Off Road Cycling to Mount Kazbegi

Kazbegi – Village Juta – Gergeti Trinity Church

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Difficulty: moderate
Best Season: May through September
Tour Duration: 10-12 hours
Max Altitude: 2379 m
Total Elevation: Positive: 400, Negativ: 500
Total ride distance: 35 km
Obstacles: Challenging uphill to gergeti
Road: Ground, Gravel
Vehicle support: Yes
Driving distance: 400 km, Sightseeing

Sightseeing:   
Ananuri Castle, Aragvi valley, Dariali Valley, Mount Kazbegi 5047 m, Chaukhi Mountain range, Gergeti Trinity Church.

Tour Itinerary.
Early in the morning car will pick you up wherever you’re staying in tbilisi and drive you to Kazbegi region through Georgian military highway. First stop at Ananuri fortress (14th—18th cent.).  The fortress stands beside the famous Georgian Military Highway overlooking a beautiful Jinvali lake. with picturesque landscape. Ananuri architectural complex belonged to the house of the Eristavi of Aragvi – a violent local ruler. The characteristic architectural design of the late medieval period includes a fortress, two churches, an old watch tower, prison and civic buildings.

Its high, turreted stone walls protect two churches, a watch tower and a reservoir. The main church facade is beautifully carved with animal, floral and Celtic style patterns.

Further on the road passes gudauri ski resort and goes up to beautiful mountain pass (Jvari Pass) , 4WD car drives you up to juta village 25 km from stepantsminda, , it’s remote high mountain village (2200m) with view to gorgeous Chokhi mountains(3842m highest peak).

From the village starts biking  with descend through Sno river valley surrounding by high mountains. You’ll pass Old villages, towers, waterfalls. On the way to village Stepantsminda unforgettable view on mount Kazbeg (5.033 m) follows the cyclists.

The ride ends in Stepantsminda at the foot of mount Kazbeg. There you can choose either continue cycling up to the Gergeti Trinity curch (XIV c). The ride contains 6 km challenge of riding up to the altitude 2.300 m (diffrenece in altitude 400 m)

Gergeti trinity church(XII-XIV) century’s monument erected on the southern slopes of Kazbegi mountain. From the church from one hand, you can explore summit of Mount Kazbegi and from other hand, one can found wonderful view on the river Tergi Gorge and surrounding area.

Gergeti Trinity church is an important temple and remarkable for its beautiful scenery.

In case, if the members of the group find difficult to cycle up Gergeti Trinity Church they could be provided with 4WD car to drive up there (optional).

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Recommended equipment:
Helmet
Sunglasses
Headwear
Sunscreen lotion (SPF at least 30)
Long-sleeved shirt
Long pants
Rain suit
Daypack

Tour Package includes:
– Bicycle;
– English speaking cycling guide;
– Car with driver;
– Hiring of 4WD car for village Juta;
– Petrol costs;
– A bottle of water per guest.
Tour Package doesn’t includes:
– Travel insurance;
– other equipment for cycling;
– Hiring of 4WD car for Gergeti church;
– lunches and dinners;
– Tips for the driver and guide.
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Full Day Tour to Mtskheta, Uplistsikhe Cave city and Gori city

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Uplistsikhe cave city,  II c BC

If you’re for short time in Georgia you should find a day to see one of the most interesting touristic attractions – Uplistsikhe (II c BC-X c AD) – the oldest urban settlement. Nearby from Uplistsikhe is small town Gori – the motherland of Josef Stalin.

Highlights:

  • Main road of the town;
  • Main fortification;
  • Grand cellar
  • Dwellings
  • Church of Prince
  • “Apothecary’s”
  • Sacrificial Pits
  • Wine Presses
  • Wooden hat where Stalin was born
  • Stalin’s personal railway carriage

Uplistsikhe
Uplistsikhe (II c B.C. – X c A.D.) is an ancient rock-hewn town in eastern Georgia, some 100 kilometers Western from Tbilisi. Uplistsikhe is identified by archaeologists as one of the oldest urban settlements in Georgia. 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. The central part of Upliscikhe is the largest, contains a bulk of the Uplistsikhe rock-cut structures, and is connected to the southern part via a narrow rock-cut pass and a tunnel. Narrow alleys and sometimes staircases radiate from the central “street” to the different structures. The Uplistsikhe cave complex has been on the tentative list for inclusion into the UNESCO World Heritage program since 2007.

