Colors of the Caucasus
A Culinary and Cultural Experience
Join award-winning food expert and Azerbaijani native Feride Buyuran as she leads you on a captivating epicurean odyssey through the heart of the Caucasus. Visit two fascinating countries where East and West are intricately woven into history, culture, and cuisine, and where hospitality is a way of life. Explore the vibrant traditions of an ethnically diverse landscape as you travel through these unique Silk Road destinations. Welcome to Azerbaijan and Georgia!
The Caucasus region abounds with fascinating contrasts—with old meeting new as historical town centers sit comfortably against the backdrop of city skyscrapers; unceasing natural gas fire seeps from dry, rugged terrain of the Absheron peninsula and crystalline waterfalls rush down lush green slopes in the Azerbaijani and Georgian countryside; fire-worshippers’ temples coexist with Medieval monasteries, churches, mosques, and synagogues; and Soviet-era relics live side-by-side with contemporary, independence-era contributions.
The culinary landscape, likewise, is filled with food, both sweet and sour, spicy and mild, hearty and light, fresh and preserved! In Azerbaijan, enjoy piping-hot tea served in curvaceous glasses, armudu, and in Georgia, sip on local prized wine matured in special clay pots known as gvevri.
Explore the tradition of craftsmanship by meeting artisans engaged in the preservation of centuries-old arts and crafts; watch folklore performances; and enjoy the surrounding nature. Learn about the history and culture in ethnic villages, such as Ivanovka populated by Molokan Russians, Red Settlement where Mountain Jews live, or Lahij where Tat people settled hundreds of years ago.
Of course, one of the biggest highlights of the tour is local food (and wine!), an indispensable part of the Caucasus culture, which you enjoy both in celebrated and family-run restaurants, as well as with hospitable locals in their homes.
Below, please find preliminary details on this small group tour designed to allow you the chance to immerse yourself to the fullest in the local culture of each destination. The Caucasus will be your home away from home. Let's go!
Why Travel With Us
- Once-in-a-Lifetime Experience: We offer 100% authentic, immersive journeys and make you feel at home in the Caucasus.
- Expertise: We have a deep passion for and understanding of our culture and we work tirelessly on the ground and behind the scenes to bring it to you.
- Community Support: We care for our communities and support family-run businesses and artisans.
- Sustainable Tourism: We make a positive impact on the local society, economy, and environment.
- Unforgettable Connections: We travel in small groups allowing for our travelers to connect and make friends with one another and with the locals.
- Tour leader: Feride Buyuran
- Dates: June 1–June 15, 2023
- Length: 15 days, 14 nights
- Arrival: June 1, Baku
- Departure: June 15, Tbilisi
- Group Size: Limited to 12 participants
- UNESCO-heritage sites in Baku, Tbilisi, and other cities
- Old Town Baku and Tbilisi
- National Carpet Museum in Baku
- Historic churches, mosques, cathedrals, monasteries, synagogues
- Ethnic villages (Molokan Russian village, Mountain Jewish village, etc)
- Medieval caravanserai
- Ancient Caucasian Albanian villages
- Remote Khinalig village (5,000 years old!)
- Carpet factory: meet and see carpet weavers in action
- Ancient ruins and archeological sites
- Silk factory and silk scarf making demo
- Trips to farmer’s markets
- Cooking classes at home with the locals
- Meet artisans and craftsmen
- Winery tours and wine tastings
- Learn about ancient wine-making traditions
- Baklava and bread baking demos
- Local folklore; dances and singing
- Garden tours
- House tours
- – and many more!
Registration (deposit) deadline: December 31, 2022
* Double occupancy prices per person apply when there are two people sharing a room. The single supplement applies to travelers who require their own room. Solo travelers who wish to avoid the single supplement and share a room with another solo traveler should notify us and we will do our best to accommodate the request.
**If you missed the deadline, please contact us at email@example.com to check for availability and we will accommodate you if there is space.
