Example Itinerary

A Journey Across Georgia

Duration
15 days / 14 nights
Price Per Person
Interests
Architecture, Heritage, Amazing Landscapes
Destinations
Georgia

This 15-day tour highlights the diverse natural beauty, history, and culture of the Georgian nation. From the towering peaks of the Greater Caucasus and glass-surface alpine lakes in the north, to central plains and vineyards, a sheer canyon with crystal waters, an ancient city and monastery cut into a mountain, and all the way to the subtropical shores of the Black Sea to the west, this journey uncovers Georgia’s lesser seen gems spread across dramatic landscapes. On your journey from Tbilisi to Batumi and everything in between, experience a deeper side of this gorgeous country. 

This itinerary is an example. It’s designed to inspire you and provide you with thoughtfully curated ideas. You can choose to do this exact itinerary or completely personalize it. All trips are 100% bespoke.

Highlights

  • Regional Flavors: Eating and drinking is integral to Georgian culture and taken very seriously. As you travel across the country, try each region’s distinct cuisine and trademark dishes, each influenced by their geography and history. Even national dishes like khachapuri and khinkali vary from region to region. The central heartlands make plentiful use of spices ands walnuts while the highlands see more goat cheese and fruit wines, and the plains are known for wine and meat-heavy dishes. 
  • Incredible Diverse Landscapes: Discover Georgia’s diverse natural landscapes, from permanent snow and glaciers in the northern mountains, to the humid subtropics along the Black Sea coastline, semi-arid plains of the east, and thick forests and natural mineral springs to the west. 
  • Remote Gems: Traveling off the beaten path is deeply rewarding, and on this far-flung trip across the country, that means getting to explore stone hallways and caves that were hand-cut into a mountain, stroll vast pristine pastures dotted with wildflowers and abandoned hamlets, drink naturally-carbonated mineral water from a spring, experience a small ethnic subgroup’s ancient culture, have 360-degree views of Georgia’s highest peaks all to yourself, and much more. 

Day-by-Day

Day 1

Map

Tbilisi »

Arrive in Tbilisi, Georgia’s capital and the heart of the Caucasus. Proceed through immigration and security to the arrivals hall where you will be met by your private guide and driver. Transfer to your hotel by luxury sedan, check in, and enjoy the rest of your evening at leisure. 

Hotel Options

Day 2

Map

Tbilisi »

Today will be spent exploring the East-meets-West city of Tbilisi, with stops at iconic sights and landmarks as well as hidden gems. Conquered and reconquered for centuries, Tbilisi’s long history is evident in its buildings.   Begin from the 13th-century Metekhi church where you can take in views over the Old Town before wandering the charming cobblestone streets, past colorful homes with iconic wooded balconies, restored and repurposed Soviet-era buildings, hidden cafes and bohemian boutiques, a smattering of churches, and a hodgepodge of old and modern architecture. Take a cable car up a steep hill to Narikala Fortress, an ancient Persian citadel that dominates the Old Town skyline. From here you can gaze down over the city and Mtkvari River. A meandering scenic trail will take you past the Mother Georgia statue to the historic area lined with centuries-old domed brick sulfur bathhouses. Finish the day at the History Museum where you can see the Archaeological Treasury with its famous ‘Golden Fund’, an exhibition of more than 600 ancient Georgian gold and silver items and jewelry found during excavations. Alternatively, visit the popular flea market to experience the funky side of Tbilisi. An eclectic mix of unique items is on offer at this scavenger’s wonderland, from Soviet memorabilia to household items to artwork. 

Tbilisi

Day 3

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Kakheti Wine Region »

Leave Tbilisi for the Kakheti region, the country’s premier area for viticulture, and experience Georgia’s wine culture. Kakheti is famous for being a winemaking area, and every guest is well-treated to the country’s signature hospitality. First visit the small town of Sighnaghi, known for its quaint 18th-century architecture of small pastel-colored homes with wooden balconies, meandering narrow cobblestone streets, and the surrounding views of vineyards and mountains in the distance from its hilltop perch. For lunch, stop at a local farmhouse where the host and his family will welcome you into their home for a homemade meal. Try your hand at baking traditional Georgian bread and making a favorite Georgian sweet, churchkhela, candied nuts and fruits in the shape of a long candle. After, get a first-hand look at the ancient tradition of Georgian wine making at a private wine cellar. You will be treated to a tasting of unique Georgian bio-wines produced in Kvevri, large earthenware vessels used for fermentation, storage, and aging of wines. These large amphorae are either buried below ground or set into the floors of wine cellars. Spend the evening in Kakheti.

