Cultural Exploration

Colchis the Undiscovered Georgia


Svaeti - MestiaThis tour will reveal Western Georgia as a largely undiscovered land and one of the key cross-roads of Europe and Asia. Under the surface Georgia (literally) is a treasure chest of intriguing myths and archaeological discoveries – that continue to be unearthed to this day. Georgia has a unique language which belongs to Caucasian group of languages combined with one of the worlds fourteen original alphabets.
Over these 12 days you will travel from the East to West Georgia – from the Historical lowlands to the highlands, visiting all the famous sites of ancient Colchis (Kolkheti). These include the mythical landscape of the Golden Fleece, Medea and King Aeetes. First mentioned in Assyrian clay plate inscriptions from the 12th centurySvaneti - Village BC, the kingdom of Colkheti, re-appeared in Homer and then later was well described by Apollonius of Rhodes, in his Argonautica. Following centuries Strabo, Appian and other historians and geographers put in the picture this story with great inspiration, describing how the fleecy skins were used by old Georgians in Upper Svaneti to gather gold in the gold bearing rivers. Kolkheti Kingdom, known as a rich state, maintaining the cultural contact with Hellenistic world, Syria, Egypt and Mediterranean Sea coast, was later symbolized in a Golden Fleece.
Tour starts with sightseeing of Tbilisi, an ancient city and continues to different historical provinces Kartli the ancient Iberian Kingdom, Kakheti, the main viticulture region, Imereti province a homeland of Kolkheti kingdom and famous Svaneti with its high mountings, medieval towers and gold bearing rivers.
You will see World Heritage sites both in the high mountains and in the lowlands – with Georgias stunning cathedrals with their early medieval frescoes. You will also see the original church treasures so valuable; most are now kept in the State museums.
Better to see it once with your own eyes then hear about it a hundred times!
 

RouteDRAFT ITINERARY
Day 1 - Arrival
Day 2 - Tbilisi sightseeing tour
Day 3 - Drive via David Gareja monastery to Telavi. Hike to Udabno
Day 4 - Sightseeing around Telavi. Drive to Tbilisi
Day 5 - Depart for Kutaisi. Visit Gelati Academy & Bagrati Cathedral
Day 6 - Drive up to Mestia
Day 7 - Explore Mestia region
Day 8 - Drive to Usguli village via Ipari & Kala
Day 9 - Return to Kutaisi. Visit Vani Archaeological site
Day 10 - Drive towards Tbilisi via Gori. Visit cave city Uplistsikhe
Day 11 - Free day in Tbilisi
Day 12 - Departure

GENERAL
The tour provides package service, BB/HB in Tbilisi, FB in countryside. The program is also flexible and can be adjusted to clients demands and requirements.
Accommodation & Meals:
Hotel/guesthouse/local families BB (2 nights), HB (2 nights), FB (6 nights) as listed in the detailed program
Mode of travel: coach/minibus/4WD/on foot.
Tour Staff & Support: Explore Leader, driver (s) and some local guides.
Group size: Not Limited

SPECIAL HIGHLIGHTS

Tbilisi City Tour: State Museum of history and art– treasuries of Georgia, Old Town;
Narikala Fortress 4th century; Metekhi church 13th century; Anchiskhati basilica 6th century;
Sulfur bathes; Sioni Cathedral; Old Synagogue;
Mtskheta – an ancient capital of Georgia /UNESCO World Heritage Site/;
Svetistkhoveli Cathedral of 11th century;
David Gareja Monastery complex 6th century with 9-14th century frescos;
Telavi – historical city in Kakheti province;
Alaverdi Cathedral of11th century;
Gremi architectural complex of 16-17th centuries with frescos;
Tsinandali house museum and wine cellar of 19th centuries
Gelati Academy 12th century, mosaics and murals from 12-17th centuries;
Bagrat Cathedral built in 1007;
Mestia the heart of Svaneti;
Latali & Lenjeri villages;
Kala & Ipari villages;
Lagami church 13th century;
Museum of History & Ethnography in Mestia;
Ushguli Highest village in Europe with medieval towers;
La Maria Church complex 12th century;
Vani – Archeological site from 700 BC to 100 AD;
Uplistsikhe cave city from 1st mill BC;
Stalins Museum and house of Birth in Gori;
Ateni Sioni church of 7th century with frescos;
 
For detailed program and practical information contact at: info@exploregeorgia.com




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