1. From Tbilisi: Borjomi, Rabati, and Vardzia Guided Day Trip
Visit Borjomi, Rabati Castle, and Vardzia on a full-day guided tour from Tbilisi. Drink healing water in Borjomi Central Park, and learn about Georgian history from your guide throughout the day. Meet your guide at the meeting point in Tbilisi, then board your air-conditioned transportation for the day. Head to Borjomi, a small resort town, first. Once there, enjoy the fresh air and admire the natural surroundings of rivers and woods. Visit Borjomi Central Park and try the area's mineral water, famous for its healing properties, under the park's blue dome. Enjoy free time to take the cable car or engage in other optional activities (at your own expense), like horse riding, rafting, or a quadricycle tour. Next, head to Rabati Castle, a small castle at the highest point in the city of Akhaltsikhe. Hear about the extensive history of the castle, which slowly fell to ruin after being taken by the Russian Imperial Army in the Russo-Turkish War of 1828-1829 before being completely renovated in 2011-2012. Later, continue to Vardzia, a cave monastery complex carved in rock in the 12th-13th centuries. Marvel at one of Georgia's most picturesque monuments, which began construction as a fortress but was designated a fortified monastery by Queen Tamar. Visit the Assumption of Mary Church, one of the monastery's 15 churches. Admire a beautiful mural depicting Giorgi III, Queen Tamar, and other nobles from the time of the monastery's construction. After discovering some of the monastery's 600 storage facilities, refectories, shacks, pantries, backup storages, 25 wine cellars, and 185 wine jars, you'll return to Tbilisi. A stop is made during the day for lunch at a restaurant, at your own expense.