Gourmet Caucasus: Origins of Wine & Black Caviar

Baku, Shaki, Tsinandali, Tbilisi & Yerevan

From $6500 per person in low season
From $7300 per person in high season

based on 11 nights & daily experiences

Price Guide:

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  10. Oct
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  11. Nov
    Mid
  12. Dec
    Low

* Pricing is a guideline only and excludes special offers. Travel over peak periods (e.g. Christmas, New Year and other public vacations) can affect prices considerably, as can exchange rates, flight class and room type.

Price includes:

  • Accommodation

  • Private transfers

  • Daily experiences

  • Daily Breakfast

Price is based on two people sharing one room. Gourmet Optional are optional add-ons which comes at extra cost. Please enquire for a quotation if you would like these added into your itinerary.

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At a Glance

  • Spice up your journey with a wide selection of Gourmet Optionals

  • Breathe in the bursting wine aroma in the Georgian valleys, home to the world's first wine civilization

  • In Baku, you may want to enjoy the rare black caviar tasting with champagne in the exclusive Nobel Brothers or on board a private yacht cruise

  • Experience unique local delicacies such as the UNESCO-listed lavash, tolma, khinkali dumplings, churchkhela, khachapuri, halva, qutab or Caspean yogurt

  • Carefully selected accommodation choices, including a stay at the historic estate of Prince Alexander Chavchavadze in Telavi

  • Fancy wine spa, wine bathing, wine masking or wine massage? We can help you book an appointment

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Best time to Visit

Good time to visit

Average time to visit

Georgia and Armenia are year-round destinations. During the summer months from late June to August, visitors can experience  pleasant temperatures and dry weather ideal for hiking, whilst those visiting in the rainy months of April to June can enjoy beautiful foliage in between showers. Snowfall is common in the colder months between December and March, bringing a different beauty to the Caucasus Mountains.

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We design each itinerary around you, so this suggested itinerary is a starting point that we can tweak or transform into something completely bespoke to you. Call us on 858 523 9000 to start planning your vacation.

Itinerary

Journey across the mighty Caucasus mountain ranges into the birthplace of the world's first wine civilization and into the Caspian Sea, known as the home of the rarest and most expensive black caviars. Along the way, picturesque sceneries of mountains and quaint monasteries will keep your thirst for adventure quenched.

  1. Days 1-3: Baku

    Your journey begins in Baku, where towering metropolis stands side by side with heritage. Enjoy a walking tour through the Old Town, visiting the Icheri Sheher, Maiden Tower and Shirvanshahs Palace Complex before concluding at a park where you can enjoy a panoramic view of the city.

    Gourmet Optional: We can arrange an optional visit to the famous house of the Nobel Brothers at Villa Petrolea, which is not usually open to the public, to enjoy black caviar tasting with champagne. The rarest and costliest caviar is extracted from beluga sturgeon which lives in the Caspian Sea bordering Azerbaijan.

    Gourmet Optional: Fancy something more luxurious? What about a private yacht cruise with black caviar and champagne tasting as you sail across the picturesque view of the Baku skyline?

    On your second day, you will discover the bizarre attractions surrounding Baku, including the UNESCO-listed Zoroastrian Fire Temple, the Burning Mountain of Yanar Dagh, the subterranean Mud Volcanoes and the rock carvings of Gobustan National Park.

    Gourmet Optional: Conclude your final night in Baku by feasting on regional delicacies while you are surrounded by the opulent atmosphere of Azeri heritage at the Shirvanshah Museum Restaurant.

    Gourmet Optional: Fancy something more hands-on? What about a unique experience in stuffing and wrapping qutabs before baking them in traditional 'tandir' oven?

    Accommodation: Four Seasons Baku (2 nights)

  2. Days 3-4: Shaki

    Bidding farewell to Baku, we hop on a scenic drive through the picturesque Azeri countryside, making stops at Dari Baba Mausoleum and Yeddi Gumbaz Royal Mausoleum along the way. We have also included a unique experience to enjoy a Caspean yogurt and butter-making experience with a local family. Finally, we arrive at your spa resort in Shaki with beautiful view of the surrounding Caucasus mountains.

    After a night's rest, we depart for Shaki Khan Palace, newly listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2019. Acting as a summer residence for the Shaki Khans, the two-floor palace boasts incredible stained-glass windows and murals.

    Gourmet Optional: We can arrange masterclass in making the UNESCO-listed dolma at Shaki's Caravansaray or making the sweet dessert unique to Sheki called halva.

    Accommodation: Marxal Resort & Spa (1 night)

  3. Days 4-5: Telavi

    Crossing the overland border into Georgia, we drive towards Tsinandali where you will stay for a night at the charming historic estate formerly home to Prince Alexander Chavchavadze. Your room comes with views of either the Caucasus mountains, the vineyards or the forest.

