This story is still told with great pleasure by the Georgians (of course while drinking and singing). And its truth can be verified by anyone who travels through this country. In such a small space, you can rarely find such a wide range of beauty, from Svaneti’s snow-capped valleys to Javakheti’s majestic barren mountain ranges, from the misty peaks of the Georgian military highway to the vineyards of Kakheti. And add to it the many thousand years of history, whose monuments, created by so many peoples and religions – Georgians, Armenians, Azeris, Jews, Persians, Turks, Russians, Assyrians, Kurds, Italians, French, Poles and others –, from the medieval towers of the mountain villages through the Caucasian churches and fortress monasteries to the Persian-style palaces make so unique this region.
To this region we invite our readers to a one-week tour, from 24 April to 2 May, Friday night to Saturday morning. On this our first Georgian tour we travel through the most beautiful landscapes and most important historical monuments of the country. Our plane arrives at Kutaisi, where beside the city we visit the monasteries of Gelati and Motsameta (World Heritage sites), and then we go up to the feet of the Great Caucasus, the valley of Svaneti, Georgia’s most archaic region, the province of the villages of medieval towers (another WHS). From here we go to Tbilisi, stopping on the way at the Surami Fortress known from Paradjanov’s film, and at Gori (Stalin’s birthplace and museum). From Tbilisi we go to Mtskheta, the ancient capital and the seat of the Georgian orthodox church, the Georgian military highway crossing the northern mountains, the fortress monasteries of Jvari and Ananuri, and the Georgian wine road leading through the valley of Kakheti, the fortresses and monasteries of the former Kakhetian Kingdom. Finally, by visiting the cave monasteries of Vardzia in Southern Georgia, we return to Kutaisi.
Our accommodations will be in Kutaisi and Tbilisi in four and three star hotels, and in the Svanetian Mestia in a family guest house. From Kutaisi we travel around the country with a 18-person minibus. The participation fee is € 520, which includes the bus, the guide and the accommodations (one bed in a double-bed room) with breakfast, and in Kutaisi and Mestia also the home-made Georgian dinner. Add to this the costs of the flight ticket, which is now only 70 euros from Budapest to Kutaisi and back, so it is worth to buy it quickly. The first, “no responsibility” deadline of application, just to see how many we are, is 1 March, Sunday at the usual firstname.lastname@example.org e-mail address. Since there are already so many people interested in the tour that they almost fill a minibus, thus if we will be too many, I will organize two turns, the second one from 1 to 9 May. So if this date is eventually better for you, write it as well.
(Update: For the first (24 Apr – 2 May) and second trip (1 – 9 May) the minibus is full. Since there are more people interested in the tour, I also announce a third trip from 8 to 16 May. You are advised to hurry, because the price of the cheap Wizzair flight tickets is rising from hour to hour.)