Welcome to Akhaltsikhe


Until the 19th century the Rabati area around the castle was all there was of Akhaltsikhe. It was celebrated for its ethnic and religious diversity and tolerance, in a frontier area where different empires, kingdoms and peoples met. Rabati today still has Georgian Orthodox, Armenian Apostolic and Catholic churches, a synagogue and a mosque, and Akhaltsikhe still has a large Armenian population.

The newer parts of town are mostly on the south side of the river: cross the bridge near the foot of Rabati and bear right at two forks and you’ll be on the main street, Kostava.


Top experiences in Akhaltsikhe

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Akhaltsikhe activities

$149 Day Trips & Excursions

Borjomi, Vardzia, Rabat Castle Private Tour

Departure from Tbilisi at 10:00am from your hotel at the direction of Borjomi (160km). Borjomi is a resort town where is national park and worldwide famous mineral water "Borjomi". Here you can taste Borjomi mineral water strait from the springs.  After visiting borjomi we will visit Vardzia. Vardzia was built in rock by King George III in 1156-1184. Here, not far from the border with Turkey, see all the splendour of this tiered cave city where there are hundreds of dwellings, transitions, ladders, churches, library, dining, warehouses, workshops, and where urban residents had running water and entertainments. 50.000 persons were able to live in this cave city. Next stop will be impressive Rabat castle in Akhaltsikhe. The fortress is called the symbol of tolerance it has in its complex a church, mosque, minaret and synagogue. The city is first mentioned in the chronicles in the 12th century. After excursion the driver/guide will drop you off at your place of stay in Tbilisi.

$850 Multi-day & Extended Tours

8-Day Jeep Tour Caucasus Raid from Tbilisi

Day 1 Arrival to Tbilisi International Airport. Transfer to Hotel, resting for morning start of the trip.  Staying in Tbilisi.Day 2 Mtskheta, Tbilisi Surroundings - Didgori Battle Site. Briefing about trip, handing over the jeeps. The group heads to Trialeti Mountain Range. Arrival to Didgori Battle Site. See beautiful nature of Trialeri Range. Arrive at Mtskheta, Visit Svetitskhoveli Cathedral (the Living Pillar Cathedral). Stay at Mtskheta Hotel.Day 3 Ananuri - Kazbegi – Gergeti Trinity Church The first stop is Jinvali water reservoir, Ananuri Fortress complex. Second stop will be by the fascinating views from the top of Jvari(Cross) Pass. Soon the road will enter Kazbegi. The main attraction point in Kazbegi is Gergeti Trinity Church, located on the top of the mountain. Stay overnight in Kazbegi.Day 4 Uplistsikhe –Ateni Valley-Gori Castle Briefing. First location is Uplistikhe ancient rock cave town. After visiting Uplistsikhe, we will visit Ateni valley. Ateni was medieval city. Here is beautifull Gori castle. Staying in Gori.Day 5 Kareli-Kintsvisi-Gujareti-BakurianiBriefing. First stop Kintsvisi Monastery, consists of three churches, built in Golden age of Georgia 13th century.  After Kintvisi monastery long journey through valleys and forests will start. On the way there are several monasteries, beautiful views and rivers. Soon the road will pass by Borjomi-Kharagauli National Park territory. By the evening we will be in Bakuriani. Staying in Bakuriani.Day 6 Lake Tabatckuri-Vardzia-Khertvisi Fortress-Rabat Castle-BorjomiBriefing. The road will go through beautiful forests and reach Tabatckuri Lake. The lake is on the elevation of 1991 meters. After seeing the lake, you will come to Vardzia Cave Monastery Complex, has more than 3000 cave rooms. The road goes by Kertvisi Fortress, built in 2nd century BC. The road goes though rocky valleys to Akhaltsikhe, the group will see the Rabat Castle. Staying in Akhaltsikhe.Day 7 Abastumani Observatory – Sairme – Prometeus CaveBriefing. First destination is Abastumani located on  southern slopes of lesser Caucasus, it is famous of its nature. Here is Queen Tamar Arch Bridge. Next is Sairme Mineral Waters Resort. The road goes through beautiful forests. The last location is the Prometeus cave, its 1420 meters long, with incredible stalactites, stalagmites. Staying in Kutaisi.Day 8 Journey to Tbilisi, Shopping-Wine Gallery-AirportArrival to Tbilisi. Shopping in old Tbilisi. Visiting Wine Gallery, ancient Georgian wines tasting. Free time. Transfer to Tbilisi International Airport. The time and locations can vary depending on flight time.

