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Samtskhe – Javakheti is a very breathtaking scenic region. The biggest attractions of the region, are the spectacular cave city of Vardzia, Rabati Castle and beautiful Borjomi-Kharagauli National Park, which offers good mountain hiking opportunities. Landscapes here vary a lot. You will be able to cross the alpine forests and meadows around Borjomi and Bakuriani as well as the bare volcanic canyons of the Vardzia area.
History Of Rabati
Rabati Fortress – Historical Fortress is in Samtskhe-Javakheti Administrative Center, Akhaltsikhe, specifically in the “Rabati” historical district. It is located on the bank of the river Potskhovi. Rabati Castle-Complex was rehabilitated and represents various periods of medieval times. Fortress-complex was the most important defensive construction of the region, and its walls are reminiscent of the number of hard fights. For centuries there was a residence of Akhaltsikhe lords. The fortress had three fences surrounded by an underground tunnel.
Fortress history dates back to the IX century. In the XII-XIII centuries, the fortress became a residence of Jakeli lords, it was rebuilt and expanded afterwards. From this time there is a toponym “Akhaltsikhe”, meaning the renovated fortress. In 2011-2012 during the restoration of the fortress, citadel, IX-X c. Some other constructions were also rehabilitated, including Orthodox Cathedral, Haji Akhmed-Pasha Jakeli’s mosque, Medresi, Minareti, and Jakeli Palace, with the exhibition hall of Samtskhe-Javakheti History Museum. Overall, the city represents a mixture of the Georgian culture, the catholic and Muslim cultures.
Vardzia Cave Monastery
Vardzia – Cliff Monastery Ensemble, is the XII-XIII century Georgian cultural monument. Located in the historical Javakheti, the Aspindza region, which is 300 km from Tbilisi. Vardzia is located on the left bank of the river Mtkvari, 1300 meters above sea level. Vardzia’s extreme upper cave is at 1462 m above sea level.
The construction of the fortress began with King George III in the 12th century and was finally finished by his daughter King Tamar, (the only female monarch of Georgia, owning the title of King rather than a Queen). She changed the original purpose of the construction, from the military fortress and presented it as a huge fortified monastery complex. There are 15 churches in the Vardzia complex. Some of the noblest historical figures were presented with the icons on the walls of the churches. Those remarkable people are King George III, Tamar king, and others. Both the private tours and group tours are available to Vardzia, at almost any period of the year.
Adventure seeker: if you are an adventure seeker and your main goal is to explore as much as you can, the region is the primary destination for you as the Vardzia cave town is one of the uniques places in the whole world.
Rabati Fortress: This is one of the most interesting historical monuments in Georgia. It is a combination of several cultures and thus can tell you a lot about the history and culture of Georgia.
On this 1 day tour, you have a chance to visit: Akhaltsikhe – Rabati Castle, Vardzia Rock-hewn Town.
- Pickup from any hotel or address
- Airport Transfers
- Comfortable car with air-conditioner
- Professional and experienced driver
- Professional tour guide (Upon Request)
- Entrance fees
- Food and meals
Tour Plan Example
Day 1 - Approximate Schedule
09:00 - Pick up from the hotel or address
12:00 - Rabati Castle
14:00 - Launch in Akhaltsikhe (Launch price is not included)
16:00 - Vardzia rock-hewn complex
18:30 - Road to Tbilisi
21:00 - Back to Hotel in Tbilisi