Georgian Republic Journey Overview
We will spend nine nights in Georgia. Our destinations will include the capital city of Tbilisi, founded in the pre-Christian era and resplendent with ancient churches, mosques and synagogues, a 5th century Citadel, traditional architecture and some of the finest cuisine east of Istanbul. We will also travel to "the south" which includes the UNESCO World Heritage cave village of Vardzia, home to the mythical King Tamar – Georgia's first (and only) female King and home of Georgian epic poem, The Knight in the Panther's Skin. We then journey to Poka...
An isolated ethnically Armenian community Poka is located on the haunting shores of Lake Paravai.
From there, we will head northeast, crossing Georgia's most famous vineyards and head high into the Caucasus mountains on a winding cliff road to the picturesque village of Shenako, located in the Tusheti National Park. Our three nights here will include a local Supra and some unforgettable hiking. Check out the Planet Doc travel video at the bottom of the page for more, including a look at Shenako at around the 19:35' minute mark. Our house in Shenako can actually be seen in this video. Incredible!
Below you can find the dates and a tentative cost. We encourage you to fill out the form below if you are interested in reserving a spot or want to know more.
However, we always think it best to talk to a human, so please call John Heers and pester him for some details!
Current and Future Dates
June 29th - July 8th, 2018
April 26th - May 5th, 2019
June 28th - July 7th, 2019
Costs and Features
Cost: $1,799 plus round-trip airfare
The cost covers transportation, rooms, two meals a day, and a number of our unique cultural events.
Day 1: Arrival in Tbilisi
- Arrive in the bustling capital of the country, Tbilisi. A true crossroads between the ancient East and the modern West.
- Gather with FTF Field Workers and our local hosts in our beautiful accommodations. Relax and walk the city.
Day 2: Tbilisi
- Enjoy your first excursion in and around Tbilisi. Journey to Mtskheta, one of the oldest towns and the spiritual center of Georgia where you can discover Jvari Church, a true architectural masterpiece dating to the 6th Century AD. Next, swing by Svetitskhoveli, the main cathedral of Mtskheta and a sacred place where the robe of Christ finds a home. If you’d prefer, skip Mtskheta and head to downtown Tbilisi and get a thoroughly Georgian (and a little Turkish) bath in the famous hot sulfur springs of Abanotubani.
- At night, get ready for your first Keipi. Actually, this dinner will be a Supra, the more formal and poetic version of the Keipi. Join the team for a powerful FTF tradition, a tradition born in Georgia and nurtured to this day by the Georgian people. You won’t soon forget this unique event.
Day 3: Samtskhe-Javakheti
- Visit the nuns of Poka, a famous little town in Georgia, said to be where St. Nino first crossed into Sarketvelo (Georgia) and planted her famous grape vine cross. A monastery sits on the tranquil, deep Lake Paravani and offers a profound silence not found many places. Don't forget to eat incredible local cheese and drink the melodic wine made by our friends.
- Our house features a local family who can cook! Get ready to meet Sergo and eat delicious food prepared specifically for you.
Day 4: Samtskhe-Javakheti
- Our second excursion in this region is to Vardzia; an ancient hiding spot for Georgians trying to avoid incursions from various raiders from the south. Built right into the granite, this haunting monastery built into the cliff-side is renowned for its beauty and deep history.
- Part two features the Khertivisi Fortress. This fortress was originally built in the second century BC, but it remained in use as an essential buttress against invaders until the 13th Century AD.
Day 5: Back to Tbilisi
- A day to rest and relax in the Capital after our southern journey. We will also offer a most intriguing look at the Georgian language.
- Join a professor friend of ours as he teaches the rich history and unique grammar of Sarketvelo (Georgian), a language unrelated to any language on earth. Literally.
Day 6, 7 & 8: Tusheti National Park, the Mountain Gem
- Our adventure now turns north, deep into the Greater Caucuses. The mountain voyage will leave you breathless as we wind our way through vast mountain wilderness and elevations as high as 15,000 ft. Our destination is the village of Shenako. Nestled on the southern slope of the park, we will stay 3 nights in a masterful modern home built in the ancient Georgian fashion (using shale).
- Plan on a wine tasting road trip as our hosts take the wheel and allow us to enjoy the finest wines from Georgia on our way to Tusheti.
- Our second day in Shenako will include our third excursion. Take your pick of hiking, fishing and a horseback ride through the mountains. Or, if you like, grab a chair and go read a great book. Up to you! The weather won’t disappoint. Nice and warm in the day. Cool at night.
- On our third day we will be cooking with a local family. They will show us how to prepare Khinkali, a delicious Georgian dumpling. While sharing in the delights of another Keipi, learn the arts of The Tamada as John walks you through the toasts and how expound on the themes of life.
Day 9: Tbilisi Nightlife
- Back before nightfall, you’ll have plenty of time to get ready for some fun in this modern city. All are invited to a night of dancing at some of the most artistic and eclectic joints in Europe. For folks who have booked flights leaving on Saturday night, we will get you to the airport safe and sound.
Day 10: Farewell
- Sunday will be another opportunity to partake in the incredibly active liturgical life in Tbilisi. Some of us will head to church, but the day is yours as we organize your trip to the airport and get you on your way back home. Our drivers will make sure you get one last gorgeous look at Tbilisi. Nakvamdis! For more check out the travel video below. For fun, forward to minute 19:30 and watch footage of the actual village (Shenako) we will explore for three incredible days.
Interested in going?
Fill out the form below or give us a call! 239-687-6469
Please click the button below to fill out your pre-travel form.