Culture of Georgia

13-21 May 2020

Discover the enduring story of Georgia’s Jewish locals

On this nine-day tour of Georgia – the country, not the US state – we'll be visiting the vibrant Jewish communities that have grown from the first settlers way back in the sixth century, BC. Find out about the Jewish population's persecution, as well as triumphs, as we travel through three cities and various synagogues. Please send expressions of interest to tours@jewishrenaissance.org.uk and you will be sent a reservation form. The deposit for the trip is £275 per person, which will not be paid in until the tour is confirmed*. 

*Please note that as this trip is planned so far in advance, there may be minor variations in the itinerary, but the dates will remain the same.


Itinerary

Day 1: Wednesday 13 May

Evening arrival at Tbilisi International Airport and transfer to hotel.

Day 2: Thursday 14 May

Breakfast at the hotel. Visit Tbilisi's Great Synagogue and the David Baazov Museum of History of the Jews of Georgia. Also meet members of the Jewish Georgian community.

Day 3: Friday 15 May

Following breakfast, we'll drive to the 17th-century Ananuri Fortress, which provides stunning views of Zhinvali Reservoir and the Caucasus Mountains. Afterwards we'll head to Mtskheta city, the former capital of Georgia, and visit Svetitskhoveli Cathedral, the history of which has a mystical connection to a 1st-century AD Georgian Jew. We'll also visit the remains of the ancient city of Armazi, where Jewish graves were found. Back in Tbilisi there will be optional Mincha, plus kosher dinner.

Day 4: Saturday 16 May

Morning coffee, prayer and then breakfast near the synagogue. Then we'll take a tour of Tbilisi, visiting the historic sulfur baths, the old districts and Rustaveli Avenue, which is named after medieval Georgian poet Shota Rustaveli and stretches almost a mile through the centre of Tbilisi. Plus late lunch.

Day 5: Sunday 17 May

Journey to Kutaisi via Gori, the birthplace of Stalin, and Uplistsikhe, a cave town along the renowned Silk Road. Once in Kutaisi, we'll visit Kutaisi Synagogue and meet with members of the local Jewish community. Spend the night in the spa town of Tskaltubo.

Day 6: Monday 18 May

Enjoy views of the Caucasus Mountains and Shaori Reservoir on our drive to Oni, where we'll see the oldest synagogue in Georgia. Dinner will be back at the hotel in Kutaisi.

Day 7: Tuesday 19 May

On to the seaside city of Batumi, where we'll visit  Batumi Botanical Garden and then spend the night. En route to Batumi, we'll stop at Kulashi Synagogue.

Day 8: Wednesday 20 May

After breakfast at the hotel we'll explore Batumi city, including trips to Batumi Synagogue, the Medea monument, an Italianate piazza and Batumi Boulevard park.

Day 9: Thursday 21 May

Departure transfer to airport.


Cost

The cost of this trip, excluding the flight, is £1,395 per person sharing a double or twin room. The single supplement is £445. This cost* includes all accommodation, all tours and transfers (plus a bottle of water each day pp), professional English-speaking guides, entrance fees to attractions, plus half-board meals and sandwiches on the road (food will be kosher when available or vegetarian with permissible fish options).

The cost does not include: Flights to and from Georgia, visa, insurance, meals not mentioned in full itinerary, drinks at meals, personal expenses and gratuities.

If you are interested in joining this trip please email tours@jewishrenaissance.org.uk for a booking form or phone us on 020 7794 5254. This is a Jewish Renaissance trip and is limited to subscribers of our magazine. If you are not a subscriber and wish to join the trip, our annual subscriptions start from just £23.99  – click here to subscribe.

*Please note that as this trip is planned so far in advance, there may be minor variations in the itinerary, but the dates will remain the same.

The trip is organised in association with West End Travel.