Wonderful one-day adventure
Tbilisi – Mtskheta – Ananuri – Stepantsminda – Tbilisi
If you strive to experience majestic Caucasian mountains, but don’t have time to go too far away from Tbilisi, Kazbegi is a solution.
You will be surrounded by breathtaking views all the way to Kazbegi, not to mention astonishing beauty of Gergeti Church, standing on a hilltop above Stepantsminda.
Our driver and guide will pick you up at your hotel in Tbilisi. The route will take over the Georgian Military Highway up North towards the border with Russia.
Our first stop will be at old capital, – Mtskheta. One of the oldest cities in the world, Mtskheta is also considered holiest place for christians second only to Jerusalem. The reason for this is Mantle of Christ, buried here, in Svetitskhoveli Cathedral. A masterpiece of the Early Middle Ages, Svetitskhoveli is recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. It is currently the second largest church building in Georgia, after the Holy Trinity Cathedral. On your way back to the vehicle do buy some Churchkhelas, – traditional Georgian treat, prepared with hazelnuts or walnuts dipped in grape juice.
Proceed to Jvari Church, a true architectural masterpiece of the early Medieval Period overlooking Mtskheta and the confluence of Aragvi and Mtkvari rivers from the top of the hill.
Continue to Ananuri complex, which is overlooking Jinvali reservoir. During the late Autumn and winter, level of water in reservoir is low and you can access the old bridge, usually covered by water rest of the year. As for the Ananuri, it was a castle and seat of the Eristavis (Dukes) of Aragvi, a feudal dynasty which ruled the area from the 13th century. The castle was the scene of numerous battles. Explore the church and the defencive building around it. Once you go back to the vehicle, continue to Stepantsminda.
We will then drive over the Cross pass and make a short stop at Soviet time “People’s Friendship” mountain view point overlooking a deep gorge of Caucasus mountain range.
In Stepantsminda, we will hike up to reach Gergeti Holy Trinity Church located, on altitude of 2170 m, and enjoy breathtaking views of Mt Kazbegi.
Drive back to Tbilisi. Drop-off at your hotel/airport.