Gelati Monastery

Gelati Monastery: Our most recommended tours and activities

Kutaisi Ancient City and Prometheus Cave Tour

1. Kutaisi Ancient City and Prometheus Cave Tour

The Kutaisi day tour begins with a walk through old streets of the downtown area, which you will see amazing historical monuments. After an hour of sightseeing, climb aboard a comfortable tour bus and head to villages in the surrounding area of Kutaisi. First, you will stop at the Gelati Monastery, built by the most powerful Georgian King David the Builder. Marvel at this architectural masterpiece from the Middle Ages and the astonishing mosaic fresco. Visit the grave of the King and learn about his last will left for generations. Hear legends and stories about heroes defending their homeland, before venturing to your next stop.  Arrive at Motsameta Monastery, which offers awe-inspiring views of the river and the surrounding countryside. It is named after the brothers Davit and Konstantin Mkheidze, tortured by Arabs for defending Christianity. Bagrati Cathedral will show you its own story and an impressive panoramic view of the city. Discover the unforgettable beauty of Prometheus Cave and feel like a hero of a mysterious adventure when riding a boat across the underground lake. There is also the opportunity for some hiking at the end, for the more resistant and curious, through Sataplia forest reserve with a cave and prehistoric footprints of dinosaurs (optional).

Kutaisi Prometheus and Sataplia Full Day Tour

2. Kutaisi Prometheus and Sataplia Full Day Tour

You will be picked up from your hotel at 07:30 AM and will arrive in Kutaisi at 10:00 AM. First, you will stop at the Gelati Monastery, built by the most powerful Georgian King David the Builder. Marvel at this architectural masterpiece from the Middle Ages. Visit the grave of the king and learn about his last will left for generations. Hear legends and stories about heroes defending their homeland, before venturing to your next stop. After, travel to Motsameta Monastery, which offers awe-inspiring views of the river and the surrounding countryside. It is named after the brothers Davit and Konstantin Mkheidze, tortured by Arabs for defending Christianity.  Next, visit the Bagrati Cathedral which will show you its own story and an impressive panoramic view of the city. Final  discover the unforgettable beauty of Prometheus Cave and feel like a hero of a mysterious adventure when riding a boat across the underground lake. There is also the opportunity for some hiking at the end, for the more resistant and curious, through Sataplia forest reserve with a cave and prehistoric dinosaur footprints. You will be dropped back at your hotel at 09:00 till 10:00 PM. 

From Tbilisi: 2-Day Tour to Kutaisi

3. From Tbilisi: 2-Day Tour to Kutaisi

Day 1: Tbilisi - Gori - Uplistsikhe - Kutaisi - Gelati (Driving distance: 270 kilometers) Depart at 09:30 from your hotel in Tbilisi. Begin your tour by visiting Joseph Stalin's Museum in Gori, established as a local history museum but clearly intended to become a memorial to Stalin. The main building of the complex is a large palace in Stalinist Gothic style. Enshrined within a Greco-Italianate pavilion is a small wooden hut, in which Stalin was born in 1878 and spent his first four years. After visiting Gori, drive further to Uplistsikhe cave city (10 kilometers east of the town of Gori). Uplistsikhe is identified by archaeologists as one of the oldest urban settlements in Georgia. It was an important religious, political and cultural center in the Hellenistic and Late Antiquity (4th-century BC - 4th-century AD). The central part of Uplistsikhe is the largest, containing a bulk of the Uplistsikhe rock cut structures, and is connected to the southern part via a narrow rock cut pass and a tunnel. Narrow alleys and sometimes staircases radiate from the central 'street' to the different structures. At the summit of the complex is a Christian basilica built of stone and brick in the 9th to 10th-centuries. The Uplistsikhe Cave complex has been on the tentative list for inclusion into the UNESCO World Heritage program since 2007. On the way to Kutaisi (221 kilometers west of Tbilisi) have a stop at picturesque monastery of Gelati, which is a monastic complex near Kutaisi. It contains the Church of the Virgin founded by the King of Georgia known as David the Builder in 1106, and the 13th-century Churches of St. George and St. Nicholas. The site is renowned for its collection of 12th to 19th-century mosaics, wall paintings, enamels and metalwork. King David the Builder began constructing the monastery and academy in 1106 as a grand tribute to his victory over the Turks. The academy was one of the first institutions of higher education founded in the Middle Ages, and became a principal cultural center in Georgia. In 1994, Gelati was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and in 2006 was included on the list of Immovable Monuments of Georgian Cultural Heritage. Overnight in Kutaisi. Either in a guesthouse or 3-star hotel. Day 2: Kutaisi - Sataplia caves - Bagrati Cathedral – Tbilisi (Driving distance: 260 kilometers) Begin a day from visiting Bagrati Cathedral, which is regarded as a masterpiece in the history of medieval Georgian architecture; the Bagrati Cathedral is frequently used as the symbol of the city of Kutaisi. It was built during the reign of King Bagrat III (hence the name) in the 11th-century but was severely devastated in 1692 during the Ottoman invasion. The Bagrati Cathedral sits on a hill just above Kutaisi and offers a magnificent view of the city. It was Unesco World Heritage Site listed in 1994. Have a stop at an interesting place for Kutaisi visitors, at Sataplia Cave complex. The Sataplia karst cave lies 6 kilometers northwest of Kutaisi within Sataplia state preserve. Sataplia is known for its dinosaur traces which were discovered by Kutaisi environmentalist P. Chabukiani, who detected there a settlement of the primitive man, together with the footprints of a dinosaur. The Sataplia karst cave begins from the north and leads to the east. The 300 meter long, 10 meter high and 12 meter wide karst cave abounds in stalactites and stalagmites and a spring winds along its bottom. The air and water temperatures in the Sataplia karst cave are nearly equal ( 12 to 13 celsius). There is a speleological museum near it now. Visit one of the unique natural attractions of Georgia - Martvili canyon. Over millions of years, the water has created a breathtaking gorge in limestone rocks, reaching a depth of 40 meters, at the bottom of which flows a river. The total reachable length of the canyon is one kilometer. In the upper part of the canyon, take a boat trip and reach the beginning with a 7 meter high powerful waterfall. Due to the extremely humid microclimate there are lianas hanging from the huge rocks and centuries-old walls are covered with moss. Here and there, water pulls out from the rocky wall forming small streams and pretty powerful waterfalls.

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What people are saying about Gelati Monastery

Overall rating

4.9 / 5

based on 24 reviews

A most interesting, thought-provoking, and above all enjoyable tour of the historic Georgian city of Kutaisi. Monstaries, caves, ruins, parks, museums...a lot to take in. Best of all, you are guided by a very friendly and knowledgeable Kutaisi native who will make sure this will be a day to remember.

Our guide Giorgi was outstanding! available, interesting, we shared nice moments throughout the stay because despite the weather he found us alternative solutions to our departure reservation. Thanks Giorgi! I highly recommend!

Great experience if you are new to Georgia. Georgi is very nice and knowledgeable. We have seen many things around Kutaisi in one day, but the pace was just right. So we had a very relaxing, insightful and fun day with Georgi.

Giorgi is an excellent tour guide with impeccable English. He changed the itinerary according to our wishes and added some extra highlights. I would definitely book himmagsin for the next tour.

Georgi è stato un’ottimo autista e una buona guida. Sempre prodigo di spiegazioni e sempre con il sorriso.