Tbilisi, Kutaisi, Batumi, Stephantsminda
July 16th - July 27th, 2017
Sofia, Sandanski, Melnik, Plovdiv, Veliko Tarnovo, Brasov, Bucharest, Gura Humorului, Iasi, Piatra Neamt
Mentioning the ancient land of Georgia conjures up images of awe-inspiring natural wonders, arts, monuments and vibrant cities in a country caught between Europe and Asia.
Georgia is an exotic land, scattered with the remains of long-gone empires and great individuals. Places such as Tbilisi and Batumi continue to fascinate with the richness of their past, whilst Kutaisi and Stephantsminda provide exciting locations for the modern individual. Whether you are a seasoned explorer or a first-time visitor, the memories and experiences gathered from this trip will stay with you forever.
In this authoritative tour we offer an exciting and wide-ranging look at the Georgian culture, history, and art, with special excursions to unmissable natural and manmade sites. We explore the encounter between East and West in this fascinating country, unravelling its complex history and providing a memorable look at its geographic wonders. The 100% kosher tour and careful selection of the very best hotels permits you to travel comfortably and confidently, and your personal tour guide is available at all times to make your trip absolutely enjoyable.
Georgia welcomes you – discover it with Deluxe Kosher Tours.
Sunday, July 16th
We depart on our overnight flight to Tbilisi, the capital city of Georgia. Enjoy kosher meals and in-flight entertainment during your journey, or read some of our suggested books about Georgia (see below).
Monday, July 17th Tbilisi
Meet and greet, Orientation
Upon arrival in Tbilisi International Airportwe are welcomed to Georgia by our carefully-selected personal Deluxe Kosher Tours tour director. They will bring us to our deluxe hotel, the Marriott Hotel, and offer an introduction to Georgia and Tbilisi. Georgia is blessed with stunning monuments and architecture, a pleasant climate throughout the year and a rich culture steeped in its history. Tbilisi has a lively atmosphere with winding streets and gorgeous houses presenting a new surprise around every corner. The remainder of the day can be leisurely spent resting and relaxing in the hotel, or take a walk around the local neighbourhood to immerse in some of the sights and sounds.
Tuesday, July 18th Tbilisi-Kutaisi
Uplistsikhe cave town, Gori Stalin Muesum
After breakfast we depart for the Uplistsikhe Cave Town-Fortress, a site famous for its rock-cut structures. The ‘architectural’ styles of these structures is testament of Uplistsikhe’s location on the Silk Road, as they display various combinations of eastern, western, Christian and pagan forms. We spend the afternoon in the village of Gori, the birthplace of Joseph Stalin. We visit the Stalin Museum, which details his life through film, pictures and actual objects that he used during his lifetime, and see the humble abode in which Stalin was born and grew up.
Later we go to Georgia’s second-largest city, Kutaisi, where we check in to the Tskaltubo Resort. Kutaisi is becoming increasingly popular, thanks to its well-kept old quarter, stunning architecture and fascinating history. After dinner you are welcome to explore the local neighbourhood, or simply relax in the luxury spa hotel.
Wednesday, July 19th Kutaisi-Batumi
Sataplia Caves, Kutaisi Old Town, Kutaisi Synagogue
We embark early for the unmissable Sataplia Caves, nestled near the crater of an extinct volcano. Here we receive a guided tour through the karst cave complex, filled with stalactites and stalagmites and even dinosaur footprints! Afterwards we go on a leisurely guided tour of the Old Town district of Kutaisi. We visit the spectacular Bagrati Cathedral and Gelati Monastery, with beautiful views overlooking the city. Other sites visited include the Kutaisi Synagogue and the unique Parliament of Georgia building. In the evening we transfer to Batumi, a seaside city on the Black Sea coast and capital of the autonomous Adjara region. After checking into the Sheraton Hotel we have a relaxed dinner before retiring.
Thursday, July 20th Batumi
Batumi Old Town, Museum of Archeology, Gonio Fortress, Seaside Park, Botanical Gardens
In the morning we invite you to an exclusive guided tour of Batumi’s old town. We then go to the Archaeological Museum, which contains exhibitions displaying the latest archaeological discoveries found in Georgia. We visit the Roman fortification known as Gonio fortress, which has a fascinating history from its respective Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman occupation.
In the afternoon we can relax in the Seaside Park, delighting in its famous singing fountains, and stroll through the sumptuous Botanical Gardens. There is plenty of free time in the evening to continue exploring the town, do some shopping, or relax in the gardens.
Friday, July 21st Batumi-Tbilisi
A leisurely morning is what we need after our busy excursions so far, so we spend the first part of today relaxing on the shores of the Black Sea. Sunbathing, swimming, water sports or leisurely walks can all be done. After lunch we return to the bus and depart for Tbilisi, where we prepare for the Shabbat.
Saturday, July 22nd Tbilisi
Shabbat services, Seudat Shabbat
After the Shabbat services and lunch with only fully functional Orthodox community in Georgia, you are free to spend the rest of the day freely. Those who wish are invited to have a peaceful afternoon walking through the Dedaena or Vake parks, gorgeous green spaces perfect to relax in.
