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12 - 30 Oct 2023 (19days 16nights accommodation) Go Georgia
(Tbilisi, Kazbegi, Okatse Canyon, Mestia, Karoldi, Ushguli, Kutaisi Winery, Vardzia)
Cost per pax Rm7,100 (10-14 pax group - no accompanying YonGO leader)
Based on 1 EURO=Rm4.8930 on 22 Mar 2023.
Final adjustment on the cost is based on the exchange rate at time of final collections.
EXCLUDES FLIGHT - Looking at Turkish Airlines Rm3861 (2Apr23)
Update 2 Apr 2023. Group will be led by a licensed experience Georgian tour leader who led LeeKeng private group in Oct 2023, and also leads currently runing Yongo Apr 2023 group. WhatsApp trip manager YONG LEE KENG 012 3158353 or email email@example.com for booking.
IMPORTANT NOTICE: This is meant to be a "free and easy" adventure trip. Participants should be relatively fit, with a good sense of humor, and above all, have the right attitude for close travel with others through possibly some trying times. Most definitely, this is not a trip for prudes, whiners, fuss-pots, and other similarly assorted types! We had a couple of those before and it wasn't pleasant for us or them. Although every effort will be made to stick to the given itinerary, ground conditions may change and cause some disruption and/or deviation from the norm. Otherwise, have fun.
Lake karoldi - hight alpine vegetation
Trip involve several walks and treks. We hire a Mercedes Sprinter with a Georgian guide and a local driver for the duration of this trip. We stay budget hotels and local guesthouses. We use smaller chartered 4WD vehicles for some mountain areas. Large sized 28 inches luggage ARE NOT ALLOWED on Yongo trips. Many Yongers manage with 22 inches but most will use 24 inches trolleys. Note trip cost covers half-board at Mestia 4- nights and half-board at Kutaisi Winery stays (breakfast and dinners).
In Greek Mythology, Georgia was the home of the Golden Fleect. Today a more spirited fame is Georgian Wine, as Georgia is also referred to as the "Cradle of Wine", with wine samples dating back 6000 years! Whatever ... let's enjoy Georgia's mountains, edifices, dances, good food and of course, great wine...and brandy. By YONG LEE KENG.
DAY 1 Meet KLIA. Meet KLIA by 8:00PM for Turkish Airlines flight departing 11:05PM THU 12 OCT 2023. .
DAY 2 KLIA to Tbilisi. Lands Istanbul 4:45AM (10:40hr flight) transit 1:55hr before departing 6:40AM landing Tbilisi 9:55AM (2:15hr flight). Free day Tbilisi. Overnight (ON) Tbilisi (B).
DAY 2 Tbilisi. After a good Georgian breakfast, our Georgian Guide will bring us for a half-day walking tour of Tbilisi main sights, including lunch stop at the Old Town, Narikala Fortress, major monuments etc. A good evening start would be to catch an exuberant Georgian Folk Show (at own cost) with great food and wine Overnight (ON) Tblisi (B).
