From the Caspian Sea in the east, the trip follows the Greater Caucasus mountains until we arrive in Western Georgia.
- April - October
- 3- or 4-star hotels, guesthouses
From the Caspian to Western Georgia
This trip is ideal for couples, families, or smaller groups of friends who would like to get the most varied insight into the Southern Caucasus with a two-week time budget.
The tour combines the nature of the Greater Caucasus, the most important cultural and historical sights of Azerbaijan and Georgia, and focuses on the culinary arts, which are very important in both countries. During the trip, you will meet interesting people who have exciting and funny stories to tell. You will be a guest with friends of ours, learn a lot about wine culture, and even prepare two Georgian national dishes yourself.
- Mud volcanoes in Gobustan
- Sheki Caravanserai & Khan's Palace
- Halva or Shebeke masterclass
- Hike in the Truso Gorge
- Gergeti Trinity Church
- Uplistsikhe Cave Town
- Cable cars of Chiatura
- Different wine tastings
- Farmer’s market Kutaisi
- Bread baking masterclass
After your landing at the Baku International Airport, your guide will receive you and bring you to your accommodation.
You get a general idea by viewing the city from above. Highland Park is offering an exceptional perspective. We walk along the Martyrs' Alley, a cemetery dedicated to the people who were killed during «Black January» 1990 and in the Nagorno-Karabakh War (1988–1994), and visit the Shahidlar Monument with its eternal flame.
You walk down to the Carpet Museum and later we proceed to the old town, which is part of the UNESCO World Heritage. The oldest part of Baku is surrounded by walls and contains different remarkable treasures.
You visit the Palace of the Shirvanshahs (15th/16th centuries), the Bukhara Caravanserai and the Maiden Tower, whose history and purpose is still not clear despite numerous theories.
60 km south-west of Baku you visit another UNESCO World Heritage Site: the Gobustan State Historical and Cultural Reserve. In the Museum of Petroglyphs, you learn about the long history of this area rich in archeological monuments and more than 6,000 rock carvings on average dating back to 5,000 - 20,000 years.
You enjoy a walk in the park to discover carvings, cave paintings and bizarre geological formations. The next highlights are the mud volcanoes, which you reach after a short 4x4 ride through the wild and dry nature. The scenery seems to be from a different world, where the silence is only interrupted by the gurgling and bubbling noises from the volcanoes with their small eruptions of cold mud.
Via Shamakhi, where you visit the Jummah Mosque, you drive to Lahic, which is famous for its cobblestone streets and its craftsmanship.
From Lahic we drive westwards along the slopes of the Greater Caucasus range to Sheki, which is one of the larger cities in Azerbaijan (60,000 inhabitants). Sheki went through a turbulent history and was invaded by the Persians, the Romans, the Parthians, the Arabs, the Mongols and other occupants, in a final step by the Soviets.
We visit the Old Town and the Palace of Shaki Khans which are part of the UNESCO World Heritage. And we immerse ourselves in the times of the Silk Road when we visit the two Caravansaries from the 18th century.
Sheki is known for its sweet Halva, whose recipes have been passed down from local families to their children for generations. In a masterclass, you will learn how to produce this specialty. Alternatively, you can learn the Shebeke craft in a masterclass. Shebeke are the stained glass windows that, among other buildings, adorn the Khan's Palace (Masterclasses only available for guided tour option).
From Sheki it’s a 2 hours journey to the border with Georgia, where you change the guide and the vehicle.
On the edge of this small village in the Kvareli region, Fabio, the founder of MyCaucasus Travel, has a vineyard. Depending on the time of year you can help with the grape harvest or simply get a guided vineyard tour.
The next stop is the Gremi Fortress. The complex built in the 16th century consists of the Archangel Church, a three-storey castle, a bell tower and a wine cellar. The evening and night you will spend in Telavi, the capital of Kakheti.
In the morning, you visit the most important landmarks and sites of Telavi during a guided city tour. From Telavi, you drive all along the Alazani Valley to Sighnaghi, the city of love.
In Sighnaghi, you enjoy a wine tasting at Okro's, one of the best winemakers in Georgia and one of the pioneers in natural winemaking. After a lunch in a restaurant, you explore the highlights of Sighnghi such as the city wall and the old town.
On the way back to Tbilisi we have a stopover in Badiauri, where you taste fresh Kaketi-style bread from the oven and home-made chees specialties.
After your arrival in Tbilisi, you can discover the city on your own or just relax in your accommodation or in oine of the cozy cafes in Georgia's capital.
This day is fully dedicated to the Georgian capital Tbilisi: You start your city walking tour in the Old Town, where you visit the Narikala Fortress, built in the 4th century by a Persian ethnarch. The fortress is accessible both by foot and by cable car.
From there you go down to the Abanotubani district with its sulfur baths – after Narikala the second eldest part of Tbilisi. According to the Georgian Chronicles, Tbilisi was founded in the 5th century by King Vakhtang Gorgassali I, which was impressed by the hot springs in this area. These springs actually gave Tbilisi its name because in Georgian «tbili» means «warm».
