Caucasus Food and Wine Tour

Price
$5195 per person
Duration
18 Days
Destination
More than 1
Travellers
10

A Food and Wine Adventure Culinary and Wine Tour

Azerbaijan ~ Georgia ~ Armenia
  • Information
  • Tour Plan
  • Location
  • Gallery
  • Reviews

What's included

Destination
Armenia , Azerbaijan , Caucasus , Georgia Discover Destinations
Departure Location
Baku, Azrbaijan
Return Location
Yerevan, Armenia
Tour Start Date & Time
October 4, 2020
Price includes
  • Accommodations
  • English-Speaking Guide
  • Entrance Fees
  • Local Guides
  • Meals - Half Board
  • Sightseeing
  • Transfers
  • Transportation
  • Visa Authorization
  • Water
Price does not include
  • Airfare- International
  • Optional Activities
  • Personal Expenses
  • Snacks
  • Tips
  • Trip Insurance
  • Oct 4/DAY 1
  • Oct 5/DAY 2
  • Oct 6/DAY 3
  • Oct 7/DAY 4
  • Oct 8/DAY 5
  • Oct 9/DAY 6
  • Oct 10/DAY 7
  • Oct 11/DAY 8
  • Oct 12/DAY 9
  • Oct 13/DAY 10
  • Oct 14/DAY 11
  • Oct 15/Day 12
  • Oct 16/Day 13
  • Oct 17/Day 14
  • Oct 18/Day 15
  • Oct 19/Day 16
  • Oct 20/Day 17
  • Oct 21/Day 18
Oct 4/DAY 1

Arrival in Baku

Welcome to The Caucasus and Azerbaijan! On arrival at the Heydar Aliyev International Airport, you will be met and transferred to our hotel with the professional guide. (Check in after 14:00)

Oct 5/DAY 2

Baku – Absheron - Baku

The tour begins at the Highland Park where we will have a view of the city of Baku, and an up-close view of the iconic Fire Towers that dominate the skyline. Afterwards we descend to the street below by funicular and go to the Old Walled City - Icheri Sheher, which means an internal city. After the oil boom of the middle 19th century the city began to outgrow its fortified walls and to spread beyond them. We will have a walking tour to see the Shirvanshah Palace, the Maiden Tower, and the Caravanserai. Wine Tasting and Lunch at Fireland Vineyards. After lunch we will go to the Baku Fire Temple, known locally as the Atashgah. This is a castle-like Hindu temple and monastery complex in Surakhani near Baku. The complex is now a museum and is no longer used as a place of worship. Visit Yanardagh – Burning Mountain - One of the oldest and most attractive sights on Absheron is at Yanardagh in Mehemmedi settlement. Its name translates literally as ‘burning mountain’ and this is no fantasy: it really is burning! The hillsides are embraced by fire day and night. YanarDag is a natural gas fire which blazes continuously on a hillside on the Absheron Peninsula on the Caspian Sea near Baku, thus Azerbaijan also being known as the "land of fire." Flames jet out into the air 3 metres (9.8 ft) from a thin, porous sandstone layer. Dinner will be at a local restaurant where we will enjoy a typical Azerbaijani dish called Dushbura (meat stuffed dumplings). Overnight in Baku. (B/L/D)

Oct 6/DAY 3

Baku - Gobustan – Baku

After breakfast at the hotel, we will start our sightseeing with a visit to the bazaar to see local art of shopping. Like in many Middle Eastern cultures, the bazaar is the place where seasonal and local produce is offered at its best. Afterwards, we will visit the Heydar Aliyev Cultural Center, a 619,000-square-foot building complex in Baku, Azerbaijan designed by Iraqi-British architect Zaha Hadid and noted for its distinctive architecture and flowing, curved style that eschews sharp angles. The center is named for Heydar Aliyev, the leader of Soviet-era Azerbaijan from 1969 to 1982, and president of Azerbaijan from October 1993 to October 2003. The Center houses a conference hall (auditorium), a gallery hall and a museum. Next we will visit the Azerbaijan Carpet Museum. Carpet weaving in Azerbaijan is the oldest type of applied art in the region, a fact that has been proven by numerous archaeological findings from around the country. The Azerbaijan Carpet Museum presents different schools and techniques from around the entire country, as well as covering various historical states and the development of carpet weaving. Among the exhibits are a spectacular Tabriz rug, called Ovchulug, and a Karabakh rug, the Dragon Carpet, both of which were woven in the 17th century, as well as the Khila Afshan carpet, woven in the 18th century in the village of Khila. Lunch will be at a local restaurant and then we go to the open air museum of Gobustan, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Here we will see ancient rock paintings, barrows, and housing objects dated from the Paleolithic era to the middle ages. Once we are done visiting the site and interpretive center we will go to the Mud Volcanoes. Home to nearly a third of the world's mud volcano's, Azerbaijan features a messy, bubbling, and sometimes explosive landscape. Tonight’s dinner will feature another typical Azerbaijani dish and a local wine pairing. Overnight in Baku. (B/L/D)

