One-day tour to Ananuri and Kazbegi will open up an enchanting Georgia.
Ananuri is a fortress situated on the foreland by the Aragvi River, about 70 km from Tbilisi, Georgia. It was built by the Dukes of Aragvi and dates back to the 13th century. The fortress is on the UNESCO Tentative list. A very beautiful legend is connected with the fortress. It was the times of Tatar-Mongol army invasions. The enemy believed that Georgians, who closed themselves in the castle, would not survive without a source of food and would give up soon. But they didn’t know that the castle had a secret tunnel which was leading to the river. After several days, the guards of the castle threw the fish into the air to irritate the invaders.The enemies realized that the fortress was connected to the outside world with the tunnel and they decided to find it. They were searching the trace of the tunnel everywhere for a long time but they could not find it. Finally, they caught one woman named Ana who was from Nuri and they asked her about the location of the tunnel. When Ana refused to uncover this secret to enemies, they tortured and killed her. Therefore, this castle was named Ananuri in the respect of this woman who is a hero for Georgians.
Nearby on your way you will see Zhinvali, an artificial water reservoir, located on the river Aragvi in Georgia. The dam was built in 1986. Besides the main purpose of this reservoir which is to supply Tbilisi with water, this place keeps many secrets and legends as well.
Continue the tour to Kazbegi, also known as Stepantsminda, a small town located 10km away from the Russian border. It’s located in a beautiful valley with the wonderful view of mount Kazbeg.
Visit the masterpiece of Georgian Christian architecture - Gergeti Trinity Church, located under the Mount Kazbek. Georgians used to call it Gergeti Tsminda Sameba. The church was built in the 14th century on the place that used to be pagan idols worshiping. Gergeti Trinity Church is above Stepantsminda and thus it seems an impossible experience to climb up to it, but it takes only an hour walk up the serpentine road and a thorny forest. Those who prefer not to walk can rent a car with a driver who will ride you up there in 10 minutes.