Culinary tour 2
Tbilisi – Sighnaghi – Gurjaani – Telavi – Borjomi – Kutaisi – Samegrelo – Mtskheta – Tbilisi
7 days, 6 nights
Day 1: Tbilisi
Arrival to Tbilisi. Meeting with the representatives of the agency. Hotel accommodation. Sightseeing tour in Tbilisi. The capital of Georgia is unique. Located on several hills, ancient district is spread out on the terraces of the slope. Tbilisi – is a beautiful Kura river with its picturesque rocky shores that flows across the whole city.
"Old Town" – is the historic center of Tbilisi, that is located at the root of Mtatsminda (Holy Mount) mountain. Almost every building of the Old Town is historical and cultural site, this part of the city is always cheerful. Here, alone or in groups, tourists walk around, some of them meet their beloved ones near the Clock Tower. This amazing Tower was recently constructed by the Puppet Theatre director Rezo Gabriadze. Here artists exhibit their paintings, artisans offer numerous souvenirs. Every building is not more than three stored resembling old Tbilisi architectural style with brick walls and curved wooden balconies.
Tbilisi is one of the rare places in the world, where Orthodox Church, catholic cathedral, synagogue and mosque can peacefully coexist in the territory of Old Town. During the excursion, visit of: Metekhi Church( V c.), Narikala fortress ( IV c.), Sioni Cathedral( VI-VII c.), Anchiskhati Basilica of St. Mary, the oldest existing church in the capital, Synaxis of Saint Trinity – the temple complex of Tsminda Sameba – the main Cathedral of Georgian Orthodox Church. Night time Tbilisi. First degustation of Georgian dishes in the local restaurant. According to your request (additional charge) we will visit Folk Theatre offering unforgettable performance with Georgian national dances and songs. Through gracious movements, expressive plastics and whole action of the performance you feel like travelling in time – in ancient Georgia. During the performance they offer you Georgian wine and sweets. Overnight.
Day 2: Tbilisi – Sighnaghi – Gurjaani – Telavi
Breakfast. Arrival to Sighnaghi – the "town of everlasting love". Visit of monasterycomplex of St. Nino in Bodbe (village) and her burial site. St. Nino brought Christianity to Georgia. Excursion in the ancient city Sighnaghi, that is located at the top of the mountain range,overlooking the Alazani valley. Later, visit Gurjaani Wine House (since 1864). They show and tell you how to make Georgian vintage wine and preserve it in clay vessels called Kvevri. Kvevri is buried below ground level there. The wine tasting of Georgian vintage wines will take place in Marani- winery of Gurjaani Wine House. They will show how to make Chacha (Georgian vodka – strength of 45%) and Georgian sweet – Churchkhela (It is a string of walnut halves that have been dipped first in the hot grape must and later in cold water). You can bake Kakhetian bread called “Dedas Puri” (Mother’s bread) and cook national dish – Khinkali, which you try at the dinner time. Here you eyewitness preparation of Shashlik from fresh meat on a grill called mangal. Later, all guests will be invited for a dinner in a big hall which is decorated in old Georgian style. There, at the fireplace you will be offered delicious Georgian dishes while Georgian folk group will be performing traditional songs and dances. Arrival to Telavi – administrative center of Kakheti region. Hotel accommodation. Overnight.
Day 3: Telavi – Napareuli – Tbilisi
Breakfast. Visit Telavi market. Visit of museum – fortress Erekle II, that signed Treaty of Georgievsk with the Russian Empire. Visit Alaverdi cathedral – the second tallest church (50 m.) in the whole territory of Georgia and visit Ikalto Academy (X-XI c.) where famous Georgian poet and philosopher of twelfth century Shota Rustaveli got education. Shota Rustaveli is the author of poem “The Knight in the Panter’s Skin”.
Visit of marani – winery in Napareuli. Wine degustation and traditional Georgian dinner. During this tour you will visit the wineries of closed and open types, eyewitness the process of Chacha (Georgian Vodka) making. Degustation of wine while Georgian folk group will be performing traditional songs. You can participate in the process of harvesting, pressing grapes, baking bread, cooking of Khinkali, Tatara and Churchkhela (Georgian sweet). Arrival to Tbilisi. Overnight.
