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The Best Ways to Get from Tbilisi to Vardzia

If you're planning a trip to Georgia, you won't want to miss the stunning Vardzia cave monastery. The ancient site, which dates back to the 12th century, is a must-see for history buffs and nature lovers alike. But how do you get there from Tbilisi? Here are some of the best ways to make the journey.

Option 1: Rent a Car

If you're comfortable driving in a foreign country, renting a car is a great option for getting from Tbilisi to Vardzia. You'll have the freedom to explore the countryside at your own pace, and you can stop along the way to take in the beautiful scenery.

To rent a car in Georgia, you'll need to have a valid driver's license from your home country, as well as an international driving permit. You can rent a car from one of the major rental companies at the Tbilisi airport or in the city center.

One thing to keep in mind when renting a car in Georgia is that the roads can be narrow and winding, especially in rural areas. You'll also need to be comfortable driving on the right-hand side of the road, as this is the standard in Georgia.

Option 2: Take a Bus

Taking a bus from Tbilisi to Vardzia is a convenient and affordable option. There are several bus companies that operate this route, including Marshrutkas (minibuses) and larger coaches.

One of the most popular bus companies is Samgori Auto Station, which operates daily buses from Tbilisi to Akhaltsikhe, the nearest town to Vardzia. From there, you can take a taxi or a local bus to the monastery.

Taking a bus is a great option if you're traveling on a budget, as tickets are generally quite affordable. However, keep in mind that the buses can be crowded and uncomfortable, especially during peak travel times.

Option 3: Hire a Private Driver

If you want to avoid the hassle of driving yourself or taking public transportation, you can hire a private driver to take you from Tbilisi to Vardzia. This option is more expensive than taking a bus or renting a car, but it offers the most comfort and convenience.

There are several companies that offer private driver services in Georgia, including Georgian Holidays and Visit Georgia. You can book a driver online or through your hotel.

Hiring a private driver is a great option if you want to sit back and relax while someone else takes care of the driving. You'll also have the added benefit of a local guide who can show you the best spots along the way.

Option 4: Take a Tour

If you want to make the most of your trip to Vardzia, taking a tour is a great option. There are several tour companies that offer day trips from Tbilisi to Vardzia, as well as other nearby attractions like the Rabati Castle.

One of the most popular tour companies is Georgian Holidays, which offers a full-day tour that includes transportation, a guide, and entrance fees to Vardzia and other sites. Another option is Viator, which offers a similar tour with a smaller group size.

Taking a tour is a great option if you want to learn more about the history and culture of Georgia. You'll also have the added benefit of a local guide who can answer your questions and show you the best spots along the way.

Tips for Traveling from Tbilisi to Vardzia

  • Plan to spend a full day at Vardzia, as there is a lot to see and explore.
  • Wear comfortable shoes, as you will be walking on uneven terrain and stairs.
  • Bring plenty of water and snacks, as there are limited options for food and drink at the monastery.
  • Consider hiring a guide to get the most out of your visit to Vardzia.
  • If you're taking a bus or hiring a private driver, be sure to confirm the departure time and location in advance.


No matter which option you choose, traveling from Tbilisi to Vardzia is a journey you won't soon forget. From the stunning natural beauty of the Georgian countryside to the ancient history of the cave monastery, there is something for everyone to enjoy. So pack your bags, grab your camera, and get ready for an adventure you'll never forget!

Georgia is a country with a rich history and culture, and Vardzia is one of its most iconic landmarks. The cave monastery was built in the 12th century by King Tamar as a refuge for her people during times of war and unrest. Today, it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a popular destination for tourists from around the world.

One of the best things about traveling from Tbilisi to Vardzia is the opportunity to see the stunning Georgian countryside. The journey takes you through rolling hills, pastures, and forests, with breathtaking views at every turn. Whether you're driving yourself or taking public transportation, be sure to take some time to stop and appreciate the natural beauty of the region.

If you're interested in learning more about Georgian history and culture, hiring a guide is a great option. Many tour companies offer guides who are knowledgeable about the history of Vardzia and can provide insights into the country's rich cultural heritage.

No matter which way you choose to travel from Tbilisi to Vardzia, be sure to plan ahead and take the necessary precautions. Wear comfortable shoes, bring plenty of water and snacks, and be prepared for the weather. With a little bit of planning, you can make the journey to Vardzia a memorable and enjoyable experience.




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