$250 Day Trips & Excursions

Borjomi-Akhaltsikhe-Vardzia Day Tour

Tour starts from Tbilisi 9.00 am in the morning and finishes evening, after 6.00 or 7.00 pm. From Tbilisi to Borjomi is 150 km, from Borjomi to Akhaltsikhe is 50 km and from Akhaltsikhe to Vardzia is 50 km. Atskuri and Khertvisi Fortresses are located on the way to Vardzia. We need one full day to visit all these places. First place to visit is Borjomi mineral water park, where you can drink mineral water. After 20-30 minutes walking and rest we head to Akhaltsikhe Fortress and visit Atskuri fortress on the way. Visiting Atskuri fortress may take 5-10 minutes if you will not hike on the fortress. Visiting Akhaltsikhe may take from half an hour to one hour, after that we head to Vardzia and visit Khertvisi fortress on the way or after coming back from Vardzia. You can have a lunch in Vardzia. Visiting Vardzia takes 1 hour and visiting Khertvisi takes half an hour, after that we head to Tbilisi. Vardzia is closed 6 pm and Akhatsikhe is closed 7 pm evening. First places of destination is Akhaltikhe with stop for a lunch in Borjomi in a local family restaurant. After visiting Akhaltsikhe we continue our way to Vardzia and visit Atskuri and Khertvisi Fortress on the way. One hour is enough to visit Vardzia. After visiting Vardzia, tourists have dinner near Mtkvari river or head back to Tbilisi.

$330 Cultural & Theme Tours

Rabati borjomi Healthy Tour

We continue our way to Vardzia cave town (12th century). Vardzia is one of the highlights of the trip and stretches over half a kilometer along the river Mtkvari, with 19 tiers. There used to be about 3000 caves here, but now there are just over 500. It has a church hewn out of rock with amazing 12th century frescoes. The Complex also includes living quarters, small hall-type churches, and refectories, wine cellar, etc. Not far from Borjomi in the valley of the Kura is one of the most ancient Georgian monasteries of Vardzia. This monastic complex, temples, residential and farm buildings are carved in the rock. Once the monastery-fortress served as a frontier stronghold. In its walls were housed up to 50 thousand soldiers. In 1283 a powerful earthquake happened in these places, causing irreparable damage to the complex. Part of the rock collapsed into the Kura. Today Vardzia is an active monastery. Borjomi is the small town in mountains. There are many beautiful places to visit there, but most famous the town became because of mineral water Botjomi, with unique healing qualities and taste. It’s been known for centuries, that this water was unique, but it really become famous during Russian reign in Georgia. Russian built here resort, palaces, and found out about mineral water itself. Borjomi water won its first golden medal in 1907 in Belgium. The water has been bottled since 1896. Continue towards the town of Akhlatsikhe (Rabati Fortress) that always has had strategic importance. That’ why the fortress Rabat has been built here in IX century, it’s been called the fortress inside the fortress. It was guarding Georgia for centuries, but there were periods, when enemies took over. The fortress keeps traces of both times, giving us unforgettable impression. The fortress has been renovated several years ago. Here you can see the Georgian church, mosque and Madrasa – Islamic school, citadel, and unique museum. The Rabati fortress is one of the highlights of this region.The city of Akhaltsikhe was as important strategic importance as Vardzia. The new fortress, which was huge at the time, was supposed to protect the southern lands and the entire country from the invasion by the Turks, which constantly infringed upon the Georgian lands. Several centuries to deter enemies was possible. But in 1578 the Ottoman troops still occupied Akhaltsikhe and stayed here for a long time. Today, the Akhaltsikhe fortress of Rabat keeps a trace of the presence of both cultures. This is one of the most beautiful medieval fortifications, located on seven acres. You will see the Turkish baths and the tomb of the Pasha-governor. The mosque adjoins here with a synagogue and Christian churches of Armenians and Georgians.  We visit Beautiful Pharavani lake and enjoy great beauty of south Georgia. After, we visit Ninothsminda, Green Monastery and Saphara. We go back to Tbilisi.

