Day 1

Narikala fortress – Mount Mtatsminda – Sioni Cathedral – Anchiskhati Church – Metekhi Church – Rustaveli Avenue – Sololaki (in the old town) – Abanotubani (spas) – Synagogue – Mosque – Armenian Church – Mamadaviti Church – Botanical Garden – Georgian State Museum (containing many treasures) – Georgian Fine Arts Museum

The Georgian capital, Tbilisi, has a long and fascinating history. Founded in the fourth century by King Vakhtang Gorgasali and named after its warm water springs, Tbilisi rapidly developed into the main city of the Caucasus. By the twelfth century, it was one of the most important political, economic, and cultural centres of the region, and a key point on the famous Silk Road that joins Europe and Asia. In its multi-ethnic markets, over-flowing with a huge variety of products, you can hear languages spoken that you never even knew existed.

The city has a cosmopolitan atmosphere that blends the richness and variety of both East and West. The old town is renowned for its astounding mix of cultures. The Mosque, the Synagogue, and the Armenian and Roman Catholic churches harmoniously mingle with the splendid Georgian churches and architecture. Overlooked by holy Mount Mtatsminda and the Narikala fortress, the wooden houses with open, carved balconies seem to welcome any visitor with open arms.

A full-day city tour includes a visit of the old town, the Metekhi Church, the Abanotubani sulphur spas, and Narikala fortress. The Abanotubani spas have hosted poets, writers, musicians, and kings throughout the centuries. Narikala fortress was modified several times over the centuries, but much of what you see today dates from the eighth century.

Visits to Sioni Cathedral, which today hosts the headquarters of the Georgian Orthodox Patriarch, and to Anchiskhati Church are musts. In the Georgian State Museum and Georgian Fine Arts Museum you will see some of the masterpieces of Georgian art. Then a leisurely stroll along the famous Rustaveli Avenue will conclude your tour of Tbilisi.

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