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A COUNTRY FULL OF HIDDEN GEMS

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HOMELAND OF MANY CIVILISATIONS

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SCENIC LANDSCAPES

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UNFORGETTABLE NATURE

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PICTURESQUE HISTORICAL TOWNS

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CRYSTAL CLEAR BLUE WATERS

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FABULOUS PALACES

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GREAT MOSQUES

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STUNNING SITUATED MONASTRIES

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IMPORTANT CHURCHES

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RICH OF HISTORICAL SITES

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THE FINEST MUSEUMS

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UNIQUE NATURE WONDERS

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WINTER WONDERLANDS

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POWERFUL FORTRESSES

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TRAVELLING IN SMALL GUIDED GROUPS

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SLEEPING IN HIGHLY RECOMMENDED HOTELS

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ON THE ROAD

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IN THE AIR

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ON THE WATER

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ON THE TRACK

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ON TOP OF MOUNTAINS

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BENEATH THE EARTH

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TURKISH HOSPITALITY WELCOMES YOU

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WHEN YOU WISH, WHERE YOU WANT AND HOW YOU GO WITH ETD-PRIVATE

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BLACK SEA HIGHLANDS & STUNNING GEORGIA

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INTRODUCTION

With the natural beauties, coasts that combine the green with the blue, bays and beaches, mountains ranges that start right of the sea, numerous panoramic plateaus, lush inland forests, vast and beautiful plateaus on the hills, unique flora and fauna, rich historical and ancient cities,historical arch bridges, glacial lakes, wild waterfalls and rivers,thermal springs, national parks and the residents of the EasternBlack Sea Region welcomes visitors with respect and friendship,

If you’re interested in travelling to an almost forgotten land in the Greater Caucasus that has endured bravely among its mighty neighbours and where natural wonders and cultural diversity await you at every corner than Georgia is the place to be. Georgia isn’t high on the tourist radar yet, but that’s what makes it so special.

15 DAYS / 14 NIGHTS
Maçka (1) - Uzungöl (1) - Ayder (2) - Artvin (1) - Batumi (1) - Kutaisi (1) - Tblisi (3) - Idumala (1) - Şavşat (1) - Macahel (1) - Trabzon (1)

DEPARTURE: JUNE 27 2023

PRICE:
1175 EURO p.p. ın a double room
Single supplement: 240 Euro
Triple room: 1115 euro p.p.
Booking fee: 30.- per booking

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Day 1: Antalya - Trabzon ✈️ - Maçka (28 km)

Antalya – Trabzon late afternoon flight
Transfer to the town Maçka,
Overnight in Maçka

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Day 2: Maçka - Sümela Monastery - Trabzon - Uzungöl (166 km)

After breakfast the journey continues towards Sümela Monastery –one of the most valuable historical sites of Turkey- After a 5-year restoration, this monastery has been reopened to the public in 2020.The monastery, built in the 4th century, is located at an altitude of 1200 meters in the lush Altındere National Park. You will be driven up by minibuses and after a short walk you will enter this majestic monastery with unique frescoes and visit the various departments that are open to the public together with the guide. Via Trabzon, where you will visit the opulent church of Aghia Sophia with its refined frescoes. This Church was built by the Comnenus family between 1238 and 1263 when Trabzon was part of the Latin Empire and visiting Atatürk mansion to Uzungöl. The name Uzungol translates into the long lake, an accurate reflection of its picturesque appearance in between two domineering mountain ranges. Sitting 90 minutes’ drive away from Trabzon city centre, it belongs to the Caykara district. Its secluded destination makes it the northeast’s tourist attraction.
As well as belonging to the lake, the name refers to the village on the shores. For decades, locals have adhered to regional practices for building their houses. Given hundreds of acres of forests surround the lake, they used wood to build their homes and when tourism took off, built the hotels. It is not unusual to book into an older hotel and see everything handmade from wood, including the doors and headboard. This building style, named Karadeniz architecture, reflects its Black Sea location.
Overnight in Uzungöl

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Day 3: Uzungöl - Zil castle - Ayder (192 km)