Hotel Options

Day 4

Map

Stepantsminda »

Start the day with a visit to the market at Telavi, a bustling covered open-air space where farmers from around the region come to hawk their fresh produce and homemade goods. Here you can try the season’s sweetest fruits, sample fresh breads and sweets, and pick up some spices to take home. Then, drive to visit 11th-century Alaverdi Cathedral,  the tallest religious building the country until 2004. It sits in a verdant field against backdrop of mountains and clear blue sky. Nearby, stop at a shop to taste the local yogurt, called Matsoni, a fermented milk yogurt that has a mild, tart flavor. It is well-loved by locals for its health properties and used prolifically in cooking. Finally, make your way to the Great Caucasus Mountains along the famous Georgian Military Highway. Enroute, stop to admire the Ananuri complex which overlooks the Zhinvali reservoir. After the scenic drive, arrive in Stepantsminda and check in to your hotel for the evening.

Hotel Options

Day 5

Map

Stepantsminda »

The first stop today is the iconic Gergeti Trinity Church, arguably Georgia’s most picturesque and popular attraction. Located atop a steep hill against a grand backdrop of the snow-covered Caucasus, the juxtaposition of the modest church makes a striking and unforgettable image. You may choose to hike the two hour pilgrimage route and enjoy the stunning scenery along the way or take the road. Continue to Dariali Gorge which measures almost 3,300 feet deep and admire its dramatic beauty. After lunch, continue your exploration of the mountains as you drive past age-old villages and alpine meadows to Truso Valley. A popular area for hiking, Truso Valley is where you start to feel the true ‘wilds’ of the Caucasus. There is a main trail that follows along a river and leads to a fortress. Explore the valley and marvel in the scenery of  abandoned hamlets, colored mineral springs, and towering mountains.  Return to Stepantsminda by the late afternoon and make a stop at a small gallery where a local artist will introduce the traditional handicraft of felting, which you can try for yourself.  You will also be treated to a selection of different homemade jams and herbal tea, all made with local ingredients.

Stepantsminda

Day 6

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Borjomi »

Depart from the mountains and drive south, stopping enroute at Mtskheta. Nowadays a small provincial capital, Mtskheta was the ancient capital of Georgia and a significant economical and political center. Due to its historical significance and collection of several cultural monuments, it was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994. As the birthplace of Christianity in Georgia, Mtskheta still serves as its religious center and a must-see for those interested in the country’s religious foundation. The two most important sites are Jvari Monastery and Svetitskhoveli Cathedral where it is believed the Robe of Christ is buried. Afterwards, continue to Mukhrani village to the estate of Ivane Mukhranbatoni, a Georgian nobleman who was a modernizer of the winemaking industry, leading the frontier of sparkling wine production in Georgia. Enjoy lunch at the restaurant on the estate, as well as taste a selection of the estate’s wines, followed by a special wine painting master class. Finally, make your way to Borjomi, a small spa town famed for its naturally-carbonated mineral water. Bottled and sold across the region, it is beloved and even believed to be a health elixir. If you wish, you can make your way to Borjomi Central Park, home to Ekaterina’s Spring where locals come to fill up their own bottles of spring water.

Hotel Options

Day 7

Map

Borjomi »

Today, go on a day-trip to Vardzia, an ancient rock-hewn city that is one of the country’s most impressive sites. The cave complex stretches over half a kilometer along the Mtkvari river and has 19 tiers. There used to be approximately 3,000 caves which housed over 13 churches, 25 wine cellars, baths, libraries, an apothecary, and numerous dwellings all connected by tunnels and stairs, forming a vibrant medieval city and monastery. It survived centuries through Mongol, Persian, and Ottoman invasions and a devastating earthquake, though much of the complex was destroyed. Today, some of the remaining caves are inhabited by a few monks, and other remaining caves are open for visitors to explore. Enroute back to Borjomi, stop at Khertvisi Fortress, followed by Akhaltsikhe town to visit Rabati Castle where you can learn about its historical strategic importance in western Georgia. 

Day 8

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Kutaisi »

Continue your journey west to Kutaisi, a former capital and cultural center of the country in the Middle Ages that is home to many heritage sites. Gelati Monastery, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is one of the most important sites of the country, serving as one of the oldest educational centers in Europe as well as the tomb of David the Builder, Georgia’s greatest king. Then visit Bagrati Cathedral, an unmissable landmark in the city. Erected on a hilltop, the stately building with a turquoise dome top can be seen from anywhere in the city. 

