Duration: 8 -10 hours
Tbilisi – Udjarma – Shuamta – ikalto – Telavi – Tsinandali – Shumi – 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.
Udjarma is a fortress-town located between Tbilisi and Telavi. The road there lies through beautiful Gomborinek mountain pass. For a long time it has been hidden from the eyes of tourists, until 2010 when a new road to Telavi passing by the fortress was built. Since then Ujarma has become one of the major attractions and a must-see spot in the bucket list of many tourists. The fortress is one of the most important Georgian architectural monuments of Early Middle Ages, due to its strategic location and value in the past.
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. When she was a little girl she had a dream where she was told to build an orthodox temple. In her dream she saw the site of the future monastery. The place appeared unfamiliar, and only when she married Kakhetin prince Levan, Tina recognized the place during her travel across Georgia. That was how the monastery was founded and later Tina took the veil there.
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.
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. The museum has the working desk of the poet, the first grand piano, personal things and books.
The wine company “SHUMI” located in the historic center of the Georgian wine village Tsinandali. “SHUMI” has vineyards in all major micro-vineyards of Georgia. The assortment of the company includes red and white wines, dry and semi-sweet wines, organic (bio) wine, wine spirits, “Chacha” (grappa), etc. A private wine museum, with 294 unique native Georgian and 92 foreign vineyard species, is also home to a museum of ancient Georgian wine-making facilities and other exhibitors
Return to Tbilisi.
* If desired, you can organize:
Hiking between 1 – 2 hours, for all levels of difficulty;
Picnic on the nature or feast in a peasant family (Lunch, Dinner with organic products) (If desired, with an overnight stay);
Master classes in the preparation of “Churchkhela”, “Khinkali”, “Khachapuri”, …. and other national dishes (if desired, with a feast);
Master classes in the preparation of Kakhetian barbecue “Mtsvadi” and “Shoti” bread on the vine (if desired, with a feast);
Visit the pottery workshop “Kvevri” (clay jugs for wine) and other artisans. (if desired, with a feast et with folk songs performed by a folklore ensemble (professionals));
Visit the peasant “zaoti” (“Chacha” mini-factory) (if desired, with a feast et with folk songs performed by a folklore ensemble (professionals))
* If desired, you can combine the programs: 1. Kakheti – “Sun and Wine” and 2. Kakheti – “Mountains and Wine”.
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