    Gourmet Optional: Between Shaki and Tsinandali, we can also make a stop at Kvareli for a unique Wine Spa experience such as wine bathing, wine masking, wine exfoliation or wine massage.

    Gourmet Optional: If you are visiting between September and October, we can organize an interactive and fun visit to a vineyard for grape harvesting and grape stomping. Grape stomping is a traditional wine-making process where participants trample on the grapes to release the juices before the fermentation process!

    After a night of rest, we will explore the Kakheti Wine Region, known as the birthplace of wine. Today, there are as many as 500 varieties of wine in Georgia. After a wine tasting session, we continue to Sighnaghi, an 18th century royal town, before driving towards Tbilisi.

    Gourmet Optional: Rise early to soar above the scenic Alazani Valley on a hot air balloon. Enjoy a glass of champagne as you drift across villages, orchards, vineyards and river streams with a view of the mighty Caucasus mountain ranges.

    Gourmet Optional: Visit a local Kakhetian family house to learn how to make Churchkhela (traditional sweets made of nuts and wine juice), as well as Khachapuri (Georgian cheese bread).

    Accommodation: Radisson Collection Tsinandali Estate Georgia (1 night)

  4. Days 5-8: Tbilisi

    Often referred to as the Budapest of the Caucasus, Tbilisi is one of the most chic and vibrant cities in the region. Enjoy an orientation tour through Rustali Avenue, Metekhi Church, Sioni Cathedral, a herbal medicinal shop and Dezerter Bazaar which is the biggest food market in Tbilisi. Afterwards, board a sunset cable car ride to Narikala Fortress to soak in the evening view of Tbilisi and stop by the Peace Bridge, designed by an Italian architect with a canopy illuminated by 1,208 LED fixtures.

    Gourmet Optional: Dine in the Sky! Let us whisk you 50 meters above the ground to feast in the 360-degree view of the Tbilisi skyline while you enjoy a four-course meal accompanied by live music and unlimited glasses of Georgian wine.

    Gourmet Optional: If you enjoy cooking, we can arrange a cooking class at a traditional Georgian restaurant where you will learn how to make various regional dishes, including the famous Khinkali dumplings.

    The next day, we will visit the ancient capital of Eastern Georgia in Mtshketa. Feel the awe of the Jvari Monastery, perched on a cliff overlooking the old town framed by the river, before continuing into Svetitskhoveli Cathedral, a favorite among local Georgians. If you are lucky, you might be able to witness religious ceremonies, wedding or child christenings! Afterwards, we will continue to Gori to visit the Joseph Stalin's House-Museum and Uplistiskhe to explore the abandoned cave town from the late Bronze Age.

    Gourmet Optional: While in Mtshketa, enjoy a winery tour and wine tasting at Chateau Mukhrani, once the estate of the Prince of the Bagrationi royal family.

    Accommodation: Biltmore Hotel Tbilisi (3 nights)

  5. Days 8-9: Cafayate, Argentina

    Accommodation: Vinas de Cafayate Wine Resort (1 night)

  6. Days 9-12: Yerevan

    Finally, we will cross the border into your third country: Armenia is the world's first Christian state and hides a plethora of history and eerie UNESCO-listed monasteries, of which you will visit two of them: Haghpat and Sanahin.

    Enjoy an orientation tour of Yerevan, the capital of Armenia. You will visit the Mashtots Avenue, Republic Square, Opera House, Cascade and conclude with a view of the Yerevan skyline from Mother Armenia. Afterwards, we will trave the roots of Christianity into Echmiadzin, Armenia's own Vatican City, before continuing into the nearby Zvartnots Ruins, both of which are UNESCO-listed.

    Gourmet Optional: Enjoy a lavash bread-baking or tolma-making masterclass, both of which had been inscribed into the representative list of the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity due to their distinctive expression of regional culinary culture.

    After a night of rest, we will explore three iconic sights of Armenia, including Khor Virap with its postcard-famous Mount Ararat backdrop, the Garni pagan tample and the rock-cut Geghard monastery.

    Gourmet Optional: Visit the Brandy Factory of Yerevan with tasting of three types of Armenian cognac, including the 20-year-old Nairi cognac and the 10-year-old Dvin cognac.

    Gourmet Extension: For those with extra time, you may want to extend an additional night to visit the Noravank canyon monastery with a stop at Areni Wine Factory for an insight into this renowned local produce commonly exported to Russia.

    Accommodation: The Alexander, a Luxury Collection Hotel (3 nights)

Experiences

  • Absheron Peninsula: Fire Temple & Burning Mountain

    Admire the UNESCO-listed Zoroastrian Fire Temple of Ateshgyakh and the Burning Mountain Yanar Dagh.

  • Ancient Capital of Mtshketa

    Follow the footprints of time into Mtshketa , the ancient capital of Eastern Georgia. Visit Jvari Monastery and Svetitskhoveli Cathedral.

  • Armenian Genocide Museum & Memorial

    Discover Armenian spirit through their heartbreaking tales in the Memorial Park and Museum of the Armenian Genocide.