- Tour leadership by Feride Buyuran (with Georgian co-leader)
- Arrival and departure transfers (only on scheduled arrival and departure dates)
- 14 nights’ accommodation in 3- and 4-star hotels and guesthouses in both countries (e.g. family-run rustic guesthouses in villages)
- All daily meals with group: breakfast, lunch, dinner, except a few meals mentioned in the itinerary, which are independent. Lunch and dinner on the departure day are also independent
- Complimentary bottles of water, daily
- All ground transportation, including private air-conditioned Mercedes Sprinter van or similar
- Official guided tours, including site admissions
- Private cooking classes/demos, market trips
- Wine tastings as noted in the itinerary
- Folklore performances and entertainment
- International airfare to arrival and from departure cities and flight from Azerbaijan to Georgia
- Travel insurance, overseas medical insurance, or trip cancellation insurance
- Visa and passport fees (if applicable)
- Transfers to and from airports for travelers who arrive and depart independently, not on scheduled arrival and departure dates
- Extra meals, snacks, and beverages
- Alcoholic beverages (other than in wine tastings and with some (!) of the meals included in the itinerary)
- Souvenirs or any personal purchases
- Excursions, services, and activities not included in the itinerary
- Personal hotel expenses, such as laundry, telephone calls, faxes, or e-mail service
- Tips to hotel staff for luggage assistance or other personal services
- Tips to local guides, performers, drivers
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to to request the full tour brochure with itinerary and registration form.
This intimate, friendly tour will have a maximum of 12 PARTICIPANTS to ensure the best possible experience.
The tour is 15 days and 14 nights, including the arrival day in Baku and the departure day from Tbilisi. The tour dates are June 1–June 15, 2023.
Stay in 3- and 4-star hotels and guesthouses in both countries, selected for location, service, and atmosphere, and level of comfort. Your accommodation reflects the culture and personality of the destination – such as a historic building that now houses a hotel in Baku’s Old Town and a rustic family-owned guesthouse, designed in the local style, in the remote village of Lahij. Note that the tour price is based on double occupancy. If you are a single traveler, we highly recommend that you register early as the number of single rooms available on the tour may be limited.
Activity Level – Moderate
General fitness level is required for the tour, which involves a good amount of walking on uneven surfaces and over difficult terrain such as cobblestones and steep city hills, as well as hiking hills and climbing stairs at locations not always accessible by car. Be ready for early morning wake-ups (particularly to travel to far destinations) and other typical travel-related scenarios. This tour is suitable for travelers who are in good health, are physically fit, and comfortable with long days of touring.
Food on the Tour
Food is one of the highlights of the tour. Although the itinerary does not provide detailed menus, rest assured that you will find yourself in a foodie paradise! On the registration form, please list your tastes and preferences and dietary restrictions, if any, so that our menus reflect your choices.
Information Package & Reading List
In advance of your trip, you will receive an information package to help you better prepare for the tour, including details about obtaining a visa, local currencies, clothing and packing tips, airport guidelines, and other know-hows. You will also receive the final tour itinerary and a list of suggested reading.
Please check our FAQ page.
To register for the tour and secure your spot:
1. A deposit of $1,000 per person must be submitted using the button below BY DECEMBER 31, 2022. If paying by PayPal, please also add 3% PayPal charge. If you don’t have a PayPal® account, please click on the ‘Pay with Debit or Credit Card’ button on the following screen. (Note that both the screen and your credit card statement will display AZ Cookbook as the charging party.) The deposit can also be paid by check (details on the registration form). The sooner you save your spot, the more chances you have to join the tour, as space is limited!
2. Print the tour registration form we send you, then sign it and and mail (or email) it to us.
3. The balance $4,555 (plus single supplement) is due by March 1, 2023. Please pay by check (details on registration form) or by direct bank transfer (request details). Alternatively, pay via PayPal by credit card (request link), but add 3% PayPal charge.