An Epicurean Adventure Across Georgia’s Wine Country

Explore gorgeous Georgia on a culinary and cultural caravan that traverses a country entwined with grapevines, overflowing with wine and abounding in hospitality. In the company of local MIR hosts, discover the history and living traditions of this ancient country through its chefs, winemakers, artisans and musicians.

 

12 Day Trip

  • Small Group
    Limited to 16 passengers
  • Travels to:
    Georgia, South Caucasus
  • Cultural Series:
    Tbilisi, around Georgia, and back to Tbilisi

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Overview Itinerary

MIR Signature Experiences on this Tour
  • Sample natural wines made by monks
    Sample natural wines made by monks according to traditional Georgian methods....
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  • Prepare a gourmet meal with a chef
    Prepare a memorable meal with the chef at the organic Pheasant’s Tears winery....
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  • Observe how qvevri are made
    Visit a ceramicist to see how to make qvevri, huge earthenware vessels used in traditional Georgian wine-making....
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  • Thrill to an electrifying polyphonic vocal performance
    Thrill to an electrifying polyphonic performance by dynamic Svaneti singers....
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Why Travel with MIR on this Tour
  • This tour named in National Geographic Traveler’s “15 Fabulous Food Tours” list
  • Over 30 years of South Caucasus travel experience
  • Travel programs such Harvard, World Affairs Council of Philadelphia and the American Museum of Natural History have chosen MIR to guide them to the South Caucasus
  • Twice named one of National Geographic Adventure’s “Best Adventure Travel Companies on Earth”
  • On-the-ground support and quality you can trust
  • Personalized travel planning from start to finish
  • Guides and tour managers that clients rave about
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Itinerary & Highlights at a Glance

Days 1-3: Tbilisi, Mtskheta

In Tbilisi, the splendid capital where your journey begins, draw your chair up to a supra, or “Georgian Table,” a leisurely feast featuring dozens of dishes and a toastmaster (tamada) to lead the countless toasts. Connect with Georgia's past at UNESCO-listed Mtskheta, early capital of the kingdom of Iberia.

Highlights

  • Narikala Fortress, Mother Georgia Monument, Rustaveli Avenue in Tbilisi
  • Iconic Georgian “street food,” like the warm cheese bread called khachapuri
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Days 4-6: Kutaisi, Svaneti

Drive to Kutaisi through a region of small farms, vineyards, fields, villages and orchards, pausing at Katskhis Sveti, a tall limestone pillar where medieval hermit monks perched. Delight in a dinner of the complex Imeretian cuisine. Explore UNESCO-listed Gelati Monastery, adorned with striking frescoes and mosaics. Drive through the steep and stunning Caucasus Mountains to the secluded Svaneti region, known for its brawny UNESCO-listed medieval watchtowers. Enter a Svanetian home for a gourmet lunch; specialities could be hen roasted in rose petals, eggplant slices rolled around garlic-walnut paste, and khachapuri stuffed with herbs. Enjoy a stirring polyphonic performance by local Svan singers.

Highlights

  • Kutaisi, early capital of Georgia, and site of Jason’s mythical quest for the Golden Fleece
  • Dinner of traditional Imeretian cuisine, one of Georgia’s most complex
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Days 7-8: Vardzia, Tbilisi

Descend from the heights to Zugdidi, sampling spicy Megrelian cuisine, and overnighting at a perfectly located resort in the valley below 12th century Vardzia cave monastery. Explore the caves, then sample hand-made cheeses and chocolates at tiny Phoka Nunnery before returning to Tbilisi.

Highlights

  • Taste ancient Megrelian cuisine, with dishes such as satsivi, spicy walnut chicken
  • Handcrafted chocolates, cheeses and beeswax candles at Phoka Nunnery
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Days 9-12: Telavi, Signagi, Tbilisi

Discover Georgia’s wine country, Kakheti, visiting the workshop of a ceramicist who demonstrates the ancient Georgian art of making qvevri, the huge earthenware vessels used for making Georgian wines. Near Signagi, take a walking tour of the vineyards at renowned Pheasant’s Tears Winery, producing organic wines from regional grapes. Visit Bodbe Monastery, meet a local silk producer and attend a dance class where local musicians and dancers bring to life the spirited traditions of the Caucasus.

Highlights

  • Demonstration of fabricating qvevri wine vessels with a ceramicist
  • Hilltown of Signagi with narrow streets and wooden balconies
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See Dates & Prices for more details or to see suggested extensions.

Download Detailed Itinerary
Tour Dates & Prices
Trip Length: 12 Days

Land Tour Price, Per Person
based on double occupancy

  • 4-16 Travelers $5,095
  • Single Supplement $995

2018 Dates

  • October 3-14
  • $5,095
  • Max 16 Travelers
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Group Size:

Small Groups – Never More than 16 Travelers. Guaranteed!

What’s Included

On Your Tour

  • Shared accommodations in well-located superior tourist class hotels.
  • 11 breakfasts, 10 lunches, and 8 dinners, per the itinerary.
  • Restaurant tips for included meals.
  • Services of an experienced, English-speaking MIR Tour Manager with local guides at specific sites.
  • Arrival/departure transfers. MIR will arrange for all travelers to be met on arrival and seen off on departure whether we make your airfare arrangements or not, provided you arrive and depart on the tour start/end dates in the tour start/end cities.
  • Ground transportation throughout itinerary by private coach or minivan (vehicle type will depend on group size and terrain).
  • Guided sightseeing tours and entrance fees as outlined in itinerary.
  • Special events, excursions and cultural performances per the itinerary.
  • Baggage handling where available.
  • Bottled water at group meals.
  • Gratuities to local guides and drivers.

 Before Your Tour

  • Personalized pre-departure support from one of our knowledgeable Tour Specialists.
  • Complete pre-departure information including detailed packing list and reading list.
  • Touring with MIR handbook with country-specific information, maps, and travel tips.
  • Customized visa application instruction kit (if applicable to your itinerary; please note, visa fees are not included in the tour price).
  • Final document packet including luggage tags, final updates, and more.
  • Assistance booking your custom flight arrangements (on request; please note that international and internal airfares are not included in the land tour cost).
Download Detailed Itinerary
Prepare for Your Trip

International Airfare

MIR's in-house, full-service air department will gladly assist with your air travel needs.

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Reading List

MIR recommends reading up before you leave home. So settle back in your armchair with some of our favorite books about our favorite places.

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Visas

Most MIR programs require one or more visas, and each visa requires a completely blank page in your passport. Visa information for this particular tour is listed in the Detailed Descriptive Itinerary.

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Travel Insurance

Stay a Little Longer…

Combine this tour with a custom, private extension to Yerevan, Armenia or a stopover in Istanbul. All of MIR’s destinations are open to you, and all can be attached to this program. Please contact MIR for more details about exciting options for extended travel.

Or, choose from one of these suggested itineraries:

Is this Trip Right for You?

While the accommodations are comfortable and centrally located, it is important to keep in mind that the accommodations in some parts of the country of Georgia are not up to the standards North American travelers expect.

A full list of details about the rigors of this tour are explained in the Detailed Descriptive Itinerary.

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