A special Self-drive jeep tour to Svaneti includes Tbilisi private city tour, 7 hotel nights, breakfasts & dinners inclusive, all entrance fees. You have a choice of jeep rental upon preference (rental fees are given separately).
8 day jeep tour is a special trip for families and friends. Travel on spectacular off roads to high Caucasus Mountains, dense forests, steep slopes and narrow gorges, observe beautiful scenery and isolated historical monuments, experience thrilling adventures, challenging roads and great excitements.
The top offer of this tour is the UNESCO World heritage village Ushguli, the highest settlement in Europe (2200 m above the sea level). The village lies on the foothills of Shkhara Glacier (5068m) and offers splendid views of this giant. Self-defensive medieval towers rise in the middle of the ring of alpine pastures. Wonderful experience and unforgettable feelings are waiting for you! On the way back, visit archaeological site Nokalakevi, Cave site Vardzia, three UNESCO World Heritage sites Gelati Academy 12thc, Bagrati Cathedral 11th c, and enjoy full day sightseeing in the capital city Tbilisi.
Sights to visit:
Tbilisi City: Holy Trinity Cathedral, Narikala Fortress, Metekhi Church, Legvtakhevi, Sulfur bathhouses, Shardeni street and its neighborhood, Meidan square, Bridge of Peace, Rustaveli Avenue
Kartli region: villages Tetritskaro, Tsalka
Samtskhe-Javakheti region: Tabatskuri Lake, Borjomi-Kharagauli National Park, ski resort Bakuriani, Vardzia caves, spa city Borjomi
Imereti region: Rikoti pass, Tskaltubo mineral springs, Bagrati Cathedral, Gelati Monastery and Academy, farmer’s market
Svaneti region: Mestia town, Latali and Lenjeri villages, Mestia State Museum, Ushguli UNESCO site, villages Ipari and Kala
Samegrelo region: Nokalakevi fortress and museum
Day 1: Arrival in Tbilisi Airport.
Transfer from Tbilisi airport. Start Tbilisi City Tour and visit all main attractions of the city: the Holy Trinity Cathedral (“Sameba”) built in 21st c. and being the main Christian Orthodox cathedral in Georgia. Continue to Metekhi Church of 13th c. located on the bank of Mtkvari River. Ride up to Narikala Fortress by the aerial cable car. Narikala fortress dates back to 4th century AD, it has a superb location with magnificent panoramic views over the Tbilisi city. Stroll down Legvtakhevi (translated literally as “Fig Ravine”) – a beautiful place with waterfall and a small river. Take a walk in the park near Sulfur bathhouses, well-known for their healing powers, Shardeni street, its neighborhood and Meidan square with its outdoor cafes, galleries and souvenir shops. Cross the Bridge of Peace – a modern glass bridge in high-tech style.Visit Flea Market at Dry Bridge where you can buy the souvenirs and handicraft. Free time on Rustaveli Avenue. Overnight in Tbilisi.
Day 2: Tbilisi - Tetritskaro – Tsalka - Tabatskuri – Bakuriani
Distance covered: 300 km; Off-road drive: approx. 150 km
After breakfast in Tbilisi hotel, passthe 4x4 WD vehicle and equipment for self-driving and fill the documents for jeep rental. Depart for Bakuriani skiing resort (1650m above sea level). Full day exploration of Javakheti National Park. WWe drive through picturesque villages Tetritskaro, Tsalka and Tabatskuri Lake. Picnic lunch near the lake. Evening drive to Ski resort Bakuriani.
Dinner and overnight in Bakuriani.
Day 3: Bakuriani - Akhalkalaki – Vardzia – Akhaltsikhe
Distance covered: 230 km; Off-road drive: approx. 100 km
This day offers travelers opportunity to explore remote villages of Javakheti region, lakes and pastures and the most attractive cave city Vardzia. Vardzia was carved into the volcanic rocks in 12th c on 13 levels, linked inside by internal corridors, secrete tunnels and painted chapels. All day we will drive along different medieval fortresses by Kura riverside. The route is picturesque and pleasant.
