Georgia - Turkey

Georgian Golden Age

Central, southern regions of Georgia and East north part of Turkey
12 days


Oshki Church 10th c.This combined tour gives an exclusive opportunity to explore the most beautiful and important Georgian early medieval architecture and frescoes stretched throughout Georgia and the northeastern part of Turkey, a former historical province of Georgia.
During this tour you will see a combination of different climates, vegetation, natural resources, a diversity of flora and fauna, beautiful gorges and valleys, and historical monuments distinguished by their sophisticated stone carving, elegant proportions and durability.
Voyage will start from Trabzon – a famous political center of medieval period - and continues along the Choruh River, visiting mostly unexplored areas of northeast Turkey with impressive canyons and fortresses, passing on the way the elegant and monumental solemn churches particular to Georgian Architecture. Crossing the border of Georgia in Akhaltsikhe, a well- known fortified city, you will explore the mixture of Eastern and Western cultures, based on Georgian indigenous traditions, developed and molded through its turbulent history. Discover the Georgian language with its own script developing from varieties of eastern Aramaic and molded in logical style due to native tradition; explore the original ethnography; be equated with the first hominid in Eurasia 1.7 million years old; explore the goldsmith achievements in cloisonné enamel work and the embossed golden settings in the Museum of Tbilisi.
While in Georgia, wonder at the stunning mountains that have impressed travelers, writers and explorers from the earliest time.
And finally, you will taste traditional Georgian and Turkish healthy foods and varieties of wine!

Better to see it once with your own eyes then hear about it a hundred times!


DRAFT ITINERARY

Ornament on Ishkhan Church (7-11th cc.)Day 1 - Arrive in Trabzon (Turkey). Transfer to the hotel;
Day 2 - All day visiting the Byzantine monuments of Trabzon: Kizlar monastery with its spectacular view of the city, Church of St. Sophia and former Cathedral Panaghia Chrysocephalos Church , now the Fatih Mosque, the remains of Trabzon `s spectacular Citadel, which include fragments of the former Comneid palace. Overnight;
Day 3 - Depart from Trabzon along the Black Sea coast via Hopa to Yusufeli. Visit the Dort Kilise - a Georgian church and monastery with faded wall painting inside dated from 10 th century, and continue to drive to Barhal for overnight;
Day 4 - Depart for Haho (Khakhuli) - a Georgian monastery with its magnificent Khakhuli Triptych /the greatest masterpieces of Georgian Art (now in Tbilisi), then visit Oskvank (Oshki) and Ishhan. Drive to Artvin for overnight.
Day 5 - Drive to Savshat via Hamamli, visit small church Georgian church Dolishane in a spectacular position high up above the valley. Continue with a visit to Opiza ruined church and Georgian Cathedral Tbeti of the Mother of God built in 918 by prince Ashot Bagrationi. Overnight in Savshat; Khakhuli Triptych
Day 6 - Morning visiting Artanuji castle founded by Vakhtang Gorgasali in the 5 th century and former capital of the Bagrat Kings of Georgia in 8 th -10 th centuries. Pass the fortress of Ardahan and drive towards Turkey - Georgian border Posof. Immigration formalities. Overnight in Akhaltsikhe;
Day 7 - Explore Samtskhe-Javakheti region of Georgia by visiting cave city of Vardzia, Fortress of Khertvisi and picturesque Mtkvari river valleys with the old vineyard terraces. Arrive back to Akhaltsikhe for overnight;
Day 8 - Drive to capital Tbilisi . On the way, briefly see Stalin`s home museum in Gori, Cave city Uplistikhe and church of Ateni. Overnight in Tbilisi .
Day 9 - Mourning exploring of Ancient city known as a capital of Georgia from 5 th c. Strolling through the old town, visit Georgian State Museum of History, Art museum.
Day 10 - Depart for the old Capital of Georgia - Mtskheta. Visit Jvari church, Svetiskhoveli and Samtavisi architectural monuments. Drive to the north along the Georgian Military Highway , visit Ananuri Architectural complex. Arrive back in Tbilisi for overnight.
Day 11 - Explore David Gareji monastery complex. Visiting Lavra monastery, hike up to Udabno monastery, located on the edge of the natural range, dividing Georgia with Azerbaijan. Overnight in Tbilisi .
Day 12 - Departure


