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Azerbaijan & Georgia

If these two countries have not been on your list of places to go, we urge you to re-evaluate… now!

Marco Polo wrote about the mysterious flames of Fire Mountain, not far from Baku in what is now Azerbaijan. Now natural gas is a big earner for the country, fueling a flamboyant regeneration of the city marked by the Flame Tower skyscrapers, the museum designed to look like a rolled-up carpet, and the undulating whale shape of the Zaha Hadid designed Aliyev Centre. We’ll contrast dynamic Baku with a stay in ancient Sheki discovering beautiful old houses, colourfully painted gates, and a khan’s summer palace decorated in brilliant stained glass work.

Our route into Georgia offers a tremendous variety of dramatic, unspoilt scenery. Spend time in the atmospheric hill town of Signagi to taste wine in the birthplace of viticulture and learn to prepare the signature kachapouri cheese pie. A drive along the spectacular Georgian Military Highway takes us through granite cliffs to stay at the foot of Mt. Kazbeg. At Mtskheta we’ll see the fine Orthodox churches dating from the fourth century and at Vardzia, extraordinary examples of cave architecture and frescoes in magnificent monasteries. Here too we’ll enjoy the area’s natural history at the crossroads of bird migratory routes.

Conclude in Tbilisi, where we enjoy expertly guided strolls through districts filled with Art Nouveau architecture, curved colourful balconies, and sulfur bath establishments. Georgia’s dedication to feasting and its mesmerising vocal polyphony are the backdrops to this exciting new tour.
Cultural Explorations Classic Explorations

Azerbaijan | 15 days
Cultural Explorations

Dates:
Sep 26 - Oct 10, 2019
Cost:
US$6270
Group Size:
12 - 16 participants    

Includes:
Airport transfers at destination for passengers arriving and departing as per the group itinerary, accommodations based on double occupancy in listed hotels or similar, meals as indicated in the itinerary, all ground transportation in private vehicle, bottled water on vehicles during touring, excursions as listed with experienced English-speaking local guides, all entrance fees, special cultural features as noted in the itinerary, presentations by the study leader, E-Visa for Azerbaijan, fully escorted by our study leader and tour director. Taxes and gratuities of US$375 are included.

Itinerary at a Glance

Day 1: Meet in Baku, Azerbaijan
Day 2: Architectural marvels along the seafront
Day 3: Museums and mugham music
Day 4: Petroglyphs at Gobustan
Day 5: Sheki’s glittering palace
Day 6: Vineyards on the way to Georgia
Day 7: Cooking and tasting in Signagi
Day 8: The spectacular Military Highway Route
Day 9: Stalin’s Gori and Borjomi’s mineral water
Day 10: Cave architecture at Vardzia
Day 11: Fortresses and the local school
Day 12: Nunnery of St. Nino
Days 13 – 14: Tbilisi’s lovely old town; carpets, cafés, music
Day 15: Depart Tbilisi
Optional extension: Armenia
Get a Detailed Itinerary >

Your Tour Leader

Julia Zarankin is an award-winning writer and lecturer who regularly teaches courses to lifelong learners about Russian and European culture and literature. She regularly shares her passion for cultural history with Toronto audiences at Hot Docs Curious Minds, the University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies, and the Royal Conservatory of Music.

Ready for More?

You can request a detailed itinerary for this tour or call 1.800.387.1483 or email us with any questions or to reserve your booking!
Cultural Explorations Classic Explorations

Azerbaijan | 15 days
Cultural Explorations

Dates:
Sep 26 - Oct 10, 2019
Cost:
US$6270
Group Size:
12 - 16 participants    

Includes:
Airport transfers at destination for passengers arriving and departing as per the group itinerary, accommodations based on double occupancy in listed hotels or similar, meals as indicated in the itinerary, all ground transportation in private vehicle, bottled water on vehicles during touring, excursions as listed with experienced English-speaking local guides, all entrance fees, special cultural features as noted in the itinerary, presentations by the study leader, E-Visa for Azerbaijan, fully escorted by our study leader and tour director. Taxes and gratuities of US$375 are included.

WHAT THEY SAY:

"Baku caught me by surprise!"

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