Today I will take you to Mtskheta Day trip from Tbilisi
Mtskheta – Ancient Capital of Eastern Georgia from 3rd century B.C. to 5th century B.C. houses outstanding medieval religious architectures. Mtskheta is also known as “Holy City” of Georgia. Mtskheta is very small city and is located approximately 25 kms(30 minutes drive) from present capital city of Tbilisi.
Mtskheta is located at confluence of Aragvi and Mtkvari rivers, making its location very strategic and also soil of Mtskheta is very fertile and a suitable place for habitats from ancient times. Also Mtskheta was a famous stopover during ancient trade routes.
Now Let’s Explore lanes of antique 5th century, during Mtskheta Day Trip from Tbilisi –We started early from kazbegi to Tbilisi and on the way planned for Mtskheta trip. This can be done from Tbilisi or while going to Kazbegi.
Most Sought Attractions during Mtskheta day trip from Tbilisi-
Jvari Monastery (Monastery of Cross)– Jvari can be translated into “The Monastery of the Cross”. Jvari is a 6th century monastery with cross shape(hence got its name) and located on highest clifftop of mtksheta with stunning views of confluence of rivers Agravi and Mtkvari, as well as Mtskheta town. Jvari is an UNESCO listed site.
Svetitskhoveli Cathedral (Curing Pillar Cathedral)– The most famous and biggest cathedral in Georgia. This 10th century structure has survived many harsh conditions. Also this cathedral is listed in UNESCO World heritage sites. Svetitskhoveli is an significant religious centre from centuries due to one belief associated with it. There is a legend that a robe of Jesus Christ was buried within the premises. Also there is a pillar inside the cathedral, known for curing diseases upon touching it.
Samtavro Monastery (Place of ruler)– It is a spiritual and famous landmark of Mtskheta which was built in 4th century but, this monastery was severely damaged by earthquake many times. It was re-constructed in 15th & 19th century. Also this is a nunnery of St. Nino.
Gvinis Plata – Georgian tradition theme restaurant offers stunning views of monasteries and scenic landscapes. Also famous among wine enthusiasts. This restaurant is spread over 4 floors and each floors have different theme and décor. Like Ground floor is for understanding the making of Georgian wines from grapes, second floor with many variety of wines and offers the chance to learn the process of baking the authentic Georgian bread – Shoti Puri all with live Georgian music and folk dances. From top floor breathtaking views of Mtskheta can be enjoyed.
Bebris Tsikhe – It is a ancient castle spread over 1500 sq.m. located on mountain top of north Mtskheta. Though this castle is ruined, but views from top is amazing.
There are many more monasteries named Shio Mgvime, Armazi in Mtskheta. In short Mtskheta is a religious/spiritual capital of Georgia.
Tips for Mtskheta Day Trip from Tbilisi –
- Adults should not wear shorts or dresses above knees inside monasteries.
- Women must cover their head when entering into Orthodox churches. Scarves can be borrowed(free of cost ) on entrance and returned back there only.
- Check for clear weather before heading to Mtskheta, as many monasteries are on mountain-tops with stunning views.
- Traditional Georgian gifts can be purchased from Mtskheta like handmade dolls or authentic Georgian wines.
- Hotel or Guest-House stay in Mtskheta is cheaper than Staying in Tbilisi. Some people prefer to stay in Mtskheta as it is only 25 km from Tbilisi.
- You can take Marshrutka (mini Bus) from Didube – Tbilisi’sBus stand for 2 to 4 USD. Then in city you have to walk a lot. A taxi is available in Mtskheta city centre for visiting all monasteries and you can pay around 10 GEL for the trip but it depends on hours and how much you make them waiting. Many private guided tours run from Tbilisi. Private taxi with guide can be hired. I hired local guide cum driver with a private car to visit all places.
After Mtskheta, one can return back to Tbilisi but can go for Ananuri fort on Northern side or Uplitsikhe Cave town tour on western side.
I covered Mtskheta trip while going to Kazbegi city, as Mtskheta lies on Georgian Military Highway running through the mountains to Russian border.
If you are going to Georgia in October then do not miss Georgian Air Balloon Competition.
There are many day tours from Tbilisi like –
2.) Winery tour
So, till then KEEP TRAVELING……………… KEEP EXPLORING……………………………………………………
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