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Churchill, Roosevelt and Stalin in  Livadia Palace on Yalta Conference 1945,                                                         photo from Stalin’s museum in Gori.

Joseph Stalin’s Museum in Gori
Joseph Stalin’s Museum in Gori establishe in 1951 as a local history museum, but clearly intended to become a memorial to Stalin, who died in 1953. The main building of the complex is a large palace in Stalinist Gothic style. Enshrined within a Greco-Italianate pavilion is a small wooden hut, in which Stalin was born in 1878 and spent his first four years. The exhibition is 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.

To 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 onwards, 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 Donau in 1985.

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Svetitskhoveli Cathedral in Mtskheta (XI c, UNESCO)

Mtskheta and Jvari Monastery (UNESCO)

On the way back to Tbilisi visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Mtskheta, capital of Georgia (formerly Iberia) from the 3rd-Century BC until the 5th-Century AD. It was the site of early Christian activity, and the place where Christianity was proclaimed as the state religion of Georgia in 319.

Located about 12 miles (20 kilometers) northwest of Tbilisi at the confluence of the Rivers Mtkvari and Aragvi, Mtskheta remains the center of the Georgian Orthodox and Apostolic Church.

After a drive to Mtskheta by comfortable air-conditioned coach you will explore the restored streets of the Old Town and visit the most important architectural monuments, such as the 6th-Century Jvari Monastery erected on a hill that overlooks the town.

Take in the stunning views of the town and the merging of the rivers. Continue to Svetitskhoveli Cathedral, the main seat of the Catholic Patriarch of the Georgian Orthodox Church. The cathedral contains an important masterpiece of Christian church wall painting that you must peek inside to see.

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Jvari Monastery (VI c, UNESCO) above Mtskheta city.

What’s Included:

pick-up and drop-off at the hotel, qualified guide service, transportation in modern, comfortable and fully air-conditioned coach.

What’s Not Included:

Meals and drinks.

Good to Know:

Uplistikhe is about 100 km from Tbilisi. The first part of the tour in Uplistsikhe town-museum is about 2-3 hours of walking, therefore comfortable walking shoes required. Please take your attention: due to weather condition the Uplistsikhe town-museum is open for visitors from second half of April till end of October.

Please note, the tour price is sensitive to the group size more than 6 pax.

Availability:

Live guide: English, French, German, Italian, Russian

Duration: 7 hours

Pick-up and dropp-off at the hotel of your stay.

 

Full Day Tour to Old Tbilisi and Mskheta

Combine a half-day sightseeing tour of the highlights of Tbilisi with a half-day visit to Mtskheta, the former Georgian capital. See all the major attractions, such as Tbilisi’s Narikala Fortress, Freedom Square, Bath quarter in Tbilisi and Svetitskhoveli Cathedral (XI c, UNESCO) and Jvari monastery (VI c, UNESCO).

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View on Metekhi church from Narikala fortress

Highlights:
 Explore the Old City center of Tbilisi
 Learn about the great founder of the city, King Vakhtang Gorgasali
 See Byzantine, Oriental, Neo-Classical and Georgian architecture
 Take in the magnificent classical Freedom Square
 Walk over one of the city’s newest highlights, the Bridge of Peace
 Get panoramic views from Narikala Fortress
 Visit the former capital of Iberia (now Georgia) at Mtskheta

Even if you only have a short time in Georgia, you have to spend at least a half-day exploring Tbilisi’s Old Town. The architecture in the city’s historic district is a beautiful mixture of Georgian, Byzantine, Oriental and Neo-Classical European styles.

