Day 1: Arrive to Tbilisi / Introduction City tour
Day 2: Tbilisi / hidden corners of the old city and Soviet architecture
Day 3: Tbilisi / Travel to the west via highlands of Imereti region / Overnight in Tskaltubo
Day 4: Tskaltubo to Guria to photograph Lelo Game / Overnight in Batumi
Day 5: Batumi Street Photography
Day 6: Travel to Machakhela region and enjoy the photography of the rural life in highlands of Adjara
Day 7: Machakhela to Abastumani via Goderdzi Pass
Day 8: Abastumani to Vardzia
Day 9: Vardzia to Tbilisi via Tsalka road
Day 10: Departure
Due to COVID-19, some aspects of your photo tour may be different than advertised, including being reduced or unavailable, or subject to special requirements if needed. By booking, you understand and accept the foregoing and you agree that Nomad Photo Club can not be held liable for such changes.
3 Hours Before Flight Time
Arrive to Tbilisi international Airport. Meet the Photo Instructor, the local guide and driver. Transfer to the hotel to enjoy some rest. Meet each other for the introduction tour of Tbilisi. Explore historic parts of the town. Enjoy the walk in the narrow streets of Tbilisi to explore the local architecture and its people.
The tour will include visits to well-known historic parts of the town to get familiar with the city and its character. Lunch and dinner will be served at the town’s charming restaurant where you will enjoy delightful Georgian cuisine. Overnight in Tbilisi at Rooms Hotel www.roomshotels.com
Enjoy the walking tour of the town, explore the hidden parts of the 19th century Tbilisi with its long balconies, hidden yards, faded paintings in the entrance hall and gilded stair railings. After lunch, explore the Soviet blocks of the city rich in Brutalist architecture built throughout the Soviet period where the majority of the population of the city lives. In the evening, enjoy dinner in a local restaurant. Overnight in Tbilisi at Rooms Hotel www.roomshotels.com
After breakfast, drive towards West Georgia. After a few hours drive, we will arrive to Chiatura, a town located in a beautiful valley. Due to the rich manganese resources, the town has been heavily industrialized by the Soviets. Up to present there are massive buildings of Brutalism architecture that we will be able to explore during the visit. Enjoy lunch en route. Visit Katskhi Pillar en-route. Continue trip towards Tskaltubo, a famous Spa town build in 1930’s. The area is famous with its mineral waters and was a popular destination for vacations for Soviet-Union citizens. Nowadays, the town has been partly renovated, though there are still numerous abandoned sanatoriums, buildings of former sanatoriums built in 1940’s – 1970’s. Of course, we will explore them.
In the evening check in the hotel and enjoy some rest; Overnight and dinner at Tskaltubo Spa Resort. http://sanatoriumi.ge.
An optional visit at night to Gelati Monastery to attend the celebration and liturgy of Christ’s Resurrection.
Breakfast at the hotel. Drive to Guria province to attend to a Lelo game. a traditional Georgian game held every Easter in a small village Shukhuti. The number of players in each team is not set, neither is there a fixed time limit, the game has no specific rules except a simple one – the game ends only after one team successfully pushes its way through opponents and brings the heavy leather ball, tightly stuffed with sand, on the outer edge of its opponent’s field. The game is rather brutal „no rules street rugby“, but fascinating. It is about traditions and respect. Once the game is ended, the ball is placed to the grave of the recently deceased as a sign of respect. The game usually ends with a feast and numerous toasts.
After the game, continue trip towards Batumi. Check in the hotel and enjoy some rest. Dinner at the local restaurant in Batumi. Overnight at Le Pot Hotel www.leport.ge
Breakfast. Visit the local cemetery the day when families visit the graves of those who have gone, leaving the red Easter eggs and “Paska” cake behind.
Explore old streets of Batumi, the 19th century part of the city with the charming buildings and narrow streets. Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant + we might try to have a Adjarian Khachapuri (cheese boat) cooking demonstration and of course savor. Enjoy the nice walk at the Botanical Gardens of Batumi from where we will enjoy panoramic views of the seaside. Free time before dinner which will be served at a local restaurant in old Batumi. Overnight at Le Port Hotel www.leport.ge
Breakfast. Photograph life in the Batumi market, one of the largest and colorful in Georgia. On two floors, locals sell fruits, vegetables, spices, varieties of nuts, herbs, cheese, meat etc… wander among the aisles.
Today we will explore the highlands of Adjara region.Visit Machakhela national park and explore the beautiful nature, also meet the local people, explore their lifestyle, enjoy local food and spend the day in rural countryside. We will visit a bee farm and see how the honey-gathering process happens. Lunch will be served in a local family house where you will get a chance to see how Adjarian cuisine is cooked and participate! Today we will also visit one of the crafts studios: either we can watch how the master creates metal products for the villagers / or we will see how the craftsman weaves baskets / or how a lady sews traditional ornaments. Have a traditional family dinner with local wines in Machakhela and we will meet the local ensemble. In the evening a homestay in the rustic local family guesthouses in Machakhela or nearby.
4X4 drive in the breathtaking scenery of Adjarian Highlands, lunch en-route in a local family. Great scenes for village and landscape photography, as we ascend to the Goderdzi alpine meadows, passing wooden houses of Khulo and Adigeni, Muslim minarets, bee farms and valleys. Lunch and dinner en-route; (about 5 hours total drive). Overnight in a hotel in Abastumani near the local astrophysical observatory from Soviet times. (Visit the observatory at night, if the weather is good)
Today we will visit the Rabat Castle. We will meet Giorgi Natenadze for lunch and local wines as well get introduced to local endemic grape varieties. We will explore Varzia Cave Complex. Meskhetian traditional dinner at Vardzia Resort; www.vardziaresort.com
Today we will explore Meskhetian traditional architectural constructions “darbazi”, visit villages Nichgori and/or Saro, Vanis Kvabebi complex and/or Charchkari. Traditional Meskhetian lunch en route;
Then we will drive to Poka Monastery to meet the local nuns, taste their handmade cheese, jams, chocolate and tea, as well as visit their studio. Later we will stop at the largest Georgian volcanic lake Paravani, before heading back to Tbilisi via the scenic Tsalka road (off the highway); Late farewell dinner and drinks. Overnight in Tbilisi at Iota hotel. www.iotahotels.com
Depart to the airport 3 hours before the flight departure.
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