Taste of Georgia

Savor the Flavors of Georgia: A Culinary Adventure

Detailed Description

Overview

Difficulty
Comfort
Imereti   Shida Kartli   Tbilisi   Kakheti   Mtskheta-Mtianeti  
Destination
Food & Wine
Tour type
July — September
Period
7 days
Duration
6-12
Group
4+
Age
GT007
Program code

Embark on a culinary journey through Georgia with our "Taste of Georgia Tour". Uncover regional cuisines with local guides who share the history and traditions behind each dish. Indulge in fresh, seasonal, and locally sourced food while dining in the homes and kitchens of our hosts. Learn about the unique Georgian method of wine-making, "Kvevri", which has been designated a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage.

If you're seeking to immerse yourself in a new country with unique culture, language, and traditions, and sample authentic flavors, this tour is for you. Welcome to Georgia!

Itinerary

Day 1 — Welcome to Georgia

On arrival at Tbilisi International Airport, our team will greet you and take you to your hotel. After some rest, let's start our tour and explore Tbilisi's Old Town. We'll visit pedestrian streets, main churches like Anchiskhati and Sioni, Meydan Square and the sulfur baths district. We'll then take a cable car to the Narikala Fortress and the Mother of Georgia statue for a panoramic view of the city. Finally, we'll explore Sololaki, a district of rich merchants and artists, before visiting a wine cellar to taste traditional Georgian wines. Overnight in Tbilisi. Specialties discovered: Kartlian wines.

Route: Tbilisi

Activities: City Walking | 3 hours , Sightseeing | 3 hours

Accommodation: Included Old Meidan Tbilisi by Urban Hotels * Or similar | Hotel | Comfortable accommodation, private WC & shower

Meals: breakfast: not included, lunch: not included, dinner: not included

Guide: Half day

Visited Attractions*: Narikala Fortress, Sioni Cathedral, Meidani Square, Sulfur Baths, Mother of Georgia, Sololaki District, Anchiskhati Basilica, Rike Park, Rustaveli Avenue, Freedom Square, Metekhi Church.

Day 2 — Georgia's Premier wine region

On the second day, we will embark on a journey through Georgia's premier wine region, Kakheti. Our first stop will be for a bread-making masterclass where we will learn how to make the delectable and crispy Kakhetian bread and sample some cheese. After the break, we will visit the charming city of Sighnaghi, known as the "City of Love" for its picturesque streets. We will enjoy a meal at a local restaurant that produces its own wine before heading to Telavi, the capital of the Kakhetian region. There, we will stroll through the charming streets of Telavi and end the day with a gastronomic experience in a Georgian family home. We will learn how to make the famous Georgian treat, churchkela, and participate in a barbeque preparation while sampling some home-made wine. We will spend the night in Telavi. Specialties to be discovered: Bread, Cheese, Kakhetian Wine, Shashlik (Barbeque).

Route: Tbilisi — Private car | 115 km · 2 h 30 min Sighnaghi — Private car | 70 km · 1 h 15 min Telavi

Activities: Sightseeing | 2 hours , City Walking | 1 hours 30 minutes , Food Tasting | 1 hours 30 minutes , Masterclass | 1 hours

Accommodation: Included Green hotel ANG * Or similar | Hotel | Comfortable accommodation, private WC & shower

Meals: breakfast: included, lunch: not included, dinner: included

Guide: Full day

Visited Attractions*: Sighnaghi Wall, Telavi Bazaar, Giant Plane Tree, Monument of Erekle II.

Day 3 — Georgian Military Road

For the third day, we will embark on a journey through the Georgian Military Road. Our destination is the high mountains of the Great Caucasus. Along the way, we will visit the medieval fortress of Ananuri and take a meal break in Pasanauri, where you will participate in a masterclass on khinkalis, a regional specialty that is sure to become your new favorite food. We will then continue our ascent into the mountains to visit the Gudauri Memorial, offering breathtaking views of the Bidara mount. To end the day, we will visit the picturesque Kazbegi town, set below the towering peak of Mount Kazbek. You will have the unique opportunity to stay overnight in a hotel with a stunning panoramic view of the mountains. Overnight in Stepantsminda. Specialties discovered: Khinkali.