It dates back more than 1,500 years and was founded by Vakhtang Gorgasali, King of Georgia (known as Iberia at the time) in the second half of the 5th-Century AD. The name derives from the Georgian word for warm, “T’pili.” Sliced by the River Mtkvari, which divides the city west and east, the lovely setting is ripe for exploring.

Among the sites you will visit is the Greek Orthodox Anchiskhati Basilica, the city’s oldest church. You will also see the 13th-Century Churches of Sioni and Metekhi, the magnificent Narikala Fortress, perched on a hill with superb views of the city below, and the classical Freedom Square.

Continue to one of Tbilisi’s newest attractions, the Bridge of Peace, which opened in 2010 over the River Mtkvari (also known as the Kura River).

Tbilisi’s compact size means you can easily explore the nearby Synagogue, Armenian Church and Mosque, in addition to the Georgian Orthodox churches so fundamental to Georgian culture. Peaceful co-existence of the various religions helps emphasize Georgian tolerance.

End your Tbilisi walking tour with a visit to the sulfur baths quarter of Abanotubani to see the most famous bath, Chreli Abano. According to legend, it was when King Vakhtang Gorgasali’s falcon companion fell that Tbilisi’s “warm” sulfur springs were discovered; helping to give it its Georgian name.

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Svetitskhoveli Cathedral in Mtskheta (XI c, UNESCO)

Continue in the afternoon to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Mtskheta, capital of Georgia (formerly Iberia) from the 3rd-Century BC until the 5th-Century AD. It was the site of early Christian activity, and the place where Christianity was proclaimed as the state religion of Georgia in 319.

Located about 12 miles (20 kilometers) northwest of Tbilisi at the confluence of the Rivers Mtkvari and Aragvi, Mtskheta remains the center of the Georgian Orthodox and Apostolic Church.

After a drive to Mtskheta by comfortable air-conditioned coach you will explore the restored streets of the Old Town and visit the most important architectural monuments, such as the 6th-Century Jvari Monastery erected on a hill that overlooks the town.

Take in the stunning views of the town and the merging of the rivers. Continue to Svetitskhoveli Cathedral, the main seat of the Catholic Patriarch of the Georgian Orthodox Church. The cathedral contains an important masterpiece of Christian church wall painting that you must peek inside to see.

You will then be transferred back to Tbilisi for your hotel drop-off.

What’s Included:
• Hotel pick-up and drop-off
• Qualified guide
• Transportation in modern, air-conditioned coach
• aerial cab ticket

What’s Not Included:
• Meals and drinks

Tour duration: 7-8 hours

Good to Know:
• The first part of the tour is a walking tour. Total distance covered is 1-1.5 miles (2-2.5 kilometers).

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Jvari Monastery (VI c, UNESCO) view form Mtskheta.

Full Day Tour to David Gareja Monastery and Sighnaghi City

If you are in Georgia and decide to see the beauties of nature, historical cities, old churches and monasteries and Georgian traditions you must visit Kakheti. David Gareja monastery (VI c) is the oldest rock hewn orthodox complex in Georgia and Sighnaghi city with its narrow streets and traditional Georgian balconies. Sighnaghi surrounded with city wall of XVII c and amazing view on Alazani valley and mountains of Great Caucasus.

David Garedscha Kloster 6.Jh
David Gareja Monastery

Highlights:

  • Davit Gareja Monastery;
  • Bread Baking in village Badiauri;
  • Bodbe Monastery;
  • Nino’s grave;
  • Holy spring in Bodbe Monastery;
  • Sighnaghi;
  • High Defending Wall of Sighnaghi;
  • Panorama of Alazani Valley.

The tour includes 4 important cultural monuments of Kakheti region Davit Gareja Monastery complex, village Badiauri, Monastery of Bodbe and city Sighnaghi.

Departure from Tbilisi early in the morning, to the direction of Gareja desert (driving distance 100km). Davit-Gareja is rock-hewn Georgian orthodox monastery complex. The complex was established in the 6th century by David, one of the thirteen Assyrian monks, who arrived in the country at the same time and preached the name of Christ. The monasteries are located in a semi-desert and consist of 19 religious buildings. The greatest monastery activitly, but after the invasions f conquerors, the complex was destroyed and robbed. However, Davit-Gareja is one of the stunning historical-cultural monuments in Georgia.

