Journeys Rediscovered - Culinary Journey of Georgia & Armenia


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Culinary Immersion Tour Unique to Journeys Rediscovered

Culinary Journey of Gerogia & Armenia

Small Group Tour of no more than 12 

Tblisi – Telavi – Kutaisi  - Dilijan - Yerevan

13 days/12 nights

 

  • 2 nights accommodation in Tblisi – Terrace Hotel Tblisi
  • 2 nights accommodation in Telavi – 17 Rooms
  • 1 nights accommodation in Tblisi – Terrace Hotel Tblisi
  • 1 night accommodation in Kutaisi – Hotel Solomon
  • 1 nights accommodation in Tblisi – Terrace Hotel Tblisi
  • 1 nights accommodation in Dilijan – Old Dilijan Hotel
  • 4 nights accommodation in Yerevan – Ani Central Inn
  • Breakfast daily at hotels
  • Many lunches and dinners included at specially selected restaurants and culinary experiences
  • All private transfers 
  • All Activities included as per itinerary
  • Entrance fees
  • Sightseeing and private touring with a local English speaking guide  

 

 

Contact Journeys Rediscovered for pricing to suit your preferred departure dates as a private itinerary or to REGISTER your spot on our 2021 Small Group Journeys (no more the 12 passengers).

Boutique accommodation twin share. Single Supplements available.

More Information

Day 1 – Tblisi: Welcome to Georgia! On arrival at Tblisi airport, you will be met and transferred to your hotel. The remainder of the day is yours at leisure. Your hotel sits above the city offering spectacular views and an incredible rooftop restaurant offering local cuisine. The remainder of the day is at leisure. 

Day 2 – Tblisi: Today you will explore the capital of Georgia, Tbilisi. Wander in the old districts of the city which are structured like terraces. Take a walk in the narrow streets to view the colourful houses, patterned balconies and wonderful samples of modern architecture. You will start from Metekhi Church (13th century) with magnificent views over old Tbilisi. A stroll along winding little streets takes you to the main sights of the city. Afterwards take a cable car up to the ancient Narikala fo rtress (4th century) to enjoy the panoramic views of the whole town and then walk down to the historical domed sulphur bath area. 

Afterwards, drive to a local family home in Zahesi at the entrance of Tblisi. Here you will see them make Khinkali (dumplings) and enjoy this traditional food for your lunch. 

Meals included – B L

Day 3 – Tblisi/ Sighnaghi/ Tsinandali/ Kondoli/ Telavi: Today, you will travel in the Kakheti region, famous for its wine making, as well as being associated with welcoming hospitality. Here, you can see both the snowy Caucasus mountains and fertile valleys. Visit the 18th century beautiful, small town of Sighnaghi which will impress you with its small houses and decorated balconies. From here, you can see the picturesque views of Alazani Valley and Great Caucasus mountains. Afterwards, continue to Mosmieri Wine Centre. Enjoy a lunch of Georgian traditional dishes and more wine tasting. Here, you will have an opportunity to participate in the Georgian bread baking process. From here, drive to Tsinandali to visit Duke Alexander Chavchavadze`s estate and the garden created in the 19th century. The park and the house used to be the gathering place of all poets and artists of the 19th century. Later, you will visit BIO winery Kondoli which is a traditional Georgian wine cellar. Here,you will taste wine made by the traditional way in Kvevri(clay vessels under the ground). Drive to Telavi. 

Meals included – B L

Day 4 –Telavi/ Gremi/ Nekresi/ Kvareli/ Vardisubani/ Telavi: This morning, you will visit the local farmers market in Telavi. Afterwards, drive to Gremi Architectural complex, that used to be centre of the Kakheti region for several centuries. Here, you will visit the church and the museum, that is closed on Mondays. Afterwards, visit Nekresi Monastery (4th century) with its churches and the Palace of the Bishop. Continue to Kvareli. Enjoy lunch at a local farmer’s house with homemade dishes and participate in the Churchkhela (Georgian sweet) making process. 

Continue to visit a famous winery, where you will taste Georgian wine with Georgian cheese pairing. Georgian sommeliers specifically worked for several months to create this special product. Continue to Vardisubanui village where you will visit a local master to show you the “Qvevri” (Clay jars, where Georgians keep wines under the ground which is part of the UNESCO intangible heritage list) and how they are made. Drive back to Telavi. 

Meals included – B L

Day 5 –Telavi/ Gombori Pass/ Tbilisi: In the morning, drive via the Gombori Pass. Upon arrival in Tblisi, the remainder of the day is yours at leisure until dinner time. Dinner this evening is at a Georgian style restaurant.