You continue your tour and visit the Bridge of Peace, the Dry Bridge Flea Market and other highlights. For dinner, you're invited to one of the best restaurants in Tbilisi offering amazing food and a great view.
In the morning you visit the ancient capital Mtskheta with its UNESCO World Heritage Sites. This includes the Jvari Monastery from the 6th century, located on a hill above Mtskheta. The true highlight of this place is the amazing view at the confluence of the two rivers Aragvi and Mtkvari down in the valley. After that, you visit Mtskheta's most impressive building: the Svetitskhoveli Cathedral from the early 11th century.
On the Georgian Military Road, which connects Tbilisi and Vladikavkaz in the Russian Republic of North Ossetia-Alania, you drive to the north. On the shore of Zhinvali Reservoir, you visit the Ananuri Fortress.
On your way to Stepantsminda, we drive into the Truso Gorge wher we can have a short hike or just enjoy the impressive nature.
In the morning you visit one of Georgia's most important landmarks: the Gergeti Trinity Church, built in the 14th century on a hill above Stepantsminda.
In the early morning, it is also possible to catch a glimpse of Mount Kazbek, which is often hidden behind clouds later in the day. Before lunch, you can have a short hike to the Gveleti Waterfalls, which are located about 5 km south of the Russian border.
Later you drive back on the Georgian Military Highway to Tbilisi. On our way, you may have a stopover near Gudauri, where you enjoy some breathtaking views from the Gudauri Viewpoint.
Your first stop on the way to the western part of Georgia is Uplistsikhe. Uplistsikhe is a cave town and one of the oldest urban settlements in Georgia. Besides various accessible caves, one of the highlights is the Christian basilica from the 9th and 10th century located at the summit of the complex. From there you enjoy a gorgeous view.
Not far from Uplistsikhe you visit a good friend of ours in his house in the village of Khidistavi. Tsotne is a wine-maker who only produces natural wines according to the ancient Kvevri method. In his beautiful garden, you can taste various home-made wines and enjoy a decent lunch. If you're interested, you can optionally visit the nearby city of Gori.
You spend your evening in Ateni, where another wine-maker, Nika Vacheishvili, is running a cozy guesthouse. Outstanding wines and delicious food is waiting for you there as well.
On your to Western Georgia, you will pass some of the most interesting sites in Georgia.
In order to make this day unforgettable, you do not take the fastest way, but the less common one via the Upper Imereti Road. Following this road, you arrive in the industrial city of Chiatura, which is neither touristy nor beautiful, but definitely very interesting.
Due to its location in a narrow valley and surrounded by steep mountains, it was not easy to bring the workers to the manganese mines and the material back from there. This is why the Soviet occupiers built more than 70 cable cars, several of which are still in use today. If the cable cars are running and you're not afraid of heights, let's have a ride with the «flying coffins» (this is the way the locals call their ropeways).
You continue your trip to see the Katskhi Pillar, a huge monolith of limestone, which towers above the surrounding forests and hills with its 40 meters. On top of the stone column, there is a small church, which is obviously difficult to access.
For dinner and overnight stay we drive to Kutaisi, Georgia's third-largest city.
In the morning, we visit the farmer's market in Kutaisi that is said to be one of the most beautiful ones in Georgia. Besides this, you can visit the Bagrati Cathedral in Kutaisi.
The next destination is the Prometheus Cave located in Kumistavi. With a total length of 11 km, of which 1’060 meters are open to guests, it is one of the biggest caves in the country. From there you drive to the Martvili Canyon, where you can have a walk or enjoy the green and clear water on a short boat trip.
On the way back there's a stopover in Tskaltubo. During Soviet occupation, this was one of the most popular spa resorts. Today Tskaltubo is somewhere between decay, reconstruction, melancholy and hope: not beautiful, but definitely one of the most interesting places in Georgia. You can visit there some abandoned sanatoriums as well.
From Kutaisi we drive back to Tbilisi, where your guided tour ends. If you need an airport transfer, we will organize it for you.
- 13 x overnight stay incl. breakfast according to the itinerary
- 4 x lunch and 2 x dinner according to the itinerary
- 6 x wine tasting
- 1 x cable car ride
- 1 x boat trip
- Experienced driver/guide
- Comfortable vehicle incl. AC
- Fuel for the whole tour
- Entrance fees to all sights mentioned in the itinerary
- Local taxes
- 2 x airport transfer
- Mineral water 0.5l per day
- Overnight stays for guide and driver
- Meals for guide and driver
Price does not include
- International flights
- Personal expenses (e.g. souvenirs)
- Visa fees
- Upgrades to other hotels or other rooms compared to the itinerary
- Tips and extras in the hotels
- Additional alcoholic beverages
- Additional services not described in the itinerary
The war between Armenia and Azerbaijan does affect life in both countries, but not your safety during this tour. The fighting is limited to the disputed territory of Nagorno-Karabakh (Artsakh), which we surround extensively.