Highlights of Azerbaijan & Georgia

Trip Code: KFSB

Why we love it

Take a guided walking tour of Azerbaijan's Old Town, where views of the Palace of the Shirvanshahs are made even more spectacular by the modern skyscrapers in the background., The Caucasus Mountains will take your breath away in more ways than one during a hike to the 14th-century Gergeti Trinity Church, which sits in splendid isolation at 2170 m., Be treated to Azerbaijan's national dish Piti, and stop at a traditional Georgian wine producer where the ancient, UNESCO-listed qvevri method is still used., Navigate the organised chaos of the farmers markets in Telavi. Your leader will be there to help you order as much fresh fruit, nuts or pigs heads as you desire., Explore the small ethnic villages and workshops along the way - Lahij's cobbled streets, Nij's udi community, Kish's pointed church and learn about the traditional method and unique techniques in yogurt making, copper craftsmanship and stained glass making - the perfect opportunities to make local friends and gain some authentic insights to local life.

Is this trip right for me?

There’s so much to see in this part of the world and we don't want you to miss anything. The itinerary is densely packed, but there will be the odd free afternoon or evening to explore at your own pace. Please read the itinerary carefully to determine if this will suit you.

Some of the best scenery in the region is found on foot. So, while this trip doesn't require a high level of fitness, it’s essential to be at least moderately fit if you want to partake in all activities. Make sure you bring comfortable walking shoes with good support.

This trip has a strong historical focus and is perfect for anyone with an interest in the Caucasus region. Even if you know nothing about the area, you’re bound to find yourself fascinated by the various political and social machinations that have shaped the area.

If you enjoy experiencing new food, good wine and breathtaking scenery then this is the right trip for you, keep in mind that altitudes can be high (over 2000m) so even in summer a sweater is a good idea.

If you would like to further explore the region, please check out our 20-day trip 'Azerbaijan & Georgia Experience' (trip code:KFSGC).

Important information

1. A single supplement is bookable on this trip and is subject to availability. Please speak to your booking agent for further information.
2. Please note there is a chance of potential changes to the itinerary due to heavy rain, flooding and snow at higher altitudes, which often affect roads and bridges, making travel difficult or impossible (particularly in remote areas).
3. Please be advised that due to current border crossing restrictions for different Caucasus nationalities, your Trip Leader may be from nearby region. Your leader will have in-depth knowledge and extensive travel experience throughout the Caucasus. Local guides from Azerbaijan and Georgia are represented throughout the itinerary to ensure you receive a diverse and uniquely local range of perspectives.

What to bring/pack

What you need to bring will vary according to the trip style you have chosen, the countries you are visiting and when you are travelling. Generally speaking, we recommend you pack as lightly as possible and make sure that you are able to carry and lift your own luggage, and walk with it for short distances or up or down a flight of stairs. Our travellers usually find the smaller their luggage is, the more they enjoy the trip not having to worry about carrying heavy bags! Aim to keep your main luggage under 15kg.

Many travellers carry their luggage in a compact smaller suitcase or backpack with wheels. We recommend your bag has carry straps or handles so it is easy to lift and carry for the times you are unable to wheel it (ie. on rough surfaces or up steps).

If you are taking overnight trains, or primarily using public transport then the smaller your luggage the easier it will be to store under or above bunks. Large suitcases may not be able to be taken on board. A lockable bag or small padlock for your bag will be useful especially when travelling on public transportation as well.

You'll also need a day pack/bag to carry water, camera, and jacket etc. when you’re exploring during the day.

Below we have listed the essentials for this trip:, https://www.intrepidtravel.com/packing-list, WATER BOTTLE
Please bring your own water bottle to refill along the way. Although it can be difficult to avoid bottled water when travelling, please use the water dispensers which are provided on some of our vehicles and at some of our accommodation. Your leader will advise whether tap water is safe to drink in your destination, if it is you can simply refill with tap water. When unable to avoid bottled water it is better to buy the largest available and distribute into your smaller bottle for the day., What you need to bring will vary according to the trip style you have chosen, the countries you are visiting and when you are travelling. Generally speaking, we recommend you pack as lightly as possible and make sure that you are able to carry and lift your own luggage, and walk with it for short distances or up or down a flight of stairs. Our travellers usually find the smaller their luggage is, the more they enjoy the trip not having to worry about carrying heavy bags! Aim to keep your main luggage under 15kg.
Many travellers carry their luggage in a backpack, although an overnight bag with a shoulder strap would suffice if you travel lightly. Smaller suitcases or backpacks with wheels are convenient although we recommend your bag has carry straps or handles.
If you are taking overnight trains, or primarily using public transport then the smaller your luggage the easier it will be to store under or above bunks.
A lockable bag or small padlock will be useful especially when travelling on public transportation as well.
You'll also need a day pack/bag to carry water, camera, and jacket etc. when you’re exploring during the day.

Below are some ideas and helpful tips on what you specifically need for this trip.

