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Vardzia

Vardzia: Our most recommended tours and activities

From Tbilisi: Private Tour to Rabati Castle-Vardzia-Borjomi

1. From Tbilisi: Private Tour to Rabati Castle-Vardzia-Borjomi

Explore southern Georgia and see the most important monuments, including the Rabati Castle complex or the fascinating Vardzia cave complex. Visit the world-renowned Borjomi Resort. Start your tour at Rabati Castle, a 13th-century medieval castle complex, and admire the influence of different cultures reflected in the architecture. See a mosque, orthodox church, catholic church, and a synagog. Follow the upper Mtkvari River through narrow canyons at Aspindza along a valley. Arrive at Vardzia, famed for its paintings and unique architecture. Tour the bell tower, main church, cave dwellings, rooms, chapels, pharmacy, and wine cellars. Finally, arrive at the Borjomi Resort, a hydro-thermal health spa resort in the southern region of Samtskhe-Javakheti. Walk in the Borjomi Central Park and taste Borjomi mineral water which has unique healing qualities.

From Tbilisi: Borjomi Central Park and Vardzia

2. From Tbilisi: Borjomi Central Park and Vardzia

Explore southern Georgia and see the most important monument, Vardzia Cave Complex. Visit the world-renowned Borjomi Resort. Start your tour at Borjomi Resort, a hydro-thermal health spa resort in the southern region of Samtskhe-Javakheti. Walk in the Borjomi Central Park and taste Borjomi mineral water with unique healing qualities. After visiting Borjomi Central Park, you head toward Akhaltsikhe, stopping at a local restaurant and having lunch with traditional Georgian dishes. In the south of the country, not far from the famous cave town of Vardzia, there is a popular attraction, the fortress of Khertvisi. The ancient fortress perfectly matches nature: Surrounded by mighty mountains, the muscular walls look even more powerful. Follow along the upper Mtkvari River, traversing narrow canyons at Aspindza along a stunning valley with rocky hillsides. Arrive at Vardzia, famed for its paintings and unique architecture. Tour the bell tower, main church, cave dwellings, rooms, chapels, pharmacy, and wine cellars.

From Tbilisi: Vardzia, Rabati, and Borjomi Private Tour

3. From Tbilisi: Vardzia, Rabati, and Borjomi Private Tour

From Tbilisi, transfer to Borjomi and visit the Balneological health resort, situated in the southeast of Georgia in the Agura river gorge. Discover this picturesque place and its large-leaved and coniferous forests surrounded by the majestic Caucasian mountains. Borjomi is well known for its mineral waters, the source of which is situated in Borjomi Central Park, where those who wish may sample it.  Then, head towards Akhaltsikhe which is cosily situated on both banks of the small river, Potskhovi. Take a tour of this ancient city and visit Rabati castle, a complex consisting of many historical castles, towers, and churches. Pay special attention to the halls and marvel at the ancient Georgian architecture. In the lower part of the fortress, you will find a tourist information center, a restaurant, café, and gift shops which you may visit as you please.  Next, visit Vardzia, a cave monastery site which delves into the rock half a kilometer and rises up thirteen tiers, which are connected to each other with a complex system of tunnels. Here, see the preserved large reception hall, living quarters, book depository, wineries, water, and spring water baths. Visit the Church of the Dormition, the central spiritual and monumental focus of the site. On the same north wall are ancient portraits of the royal founders, King Giorgi III and his daughter Queen Tamar. Then, return to Tbilisi.

From Tbilisi: Vardzia Cave Tour with Guide

4. From Tbilisi: Vardzia Cave Tour with Guide

Discover the historical Vardzia Cave, excavated from the slopes of the Erusheti Mountain, which dates back to the 12th century. Explore the wonders of the cave including monk cells, a grand foyer, a treasury and even a cathedral. Trace the steps of Georgia’s first female sovereign, Queen Tamar, as you learn about the many battles that took place there. Then explore the Rabati Castle, a complex Asian-style military building that was erected in the 13th century. Learn about the sieges over the centuries that have destroyed the castle, and how it has absorbed the traces of different cultures and religions.  Continue on to the picturesque town of Borjomi to marvel at the beautiful natural landscapes of this National Park and taste the mineral water, Georgia’s number one export, that Borjomi is famous for.