Sunday, July 23rd Tbilisi
Kakheti wine region, Sighnaghi, Chavchavadze Museum and Wine Cellar, Telavi Old Town, Gombori pass
We embark on our exploration of the Kakheti region after breakfast. This area is where the mountains and valleys of the Great Caucasus meet, creating a wild and undulating region perfect for vine growing. We visit the 11th century Alaverdi monastery, where the monks make their own famous wine. Then delight in the sumptuous gardens and fascinating museum of the Tsinandali Palace which once belonged to the 19th-century aristocratic poet Alexander Chavchavadze – the "father of Georgian romanticism". During the trip we learn about Georgian’s historic winemaking traditions, visiting a unique 300-year old wine cellar.
In the afternoon we transfer to Sighnaghi, the loveliest town in the area. We visit the Sighnaghi Museum, and walk around the streets of the town – known as the "Love City" of Georgia for its attractive atmosphere and setting. We visit the studios of American painter John Henry Wurdeman, who has lived and worked in Sighnaghi and owns his own winery. We visit the old town of Telavi, the largest town in the Kakheti region, and explore its weekend food market. We return to Tbilisi via the Tsiv-Gombori Pass, which boasts stunning views of the Caucasus hinterland, arriving in the capital with plenty of time for dinner.
Monday, July 24th Tbilisi
Dmanisi Ruins, Tblisi Antique Market
We make an excursion to the forested steppes of the Lower Kartli region. The Algeti National Park contains some of the country’s most interesting flora and fauna, including brown bears, wolves and wild boar. We visit the Dmanisi Ruins, a site that displays the remains of human activity dating from 1.8 million years ago! In the afternoon we return to Tbilisi to explore the “Dry Bridge” antique market, an extraordinary flea market that will keep you entertained for hours.
Tuesday, July 25th Tbilisi-Stephantsminda
Ananuri Fortress, Gudauri Resort, Gergeti Trinity Church
In the morning we drive to Ananuri fort, which boasts terrific views of the Jinvali water reservoir and the lofty Gudauri Ski Resort. We then go on a stunning drive along the banks of the Tergi River to the town of Stepantsiminda (formerly Kazbegi), a town famous for its scenic location in the Greater Caucasus mountains. Join us on a leisurely hike through beautiful valleys and woodlands to the Gergeti Trinity Church, which has magnificent views of Mt Kazbegi. After lunch we check in to the Kazbegi Hotel to rest after our long day.
Wednesday, July 26th Stephantsminda-Tbilisi
Tblisi Old Town, Narikala Fortress, Botanical Gardens, Sulphur baths, Shardeni Street, Synagogue for Minch, ethnographical museum, Turtle Lake
Today we bring you on a guided tour of Tbilisi’s old town. We first visit the Simon Janashia Museum of Georgia to discover more about the country’s history. We make our way down the iconic Rustaveli Avenue, admiring its stunning facades and multi-coloured balconies before ascending to the imposing Narikala Fortress, an ancient castle overlooking the city. This site required extensive restoration after Russian munitions stored erupted into a huge explosion in 1827, yet dominating atmosphere of the citadel has not been lost to this day. Our next stop is the National Botanical Garden of Georgia, filled with enchanting plants and a breathtaking waterfall.
Our tour continues past the ancient sulphur bathhouses, with their distinctive dome-shaped roofs on our way to the Synagogue for Minch, the main synagogue of Tbilisi founded in the 19th century. Next we learn about Georgia’s cultural heritage at the Open Air Museum of Ethnography, where we can view examples of folk architecture and craftwork from various regions of the country. Our tour finishes at the small Turtle Lake, so called for the large amount of turtles found relaxing on its shores. In the evening we gather for our farewell meal together, and reminisce about our incredible voyage in Georgia.
Thursday, July 27th
After breakfast we transfer to Tbilisi International Airport for our return flights.
Cost Per Person:
Based On Double Occupancy (two to a room)
- Round-trip airfare from New York, Chicago, or Toronto - call for airfare from other cities
- All domestic airfares within Georgia
- An English-speaking, experienced tour guide/chauffeur
- Full board accommodation in deluxe hotels for entire trip
- 3 Kosher meals daily
- All admissions as per itinerary
- Visa fees as required
- Health and Travel Insurance
- Budget for extra snacks, gifts, or other expenses of a personal nature
- Any other services not specified
$5,295 (without airfares)
$1,195 (Single Supplement)
ITINERARY AND HOTELS SUBJECT TO CHANGE WITHOUT NOTICE
RATES MAY BE ADJUSTED IF THERE’S A FLUCTUATION IN CURRENCY OF MORE THAN 4% FROM SEPTEMBER 1, 2015
RATES MAY BE ADJUSTED IN THE EVENT OF AN INCREASE IN AIRLINE FUEL CHARGES
- Let Our Fame Be Great: Journeys Among the Defiant Peoples of the Caucasus – Oliver Bullough
- Ali and Nino: A Love Story – Kurban Said
- Georgia Diary: A Chronicle of War and Political Chaos in the Post-Soviet Caucasus – Thomas Goltz
- Bread And Ashes: A Walk Through the Mountains of Georgia – Tony Anderson