Discover the secrets of the Caucasus and Turkey, from Baku to Istanbul
Visit three countries that have taken a big leap into the 21st century, where historical old towns and monasteries sit comfortably alongside towering skyscrapers. Visit one of Europe's largest open-air rock museums, warm your hands against a mountain that is forever on fire, walk through the gardens of a local Kakheti family and talk about provincial life over a hearty lunch. Uncover the centuries-old recipe for producing Georgian wine and learn how to make your own yoghurt. Reconnect with nature on hikes through wooded forests and past the mountainous Chaladi glacier. Indulge your inner history buff as you stand on the steps of the Blue Mosque, wander the ramparts of the Narikala Fortress, learn the secrets of Georgian cheese making and join the homely ruckus of a Turkish tavern. This all-encompassing trip takes you from eccentric Baku, to the lush green slopes of Georgia's Mestia valley and into the crowded spice markets of Istanbul.
Azerbaijan's cosmopolitan capital of Baku is often referred to as the 'new Dubai'. Enjoy a guided walking tour around the city's World Heritage-listed Old Town.
Mud volcanoes, ancient mosques, lush forests and tall peaks – the Caucasus Mountains will take your breath away
Journey to the Svaneti region, the remote and alluring land of snow-capped mountains, medieval-style tower-houses and a fascinating local dialect.
Far from a mere sightseeing tour, this trip is active and hands-on. You'll try your hand at preparing delicious kubdari, hike to the Shkhara glacier and to Soganli Mountain in Turkey.
Visit the picturesque Uzungol, the Switzerland of Turkey.
With a strong historical focus, this trip is perfect for history buffs.
You will reach a significant altitude on this trip 2,200 metres at the highest point. A good level of fitness is required. That said, alternative activities can often be arranged for those who would prefer not to hike.
Cross the border between Georgia and Turkey overland.
This trip uses a mix of public and private transportation. While the latter is convenient, public transport in Georgia & Turkey is a great way to experience daily life as the locals do.
Photography of sensitive sites such as military bases and power installations is prohibited. You maybe charged a photo fee at some tourist site. Be aware of cultural sensitivities when photographing churches and other religious sites.
Please note 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). Landslides are also common.
As we don't want you to miss anything, the itinerary is densely packed, so you'll be busy. There will, however, be plenty of free time and opportunity for independent exploration.
On some days, there is a lot of walking between sights and around towns and cities. While it can be tiring to be on your feet, this is the best way to see a destination. Make sure you bring comfortable walking shoes with good support.
1. A Single Supplement is available on this trip, excluding some nights in guesthouses.
2. Please note 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). Landslides are also common.
3. Following recent safety incidents we recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest information on travelling in Turkey before your departure and ensure that your travel insurance covers you for all areas of your itinerary. We have links to prominent government travel advisories and regular updates on issues affecting this trip on our Travel Alerts page - www.intrepidtravel.com/au/travel-alerts
4. As of 10th January 2017, nationals of 81 countries can apply for an Azerbaijan e-visa without the previously required visa support. Applications can be made directly though the electronic vias portal here:
5. The flight from Trabzon to Istanbul is included in the trip price.
6. High altitudes will be experienced during this trip of up to 2200m above sea level.
7. Your leader will change at the borders on this trip.