4 independent reviews for Georgia and Armenia holiday

Reviews for Georgia and Armenia holiday

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review 18 Sep 2017

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

All of it..... everything was memorable

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

It is a very active holiday..... I think there needs to be a better balance where there are shorter days..... several days we arrived back just in time for dinner and bed and no time even to take a walk in the environs of our hotel. Climbing to the church in Kazbegi is a serious uphill sheer walk on very loose gravel, slate and stone. It's a walk that needs a local leader for those who want to do it. It's a grade 3 walk given it's steepness and the lack of safety underfoot. Coming down is a nightmare. I urge you to take serious caution about this walk and accord it a high level of ability and mobility needed to do it. On the second last day .... there was a trip to the wine region. This was a very long journey as it entailed a trip to a church (yes another one!) and the return home was 8pm. Seven of us were leaving the hotel at 3.30 am for our Departure flight that same night .... all the others were leaving the next day. Again this was madness as it was the day before our departure. Finally, though this was an excellent holiday it's schedule was relentless..... I feel you're Catering more for the under 40's...... wheareas two thirds of the group was over 50 and some in their 70's. Time to soak up the atmosphere of both these countries, towns and cities is incredibly important for the below......

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

We had local guides who were very good. Rafy is incredibly accomplished.. Nick was very good too, helpful and informative...... There was minimal time to interact with locals as we were constantly on the go!

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Excellent

review 24 Sep 2017

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Walking in the national park in Georgia.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

The walks to the monasteries are mostly uphill over rocky ground the transport cannot get you closer than a few hundred yards in most cases and in some the walk is a lot longer and over the time that the holidays are offered the temperatures the heat is in the upper 20's and low 30's but some days the thermometer is above the 35 degree centigrade mark, be prepared.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

No to all three questions; the hotel chains offer some jobs where unemployment is high but tourists demand high standards and the environmental impact is high. Little money goes to the locals unless the tourist buys local produce which given it's perishable nature is not suitable for transport, larger items are not practicable for packing in suitcases.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

I enjoyed the holiday and would give it a rating of 7/10.

Read the operator's response here:

Dear Baron-Vahl Amos, Firstly, thank you for your comments, we are delighted that overall you had a great trip. It is disappointing to read that you didn’t think your holiday benefited local people. Our local guides are very keen to introduce you to the local crafts and culture and there are several opportunities to purchase some items that we hope are not all perishable or too large. We are also keen for our guests to sample some of the wonderful locally produced food and drink along the way e.g. in the small village of Areni, where you stopped at a winery where the finest Armenian wine is produced. Here we can try and buy these traditional wares which economically benefits local communities by supporting small businesses. Of course the biggest way we endorse culture with our trip, is to visit so many cultural hotspots and UNESCO sites: Geghard Monastery, the Genocide Memorial at Yerevan, 7th Century ruins of Zvartnots Cathedral, mediaeval monuments at Sanahin or Haghpat, just to name a few. Our entrance fees ensure that these sites are protected for future generations to enjoy. Over the course of the trip, we also spend several nights in small, family-run hotels and guesthouses. Through this practice, our business provides employment and additional income to lesser known areas and their inhabitants. All the hotel food is homemade, using locally produced and sourced goods wherever possible. Furthermore, guests often have the exciting opportunity to learn from their hosts how to prepare traditional dishes. We do hope that this explanation provides an adequate response to your review and offers you reassurance that we are continuously working on ensuring our trips are as responsible as possible. We hope to welcome you back to Georgia and Armenia one day.

review 4 Jul 2016

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

The hike up to the Gergeti monastery in Georgia. Wonderful location.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Be aware altitudes of 2000 m plus are experienced. There a lot of monastery visits so if you are not tooooo keen on them it may become a little repetative. In Georgia particularly, restaurants seemed to have difficulty providing separate bills for meals : they tended to just supply one per table. A small point perhaps but one that did cause our group a little inconvenience.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Rafik and Anna were wonderful guides, very knowledgeable and helpful. The drivers were also very good. Points to note : the Regeneh hotel in Yerevan was situated a little distance from the city centre. A city centre hotel ( like the Kopala in Tbilisi) could have been more convenient. Also , see my comments re the (lack of separate) bills for meals in Georgia. Perhaps some coaching could be provided to the waiters / waitresses . The upstairs restaurant at the Group hotel (Kopala) in Tbilisi had difficulty with this.

review 11 Nov 2014

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Seeing the Albanian Alps (relatively unspoiled), visiting Kosovo (should’ve been able to stay there longer) and the virtually untouched monastery in that region, going to Lake Ohrid (should’ve been able to stay there longer too, which I believe is going to change for next year), and seeing Albania in general emerge from the Communist era the way in which it has.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Make sure that they understand what the trip’s main focus is (like, if you aren’t interested in archaeology and churches, don’t come!) Bring appropriate footwear (i.e., leave the Brighton-Beach sandals at home). Be aware that, when seeing sights, you won’t necessarily have your lunch on the dot at one o’clock every day, and that, for some travellers, lunch is not the most important thing.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Generally, but when I saw the local Albanians regularly toss every piece of refuse into a river or down the side of a hill, then you’d have to wonder. Also, water was only drunk from plastic bottles. Surely, in some places, especially in the mountains, the water would’ve been perfectly drinkable, but no one ever mentioned or told us this.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Very good. Not outstanding value for money, but, in terms of content, guide and transport, very, very good - even if some things were rushed. Extending it by a couple of days (at Ohrid and Kosovo, for instance) would be a good start.

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