Meals included – B D

Day 6 – Tbilisi/ Mtskheta/ Chardakhi/ Gelati/ Kutaisi: Today you visit the ancient capital and religious centre of Georgia – Mtskheta and see its historical sites: Jvari Monastery (6th century) and impressive Svetitskhoveli Cathedral (11th century) where the Robe of Christ is buried. Both Jvari and Svetitskhoveli are UNESCO World Heritage sites. Visit “Iago’s wine cellar” in the village of Chardakhi where you taste unique BIO wines produced by traditional Georgian method in Kvevri. It’s noteworthy that you can find this wine in the list of unique wines of Hotel Ritz in London. Later, drive to Kutaisi – second largest city in the country. Visit Gelati Monastery (12th century), famous for its mosaic and frescoes. Drive to Kutaisi. 

Meals included – B L

Day 7 –Kutaisi/ Chiature/ Sachkhere/ Mukhrani/ Tbilisi: Today you drive to the Imeretian villages. The landscape here resembles a real painting. Drive through the mining town of Chiatura. Here, there are about 20 soviet cable cars still active today. Visit a local Imeretian family and try some traditional dishes. Continue to Mukhrani village. Visit the royal estate of the duke – Ivane Mukhranbatoni. His interest in farming was greatly enhanced on his trip to France,  where he learned more about winemaking. On his return home, he decided to start producing wonderful Georgian wines on his forefathers` Mukhrani estate land. Here you will have lunch and a wine tasting. Afterwards, continue to Tbilisi

Meals included – B L

Day 8 – Tbilisi/ Sadakhlo/ Dilijan: This morning you will transfer to the Georgian-Armenian border. After border formalities, you will continue to Haghpat Monastery. At 1.30pm, enjoy lunch today in a local restaurant where you will enjoy a traditional Pork BBQ, soup and local fruits. Pork BBQ is one of the traditional feasts of Armenian culture. Ancient Armenians wrapped their pork in lavash (bread) and this is known as Khorovats which is still a popular dish today. Khorovats is great to eat in any season. From here, make your way to Dilijan, one of the most important resorts in Armenia, often referred to as the ‘Little Switzerland’ of Armenia, with magnificent views to the forested surroundings. 

Participate in a hands on master class where you will make Tolma, a stuffed vegetable dish, most often wrapped in grape or cabbage leaves with a meat-and-rice filling. You will also make Sujukh, a traditional sweet where walnuts are threaded onto a string, dipped in thickened grape juice or apricot/pomegranate juices and dried in the shape of a sausage . Try your hand at making gata as well. Gata is an Armenian pastry or sweet bread, similar to a coffee cake. There are many variations of gata and typically specific towns or regions will have their own version. It can be found in a variety of shapes, sizes and may be decorated or left unadorned. Long ago, gata was baked in a tonir but is now baked in ovens. The bread is often baked to coincide with the feast of Candlemas (known as Tiarn’ndaraj in Armenian), but is not limited to the holiday and is eaten year around. 

One popular variety is gata with koritz (khoriz), a filling that consists of flour, butter and sugar. Gata can have other fillings such as nuts, most commonly walnuts. Some variations include placing a coin inside the dough before the gata is baked, and it is said that whoever receives the piece with the coin is to be blessed with good fortune. You will also enjoy a degustation of Muraba – different fruit preserves like jam. All of these foody experiences will be in a private home with a local family. This evening, enjoy a street tour through Sharambeyan which is the old town of Dilijan complete with craftsman's workshops, a gallery and a museum. 

Meals included – B L D

Day 9  – Sevan Lake/ Monastery/ Garni Temple/ Geghard Monastery/ Yerevan: After breakfast, drive to Lake Sevan, the second largest alpine lake in the world and known as the ‘Emerald of Armenia’. You will visit Sevanavank, a beautiful monastery on the peninsula, once a strategic shelter for Armenian Kings and then continue to Garni Temple dating back to the 1st century. The citadel and pagan temple of Garni is a picturesque monument of the Hellenistic period and an impressive piece of ancient Armenian architecture. Here you will have an opportunity to enjoy the charming melodies of Armenian ‘duduk’ by a local performer. Duduk and its music are inscribed in the list of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. The architectural peculiarities of the temple were designed in a way to produce an authentically holy and mysterious reverberation of sound, almost a divine echo. 

Lunch will be at a local restaurant with the presentation of the Armenian flatbread ‘lavish’ baking process in an underground stove called ‘tonir’. After a good meal, you will visit Geghard Monastery. The spectacular towering cliffs surrounding the monastery are part of the Azat River Gorge, and are included together with the monastery in the UNESCO World Heritage Site listing. Some of the chambers within the monastery complex are entirely dug out of the cliff rocks,others are little more than caves, while others are elaborate structures, with both architecturally complex walled sections and rooms deep inside the cliff. You will then return to Yerevan where the afternoon is at leisure. Dinner this evening is in a local restaurant. 

