Driving distance: 171 km (3 h 31 min)
Today drive to the Great Caucasus mountains and stay in Kazbegi municipality for two nights.
After breakfast, check out and head to the North. Mtskheta – the old capital of former Georgian kingdom Iberia, is the first site to visit. Mtskheta town and its historical monuments: Jvari Monastery and Svetitskhoveli Cathedral are recognized by the UNESCO as World Heritage Sites.
Jvari (586-604 AD) is a church of tetranoch architectural style, popular in Byzantine, Armenia and Georgia in early Christian time.
Svetitskhoveli Cathedral (1010-1029 AD) is known as the burial site of Christ’s mantle and has been one of the most sacred places since first century. The interior walls of the cathedral are covered by frescoes of different times (16th-19th cc). The stonework in the church depicts carved grapes reflecting Georgia’s wine-making traditions linked with old testimony.
After Mtskheta tour, continue towards North, Khevi region. On the way make a stop near Ananuri Fortress (built in the 16-17th cc) on the right bank of Zhinvali Reservoir. Medieval fort is comprised of churches, fortification structures, jails, escape tunnel and residential tower of local lords – Aragvi Eristavi.
This road had great economical and historical importance, as it was the main trade rout, part of the Great Silk road, connecting Caucasus countries to the north. In 19th c the road was named by Russian Empire as Georgian Military Highway. Today, we follow it through Jvari Pass, stop at Gudauri observation platforms, travertine mountain and in the evening arrive in Stephantsminda for two overnights.
Overnight in Stephantsminda.