ItineraryDay 1: Georgian Military Road.Stop At: Ananuri Fortified Castle Ensemble, Ananuri, Mtskheta-Mtianeti RegionAnanuri was a castle and seat of the eristavis (Dukes) of Aragvi, a feudal dynasty which ruled the area from the 13th century. The castle was the scene of numerous battles.In 1739, Ananuri was attacked by forces from a rival duchy, commanded by Shanshe of Ksani and was set on fire. The Aragvi clan was massacred. However, four years later, the local peasants revolted against rule by the Shamshe, killing the usurpers and inviting King Teimuraz II to rule directly over them. However, in 1746, King Teimuraz was forced to suppress another peasant uprising, with the help of King Erekle II of Kakheti. The fortress remained in use until the beginning of the 19th century. In 2007, the complex has been on the tentative list for inclusion into the UNESCO World Heritage Site program.Duration: 45 minutesStop At: Gudauri Ski ResortGudauri (Georgian: გუდაური) is a ski resort located on the south-facing plateau of The Greater Caucasus Mountain Range in Georgia. The resort is situated in the Stepantsminda District, along the Georgian Military Highway near the Jvari Pass, at an elevation of 2,200 meters (7,200 ft.) above sea level with skiable area enjoying maximum exposure to the sun. Gudauri lies 120 km (75 mi) to the north of the capital Tbilisi and two hours drive from the Tbilisi International Airport or even a short helicopter flight from the capital. The resort offers high quality skiing opportunities. The slopes of Gudauri are completely above the tree line and are best for free-riders and are generally considered to be avalanche-safe. The ski season lasts from December to April. Heliskiin, paraglidin is also available throughout the season.Duration: 1 hourStop At: Russian Georgian Friendship Monument, Gudauri, Mtskheta-Mtianeti RegionThe Russia–Georgia Friendship Monument or Treaty of Georgievsk Monument is a monument built in 1983 to celebrate the bicentennial of the Treaty of Georgievsk and the ongoing friendship between Soviet Georgia and Soviet Russia. Located on the Georgian Military Highway between the ski resort town of Gudauri and the Jvari pass, the monument is a large round stone and concrete structure overlooking the Devil's Valley in the Caucasus mountains. Inside the monument is a large tile mural that spans the whole circumference of the structure and depicts scenes of Georgian and Russian history.Duration: 30 minutesStop At: СтепанцминдаAccording to tradition, Stepantsminda, literally "Saint Stephan", was named so after a Georgian Orthodox monk Stephan, who constructed a hermitage at this location on what later became the Georgian Military Highway. It came under the control of a local feudal magnate, the Chopikashvili clan, who were in charge of collecting tolls on travelers in the area in the late 18th century. After the expansion of the Russian Empire into the Kingdom of Georgia in the early 19th century, the people of the region revolted against Russian rule. However, the local lord Gabriel Chopikashvili, son of Kazi-Beg, remained steadfast in his loyalty to Russia and helped to suppress the revolt. In return, he was promoted to officer in the Russian Army. He adopted the surname Kazbegi, and the village under his control was also frequently referred to as "Kazbegi". The name was officially changed to Kazbegi under Soviet rule in 1925. Gabriel Chopikashvili-Kazbegi's grandson was the famed Georgian writer Alexander Kazbegi, who was born in this town. In 2006, the town reverted to its original name of Stepantsminda.Duration: 25 minutesStop At: Gergeti Trinity Church, Stepantsminda, Mtskheta-Mtianeti RegionGergeti Trinity Church (Georgian: წმინდა სამება - Tsminda Sameba) is a popular name for Holy Trinity Church near the village of Gergeti in Georgia. The church is situated on the right bank of the river Chkheri (the left tributary of the river Tergi), at an elevation of 2170 meters (7120 feet), under Mount Kazbegi.The Gergeti Trinity Church was built in the 14th century, and is the only cross-cupola church in Khevi province. The separate belltower dates from the same period as the