Day 4 Mtskheta / Stepantsmida. A whiff of Ancient Georgia and taking the high road to the Caucasus. A short 25km drive will bring us to the Georgian old capital of Mtskheta. We visit the 6th century Jvari Monastery, a church that has remained almost unchanged, and the 11th century Svetitskhoveli Cathedral, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. PM : We take a 133km mountain drive to Stepantsmida in the foothills of the High Caucasus, passing Ananuri Fortress and Gudauri Ski Resort enroute, and will stop if time permits. ON Stepantsmida (B)
Day 5 Stepantsmida (Kazbegi). Enjoying Kazbegi offering of history steeped in beauty, and a luxuriant landscape below Mount Kazbek. Time for a good warm-up hike of about 1.5hrs to the beautiful 14th century Gergeti Trinity Church. At 2170m asl under Mount Kazbek , the isolated location surrounded by vastness of nature has made it one of the most iconic symbols of Georgia. PM : An easy hike to Gveleti Waterfall, to enjoy more marvelous mountain landscapes, and visit Juta village situated at 2200m asl for a great sense of tranquility. ON Stepantsmida (B)
Day 6 Stepantsmida Kutaisi. Glimpse into Soviet-era history of Stalin before modern and vibrant Kutaisi/ We drive 200km to Gori and make a stop here to visit Stalin Museum. One of the most infamous of Soviet era dictators, Stalin was actually a Georgian and born here. PM : Continue our journey another 147km to Kutaisi, Georgia’s second largest and most central city. We should arrive early evening time to catch splendid sunsets from Gelati Monastery on a hilltop overlooking Kutaisi. ON Kutaisi (B)
Day 7 Okatsse Tskaltubo Kutaisi. Light adventure and more Soviet era history day. A short drive will bring us to Okatse Canyon and we will take in a nice and easy 2-3hrs 6km morning walk along a stone path and boardwalk in the Dadiani Forest. Panoramic views from the 20m extended platform will be a primary highlight. PM : Visit a Soviet-era relic, Tskaltubo Spa Resorts. Once a gem of Soviet Wellness Tourism for the Soviet elites, today most of the palatial buildings are now like ‘lost in time’ majestic monuments. ON Kutaisi (B)
Tbilis - capital of Georgia
Day 8 Kutaisi Mestia (4 nights). Scenic drive day Kutaisi to Mestia. AM : We take in a scenic 5-6hrs slow drive to Mestia, 1500m asl, along the lower reaches of the Svaneti High Caucacus, with a short viewing stop at Enguri Dam, the world’s second highest concrete arch dam. PM : Arriving Mestia mid-afternoon, rest of day is free to explore this small serene mountain town on your own. ON Mestia. (B,D)
Day 9 Chalaadi Heshkili Mestia. High adventure awaits, Chalaadi Glacier hike and Heshkili Swings. A short drive to the trailhead, and a short 1.5hrs 3km hike through pine forest and rocky remains of previous Glacier movements, will bring us to Chaaladi Glacier. After taking it all in, back to the trailhead and Mestia for lunch. PM : We jump into 4wd vans to head up to Heshkili, 1900m asl. In winter, Heshkili is a popular ski resort, but other times, it’s a must-have Instagram swing shot! ON Mestia (B,D)
Day 10 Koruldi Lake Mestia. Another day of high adventure by 4WD and marvelling at mountainous landscapes. 4wd Vans will bring us on an exhilarating 1.5hrs drive on narrow twisting mountain roads to expansive and enchanting Koruldi Lakes at 2750m. We have a few hours to enjoy the freshest mountain air and scenery. Those with energy can hike up to the many small peaks abounding to take in even more majestic views. PM : After lunch, we drive back to Mestia on a downhill exhilarating 4wd van ride to reach mid-afternoon, just in time to take in a village walk. Clambering up on of the iconic Svaneti watch towers is a must-do! ON Mestia (B,D)
Day 11 Ushguli Mestia. Culture and history at Ushguli. At 2100m , it's one of the highest continuously inhabited settlements in Europe, and recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Take away all the modern features, and you could be in a ‘Game of Thrones’ setting! We will use 4wd vans for the 1.5hrs drive to Ushguli, have a walkabout in the village, and lunch at a local riverside restaurant. After lunch we drive back to Mestia and rest of the afternoon free and easy for some shopping, strolling and self-sightseeing. 4th night in Mestia (B,D)
Varadzia UNESCO. And great wild trout lunch.
Day 12 Seaside Batumi. A scenic drive day from mountains to seaside. We drive 270km today, from mountainous Mestia to beachfront Batumi on the Black Sea. PM : Lunch stop will be at Kutaisi, and we should thereafter arrive Batumi late afternoon. Rest of day free and easy to chill out after a long day’s drive. Happy hours or Cappuchino on the Batumi waterfront should be high on the list!. ON Batumi (B).