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Sighnaghi, Alazani Valley and mountains of Great Caucasus

Afterwards, drive to Sighnaghi 100 km away from Tbilisi. On the way short stop in village Badiauri. In this village you can see how Georgian bread is baked.

From Badiauri continue your way to Bodbe. Visit one of the most famous monastery in the Georgia, Bodbe Monastery, the holy place for Georgian people, because there is buried St. Nino, who brought Christianity in Georgia in the middle of 4th century. According to legend she had healing properties. The church acquired its current shape in the 9th century.

At last tourists will have an opportunity to visit Sighnaghi. Founded by the famous King Erekle II in 1772. Buildings in the city built in the style of southern Italian classicism with Georgian elements. Famous for its eponymous castle, this is included in the list of the most famous and largest forts in Georgia. The city is surrounded with high defending wall, 4 km in length. A few years ago, Sighnaghi was restored and constructed. Since then a lot of tourists have visited the city to enjoy the stunning panorama, which opens on Alazani Valley. The town’s architecture is unique with ond and the modern components. Today Sighnaghi has additional status: it is known as a “City of Love”.

 

What’s Included:

Pick-up and drop-off at the hotel;

Qualified guiding service

Transportation in modern, comfortable and fully air-conditioned coach.

 

What’s Not Included:

Meals and Drinks.

Availability:

Live Guide: English, French, German, Italian, Russian

Duration: 8-10 hours

Full Day Wine Tour to East Georgia – Kakheti Region

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Terracotta tanks for wine storing used in Georgia

Wine production in Georgia has 8000  years history. Georgia is a motherland of wine. In Georgia are grown about 500 varieties of grape and produced well-known red and white wines. Georgian way of wine production in ‘Qvevri” (clay tank planted in the ground) is included in UNESCO Intangible world heritage list. Almost every family in the countryside in Kakheti is also winegrower.

Highlights:

  • Alaverdi Cathedral (XI c)
  • Twins wine cellar and museum in village Napareuli (Optional)
  • Gremi fortress (XVI c)
  • Wine tasting at Twin’s Cellar in Napareuli (Optional)
  • Wine tunnels in Kvareli (under the mountains of Great Caucasus)
  • Tasting of different sorts of factory wines “Khareba”
  • Wien tasting in Prince Chavchavadze’s Palace
  • Wine tasting in Schuchmann’s Chateau (Optional)
  • Telavi – The main city of Kakheti region
  • Gombori Pass on the way back to Tbilisi (1620 m)

  

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Wine tasting and lunch in wine tunnels in Kvareli.

In the Morning drive direction to Telavi, Kakheti region – East from Tbilisi, the largest wine producing region in Georgia. The first destination is Alaverdi Cathedral, (20 km Northwest from Telavi).  Alaverdi Cathedral is one of the important orthodox monument in Georgia. (XI c, in tentative list of UNESCO since 2007).

Next visit of Twins wine cellar in village Napareuli. Here our guests can find very interesting wine museum where you can learn Georgian way  of wine production. In the several rooms of the museum you can see how Georgians make Kvevri (huge terracotta tanks), how they plant kvevri into the ground, and all the steps of wine formation. At the end of the tour the guests can taste two different sorts of wine and Chacha – Georgian analog of grappa. Please note, visit of this property is optional and is not included in standard tour package.

Further on, on the way visit of Gremi fortress (XVI c). Till XVI c Gremi was the main city of Kakheti  region till XVI C. Nowadays, picturesque location of the fortress with tall bell tower and high walls makes deep impression on guests.

Afterwards, the trip continues to wine tunnels built under the hills of Great Caucasus mountains. Total length of the tunnels is 8.000 m. Two main tunnels are more than 800 m each. The tunnels are used for aging of wine.  Above the wine tunnels one can find beautiful restaurant built on the top of the hill with picturesque view on Alazani Valley and delicious Georgian meals.