Oct 7/DAY 4

Baku - Shamakhi – Sheki

After breakfast at the we check out and depart for Sheki via Shamakhi. Shamakhi tours are off-the-beaten path trips to the center of winemaking and carpet weaving, and the city of numerous Azerbaijan poets. Shamakhi is an ancient Azerbaijan city. It developed in the 5th century BC, and from the 9th to the 16th centuries it was the capital of the Shirvan Empire. In the mid-18th century it was the center of the Shamakhi Khanate. The main landmark of the city is Juma Mosque and the mausoleum of Yeddi Gumbez (“Seven Domes”) with numerous burial places of Shamakhi governors. After visiting Yeddi Gumbez we will have a butter making demonstration with a local family, then we get to taste it with local bread and tea. This treat will be followed by lunch and winetasting at Meysari Winery, an organic wine producer. After lunch we continue to Sheki. Sheki is a majestic historical city of the East and one of the most ancient cities of Transcaucasia. We will visit the magnificent Palace of Sheki Khans, which includes the main museum, silk shop, industrial complex, a shop for the tastiest “Sheki pakhlava”, workshop on manufacturing of magnificent frescoes and exquisite stained-glass work. We will also visit the ancient Caravanserai (now a hotel) where dealers leading caravans on the great Silk Road liked to stop. Dinner at a local restaurant with a wine pairing, and overnight in Sheki. (B/L/D)

Oct 8/DAY 5

Sheki - Georgian Border - Telavi

After breakfast we check out and proceed to the border with Georgia at Lagodekhi. After customs formalities we will walk to Georgian side to meet our Georgian guide and driver at around 11:00 am. Once we get loaded into our transport we will go to Gremi Fortress. Visit the fortress and the Church of the Archangels that was built in 1565 by King Levan (who is buried inside) and contains frescoes from 1577. Afterwards we will go to Khareba Tunnel Winery for wine tasting, a culinary masterclass, and lunch. The wine tunnel consists of 7.7 km of tunnels and galleries, originally built during the Cold War, that maintain a constant temperature of 12-14 degrees C and 70% relative humidity all year round – perfect storage conditions for wine. After our visit to this unique winery, we will depart for Telavi for dinner and overnight. (B/L/D)

Oct 9/DAY 6

Telavi – Tsinandali – Signahi - Tbilisi

Today we will visit the Tsinandali residence, a former home of Prince Alexander Chavchavadze and his family in the 19th century. The ancient wine making tradition there was restored by his family and we will view the historical wine cellar with vintages going back to the early 1800’s. We will visit the museum and round off the visit with a taste of a modern Tsinandali Estate wine. Our next stop is the village of Sighnaghi - “the town of love”, which is famous for its architecture in the style of southern Italian classicism. Here you will visit the famous monastery of Bodbe where St. Nino, the founder of Christianity in Georgia, is buried. Afterwards we will drive to Tbilisi for dinner and overnight. (B/L/D)

Oct 10/DAY 7

Tbilisi

This day begins with a city tour around Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia. You will find the ancient and modern in this city perched on the banks of the Mtkvari River. We will visit the old quarter and walk along Sharden Street, filled with cafes, galleries, and boutiques, and see where the old baths are and the hot springs that are part of the legend of the founding of the city. We will visit Sioni Cathedral and also visit the Narikala Fortress by the cable car and enjoy the amazing view of the city from the top. Dinner is on our own so we can further explore what Tbilisi has to offer at our leisure. Overnight in Tbilisi. (B/L)

Oct 11/DAY 8

Tbilisi – Mtskheta – Kazbegi – Gudauri

Our morning will begin with a drive to Mtskheta. It is one of the most ancient towns and the religious center in Georgia. We will see several UNESCO World Heritage sites in and around Mtskheta, including the Jvari Monastery and the Svetitskhoveli Cathedral. After our visit of Mtskheta we will head northwest and higher into the mountains to the ski resort town of Gudauri, then on to Stepantsminda where we will transfer to 4x4 minivans to make the trek up to the Trinity Church (Gergeti), situated at an altitude of 2170 m at the foot of Mount Kazbek. The church was built in the 14th century and is the only cross-cupola church in the Khevi district. We will tour the church and enjoy the amazing views from this elevation, then return to Gudauri for a cooking demonstration of meat dumplings, a chacha (similar to grappa) tasting and dinner. Overnight in Gudauri. (B/L/D)

Oct 12/DAY 9

Gudauri – Gori - Uplistsikhe

After breakfast we will depart for Gori in the heart of eastern Georgia and Joseph Stalin’s hometown. We will visit the Stalin Museum and a local winery then continue to the ancient cave town of Uplistsikhe (meaning “Lord’s Fortress“). Uplistsikhe is an abandoned rock-hewn city dating back to the late Bronze Age, around 1000 BC, and continued to be inhabited until 13th century AD. Between the 6th century BC and the 11st century AD, Uplistsikhe was one of the most important political and pre-Christian religious centers of the region. After visiting this unique site we will return to Tbilisi for overnight. (B/L/D)

Oct 13/DAY 10

Tbilisi

After breakfast we will visit the Georgian National Museum then go to taste some locally produced beer and have lunch. After lunch the rest of the day is free for you to explore on your own. Dinner is also on your own so you can check out one of the many local restaurants serving a wide variety of dishes, both local and international. (B/L)

