Georgia: Feasts on an Ancient Wine Trail
September 23, 2017 - September 30, 2017
Georgian wines are becoming quite the buzz and for good reasons: The stunning, hospitable country is where wine was discovered and its soil grows almost 400 types of grapes. Its ancient way of maturing the wine, in clay pots buried under ground, is still the preferred method of wine production, a process international wine experts are flocking to Georgia to study. Accompanied by 1001Worlds’ co-founder, we take you on a road trip to the beautiful wine country, Kakheti, to visit the best wineries. We’ll also go and relax in the mountain air of the majestic Caucasus in Kazbegi, stopping at UNESCO world heritage sites on the way. In Tbilisi, the fascinating ancient capital, we’ll explore foodie heaven restaurants, art galleries, bars and dip into a traditional sulfur mineral bath. You'll for sure fall in love with Georgia, its wines, food and people!
Included in the price: Airport Transportation, Accommodation and Breakfasts at the Hotels (Hotel City in Tbilisi, Rooms Hotel in Kazbegi and Brigitte Hotel in Sighnaghi), Van and an Experienced Driver for the Road Trips mentioned in the program, Daily Tour Leading by an expert guide and 1001Worlds Services. (The price is based on two people in a twin room. If you’d like a single room, let us know and we can organize it for you for extra fee. Couples can of course request a double room.)
Not included: Plane Ticket, Visas, Mandatory Travel Insurance, Meals, Drinks and Activities.
SAT Day 1
Arrival at the City Hotel in Tbilisi. Once the whole group has arrived, we’ll head out to the old part of the city for an introductory look around. We'll explore the vibrant Sololaki area home to many of Tbilisi’s new bars and restaurants. It's Saturday evening, so you’ll get to experience the famous Georgian nightlife on your first night.
SUN Day 2
After brunch in the old city, we’ll start with the famous citadel high up on the hillside overlooking the whole capital. This can be reached by foot (a steep but short hike) or by cable car with fantastic views. We’ll visit the old city where you can explore some galleries and museums or just go shopping. There is also the option to visit the Ethnographic Museum- this outdoor museum allows you a unique insight into the types of houses that existed in the different parts of Georgia, or we can go watch Georgian families spend time at the Mtatsminda Park, high up on a hill top. Sunday night is also perfect for some live music.
MON Day 3
We’ll have an early start for the first day of our road trip. We first stop at Mtskheta, the ancient capital of Georgia and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, dating back to the 2nd millennium B.C. Mtskheta was the capital of the Georgian Kingdom of Iberia during 500BC - 500AD. From there we continue along the Georgian Military Highway stopping at the beautiful 16th century Ananuri Church and then travelling on to the town of Stepantsminda (1700m), the region’s only town, situated 15km from the Russian border and sitting right below the mighty Mount Kazbek. You will have a chance to explore the small town and enjoy views from the stunning, newly renovated Rooms Hotel, while having dinner and sipping wine.
TUE Day 4
You’ll get to spend the whole day in the beautiful mountain region and will have a chance to walk up to Gergeti Trinity Church and higher if you wish. The church is situated on a hill at 2100m overlooking the valley and providing excellent views of Mt. Kazbek. According to the legend, the titan Prometheus who brought fire to men was chained to Mt. Kazbek. You’ll also have a chance to visit some beautiful waterfalls and springs located in the area. The views don’t end there: you’ll get to continue admire them from your balcony at the Rooms Hotel, relaxing with a glass of wine.
WED Day 5
In the morning we head to Kakheti region, via Tbilisi. We’ll stop for a tasty Georgian lunch and then continue East to the David Gareja monastery complex (6th century) –cut into the rocks of the surrounding area. Those who are into more hiking can walk up to the Udabno Complex, which takes about two hours but offers spectacular views into neighbouring Azerbaijan. Afterwards we carry on to the main wine producing province of Georgia, Kakheti, a region rich in historical and architectural monuments, wine factories and smaller vineyards. Most homes have their own underground cellar and press their own grapes and you will have a chance to learn more about the wine-making process firsthand. We finish the day in the pictoresque town of Sighnaghi: a Royal town from the18th century, surrounded by walls and 23 towers at strategic points. After a long day, the activities culminate in wine tasting and dinner at our favorite boutique winery “Pheasant's Tears”.
THU Day 6
This morning we’ll pay a visit to the Convent of Bodbe and visit the chapel of Georgia's patron Saint Nino hidden deep in the woods. Those who want can get into the ice-cold holy mountain water, claimed to be the tears of the saint. Then we’ll travel north to the wine tasting area of Kvareli and visit some more of the local wineries where we will try home-made wines, taste home-made bread and cheese and see chacha (the local vodka) being made. We return to Signaghi in the evening for a supra feast with a local family.
FRI Day 7
After breakfast we’ll leave Signaghi and make our way back to Tbilisi on a different route via the capital of the province, Telavi, where you’ll have some time to walk around, and if the group still hasn’t had enough wines to taste, we can stop at a few wineries on the way back to Tbilisi. After a busy few days, we recommend a visit to one of Tbilisi’s traditional bath houses, after which we’ll enjoy a tasty group dinner for our last night together. And there is still the Friday night to go out and experience the famous Tbilisi nightlife...
SAT Day 8
It’s time for a lazy morning before the flight back home, or you can take some time for last minute shopping. We’ll finish our time together with a brunch and say goodbye. If you’re planning to stay an extra day, just let us know and we can organize it for you with the hotel.
Please note that the program is flexible and will be adjusted according to the group's wishes.