Hotel Options
Kutaisi

Day 9

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Mestia »

Swing by Kutaisi’s Green Bazaar to check out the western region’s fresh produce and specialty products such as cheeses and wines before heading north to the mountains again, this time to the Svaneti region, known for the highest mountains and glaciers and as home of the Svans, an ethnic subgroup of Georgians with their own steadfast traditions and language. Enroute, stop to admire the Martvili Canyons, its steep cliffs and waterfalls best appreciated from a boat ride through the gorge. Lunch will be with a local family at their home where you will be treated to natural wines they produced using traditional methods, as well as an array of authentic West-Georgian dishes. Also make a stop at Enguri hydroelectric power plant, an impressive arch dam, before reaching Mestia. This highland town is the main town in Upper Svaneti, situated at almost 5,000 feet above sea level. In this far-flung town, you will be welcomed to stay at a small family-owned hotel.

Hotel Options

Day 10

Map

Mestia »

After breakfast, begin your exploration of Svaneti by taking a 4WD to Ushguli. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Ushguli, a community of four hamlets, is one of the highest continuously inhabited settlements in Europe. The beauty of the Great Caucasus is proudly on full display here. The humble fairytale village sits amongst the majestic scenery of snow-capped peaks, ancient Svan stone towers, and dramatic valley slopes. From here you can see Shkhara, the highest peak in Georgia, standing at over 16,500 feet. Go on an easy and short hike following the Enguri river and tracing it through the valley to its origin, Shkhara Glacier. In the summer, the valley is lush and covered with bursts of wildflowers in vivid colors, while in autumn, dazzling red, orange, and yellow colors take over. Return to Mestia in the late afternoon and rest for the day.

Day 11

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Mestia »

Another day of exploration takes you past more alpine grandeur and Svanetian towers to the magnificent Koruldi Lakes situated at the foot of Ushba, a mountain with a double summit. Its location gives way to a stunning 360-degree panorama of the Greater Caucasus. In addition, these placid mountain lakes serve as a mirror, reflecting and multiplying the beauty of the surrounding mountain peaks and clear blue sky. After reveling in the views, return to Mestia where you will have time to visit the Svaneti Historical-Ethnographic Museum to learn more about the ethnocultural heritage of the region. 

Mestia

Day 12

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Black Sea »

From the highest mountain peaks, descend to the subtropical coastline of palm trees, citrus groves, and tea plantations as you travel onward to the Black Sea. It is across this large inland sea that, according to legend, Jason and the Argonauts set out to find the Golden Fleece in the land of Colchis - which is now part of modern Georgia. Arrive at your resort in Shekvetili, a small village on the shores of the Black Sea. Spend the rest of your day relaxing and enjoying your seaside resort’s many leisure facilities.

Hotel Options

Day 13

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Black Sea »

Today, take a day-trip down the coastline to the large port city of Batumi. Contrasting the more traditional parts of the country, Batumi is a relaxed and fun destination that offers a smooth-pebble beach and clean waters for swimming during the day and plenty of neon-lit entertainment in the evening. Enjoy a stroll down the boardwalk, passing a plethora of shops, faces, and restaurants, and make a stop at the popular fish market where fresh catch can be bought and cooked on-site at several nearby restaurants. See a few more interesting sculptures, monuments, and buildings around town before enjoying lunch. Choose from atmospheric and traditional Georgian restaurants,  or upscale trendy spaces with continental menus and terrace seating from which you can enjoy the sea views. 

Day 14

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Tbilisi »

This morning, leave the seaside and western Georgia behind as you drive to Batumi to catch a train back to Tbilisi. Enjoy views of Georgia’s countryside speed by from the comfort of your seat aboard the modern high-speed train. Once back in Tbilisi, the rest of the day is yours. If you are keen to indulge in more Georgian culture, opt to visit the famous sulfur bathhouses, a local favorite pastime where you can enjoy a hot soak with a relaxing massage or traditional kisi exfoliation scrub.

Hotel Options
Tbilisi

Day 15

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Departure

Enjoy your final morning in Tbilisi, whether with a leisurely breakfast, strolling around the leafy streets, or shopping for last-minute souvenirs at trendy boutiques. When ready, a private transfer will take you to Tbilisi International Airport to catch your flight onward. 

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With Remote Lands you'll travel with people who have made Asia the solitary focus of their own lifelong adventure. As our guest, you'll discover Asia on a journey that is completely, authentically your own, adapted from our own remarkable experiences and adventures over the years.

With Remote Lands you'll travel with people who have made Asia the solitary focus of their own lifelong adventure. As our guest, in the continent that our north American founders Catherine and Jay have adored and explored for decades, you'll discover Asia on a journey that is completely, authentically your own, adapted from our own remarkable experiences and adventures over the years.

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