Uplistsikhe

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Uplistsikhe: Our most recommended tours and activities

Tbilisi: Mtskheta, Jvari, Gori and Uplistsikhe Day Tour

1. Tbilisi: Mtskheta, Jvari, Gori and Uplistsikhe Day Tour

Explore one of the most mysterious regions of Georgia – Kartli and hear a lot about the country's history. First, visit memorable Uplistsikhe cave-town and dive into the antique life of Georgia. Then, find out more interesting facts in Gori, the hometown of the most famous Georgian, Stalin, and see the unique old capital of Georgia – Mtskheta, where you visit two UNESCO heritage sites Jvari Monastery and Svetitskhoveli Cathedral. Your first stop is Uplistsikhe, an antique rock-hewn town in eastern Georgia. It contains multiple structures dating from the Early Iron Age to the Late Middle Ages. It is notable for the unique mixture of various rock-cut cultures from Anatolia and Iran's pagan and Christian architecture coexistence. After exploring Uplistsikhe, you have a chance to have lunch in the region and try delicious local food. After lunch, you have two options, have free time and explore Gori, the hometown of Stalin, or visit Stalin Museum, which is a museum dedicated to the life of Joseph Stalin, the leader of the Soviet Union, who was born in Gori. The Museum retains its Soviet-era characteristics, Stalin's Original house, and Stalin's railway carriage. The next stop is Jvari Monastery. The name of this monastery is translated as the "Monastery of the Cross." Jvari Monastery is the 6th-century Georgian Orthodox monastery near Mtskheta. Along with other historic structures of Mtskheta, it is listed as a world heritage site by UNESCO. Jvari Monastery stands on the rocky mountain top at the confluence of the Mtkvari and Aragvi rivers, overlooking the town of Mtskheta, which was formerly the capital of the kingdom of Iberia. The last site on tour is Svetitskhoveli Cathedral in Mtskheta. UNESCO recognizes Mtskheta as a World Heritage site due to its historical significance and several cultural monuments. It was the capital of the early Georgian Kingdom of Iberia from the 3rd century BC to the 5th century AD. Svetitskhoveli is known as the burial site of Christ's robe and has been one of the principal Georgian Orthodox churches and is among the region's most venerated places of worship.

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Mtskheta - Jvari - Gori - Uplistsikhe Full Day Private Tour

2. Mtskheta - Jvari - Gori - Uplistsikhe Full Day Private Tour

Explore Kartli, one of the most mysterious regions of Georgia. Visit the cave town of Uplistsikhe, Stalin's hometown of Gori, and the UNESCO World Heritage sites of Mtskheta. Start at Uplistsikhe, an antique rock-hewn town in eastern Georgia. View its unique mixture of cut-out cultures from Anatolia and Iran's pagan and Christian architecture, then pause for a spot of local lunch (own expense). Next, visit, Gori, the hometown of Stalin. Explore the town or visit the Stalin Museum, which includes the dictator's old house and railway carriage. Follow that with a trip to Jvari Monastery. Admire this 6th-century Orthodox structure which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Enjoy the view from the rocky mountain top down onto the Mtkvari and Aragvi rivers. Conclude your tour at the Svetitskhoveli Cathedral in Mtskheta, another World Heritage Site. Spend some time at a location known as the burial site of Christ's robe, and which is among the region's most venerated places of worship.

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From Tbilisi: Georgian Highlights in One Day Private Tour

3. From Tbilisi: Georgian Highlights in One Day Private Tour

Your guide will pick you up in the morning in a comfortable car and head first to the Tbilisi sea. You might be surprised by the existence of a sea in the Georgian capital, but in fact, the Tbilisi sea is the unofficial name of the reservoir created in 1952 to serve the city with water. The Tbilisi reservoir is located at a height of more than 500m above sea level and it is a pleasure to spend time here during the summer heat. Here, you’ll also visit a monument that amazes with its size. Known as the Georgian Stonehenge, the monument is officially titled the Chronicle of Georgia and was created by the Georgian-Russian painter, sculptor, and architect Zurab Tsereteli. The memorial was erected in order to celebrate 3,000 years of Georgian sovereignty and 2,000 years of Christianity in Georgia. The next stop will be the Jvari Monastery, the 6th-century Georgian Orthodox monastery built on a hill opposite Mtskheta at the confluence of the Aragvi and Mtkvari rivers. Jvari Monastery is included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. Continue to the Shida Kartli region where you’ll visit Uplistsikhe, an ancient cave town and one of the oldest urban settlements in Georgia. Uplistsikhe — literally “Fortress of God" — is an ancient town that played a significant role in Georgian history over a period of approximately 3,000 years. Archaeological excavations have revealed extraordinary artifacts dating from the late Bronze Age all the way up to the late Middle Ages. The next stop will be at Borjomi Central Park, home to the most remarkable virtues of Borjomi with its striking nature and unique mineral waters. One of the best places to experience this is Mineral Water Park. The park itself dates back to the 1850s and is an attractive destination throughout the year. Here you can taste the natural Borjomi mineral water and relax in a beautiful environment, or you can try riding the cable car up to the top of the park. After this last stop, your guide will drop you off in Borjomi or Bakuriani, or you can return to your accommodation Tbilisi.