Day 13 More Batumi. Enjoy balmy bountiful beautiful Batumi on the Black Sea. A relaxing morning to visit Batumi’s many attractions, including Mankhutseti Waterfall, Dendrology Park, Gonio Fortress etc. PM : Stroll along the waterfront and stop at the fish market to select choice seafood to be cooked at one of the many resrtaurants along the waterfront. We continue our sightseeing with chilling at the Botanical Gardens. ON Batumi (B)
Day 14 Kutaisi Winery stay.. Culture day at Zugdidi and then wine time! Drive 132kms to Zugdidi to visit Dadiani Palace. Once considered one of the most eminent palaces in the Caucacus, today it house a History and Architecture Musuem. PM: We should arrive at our Winery Hotel nicely located in the lush Kutaisi countryside, by early afternoon. Wine making tour and tasting will be the order of the rest of day, Georgia is after all, the ‘cradle of wine’ with wine-making evidence found here dating 6000 years back! ON Kutaisi Winery (B)
Day 15 Borjomi Vardzia. Pet adorable Georgian sheep dog puppies, walk the park and enjoy Georgian rural hospitality. Drive 130km to Borjomi Park, with a short stop enroute at the Georgian Sheep Dog Sanctuary. At Borjomi Park, we have an easy stroll in the park and have a nice lunch at the many garden restaurants abounding. PM: Drive another 110kms to Vardzia, with stops to view Khertvisi Fortress and a short stop to walk through the Saro Megaliths. We have a one night stay at a Farmhouse Homestay to experience rural Georgian hospitality with homemade wine served by the jugs! ON Vardzia Farmstay (B,D)
Day 16 back to Tbilisi. Cave tales of old and wild big trout lunch before back to Tbilisi. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Vardzia Caves Monastery Complex date back to the 12th century, The caves hug the cliffs for up to nineteen tiers. We explore this marvel of stone steps, tunnels, medieval cave ingenuity, and soak in its history. PM : Lunch will be big wild trout at a nice riverside restaurant beside the caves complex. After that, it’s a picturesque 226km drive to Tbilisi, passing pastures, small settlements and the biggest lake in Georgia. ON Tbilisi (B)
Day 17 Tbilisi free day. We will go a half-day walking tour of Tbilisi main sights, including lunch stop at the Old Town, Narikala Fortress, major monuments etc. A good evening start would be to catch an exuberant Georgian Folk Show (at own cost) with great food and wine. Tbilisi, home of 25% of the total Georgian population. A free rest of day for self-exploration, shopping, strolling, or all three. Suggested walkabout. Flea Market, National Museum, modern Galleria Mall, Clock Tower, Peace Bridge and end the day with happy hours and delicious dinner around the Peace Bridge vicinity. ON Tbilisi (B).
Day 18 Fly home. Airport transfer 7:00AM for flight departing SUN 29 OCT 2023 at 11:55AM landing in Istanbul 1:40PM (flight 2:45hr). Transit 3:20hr before departing to KUL at 5:00PM.
Day 19 Home. Lands KUL at 8:10AM MON 30 OCT 2023.
UNESCO list Ushguli Village in Mestia
TERMS AND CONDITIONS
- Cost cover accommodation, town-to-town travel and tours/entrances specified in the itinerary.
- Accommodations will be in local guesthouses and budget hotels. Meals provided indicated in itinerary B-breakfast, L-lulnch and D-dinner.
- Not covered are airfare, meals (Rm100 x 15 days = Rm1500) and other entrance fees not specified in the itinerary,
- Optional activities and In-town taxis are not covered except for transfers to and from airport to our place of stay.
- Cost is subject to change depending on fluctuations in exchange rates..
- A Non-refundable deposit of Rm2100 is payable to confirm your place.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org OR email@example.com
Whatsapp Phone: Lee Keng 012 3158353
WhatsApp Phone: Lee Min: 016 220 9033