Join us visiting beautiful landscapes and historical sites such as Tiblisi with eternal charms, Kutaisi, a story of real Zionism and architecture, Vardzia, the unique and haunting cave town, Akhaltsikhe’s Jewish quarter, synagogue, and the impressive Rabati castle that dominates the city -, Borjomi Park and scenic able car ride and so much more including a fun filled day of jeeping!! Meeting with members of the locale Jewish communities, with an opportunity to enjoy the colorful and exotic local food, much of which we can eat. This trip is for those who like to see, feel, and enjoy.
Day 1: Monday, September 12 Depart: Tel Aviv at 21:00
Arrival: Tiblisi International Airport and transfer to hotel for overnight.
Day 2: Tbilisi – Gori – Uplitsikhe – Bakuriani Tefilla and breakfast at the hotel. Today we will drive to Gori – the city was founded by one of the greatest kings of Georgia, David the Builder (1089–1125). It has a population of 60,000. Gori is situated where the Liakhvi River enters the Mtkvari. Visit the interesting Stalin Museum.
We then continue to Uplistsikhe – a fortress carved into rocky plateau with huge echoing halls, long meandering corridor-streets, places of worship plus remains of Georgia’s oldest theatre, complete with auditorium, stage and orchestra pit. Like the other cave-towns of Georgia, it is akin to the similar rock structures of Urardhu and the Hittites, which are rooted in the prehistoric traditions of the peoples of the Near East. On the one side the troglodyte fortress was protected by the Kura and an almost vertical rock face, on the other, by powerful fortifications. Its strategic position on the approaches to Gori and its strong defenses made it possible for it to control the surrounding terrain.
There were numerous attempts to destroy the fortress. Only in the 13th century, however, did the hordes of Genghis Khan’s son Khulagu succeed in doing so. After capturing and destroying many fortresses in Transcaucasia, five thousand inhabitants of Uplistsikhe perished and which ended all life forever in the fortress.
Driving to Bakuriani
Dinner and overnight in Bakuriani
Day 3: Bakuriani – Vardzia – Akhaltiskhe – Bakuriani After Tefila and breakfast we will drive to Vardzia – a cave monastery site in southern Georgia, excavated from the slopes of the Erusheti Mountain on the left bank of the Mtkvari River, thirty kilometers 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 up nineteen tiers. The site was largely abandoned after the Ottoman takeover in the sixteenth century and is now part of a state heritage reserve which, has applied to be on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
We travel on for a visit to the interesting Synagogue in Akhaltiskhe and daven Mincha there.
Walking down the street we will visit the Rabati Castle – The old stone Rabati fortress, is the main location of the Akhaltsikhe town. It stands on a small hill on the very shores of the Potskhovi river. Its name comes from Arabic meaning “fortified place”. It is located on the western suburbs and can be seen practically from anywhere in the city.
Driving back to Bakuriani
Dinner and overnight in Bakuriani
Day 4: Bakuriani – Borjomi – Ananuri – Jinvali – Tbilisi After Tefilla and breakfast we will drive to Borjomi which has been in the center of attention for decades due to its wonderful springs and mineral water. We will have the chance to sample the mineral water from the drinking taps as we visit the Borjomi Park. Thereafter, we will enjoy a ride on the Borjomi Cable Car and enjoy the lovely and beautiful views of this resort town. The amazing views of the nearby mountains, valleys and the park adding wonderful memories of your visit. At the top of the hill there is a Ferris Wheel and maybe, if there’s time, we can enjoy a ride there too.
After our return ride down on the cable car we shall drive on to Ananuri which is a castle complex on the Aragvi River. The fortifications consist of two castles joined by a crenellated curtain wall. The upper fortification with a large square tower, known as Sheupovari, is well preserved and is the location of the last defense of the Aragvi against the Shanshe. The lower fortification, with a round tower, is mostly in ruins.
As our day of site seeing draws to a close, we will continue to Gudauri.
Dinner and overnight in Gudauri
Day 5: Tbilisi – Bodbe – Sighnaghi – Tbilisi After Tefilla and Breakfast we will set out on route to Bodbe a spectacular mountain setting where we can view the Monastery and other places of worship from the outside.
Then we continue to Sighnaghi – one of the smallest towns with a population of 2,146. Sighnaghi’s economy is dominated by production of wine and traditional carpets. The town is also known for its landscapes and historical monuments and has recently turned into an i
mportant center of Georgia’s tourist industry.
