Cradle of Wine

The ancient way of making wines of the country where the wine was born

Detailed Description

Overview

Difficulty
Comfort
Shida Kartli   Tbilisi   Kakheti   Kvemo Kartli   Mtskheta-Mtianeti  
Destination
Food & Wine
Tour type
August — October
Period
7 days
Duration
6-12
Group
14+
Age
GT006
Program code

Discover the Georgian way of winemaking, dating back 8000 years and showcasing 500 grape varieties. Visit the most beautiful and oldest wineries, including the first chateau in Georgia, Chateau Mukhrani, and taste the unique Georgian "Kvevri" method, a UNESCO intangible cultural heritage. Get to know the locals and their traditions, blind taste test the local wines and feast like a Georgian with traditional dishes and a party arranged by a traditional toastmaster. Immerse yourself in Georgia's breathtaking beauty and discover new wine flavors on this tour designed for wine lovers. Raise a glass and join in the first "Gagimarjos" toast!

Itinerary

Day 1 — Welcome to Tbilisi

Our team will be waiting for you at Tbilisi International Airport to take you to your hotel for a rest before starting the tour of Georgia's capital. The first stop will be the old town, where we'll visit its main attractions, including pedestrian streets, Anchiskhati and Sioni churches, Meydan Square, and the sulfur baths district. Next, we'll take a cable car to the Narikala Fortress and the Mother of Georgia statue for a photo opportunity with a stunning panoramic view of the city. We'll then explore Sololaki, a district of wealthy merchants and artists that still captivates visitors. The day will conclude with a wine tasting at a traditional cellar in the city center. Dinner and overnight stay will be in Tbilisi. The wine styles we'll taste include Rkatsiteli-Kisi-Mtsvane blend, Khvanchkara (PDO), and Saperavi.

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, Mother of Georgia, Sololaki District, Anchiskhati Basilica, Jumah Mosque, Metekhi Church, Rike Park, Rustaveli Avenue, Bridge of Peace, Freedom Square.

Day 2 — Georgia's Spiritual Heart and Wine Heritage in Mtskheta

On the second day, we'll travel to Mtskheta, the spiritual center of Georgia, to visit the Svetitskhoveli Cathedral, the most magnificent church in the country and a repository of Georgian history. After exploring the streets of this sacred pilgrimage city, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, we'll visit a family cellar in the countryside for a wine tasting and lunch in a warm, familial atmosphere. We'll then return to the capital to visit the newly renovated Tbilisi Wine Museum, where you can learn more about the wine history of Georgia. The rest of the evening is free for you to explore Tbilisi, the "Pearl of Caucasus." Dinner and overnight stay will be in Tbilisi. The grape varieties and wine styles we'll taste today include Chinuri, Goruli Mtsvane, and Tavkveri.

Route: Tbilisi — Private car | 25 km · 45 min Mtskheta — Private car | 35 km · 45 min Kaspi — Private car | 65 km · 1 h 15 min Tbilisi

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

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

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

Guide: Full day

Visited Attractions*: Svetitskhoveli Cathedral, Tbilisi Wine Museum, Sulfur Baths, Antioquia Church, Jvari Monastery.

Day 3 — Georgia's Premier wine region

On the third day, we'll take a road trip to Kakheti, the wine region of Georgia. We'll stop at the Gombori Pass to admire the beautiful mountains at the entrance to Kakheti, then visit a Georgian cheese factory where you'll have the chance to try various traditional cheeses and have a glass of wine. After a meal in Telavi, we'll visit the famous Tsinandali Estate, which includes a peaceful walk in the park, a visit to one of Georgia's oldest cellars, a tour of Prince Alexander Chavchavadze's house-museum, and a wine tasting on a tranquil terrace. Later in the day, we'll visit the unique Shumi Cellar, which includes a short walk in the vineyard, a visit to the private museum, and a special wine tasting focused on a single grape variety. We'll have dinner at the renowned Shumi Restaurant. Overnight stay will be in Telavi. The grape varieties and wine styles we'll taste today include: Tsinandali (PDO), Saperavi

Route: Tbilisi — Private car | 120 km · 2 h 30 min Telavi

Activities: Sightseeing | 2 hours , Food Tasting | 1 hours 30 minutes , Wine Tasting | 1 hours 45 minutes

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

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

Guide: Full day

Visited Attractions*: Tsinandali Palace, Shumi Winery, Telavi Bazaar, Giant Plane Tree, Monument of Erekle II.

Day 4 — Visit to Georgian "Bordeaux" Region

During the morning, we'll take a leisurely walk in Telavi, the charming capital of Kakheti, and visit its bustling market where you'll witness the abundance of local products such as fruits, vegetables, herbs, nuts, and the delicious Kakhetian sunflower oil. Next, we'll journey to Kvareli, a small town nestled at the foot of the mountains. After a short stroll through the town, we'll visit a Kakhetian family's home and enjoy a peaceful garden with a 140-year-old vine. You'll also learn how to make the famous Georgian dessert, "chuchkhela." Before lunch with our hosts, we'll partake in a traditional wine tasting. In the afternoon, we'll visit the picturesque Bodbe Monastery, known for its flowers, before ending the day with a visit to the charming city of Sighnaghi, known as "The City of Love." You'll appreciate its quaint streets in the warm sunshine. Dinner and overnight stay in Sighnaghi. *Wine styles: Rkatsiteli, Kisi, Saperavi, Aladasturi, Kindzmarauli (PDO).

