Georgia cultural holiday
Description of Georgia cultural holiday
Famed as it may be for its beauty and distinctive culture, Georgia remains relatively untravelled. All the more reason then, to explore its many treasures sooner rather than later. This nine-day trip departs from the Tbilisi and heads east, towards the astonishing David Gareja and the New Shuamta Nunnery (though it still dates back to the Middle Ages). Before leaving the atmospheric capital, however, there will be plenty of time to stroll its charming cobbled streets and historic squares, exploring the many fortresses, synagogues, baths and churches for which Tbilisi is so renowned.
Leaving the desert caves of David Gareja, you’ll cross the Gombori Pass, and drop down into the Dariali Pass en route to Gori, birthplace of the notorious Josef Stalin and now home to the museum that traces his infamous story. Every day heralds unforgettable sights, from the immense Vardzia, a city hewn from rock, to the magnificent Caucasus mountains. The citadel of Rabat, the imposing Khertvisi Fortress and beautiful Lake Paravani. Even the most seasoned of travellers cannot fail to be affected by Georgia, and amazed to know that it is still far off the beaten tourist track.
This is a tour that shows you many lesser-known gems as well as the iconic sights. You’ll wander picturesque mountain towns, sip superb wines in local vineyards, and taste frankly excellent cuisine, with friendly and knowledgeable local guides accompanying you throughout.
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1 Reviews of Georgia cultural holiday
Reviewed on 29 Aug 2014 by Anna Cooper
1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?
Almost everything we saw in Georgia was memorable and exciting!
2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?
Ladies, take a skirt for the churches and monasteries.
3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?
We certainly managed to visit individuals in their homes and bring a little benefit,and this was always very interesting. I'd like to be able to w a l k to a restaurant where possible.
4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?
PlanetBy keeping the group size to a maximum of 12, we can also minimise the human impact on the fragile sites and ecosystems we visit.
We attempt to reduce plastic bottle use wherever possible by promoting use of reusable and filtered water bottles. Our partnership with Water-To-Go provides a discount on filtered water bottles to our clients. We do not provide water from plastic bottles to our clients in country but always ensure there is regular access to drinking water on our tours.
We are promoting the natural beauty and ancient heritage of Georgia through visiting the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Mtskheta. UNESCO Sites are chosen by the UNESCO committee and must "bear a unique or at least exceptional testimony to a cultural tradition or to civilisation", "an important interchange of human values" or be outstanding examples of major stages of Earth's history or ecological and biological processes in evolution. Visiting such sites helps sustain the traditions and natural ecosystems of Georgia through tourism.
Throughout most of the trip we will be travelling in minibuses. Travelling as a group in a small bus contributes less pollution than a multitude of vehicles. We will also be exploring areas on foot, , to not only soak up the amazing sights at a slower pace, but to reduce our environmental impact and footprint along our journey.
PeopleOn Day 3 and 7 we will stay in a guesthouse in Telavi and Vardzia for a unique glimpse into the traditions and customs of local life. The homestay/guesthouse market helps them to provide good, clean and interesting accommodation which in turn allows them to educate their children, improve their standard of living and look after their ill. The wonderful thing about this kind of interactive tourism is that everyone gains – the families financially and us with the wonderful welcome and experience they give us. Wherever possible we stay in locally owned accommodation, eat in locally owned establishments and purchase supplies from the local nomads.
In the Caucasus - and in particular in Georgia - we have developed unique relationships with many of the mountain peoples of the region and through our form of interactive tourism with a social conscience we have helped them by providing an important additional income. On this trip we travel through regions where conditions are harsh and there is limited opportunity for earning an income. By visiting local families, we are able to put much needed funds directly into the local communities. In addition, all foods are produced locally so several members of the village benefit financially, which improves several families’ standard of living. The great thing about this kind of interactive tourism is that everyone gains – the locals financially and us from the fuss they make of us!
During this tour we will be delving into the food and wine culture of Georgia. The best way to share stories and meet new people is over a plate of great food and a glass of wine in hand. Georgia is known for its fantastic food and wine, with a unique wine production method dating back 8,000 years ago. On this particular tour, on the way to Telavi we will visit a unique 300-year-old wine cellar. The wine is produced and stored here, and we’ll learn more about the wine-making process and sample several Kakhetian wines. We’ll also see how Georgian bread is baked. We can try freshly baked bread, Georgian cheese and the local sour yoghurt – Matsoni.
Supporting the local food and wine industry in Georgia not only maintains the cultural identity of Georgia and connects cultures through the most ancient of pastimes, eating!