Kutaisi city tour, Imereti Karst Caves & Uplistsikhe

Kutaisi city tour, Imereti Karst Caves & Uplistsikhe

Category: Excursions from Tbilisi
Tour type: Under request
Duration: 1 day
Cities for visit:
Arrival: Tbilisi International Airport
Departure:


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Duration: full day

Tour type: daily excursion

Itinerary: Tbilisi - Uplistsikhe - Kutaisi - Tbilisi

«To Kolkhida for Golden Fleece»

Kutaisi was the capital of the ancient Kingdom of Colchis.  It is widely believed by historians that when Apollonius Rhodius was writing about Jason and the Argonauts and their legendary journey to Colchis, Kutaisi/Aia was the final destination of the Argonauts and the residence of King Aeëtes. Nowadays, it is cozy and quiet city, with fascinating atmosphere and monuments of historic architecture, ancient monasteries, temples and richest archaeological museums and other sites under the protection of UNESCO. The rich history of the city allowed to become one of the most controversial places today. 

We will try to introduce you to the most interesting sights, not only within the city, but also in the surrounding area. En route to Kutaisi you will visit  Uplistsikhe cave town - it is identified by archaeologists as one of the oldest urban settlements in Georgia. Strategically located in the heartland of ancient kingdom of Kartli (or Iberia as it was known to the Classical authors), it emerged as a major political and religious center of the country. The town’s age and importance led medieval Georgian written tradition to ascribe its foundation to the mythical Uplos, son of Mtskhetos, and grandson of Kartlos.

We will start the tour from visiting "Sataplia Karst Cave" - famous for fine speleothems and the nearby dinosaur footprints. The cave tour enters the through-cave on one hillside, crosses the hill underground and returns on the surface where the dinosaur footprints can be seen. The name Sataplia is based on the Georgian word tapli (honey), the place was well known for its bees and the locals came here to colect honey. It is unique nature monument and shouldn’t be missed!

After Sataplia cave, making sightseeing tour around Kutaisi city, with the visit to Gelati and Bagrati monasteries. 

Bagrati Cathedral - The construction of Bagrati Cathedral, named after Bagrat III, the first king of united Georgia, started at the end of the 10th century and was completed in the early years of the 11th century. Although partly destroyed by the Turks in 1691, its ruins still lie in the centre of Kutaisi. 

Gelati monastery is of special importance for its architecture, its mosaics, its wall paintings, and its enamel and metal work. It was not simply a monastery: it was a centre of science and education, and the Academy established there was one of the most important centres of culture in ancient Georgia. The monastery belongs to the 'golden age' of medieval Georgia, a period of political strength and economic growth between the reigns of King David IV 'the Builder' (1089-1125) and Queen Tamar (1184-1213).

At the end of the tour we invite you to taste imeretian traditional dishes. Dinner at the local restaurant.     


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