Armenia & Georgia Real Food Adventure

Trip Code: KFZG

Why we love it

Prepare your own tolma (vine-wrapped rice, herbs and lentils), feast on succulent khorovats (Armenian pork barbecue) and visit a distillery to taste legendary Armenian brandy at the source., Stay overnight in a local guesthouse in Gudauri, sitting down to a traditional meal with the family who run it., Familiarise yourself with the local life in Telavi and make 'mtsvadi' (grilled pork skewers) then indulge in 'churchkhela', a delicious Georgian sweet!, Discover the World Heritage-listed church and cathedral in Mtskheta, Georgia’s spiritual heart since Christianity was established in 301., Finish your food adventure in Tbilisi, Georgia’s capital, awash with culture, colour and beautiful architecture. A bonus at the end of your city tour is a 'chaqafuli' (beef or lamb in a fresh plum sauce) feast.

Is this trip right for me?

The cuisine of the Caucasus region includes a lot of meat and seafood. For vegetarians and vegans we recommend reviewing the itinerary and inclusions to ensure that you will be able to fully participate and enjoy this trip. We also have many other trips to the Caucasus region which can accommodate a range of dietary requirements.

You will reach a significant altitude on this trip (2200 metres at the highest point), so a good level of fitness is required for the hiking in Gudauri. That said, alternative activities can often be arranged for those who would prefer not to hike.

Photography of sensitive sites such as military bases and power installations is prohibited. You may be charged a photo fee at some tourist sites. It’s important to be aware of cultural sensitivities when photographing churches and other religious sites.

On some days there’s a lot of walking between sites and around towns and cities. While it can be tiring to be on your feet, this is the best way to see a destination. Comfortable, sturdy walking shoes will be your best friend.

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).

Important information

1. A single supplement is available if you’d prefer not to share a room on this trip. The single supplement applies to all nights of your trip and is subject to availability. Please speak to your booking agent for further information. 
2. While we endeavour to cater for specific dietary requirements, some meals and food activities are set in advance and may be difficult to adjust. Please advise us of any dietary requirements at the time of booking so that we can ensure you’ll enjoy this trip.
3. Due to current border crossing restrictions for different Caucasus nationalities, your Trip Leader will be from a neighbouring region. Your leader will have in-depth knowledge and extensive travel experience throughout the Caucasus. Local guides representing their own country are used 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.

Physical rating

3

Joining your group

Ani Central Inn Hotel, 20 Tigran Mets Avenue, Yerevan, ARMENIA, Phone: +374 10540708, Fax: +374 10545000

Ani Central Inn Hotel (previously known as Hotel Silachi) is located around 10 minutes walk from Republic Square. Facilities at the hotel include an indoor swimming pool, sauna, free WiFi, restaurant, bar and 24 hour front desk. Each room is fitted with air conditioning, a flat-screen TV and safe, as well as a private bathroom with a hairdryer and free toiletries. Breakfast is included.

Joining instructions

Please 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 Yerevan International Airport (EVN) by a transfer representative holding an Intrepid sign. If your flight arrives ahead of schedule, please approach the Hertz desk and let them know about your transfer booking. 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 +37 499 25 3311.

Alternatively, you can take a taxi. Depending on the time of day that you arrive you can expect the ride to take approximately 20-30 minutes and cost the local currency equivalent of USD$6.

Finishing your trip

KMM Hotel, 10 Mefsalmune David King street Metekhi Turn, Tbilisi, GEORGIA, Phone: +995 32 2 74 71 85

Located in the Avlabari district in the historic Old Town of Tbilisi, the hotel has modern, comfortable rooms with en suite bathrooms, minibars and cable TV. There is free WiFi on site. The Avlabari Metro Station is 250 m from the property. A buffet breakfast is included. Avlabari is a great choice for travellers interested in city walks, old town exploring and local food.

If you have a confirmed departure transfer your leader will advise your pick up time the day before your trip ends.

Alternatively, please ask your leader or hotel staff for assistance in arranging a taxi or instructions to reach the airport by public transport.

Meals & dietary information

Breakfasts included: 9

Lunches included: 6

Dinners included: 5

While travelling with us you'll experience the vast array of wonderful food available in the world. 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 together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other's company. If you have dietary requirements and/or food allergies, please let your booking agent know prior to departure.

While we will endeavour to cater to dietary requirements where possible, please note that many meals and food activities on Real Food Adventures are set in advance in order to deliver a well-rounded experience of a country’s cuisine. In many countries, dietary restrictions are uncommon and not well understood. If you have dietary requirements and are concerned about whether this may impact on your ability to participate fully in all food-related activities on this trip, please speak with your booking agent so it can be determined whether your dietary requirements can be met.

Meals & Beverages:
Please refer to the inclusions section for the included meals and food activities. Beverages (alcoholic and non-alcoholic) are not included with meals unless specified or part of a beverage tasting activity. 

Climate & seasonal information

WEATHER
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. Winters can be very cold, although the country rarely freezes over. Power supplies are frequently interrupted however so don’t rely on heating. This is a beautiful, fertile region so bring an umbrella and expect rain at any time of year!

HIGH ALTITUDE ROAD CLOSURES
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).

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 8677 9186 657

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


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