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Tbilisi: Guided Mtskheta, Gori, and Uplistsikhe Tour

4. Tbilisi: Guided Mtskheta, Gori, and Uplistsikhe Tour

Your tour will begin in the morning as you are picked up from your hotel, after which you will begin with a drive through the fertile lands of the Kartli region. Your first stop is the 6th-century Jvari Monastery, which is located 19 kilometers away from Tbilisi. Here you will receive an introductory story of the area, whilst enjoying the wonderful panorama of the conjunction of the two rivers Aragvi and Mtkvari, the Armazi Mountains, and the city of Mtskheta. You will then drive 88 kilometers west of Tbilisi to Gori, a city in the Kartli province. Gori was an important military stronghold in the Middle Ages, and at the foot of a sand-stone hill stands the Medieval Gori Fortress Tskhra-kara. You will do a short walk around the area, before then continuing to the Stalin Museum. Excursions in Joseph Stalin's museum will take about 30 minutes, with the museum consisting of 3 sites. Following your museum tour, you will drive to the ancient temple town of Uplistsikhe. Translated as the “Fortress of the Lord“ and dating back to the 6th century B.C., this town is mentioned in the "Chronicles of the 1st Century A.D". Here the echoing halls, long meandering corridor-streets, chambers of pagan worship, and even the remains of the oldest theater in Georgia are all carved into the rocky plateau and waiting to be explored. You will then drive back to Tbilisi passing through the ancient capital Mtskheta, which presents a living museum including the UNESCO Heritage Listed Site of the Svetitskhoveli Cathedral, as well as other architectural landmarks. You can take a walk through the historical part of town, and enjoy a relaxing evening tasting local sweets at the souvenir shopping rows.

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Georgia: Day-Trip to Mtskheta, Stalin Museum & Uplistsikhe

5. Georgia: Day-Trip to Mtskheta, Stalin Museum & Uplistsikhe

Start your tour at your accomodation in Tbilisi where your driver/guide will be waiting to meet you. After a short meet and greet you will set-off to your first location, starting your sightseeing adventure for the day! After a short and scenic drive your first stop will be Jvari Church (6th -7th cc), the most important religious center and an architectural masterpiece of medieval Georgia. Enjoy the breathtaking view from the church that towers over the city of Mtskheta. Continue on to Svetitskhoveli Cathedral, known as the burial site of Christ's robe and the second largest church building in the country. The Cathedral has long been the principal Georgian church and remains one of the most venerated places of worship to this day. Take an excursion to Uplistsikhe Cave Town, an ancient cave town and one of the oldest urban settlements in Georgia. The town represents a complex of various structures dating from the 12th-century. BC to the 17th-century. AD. Finish your tour at the Stalin Museum in Gori, dedicated to the life of Joseph Stalin. This museum is the perfect location for any Stalin or politic enthusiasts. End your day in comfort with a relaxing car ride back to your accomodation in Tbilisi. 

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Mtskheta, Gori and Uplistsikhe Full-Day Tour

6. Mtskheta, Gori and Uplistsikhe Full-Day Tour

You will be picked up from your hotel at 10:00 AM and will travel to Mtskheta, the previous capital of Georgia. Mtskheta is an ancient town of extraordinary importance to the Georgian nation and is located about 20 km out of Tbilisi. It was the capital of the eastern Georgian kingdom of Iberia from the 3rd century BC to the 5th century AD. It was also the site of Georgia's adoption of Christianity in 334 and remains the headquarters of the Georgian Orthodox Church. Mtskheta is of primary interest to any travelers interested in Georgian history or Orthodox Christianity. During the tour, you will see Svetitskhoveli Orthodox cathedral, located in the historic town and built in the 11th century. Walk in the old city, and visit Djvari monastery, built in the 6th century. You have the opportunity to take photos with a very beautiful view of Mtskheta.  At 1:30 PM, you will visit Gori town where the Joseph Stalin Museum is located. Joseph Stalin’s Museum was established in 1951 as a local history museum but clearly intended to become a memorial to Stalin, who died in 1953. The main building of the complex is a large palace in Stalinist Gothic style. The exhibition is divided into six halls in roughly chronological order and contains many items actually or allegedly owned by Stalin. There is also much illustration by way of documentation, photographs, paintings and newspaper articles.  At 4:00 PM, visit Uplistsikhe town, an ancient rock-hewn town in eastern Georgia, some 62 miles west of Tbilisi. Uplistsikhe is identified by archaeologists as one of the oldest urban settlements in Georgia. The central part of Upliscikhe is the largest and contains a bulk of the Uplistsikhe rock-cut structures. Narrow alleys and sometimes staircases radiate from the central street to the different structures. End your day trip with a return to your hotel at 7:30 PM. 