Essential:
- Clothing: a mixture of lightweight and dry fast clothing and warm layers are recommended essential for travelling in this region. Long shirts, pants, scarves are useful for covering shoulders & knees when visiting religious sites.
- Shoes: sturdy and comfortable shoes for walking long distances are essential.
- Personal travel documents inc. your passport (visa), travel insurance, flight tickets and trip notes. Photocopies of your passport and visa, passport size photos and travel insurance will be handy. While not valid, a photocopy makes it very much easier to obtain replacements if necessary.
- small first aid kit including items such as mild pain killers, electrolytes, Band-Aids and insect repellent, and essential medicine depending on your doctors advice.
- Money: cash/credit card/EFTPOS card and money belt
- Sun protection like a hat, sunscreen, and sunglasses.

Recommended:
- Refillable water bottle (1.5-litre capacity suggested): The sale of bottled water contributes to an enormous environmental problem around the world. In addition to the water in bottles, the production of a 1-litre plastic bottle takes 2 litres of water and 200ml of oil. A large proportion end up in limited landfill or discarded in waterways and natural environments.
- Cell phone, camera with spare batteries, charger, and adapter plug
- Hand wash, travel wipes, toiletries and a small towel
- Watch/alarm clock and torch/flashlight (and spare batteries)
- Torch or flashlight esp. for stay at local guesthouses or homestays

Optional:
- Sleeping bag. Useful for camping, overnight trains and poorly heated hotels, particularly during the winter months of Dec - Feb when temperatures are low.
- Sleep sheet. If you are travelling during the hot season you may wish to pack a sleep sheet so you will be comfortable no matter what the weather.
- Earplugs to guard against street noise and snorers.
- A good book, a journal and music player for overnight train rides and longer drives.

Other things to consider:

- Check weather in destinations you are travelling to online a few days before you go to make sure you pack appropriate clothing
- Laundry facilities may not be available in all destinations, so make sure you have a few cycles of clothes to tide you over until your next chance to wash, WARM CLOTHING:
Temperatures can be low in the winter months, especially at altitude, so bring a set of warmer clothes including thermal underclothes and a fleece jacket.

Physical rating

3

Joining your group

Passage Boutique Hotel, Nizami Street 53B, Baku, AZ1001, AZERBAIJAN, Phone: +994 12497146

Joining instructions

Please make sure that you provide your flight details no later than 14 days before departure to book your arrival transfer with us.

For your confirmed arrival transfer, you’ll be met in the arrivals hall of Baku International Airport (GYD) by a transfer representative holding an Intrepid sign. In case of flight cancellations, changes, if you experience severe delays at immigration, baggage collection or customs, or if you are not able to find the driver, please call + 994 55 297 40 20.

Alternatively, you can take a taxi or public transport. A taxi will cost approximately AZN30.

The Aero Express runs 24 hours a day and a one way ticket costs AZN1.50. Take the bus to the last stop – metro station 28 May. From there take the metro red line to Icherisheher (2 stops). The hotel is located about a 10 min walk from the metro stop.

Finishing your trip

New Kopala Hotel, Chekhov str.5/7, Tbilisi, 0103, GEORGIA, Phone: +995 322775590

Meals & dietary information

Breakfasts included: 9

Lunches included: 2

Dinners included: 3

While travelling with us you'll have the opportunity to experience the vast array of wonderful food available in the world. On our camping trips we often cook the region's specialities so you don't miss out. Special dietary requirements can usually be catered for as long as we are advised in advance.

Climate & seasonal information

In case of emergency

While we always endeavour to provide the best possible holiday experience, due to the nature of travel and the areas we visit sometimes things can and do go wrong. Should any issue occur while you are on your trip, it is imperative that you discuss this with your group leader or our local representative straight away so that they can do their best to rectify the problem and save any potential negative impact on the rest of your trip.

We recognise that there may be times when your group leader/local partner may not be able to resolve a situation to your satisfaction - if this is the case, please ask the leader to speak to their direct manager.

You may also choose to provide details in your online feedback, which we ask you to complete within 30 days of the end of your trip. Please do be aware that it is very difficult for us to provide any practical help after the trip is completed, so informing us while still travelling will give us the opportunity to resolve the issue in real-time.

For general contact details please use the following page: http://www.intrepidtravel.com/ourtrips/contact/

In case of a genuine crisis or emergency, you can reach our local office on the number below:

Intrepid's Local Operator: +49 8024 4679 540

Accommodations

The style of accommodation indicated in the day-to-day itinerary is a guideline only and may change. On some occasions, alternative arrangements may need to be made due to the lack of availability of rooms in our preferred accommodation. In these cases, we will use a similar standard of accommodation.

Throughout the trip, we request that our properties prepare rooms in time for our arrival, especially if we're arriving prior to normal check-in time. However, this isn't always possible which means we won't be able to check-in immediately on arrival at some hotels. Instead, we can store our luggage and explore our new destination or on some trips, have use of shared day rooms until all rooms are available.

Transportation

There are some long travel days and some rough travelling in areas away from main tourist routes. Windy roads, rough surfaces and cramped conditions make for some challenging travel experiences. On some long travel days we depart early in the morning to ensure we optimise our time at our next destination. If you experience travel sickness we recommend you consider medication to help ease the discomfort.


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