Food and Culture Tour to Azerbaijan and Georgia
Tour leader: Feride Buyuran
Dates: June 15–June 30, 2020
Length: 16 days, 15 nights
Arrival in Tbilisi: June 15
Departure from Baku: June 30
Group size: Limited to 12 participants
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 seeping from dry, rugged terrain of the Absheron peninsula and crystalline waterfalls rushing down lush green slopes in the Azerbaijani and Georgian countryside; fire-worshippers’ temples coexisting with Medieval monasteries, churches, mosques, and synagogues; and Soviet-era relics living 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, and in Georgia, sip on the prized local wine, matured in special clay pots gvevri.
You will also explore the tradition of craftsmanship by meeting artisans engaged in the preservation of centuries-old arts and crafts, watch folklore performances, and enjoy the nature around you. You will 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 will be local food (and wine!), an indispensable part of the Caucasus culture, which you will enjoy both in celebrated and family-run restaurants or share with the locals in their hospitable homes.
Below, please find preliminary details on this small-group tour designed to allow you the chance to immerse in the local culture of each destination to the fullest. The Caucasus will be your home away from home. Let’s go!
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)
Ancient Caucasian Albanian villages
Remote village of Khinalig (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 (Georgian dumplings, Azerbaijani dolma etc.)
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
– and many more!
$5,500 per person based on double occupancy (plus $750 single supplement*)
$5,400 if you register before November 30, 2019!
Registration and Deposit deadline: January 30, 2020 ** EXTENDED TO FEBRUARY 15, 2020.
* 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.
Included in the Price
Not Included in the Price
To register for the tour and secure your spot, a deposit of $1,000 per person must be submitted using the button below BY JANUARY 30, 2020. EXTENDED TO FEBRUARY 15, 2020. If you don’t have a PayPal® account, please click on the ‘Pay with Debit or Credit Card’ button on the following screen. 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.
The balance $4,500 (plus single supplement) is due by March 15, 2020. Please pay by check or by direct bank transfer (request details). Alternatively, pay via Paypal by credit card, but add 3% Paypal charge. Download and print the tour reservation form, sign and mail it to us with your balance payment (can also email signed form).
Number of Participants
This intimate, friendly tour will have a maximum of 12 PARTICIPANTS to ensure the best possible experience.
The tour is 16 days and 15 nights, including the arrival day in Tbilisi and the departure day from Baku. The tour dates are June 15–June 30, 2020.
You will stay in 3- and 4-star hotels and guesthouses in both countries, selected for their location, service, and atmosphere, and level of comfort. Your accommodation will reflects the culture and personality of your destination – such as, a historic building now 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.