Since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, a number of magnificent corners of Eastern and Central Europe have thankfully opened to travellers. Few are as exciting and varied as both Azerbaijan and Georgia. Though tiny countries (you’ll have to zoom in between Russia and Turkey to spot them), they are stunning for their history, culture and architecture, and for being major stops on the infamous Silk Road—one reason for their rich histories.
On this tour you begin in the Caspian Sea city of Baku, with its Carpet Museum and tantalizing mixture of ancient and postmodern architecture—ideal for photographers. Then travel overland through Azerbaijan, meeting locals and exploring the Caucasus monasteries, churches, palaces and markets.
In Georgia, you tour the capital of Tbilisi, seeings its old district, viewing it panoramically from a hilltop fortress and relaxing while enjoying some of that famed Georgian wine.
Days 1-3: Explore the seaside city of Baku with a tour of the major historic sites, including caravanserai, the Carpet Museum, the Maiden’s Tower, the ancient Shirvan Shah Palace and the UNESCO-protected Qobustan archaeological site.
Days 4-6: Travel from Shamakhi and Lahic for classes in yogurt-making and copper-forging to Sheki Khans Palace to witness and photograph the infamously one-of-a-king stained glass artwork; later ride across Nidj, Sheki and Kis to discover Azerbaijan’s ancient, remote history.
Days 7-10: Cross into Georgia, entering via a wine region where you can taste the flavours of a 300-year-old Georgian wine cellar, designated by UNESCO as a heritage process, and take a tour of Tbilisi for rustic views and historical landmarks.
Length/Departs: 10 days / June–Sept.
Accommodation: Hotels, guesthouses
To learn more about this trip or to book it now, click here.