Tbilisi the capital of Georgia was founded in the 5th century A.D. The city extends along the both sides of the river Mtkvari in the eastern part of Georgia. “Tbilisi” in Georgian means “warm” and it is truly a warm city full of unique charm and ancient legends. Combination of beautiful landscape, modern buildings and avenues with ancient churches and towers, ancient sulphur baths, narrow winding streets and old houses with wooden carved balconies that are hanging along the rocky bank of Mtkvari river or clung to the hillsides, cable cars going up to the ruins of Narikala fortress (mid 4th century) and a colossal statue of Mother of Georgia overlooking the city from Sololaki hill, a funicular railway taking you to the park on the top of Matsminda (Saint) mountain make the city unforgettable. This is truly the city that you will never forget and that will always stay with you.
Mtskheta was the capital of Georgia from the 3rd century B.C. to the 5th century A.D. This small ancient town is located 20 kilometers northwest from Tbilisi at the confluence of Aragvi and Mtkvari rivers. Mtskheta is a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its historical churches. The town is playing a significant role for Georgians, as it is the place where the Christianity was proclaimed as the official religion of Georgia in 337 and where the Robe of Christ is buried in Svetitskhoveli (Life -giving) Cathedral. The most ancient church of Mtskheta is Jvari (Cross) Monastery dated 585 – 604 A.D. It is located on the top of the hill on the left bank of Aragvi river on the spot where a large wooden cross was set up in the 4th century when a new religion was proclaimed.
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Vardzia is a spectacular medieval cave monastery complex. This unique historical and architectural monument was carved in the 12th century in a sheer tufa rock in southern Georgia in Samtske-Javakheti region. The cave complex goes up to 50 meters deep to the rock and rises 13 levels up with a temple of Assumption of the Virgin at the center. Around 20000 people could be accommodated in the complex. Nowadays there are preserved 600 premises: a big hall for receptions, residential cells, stockrooms, a reservoir with spring water, library, treasury, workshops, drugstore, a refectory with a bakery, winery, baths, water supply and irrigation system, stable. These premises are connected by linking corridors, secret passages, and stairs.
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Signagi a small ancient and scenic town in a center of Kakheti. The region is rich with historical sites and is the main wine producing part of Georgia. Signagi is located on terraces connected by stepped cobbled streets with cute houses and offers a beautiful panoramic view on Alazani valley. The town is surrounded by a well-preserved 4.5-kilometer city wall with 29 towers and with St. Stephen church built inside a tower. Only 2 kilometers away there is the Monastery of Saint Nino at Bodbe with her tomb there. Saint Nino preached Christianity in Georgia.
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Borjomi is the largest spa resort in Georgia. It is famous for its unique volcanic mineral springs and clear and healthy air enriched by surrounding coniferous- deciduous forest in Borjomi- Kharagauli National park. Borjomi is 750 meters above the sea level and is located in the beautiful Borjomi gorge. According to some historical records the water was known and used in stone baths and for drinking already in 1 century A.D. Today you can have bottled mineral water and sample it directly from a spring in the magnificent park with recreational zone and shady secluded paths. A cable car links the park with a plateau, 1000 meters above sea level, with ancient trees and gorgeous views.
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Batumi is a bright sea resort at the Black Sea coast in Ajara region of Georgia. It is popular for its architectural diversity of old buildings and contemporary architecture, seaside Boulevard –a park running for many kilometers along the pebbled beach with colorful lawns, magnolias, bamboo, cypress, bay and palm trees, theater, dancing fountains, amazing sculptures, zoo, bungalows, children’ attractions and plenty of restaurants and café-lounges. It is popular for stroll and cycle and attracts people during day and evenings. You can see dolphins in a dolphinarium and exotic fishes in an aquarium or visit a 111 hectares botanical garden which has one of the widest varieties of flora in the world.
7. Stepantsminda (formerly Kazbegi)
It is a mountain town 157 kilometers north from Tbilisi in Mtskheta-Mtianeti region and is 1740 meters above sea level. The town is known for its scenic location surrounded by large mountains on all sides and for its breathtaking panoramic vies. It is cool here even in hot summers. You can see a resplendent, all year-round snow-capped mount Kazbegi, 5047 meters above sea level and ascetic Holly Trinity Church (XIV) on the top of a rocky 2170 meters mountain at village Gergeti. Kazbegi is a favorite place for hiking and mountain climbing. The town and neighboring villages are famous for their guide climbers.
8. Prometheus Cave
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Prometheus Cave is a natural wonder located in a village Kumistavi in Imereti region 240 kilometers from Tbilisi and 20 kilometers from Kutaisi. It is the richest cave of Europe and has beautiful landscapes, underground rivers, and lakes. The cave has 16 beautifully illuminated unsurpassed shape halls. Amazing game of the light on stalactites, stalagmites, curtains, petrified waterfalls and cave pearls gives the fabulous impression. You can enjoy a 1060 meter walking route through the cave and a 280-meter boat tour on an underground river.
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Mestia is a highland, 1500 meters above sea level, townlet in Upper Svaneti region, the Great Caucasus Mountains in northwest Georgia. Upper Svaneti is the highest inhabited part of the Caucasus and, at the same time, it was one of the most isolated regions of Georgia. Nowadays you can go there by car of by plane – there is an airport in Mestia. Due to its astounding scenery with medieval villages on the mountain slopes and unique three to five story tower houses made from stones, ancient churches Upper Svaneti is included in a list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Svan tower houses were mainly built in 9th – 12th centuries and were protecting families against invaders and raiders. There are unique icons and manuscripts in the Mestia Historical museum. Mestia is a very popular place for tourists during summer for hiking, horse riding, alpinism and during winter for skiing.
10. Martvili canyon
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It is a scenic natural wander on Abasha river near the town of Martvili in Samegrelo region 280 kilometers from Tbilisi and about 1-hour drive from Kutaisi. This spectacular canyon amazes with various tints of green color of trees, lianas and centenary moss on the rocky banks and blue and turquoise color of crystal clean water of the river. There are several waterfalls along the canyon. The highest one is 70 meters. You can have a nice picnic on one of the banks where you can find wooden tables and chairs among the trees and you can swim in the cool water in Dadiani’s “swimming pool”, the favorite swimming place of the Dadiani family. The length of this spectacular canyon is 2400 meters and the depth is 20 – 25 meters. You can go through the canyon on the rented boat with a boatman. The canyon is famous not only for its beauty but also because there were found traces of paws of dinosaurs there.