Route: Telavi — Private car | 225 km · 4 h 30 min Stepantsminda

Activities: Sightseeing | 2 hours , Food Tasting | 1 hours 30 minutes , Masterclass | 1 hours

Accommodation: Included Kazbegi Sunshine * Or similar | Hotel | Comfortable accommodation, private WC & shower

Meals: breakfast: included, lunch: included, dinner: not included

Guide: Full day

Visited Attractions*: Ananuri Fortress, Mount Kazbek, Russia-Georgia Friendship Monument, Zhinvali Reservoir.

Day 4 — "Heart of Georgia" — Gori

Begin this day by ascending to the Gergeti Church, and be ready for an unforgettable off-road experience as you feel the soul of the highest mountain temple in Georgia. After this, head down from the mountains to the stunning Jinvali Reservoir. On the way, discover a unique geological phenomenon near the Aragvi River. After a delicious lunch at a popular open-air restaurant, reach the central region of Shida Kartli, where you will have the opportunity to visit the hometown museum of Joseph Stalin in the regional capital, Gori. For dinner, enjoy seasonal dishes and the local specialty, Gorian kotleti. Overnight in Gori. Specialties discovered: Kotleti.

Route: Stepantsminda — Private car | 200 km · 3 h 45 min Gori

Activities: Sightseeing | 2 hours

Accommodation: Included Guesthouse Hestia * Or similar | Guest House | Comfortable accommodation, private WC & shower

Meals: breakfast: included, lunch: not included, dinner: not included

Guide: Full day

Visited Attractions*: Gergeti Trinity Church, Stalin Museum, Gorijvari Church, Gori Fortress.

Day 5 — Discover the Birthplace of Khachapuri

Begin your day with a morning stroll through the charming streets of Gori's city center. Then, we'll head to Surami to taste the delightful Georgian sweet pastry, Nazuqi, made by the local "bread mothers." Afterwards, we'll continue on to the mountain town of Chiatura where you will attend a masterclass to learn how to make two of Georgia's most popular dishes: khachapuri and chicken clay pot. You will also have the chance to share a meal with the locals and learn about their dining and lifestyle habits. Our next stop will be the unique Khatskhi Pillar, a 40-meter tall monolith with a church perched atop. The day will end in Kutaisi, the Imeretian capital and Georgia's second largest city. Overnight in Kutaisi. Specialties discovered: Nazuqi, Khachapuri, Chicken clay pot.

Route: Gori — Private car | 200 km · 3 h 45 min Kutaisi

Activities: Sightseeing | 2 hours , Food Tasting | 2 hours , Masterclass | 1 hours

Accommodation: Included Magnolia * Or similar | Hotel | Comfortable accommodation, private WC & shower

Meals: breakfast: included, lunch: included, dinner: not included

Guide: Full day

Visited Attractions*: Katskhi Pillar, Kutaisi Synagogue, Kutaisi's Royal District, Kutaisi Opera Theatre, Kutaisi Green Bazaar, White Bridge.

Day 6 — Cheese lovers day

For this sixth day, let's delve into the city of Kutaisi and start with a visit to the main market, where the fresh scents of local products will awaken your senses. After exploring some other parts of the city, we will head to the Gelati Monastery, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, to admire its ancient and beautiful frescoes. Then, we will visit the Prometheus Cave, also known as Kumistavi Cave, and marvel at its stunning array of stalactites, stalagmites, petrified waterfalls, underground rivers, and lakes. After lunch, which will feature a regional wine tasting and a tasting of local specialties, we will take a walk in nature and cross the breathtaking suspension bridge of the Okatse Canyon. We'll end the day in Zeda Gordi in the Megrelian region, where a Georgian family will welcome us and introduce us to the unique specialty of Elarji. Overnight in Zeda Gordi. Specialties discovered: Imeretian wine, Elarji.

Route: Kutaisi — Private car | 85 km · 2 h 15 min Zeda Gordi

Activities: Sightseeing | 3 hours , Caving | 1 hours 30 minutes , Food Tasting | 2 hours

Accommodation: Included Guest house in Gordi * Or similar | Guest House | Twin or double room, shared WC & shower on the floor

Meals: breakfast: included, lunch: not included, dinner: included

Guide: Full day

Visited Attractions*: Okatse Canyon, Gelati Monastery, Prometheus Cave, Bagrati Cathedral.

Day 7 — Lobio, "Savior of Georgia"

For the last day of your Georgian discover, we will have to come back to Tbilisi. After crossing the famous Rikoti pass which separate western and eastern Georgia, we will arrive in the historical city of Mtskheta. There, you will try one of the most famous Georgian specialty, which made the proudness of Mtskheta: the lobio. After meal, and some free time in the capital, our team will bring you to Tbilisi international airport. Specialties discovered: Lobio.

