Visit the ancient capital of Georgia – Mtskheta, Stalin’s hometown – Gori and cave town Uplistsikhe in one day and be impressed to see her various historical monuments that are on the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites.
We will pick you up from your hotel in the morning and start our tour by visiting Mtskheta and see its historical monuments that are on the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites. First stop is Svetitskhoveli Cathedral XI c. Where is buried the robe of Jesus Christ. The cathedral is the burial place of the Royal family of Bagrationi and the patriarchs of Georgia. After that, we will drive you on the hill to see Jvari monastery, which overlooks the town of Mtskheta and the confluence of the rivers Aragvi and Mtkvari. Then we are traveling to Gori to visit museum of Stalin, the ruins of an ancient fortress “Goristsihe” which is located on a hill in the city center. After having a lunch, driver will drive you to Uplistsikhe-the most ancient cave city hewed in a rock, from IV centuries B.C. which is located at the left bank of Mtkvari River and has been entirely carved into a massive cliff. This is one of the oldest urban settlements in Georgia. Strategically located in the heartland of ancient kingdom of Kartli. Built, it contains various structures dating from the Early Iron Age to the Late Middle Ages, and is notable for the unique combination of various styles of rock-cut culture, after we will drive you back to Tbilisi, nearby to your hotel, where the trip ends.
• Departure from Tbilisi at 9:00 AM
Mtskheta was founded in the 5th century BC. It was capital of the early Georgian Kingdom of Iberia (Kartli) from the 3rd century BC to the 5th century AD. It was a site of early Christian activity, and the location where Christianity was proclaimed the state religion of Kartli in 337. It remains the headquarters of the Georgian Orthodox Church.
King Dachi I Ujarmeli (early 6th century AD), who was the successor of Vakhtang I Gorgasali, moved the capital from Mtskheta to the more easily defensible Tbilisi according to the will left by his father. However, Mtskheta continued to serve as the coronation and burial place for most kings of Georgia until the end of the kingdom in the 19th century.The old city lies at the confluence of the rivers Mtkvari and Aragvi. The rare blend of cultural values had ruled in this part of the world since the Bronze Age until prosperous Christian era over the unique eclectic lifestyle creating the mood of the town which is as old as the history of Georgia. Mtskheta is the most religious city of Georgia as it has been the shrine of pagan idols since times immemorial and it is where Christianity in Georgia takes its origin.
In recognition of its role in the Georgian Christian history, Mtskheta was granted the status of a “Holy City” by Catholicos-Patriarch Ilia II of Georgia in accordance of the written testament of his 11th-century predecessor Melchizedek I of Georgia.
• Svetitskhoveli Cathedral
The original church was built in 4th century A.D. during the reign of Mirian III of Kartli (Iberia). St. Nino is said to have chosen the confluence of the Mtkvari (Kura) and Aragvi rivers as the place of the first Georgian Church. According to Georgian hagiography, in the 1st century AD a Georgian Jew from Mtskheta named Elias was in Jerusalem when Jesus was crucified. Elias bought Jesus’ robe from a Roman soldier at Golgotha and brought it back to Georgia. Returning to his native city, he was met by his sister Sidonia who upon touching the robe immediately died from the emotions engendered by the sacred object. The robe could not be removed from her grasp, so she was buried with it. The place where Sidonia is buried with Christ’s robe is preserved in the Cathedral. Later, from her grave grew an enormous cedar tree. Ordering the cedar chopped down to build the church, St. Nino had seven columns made from it for the church’s foundation. The seventh column, however, had magical properties and rose by itself into the air. It returned to earth after St. Nino prayed the whole night. It was further said that from the magical seventh column a sacred liquid flowed that cured people of all diseases. In Georgian sveti means “pillar” and tskhoveli means “life-giving” or “living”, hence the name of the cathedral. An icon portraying this event can be seen on the second column on the right-hand from the entrance. Reproduced widely throughout Georgia, it shows Sidonia with an angel lifting the column in heaven. Saint Nino is in the foreground: King Mirian and his wife, Queen Nana, are to the right and left. Georgia officially adopted Christianity as its state religion in 337.