Meals included – B L D

Day 10  – Walking Tour of Yerevan/ Ararat Brandy Factory/ Ejmiatsin/ Zvartnots/ Yerevan: Your day will begin exploring the vibrant city of Yerevan with your guide. Originally established in 782 BC, Yerevan is a thriving city with the excitement, hustle and bustle of a modern capital. You will start your exploration from the Republic Square, the masterpiece of the architect Alexander Tamanian, and then continue to the Opera House, a stunning architectural piece and the hub of Yerevan. You will then visit Cascade Complex, an open-air museum of modern art with a massive stairway. The complex links the historic residential and cultural centres of the city with a vast area of waterfalls and outdoor gardens. Next stop is the Ararat Brandy Factory where you will learn about the process of Armenian brandy and of course enjoy a tasting. 

Lunch today is in a private home where you will participate in a masterclass and learn how to make Asrishta, a homestyle pasta similar to fettucine, but made with a bit of browned butter to give it a rich flavour.Enjoy a degustation meal with the local family accompanied with homemade walnut iquor. Following lunch, you will visit Ejmiatsin Cathedral the spiritual centre of all Armenians and the seat of the Armenian Catholicos. Ejmiatsin Cathedral is the oldest standing church in Christendom built in 303 AD over a pagan fire altar. You will also visit the ruins of Zvartnots – the pearl of 7th century architecture, inscribed in UNESCO’s World Heritage list. You will then return to Yerevan and enjoy dinner this evening at a local restaurant. 

Meals included – B L D

Day 11  – Khor Virap/ Noravank/ Areni Cave/ Yerevan: This morning you will visit Khor Virap, a medieval walled monastery cutting a silhouette against the snow-capped flanks of Mount Ararat. Continue to Noravank monastery – a great religious and cultural centre of 12th century which is located in a seemingly inaccessible location amidst impressive red cliffs and stunning mountains. Lunch today is in a private home where you will have a masterclass in preparing a traditional chicken BBQ, as well as a cheese masterclass and a degustation of homemade vodka and wine. 

Once your stomach is full, you will continue to Areni Cave 1, a 6100-year-old winery that was discovered in 2007. This series of Armenian caves held the oldest brain,shoe, and winery in the world. First investigated by archaeologists in 2007, the ever-giving Areni caves consist of a number of burial sites dating back to 5000 - 4000 BCE. The miraculous finds began almost as soon as digging begun. Among the artifacts the Armenian-Irish excavation team discovered were a series of clay pots, each containing the skull of a pre-teen corpse. Remarkably, one of these skulls still held a piece of well-preserved brain tissue, making it the oldest example of the Neolithic brain ever discovered. But the amazing finds didn’t stop there. In 2010, excavators discovered a sewn leather shoe dating back to the Copper Age. While sandals and other primitive footwear have been discovered from era’s farther back, the foot wrap is the oldest example of its kind in existence. Shortly after finding the ancient footwear, the researchers then discovered what seemed to be an ancient wine press. The wine -making site is, unsurprisingly, also the earliest proof of wine -making ever found. Drive back to Yerevan where dinner this evening is in a local restaurant. 

Meals included – B L D

Day 12  – Ashtarak/ Voskevaz Winery/ Yerevan: This morning you will head to Voskevaz Winery which is one of the oldest enterprises of Armenia for the production of wine. The winery was opened in 1932 in Voskevaz during the Soviet period, to process the grapes of the fertile vineyards in Aragatsotn, at the foothills of Mount Aragats. Continuing on, you will visit the town of Ashtarak before enjoying lunch in a private home where you will enjoy a hands on master class of making traditional lentil soup as well as participating in a Pokhindz master class. Pokhindz is made by roasting wheat kernels until brown and then grinding them into flour. It’s a typical Armenian food and has been eatensince very early times. It can be consumedcombined with water, salt or sugar. Drive back to Yerevan where this evening, you will enjoy a farewell dinner at a local restaurant.

Meals included – B L D

Day 13  – Yerevan: Today is yours at leisure until it is time to transfer to the airport for your onward flight.

Meals included – B 

Travel Dates

Valid for travel 01 Oct 2020 - until 31 Dec 2021.

Terms & Conditions

Contact Journeys Rediscovered to register for our 2021 Small Group Journey (no more than 12 passengers.) Journeys Rediscovered Small Group - Culinary Journey of Georgia & Armenia, will run with a minimum of 6 passengers.

Alternatively, contact Journeys Rediscovered for pricing to suit your preferred departure dates as a private itinerary, which is guaranteed with a minimum of one person.

Land-based itinerary is based per person on twin/double share basis (unless otherwise stated), single supplement is available, contact Journey Rediscovered for this surcharge.

International & domestic airfares are additional, please contact Journeys Rediscovered for international flight options and prices.

Travel insurance is strongly recommended and can be arranged for you for an additional cost.

For full pricing, terms and conditions, contact your MTA Travel Expert, Journeys Rediscovered on 0477002235 or journeysrediscovered@mtatravel.com.au

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