Route: Telavi — Private car | 100 km · 2 h Sighnaghi

Activities: Sightseeing | 2 hours , City Walking | 1 hours 30 minutes , Wine Tasting 45 minutes , Masterclass 30 minutes , Food Tasting | 2 hours

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

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

Guide: Full day

Visited Attractions*: Bodbe Monastery, Sighnaghi Wall, Sighnaghi Museum.

Day 5 — Tracing the Footsteps of Homo Georgicus

Today, we'll travel to the west to discover the unique region of Southern Shida Kartli. First, we'll depart from Sighnaghi and head to Marneuli to visit its impressive mosque and experience the peaceful coexistence of different religions in Georgia. Afterwards, we'll visit a family-owned cellar in the tranquil town of Bolnisi, known for its Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) wine. After a wine tasting and a meal with our hosts, we'll take a stroll through the old streets of the German district, tracing the footsteps of the Swabian community who once lived here. Before departing Bolnisi, we'll ascend a small mountain to visit a monastery with breathtaking 360-degree views of the surrounding area. Finally, we'll return to the capital, Tbilisi. Dinner and overnight stay in Tbilisi. Wine style: Bolnisi (PDO).

Route: Sighnaghi — Private car | 165 km · 3 h Bolnisi — Private car | 80 km · 1 h 30 min Tbilisi

Activities: Sightseeing | 2 hours , Wine Tasting 45 minutes , Food Tasting | 1 hours 45 minutes , City Walking 45 minutes

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

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

Guide: Full day

Visited Attractions*: Natlismtsemeli Monastery, Bolnisi Sioni Cathedral.

Day 6 — Wines of the Cave Town

To start the day, we'll visit one of Georgia's most sacred and historically significant sites: the Jvari Monastery, a UNESCO World Heritage site. This early medieval church, renowned for its artistic and architectural achievements, offers a breathtaking view of the city of Mtskheta across the river at sunset. Afterwards, we'll delve into the unique cave town of Uplistsikhe, visiting its caves with stunning panoramic views and enjoying a wine tasting inside one of the caves, where unique wines are produced. We'll then have lunch in the birthplace of Joseph Stalin and visit his museum, including his personal train and birth house, before exploring the countryside around Gori and visiting a local wine cellar producing only regional wines made from local Shida Kartli grapes. Dinner and overnight stay in Gori. Wine styles: Chinuri, Goruli Mtsvane, Tavkveri.

Route: Tbilisi — Private car | None km · 2 h 30 min Gori

Activities: Sightseeing | 3 hours , City Walking | 1 hours , Wine Tasting | 1 hours , Food Tasting | 2 hours

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

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

Guide: Full day

Visited Attractions*: Stalin Museum, Uplistsikhe, Jvari Monastery, Gorijvari Church.

Day 7 — Discovering the Wines of Château Mukhrani

Before returning to Tbilisi, we will take a stroll through the charming streets of the city center in Gori and conclude our tour with a visit to the Gori Fortress. Then, we'll head to the only "Château" in Georgia and the birthplace of the country's first wines: the renowned Château Mukhrani. As this is your last day, we'll take our time to explore the beautiful estate, visit the wine production site, enter the castle, and explore the historic cave where some of the finest Georgian wines are kept. During a blind wine tasting, you will have the opportunity to become familiar with the different grape varieties and learn to distinguish them from one another. We'll savor a final lunch in the castle's garden before returning to Tbilisi, where you'll have free time before our team takes you to the airport. End of the tour.

Route: Gori — Private car | 100 km · 2 h Tbilisi

Activities: Sightseeing | 3 hours , Wine Tasting | 1 hours 30 minutes , City Walking | 1 hours

Accommodation: Not Included

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

Guide: Half day

Visited Attractions*: Gori Fortress, Mukhrani Fortress.

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

Aug. 4, 2024 — Aug. 10, 2024 € 3,150 EUR On sale
Aug. 18, 2024 — Aug. 24, 2024 € 3,150 EUR On sale
Sept. 1, 2024 — Sept. 7, 2024 € 3,150 EUR On sale
Sept. 15, 2024 — Sept. 21, 2024 € 3,150 EUR On sale

What's included?

Accommodation

6 nights — Comfortable accommodation, private WC & shower

Meals

6 breakfasts, 3 lunch, 1 dinner.

Guide

5 days — Full day, 2 days — Half day,

Transport

Private car: ~690 km. *

Activities

City Walking: ~8 hours 15 minutes, Sightseeing: ~17 hours, Wine Tasting: ~6 hours 45 minutes, Food Tasting: ~8 hours 45 minutes, Masterclass: ~30 minutes. *

Additionally included

Entrance fees to all sites according to the programm, All meals in guest houses, Georgian dessert masterclass, English speaking guide, Wine tastings.

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

During the summer months (June to August), temperatures in the lower parts of Georgia can range from 20°C (68°F) to 30°C (86°F), so it's important to pack accordingly.

Here's a comprehensive checklist for your summer trip to the lower parts of Georgia:

Accommodation

The accommodations in this tour are in good and clean 2-3 star hotels with private facilities and 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.