  • Caspian Sea in Private Yacht with Black Caviar & Champagne Tasting

    Enjoy a private yacht cruise around the Baku Bay with a picturesque view of the Baku skyline. During the cruise, you will also enjoy black caviar and champagne tasting.

  • Chateau Mukhrani in Mtshketa

    With architecture based on the Georgian Royal Palace, a winery tour and wine tasting at the historic Chateau Mukhrani is an essential experience for wine aficionados.

  • Cognac Tasting

    We will visit the Brandy Factory of Yerevan with tasting of three types of Armenian cognac, including the 20-year-old Nairi cognac and 10-year-old Dvin cognac.

  • Cooking Class at Traditional Georgian Restaurant

    Get acquainted with Georgian cuisine and learn how to make various Georgian dishes, including the famous khinkali dumplings.

  • Dolma-Making Masterclass

    Today, you will learn how to make a traditional cuisine called dolma, made from grape leaves stuffed with meat, at the Sheki's Karvansaray.

  • Echmiadzin & Zvartnots

    Step into Echmiadzin, Armenia’s own Vatican City, as well as the nearby Zvartnots Ruins – both UNESCO-listed.

  • Evening at Narikala Fortress & Peace Bridge

    Take a sunset cable car ride to Narikala Fortress and stop by Peace Bridge for a night view.

  • Garni & Geghard

    Explore the Garni pagan temple and the rock-cut Geghard monastery.

  • Gobustan Rock Art & Mud Volcanoes

    Be dazzled by the rock carvings of Gobustan National Park and the bizarre Mud Volcanoes.

  • Haghpat & Sanahin Monastic Complex

    Uncover the mysterious monastic complexes of Haghpat and Sanahin, as well as Saghmosavank Monastery in Qasakh canyon.

  • Halva-Making Masterclass

    Join a pastry chef to unravel the culinary secrets behind the makings of this super-sweet dessert.

  • Historical Stalin & Cave Town

    Follow the footprints of time into Gori, the birthplace of Joseph Stalin, and Uplistsikhe, a cave town from the Bronze Age.

  • Hot Air Balloon in Alazani Valley

    Soar above the scenic Alazani valley with a glass of champagne, passing through villages, orchards, vineyards, river streams with a view of the mighty Great Caucasus.

  • Hot Air Balloon in Mukhrani Valley

    Soar above the scenic Mukhrani valley, located near Mtskheta with a glass of champagne.

  • Khor Virap

    Explore the iconic Khor Virap with its stunning Mount Ararat backdrop.

  • Lavash-Baking Masterclass

    Learn how to bake lavash, a traditional bread of Armenia which has been inscribed in UNESCO.

  • Lunch with Lavash-Making Demonstration

    Visit a rustic local house for lunch and observe the Lavash-making process.

  • Nobel House Visit with Black Caviar & Champagne Tasting

    Not usually open for public, you will visit the famous house of the Nobel Brothers at Villa Petrolea and enjoy black caviar tasting with champagne at the Nobel's museum.

  • Noravank Monastery & Areni Wine

    Stroll through the stunning Noravank’s canyon monastery and enjoy some wine at the Areni Wine Factory for a local insight into this renowned local produce.

  • Shaki Khan Palace

    Visit the Palace of Shaki Khans, a grand palace that acted as the summer residence for the Shaki Khans. Explore this two-floor masonry structure admiring the murals, stained-glass windows, fountains and decorative tiles.

  • Tbilisi Sightseeing

    Discover the highlights of Tbilisi. Stroll through Rustaveli Avenue, visit the Metekhi Church of the Virgin, Sioni Cathedral, bath houses and Simon Janashia Museum of Georgia. Time-permitting, visit a flea market or Dezerter Bazaar in the afternoon.

  • Tolma-Making Masterclass

    Today, you will learn how to make a traditional cuisine called tolma, made from grape leaves stuffed with meat.

  • Wine Spa in Kvareli

    Indulge in unique wine spa treatment in Kvareli, right at the heart of Kakheti wine region. We can help you reserve a place so that you can enjoy a variety of wine spa treatments.

  • Wine Tasting at Kakheti & Explore Sighnaghi

    Enjoy wine tasting at Kakheti, the birthplace of wine-making in Georgia and explore Signaghi, the 18th century royal town, as well as Bodbe Monastery.

  • Yerevan City Tour

    Wander around Mashtots Avenue, Republic Square, Opera House, Cascade, the spacious Grigor Lusavorich cathedral and conclude with a view of the Yerevan skyline from Mother Armenia.

Location

Baku, Shaki, Tsinandali, Tbilisi & Yerevan

Speak to our specialists 858 523 9000

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We design each itinerary around you, so this suggested itinerary is a starting point that we can tweak or transform into something completely bespoke to you. Call us on 858 523 9000 to start planning your vacation.