Example Itinerary

Georgia: A Culinary Roadtrip

Duration
10 days / 9 nights
Price Per Person
Interests
Cuisine, Heritage
Destinations
Georgia

This 10-day journey across the country’s diverse landscape takes you on a deep-dive of Georgia’s cuisine, a culmination of flavors derived from its location between Europe and Asia. For centuries Georgia served as a stop on East-West trade routes which allowed for exotic cuisines from Greece, the Mediterranean, Turkey, Persia, and Asia to mingle with Georgian cooking. In addition, repeated invasion of the region led to further layering of foreign and local flavors.  From citrus-producing subtropical lands near the Black Sea, to mountainous herding terrain in the north and prime vineyards in the east, each Georgian region developed its own distinctive contributions to the country’s culinary identity. Visit local markets to seek the freshest produce, join locals in their homes for rustic feasts, learn how to make national dishes, sample a variety of natural wines, and taste all the flavors that are quintessentially Georgia.

This itinerary is an example. It’s designed to inspire you and provide you with thoughtfully curated ideas. You can choose to do this exact itinerary or completely personalize it. All trips are 100% bespoke.

Highlights

  • Bake and Break Bread with Locals: Eat like a local by eating with the locals. Be warmly welcomed into the homes of locals across the country where you will be treated to homemade dishes and signature Georgian hospitality.
  • Taste of Tradition: Georgia’s time-honored culinary traditions are cherished and well-alive, from using the qvevri in winemaking to barbecuing meat in the great outdoors and holding elaborate feasts called supra, which involve a generously laid table of food and wine for family and guests, accompanied with song and dance. Experience these traditions yourself throughout the trip. 
  • Regional Fare: Each region of Georgia has its trademark dishes and culinary traditions, influenced by the area’s history and landscape. In the east, you will find mild, robust meals of grilled meat, bread, and wine. To the west, herbs, cheese, chili, and garlic punctuate flavorful stews and sauces. In the mountainous region, hearty dishes rely on potatoes, meat, and cheese, while areas on the coast of the Black Sea see seafood on the menu. Grape varietals and winemaking processes differ across the country as well, resulting in a wide variety of local wines. 

Day-by-Day

Day 1

Map

Tbilisi »

Arrive in Tbilisi, Georgia’s capital and the heart of the Caucasus. Proceed through immigration and security to the arrivals hall where you will be met by your private guide and driver. Transfer to your hotel by luxury sedan, check in, and enjoy the rest of your evening at leisure. 

Hotel Options

Day 2

Map

Tbilisi »

This morning will be spent exploring the East-meets-West city of Tbilisi, with stops at iconic sights and landmarks.   Begin from the 13th-century Metekhi church where you can take in views over the Old Town before wandering the charming cobblestone streets, past colorful homes with iconic wooded balconies, restored and repurposed Soviet-era buildings, hidden cafes and bohemian boutiques, a smattering of churches, and a hodgepodge of old and modern architecture. Take a cable car up a steep hill to Narikala Fortress, an ancient Persian citadel that dominates the Old Town skyline. From here you can gaze down over the city and Mtkvari River. A meandering scenic trail will take you past the Mother Georgia statue to the historic area lined with centuries-old domed brick sulfur bathhouses. Come afternoon, it is time to delve into food and wine. Your first lesson will be about Khachapuri, the national dish of Georgia which can be found ubiquitously on every family’s dinner table. Khachapuri is an integral part of Georgian cuisine and a must-have for traditional holidays. This sumptuous stuffed buttery bread is often seen topped with egg and cheese, a popular style from the Adjara region. Each region has its own version and can vary from using boiled potatoes as a topping, to using a yogurt or millet based dough, and even layering the dough similar to lasagna sheets. At this restaurant, see how this dish is made and taste the different regional varieties. Afterwards, continue to the Bagrationi factory. Bagrationi sparkling wine is made from indigenous grapes—Tsitska, Chinuri, Goruli Mtsvane, Mtsvane Kakhuri and Saperavi—from the best wine-growing regions of Georgia—Kartli, Imereti, and Kakheti. Take a private tour of the factory for insight into the history of the estate and its production methods, followed by a degustation of different types of sparkling wine.