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Tbilisi: Private Uplistsikhe and Borjomi Hot Pools Day-Trip

7. Tbilisi: Private Uplistsikhe and Borjomi Hot Pools Day-Trip

Enjoy a day trip to the most scenic sight of central and southern Georgia, visiting a local family in their countryside house for a traditional dinner. After the pick-up from your hotel at 9:00AM, you will soon reach the ancient cave town of Uplistsikhe. Here you can walk through the ruins and beautiful rock formations and see the remains of formal ancient glory of what used to be once the center of Pagan culture. Right next to Uplistsikhe lies Gori, the town known as the birth place of Stalin, where you can still see the house where he grew up. After about 1.5 hours, you will reach the cozy resort town of Borjomi, surrounded by the largest national park of Georgia. You can wander through the beautiful central park, taste the legendary mineral water of Borjomi directly from the springs and take a bath in the open air thermal pools in the middle of the forest. You can reach the pools by hiking through the forest or taking a ride with a local car operating this route (at own expense). After the outdoor fun you are invited to be the guest of a Georgian family who lives in a nearby village, where a delicious traditional dinner is waiting for you.

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Mtskheta, Gori, and Upliscikhe Private Tour

8. Mtskheta, Gori, and Upliscikhe Private Tour

Escape the crowds and visit the oldest city of Georgia, Mtskheta, which used to be the capital in the early Georgian Kingdom of Iberia from the 3rd-century BC to the 5th-century BC. Enjoy panoramic aerial views of the mountains around the Jvari Monastery, which was Georgian Orthodox in the 6th-century. The name translates as the Monastery of the Cross. It represents the peak of architectural typology as a true masterpiece of the early Medi period. It overlooks the confluence of the Aragvi and Mtkvari rivers from the top of the hill.  Journey back to the early centuries at the Svetitskhoveli Cathedral and Samtavro Church. Svetitskhoveli Cathedral was built in the 11th-century but the site itself is even older, dating back to the early 4th-century. It differs in artistic value and the special role that it has played in history. The monument has an elongated cross which appears to touch the sky. It was the main pilgrimage place on the Silk Road, the burial place of the Christ"s Robe, and the tomb of Georgian Kings. The cathedral is the second largest church building in Georgia and is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Samtavro monastery complex was built in the 11th-century. It contains the graves of queen Nana and Mirian III King of Iberia, who established Christianity as an official religion in Georgia. The famous Georgian monk Gabrieli is also buried inside the Samtavro church. Complete your tour of Mtskheta with a Georgian wine degustation. In Gori-Uplistsikhe, visit several sites from different periods of Georgian history, including Uplistsikhe cave town, Joseph Stalin’s home museum, and Gori fortress. Uplistsikhe, translated to Fortress of the Lord, is a cave town fortress situated on a rocky massif on the bank of the river Mtkvari. Dating back to the first and second millennium BC, Uplistsikhe was an important religious, political, and cultural center in the Hellenistic and the late Antique periods. Take a walk among the ancient streets, rock-carved theatre, royal halls, pharmacy, pagan temples, and Christian churches, while the remains of granaries and large clay wine vessels give clues as to the daily life of the inhabitants.  Continue to the Joseph Stalin Museum in Gori. Stalin was originally Georgian and the secretary general of the Communist Party during the second world war. He is one of the most influential dictators of modern times. The museum features Stalin’s home, a hut where he was born, his armour plated railway carriage, and a statue that controversially stood in the main square of Gori until 2010. In addition, see many items owned by Stalin, including some of his office furniture, his personal belongings, and gifts given to him over the years. Gori Fortress is a medi citadel in Georgia. It stands above the city of Gori on a rocky hill. Archaeological evidence shows that the area was already inhabited in the final centuries BC. The fortress controlled major strategic and economic routes and accommodated a large garrison.

