Ancient culture and history, spectacular natural grandeur and beauty, lovely people who still maintain their age-old customs are some of the things that define this ancient country at the cross-roads of Europe and Asia. Oh and wine… lots and lots of wine… from wine-making to consuming, this is truly the birthplace of wine – in fact, the word wine comes from the word g’vino of the Georgian language! Soak in all of this in this immersive trip across a large swathe of this country with Beyonder.
(Per person for a group of 2 people on a twin sharing basis)
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Arrival at Tbilisi International Airport
Be received at Tbilisi International Airport and transferred to the hotel.
Explore Tbilisi and its hidden corners – the historic part of the town and the natural wine bar to meet the local wine-growers, taste their natural wines and understand their life… (B,L).
Drive Southwards through beautiful steppes and never ending pastures. Visit the cheese-making nuns at Poka monastery, pass by the massive Paravani Lake located over 2,100 meters above the sea level and arrive in Vardzia – the 12th century cave complex with its refectory, pharmacy, wine cellar, secret tunnels etc. And then the majestic 12th century rock-hewn Church of Assumption as the last stop for the day. (B,D).
Explore the ancient settled sights of the area, the villages (some of them settled from II millennium BC), ruins of Cyclopic fortresses and ancient wine cellars. Then on to the central part of Meskheti region. After a wine tasting at local wine grower, visit Rabath castle and have dinner with a local family for an insight into the lives of ordinary people here… (B,D).
Move towards Imereti in the West visiting en route, the thermal waters of Borjomi, a Qvevri maker. Lunch at the riverside will set the tone for a visit to a local winemaker and a tasting of Imeretian wines… Overnight at the town of Kutaisi(B,L).
Explore Kutaisi with its monasteries and natural beauty before proceeding to one of the most remote and at the same time beautiful provinces of the country – the Svaneti region. En route visit Samegrelo province and enjoy a spicy lunch cooked in local Megruli style. The road winds through beautiful mountain valleys of the land where the epic legend of the Argonauts took place… Learn the legend on the way… In Svaneti, understand how the Svan ethnic group evolved here, cut off from the outside world by the high and inaccessible mountains, their culture remarkably preserved and intact… Then on to the Becho valley for the night.(B,L).
A moderate 5-6 hours trek tour to the Guli valley along a beautiful hiking trail towards the Guli Glacier and a fabulous view of southern peak of Mt. Ushba… Return to town and relax after a good day in the outdoors…(B,L).
Relax and enjoy the views of the mighty mountains ringing the valley and the history of the people here. . . Explore the small town, its nearby villages and meet with and have food with the locals…(B,L,D).
This is a day for the village of Ushguli, one of the most beautiful places in Georgia (included in the UNESCO World Heritage list). Explore this town that seems from another age, the beautifully harsh and difficult terrain, the 8th century churches, the tower houses of people… Be awed(B,L).
Say farewell to the mountains of Svaneti and descend to the lowlands of Samegrelo province. En route to Batumi, drive past hazel nut and tea plantations; enjoy boating (optional in case weather permits) in the Paleastomi Lake to explore the interesting wild life of Kolkheti National Park. Explore a modern, lively city mixed with old traditional architecture – Batumi.(B,L).
Explore the vicinity of Batumi – meet the people and understand the life and world of the Highlanders. Enjoy a delicious lunch along with singing and dancing with locals at a local farm.(B,L).
Drive back to Tbilisi stopping by at some lovely villages, the ancient capital city of Kartli and some samples of 11th century religious architecture(B,D).
After breakfast drive towards east Georgia for some of the country’s most splendid scenery, wineries and ancient sights. Drive via Gombori Mountains and arrive in the centre of the region – visit and learn about the making of the Qvevri (gigantic clay vessels used in wine-making) and goat cheese before lunch at a local farmhouse. Then to the Ikalto monastery, where the first wine academy existed in the 12th c and the Alaverdi monastery, masterpiece of Georgiana architecture from 11th c. End the day with a visit to a local wine grower and taste some of the greatest wines made in old traditional way using Qvevri. In the evening arrive at a hotel for the night.(B,L,D).
Continue exploration of Kakheti province. En route to the stunning 18th century town of Sighnaghi, visit the 4th-6th century Nekresi monastery. Enjoy the ambience of this small town and participate in some wine tasting sessions… (B,D).
Bid adieu to this wonderful country and proceed to the airport for your flight back home, with memories of a couple of weeks of immersion in the Georgian way of life…(B).