August 28 – September 5, 2023 (Sample Itinerary Subject to Change)
Georgia is a unique destination, offering a wide range of experiences. Due to its diverse natural and cultural heritage, the country has an outstanding touristic value and is a popular adventure of travelers worldwide.
On this exciting journey, we will visit beautiful landscapes and historical sites such as Tiblisi with its 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 cable car ride and so much more including a fun filled day of jeeping!! We will meet members of the local Jewish communities and have an opportunity to enjoy the colorful and exotic local food. This trip is for those who like to see, feel, and enjoy.
Day 1 Monday August 28: Tel Aviv – Tiblisi
Depart: Tel Aviv at 19:30
Arrival: Tiblisi International Airport and transfer to hotel for overnight.
Day 2 Tuesday, August 29: Tbilisi – Gori – Uplitsikhe – Kutaisi
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. We will 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 the 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. However, only in the 13th century 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. This ended all life in the fortress.
We will drive to Kutaisi.
Dinner and overnight in Kutaisi.
Day 3 Wednesday August 30: Kutaisi – Prometheus Cave – Bakuriani
Kutaisi City tour – Prometheus Cave – Bakuriani
Tefilla and Breakfast at the hotel we will have a walking tour in Kutaisi city – antique Kutaia. In certain historical periods it was the second capital of Georgia after Tbilisi according to largeness. We will visit the three synagogues and will hear the story of the local Jewish community. The first community that send a letter to Golda Meir expressing their wish to make Aliya. We will visit the local market.
As we continue touring, we will view Bagrati – 11th c. It is an old architectural monument of Kutaisi. One of the UNESCO heritages sites. Driving to the – Prometheus Cave. The magic cave is full of stunning stalactites and stalagmites. It is possible to walk through the length of 1420 meters in the cave’s territory. We will visit the halls and enjoy boat tour by walking the river.
Driving to Bakuriani
Dinner and overnight in Bakuriani
Day 4 Thursday August 31: Bakuriani – Vardzia – Akhaltiskhe – Bakuriani
After Tefilla and breakfast we will drive to Vardzia which is a cave monastery site in southern Georgia. It was 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.
Further down the street we will visit the old stone Rabati Castle. 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 from practically anywhere in the city.
Dinner and overnight in Bakuriani
Day 5 Friday September 1: Bakuriani – Borjomi – Tbilisi
After Tefilla and breakfast we will drive to Borjomi which has been well known 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 beautiful views of this resort town. There are amazing views of the nearby mountains, valleys and the park. At the top of the hill there is a Ferris Wheel and if there’s time, we may enjoy a ride there.
Driving to Tbilisi, to prepare for Shabbat.
After Kabbalat Shabbat at Beit Rachel we will enjoy a Shabbat meal at the Kosher restaurant Mendis.
Dinner and overnight in Tbilisi
Day 6 Saturday September 2: Tblisi Shabbat free day
We will enjoy a coffee break in the morning and then walking to the synagogue for prayers followed by Shabbat lunch at the kosher restaurant.
For those who wish there will be a walking tour in Tbilisi to view the incredible architecture. We will walk down Rustaveli Avenue and visit the Tibilsi fine art museum. There will be time to have some rest at the hotel before we tefilla and dinner. Overnight in Tbilisi.
Day 7 Sunday September 3: Tbilisi – Narikala cable car – Mtskheta – Annanuri – Gudauri
After Tefiilla and breakfast at the hotel we will enjoy a ride on the Narikala cable car which was opened in 2012. The cable car connects Rike Park on the left bank of the Mtkvari river with theNarikala 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. At the hill-top station one can see the Kartlis Deda statue and the Narikala Fortress.
We then will depart to Mtskheta – Georgia’s former capital and spiritual center since the dawn of Christianity. We will see 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 of the town. Then, continue on the way to Ananuri which is an ensemble of XVII century. It comprises of a tower, small-domed church, big-domed temple and a belltower. The ensemble overlooks the artificial reservoir of Zhinvali built in 1971.
Continue the way to Gudauri for dinner and overnight.
Day 8 Monday September 4: Gudauri– Truso Kazbegi – Gergety Trinity Church – Tbilisi
Today we are off on an exciting adventure! After Tefillah and breakfast, we will travel on 4×4 local jeeps to the Truso Valley – source of Tegri (Terek) River. This is a spectacular trip.
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) and villages on a very high altitude such as Resi (2350m)
We continue on to Kazbegi where we will have lunch (kosher) with a local family.
Afterwards we will visit the façade of the 14th century Gergety Trinity Church. It is built on the slope of Mt. Mkinvartsveri (the top of a glacier) on the left bank of the river Tergi. This monument is built on the highest spot in Europe. Gergeti is a domed church with a belltower.
We will drive back to Tbilisi for our last group farewell dinner before heading to the airport to return home.
Day 9 Tuesday September 5: Early morning arrival to Israel.
|Price per person without flights:|
$2,350 per person double / $2,600 single room
Air fare prices start from $500
$75 pp for non AACI member
Payment & Cancellation Policy:
Terms of payment:
Registration: 50% Balance due August 1, 2023
From time of registration until July 23, 2023: 30%
From July 24, 2023 to day of departure: 100%
The trip includes:
* 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:
* Personal expenses during the trip to Georgia
* Medical insurance and luggage.
For further details please contact Carole at AACI: 02-5661181 ext. 310 or email firstname.lastname@example.org