The Complete Guide to Planning a Day Tour of Mtskheta, Jvari, Gori and Uplistsikhe in Tbilisi
There is nothing that beats a day tour of the stunning historical Georgian towns of Mtskheta, Jvari, Gori and Uplistsikhe right in the heart of sunny Tbilisi. This remarkable and dynamic part of the world fulfills your expectations of a real Mediterranean vibe and offers fun, sun and smiles all around.
Taking a complete tour of these four incredible sites requires knowledge, pre- planing and perhaps most importantly, the right amount of time. However, with a good schedule, you can make the day fulfilling and absorbing, allowing you to experience the beauty and culture of these 4 towns while also allowing enough time to explore them individually.
Planning Your Day
When planning your day of sightseeing, the key is to make the most of your tour. Make sure that you make a list of the highlights that you want to visit and create a detailed itinerary which will allow for enough time for you to take in the sights, sounds and atmosphere that these towns have to offer. With the right plan of action and the best use of time, you can create an unforgettable experience in just one day.
When planning your sights there are 3 key points to consider;
- Doing your research
- Deciding on a route
- Allocation of time
Do Your Research:
Before embarking on your tour research is key! Make sure that you have a detailed understanding of the sights you wish to visit and the access available with each one. A combination of resources such as travel guides, newspapers and your own personal internet research will be incredibly beneficial. Always remember to check reviews as these can provide helpful feedback and tips.
Choose Your Route:
Another key part of planning your day is deciding on a route. Choose a route that covers the sites you wish to visit but remember to allow yourself enough flexibility to explore in between destinations should you need or want too. Also, please consider the distance as often taking several different forms of transport can further tire and drain you from enjoying your day.
Allocate Your Time:
Having a plan for your day including all the places you want to explore is great! However, make sure that the time is allocated correctly and appropriate for each destination. Allow yourself enough time to visit each place and appreciate its surroundings, but make sure not to overspend on each place, aim for 2 – 3 hours maximum with some flexibility should you have an unexpected experience at one place or another.
Start in Mtskheta
Mtskheta is among Georgia’s finest locations and one that should not be missed! No tour would be complete without first beginning in this set of ancient ruins due to its rich historical relevance and beauty. The town is made up of several protected sites all immersed in wonderful Georgian culture which all must be explored when making a day trip.
Places to See:
- Jvari Monastery: This ancient monastery boasts noteworthy views with an abundance architectural brilliance that makes it an essential part of any trip. It’s nearby hilltop setting gives an incredible atmosphere allowing one to fully comprehend its magnificence.
- Samtavro Monastery: This 10th century church is famous as it’s home to the grave of Georgia’s first Christian king Mirian III as well as St. Nino – Georgia’s patron saint.
- Svetitskhoveli Cathedral: A key landmark and symbol in Georgia this 11th century cathedral is the final destination for many pilgrimages across Georgia and houses many royal burial tombs.
- Bebris Tsikhe Castle: An awe inspiring ruin located near Mtskheta which puts on show a fantastic example of Georgian feudal architecture.
These 4 sites should not be missed in Mtskheta and make sure that they are your core focus while here!
Head to Jvari
With Mtskheta visited, it’s time to make your way to Jvari, just a short drive away (approx. 20 minutes). Jvari is also historical settlement with mesmerizing sites that complete it’s vibe. Here you’ll be greeted by numerous peaceful cobblestoned alleys and even cooler structures that are beautiful with age.
Places to See:
- Jvari Monastery: This 6th century church is a heart-stopping site proclaimed as part of UNESCO world heritage sites and should offer dramatic views overlooking both Mtskheta and the Holy Aragvi River.
- Sioni Basilica: An early Christian basilica with lots in store from murals on the interior walls to paintings situated around.
- Khersonski Tower: Enjoy panoramic views while visiting this castle-like structure dating back to the 11th century.
- Chati Fortress: This 12th century fortress is situated at atop a hill where it served as an enforcer against invaders in Middle Ages times during Georgian kingdom reign.
This should be enough to enjoy Jvari in one day and before continuing on your tour make sure not to miss these 4 essential sites!
Venture Off To Gori & Uplistsikhe
Gori & Uplistsikhe will be your next destination; first Gori then Uplistsikhe. Both of these towns offer prime examples of wonderful Georgian culture making them ideal for sightseeing. Gori has many highlights that map out its cultural success stories beloved by locals and foreigners from all walks of life. Uplistsikhe is even more fascinating as it tests something slightly renovated from the cities before offering a hidden cave complex full of interesting stories burning with culture. Make sure not to miss them both when making your trip!
Places To See – Gori:
- Joseph Stalin Museum: Located right in Gori (behind city center) this structural reminder takes visitors through the life story behind one of Georgia’s most remarkable people – Joseph Stalin.
- Gori Fortress & University Tower: Gazing out over Gori town is this crown jewel fortress with its iconic university tower allowing unrivaled views throughout Gori town itself.
- Samshvilde Ensemble: Reminiscent of ancient Rome this fortress including ruins creates a spectacular journey for those interested in real Georgian culture.
- Uplistsikhe Cave Complex: This gorgeous cave monument is a must see when in Gori as it offers a real insight into Georgian history along with real tombstones.
Places To See – Uplistsikhe:
- Kvemo Bolnisi Sioni C aver Church: Located right at Uplistsikhe sits this middle age church dating back to 12 th century.
- Heart – Shaped Rock Promontory: Live music infused with spectacular views makes this an amazing spot for an unforgettable evening view.
- Village Treks & Hiking Trails: Take advantage when in Uplistsikhe, as casual walks across local villages can add all kinds of unexpected experiences.
Both these towns provide another glimpse for visitors into Georgian culture so make sure not miss them when touring Mtskheta, Jvari and Gori & Uplistsikhe in Tbilisi !
Taking advantage of all four sites during one day may feel tight some times – but it’s absolutely worth it! No denying that time moves quickly when exploring Georgian towns, so having an attentive eye on your schedule is key – but do not forget that if needed you can always take longer on any particular place & come back later than planned should you have an unexpected pleasant experience there – or simply wish to prolong the time you spend there. In conclusion, planning a one-day trip around four Georgian towns should not be attempted without proper research and organization yourself – but don’t worry; If done correctly, it can quickly turn into an unforgettable once-in-a-lifetime experience! Make sure not to miss any highlights by planning your journey correctly. And if you plan everything well make sure you book activities in advance with GetYourGuide for great deals on experiences across Tbilisi here : Book Tours Here .With their large selection you may find what you have been looking for !