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Tbilisi: Gori and Upliscikhe Private Tour

9. Tbilisi: Gori and Upliscikhe Private Tour

In Gori-Uplistsikhe, visit several sites from different periods of Georgian history, including Uplistsikhe cave town, Joseph Stalin’s home museum, and Gori fortress. Uplistsikhe, translated to Fortress of the Lord, is a cave town fortress situated on a rocky massif on the bank of the river Mtkvari. Dating back to the first and second millennium BC, Uplistsikhe was an important religious, political, and cultural center in the Hellenistic and the late Antique periods. Take a walk among the ancient streets, rock-carved theatre, royal halls, pharmacy, pagan temples, and Christian churches, while the remains of granaries and large clay wine vessels give clues as to the daily life of the inhabitants.  Continue to the Joseph Stalin Museum in Gori. Stalin was originally Georgian and the secretary general of the Communist Party during the second world war. He is one of the most influential dictators of modern times. The museum features Stalin’s home, a hut where he was born, his armour plated railway carriage, and a statue that controversially stood in the main square of Gori until 2010. In addition, see many items owned by Stalin, including some of his office furniture, his personal belongings, and gifts given to him over the years. Gori Fortress is a medi citadel in Georgia. It stands above the city of Gori on a rocky hill. Archaeological evidence shows that the area was already inhabited in the final centuries BC. The fortress controlled major strategic and economic routes and accommodated a large garrison.

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From Tbilisi: Mtskheta, Gori, Uplistsikhe and Borjomi Tour

10. From Tbilisi: Mtskheta, Gori, Uplistsikhe and Borjomi Tour

Begin your tour with pickup at your accommodation in Tbilisi and make your way to the historic town of Mtskheta, to the northwest of the Georgian capital. Discover Svetitskhoveli Cathedral, an Eastern Orthodox cathedral that is the second largest building in Georgia, after the Holy Trinity Cathedral. Admire this masterpiece of the Early Middle Ages, recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. Next, head to the rocky mountaintop at the confluence of the Mtkvari and Aragi Rivers to visit the 6th century Georgian Orthodox Jvari Monastery, also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Learn about traditional accounts of this place with your guide, and hear how Saint Nino, a female evangelist credited with converting King Mirian III of Iberia to Christianity, erected a large wooden cross on the site of a pagan temple here in the 4th century. Continue your journey to the Joseph Stalin Museum in Gori, the city where the former Soviet Union leader was born. Enjoy the Soviet-era characteristics of the museum, and discover the small wooden hut where Stalin was born and spent the first 4 years of his life. Then, step even further back into history by visiting the ancient rock-hewn town of Uplistsikhe in eastern Georgia, some 62 miles (100 kilometers) west of Tbilisi. Explore one of the oldest urban settlements in Georgia, and learn about its mythical foundation by Uplos, son of Mtskhetos, and grandson of Kartlos in the Georgian medieval written tradition. Leaving Uplistsikhe behind you, travel to the Georgian resort town of Borjomi along a picturesque road through the green and leafy Borjomi Valley. Hear about the area's famed mineral water, which is spread all over the globe, and admire the beauty of the Borjomi-Kharagauli National Park, as well as the sulphuric baths located all over the territory. Finally, make your last stop at the Green Monastery, officially known as Chitakhevi St. George Monastery, a 9th-century friary located in the village of Chitakhevi. The tour includes with drop-off back at your accommodation in Tbilisi.

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What people are saying about Uplistsikhe

Overall rating

4.9 / 5

based on 397 reviews

The trip was literally amazing. The guides, Ika & George Goldman, was fantastic, he is very well educated and he will help you with whatever is required. The driver, Zaza AKA Toretto, is very talented and his driving is safe and responsible. The staff is very polite and hosting. The lunch was an exquisite experience featuring home made food and traditional Georgian family experience! The trip is 10/10 truly recommended, will fill up your jar with great memories and experience!

Givi was a wonderful, knowledgeable guide who shared so much information on the places we visited. He was happy to answer all of our questions. This tour had a great variety of activities done at a perfect pace. We were lucky to have such a compatible group of like-minded travellers to spend the day with. It was a great value for the money and we highly recommend this tour to get a feel for Georgian history.

It was absolutely breath taking. The tour guide 'Guina' was fun and knowledgeable. The tour was give you a combination of guidance and free time. The tour was not overdrawn out but well organized.

Very diverse discovery of the history of Georgia with a cheerful and fascinating guide.

Trip was absolutely gorgeous!!! Highly recommended, especially with May as a guide !!!