• Jvari Monastery
Jvari Monastery stands on the rocky mountaintop at the confluence of the Mtkvari and Aragvi rivers, overlooking the town of Mtskheta, which was formerly the capital of the Kingdom of Iberia. According to traditional accounts, on this location in the early 4th century Saint Nino, a female evangelist credited with converting King Mirian III of Iberia to Christianity, erected a large wooden cross on the site of a pagan temple. The cross was reportedly able to work miracles and therefore drew pilgrims from all over the Caucasus. A small church was erected over the remnants of the wooden cross in c.545 named the “Small Church of Jvari”. The present building, or “Great Church of Jvari”, is generally held to have been built between 590 and 605 by Erismtavari Stepanoz I. This is based on the Jvari inscriptions on its facade which mentions the principal builders of the church: Stephanos the patricius, Demetrius the hypatos, and Adarnase the hypatos. Professor Cyril Toumanoff disagrees with this view, identifying these individuals as Stepanoz II, Demetre (brother of Stepanoz I), and Adarnase II (son of Stepanoz II), respectively. The importance of Jvari complex increased over time and attracted many pilgrims. In the late Middle Ages, the complex was fortified by a stone wall and gate, remnants of which still survive. During the Soviet period, the church was preserved as a national monument, but access was rendered difficult by tight security at a nearby military base. After the independence of Georgia, the building was restored to active religious use. Jvari was listed together with other monuments of Mtskheta in 1994 as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
• City Gori
Gori is a city in eastern Georgia, which serves as the regional capital of Shida Kartli and the centre of the homonymous administrative district. The name is from Georgian gora that is, “heap”, or “hill”. Gori was an important military stronghold in the Middle Ages and maintains a strategic importance due to its location on the principal highway connecting eastern and western parts of Georgia. Gori is also known as the birthplace of the Soviet leader Joseph Stalin, ballistic missile designer Alexander Nadiradze and philosopher Merab Mamardashvili. Gori is located 86 kilometers (53 mi) west of Georgia’s capital Tbilisi, at the confluence of the rivers Mtkvari and Greater Liakhvi, 588 meters (1,929 ft) above sea level. The territory of Gori has been populated since the early Bronze Age. According to medieval Georgian chronicles, the town of Gori was founded by King David IV (1089-1125) who settled refugees from Armenia there. However, the fortress of Gori (Goris-Tsikhe) appears to have been in use already in the 7th century.
• Cave Town Uplistsikhe
Uplistsikhe is an ancient rock-hewn town in eastern Georgia, some 10 kilometers east of the town of Gori, Shida Kartli. Built on a high rocky left bank of the Mtkvari River, it contains various structures dating from the Early Iron Age to the Late Middle Ages, and is notable for the unique combination of various styles of rock-cut cultures from Anatolia and Iran, as well as the co-existence of pagan and Christian architecture. Uplistsikhe is identified by archaeologists as one of the oldest urban settlements in Georgia. Strategically located in the heartland of ancient kingdom of Kartli, 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. The Uplistsikhe complex can tentatively be divided into three parts: south (lower), middle (central) and north (upper) covering an area of approximately 8 hectares. The middle part 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 majority of the caves are devoid of any decorations, although some of the larger structures have coffered tunnel-vaulted ceilings, with the stone carved in imitation of logs. Some of the larger structures also have niches in the back or sides, which may have been used for ceremonial purposes.
• We will be back in Tbilisi at 9:00 PM.
Price includes transportation, type and capacity of transportation depends on the number of tourists. Our drivers are experienced and professionals. Wish you comfortable stay and safe trip. Hotel pick-up is offered for this tour. Note: if you are booking within 24 hours of the tour/activity departure time, we cannot guarantee hotel pick-up. Once your purchase is complete, we will send you complete contact information (phone number, email address, etc.) for our local operator to organize pick-up arrangements.
- Tour Guiding
- Professional Driver
- Comfortable transport
- Hotel Pick-Up
- Hotel Drop-off
- All Taxes
- Bottle of Water
- Coffee & tea
- Food Degustation
- Lunch Boxes
- Memorable Photos
- Stalin's Museum Entrance Fee
- Uplistsikhe’s Entrance Fee
- Welcome Packages
- All Other Entrance Fees
- Additional Services
- Extra Alcohol
- Flight Ticket
- Travel Insurance
No, camping stuff are not required in this trip.
No, hiking stuff are not required.
No, pets are not allowed in this trip.
Yes, price includes tickets for standing places.
Yes, you can, it is not required.
We recommend bringing comfortable shoes.
The tour will last for about 10-14 Hours.
Yes, in local restaurant on your back way.
Yes. We provide lunch boxes and soft drinks/water.
In case of questions, please contact your tour manager.