Duration: 8 -10 hours

Tour programme : Tbilisi  – Shuamta – ikalto – Alaverdi – Telavi – Tsinandali – Tbilisi

During this tour you will discover Kakheti, the main wine region of Georgia. It is considered the cradle of viticulture and winemaking. The hot sun of this region, the fertile land, the green valleys and the hard work of the Georgian farmers have allowed the development of about 500 vine varieties.

Shuamta Monastery was built later in the 16 th century. This monastery is still active. The big temple, the bell tower, the fencing parts of the monastery complex. According to the legend the monastery was constructed by Tina, the Kakhetin queen.

Old legends continue to excite our imagination at the medieval academy of Ikalto. Late in the 6th century Saint Zenon, one of the “Syrian Fathers”, founded the Ikalto Monastery 7-8 km west of the town Telavi. The Monastery was famous as one of the most significant cultural-scholastic centers of Kakheti as well as of the whole of Georgia because of the Spiritual Academy in which outstanding Georgian philosopher Arsen Ikaltoeli used to live and work. Archaeological excavations revealed numerous workshops, wine-cellars, a smithy, store-rooms and other household rooms grouped around the Academy building.  Educational center in Eastern Georgia raised the greatest Georgian Poet of the XII century Shota Rustaveli and had the largest winery in those days.

We will land to the cradle of the Georgian wine-making when arriving at the Alaverdi Cathedral. Alaverdi Monastery was founded by the Assyrian monk Joseph (Yoseb, Amba) Alaverdeli, who came from Antioch and settled in Alaverdi – a small village and former pagan religious center dedicated to the Moon. At the beginning of the 11th century, Kakhetian King Kvirike the Great built a cathedral, today known as Alaverdi Cathedral, in the place of a small church of St. George.

Telavi  is the main city and administrative center of Georgia’s eastern province of Kakheti The first archaeological findings from Telavi date back to the Bronze Age. One of the earliest surviving accounts of Telavi is from the 2nd century AD, by Greek geographer Claudius Ptolemaeus, who mentions the name Teleda (a reference to Telavi). Telavi began to transform into a fairly important and large political and administrative center in the 8th century AD.

Batonis Tsikhe citadel is located in Telavi town. It served as the residence of Kakhetian Kings of the 17-18th centuries.The castle encloses two churches, the ruins of the 11th century royal baths, the pantheon and the Persian style Palace of King Erekle II. At present there is established house-museum of King Erekle II, the Ethnographic Museum and the Picture Gallery.  The museum houses King Erekle’s belongings and along with them: numismatic collection, early medieval sarcophagus, late medieval armor, and collections of XVII-XIX c.c. cooper household objects, weapons, Khevsuretian (East Georgian mountainous region) clothes. It is said that King Erekle II was born and died in the south-east part of the castle.

Visit of Tsinandali. At this point begins the second, European life of the Georgian wine. Prominent figure of the XIX century, Prince Chavchavadze was first to produce bottled wine in his estate by European technology and export it abroad.The history of the Chavchavadze family and their ancestral estate is closely tied with the history of Georgia. Today there is a museum busy with tourists from all over the world. The interior of the 19h century has almost been fully restored. It was also possible to collect touching material evidences from the relatives of the bygone period: suzane, embroidered by the daughters of Chavchavadze, the picture of Imam Shamil painted by Anna Ilinichna held in captivity. The museum has the working desk of the poet, the first grand piano, personal things and books. There are regular art exhibitions held in the museum, and basement of the building hosts Kakhetian wine tasting ceremonies.

Return to Tbilisi.

 

 

                                             The total price of excursions $ ( US Dollar)

                                

Number of  persons      1-3 per       4-6 per     7-16 per    17 -30 per
Mode of transport      Sedan      Minivan      Minibus        Bus
Price of excursions       100$         160$        220$        350 $

 

Group rates  $  (US Dollars)

Sedan:             1 per – 100$;  2 per – 50$;  3 per –  33$.

Minivan:         4 per –40$ ;  5 per – 32$;  6 per – 27$.

Minibus :        6 per – 37$;  7 per – 32$;   8 per – 28$;  9 per– 25$;  10 per- 22$ …….

Bus:                 16 per – 22$;  17 per – 20$;   18 per– 19$;  19 per – 19$;  20 per- 17 $ ….

 

Price Includes:  Transport throughout all round, Medical insurance, Service of qualified guide.

*Timetables : on request

Ikalto
Gombori pass
Akhali Shuamta
Alaverdi
Telavi
Telavi Fortess
Telavi
Tsinandali Palace

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