Route: Zeda Gordi — Private car | 270 km · 4 h 15 min Mtskheta — Private car | 30 km · 45 min Tbilisi

Accommodation: Not Included

Meals: breakfast: included, lunch: not included, dinner: not included

Guide: Half day

Visited Attractions*: Antioquia Church, Jvari Monastery, Svetitskhoveli Cathedral.

Our tour program's list of attractions is a guide, not exhaustive. Unlisted sites may be visited, and listed ones might be viewed from a distance. Conditions like operating hours, weather, or local rules may affect access. Thank you for your understanding.

Departures

Sept. 8, 2024 — Sept. 14, 2024 € 2,185 EUR On sale

What's included?

Accommodation

5 nights — Comfortable accommodation, private WC & shower

1 night — Twin or double room, shared WC & shower on the floor

Meals

6 breakfasts, 2 lunch, 2 dinners.

Guide

5 days — Full day, 2 days — Half day,

Transport

Private car: ~1195 km. *

Activities

Sightseeing: ~14 hours, Food Tasting: ~7 hours, Masterclass: ~3 hours, Caving: ~1 hours 30 minutes, City Walking: ~4 hours 30 minutes. *

Additionally included

Entrance fees to all sites according to the programm, All meals in guest houses, Georgian dishes masterclasses, English speaking guide, Wine tasting.

Not included

Plane tickets, Personal expenses and tips, Travel insurance.

The provided measures of total kilometers for transport, duration of guide services, and activities in our tour program are approximate and may vary depending on the program flow and terrain conditions. While we strive to ensure the accuracy of these numbers, please note that they are intended as estimates. We make every effort to provide the most precise information possible to give you an idea of the overall tour experience.

Note

Guide services can be provided in different languages, depending on the preferences of the group.
Please note that the indicated price is based on a group size of 8 participants. If the group size is smaller, the price can be adjusted accordingly.
If you're interested in extending the tour for more days, please let us know, and we'll be happy to provide options and prices upon request.

Equipment & Checklist

Summer in Georgia is a great time to visit both the lowlands and the mountains. The average temperature in the summer months (June to August) is around 25°C (77°F) in the lowlands and 15°C (59°F) in the mountains, although it can get quite hot during the day.

For this tour, it is recommended to bring lightweight, breathable clothing such as cotton t-shirts and shorts for the lowlands. If you plan to spend time in the mountains, it's a good idea to pack some warm layers such as a fleece or sweater for cooler evenings, as well as waterproof gear for unexpected rain.

Remember to check the weather forecast before your trip and pack accordingly, as conditions can change quickly in the mountains. Enjoy your summer tour to Georgia!

Here's a comprehensive checklist for your summer tour to Georgia:

Accommodation

The accommodations in this tour offer a mix of traditional charm and modern conveniences, primarily in good and clean 2-3 star hotels with private facilities, with some nights spent in small, locally-run hotels or home-stays with shared facilities. All accommodations are located in excellent central locations. If a hotel name is marked with "* or similar," it means a similar hotel of equivalent or higher class may be provided based on tour dates, group size, and hotel availability. The itinerary section of the program description will specify the exact type of accommodation for each day.

Meals

Eating is an integral part of travel, and with Georgia.to, you will have the opportunity to savor the delicious cuisine that Georgia has to offer. While breakfast is included, some lunches and dinners may be held at local restaurants, giving you the flexibility to choose where, what, and with whom you want to eat. Although meals are not typically included in the trip price, food is generally inexpensive, with an average cost of 10-15 euros per person for dinner or lunch, including drinks. However, our group often eats together to allow for a diverse taste of dishes and for the enjoyment of each other's company, though this is not a requirement.

Transport

In this tour, all transportation is private and tailored to your group's needs. Depending on the size of the group, transportation options can range from a car, a mini-van, or a minibus. In areas with challenging road conditions, a 4x4 vehicle may be used to ensure a safe and comfortable journey. With private transport, you will have the flexibility to customize your itinerary and move around at your own pace.

Guides

Our group tour leaders are the most experienced and knowledgeable individuals with excellent English language skills. If the common language of the group is different, we can provide guides in other foreign languages by coordinating with our travel assistant team. The guide will be available to the group for the entire duration of the trip, and their exact availability is marked in the Itinerary section of the program for each day. Please refer to the Itinerary section to know how long the guide will be available on each day.