Lunch (kosher) with a local family in Sighnaghi. We will then return to our hotel in Tbilisi to prepare for Shabbat.
After Kabbalat Shabbat at Beit Rachel, we will enjoy wonderful and enjoyable Shabbat meal at the Kosher restaurant Mendis.
Day 6: Tbilisi SHABBAT FREE DAY Enjoy a coffee break in the morning before walking to the synagogue for prayers followed by Shabbat lunch at the Kosher restaurant.
For those of you who wish, we invite you to a walking tour in Tbilisi and view the incredible architecture, walking down Rustaveli Avenue and including a visit to the Tibilsi Fine art museum. There will be time to take-in some rest at the hotel before we mincha and dinner
Overnight in Tbilisi.
Day 7: Tbilisi– Truso Kazbegi – Gergety Trinity Church – Gudauri Today we are off on an exciting adventure! After Tefillat and breakfast, we will embark on 4×4 local jeeps to the Truso Valley – source of Tegri (Terek) River, which is quite mystical and spectacular.
Truso valley is known for its mineral water springs, white/yellow travertine, mineral lake with bubbles, towers from the Middle Ages, – most notably Zakagori castle, villages on a very high altitude such as Resi (2350m)
We continue to Kazbegi where we will have lunch (kosher) with a local family.
Afterwards visiting the façade of the 14th century Gergety Trinity Church – of 14th century – It is built on the slope of Mt. Mkinvartsveri (top of glacier), on the left bank of the river Tergi. It is the monument built on the highest spot in Europe. Gergeti is a domed church with a belltower.
We will then return to Gudauri for dinner and overnight in Gudauri.
Day 8: Gudauri – Mtskheta – Jvari – Tbilisi City Tour including the Narikala Cable way UP After Tefiilla and breakfast at the hotel we depart to Mtskheta – Georgia’s former capital and a spiritual center since the dawn of Christianity. Discover the impressive 11th century Cathedral of Svetitskhoveli, one of the holiest sites in Georgia and other amazing architectural places of worship from the outside. These buildings offer magnificent views over the town.
After spending time and discovering the historic remnants of this area we continue to Tbilisi where we ride the cable cars of Narikala. Opened in 2012, a cable car connects Rike Park on the left bank of the Mtkvari river with Narikala Fortress. From the cable car you can gaze at the fantastic 360-degree views of the city from the large windows as it ascends to the top of the hill. When you get out at the hill-top station turn right to the Kartlis Deda statue, or left to the Narikala Fortress.
Drive back to Tbilisi for our last group farewell dinner before heading to the airport to return home.
NIS pp/dbl 8,900 / Single Supplement: NIS 9,850 Includes flights
Price without flights NIS 6,650 pp/dbl/ NIS 7,600 single
NIS 250 pp addition for non AACI member or join AACI
Minimum participants required
Program, itinerary, timing, sites subject to change
Corona restrictions observed
Terms of payment From date of registration Until, August 8, 2022 – 50%
from August 9, 2022 until departure – 100%
Terms of cancellation From time of payment from August 8, 2022 – 50%.
From August 12 – departure 100%
Prices are subject to change due to possible rise in port and fuel taxes to be determined by the airlines after 1.6.2022
The trip includes: * Round trip, Israel – flights
* Economy – half board, Sandwiches for lunch
* Entrance fee to the sites according to the route of the trip
* AACI escort
* Air-conditioned tourist bus.
The trip do not include: * Corona tests -Subject to change
* Personal expenses during the trip to Georgia
* Medical insurance and luggage – extended insurance must be taken out, which includes medical coverage and cancellation fees due to the corona virus.
* Any change related to the flight times and / or other default related to the airline, is the airline’s sole responsibility and does not in any way constitute grounds for a claim against travel supplier and AACI for compensation.
* Due to possible changes in the flight schedules, the order of visiting the sites may change and it is possible that a few visits will be replaced by others.
Registration and cancellation policy Cancellation policy as detailed in the ‘General Terms’ section of the website. Registration through a dedicated website.
Insurance It is the duty of every passenger to insure themselves with appropriate medical insurance, including an extension for Corona and air travel. It is recommended to activate the insurance in accordance with the cancellation conditions in the trip plan, in order to be covered in cases of cancellation of the trip under conditions covered by the insurance policy. If you choose to insure expensive equipment it is worth declaring it when you leave Israel.