AITO: The Association of Independent Tour Operators
Springtime in the Caucasus

Springtime in the Caucasus

Springtime in the Caucasus Overview

Stunning snow-clad mountains, meadows teeming with wild flowers and a rich and interesting history are brought to you in our tour to Georgia, a fascinating and friendly country at the extremities of Eastern Europe.

ITINERARY

Day 1 – London to Tbilisi

Mid-morning flight from Gatwick to Tbilisi, arriving late evening. Transfer to our centrally located hotel.

Day 2 – Tbilisi

Morning guided walk in the old city followed by cable car to the Narikala Fortress for panoramic views of Tbilisi. Visit the treasury of the Georgian History Museum and stroll along Rustaveli Avenue, Tbilisi’s main street.

Day 3 – Through the High Caucasus to Kazbegi

Drive up the Georgia Military Highway visiting Ananuri en route. Here we find two churches and a fortress overlooking a huge reservoir. We continue over the Cross Pass to Kazbegi where we lunch with a village family before driving up to Gergeti Church. A day of stunning mountain scenery concluding with dinner and overnight in Kazbegi.

Day 4 – Return to Tbilisi

Visit the ancient capital of Mtskheta and its Svetitskhoveli Cathedral and Jvari Monastery. Take the funicular railway to Mtstsminda for good views of Tbilisi.

Day 5 – Gori, Uplistsikhe and Bakuriani

We take the train from Tbilisi’s main station to Gori, Stalin’s birthplace, for a visit to his museum and the Uplistsikhe cave dwellings. Drive to Borjomi from where we take a charter train on the narrow gauge electric railway through the forest to Bakuriani (approx 2 hours). Overnight and dinner in Bakuriani.

Day 6 – Akhaltsikhe and Vardzia

A day of wonderful mountain and forest scenery including a visit to the fortress at Akhaltsikhe and the amazing cave dwellings at Vardzia. Lunch at a guest house near Vardzia and evening meal on our return to Bakuriani.

Day 7 – Kutaisi

Drive to Khashuri to catch the train to Kutaisi. We then visit the UNESCO World Heritage Gelati Church. Dinner and overnight at a family run guest house with en suite facilities.

Day 8 – The Mountain Province of Upper Svaneti

Drive to Zugdidi for lunch and visit the Dadiani Palace followed by a drive through the mountains to Mestia. Overnight and dinner at a small family guest house.

Day 9 – 4WD to Ushguli

We travel by 4WD vehicles over 44 kilometres of rough mountain road to Ushguli, which, at 7,910 feet above sea level, is Europe’s highest permanently inhabited village. Lunch with village family before returning to Mestia for dinner and overnight.

Day 10 – The Black Sea Coast

Drive down to the coast at the port resort of Batumi. Lunch en route in Zugdidi. Free time to relax on arrival.

Day 11 – Train to Tbilisi

Morning main line train from Batumi to Tbilisi, arriving at lunchtime. Afternoon at leisure.

Day 12 – Tbilisi to London

Mid-morning flight from Tbilisi via Istanbul to Gatwick, arriving late afternoon.

Tbilisi and the two cave dwellings need to be explored on foot (including climbing and descending steps) and, whilst they don’t form an essential part of this itinerary, their omission would obviously remove some of the value and enjoyment.

PRICE INCLUDES

  • Flights in Economy Class by scheduled airline
  • Rail travel as specified
  • Other travel by private coach (4WD vehicle where appropriate)
  • Hotel accommodation in Tbilisi, Kazbegi, Bakuriani and Batumi
  • Other accommodation in good quality guest houses with en-suite facilities
  • All breakfasts, 5 lunches and 6 evening meals
  • Entrance fees to churches and museums where applicable and to the cave dwellings
  • Airport and other transfers
  • Services of a tour leader from London and throughout the tour plus local professional Georgian guide
Find out more about this holiday