From Tbilisi: Day Trip to Vardzia, Rabati and Borjomi

5. From Tbilisi: Day Trip to Vardzia, Rabati and Borjomi

Be picked up from your hotel in Tbilisi and start your day trip through southern Georgia. Your guide will be with you throughout the day as you explore 3 different locations and experience the beauty of Georgia. Your first stop will be the cave monastery site, Vardzia. While in Vardzia, you’ll see the bell tower, church, chapels, wine cellars, and cave dwellings. After Vardzia, your next stop will be Rabati Castle. The Rabati Castle is a medieval fortress in Akhaltsikhe. The fortress was constructed in the 9th century. In 2011, many of its destroyed buildings were restored. Your last stop will be Borjomi. Borjomi is a famous resort town known for its mineral water. You’ll be able to visit a traditional Georgina restaurant and taste national dishes and wine. Once your visit to Borjomi is complete, you’ll begin the journey back to Tbilisi, where you’ll be dropped off at your hotel.

From Yerevan: Overnight Tour of Georgia's Ancient Wonders

6. From Yerevan: Overnight Tour of Georgia's Ancient Wonders

On your first day arrive to Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia. Have a yummy lunch, including Georgian national dish. Drive to Mtshketa - the first capital of Christian Georgia, located at the mix-point of Kura and Aragvi rivers. Historical Monuments of Mtskheta are included in Unesco World Cultural Heritage List. See Jvari (Holy Cross) monastery, built in the first half of the 7th century. Enjoy a delightful observing city tour around Tbilisi and have overnight. On the second day visit Bodbe monastery, where the relics of the enlightener of Georgia, St. Nino (4th century), rest. The monastery is popular among tourists and pilgrims. Originally built (9-11 centuries) at the burial place of St. Nino, the temple was not preserved to the present day. A three-nave cathedral was built in its place in the name of St. George. The temple is the center of Sighnaghi eparchy. Have lunch in a cozy atmosphere. Head to Sighnaghi - a "city of Love". This is the only city in Georgia, that has completely preserved the fortress walls. The name of the city comes from the Turkic word signakh (signak), meaning fortified place, shelter. In Sighnaghi, according to a local legend, artist in love Niko Pirosmani covered the square in front of the hotel, where his beloved woman lived (French actress Margarita de Sevres), with flowers. Come back to Yerevan, full of brilliant memories from the tour!

Top sights near Vardzia

Other Sightseeing Options in Vardzia

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What people are saying about Vardzia

Overall rating

4.9 / 5

based on 282 reviews

Great experience! The guide Ms. Catherine was very helpful, professional and friendly. We visited Bakuriani skipping vardzia and it is a must see destination for all snow lovers. The tour coordinator Tamuna made it simple and easy for us to edit the private tour. Bakuriani & Borjomi with the snowy capped mountains, lovely pine trees, pure air and fresh soft snow throws out a breathtaking winter vibe. Loved it❤️

It was really a great experience and I enjoyed the trip to the maximum. The tour guid Metro and David was super kind, experienced and had great knowledge about the region and history. It was really a memorable day and I would definitely recommend this trip again  

amazing tour, the guide (his name is Metro) gave us a lot of info and answered all our questions. I only have a limited amount of time in Georgia and with a tour like that you can get the best out of it! highly recommended!

Lenny was the perfect travel guide- conscientious driver, amazing depth and breadth of knowledge plus a sense of humor! We learned so much and enjoyed the trip. Communication with the company was seamless- highly recommend.

Borjomi was okay nothing to sensational but Vardzia on the other hand was amazing! Worth it 100% Our guide was Nino or Oki and she was great! Very friendly and well prepared