As a global tour operator, we are committed to travelling responsibly and enthusiastically encourage all of our travellers to adopt our ethos. We believe that it is the responsibility of every traveller and every organisation to ensure that the area being visited benefits fully from our tourism and we work hard to ensure that all our itineraries are designed to respect the cultures, economy and the environment of the regions through which we travel.
The first way in which we minimise impact is by our group size. We travel in small groups; this tour has a maximum of 16 travellers, although a group size of 10-12 is not uncommon. This minimises our environmental impact, but also allows us access to certain events and highlights that may not be afforded other travellers. This trip for example introduces the group to Georgian life in a unique way, by enjoying a traditional lunch at home in a small village outside of Tbilisi. Our group size enables us to source produce en route from small local suppliers, thus supporting local economies; it enables us to eat in smaller locally owned restaurants and stay in smaller, more intimate and traditional properties – all of which benefits local economies every time we visit.
This unique European odyssey will be led by three different local guides, each native to the country you are visiting and each with fantastic local knowledge and passion for Azerbaijan, Georgia and Armenia respectively. In addition to facilitating a fantastic holiday, our use of local guides is another of the key ways which we as a company ensure that regions benefit financially from our travels, through the direct creation of employment opportunities. The guides will be accompanied en route by local drivers (throughout this Comfort itinerary we will use private vehicles as our transport) and on occasion specific site guides at places of interest.
This little visited region has a wealth of local skills and traditions that our itinerary aims to encourage and support. In Sheki you’ll stop at a craft workshop famous for the production of ‘shebeke’ (stained-glass windows with intricately carved frames), while en route to Tbilisi you’ll visit a farmer’s house and discover more about the Georgian methods of wine making – very different from the European way.
As you would expect from three countries so steeped in history, there is much opportunity throughout this itinerary to visit a myriad of religious buildings, including churches, synagogues and mosques – this is particularly true of Tbilisi’s Old Town and in the 3,000 year old city of Mtskheta, whose 11th century church is said to be the burial place of the robe of Christ. We ask our travellers to dress respectfully if they wish to enter the buildings, covering their knees and shoulders and avoiding skimpy tops. This respect of local culture and sensibilities is encouraged throughout the trip as there is much local interaction. Information can be accessed on our website prior to travel to help ensure travellers are able follow appropriate dress codes and behaviours.
Observing the bigger picture; as an operator we are proud to be a carbon neutral company. We offset all our global carbon emissions and offer a carbon offset option to passengers booking their flights through us. Through these schemes, significant financial contributions are being made on behalf of our business, suppliers, staff and travellers to internationally certified carbon abatement projects, equating to over AU$1 million since 2007. Since then, we have offset over 45,000 tonnes of carbon emissions. That's equal to approximately the amount of carbon that 2,796,047 trees would absorb over 10 years, or taking over 4,753 passenger cars off the road for an entire year!
Trek amongst Georgia's untouched villages and mountains
From £1995 15 days excluding flights