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Stop At: Vardzia, Erusheti Mountain, Aspindza 383770 Georgia
Vardzia is a cave monastery site in southern Georgia, excavated from the slopes of the Erusheti Mountain on the left bank of the Kura River, thirty kilometres from Aspindza. The main period of construction was the second half of the twelfth century. The caves stretch along the cliff for some five hundred meters and in up to nineteen tiers. The Church of the Dormition, dating to the 1180s during the golden age of Tamar and Rustaveli, has an important series of wall paintings. The site was largely abandoned after the Ottoman takeover in the sixteenth century. Now part of a state heritage reserve, the extended area of Vardzia-Khertvisi has been submitted for future inscription on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
Duration: 1 hour
Stop At: Rabati Castle, Akhaltsikhe Georgia
is a fortress in Akhaltsikhe, Georgia. Originally established in the 9th century as the Lomisa Castle, it was completely rebuilt by Ottomans. Most of the surviving buildings date from the 17th and 18th centuries. According to the Georgian Chronicles the city was established in the 9th century by Guaram Mampal, son of the King of Tao. From the 13th to the end of 14th centuries it was the capital city of Samtskhe-Saatabago, ruled by the Georgian princely family and a ruling dynasty of the Principality of Samtskhe, the House of Jaqeli.
In 1393 the city was attacked by the armies of Tamerlane. After the Treaty of Constantinople in 1590, the whole territory of Samtskhe-Saatabago came under the rule of Ottoman Empire. Turks Mostly used to build defensive edifices. In 1752 the first mosque was built in Rabati. After a lot of wars and attacks, the fortress stood up and later it was extensively rebuilt and renovated in 2011-2012 in order to attract more tourists to the area.
Duration: 1 hour
Stop At: Borjomi-Kharagauli National Park, Borjomi Georgia
Borjomi is a resort town in south-central Georgia, The town is noted for its the World Wide Fund for Nature-site Borjomi-Kharagauli National Park and mineral water industry with unique healing qualities and taste. It’s been known for centuries, that this water was unique, but it really becomes famous during Russian reign in Georgia. Borjomi water won its first gold medal in 1907 in Belgium. The water has been bottled since 1896. Borjomi is also home to the most extensive ecologically-themed amusement park in the Caucasus.
Duration: 2 hours