Silk Road Artisans of Georgia
A Cultural Immersion Tour in Georgia
Registration: OPEN (Max 12 participants)
- John Graham
- Specialist guests and traditional musicians
- Arrive-Depart Tbilisi (airport designation TBS)
- 11 day overland travel itinerary (12 nights inclusive)
- Visas: US or EU passport holders do not need a Georgian visa
- 2 nights Tbilisi, Georgia (hotel)
- 2 nights in Kakheti, Georgia (hotel)
- 3 nights in Tbilisi, Georgia (hotel)
- 3 nights in Kutaisi, Georgia (hotel)
- 2 nights, Tbilisi, Georgia (hotel)
- Accommodation in high quality best-available boutique hotels specially vetted for comfort and location
- All ground transportation including airport transfers
- All meals with wine/beer as noted in itinerary
- All entrances
- Entertainment (traditional singers, a ballet or opera if performance dates match our itinerary)
- Water on the bus, snacks (we pamper our guests!)
- Tips for primary guides and driver
- Personal services (laundry)
- Food-drink not specified in itinerary
- $3450 (in 2019)
- $560 Single supplement
- Gold: $250 discount
- Silver: $150 discount
- Bank transfer (preferred)
- Personal check to Vermont address
- Paypal (3% Paypal charge applies)
- Standard: 3/10 on the mobility scale (10 being the most demanding).
- General fitness required. There are stairs to the churches. We will have some walks, but nothing strenuous. Walks are on uneven rocky terrain, sturdy footwear required. If walks are too demanding there is always an option to skip the walk.
- We will expect late spring weather in the mountains, which means it could be anything. Prepare for temperatures between 40-75F, likely that we will have at least one rainy day.
- This will be flower season!
- Rainy weather a strong possibility!
- Contact us for the invitational tour brochure. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Submit registration form (sent at your request)
- Deposit of $1000
- Schedule a private 3-day tour up the Russian Military Highway to the highland region of Kazbegi!
Sounds of the Tour
This newly developed tour program focuses on meeting active artists in Georgia to learn about their various art forms including visual and tactile arts as well as performing arts such as singing and dancing. As Christianity is deeply embedded in Georgian culture, we will have a chance to witness and learn about the revival of Christian arts such as fresco painting, cloisonne enamel work, embroidery, stone and wood carving, as well as polyphonic liturgical singing. Instrument building, modern art and sculpture, and carpet weaving form other strong artistic movements that exist outside the Christian sphere.
Our tour begins and ends in Tbilisi, the thriving cultural and business capital city of Georgia. Our accommodation in the heart of the rejuvenated Old City places us within easy walking distance of many sites including churches, mosques, synagogues, carpet shops, and boutique cafes. We will visit several newly reopened museums featuring high quality exhibits on pre-Christian gold jewelry, medieval Christian arts, and the Soviet occupation. The focus of our travels outside of the cities will be UNESCO-recognized world heritage sites in East Georgia. Two of the most important medieval Christian churches are the Gergeti-Sameba monastery in the highland region of Kazbegi, and the cathedral of the Life-Giving Pillar in the ancient capital of Mtskheta. Some of the finest architectural masterpieces in the Caucasus take time to find: many are hidden in remote locations.
Viticulture is another important aspect of this tour. No trip to the Caucasus is complete without indulging in some of the delicious homegrown wine. Indeed, East Georgia may have been the birth place of cultivated viticulture, as the archeological record dates this activity to 6000BC. In the Alazani Valley in East Georgia, where we will stay for two nights, viticulture is still visibly the culture of the land: many local villagers produces their own wine from their own grape varietals (more than 430 varietals exist in Georgia alone). We’ll visit some local vintners, try their vintages, and take home the best. Every day is a feast of local cuisine with local wine. And as on all of our tours, the leadership team includes singer-instrumentalists who enliven our tour with folk songs, liturgical chant, and instrumental music from each of the regions we visit.
About the Tour Leaders
John A. Graham, ethnomusicologist and Georgian chant scholar (Ph.D. Princeton University, 2015), first visited the Caucasus region in 2003 where he witnessed the political upheaval that led to the “Rose Revolution.” Enamored with the language, culture, history, and music of Georgia since that time, John has been leading uniquely designed cultural tours throughout the Caucasus since 2006. On this tour, John’s co-leaders include a team of singers and artists.