Then, the root lays towards Prince Chavchavadze Palace (XIX c) in village Tsinandali with wonderful French park and wine cellar.  Here in wine cellar the guests can taste different sort local wines.

After visiting of the palace one can add visit of beautiful Chateau Schuchmann in village Kisiskhevi for another wine tasting. Wine lover Herr Burkhard Schuchman from Hamburg has decided to establish a small property in this area for producing Georgian wine. Schuchmann Wines Georgia won in 2008 the award as “THE BEST SMALL ENTERPRISE 2008” and in 2011 “THE BEST MEDIUM ENTERPRISE 2011. Visit of the Chateau is optional and the guests can add this destination for additional costs.

At the end of the tour visits of Telavi – main city and administrative centre of Kakheti region (100 km eastern from Tbilisi). Here you can find local market in the town, where you can enjoy and buy wide range of different fruits and vegetables, apples and peaches, grapes and pomegranates, tomatoes and cucumbers.

Finally, through Gombori Pass back return to Tbilisi.

Duration of wine tour to Kakheti is about 8-10 hours.

 

What’s Included:

  • Hotel pick-up and drop-off;
  • Transportation In modern, air-conditioned coach;
  • Petrol Costs;
  • Qualified Guiding service (English, German, Italian, Russian);
  • A bottle of water per traveler.

 

What’s Not Included:

  • Travel insurance;
  • Meals and drinks;
  • Costs for wine tasting.

 

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Wine tasting in farmer’s family in Kakheti.

Visit of the Twin’s wine cellar and Chateau Schuchmann are optional and can be added to the itinerary for additional costs.

 

Full Day Kazbegi Snowshoeing Tour from Tbilisi

Snowshoeng Elizabeth

Overview

If you have one day free in Tbilisi and wish to experience powder snow for more excitement and fun on the hills of Great Caucasus mountains, 1 Day snowshoes tour to mount Kazbegi area and amazing Gergeti Trinity church is for you! Magical colours of Winter with unspoiled landscapes and snow capped of Caucasus mountains surround, create a  special  atmosphere  for unforgettable  trip!

          Highlights :

  • Kazbegi (5.047 m)
  • Gergeti Trinity church (XIV c)
  • Georgian Military Road
  • Ananuri fortress (XVI c)
  • Jhinvali Lake
  • Gudauri ski resort;
  • Cross Pass (2.379 m);

Tour details:

Difficulty:                      moderate
Best Season:                 December – March
Total Elevations:          400 – 500 m
Total riding distance:  2 – 2.5 km, challenging uphill to Gergeti
Walking time:              3-4 hour
Total tour duration:    11 – 12 hours
Requirement:               Warm and strong shoes are required.

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Description of the itinerary.

Early in the morning pick up at the hotel of your stay in Tbilisi. Head to the North of Tbilisi through Georgian Military Road. Road runs between Tbilisi (Georgia) and Vladikavkaz (Russia) and follows the traditional route used by traders and invaders throughout the ages. On the way to Mt.Kazbegi enjoy views on Ananuri fortress arises above Jinvali Lake and surrounding mountain area.

Farther on, the road continues to Gudauri Skiing resort located 120 km north from Tbilisi at the height of 2,196 m (ab. 7,200 feet). Young and rapid developing winter resort located on the southern slopes of The Greater Caucasus Mountain Range. Here one can reach summit of mount Sadzele taking aerial lift at the altitude 3.000 m.

Just a few minutes driving one can reach Cross Pass, the highest point of the Georgian Military road (abt. 2.400 m). From Cross Pass with serpentine road arrive down to small village Stapantsminda at the foot of Mt. Kazbegi from where starts snowshoes tour to awaisom Gergeti Trinity church.

Waking up to the church takes 1-2 hours experiencing winter hiking through the snowy forest up to  the hills. Difference of altitude from Stepantsminda to Gergeti Trinity church is 400 m.

