of the Roman, Persian and Byzantine empires, and boasts sacred Svetiskhoveli cathedral (burial place of kings) and the Jvari Monastery of the Cross among its UNESCO-listed treasures.

    Journeying further north, you’ll pass beneath striking Ananuri castle in its commanding position above the Aragvi River, to arrive in the village of Sno, close to mountain resort Stepantsminda by late afternoon. Still more commonly known as Kazbek, Stepantsminda is surrounded by some of the most beautiful peaks in the Caucasus, including 5000-metre-high Mount Kazbek. Later, enjoy a memorable dinner with a local family, and learn a little about the colourful folklore of this beautiful corner of Georgia.

  • Join your experienced driver on a four-wheel drive, and head to the hilltop Gergeti Trinity Church, which, on clear days, offers sensational views of the Terek river valley and the towering flanks of Mount Kazbek. If weather permits, you’ll also have the chance to take the hour or so walk to the foot of the Gergeti Glacier.

    Your wonderful day finishes with a visit to a local artist. Admire the intricate felt work they create, and taste teas and other local delicacies. Dinner at your hotel is included this evening.

  • Bidding farewell to your Stepantsminda hosts, today, you’ll return to Tbilisi, where you’ll enjoy a last included lunch – your final taste of Georgian hospitality.

  • Transfer back to the airport to board your daytime flight home, at the end of a marvellous Georgian holiday.

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Hotels

Georgia - where Europe meets Asia Touring Hotels

You will be staying in two comfortable, conveniently located four-star hotels.

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Further Information

  • The transfer time from the airport to your hotel is approximately 35 minutes.

  • We sometimes need to combine transfers to and from your hotel. We always try to keep any wait to a minimum, but you may be asked to wait at the airport for up to an hour, while other incoming flights arrive, before the transfer to your hotel. Similarly, we may need to transfer you back to the airport up to three hours before your flight home departs.

  • If you have notified us of any special requirements, please check that they have been noted and acknowledged. This is especially important with any dietary needs you may have.

  • The majority of our tours involve a certain amount of walking, including a short walk from the coach stop to the town, attraction or venue you're visiting. If you are bringing a wheelchair, please let us know at the time of booking so that appropriate arrangements can be made.

  • Occasionally, for operational reasons, we may have to change the order of the excursions on your holiday. The final day-by-day itinerary will be confirmed on your Final Travel Documents, which you will receive approximately three weeks prior to your departure.

  • Should circumstances require, we reserve the right to accommodate you in alternative hotels, of a similar standard, nearby. Full details of your hotels will be sent with your Final Travel Documents.

  • Visit www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice to find out the latest Foreign And Commonwealth Office travel advice for your holiday destination, as well as information about passports and visas.

  • All flights are via Istanbul, except for Gatwick which is a direct flight.

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