Arrival in Tiblisi in the morning and transfer to the hotel. We begin to explore the capital of Georgia - Tbilisi in all its beauty, with its narrow streets, colorful houses, carved balconies, old neighborhoods and excellent samples of modern architecture. We will stroll through the beautiful narrow streets and visit the main sights of the city. We will enjoy the magnificent panorama of the old city and passing through the old Narikala Fortress we will visit the historic Sulfur Baths, from which the name of the capital comes. Later, a visit to the stunning treasury of the Museum of History will assure us that Georgia truly is the country of the famous Golden Fleece. Overnight at the hotel.
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Day 3: Tiblisi - Signagui - Kajetia Region - Telavi
We head towards the most fertile and picturesque part of Georgia - Kajetia, the cradle of wine. We will arrive at Signagui - the “City of Love”, which will impress you with its amazing, old wall and small wooden houses. We will visit the Nunnery - Bodbe (11th century) with its beautiful garden, where the godmother of the Georgians - Santa Nino is buried.
For lunch we will arrive at the village with a local family, where we will learn about the life of the peasants and we will see their gardens, vineyards and we will taste the delicious homemade dishes. In the wine tank we will taste some famous Georgian wines. At the end we will visit Gremi, 16th century architectural monument - its citadel and the Church of the Archangels in Kakheti. Arrival in Telavi, the main center of the region. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 4: Telavi - Mtsjeta - Gudauri
After breakfast we will visit the Shuamta nunnery - "between the mountains". Departure to the city-museum Mtsjeta, headquarters of the Georgian Orthodox and Apostolic Church, declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. We will visit the Cathedral of Svetitskhoveli ("Pillar that gives life") and the Jvari Monastery (6th - 7th centuries) "Church of the Holy Cross".
We will travel north along the Georgia Military Highway and enjoy the spectacular scenery of the magnificent Caucasus Mountains. On the way we will pass by the Ananuri architectural complex and the Jinvaly water reservoir, of surprising beauty. Arrival in Gudauri, the famous ski resort located at 2 000 - 2 200 meters above sea level. Dinner and accommodation at the hotel.
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Day 5: Gudauri - Stepantsminda - Gudauri
After breakfast we will go to Kazbegui. An impressive road along the Terek river will take us to Kazbegui (Stepantsminda). From the center we will make a 1.5-hour walk (the climb and descent lasts 3 hours) to reach Guergueti, the church of the Trinity located at 2170m above sea level. If time permits you can take a look at one of the largest glaciers in the Caucasus - Mt Kazbegui (5047m). Return on foot to Kazbegui, where we will visit a local teacher who will explain to us about "Teka", artifacts made of cloth. Here we will taste the traditional sweets "Muraba". In the afternoon we will return to Gudauri. Dinner and accommodation at the hotel.
Note: In Kazbegui you can rent the car (4X4) to go up to the Church of the Trinity.
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Day 6: Gudauri - Uplistsije - Gori - Kutaisi
We will go to the small town of Gori. It is the hometown of the famous Soviet leader Joseph Stalin. We stopped near his museum to take photos. Arrival in the cave city of Uplistsije (literally “fortress of the Lord”), one of the oldest urban settlements in Georgia and a key point on the famous Silk Road for its strategic position.
We will continue to the west of Georgia, to the land of the famous Golden Fleece. Arrival in Kutaisi. Overnight at the hotel.
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Day 7: Kutaisi – Tskaltubo – Tiblisi
We will visit the spectacular Bagrati Cathedral - the masterpiece of medieval Georgian architecture and the impressive Monastery of the Virgin in Guelati, with its beautiful mosaic frescoes. Then we will see the Prometheus Grotto with its impressive stalactites and stalagmites, petrified waterfalls, cave pearls and underground lakes, which have stood for millennia of years. Return to Tiblisi. Hotel accommodation.
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Day 8: Tiblisi - Lagodeji (Border) - Kish - Sheki
Transfer to the border of Georgia and Azerbaijan. Border formalities. After customs formalities we will drive to Sheki, 150 km (2.5 hours) Arrival in Sheki. Sheki City Tour: We will start with the Sheki Khans Summer Palace with its magnificent frescoes and stained glass windows. We will visit the local Shebeke Stained Glass workshop where the famous handmade stained glass windows of Sheki are assembled, a medieval karavanserai that was one of the main stopping points for the large caravans traveling along the ancient Silk Road. We will continue to the town of Kish to visit the oldest church in the Caucasus area dating from the s. I-V. Accommodation in Sheki.
Day 9: Sheki - Lahij - Shemakha - Maraza - Baku, 350 km
In the morning we will visit the local bazaar, a show of colors and flavors in which we can interact with the local population. Departure for Baku, 350 kilometers, we will make several stops en route: visit the Lahij village, located in the largest mountains of the Caucasus and famous for its copper crafts recently included in the UNESCO heritage list. (The excursion to Lahij is done only when the roads are dry for safety reason). Another stop will be in Shemakha to visit the Juma Mosque and then the Diri Baba Mausoleum carved out of a rock in Maraza. Arrival in Baku. Night in Baku.
Day 10: Baku - Gobustan - Baku, 130 km
Today we will go to Gobustan, 65 km from Baku, an open-air museum of cave paintings, a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, an ancient settlement from the Neolithic period. We will continue 12 km away to see active mud volcanoes. (The excursion to the volcanoes operates only when the roads are dry).
Then in the afternoon your guided walking tour of Baku includes the walled medieval city "Icheri Sheher" with its narrow streets, historical caravanserais, mosques and the Palace of the Shirvan Shas. We will also visit the symbol of the city: the Tower of the Maiden, from the 12th century, from where we can admire the imposing mansions of the oil magnates, built in the oil boom of 1870-1914. We will continue along the Alley of the Martyrs with its magnificent views over Baku Bay.
Day 11: Baku - Absheron - Baku
In the morning visit to the Absheron peninsula, where we will visit Ateshgah the "temple of the eternal flame" (UNESCO Heritage), built in the 18th century for the prayers of the Zoroastrians who travel with commercial caravans through Azerbaijan. We will continue the visit with the Mardakan fortress that was part of the defense system of the peninsula in the medieval centuries. Finally we will go to Yanardagh the mountain of fire famous for its natural gas outlet.
Return to the hotel and accommodation.
Day 12: Baku - Departure
Breakfast and at the scheduled time transfer to the airport to catch the return flight. (- / - / -)