GENERAL
The tour provides package service. The program is also flexible and can be adjusted to clients` demands and requirements.
Season not limited, the ideal conditions for travel April through summer and till middle of November. Accommodation & Meals
Hotels/guesthouses BB (8 nights), HB (3 night) as listed in the detailed program.
Mode of travel: coach/on foot.
Tour Staff & Support: Explore Leader, driver (s), assistant, and some local guides.
Group size: Not Limited
 

SPECIAL HIGHLIGHTS

Dome in Ishkhani Church
Trabzon
founded as the city by Greek colonists from Sinop at end 7 th century BC.
Dort Kilise - Georgian church and monastery with faded wall painting inside dated from 10 th century.
Barhal - Georgian monastery of 10 th century dedicated to John the Baptists.
Haho (Khakhuli) - Georgian monastery with its magnificent Khakhuli Triptych /the greatest masterpieces of Georgian Art (now in Tbilisi ), built in 10 th century by David Curapalates.
Oskvank (Oshki) - Georgian church dedicated to St John the Baptists. Built in 958 -61 by Duke Bagrat and David Curapalates.
Ishhan - Georgian Church of the Mother of God from 7 th century
Interior of Ishkhani ChurchDoliskane (Hamamli) - Georgian church in a spectacular position high up above the valley founded in 10 th century.
Tbeti - Georgian Cathedral of the Mother of God built in 918 by prince Ashot Bagrationi.
Artanuj castle - founded by Vakhtang Gorgasali in the 5 th century and was the capital in 8 th -10 th centuries of the Bagrat Kings of Georgia.
Uplistsikhe cave city from 1 st mill BC;
Ateni Sioni church of 7 th century with frescoes;
Khertvisi Castle from 10 th century;
Akhaltsikhe Castle 18 th century;
Vardzia the rock-cut monastery complex of 12-13 th centuries;
Tbilisi City Tour: State Museum of history and art- treasuries of Georgia , Old Town ;
Narikala Fortress 4 th century; Metekhi church 13 th century; Anchiskhati basilica 6 th century;
Sulfur bathes; Sioni Cathedral; Old Synagogue ;
Mtskheta - an ancient capital of Georgia/UNESCO World Heritage Site/;
Svetistkhoveli Cathedral of 11 th century;
Jvari church dating from 6 th century;
David Gareja Monastery complex 6 th century with 9-14 th century frescos;
Ananury architectural complexes 16-17 th centuries with frescos;
Georgian Military Highway ;


PRACTICAL INFORMATION

Season : not limited, however, the ideal conditions for travel are from March through summer and till middle of November.
Visa Information : A Turkish visas are obtainable on entry at the airport at a price of $15. A Georgian visas are obtainable at Georgian consulate in Trabzon at a price of $10.
Transportation : For airport transfers and inland transportation, depending on a group size - Car, 8-10 seats Minibus or full size Bus will be provided. Minibus for Yusufeli, Vardzia and David Gareja Trips.
Food & Drink : There are plenty of pubs and restaurant in Trabzon and Tbilisi with Traditional and European cuisine. In some of the remoter places in countryside meals are available at simple local restaurants - though these often provide the best food.
Clothing : Pack essentially for hot conditions, Weather is changeable in mountains; it can be cool especially at night. Bring warmer jacket/fleece. Raingear is essential all the times. For visiting churches it is recommended to wear long trousers and skirts.
Footwear : Comfortable shoes for visiting sites and hilly towns; sandals; lightweight walking/trail boots for day walks.
Equipment : torch, sunhat & sun cream
Tap water : safe to drink in most areas. The spring water in the mountains is even safer. Bottled mineral carbonated or still water is a good alternative to tap water, which is obtainable in the cities.
Personal Expenses : You`ll also need some extra money to cover meals not included in the tour price, optional sightseeing, souvenirs and items of a personal nature as a laundry. Cash is the preferred method of payment in Georgia and Turkey . Visa, Master cards are not much expectable outside of cities.

For detailed program and practical information contact at: info@exploregeorgia.com




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