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Vardzia & Borjomi, Rabati

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Vardzia is a spectacular rock-carved fortress stretched over 500 meters. It is located in the southern Georgia. It looks like it was taken directly from the pages of Lord of the Rings. This underground monastery was built in the 12th Century, under the reign of King Tamar, the first woman that was ever crowned as a king (not a queen!) in Georgian history. Under her leadership the Georgian state reached the zenith of power and prestige in the Middle Ages and this period of time is referred as the Golden Age.

Vardzia

Vardzia complex contained 6000 apartments, a throne room and a large church with an external bell tower. It is assumed that the only access to this stronghold was via a hidden tunnel whose entrance was near the banks of Mtkvari river. The outside slope of the mountain was covered with fertile terraces, suitable for cultivation, for which an intricate system of irrigation was designed. With such defenses, natural and man made, the place was all but impregnable to human forces. In 1283, only a century after its construction, a devastating earthquake literally ripped the place apart. The quake shattered the mountain slope and destroyed more than two-thirds of the city.

However despite this, a monastery community persisted until 1551 when it was raided and destroyed by Persians.

Time, invasions and an earthquake have had their impact on losing the former brilliance of the town, but it still leaves visitors wonderstruck with its beauty and grandeur.

Borjomi

Many people travel here to soak in the springs. Relax in the park’s warm sulfur pools, Wander around the park and take a breath of fresh air. You can Take a cable car up to the mountain to enjoy views of Borjomi Gorge and the valley below. There are several taps in the park where you can drink the mineral water and maybe fill your bottle and take it home ( It is free of charge). There are many family shops here where you can buy local honey. This place is amazing if you want a quiet day trip in the nature with your family. Also in the summer it is the best place to get away from Tbilisi heat.

Rabati Complex

According to the Georgian Chronicles the city was established in the 9th century by Guaram Mampal, son of the King of Tao. At the end of the 12th century Lomsia turned into a real city with the new name Akhal-tsikhe (New Fortress), which in addition to the fortress had a serious system of city-wide fortifications – high walls, guarded entrance gates and watch towers. From the 13th to the end of 14th centuries it was the capital city of Samtskhe-Saatabago, ruled by the Georgian princely (mtavari) family and a ruling dynasty of the Principality of Samtskhe, the House of Jaqeli.[7]

Despite the Turko-Mongol invasions, the fortress withstood and continued to thrive. After the Treaty of Constantinople in 1590, the whole territory of Samtskhe-Saatabago came under the rule of Ottoman Empire. Turks Mostly used to build defensive edifices. In 1752 the first mosque was built in Rabati.

Metropolitan John writes in the late 18th century that “despite the fact that a large part of the population has been Islamized, there’s still a functioning Orthodox church”. After the Treaty of Georgievsk between the Kingdom of Kartli and the Russian Empire was signed, the question of the fate of Akhaltsikhe arose. The first attempt to take the fortress in 1810 failed. Prince Paskevich successfully stormed the fortress 18 years later, in the great Battle of Akhalzic. After the Treaty of Adrianople in 1829, the Ottomans yielded part of Akhaltiske Region.

The fortress and its adjacent buildings were extensively rebuilt and renovated in 2011–2012 in order to attract more tourists to the area.

1 - 2 Person

Sedan
$130

Full price

3 - 4 Person

Minivan
$140

Full price

5 - 7 Person

Minivan
$155

Full price

8 - 10 Person

Sprinter
$210

Full price

11 - 20 Person

Sprinter
$235

Full price

21 - 32 Person

Small Bus

Full price 

33 - 42 Person

Bus

Full price 

43 - 52 Person

Bus

Full price 

Tour Guide  prices :

Tour guide service is optional

Group prices
Group of 1 - 10 people
55$
Group of 11 - 20 people
70$
Group of 21 - 32 people
100$
Group of 32 - 42 people
120$
Group of 43 - 52 people
130$

Additional information :

  • Distance from Tbilisi km
  • Duration hours
  • Entrance tickets -

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