Program Caucasus XXL Tour 2018

BRIEF TRAVEL SUMMARY    

July 14 Arrival Georgia (Tbilisi)
July 14-19 Georgia
July 19-25 Armenia
July 25-26 Georgia
July 26-Aug. 4 Turkey
August 4 departure Turkey (Trabzon)

HOW WILL THE TRIP BE ORGANIZED?

Participants from all over the world have responded with overwhelming enthusiasm and many people signed up for the tour. Therefore you can already book your flight. Althought the tour program starts on July 14, rooms are booked from July 13 and available from 14.00 hrs. to accomodate late arrivals on the 13th or early arrivals on the 14th.

Our tour group will be split up and divided over 2 buses which have AC and offer comfortable seating because they will not be filled up to the maximum capacity. Turgay, Ahmet, Maurits and Tineke will act as tour leaders in teams of two in each bus and the maximum amount of participants will be 40 persons per bus.
Local guides will be present at sightseeing locations and each group will have its own guide.

GEORGIA, ARMENIA & TURKEY

On July 14 everybody will arrive in Tbilisi. We will stay 5 days in Georgia’s scenic and buzzing capital Tbilisi and plan excursions to important cultural sites as Mtskheta, seat of the head of the Georgian church and Stepansmida church with a stunning view on the high Caucasian mountain range. A hike from David Gareja Monastery will reveal caves decorated with frescoes (UNESCO World Heritage).
Culture mixes with pleasure during our visit to the small town of Sighnagi, the center of wine production. Of course there will be dance classes and meetings with dancers and singers. If the professional dance ensembles - Erisioni Ensemble or Sukhishvili Ensemble - will be in Georgia, we will visit their training or visit a performance.

We will continue to Armenia on July 19th and spend 6 days there. Included will be a stop at Sewan lake and a visit to its beautiful Aghtamar peninsula and ancient carved gravestones in Noratus. Our host Mgitar will welcome us in the small village of Zolakar and show us how his family has lived in the 1st half of the 19th century. We will enjoy a tasty lunch at his house with fresh local products before continuing to our next lodging in the mountains of southeast Armenia. The last two days we will spend in Armenia’s lively capital Yerevan to enjoy its Mediterranean atmosphere, pay a visit to the Tatul Altunian Ensemble and have some dance classes.

The 25th we will travel north to return to Georgia, where we will spend another 2 days. The program includes visits to the famous ancient cave monastery of Vardzia and remote Saphara Monastery.

 

On July 26th we will cross the Turkish border to enjoy the last week of our three week tour. We will visit the villages Borcka and Macahel in Artvin province, home of Georgian Turkish ethnic groups. Near Borcka is the impressive 63 meters high MARAL fall, located in a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve Protection Area. Macahel is also on another UNESCO list because of its preservation of oral traditions. Our journey for the coming 3 days includes Rize Hemşin Valley , the Ayder Plateau and Palovit waterfall. Not to miss is the impressive medieval castle of Zilkale, constructed on a high cliff, one of the most important historical structures in the Black Sea region. Keywords: beautiful nature and valleys, scenic villages and encounter with Hemsin people to join a dance to the tunes of the bagpipe.

After a relaxing time in nature we will continue towards Trabzon and visit some interesting sightseeing spots from there, including Sumela Monastery and the Ayasofia Church. We will be welcomed by Akcaabat Dance group and will enjoy some other performances during our visit. Besides Hemsin we will meet with another group called Çepni. Originally a nomadic tribe which is now the biggest ethnic group in this area, famous for its summer festivals on the mountain meadows. Time to relax at lake Uzungol and we will finish our tour in Trabzon.

This program can be subject to change.

INCLUDED

Lodging in double/twin room
Dance classes
Guides
Bus transportation
Breakfast and dinner (incl. water, coffee/tea)
(For practical reasons dinner is sometimes excluded, but will be compensated with lunches on other days)
Entrance fees at sightseeing locations

EXCLUDED

Flight
Transportation from/to airport due to diversity in arrival/departure times of participants
Surcharge single room: € 450
Travel and cancellation insurance
Lunches
(For practical reasons lunches are sometimes included)
Tips for driver and guide (Indication: € 1 p. person p. day)
Additional drinks
CD and/or DVD of classes and tour
Visa

SOON A DETAILED PROGRAM WILL BE PUBLISHED.