WEST OF GEORGIA: KARTLI, SAMTSKHE-JAVAKHETI, IMERETI AND AJARA REGIONS
DURATION: (5 DAYS 4 NIGHTS) - "West Georgia"
Day 1: 25/01/19
11:30 - Check out and meet in the hotel reception area with luggage.
Your local Tourist guide will meet you and direct you to your vehicle.
12:00 – DEPART
Groups start to depart for Post-Convention Tour. Please note that a packed lunch will be supplied.
Driving to the town of Gori, where you will visit the Stalin Museum and Gardens. An opportunity to enjoy your packed lunch, view the museum and stretch legs.
As we drive towards Borjomi, we travel through scenic passes and mountain gorges.
Late afternoon arrival in Borjomi where we will check in at the Crown Plaza Hotel. Borjomi has much to offer, and we will leave you to enjoy an afternoon and evening at leisure. Visit the Cable Car, Taste the well-known Borjomi spring water directly from the well in the Gardens, enjoy the local arts and craft shopping along the main road or stay indoors and make use of the SPA facilities of the Crown Plaza Hotel (advance booking required for treatments – contact the hotel directly)
*** A contact list of restaurants, taxi company and other facilities will be provided
Day 2: 26/01/19
08:30 – Check out and meet in the hotel reception area with luggage.
09:00 – DEPART for Vardzia Cave City
The Samtskhe-Javakheti region can be called the Cradle of Georgian culture, biggest attractions are the spectacular cave city of Vardzia and beautiful Borjomi-Kharagauli National Park. Landscapes are very varied, from the alpine forests and meadows around Borjomi and Bakuriani to the bare volcanic canyons of the Vardzia area.
Vardzia Cave City Tour (please note there are many steps and uneven surfaces) was the easternmost bastion of Christianity and holds special significance for Georgians because it is associated with King Tamar, the most famous woman in Georgian history (she was crowned king, not queen).
Lunch will be at the local Volodiya cottages - this is a local cozy, owner-run farm showcasing local and sustainable products.
After lunch we take a drive to the Imereti region and is situated along the middle and upper end of the Rioni river. It is well known for its highly developed spiritual and family culture, believed to be influenced by the Colchis. Imereti developed viticulture, cattle-breeding, poultry-farming, bee-keeping, production of dairy products and gardening, and has ome unique wine varieties and there is evidence that wine production here dates back to ancient times.
On route we will make two comfort and light refreshment stops, including Ubisa Village as well as a photography opportunity of the scenery and a brief shopping opportunity and the road side pottery sellers.
Early evening, we arrive at Tskaltubo Spa Resort for check-in. This Resort was previously a famous sanatorium, it showcases the architecture and décor of USSR times – a truly authentic stay will be experienced (please note spa facilities will not be available). The resort is situated at the heart of park.
20:30 – Dinner and local entertainment will be provided at the Hotel in the original dining room, with a small museum attached and open for viewing.
Day 3: 27/01/19
07:30 – 08:30 Breakfast served
08:30 – Check out and meet in the hotel reception area with luggage.
09:00 – DEPART for Prometheus cave where you will do a brief tour through the caves.
Thereafter we visit the Bagrati Cathedral for a brief panoramic view over Kutaisi and a group photo opportunity. From there we drive a lovely pass up to the Hill where the Gelati Monastery is located. This is listed as one of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites, cultural hub of Georgia's medieval 'golden age'.
Lunch will be at a Restaurant in the city of Kutaisi – here you will experience some typical West Georgian dishes.
Following a brief lunch stop, we drive towards Batumi, called “the Pearl of Black Sea”.
On route we do quick refreshment and comfort stops at Lanchkhuti as well a brief photography stop at Tsikhisdziri with the breathtaking view on rocky coastline of the Black Sea.
Early evening arrival in Batumi and check-in for our 2 night stay. Transfer to Ajarian House to enjoy a Master class in making Adjarian Khachapuri, famous local dish, dinner with the sea view and traditional music.
Day 4: 28/01/19
9:00 – Batumi City Tour (walking) with your local Tourist Guide, and coffee break included.
Following the city tour we drive to Adjarian Wine House for a delicious mid-day lunch and local wine tasting.
After lunch we visit the Gonio Fortress - a well preserved Roman fortification in Ajara, on the Black sea coast. The site is believed to hold the tomb of the Apostle Mathew – one of Christ’s disciples – but has yet to be fully excavated.
Late afternoon arrive in Batumi with some leisure time to explore the area and do some last minute shopping.
In the evening we will enjoy the Post-Convention closing dinner together, before we bid farewell to all. Dinner will be held in the Hotel.
Day 5: 29/01/19
Please take note that Breakfast and check out will be at leisure. Please ensure you are ready for your relevant departure time.
Additional nights in Batumi are optional and available
Departure Options included in the Post-Convention package as follows:
• Returning to Tbilisi by bus: Departs from hotel at 07:30am (for arrival at Tbilisi City Centre next to Convention Hotel approx. by 13:30)
• Returning to Tbilisi by bus: Departs from hotel at 07:30am (for arrival at Tbilisi International Airport approx. by 14:00). Please allow yourself enough time to check-in for your departure flight.
• Returning to Tbilisi by Train: Transfer to train station departs at 07:15am (for arrival at Tbilisi Railway Station at 12:50)
- This itinerary is subject to change and at the organizers discretion
- Included: Dinner, Breakfast, and Lunch as indicated. Additional meals and refreshments are not included.
- Transport in medium sized coaches and a local Tourist Guide on board
- Please take note that some terrains may be uneven and appropriate walking shoes are required
- Luggage space is limited, therefore if you are able to leave luggage for your return to Tbilisi, please arrange accordingly.
- Any passengers prone to motion sickness, to please ensure tablets are taken. The drive includes mountain passes and uneven roads
- Average weather experienced during this time is warmer than Tbilisi
- For those wishing to remain longer in Batumi, or prefer to fly out of Batumi, please make your own return travel arrangements as these are not included in the cost of the Post-Convention package.
- Batumi International Airport (10 km from Batumi city Centre, approximately 20 min driving)
- Kutaisi International Airport (123 km from Batumi city Centre, approximately 2h 30 min driving)
- Tbilisi International Airport (386 km from Batumi city Centre, approximately 6h 30min driving)