Day 4: Tbilisi – Borjomi – Kutaisi
Breakfast. Arrival to Kutaisi. On the way, visit Borjomi National Park where you have a chance to taste well-known mineral water Borjomi from the spring. Borjomi Park is the first national park in the Caucasus region and is considered one of the biggest in the whole Europe. Tour in ancient City – Kutaisi. This city is 3000 years old. Visit monastery and academy of Gelati (XII c.) which was founded by David IV, the Builder. The monastery is included in the list of protected sites of UNESCO. Visit cathedral church of Bagrati (XI c.) and Motsameta – “the monastery where desires can be accomplished.”
In the evening we offer cooking lesson: making Imeruli Khachapuri – cheese pie from Imereti region, chicken – Chkhmeruli and eggplants stuffed with nut sauce. Later, degustation of each ready “masterpieces”. Overnight.
Day 5: Kutaisi – Martvili – Nokalakevi – Kutaisi
Breakfast. Tour to cathedral of Martvili (Chkondidi). This ancient monastery is mentioned in historical accounts as Chkondidi Monastery. It is the place where famous Georgian King – David the Builder was grown up. There was a scriptorium devoted to the copying of Worlds ancient manuscripts by monastic scribes. Visit the city – Nokalakevi, ancient historic and architectural site of Georgia. The site was known to early historians as Archaeopolis. According to the legend Golden Fleece is stolen by Argonauts from this city.
In the evening you find more about the magic of Georgian culinary. This evening is dedicated to Georgian cheese. We will try to make famous Georgian cheese – Suluguni and Elarji – dish with cornmeal and suluguni. Later, degustation of ready meals with more Georgian dishes. Overnight.
Day 6: Kutaisi – Mtskheta – Tbilisi
East Georgia is famous for its original regional dishes. On return to Tbilisi we will cook famous Khinkali – meat dumpling.
Breakfast. Arrival to Tbilisi. On the way, excursion in the ancient capital of Georgia Mtskheta – the town-museum, included to the UNESCO World Heritage Site List. Visit Svetitskhoveli Cathedral (1010-1029), at the basement of which is buried one of the major Christian relics – Lords Tunic, brought in Georgian by Ellious, Jewish citizen of Mtskheta who witnessed crucifixion. This is the burial place of many of the Georgian kings too.Visit Samtavro Monastery, where the blackberry bush grows, flowers and fruits whole year round. St. Nino – the enlightener of IV century – lived and preached nearby. Wonderworking icon of Iberian Mother of God, wonderworking icon of St. Nino, grave of St. King Mirian and Queen Nana, hallows of St. Abibos Nekreseli, St. Shio Mgvimeli are located inside. Visit Temple-Monastery Jvari (VI c.).
Here, in Mtskheta we will visit domestic winery in one of the Georgian hospitable family. Degustation of Georgian wines and Chacha + cooking lessons + delicious dinner. The experience is unforgettable. Degustation of wines from traditional clay vessels. Two types of domestic wine: red and white, two types of chacha: white and colored one. The host is historian and vintner so during the degustation he will deliver the history of winemaking and grapes growing in Georgia. After the degustation of Georgian dish – khinkali and getting acquainted with the technology of its preparation you have an impression that khinkali is not easy to cook. Khinkali consists of 19 folds – typical feature differentiating it from other kinds of meat dumplings. Return to Tbilisi.
On your request, (additional charge) degustation of sparkling wines in JSC “Bagrationi 1882» – the first enterprise specialized in the production ofsparkling wines in Georgia. The factory of Bagrationi 1882 is completelyredesigned, with the latestItalian equipment. Champagnization of wine is made both in bottle and reservoir ways.
Day 7: Tbilisi
Breakfast. In accordance to the flight time, visit Georgian market and so called Dry Bridge (Exhibition and selling of art masterpieces and souvenirs). Transfer to the airport. Return to home.
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