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Available from:
Mar 1, 2017 to Mar 1, 2019

Trip Details
Georgia is one of the first Christian countries in the world. Officially it was the third country accepting Christianity as its state religion.

In the first century St. Andrew crossed Georgia from its southern provinces and preached Christianity. However, Georgia waited 3 more centuries to become officially Christian.

According to the legend a 14-year-old Maiden named Nino came from Cappadocia with the vine cross brought together by her own braid and converted Georgia to Christianity in 337 AD.
Georgians believe that the part of the Robe of Jesus is buried in Svetitskhoveli, Mtskheta.

ITINERY
- Day 1: Arrive in Tbilisi -
Arrive in Tbilisi and transfer to a hotel.

- Day 2: Tbilisi -
We have walking tour of Tbilisi visiting the highlights of the Old Town with beautiful Orthodox Christian Churches, Mosque, Synagogue, famous and refreshing Sulphur Baths, narrow cobbled streets with hanging wooden carved multi-colored balconies and the 19th century houses following the architectural styles of the 19th century Europe, Narikala Fortress, the glass Bridge of Peace. If it’s Sunday, we can attend the Orthodox Christian Mass for a while and listen to world famous Georgian polyphonic monastic music.
In the afternoon visit the golden treasure of the National Art Museum exhibiting ancient crosses and icons of Georgia.
Overnight in Tbilisi.

- Day 3: Tbilisi/Mtskheta/Atskuri/Akhaltsikhe -
Travel to the holiest town of Georgia – Mtskheta. This is an ancient capital of Georgia where St. Nino started preaching Christianity. She together with mystic signs from God convinced King Mirian to accept Christianity and make Georgia officially Christian in 337 AD. St. Nino lived in a blackberry bush in Mtskheta for 6 years and later left for Bodbe. This blackberry bush is still alive and is located in the garden of Samtavro Nunnery that houses the tombs of King Mirian and spouse – Queen Nana. We visit Samtavro Nunnery as well as UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Svetitskhoveli Cathedral and Jvari Monastery. Svetitskhoveli is the place where Georgians believe that the Robe of Christ is buried. Transfer to Akhaltsikhe via Atskuri village that was mentioned on the route of St. Andrew the First called.
Overnight in Akhaltsikhe.

- Day 4: Akhaltsikhe/Vardzia/Zarzma/Akhaltsikhe -
Visit the magnificent cave town of Vardzia. This is the biggest existing cave town of Georgia and is related to Georgia’s most beloved queen of the 12th century – Tamar, now St. Tamar. Return to Akhaltsikhe and visit Zarzma Monastery. Return to Akhaltsikhe and visit Rabath Castle.
Overnight in Akhaltsikhe.

- Day 5: Akhaltsikhe/Poka/Tbilisi -
Travel across Javakheti province to Tbilisi and stop at Poka Nunnery that was brought to new life couple of years ago. The nuns there started making cheese according to the recipes of the 16th century monks who travelled to these areas in those days and left this heritage to Georgia. Arrive in Tbilisi.
Mass at Catholic Church in Tbilisi.
Overnight at a hotel in Tbilisi.

- Day 6: Tbilisi/David Gareja/Sighnaghi -
This morning we drive to semi-dessert area of David Gareja. Monk David was among those 16 Assyrian monks who came to Georgia in the 6th century to preach Christianity. He used to live in Tbilisi but then left and together with his disciples started the monastery that later consisted of 50 different monasteries. Nowadays some of them are destroyed and some are in Azerbaijan. We visit Lavra part and then walk up on a steep uphill to the ridge separating Georgia from Azerbaijan. Here we see the caves where monks used to live and enjoy the beautiful views and murals. Return to our vehicle and drive to Sighnaghi.
Overnight in Sighnaghi.

- Day 7: Sighnaghi/Kvelatsminda/Ikalto/Alaverdi/Gremi/Nekresi/Sighnaghi -
Travel around Kakheti province that is home to many important monasteries and churches of Georgia.
Visit Gurjaani Kvelatsminda – the only 2 dome church of Georgia. Continue to Ikalto and Alaverdi Monasteries – both established by Assyrian monks. Alaverdi was the highest church of Georgia for many centuries and has a picturesque setting. Here we try traditional Georgian wines made by monks. Continue to Gremi Museum/Monastery and see the wonderful murals. In Nekresi we’ll see the oldest surviving church of Georgia from the 4th century. In the afternoon return to Sighnaghi.
Overnight in Sighnaghi.

- Day 8: Sighnaghi/Bodbe/Tbilisi -
This morning we visit tiny nunnery of Bodbe keeping the tomb of St. Nino. She lived here for the rest of her life after she’d left Mtskheta. Transfer to Tbilisi and time free for exploring more on our own.
Overnight in Tbilisi.

- Day 9: Departure -
Transfer to the airport and departure.
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