Dinner and overnight in Akhaltsikhe.
Day 4: Akhaltsikhe -Borjomi – Kutaisi
Distance covered: 180 km asphalt road;
After breakfast drive to Spa city Borjomi, visit the National Park, where we can taste famous mineral spring water Borjomi. Borjomi served as Russian King’s residence. Travel to the West via Rikoti pass – the land of the Golden Fleece. Make several stops on the way: there is a market, where we can buy pottery, handicraft baskets, honey, mushrooms. Drive to Kutaisi, famous for its hospitality, delicious cuisine and special dishes such as Imeretian cheese pie. Visit farmer’s market, two UNESCO world heritage sites: splendid Bagrati Cathedral ruins (11th c), located in Kutaisi city center on top of the hill and Gelati Monastery and Academy (12th c) with beautiful mosaics inside, situated 8 km from Kutaisi.
Dinner and overnight in Kutaisi.
Day 5: Kutaisi – Becho - Mestia
Distance covered: 270 km off road;
Kutaisi is the jumping point to the beginning of Svaneti trip. After breakfast in the hotel, we start the Mountain road journey to Mestia – very picturesque way along the Enguri River. It takes about four hours to get to Mestia. On the way visit Enguri dam, the highest one in Europe (274 m). Observe picturesque sights along the River Enguri. In most cases we will drive on ground roads among cliffs and narrow canyons of roaring Enguri River and waterfalls. Head to the little village Becho and from there make short stop under Guli Glacier. On the way visit little churches in villages Latali and Lenjeri with excellent 10th-12th cc frescoes. The route follows right bank of the river, from where we observe magnificent Ushba peak. Drive on narrow tracks through coniferous and mixed forests.
Dinner and overnight in Mestia.
Day 6: Mestia – Ushguli - Mestia
Distance covered: 90 km off road;
After breakfast in the guesthouse optional visit in Mestia State Museum - featuring amazing collection of medieval golden and silver icons, manuscripts from 9-10th c and ethnographical implements; also look at little churches from 10th c with well-preserved unique frescoes inside. After our cultural adventures we start aesthetic stroll into the alpine pastures and enjoy magnificent views of Mount Ushba and Tetnuldi. Drive to Ushguli– the highest permanently inhabited village in Europe.
Find yourself in the realm of medieval towers, surrounded by the mountains of Great Caucasus Range, glaciers, high peaks and roaring waterfalls. The way to Ushguli is extremely attractive. Cross little villages Ipari and Kala, where the spirit of medieval life is too strong.
Dinner and overnight in Mestia.
Day 7: Mestia – Nokalakevi – Khoni – Tskaltubo - Kutaisi
Distance covered: 270 km asphalt road;
After breakfast drive to Nokalakevi, Samegrelo region to visit archaeological site. Nokalakevi was also known as Archaeopolis to Byzantine historians. The complex consists of citadel of Late Antique period, ruins of Kings of Egrisi Palaces of 4th-6th cc, remains of bathhouses and water reservoirs of same period, secret tunnels and the the ruins of several churches. Nokalakevi museum houses archaeological findings dating back to 13th-12th cc BC till 18th c. AD.
Next stop is Tskaltubo spa resort. Visit mineral springs and drive to Sataplia National Reserve, karst caves famous for fine speleothems and the dinosaur footprints nearby. The tour enters the through-cave on one hillside, crosses the hill underground and then goes back on the surface past the dinosaur footprints. Drive back to Kutaisi for dinner and overnight.
Day 8: Kutaisi-Tbilisi-Departure
Distance covered: 210 km asphalt road;
Breakfast at the hotel. Drive to Tbilisi (approximately 3 hours drive). Transfer to TBS Airport for Departure