church itself. Its isolated location on top of a steep mountain surrounded by the vastness of nature has made it a symbol for Georgia. The 18th century Georgian author Vakhushti Batonishvili wrote that in times of danger, precious relics from Mtskheta, including Saint Nino's Cross were brought here for safekeeping. During the Soviet era, all religious services were prohibited, but the church remained a popular tourist destination. The church is now an active establishment of the Georgian Orthodox and Apostolic Church.The church is a popular way point for trekkers in the area, and can be reached by a steep 1 1/2 hour climb up the mountain, or around 30 minutes by jeep up a rough mountain trail.Duration: 45 minutesMeals included: • DinnerAccommodation included: Overnight at Anano's guesthouse with private bathroom.Day 2: West Georgia, Kutaisi. Stop At: Stalin Museum, Gori, Shida Kartli RegionStalin MuseumThe main corpus of the complex is a large palazzo in Stalinist Gothic style, begun in 1951 ostensibly as a museum of the history of socialism, but clearly intended to become a memorial to Stalin, who died in 1953. The exhibits are divided into six halls in roughly chronological order, and contain many items actually or allegedly owned by Stalin, including some of his office furniture, his personal effects and gifts made to him over the years. There is also much illustration by way of documentation, photographs, paintings and newspaper articles. The display concludes with one of twelve copies of the death mask of Stalin taken shortly after his death.Stalin's houseEnshrined within a Greco-Italianate pavilion is a small wooden hut, in which Stalin was born in 1878 and spent his first four years. The small hut has two rooms on the ground floor. Stalin's father Bessarion Jughashvili, a local shoemaker, rented the one room on the left hand side of the building and maintained a workshop in the basement. The landlord lived in the other room. The hut originally formed part of a line of similar dwellings, but the others have been demolished.Stalin's railway carriageStalin's personal railway carriage, located outside the museumTo one side of the museum is Stalin's personal railway carriage. The green Pullman carriage, which is armour plated and weighs 83 tons, was used by Stalin from 1941 on wards, including his attendances at the Yalta Conference and the Tehran Conference. It was sent to the museum on being recovered from the railway yards at Rostov-on-Don in 1985.Duration: 50 minutesStop At: Uplistsiche Cave Town, Gori, Shida Kartli RegionUplistsikhe is identified by archaeologists as one of the oldest urban settlements in Georgia. Strategically located in the heartland of ancient kingdom of Kartli (or Iberia as it was known to the Classical authors), it emerged as a major political and religious center of the country. The town’s age and importance led medieval Georgian written tradition to ascribe its foundation to the mythical Uplos, son of Mtskhetos, and grandson of Kartlos.With the Christianization of Kartli early in the 4th century, Uplistsikhe seems to have declined in its importance and lost its position to the new centers of Christian culture – Mtskheta and, later Tbilisi. However, Uplistsikhe reemerged as a principal Georgian stronghold during the Muslim conquest of Tbilisi in the 8th and 9th century. The Mongol raids in the 14th century marked the ultimate eclipse of the town; it was virtually abandoned, and only occasionally used as a temporary shelter in times of foreign intrusionsDuration: 1 hourMeals included: • Breakfast • DinnerAccommodation included: Overnight at Hotel Gora 3-star hotelDay 3: Drive from Kutaisi to BakurianiStop At: Bagrati Cathedral, Kutaisi, Imereti RegionBagrati Cathedral was built in the early years of the 11th century, during the reign of King Bagrat III, due to which it was called "Bagrati", i.e., Bagrat’s cathedral. An inscription on the north wall reveals that the floor was laid in "chronicon 223", i.e., 1003. In 1692, it was devastated in an explosion by Ottoman troops who had invaded the Kingdom of Imereti. The incident caused the cupola and ceiling to collapse.Conservation