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., By travelling on this trip, you’ll directly support our Intrepid Foundation partner, Mtskheta-Mtianeti Regional Hub. Donations help them improve their services and training hub to connect people, who’ve fled their homes due to war or political instability, with their new community in Georgia.

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, swimming suit, waterproof pouch/bag for phone, hiking shoes 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 group leader or local representative will advise whether tap water is safe to drink in your destination and 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. If you are walking or trekking as part of your trip you will need to carry at least 2L of water with you., WARM CLOTHING:
Temperatures can be low even in spring and autumn seasons, especially at altitude, so bring a set of warmer clothes including thermal underclothes and a fleece jacket.

Physical rating

3

Joining your group

Sapphire Inn Hotel, 5 Hassan Abdullayev Street, Baku, AZERBAIJAN, Phone: 00994 125051105

Sapphire Inn is conveniently located in a shopping area close to Icherishekher subway station as well as the palace, the mosque and museums in Baku, only a few hundred meters to Ismailiyya Palace, Taza Pir Mosque and Fountain Square. Featuring classical architecture style, it offers great comfort and ease to guests staying there. Breakfast is included.

Alternate Joining Point


Joining instructions

If you've booked an arrival transfer with Intrepid, 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 7031 50022.

Public Transport: There is a direct Express minibus route number 116 operating from the Airport to Baku City centre. Service runs every 30 minutes beginning from early in the morning until late night. The bus leaves outside the Airport building, across the parking area. The service terminates at S. Vurgun's park on the 28 May street. The journey takes approximately 30-40 minutes. One way ticket costs AZN1.50.

Taxi: Avoid taxi touts who approach you and instead take only licensed (purple "London Cab" style cars) taxis from outside the terminal. These are metered and a regular fare to the hotel should cost around 30 AZN.

If you are taking a taxi, you can show your taxi driver below text:

Sapphire Inn mehmanxanasi
Hesen Abdullayev kucesi 5 (Axundov parkinin yani)

Finishing your trip

Vera Hills Boutique Hotel, 16 Valerian Gunia St, Tbilisi, 0108, GEORGIA, Phone: +995 322002828

Alternate Finish Point


If you have pre booked a departure transfer to Tbilisi International Airport (airport code TBS), you will be collected at the hotel reception 3 hours before your flight departure time. In case of flight cancellations, changes or if you are not able to find the driver, please contact the transfer operator directly:+995 595 323 816 OR +995 595 200 050

Alternatively, you can take public transport or a taxi. Take a licensed taxi with a meter, avoid any drivers who approach you directly. The journey takes about 30 minutes and the fare will be approximately GEL30-50.

You can take public bus #337 from Academy of Sciences station which is 700 m away from hotel. Bus drives directly to the Airport and it takes about 1hour and 15 min to get there.

Meals & dietary information

Breakfasts included: 9

Lunches included: 2

Dinners included: 2

While travelling with us you'll experience the vast array of wonderful food available in this region. Your group leader will be able to suggest restaurants to try during your trip. To give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat, generally not all meals are included in the trip price. This also gives you more budgeting flexibility. As a rule our groups tend to eat dinner together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other's company. There's no obligation to do this though.

DIETARY REQUIREMENTS
Please let us know your diet requirements before your trip starts. We'll try to accommodate your requests where possible but please be prepared as some dietary requirements may not be well understood in some destinations, hence you may have to miss on some food-related experiences or have access to limited food options.
Generally speaking, in bigger cities/towns vegetarians can expect a reasonable range of vegetarian venues and/or vegetarian options within tourist restaurant menus. However, vegetarianism is not the norm in this part of the world so options can be limited when eating at homestays, small local restaurants, street stalls, markets, etc.
More restrictive diet requirements (vegans, celiac, gluten intolerance, fructose intolerance, lactose intolerance, etc.) can also be accommodated along this trip but you should expect a lesser variety than what you can expect at home. We recommend that, if possible, to bring your own supply of snacks with you.

SIMPLE BREAKFAST
Some of the included breakfasts along this trip can be quite simple: toasts, spreads, juice and coffee or tea.

Climate & seasonal information

Spring and autumn are the best times to visit the Caucasus. Summers (especially July and August) can be very hot and humid with temperatures reaching up to 40 degrees Celsius. This is a great time to escape to the coast or the mountains to cool off. This is a beautiful, fertile region so bring an umbrella and expect rain at any time of year!

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 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 or local representative may not be able to resolve a situation to your satisfaction - if this is the case, please ask the group leader or local representative 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 numbers below:

Intrepid local operator : Available for phone call on +30 697 800 6335 

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.