Tbilisi

Day 3

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Kakheti Wine Region »

Leave Tbilisi for the Kakheti region, the country’s premier area for viticulture, and experience Georgia’s wine culture. Kakheti is famous for being a winemaking area, and every guest is well-treated to the country’s signature hospitality. First, head into the semi-arid desert landscape to visit the ancient David Gareja complex, a rock-hewn 6th-century monastery carved into the slopes of Mt Gareja. Nearby, stop at Udabno village. Built in the mid-1980’s during Soviet rule, Udabno served as a new home for Svans, an ethnic subgroup, who migrated from the mountainous Svaneti region. Here you will meet a local Svan family and enjoy a homemade lunch in their farmhouse. Try several Svanetian dishes, characterized by their heavy use of bread, potatoes, meat and cheese, including the beloved Kubdari, a flatbread stuffed with chunks of meat, spices, and onions. After lunch, take to the vineyards and visit a traditional Georgian wine cellar in Kondoli village where you can sample an exquisite natural wine called ‘Zghia’, produced using traditional methods. The ancient Georgian method of winemaking involves using a kvevri, large clay pots used for the fermentation and maturation of wine. Finally, arrive at Tsinandali town to visit the Chavchavadze estate, formerly owned by a local prince in the 19th-century. The estate features a beautiful landscaped garden, historical winery, and memorial house. It was here at Tsinandali winery that Georgian wine was first bottled. Settle into your hotel in Tsinandali for the evening.

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Day 4

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Kakheti Wine Region »

Experience a slice of local life with a visit to the market at Telavi, a bustling covered open-air space where farmers from around the region come to hawk their fresh produce and homemade goods. Here you can try the season’s sweetest fruits, sample fresh breads and sweets, and pick up some spices to take home. Then, make a stop to admire Gremi, a 16th-century complex that encompasses a royal citadel and a church. Continue to Kvareli town to experience a wine and cheese pairing. Taken very seriously here, Georgian sommeliers specially work for months to create their menus. Save some room for lunch as you will be treated to Mtsvadi, Georgian barbecue, with a local family at their farm. The preferred protein in Kakheti is beef or lamb, cut into chunks and liberally salted - a minimalist approach that lets the meat sing. The preparation for the barbecue is done exclusively by men, while women bake the bread and make a confection called Churchkhela, candied nuts and fruits in the shape of a candle. Observe the process and join in to lend a hand in both cooking and eating this spirited lunch. The last stop today is at the private home of a local farmer who makes the kvevri. Learn more about this important earthenware and see how they are made. 

Kakheti Wine Region

Day 5

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Tbilisi »

Early this morning, return to Tbilisi via the scenic Gombori Pass. At Dezerter Bazaar, Tbilisi’s largest farmer’s market, you will meet Teona, your local host for today. Teona is an avid home cook and enjoys sharing her passion for cooking and Georgian cuisine with travelers. Have Teona escort you around the busy market; she will introduce you to the season’s freshest produce both foraged and farmed, locally-sourced fish and meats, and homemade products such as pickles and cheese. Then, head to her house where she will prepare several Georgian staples including khinkali (meat stuffed dumplings) and eggplant with walnuts.  After a lovely lunch with Teona, drive to Mtskheta. Due to its historical significance and collection of several cultural monuments, it was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994. The two most important sites are Jvari Monastery and Svetitskhoveli Cathedral where it is believed the Robe of Christ is buried. Before heading back to Tbilisi, stop by Chardakhi village to enjoy a wine tasting at a special wine cellar. The company produces organic wines so notable and unique that they feature on the wine list at the Ritz Carlton hotel in London.