Reaching the main highlight of the day, Gergeti Trinity church 2170m (XIV c) that overlooks area proudly as a steady symbol of Georgia and enjoy with stunning views in a fabulous atmosphere. Due to your wish and possibility it’s available to prolong your trip after covering the main area and examine your opportunities  beyond.

By the church as an award the guests have warm cafe with light snack with hot drinks overlooking at river Tergi gorge and village Gergeti covered with deep snow.

After trip,the car of the company takes you back to Tbilisi. On the way back, due to your wish short stop at Ananuri Fortress. (XVI-XVII c).

Duration of the tour:   10-12 hours.

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Services included in tour package
Pick up and drop off at the hotel of your stay in Tbilisi;
Renting of the equipment for touring;
Qualified mountain guiding service;
Travel with comfortable A/C car;
Petrol costs;
Lunch boxes;
A bottle of water.

Services NOT included in tour package
Travel Insurance;
Tips for the guide and driver.

Mount Kazbegi – Full Day Tour

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Amazing Mount Kazbegi (5.047 m) and Gergeti Trinity church at the foot of the mount.

Mount Kazbegi, 5.047 m is third highest mountain in Georgia on the Great Caucasus Range. Located  160 km North East from Tbilisi.   Mount  Kazbek is associated in Georgian folklore with Amirani, the Georgian version of Prometheus, who was chained on the mountain in punishment for having stolen fire from the gods and having given it to mortals

On the slope of mount Kazbegi is located Gergeti Trinity Church (XIV c) at the altitude 2.175 m. This amazing small church attracts travelers for its wonderful location and amazing view on the top of mount Kazbegi and river Dariali gorge.

Highlights:

  • Ananuri Complex
  • Gudauri Ski Resort
  • Cross Pass
  • Gergeti Trinity Church
  • Mountain-Mkinvarcveri
  • Dariali Gorge
  • Dariali Church
Gergeti_Church
Amazing Gergeti Trinity Church on the slopes of mount Kazbegi

Departure from Tbilisi early in the morning, at the direction of Kazbegi.(160km) through the Georgian Military Road, it runs between Tbilisi (Georgia) and Vladikavkaz (Russia), 208 km. On the way there are very interesting places to visit.

Ananuri fortress, which is a XVI century castle complex on the Aragvi River. The Ananuri fortress stands beside the famous Georgian Military Highway overlooking a large Jinvali lake. Its high, turreted stone walls protect two churches, a watch tower and a reservoir. The main church facade is beautifully carved with animal, floral and Celtic style patterns.

Next stop on the way in Gudauri – remarkable ski resort in Georgia. Resort is located at the altitude 2200 meters above the sea level. The first, lower lift station is at 1,990 m above sea level and the last, top station is at 3,306 m, called summit Sadzele. The resort offers high quality skiing opportunities. The ski season lasts from December till April.

From Gudauri continue your trip to Gergeti trinity church (XII-XIV) century’s monument erected on the southern slopes of Mkinvarcveri is located at an altitude of 2170 meters. Gergeti Trinity church is an important temple and remarkable for its beautiful scenery. The Gergeti Trinity church is set poignantly on a hill directly below the towering white massif of Mount Kazbek ( 5033 meters). Built six hundred years ago its stones have weathered repeated blizzards, rain and invasion to stand as a proud symbol of Georgian resilience in the face of adversity. It is the photographer’s perfect shot.

After visiting Gergeti church we will arrive to Dariali Gorge. It is the gorge on the border between Russia and Georgia. Darial was historically important as the only available passage across the Caucasus and has been long fortified – at least since 150 BC. There is Tamari’s Fortress called Dariali castle which was built many years ago and is situated on the right side of the river Tergi. To the left of the river Tergi there is a new monastery complex on the cliff which is about 70 meters high.

Panorama_Ananuri_02

Ananuri Fortress and Jinvali Lake on the way to mount Kazbegi

Tour Duration 8-10 hours.

What’s Included:

  • Hotel pick-up and drop-off
  • Qualified guide
  • Transportation in modern, air-conditioned coach

What’s Not Included:

  • Meals and drinks