Money

In Georgia, the currency is the Georgian Lari (GEL). You can exchange money at banks, exchange offices, and some hotels. Small exchange offices are omnipresent throughout Georgia and offer competitive exchange rates. Your guide will be able to advise you on the best place to exchange money, as exchange rates may vary depending on the location. You can also check the current exchange rates on www.xe.com

Bank cards are widely accepted in restaurants, hotels, and shops, but it is advisable to have some cash as a backup, in case there are issues with local ATM machines or credit cards. However, it is possible that in remote villages, bank cards may not be accepted, so it is best to have some cash on hand. The most widely accepted cards are Visa and MasterCard. We recommend exchanging only small amounts of money at a time, as exchange rates can fluctuate frequently. It is also advisable to inform your bank in advance of your travel plans to avoid any issues with international transactions.

Tipping

The Georgia.to travel team, including guides, drivers, cooks, etc., are paid a fair wage and do not expect tips. If you choose to leave a gratuity as a way of expressing your satisfaction, please note that damaged or adhesive coins or banknotes cannot be exchanged. Tips can be left at your discretion in envelopes. In restaurants, it is customary to leave 5-10% as a tip.

Health

For your health and safety, it's important to be in good health before traveling to Georgia. Consult with a doctor or travel medicine specialist for recommended vaccines and preventive measures. To prevent insect bites and follow food safety measures, it's best to drink only bottled or treated water and be mindful of what you eat.

Bring enough of your prescription medicine and ensure that it is legal in Georgia if you have a pre-existing medical condition. A basic first-aid kit, including pain relievers, anti-diarrhea medication, and insect repellent, is also recommended in case of minor illnesses or injuries.

While Georgia has modern medical facilities in cities like Tbilisi and Batumi, it's still wise to have travel insurance in case of unexpected medical expenses. There are no specific health requirements for this trip, but it's important to prioritize your health and safety while traveling.

Visa Requirements for Georgia

Visa requirements for Georgia for foreign citizens vary depending on the country of origin. Citizens of most countries are eligible for a visa-free entry to Georgia for stays of up to one year. However, some countries require a pre-arranged visa, which can be obtained from a Georgian embassy or consulate. It is recommended to check the specific visa requirements for your country of origin before traveling to Georgia. Here is a short list of countries with citizens that do not need a visa to enter Georgia for a stay up to one year:

EU countries, including Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Germany, Denmark, Spain, France, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, and more. Switzerland, United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, South Korea, Israel, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, South Africa, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Mexico etc.

Please find the exhaustive information on the Ministry of Foreign Affaires of Georgia website: https://www.geoconsul.gov.ge/

Dress Code

When visiting Georgia, it is important to be mindful of the local customs and dress codes, especially when entering religious buildings. In such places, it is expected that visitors dress modestly with women covering their heads and legs. Shorts and skirts above the knee are usually not allowed. Outside of religious buildings, there is a more casual and relaxed dress code with no specific restrictions, and visitors are free to wear what they prefer. It is worth noting that Georgia is a modern and European-influenced country, so visitors may encounter a mix of styles from traditional and contemporary.

Laundry

Laundry service is available at the majority of our hotels for a reasonable fee, usually around 10 euros or less per load. If you need this service, please speak to your guide in advance to arrange it.

Travel Insurance

Travel insurance is not a requirement to enter Georgia, but it is highly recommended. A comprehensive travel insurance policy can provide coverage for trip cancellations, medical expenses, lost or stolen belongings, and emergency evacuation. In case of unexpected events, having travel insurance can provide peace of mind and financial protection. It is important to review the coverage and terms of your travel insurance policy before departing to ensure it meets your specific needs and provides adequate protection while traveling in Georgia.

Safety and Security

Georgia is considered one of the safest countries in the world and visitors can generally feel safe while exploring the country. Crime rates, including pickpocketing, are low and tourists can move around freely without major concerns for their safety. However, as with any destination, it is always advisable to take basic safety precautions, such as keeping valuables out of sight, not carrying large amounts of cash, and being aware of one's surroundings in busy areas.

Emergency Contact

In case of any emergencies, we are available for support. During office hours (Tbilisi time), you can reach us at +995 591 257 715 for any urgent questions. Additionally, upon booking, you will be provided with a 24/7 personnel travel assistant for the duration of your trip. They will be available to assist you with any needs or concerns.

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Last update: April 12, 2024, 6:02 a.m.