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Day 6

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Kutaisi »

Today you will make your way to western Georgia. The first stop is at a small town just outside of Tbilisi called Gori, most well-known as the birthplace of Stalin. Visit the Stalin house-museum before continuing on to the nearby Uplistsikhe Cave town. Similar to the David Gareja complex, Uplistsikhe is also cut out of a mountainside, and served as a stopping point along the Silk Road. As you drive into the western Imereti region, observe how the landscape changes into thick forest covered mountains. Stop in Merjevi village and visit a century-old wine cellar located on a mountain slope. Learn about wine-making in the west and how it differs from the east due to different climates and environment. Have lunch at a local farmhouse and sample homemade Imeretian dishes. The highlight dish today is Pkhali, a flavorful vegetable pate with walnut paste and fresh local herbs. Also make a stop in Chiatura, an interesting industrial town that has preserved much of its Soviet-era architecture, mines, and monuments. Of particular interest is its cable car system. Finally, arrive in Kutaisi and settle in for the evening. 

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Kutaisi

Day 7

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Kutaisi »

Acquaint yourself with the 3000-year-old city of Kutaisi as you stroll through the old town and visit Bagrati Cathedral, an unmissable landmark in the city. Erected on a hilltop, the stately building with a turquoise dome top can be seen from anywhere in the city. Stop to enjoy Georgian Polyphonic songs in the courtyard. Then, take a drive just northwest to the historic Samegrelo region, known for its Megrelian cuisine which offers a wide variety of hot and spicy dishes. First, admire the Martvili Canyons, its steep cliffs and waterfalls best appreciated from a boat ride through the gorge. Then, enjoy lunch with a local family that produces their own wines. Sample Elarji, Samegrelo’s staple dish, a thick cheesy porridge made from coarse cornmeal and Sulguni cheese that has been heated and stirred constantly to form an incredibly stretchy and delightfully chewy consistency. Afterwards, visit Gelati Monastery. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Gelati is one of the most important sites of the country, serving as one of the oldest educational centers in Europe as well as the tomb of David the Builder, Georgia’s greatest king.  

Day 8

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Kutaisi »

Get a taste of the Racha highlands today. This mountainous area is located in the upper Rioni river valley and hemmed in by the Greater Caucasus mountains, a scenic land of alpine lakes, waterfalls, and forests. Signature dishes from Racha include Lobiani, a baked bread stuffed with kidney beans, and Shkmeruli, roasted young chicken in creamy garlic sauce cooked in a clay pan.  The area produces a dark ruby red wine called Khvanchkara which is naturally semi-sweet with notes of berry aromas. First, visit Racha’s beautiful Nikortsminda Church, then stop at a local wine factory to taste the famed Khvanchkara wine. Then, enjoy Racha’s signature dishes with a local family who will show you how to cook these dishes from scratch. After much food, wine and splendid Racha scenery, return to Kutaisi. 

Kutaisi

Day 9

Map

Tbilisi »

This morning you begin your drive back to Tbilisi. Enroute, stop at Mukhrani village to visit the estate of Ivane Mukhranbatoni. He was a Georgian nobleman who was a modernizer of the winemaking industry and lead the frontier of sparkling wine production in Georgia. Enjoy lunch at the restaurant on the estate, as well as taste a selection of the estate’s wines. The star dish today is Chakapuli, a fragrant sour stew typically made with lamb that features fresh tarragon, sour green plums, green peppers, and garlic. Served hot with Georgian bread, this is a popular meal nationwide. Follow lunch with a  special wine painting master class. Once back in Tbilisi, the rest of the day is yours. If you are keen to indulge in more Georgian culture, opt to visit the famous sulfur bathhouses, a local favorite pastime where you can enjoy a hot soak with a relaxing massage or traditional kisi exfoliation scrub.

Hotel Options

Day 10

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Departure

Enjoy your final morning in Tbilisi, whether with a leisurely breakfast, strolling around the leafy streets, or shopping for last-minute souvenirs at trendy boutiques. When ready, a private transfer will take you to Tbilisi International Airport to catch your flight onward. 

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With Remote Lands you'll travel with people who have made Asia the solitary focus of their own lifelong adventure. As our guest, in the continent that our north American founders Catherine and Jay have adored and explored for decades, you'll discover Asia on a journey that is completely, authentically your own, adapted from our own remarkable experiences and adventures over the years.

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