Type: Tours around Edinburgh
Departs From: Edinburgh
Meeting Point: Hotel pick-up
Duration: 9 hours
Available Languages: English;
Available: Friday at 09:00
The Pshavi-Khevsureti region has always played a big role in the life of the nation. In
times of danger the population would gather the nation’s greatest treasures and run to
the mountains. Mountain villages were strongly fortified, often with defensive towers
which during time of peace were used for domestic activity. The best example of such a
village is Shatili. The geographic location and the way of life in this region have given
rise to a unique cuisine. One of Georgia’s most popular dishes, khinkali, originated
Wake up with a strong Greek coffee and eat foods steeped in Byzantine history. Sip on ouzo in one of the city's best ouzeris while wandering through open-air markets. Soak up the hustle and bustle of Athonos Square of Thessaloniki and get a sugar fix while sampling syrupy siropiasta.
Samtskhe-Javakheti and Kvemo Kartli (Lower Kartli) are located in the Lesser
Caucasus mountain range. Elsewhere in southern Georgia the soil is of volcanic origin
with semi-volcanic lakes scattered in the valleys. The cuisine, not unexpectedly, is just
as different. Kartlian cuisine is dominated by vegetables and soups, Meskheti is famous
for its breads and cheeses.
Samegrelo contains the land of Colchis where the legendary king Aeëtes, son of Helios,
ruled. It was also the homeland of Medea, with whose help Jason obtained the golden
fleece. As for Svaneti, because of its isolation among some of the highest mountain
peaks of the Greater Caucasus range, it preserves an unwritten language and aspects
of culture that are pre-Christian. The medieval Svan towers rise from the rugged terrain
like sentinels. Because Samegrelo and Svaneti are neighbouring regions--one on the
coast at the foot of the mountains the other in them--their cuisines are similar to some
degree yet remain distinct. An attentive gourmet will, for example, easily taste the
difference between sulguni cheeses from these two regions.
In Adjara and Guria, mountains and sea combine to present a unique natural setting
and a mild climate, which also determines their culinary output. Cooks make liberal use
of local herbs and spices in vegetable and bean dishes, corn bread (mchadi) and the
Adjarian sweets baklava and shakar lama. Plentiful dairy products and nuts are at hand
for richer dishes.
This trip will take you to the cradle of wine production--Kakheti--where you will see the
centuries-old, traditional way of making wine in vessels buried in the ground, and taste
the product of some of Georgia’s more than 500 grape varieties. Sample shoti fresh
out of the round stone oven or sweets as they are being made. In mountainous
Tusheti--to some the most beautiful part of Georgia--you can taste the famous guda, a
sheep’s milk cheese historically aged in sheepskin. In both Kakheti and Tusheti you
may learn, hands on, to make local dishes.
You will travel through the two most beautiful regions of Georgia, neighbours Imereti
and Racha. Much as they resemble each other in natural conditions, their character and
way of life are distinct. Most of Imereti is lowland except for the norhth where it borders
on mountainous Racha. The two regions have overlapping culinary repertoire (corn
based dishes and sauces with nuts) as well as fare typical of each.