and restoration works, as well as archaeological studies at the Cathedral began in the 1950s under the leadership of a Georgian architect Vakhtang Tsintsadze. The restoration works headed by Tsintsadze were divided into six stages and continued for several decades through 1994. That same year in 1994 Bagrati Cathedral, together with the Gelati Monastery, was included in UNESCO's World Heritage Site list as a single entity. In 2001, ownership of the cathedral was transferred from the Georgian state to the Georgian Orthodox Church. It is presently of limited use for religious services, but attracts many pilgrims and tourists. It is also frequently used as a symbol of the city of Kutaisi, being one of its main tourist attractions.Duration: 25 minutesStop At: Gelati Monastery, Kutaisi, Imereti RegionThe Gelati Monastery is in Kutaisi, Imereti Province, Georgia. It signifies the value of the Georgian Christian orthodox religion. Inside the monastery is full of murals and an abundance amount imagery surrounding the interior of the church. It was one of the first monastery in Georgia and adds great value to the Georgian culture and beauty.The nickname of The Gelati Monastery is the “Golden Age of Georgia”. The monastery was built during the Byzantine Empire which is known for the use of gold aesthetic in their paintings and buildings. It was built to show how Christianity encompassed all of this land and that Georgia was filled with Christian gospel all around even high up in the mountains. As the monastery is covered in arches that stretch over mountains show how encompassing the monastery is over the mountains and over the hills.Duration: 45 minutesStop At: Okatse Canyon, Kutaisi, Imereti RegionMain sightseeing: Dadiani forest park, ruins of Dadiani castle, Church, Okatse Canyon, hanging cliff trail, panoramic view, bird watching and viewing endemic plants.The route starts from the visitors center of Okatse Canyon, which is located in the village of Gordi. 2300 m long stone paved path crosses the historical forest park of Dadiani and leads to the Okatse Canyon checkpoint, where the 780 m long hanging cliff trail starts. One have to go dawn 989 steps of metal stairs. The cliff trail ends with the 20m long panoramic view, where it is possible to take selfie. 645m long stone paved path goes from the cliff trail to the checkpoint. It is possible to drive from the visitor center to the checkpoint by car.There is souvenirs shop, lockers and a safe car park in the visitors center.Duration: 2 hoursStop At: Rikoti Pass. Continue through Rikoti Pass and visit village Shrosha - notable with ceramic pots and wine bowls. Visit pottery and see how they prepare Georgian stile earthenware.Duration: 30 minutesMeals included: • Breakfast • DinnerAccommodation included: Overnight at Guesthouse Tetnuldi with private bathrooms.Day 4: Visit Vardzia, the biggest caves town in Georgia.Stop At: Borjomi Central Park, Borjomi, Samtskhe-Javakheti RegionBorjomi (Georgian: ბორჯომი) is a resort town in south-central Georgia with a population of 10,546. It is one of the districts of the Samtskhe-Javakheti region and is situated in the northwestern part of the region in the picturesque Borjomi Gorge on the eastern edge of the Borjomi-Kharagauli National Park. The town is noted for its mineral water industry (which is the number one export of Georgia), the Romanov summer palace in Likani, and the World Wide Fund for Nature-site Borjomi-Kharagauli National Park. Borjomi mineral water is particularly well known in those countries which were part of the former Soviet Union; the bottling of mineral water is a major source of income for the area. Because of the supposed curative powers of the area's mineral springs, it is a frequent destination for people with health problems. Borjomi is also home to the most extensive ecologically-themed amusement park in the Caucasus.Duration: 45 minutesStop At: Rabati Castle, Akhaltsikhe, Samtskhe-Javakheti RegionAccording to the Georgian Chronicles the city was established in the 9th century by Guaram Mampal, son of the King of Tao. From the 13th to the end of 14th centuries it was the capital city of