$53 Private & Custom Tours

Full Day Private Tour - BORJOMI, RABAT, VARDZIA, VANIS KVABEBI

Vardzia, the ancient Cave City of Georgia. Unique cave city continues to amaze people from all over the world.  Vardzia is a rock-carved fortress stretched over 500 meters. It is located in the historic region of Samtskhe-Javakheti and consists of 600 rooms. It can freely be called the Honor of Georgians. It looks like one of the movie sets of Lord of the Rings, but it is not the home of dwarfs but of many monks. This underground monastery was built in the 12th Century, under the reign of King Tamar, the first woman that was ever crowned as a king (not a queen!) in Georgian history. To the west of the church, between the bell tower and the main church, you can explore 40 cave groups, in thirteen tiers, with a total of 165 rooms, and six smaller churches. On the east side are 79 cave groups, in eight tiers, that contain 242 rooms including King Tamar’s throne room, twenty-five wine cellars (containing 185 wine jars sunk into the floor) and six churches. Vanis Kvabebi - not so much world known the Extant church, built near Vani or also Vahani’s Kvabebi during the era of hermits, dates to the eighth century. In the IX-XI centuries, in the middle of the desert was hewn the Church of St. George and a new group of cave cells. A strong earthquake in 1089 destroyed part of the cave with its church.Borjomi - This place is known far beyond the borders of Georgia . Beautiful nature resort, healthy fresh air and sights admired once the imperial family : the residence of the emperor was nearby in Likani . The old stone Rabati fortress, the main sight of the Akhaltsikhe town, is standing on the small hill on the very shores of the Potskhovi river. Its name comes from Arabic meaning “fortified place”. Rabati- Akhaltsikhe is mentioned in chronicles of the 12th century. But in fact it’s much older. In the 16th century it was ruled by the Ottomans. In the old part of the city there is remained a fortress, a palace and a mosque. We will visit the so-called Rabat, where it was also the palace of the rulers. In Rabat, special attention is drawn to rooms, as it is a good example of the old Georgian house. It amazes people with its grandiosity  with a rich decoration. After restructuring of buildings, it is especially nice to enjoy all the beauties of this wonderful place.

$119 Multi-day & Extended Tours

3 Days tour (Tbilisi-Gori-Uplistsikhe-Borjomi-Rabati-Tbilisi)

Day 1 :- Transfer from airport to the hotel- Check in hotel- 22:00 - Gala Dinner with traditional Georgian dances and folk songs.Day 2 :- 07:00 - Breakfast in the hotel- 08:00 - Transfer from hotel to the Joseph Stalin Museum in Gori- 09:30 - 10:30 The Joseph Stalin Museum in Gori is a historical museum in Georgia devoted to the life of the most famous native of the city, who became the head of the Soviet government and in fact led the Soviet Union from 1925 to 1953. Opened in 1937-11:00 - 12:00 Arrive to the Uplistsikhe (God's Fortress) -  is an ancient cave city, one of the first cities on the territory of Georgia. Uplistsikhe is carved in a rock located 12 km east of the town of Gori on the left bank of the Kura River.-12:30 - 13:30 Lunch - Visit to the wine cellar of family in Gori, tasting of Georgian wine and Chacha, with the Georgian traditional dishes.-13:30 - 15:45 Transfer to the Rabati Akhaltsikhe.- 15:45 - 16:45 Arrive to the Rabati Akhaltsikhe According 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 fortress withstood and continued to thrive. After the Treaty of Constantinople in 1590, the whole territory of Samtskhe-Saatabago went under the rule of Ottoman Empire. Turks Mostly used to build defensive edifices. In 1752 first mosque was built in Rabati.- 17:00 - 18:00 Transfer to the Borjomi Kharagauli- 18:00 - 19:00 Arrive to the Borjomi National park - Covering more than 85,000 hectares of native forest and alpine meadows, the Borjomi-Kharagauli National Park is a protected area located 160 kilometres from the nation’s capital of Tbilisi in the central part of Georgia that includes 3 regions: Imereti, Samtskhe-Javakheti and Shida Kartli. One of the largest national parks in Georgia, it includes six administrative districts stretching from the resort of Borjomi to the town of Kharagauli. Together with adjacent Borjomi Nature Reserve, the total area is 851 square kilometres, more than 1 percent of the total territory of Georgia. The administrative and visitors centres of the Park are located in Borjomi and Kharagauli. - 19:00 - 20:00 Dinner at the restaurant (Borjomi)- 20:00 - 22:30 Return to TbilisiDay 3 :-07:00 - 09:00 Breakfast in hotel (Check out in hotel)- 09:00 -11:00 Tbilisi city tour (optional)- Transfer from hotel to Airport

Akhaltsikhe in detail