Oct 14/DAY 11

Tbilisi – Dilijan

After very early breakfast we will depart for Armenia by bus. Upon our arrival at the border crossing of Bagratashen, proceed through usual immigration and customs formalities and change to Armenian bus. Welcome to Armenia! Drive to the Haghpat Monastery, perched on the edge of the Debed Canyon. The monastery has UNESCO World Heritage status and the view alone with worth the visit. Built by Queen Khosrvanouch in 976, it is a splendid architectural monument in a spectacular natural setting. Also visit another UNESCO site – the Sanahin Monastery. Continue your Armenia trip from Alaverdi, Vanadzor to Dilijan (time permitting visit Haghartsin or Goshavank Monastery in Dilijan – both magnificent and beautiful ecclesiastic monuments which are the highlight of the medieval Armenian architecture. Overnight in Dilijan. (B/L/D)

Oct 15/Day 12

Dilijan – Sevan – Selima Pass – Goris

Check out from the hotel after early breakfast and continue your Armenia discovery – onto Lake Sevan. Visit the peninsula and spend some time exploring the wild nature and sunshine as well as visit 9th c AD Sevan Monastery. Head to the Selima Pass – one of the main junctions on the Great Silk Route. We will stop to visit the caravanserai recorded as best preserved of its kind, the gather place for travelers along the Silk Road where they could re-supply, exchange news and information, and rest from their long journey. Continue to Goris. Detour to visit the megalithic settlement and ancient observatory at Karahunge (singing stones) – the Stonehenge of Armenia. Resume the day at one of the local hotels in Goris. (B/L/D)

Oct 16/Day 13

Goris – Tatev – Yerevan

Check out after breakfast at the hotel. We head to visit the Monastery of Tatev – a UNESCO World Heritage Site, en route to Noravank (UNESCO World Heritage Site), known for its architecture and dramatic setting,  and Khor Virap. Lunch will be hosted at a local winery on the way to Noravank. Continue on to Yerevan. Arrive in Yerevan and we check in at the hotel. The evening is free for you to rest and have dinner on your own. Overnight at the hotel. (B/L)

Oct 17/Day 14

Yerevan – Etchmiatsin – Yerevan

Today we will have a full day of sightseeing around Yerevan, Armenia's capital. Yerevan is a diverse city with a very intense cultural life. There are dozens of theaters, museums, concert halls, galleries, and live music clubs. People are relaxed and go at a relaxed pace. The city itself has a history dating back to 782 BC, and its past is as diverse as the present. Visit Matenadaran, the repository of ancient Armenian manuscripts (UNESCO World Heritage Site). Lunch will be at a local restaurant with a demonstration on preparing a local dish, then continue your tour to Etchmiatsin, the Vatican of the Holy Armenian Apostolic Church, and Sourb Hripsimeh. Overnight in Yerevan. (B/L)

Oct 18/Day 15

Yerevan – Ashtarak – Yerevan

After breakfast depart for a full day tour to Ashtarak to visit the Saghmosavank (1215) and Ohannavank (1216-1221) Monasteries as well as the Byurakan/Amberd Fortress (weather permitting). Both monasteries perch on the edge of the precipitous gorge of the Kasakh River. The book repository of Saghmosavank, built in 1255 under Prince Kurd Vachutyan is among Armenia's buildings rare in their purpose and original in their composition. Amberd Fortress is on the slopes of Mt. Aragats at 2300 meters above sea level. It was built during the 11th to 13th centuries. We will also visit the Voskevaz Winery to learn about their wines and wine of the region in general, and do a tasting. Return to Yerevan, free time to explore the city center. (B/L)

Oct 19/Day 16

Yerevan – Garni Temple – Yerevan

This morning we will visit Garni Temple, the only surviving witness of Hellenistic period in the history of the country. Dedicated to the goddess of Sun Mihr (Mithra) it dates back to the 1st c AD. We then continue our excursion and visit Gueghard Monastery (UNESCO Heritage Sight), named after the lance that pierced Christ's side at the crucifixion. The spear was once housed there but now resides at Etchmiatsin. Lunch will be hosted by a local family in Garni. Return to Yerevan and visit one of the most fascinating production facilities, the fame of Armenia – Ararat cognac distillery. We will tour and taste, then the rest of the day is free. (B/L) .

Oct 20/Day 17

Yerevan

Enjoy a leisurely morning then at 10:30 we will visit the History Museum. Spend the rest of the day independently to explore other museums (ex. National Art Gallery, Parajanov Museum, Museum of Folk Art, etc). Return to hotel for brief rest before dinner. We will celebrate our successful tour of the Caucasus with a farewell dinner at a local restaurant. (B/D)

Oct 21/Day 18

Departure

Check out and transfer to the airport for your flight home. 

End of services.

More about Armenia

More about Azerbaijan

More about Caucasus

More about Georgia

There are no comments yet.

Share on social networks
Close

Caucasus Food and Wine Tour

Price
$5195 per person
Duration
18 Days
Destination
More than 1
Travellers
10