Price: 95 USD PP
Children policy: under 3 years -free of charge, 4 -11 years- half price
Starting time: 8:00 AM
Duration: 14 hours
The price includes: transportation service, lunch, entrance tickets, a qualified tour guide.
During the tour you will visit:
✓ Vardzia caves
Vardzia is an underground cave monastery and fortress carved out of the rocky slopes of the Erusheli Mountain on the left bank of River Mtkvari. A caving in Vardzia tour lets you explore the former chapels, libraries, wine cellars, baths and dwellings connected by narrow tunnels and steep stairways. The star of the show at Vardzia is the Church of the Dormition, with its double-arched entryway, row of bells hanging on the exterior and interior walls decorated with intricate murals.
✓ Rabati Castle
Rabati Castle is a medieval Georgian fortress constructed on the site of the original gth century citadel known as “Lomisa.” Towards the end of the 12th century, Lomisa was rebuilt with a system of city-wide fortifications induding high walls, watch towers and guarded entrance gates. It was then renamed “Akhaltsikhe” which translates to “New Fortress” in Georgian.
Its modern name – Rabati, derives from the Arabic word “Rabat”, which means “fortified place.” Rabati was originally the name of the fortress’ trading quarter, which was mainly inhabited by Jewish merchants and craftsmen. Later, the name gradually stuck in reference to the whole fortress.
Between the 13th century and the end of the 14th century, Rabati Castle was the capital of Samtskhe-Saatabago, ruled by the House of Jakeli, a Georgian noble family and ruling dynasty of the Samtskhe Principality. From inception, the Georgian monument attracted many power players over the centuries due to its strategic location.
In 1393, the city was ttacked and destroyed by Tamerlane’s army. It was restored only to be destroyed once again a century later by the Mongols. Despite the invasions, the fortress withstood and continued to thrive due to its strategic importance derived from convenient trading routes.
Following the 1590 Treaty of Constantinople, the entire Samtskhe-Saatabago territory came under the rule of the Ottoman Empire. The Turks mostly constructed defensive edifices within Rabati until 1752 when the first mosque was built. By the late 18th century, there was a functioning orthodox church within the largely Islamized fortress.
After the signing of the Treaty of Georgievsk between Imperial Russia and the Kingdom of Kartli, the Georgians made their first attempt to take Rabati Castle in 1810, but failed. Eighteen years later, the fortress was successfully stormed during the Battle of Akhalzic. Under the 1829 Treaty of Adrianople, the Ottomans yielded part of Akhaltsikhe, including Rabati Castle.
During the Soviet era, Georgia’s border with Turkey was closed. This led to the isolation of Akhaltsikhe and its decline in importance, causing Rabati Castle to fall into ruin.
Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, there was new stimulus to develop Akhaltsikhe by Georgia’s post-independence government Between 2011 and 2012, Rabati Castle was restored with extensive renovation and reconstruction of the fortress and its buildings. A museum, hotel, restaurants and other tourist facilities were also built to attract more tourists.
✓ Borjomi – Georgian spa and resort town
The spa resort Borjomi is considered to be the Georgian gem. Known since the 19th – 20th centuries, it actively attracts tourists from all over the world to this day. In this article, we would like to introduce you to the history of the resort, to the sights of interest and to some helpful information about hotels, health resorts, transport links etc. Borjomi region is rich in ancient historical monuments, which are worth to take a tour.
BORJOMI mineral water is probably the most famous Georgian brand today. The formation of the mineral water is quite surprising: water is generated within the 10 km depth under the Earth surface from 1,500-year-old volcanic springs, and then under the natural pressure of carbon dioxide is literally pushed out to the surface. Upon reaching the surface the water has a temperature of 38-41 C. On its way up through the volcanic rocks of the Caucasus Mountains, the water is enriched with more than 60 kinds of different mineral compounds. On the territory of Borjomi reserve operates a modern factory, equipped with 9 wells to extract water.