Samtskhe-Saatabago, ruled by the Georgian princely (mtavari) family and a ruling dynasty of the Principality of Samtskhe, the House of Jaqeli.In 1393 the city was attacked by the armies of Tamerlane. Despite the Turko-Mongol invasions, the fortress withstood and continued to thrive. After the Treaty of Constantinople in 1590, the whole territory of Samtskhe-Saatabago came under the rule of Ottoman Empire. Turks Mostly used to build defensive edifices. In 1752 the first mosque was built in Rabati.Metropolitan John writes in the late 18th century that "despite the fact that a large part of the population has been Islamized, there's still a functioning Orthodox church". After the Treaty of Georgievsk between the Kingdom of Kartli and the Russian Empire was signed, the question of the fate of Akhaltsikhe arose. The first attempt to take the fortress in 1810 failed. Prince Paskevich successfully stormed the fortress 18 years later, in the great Battle of Akhalzic. After the Treaty of Adrianople in 1829, the Ottomans yielded part of Akhaltiske Region.The fortress and its adjacent buildings were extensively rebuilt and renovated in 2011-2012 in order to attract more tourists to the area.Duration: 45 minutesStop At: Khertvisi Fortress, Aspindza, Samtskhe-Javakheti RegionKhertvisi fortress (Georgian: ხერთვისის ციხე) is one of the oldest fortresses in Georgia and was functional throughout the Georgian feudal period. It is situated in Southern Georgia, in Meskheti region. The fortress was first built in the 2nd century BC. The church was built in 985, and the present walls were built in 1354. As the legend says, Khertvisi was destroyed by Alexander the Great.In the 10th-11th centuries it was the center of Meskheti region. During the 12th century it became a town. In the 13th century Mongols destroyed it and until the 15th century it lost its power. In the 15th century it was owned by Meskheti landlords from Jakeli family. In the 16th century the southern region of Georgia was invaded by Turks. During next 300 years they have owned Khertvisi too.At the end of the 19th century Georgian and Russian army returned the lost territories and Khertvisi became the military base for Russian and Georgian troops. Khertvisi fortress is situated on the high rocky hill in the narrow canyon at the confluence of the Mtkvari and Paravani Rivers.Duration: 35 minutesStop At: Vardzia, Aspindza, Samtskhe-Javakheti RegionVardzia is a cave monastery site in southern Georgia, excavated from the slopes of the Erusheti Mountain on the left bank of the Kura River, thirty kilometers from Aspindza. The main period of construction was the second half of the twelfth century. The caves stretch along the cliff for some five hundred meters and in up to nineteen tiers. The Church of the Dormition, dating to the 1180s during the golden age of Tamar and Rustaveli, has an important series of wall paintings. The site was largely abandoned after the Ottoman takeover in the sixteenth century. Now part of a state heritage reserve, the extended area of Vardzia-Khertvisi has been submitted for future inscription on the UNESCO World Heritage List.Duration: 1 hourMeals included: • BreakfastAccommodation included: Overnight in Tbilisi's apartment. Day 5: Vardzia - TbilisiStop At: old townEarly morning transfer from Tbilisi airport to Tbilisi’s apartment. Stay overnight in TbilisiTbilisi-Mtskheta Tour. After breakfast start Tbilisi city tour. Visit multinational old town; Metekhi church (XIII c), Narikala fortress (V c), mosque, Bath district with sulpha bathes (XVII-XVIII c), old synagogue (XIX c), old Karvasla (Caravanserai XVI c), Sioni cathedral (XII c), modern glass made Peace Bridge, Anchiskhati church (the oldest orthodox church in Tbilisi VI c), Catholic Church (XIX c). Duration: 3 hoursStop At: The City-Museum Reserve of Mtskheta, Mtskheta, Mtskheta-Mtianeti RegionAfter drive to old capital of Georgia (Iberia) Mtskheta (historical monuments of Mtskheta belongs to UNESCO's World Heritage). Visit Svetitskhoveli cathedral (XI c) and Jvari monastery (VI c).Duration: 2 hoursNo meals included on this day.Accommodation included: Overnight in Tbilisi's apartment.