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

ItineraryThis is a typical itinerary for this productStop At: Borjomi Central Park, Borjomi, Samtskhe-Javakheti RegionBorjomi is one of the famous mineral water healthy resorts of Georgia. Borjomi is famous by its naturally warm sulfur spring waters, evergreen forest reserve and National Park. Duration: 30 minutesStop At: Khertvisi Fortress, Aspindza, Samtskhe-Javakheti Region11th Century fortresses located in the hilltop in the joining of two rivers. Duration: 30 minutesStop At: Vardzia, Aspindza, Samtskhe-Javakheti RegionVardzia is a rock cut cave city of 12th century, carved during the reign of Queen Tamara, in the "Golden Age" of Georgia. Duration: 1 hourStop At: Akhalkalaki Castle, Akhalkalaki, Samtskhe-Javakheti RegionDuring the day we shall visit the medieval era fortress in city Akhaltsikhe. This is one of the biggest fortresses of Georgia. Duration: 30 minutes

$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.

$999 Food, Wine & Nightlife

Central Georgia Food Tour

Day 1Tbilisi. Airport pickup, transfer to hotel. Sulfur baths relaxation. Dinner will be served in a restaurant, pre-selected by our local contacts, hence not a touristy spot. Important: international flights usually arrive at night. Make sure you consider time difference and tour scheduling to be in Tbilisi on Day 1 of your selected tour. Day 2Sameba cathedral. Breakfast at the historic cafe "Lagidze Water" with amazing khachapuri.Our plan for the day and the afternoon is our meat itinerary. We'll meet with a professional butcher and chef, go to the market, learn all about meat and spices selection and cook under his supervision. The meat will be consumed with sauces, vegetables, tarkhun (local herb soda) and wine. Rest and have dinner at a famous pedestrian street of old Tbilisi.Day 3Breakfast at hotel. Morning at the bakery, where we will learn to make a traditional dough-based dish. Then trip to Mtskheta, ancient capital of Georgia. You can explore the city of Tbilisi till the evening. Dinner in a rustic wine cellar.Optional (not included) - hop-on/hop-off tour.Day 4Breakfast at hotel. We'll then head to the milk farm. We'll tour it, taste milk and cheese, as well as partake in a traditional farm feast with our hosts. You can feed the animals and explore the technique of making traditional Georgian cheese. At the evening we'll be on our way to Sighnaghi. Dinner and lodging in a unique guesthouse.Day 5Breakfast at Nana's. Trip to Kindzmarauli factory, one of the most renowned wine makers in Georgia. Next up - Pirosmani world. You'll paint under supervision of a specialist outside or at the museum. You'll tour the museum where many works of Pirosmani are displayed, take a lunch break, and will be able to tour Sighnaghi on your own at night. Visiting several wine cellars is a must. Dinner at a neighboring eatery.Optional (not included) - Bodbe monastery visit.Day 6Breakfast. After that we'll visit the Alazani valley wine country and see how wine is made at an organic biowinery. Our wine experience includes:Grape harvesting in a privately owned vineyardWine manufacturing tour Wine making - you will participateTasting and traditional Georgian feast!Day 7Breakfast, depart for Akhaltsikhe. Our host has written two culinary books about Caucasus and its fascinating food and she can make amazing pine cone jam. We're in good hands with her. She will offer 2 culinary classes to the group, as well as jam tasting in the evening and all meals. Day 8Breakfast. Rabat castle and Vardzia cave monastery visit. Departure for Tbilisi. Lunch. Natural soap-making class. Dinner, airport transfer and departure. Important! Please make sure your flight departs no earlier than 9 pm local time.

$465 Multi-day & Extended Tours

Georgia in Contrasts

Day 1: TbilisiUpon arrival at Tbilisi airport our guide will meet you and transfer you with a comfortable vehicle to the hotel. After check-in and some rest you will take a walk on famous Rustaveli avenue. Here you will see the Parliament building, Kashveti Church of St. George and Opera and Ballet State Theater.Overnight at the hotel. Day 2: TbilisiAfter breakfast (all breakfasts throughout the tour are included in the price) you will take a Tbilisi city tour. During the tour you will visit the following destinations: Church of Holy Trinity, Bridge of Peace, Narikala Fortress, Abanotubani and mount Mtatsminda. Overnight at the Hotel.Day 3: Tbilisi – Jvari Monastery – Gori – Uplistsikhe – BakurianiAfter  breakfast at the hotel you will head to Jvari Monastery that is on the list of UNESCO world heritage sights.Later you will depart to Gori where you will visit Stalin Museum.You will go to ancient cave town of Uplitsikhe (literally meaning Fortress of God) which was built in the 2nd century BCE. Departure to famous ski resort of Bakuriani. Check-in at the hotel.Day 4: BakurianiHere you will have an opportunity to go skiing, snowboarding, tobogganing and sleigh riding (ski pass and ski equipment are not included in the price).Day 5: Bakuriani – Akhaltsikhe – Rabat – Vardzia – AbastumaniAfter breakfast in Bakuriani you will head to Akhaltsikhe, location of one of the oldest fortresses Rabat.Departure to Vardzia - cave town monastery complex. The monastery consists of 1000 caves of natural and artificial origin.  You will drive to Abastumani and  gaze at the stars from the Astrophysical Observatory. Abastumani has been and still is famous for its fresh air and thermal waters where you can bathe (for additional price).Day 6: Abastumani – Borjomi – Green Monastery – Salkhino – Dadiani summer residence – BatumiAfter breakfast departure to Borjomi – balneological resort. You will take a walk in the park. After the walk you will go to the Green Monastery of the 9th century.Later you will head to Salkhino where you will see summer residence of Prince Dadiani and the 17th century church of Mother Mary. For additional price you can visit one of the oldest wine cellars of Prince Dadiani. Departure to Batumi. Check-in at the hotel. Overnight in Batumi.Day 7: Transfer to AirportFree day. Transfer to Batumi Airport

Akhaltsikhe in detail