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Silk Route between Istanbul and Tbilisi

If you need to book for more people, please contact one of our travel advisors who'll happily and merrily assist you with your booking.

  • Tbilisi
  • Göreme
  • Batumi
  • Mtskheta
  • Zara
  • Sumela Monastery
  • Istanbul
  • Kutaisi
  • Stepantsminda
  • Gori

This overlanding adventure is the first leg of the ancient Silk Road, along which traders would journey between Europe and China.Our journey starts in the magnificent city of Istanbul, once the capital of the Byzantine and Ottoman empires.We will then overland through Turkey to the magical land of Cappadocia, where we explore the underground cities and Byzantine rock-hewn churches of the Goereme Valley before heading northeast to the breathtaking ancient monastery of Sumela.Our route then skirts the Black Sea and crosses over into Georgia. Here you'll discover the port town of Batumi, the ancient city of Kutaisi and its fantastic Orthodox churches, and the town of Gori, birthplace of the infamous Soviet dictator Josef Stalin.We then head to the charming capital of Georgia, Tbilisi.

  • Day 1 Tbilisi

    Border information: if you are joining in Tbilisi, you will most likely enter Georgia at Tbilisi International Airport (IATA code: TBS). There will be a pre-departure meeting at 10:00am - on arrival please look out for a note from your leader with more information about this important meeting. This afternoon we will visit the old town of Tbilisi and visit sites including the National Museum, Sioni Cathedral and the Metekhi Temple. Please note that many of the options listed below will only be possible for those with extra time in Tbilisi before the start of your trip with us - please contact the Sales team if you would like to book pre-tour accommodation with us to have extra time exploring Tbilisi. In Tbilisi we will stay in a comfortable hotel with good facilities. *Important note - do not bring any medicines containing tramadol, codeine, temazepam, morphine or opiates to Central Asia. These are illegal in all circumstances in most of Central Asia and you will risk arrest. If in doubt about a particular medicine, please do not bring it. See the notes at the bottom for more details.*

    Activities(Optional)
    Learn all about the history of Georgia during Soviet times, and the struggle for independence, at the Museum of Soviet Occupation - Cost: GEL 3
    Enjoy an evening of local dancing and music at a Georgian restaurant in Tbilisi - Cost: GEL 25
    Explore the ancient Narikala Fortress and take in the fantastic views of Tbilisi below - Cost: GEL
    Visit the beautiful Orthodox Sioni Cathdral in Tbilisi's Old Town - Cost: GEL
    Discover the folk architecture, craftwork and culture of the various regions of Georgia at the Giorgi Chitaia Open Air Museum of Ethnography - Cost: GEL 1.5
    See the incredible collection of historical artefacts at the Simon Janashia Museum of Georgia - Cost: GEL 3
    See the grandiose modern Holy Trinity Cathedral of Tbilisi, the seat of the Georgian Orthodox Church - Cost: GEL

  • Day 2 Stepantsminda

    Today our journey begins with a beautiful drive to the spectacularly located town of Stepantsminda (formerly known as Kazbegi). Either this afternoon or tomorrow morning, we will take a trek up to the Tsminda Sameba Church (the Church of the Holy Trinity), a beautiful small church nestled in the mountains. In Stepantsminda we will stay in a local hotel or family-run guesthouse. Estimated Drive Time - 4-5 hours (please note that all drive times given here are the approximate number of hours that the truck will be in motion only, and does not include any time taken for coffee or lunch stops, border crossings, photo stops, activities en route, comfort breaks, shopping stops, toilet stops, etc. The times given are approximate estimates only and whilst given with the best of intentions, the drive times are heavily dependent on traffic, road conditions, weather, police roadblocks, and many other factors - flexibility is essential on any overland trip!).

    Activities(Included)
    Hike to beautiful 14th-century Gergeti Trinity Church, set in the stunning mountains above Stepantsminda

  • Day 3 Stepantsminda

    We spend this morning in and around Stepantsminda, where we can trek to the Tsminda Sameba Church if we haven't done so already. This afternoon we have a beautiful drive to the UNESCO world heritage site of Mtskheta, the ancient capital of Georgia. Whilst here we will explore the 11th century Svetitskhoveli Cathedral. In Mtskheta we will stay overnight in a local guesthouse.  Estimated Drive Time - 3-5 hours.

  • Day 4 Kutaisi

    This morning we drive to Gori, the birthplace of Stalin - here we will have a guided tour of the city and the Stalin Museum. We then make our way to the ancient town of Kutaisi. This afternoon we will visit the medieval Bragrati cathedral and the Gelati monastery. In Kutaisi we will stay in a local hotel or a family-run guesthouse. Estimated Drive Time - 4-5 hours.

    Activities(Included)
    Explore the colossal and awe-inspiring Prometheus Caves near Kutaisi

    Activities(Optional)
    Visit the beautiful 11th-century Bagrati Cathedral, a symbol of the city of Kutaisi - Cost: GEL

  • Day 5 Batumi

    This morning we will continue to the port town of Batumi, where we will have a free afternoon to explore. In Batumi we will stay in a comfortable hotel. Estimated Drive Time - 3-5 hours.

    Activities(Optional)
    Visit the Batumi Archaeological Museum, home to many historical exhibits found in excavations in the area - Cost: GEL 2

    See full itinerary

Transport

Overland expedition vehicle.

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