Caucasus small group tour
Description of Caucasus small group tour
Explore fascinating Azerbaijan, Georgia and Armenia, three tiny countries surrounded by the region’s big powers – the Persians, the Turks and the Soviets – on this Caucasus small group tour. This tiny region is incredibly diverse, with impressive mountain scenery, historic towns, ancient cave art and wonderful food and wine. You’ll receive a warm welcome wherever you go, too, from the kind and friendly local people.
This 15 day holiday begins in Baku in Azerbaijan and from here, moves through the hills of Georgia to Yerevan in Armenia. Along the way you’ll do more than simply sightsee. Cook lunch with a Georgian family in their home, taste wine in Georgia's Kakheti region and enjoy craft workshops. Explore the important culture and architectural sights, too, including Taza Bazar in Baku, the ancient town of Uplistsikhe that’s been carved out of the rockface, the Stalin Museum in Gori and the beautiful monasteries of Armenia.
Highlights include exploring Baku and the Palace of the Shirvanshahs, the ancient rock art in Gobustan National Park, panoramic views of Mount Kazbek, Georgia’s beautiful Borjomi-Kharagauli National Park, the Pink City of Yereva, brandy tasting and the ruined Zvartnotz Temple. This is a fascinating journey and a chance to explore the little visited Caucasus before the rest of the world catches on!
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PlanetWe ensure our guides are mindful about protecting the environment in which you travel, and they do a fantastic job of promoting having a minimum impact to the environment whilst travelling. In Azerbaijan, our trip includes a Gobustan NP. In the Kazbegi alpine region we plan walking excursions to limit reliance on motorised transport. The tour is designed in such a way as to maximise the potential for walking through extensive visits to monasteries, and old towns.
Apart from actively supporting the national park system as perhaps the best method of reconciling conservation needs with those of humans wishing to live the wilderness, we also support long-standing agriculture, which is why we schedule a visit to local craftsmen who make the 'qvevri' amphorae in which Georgian wine is held. The wine-growing is as old as the hills here, and we wish it to remain that way.
We strongly advise all travellers to bring a reusable water bottle - this is an easy way to save plastic waste and is detailed in our ‘What to bring’ trip notes for all trips to all destinations. Your guide will remind you where and when you can fill up your re-usable water bottle.
In short, we go where the natural environment is least compromised. This principle shapes our itineraries around the Kasbegi high-alpine region and the high plateau of Lake Sevan.
PeopleAs regular travellers, one thing that never ceases to amaze and inspire us is the kindness and generosity of local people, often people who have very little to their name. We firmly believe that they are who make these places special should and that they should benefit from our visit. Therefore, as first preference, we use local guides and locally-owned lodges, shops and eateries. We do our best to ensure that the benefits of our tours reach as widely as possible into the communities where they operate. We also support a small portfolio of charities and local grassroots organisations. For example, in the Khaketi Valley, we visit the Bodbe Nunnery, and the Nukriati social organisation, with whom we learn the ancient practice of felt-making. Not once but twice on the trip do we interact with local families, with whom our clients will learn the art of home cooking. These cultural interactions are not only valuable for the local economy, they foster cross-cultural understanding, supporting local families, organisations, and by extension the wider community.
In Georgia our ground handlers use local drivers and staff, who ensure that all supplies are purchased locally for all journeys. Our belief is that all operational costs should go directly into the local economy wherever possible. Improving employment opportunities in remote regions is a powerful tool in tourism and something that goes right to the heart of our responsible travel ethos.
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