FAM Tour-April 2013

  • Day 1  - Arrival in Tbilisi
    Arrive Tbilisi International Airport on airline of agent’s choice. Agents will be met by American Georgian Travel Group staff and driven to a 4 star hotel in Tbilisi. Distance is approximately 20km (12 miles) and takes 25 minutes. This first day is used to adjust to the new time zone and surroundings.
  • Day 2  - Mtskheta and Old Tbilisi
    Guided tour of parts of Old Tbilisi and Mtskheta. Welcome Dinner hosted by AGTG. An evening tour of Old Tbilisi and Mtskheta. Overnight at hotel. 
  • Day 3  - Sighnaghi and Wine tasting
    Breakfast at the hotel. Travel to Sighnaghi Eastern Georgia’s Wine Country for two guided tours.Visit to Bodbe Monastery, resting place of St. Nino, the Christianizer of Georgia who came to Georgia in the first part of the 4th century. Visit Pheasant’s Tears Wine Cellar for a traditional Georgian feast (supra) and wine tasting while listening to traditional folk music. Visit to the 18th century wall in Kakheti (UNESCO protected site) built to protect the town from invaders.; view of the stunning Alazani Valley and Greater Caucasus Ridge. Return to Tbilisi

  • Day 4  - Uplistsikhe-Gori-Kutaisi
    Depart Tbilisi for a visit to Uplistsikhe, an hour’s ride away. Uplistsikhe is a cave city located in central Georgia (N41:58:03, E44:12:27). Uplistsikhe (Georgian: literally, "the lord's fortress") is an ancient rock-hewn town in eastern Georgia, 10km (6 miles) east of Gori. The elevation is 673m (2,210’) and it is divided into three parts. Built on a high rocky left (north) bank of the Mtkvari River, it contains various structures dating from the Early Iron Age to the Late Middle Ages, and is notable for the unique combination of various styles of rock-cut cultures from Anatolia and Iran, as well as the co-existence of pagan and Christian architecture. It is one of the oldest urban settlements in Georgia. It was a Georgian stronghold during the Muslim conquest of Tbilisi in the 8th and 9th century; Mongol raids in the 14th century marked the ultimate eclipse of the town; it was virtually abandoned, and only occasionally used as a temporary shelter in times of foreign intrusions. The monument is vulnerable to seismic activity, prompting the Fund of Cultural Heritage of Georgia (a joint project of the World Bank and Government of Georgia) to launch a limited program of conservation in 2000. The Uplistsikhe complex has been on the tentative list for inclusion into the UNESCO World Heritage program since 2007. Visit the Stalin Museum in Gori. The distance is 10km (6 miles) and takes 15 minutes. The museum is dedicated to the life of Joseph Stalin, the leader of the Soviet Union, who was born in Gori. The museum retains its Soviet-era characteristics. Leave Gori and travel to Kutaisi, a distance is 135 km (84 miles) on new highways and beautiful mountain roads. The landmark of Kutaisi are the ruins of the Bagrati Cathedral, built by Bagrati III, King of Georgia, in the early 11th century and an UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Gelati Monastery (N42:16:38.0, E42:42:15.5), a few km east of the city.Check in at the Rcheuli Palace Hotel with dinner at a local restaurant followed by a short walking tour of Old Kutaisi.
  • Day 5  - Prometheus Cave - Metsia
    Visit the Gelati Monastery and the fabulous Prometheus Cave. Following lunch, depart for Svaneti/Mestia. The distance is 243km (151 miles) and the time en route is 5 hours. The road goes through Senaki and Zugdidi and then starts a gradual climb to Mestia through the mountains. Rest Mestia elevation is 1,460m (4800’). Arrive at Hotel Tetnuldi, 9 Margiani Street, Mestia and dinner at the Hotel Mestia a short drive…or walk from the Hotel Tetnuldi.
  • Day 6  - Black Sea - Batumi
    Begin the day with a brief tour of the unique defensive towers known as “Svan Towers” and visit Mestia’s Historical Museum that houses artifacts dating back to BC. After leaving the museum, the tour of Mestia continues until a stop for lunch. Following lunch, depart for Batumi on the Black Sea. The distance is 267km (166 miles) and takes approximately 5 hours 30 minutes that includes stretch breaks and snacks. Arrive at the Intourist Hotel. Dinner at the hotel and free evening. The hotel is centrally located and many attractions are within walking distance.
  • Day 7  - Back to Tbilisi
    The day begins with a visit to the renowned Batumi Botanical Gardens. A tour of Batumi will be conducted until a stop for lunch. After lunch, depart for Tbilisi. The distance is 370km (270miles) and takes 6 hours on well maintained mountain roads and major highways. Check into a 4 star hotel in Tbilisi and then gather for a debrief of FAM Tour facilitated by American Georgian Travel Group. Dine at the hotel.
  • Day 8  - Farewell Dinner
    The day begins with a visit and tour of the National Museum of Georgia, located in the center of Tbilisi. You can spend days going through the museum as it contains a collection of artifacts and riches that date back several thousand years. Following lunch and a guided tour of Old Tbilisi, return to the hotel to prepare for dinner. A farewell dinner with traditional singing and dance performance will be at the “In the Shadow of Metekhi” restaurant overlooking the Mtkvari River.
  • Day 9  - Departure Tbilisi

    2:00 am - Depart the hotel. Most departure flights leave between 3:30 am and 5:00 am. If you are staying for a few more days, sleep in and the AGTG staff will be available to assist your “self directed” efforts to explore more of Georgia.

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