After breakfast visiting Gadester summerpasture with a unique view over Uzungöl and a short visit to Dursun Ali İnan museum to get acquainted with the life in the past and the history and culture of the Black Sea region in Turkey. After the beauty of Uzungöl continue to Ayder yaylası. On the way you will pass through the Firtina Valley. From the entrance of this valley you will witness all the shades of green of nature, ancient arched bridges and untouched nature. In this area a visit to magnificent – raised above the woods- Zil kale may not be missed. You climb by bus to an altitude of 1400 meters until you arrive at the Ayder summer plateau. Here you will visit the Gelintülü waterfall, the Şenlik plain and the Kalegon district.
Overnight at Ayder plateau

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Day 4: Ayder - Çat village - Gito - Ayder (117 km)

On this morning when we opened our eyes in the Black Sea, we start our journey towards Çat Valley, our first stop, after breakfast in the wonderful view of our hotel. We will reach Badara Plateau with the impressions of Çat Village and Plateau. After the fun walks we will take on the wide plains of Badara and around its unique small pond, we will turn our route to Gito Plateau. We will take a pleasant walk from Badara to Gito and explore Gito. As the sunset time approaches, we will climb to a ridge that lays the valley under our feet, and with a magnificent view, we will sink the day on the Gito ridges and return to the Ayder plateau. Who knows, if we're lucky, we might see a sea of clouds today.
Diner and overnight in Ayder.

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Day 5: Ayder - Borçka Karagöl - Artvin (197 km)

After breakfast at the hotel, you will leave for the fairytale nature of Borçka – Karagöl in the province of Artvin. The minibus takes you over winding roads and past wooden village houses up to an altitude of 1550 meters above sea level to Borçka – Karagöl. A wonderful nature walk and photographic opportunities await you on the mountain slopes of Atanoğlu and Heba, covered with rare vegetation and inhabited by native animals.
Overnight in Artvin

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Day 6: Artvin - Batumi (95 km)

You’ll follow your way to Georgia – Batumi. Batumi is the second largest city of Georgia and the capital of the Autonomous Republic of Adjara, located on the coast of the Black Sea in Georgia.
Here you’ll visit the Botanical gardens, Europe square, Piazza square, Batumi boulevard, the Ali and Nino monument. After diner the dancing fountains.
Overnight in Batumi

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Day 7: Batumi - Kutaisi (158 km)

After breakfast leaving in to the direction of Kutaisi, the capital of the Imereti region, is one place you can’t miss in Georgia. Here you’ll visit the Bagrati Cathedral, A Unesco World Heritage Site, Bagrati Cathedral was commissioned by King Bagrat III and originally constructed in the 11th century. It underwent extensive renovations from the 1950s until the project finished in 2012 – today it is one of the top attractions in Kutaisi. Step inside and marvel at the frescoes covering the walls. You’ll find some of the best views over the city from the cathedral hilltop. Colchis Fountain, Right in the city centre, this ornate fountain features models of archaeological artefacts. There are approximately 30 statues of goats and sheep, and it’s crowned with two statues of horse-like figures, meant to represent jewellery found at Vani (an archaeological site near Kutaisi). The fountain’s name honours the ancient kingdom of the Colchis, which existed from the fifth to sixth century BCE – Kutaisi was the capital of this kingdom.
Overnight Kutaisi

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Day 8: Kutaisi - Tblisi (260 km)

After breakfast to Gelati monestery, Situated outside of Kutaisi, this medieval monastery is a Unesco World Heritage Site and one of the most important churches in the country. The site was constructed in 1106 on the orders of King David IV, also known as David the Builder – he is buried in the monastery, along with many other Georgian rulers. It was also the coronation site of King Tamar, the only female king in Georgia. But Gelati was founded for more than just religious purposes – it was a centre for education and science, with an academy on site to further Christian culture and learning.
After visit of the monestery a 1.5 hour drive to another top attraction. Vardzia, scattered across the slopes of Erusheti, looming over a lush valley scored by the Mtkvari river, Vardzia is Georgia's most remarkable cave city.
In its day, the rock-hewed burg consisted of 6,000 rooms spread across 19 levels, including 25 wine cellars, a nunnery, 15 chapels and an apothecary, all coming together to create a vibrant medieval city and monastery.
Time to go to the capital city Tblisi, where we’ll arrive late afternoon.
Overnight in Tblisi

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Dag 9: Tblisi (35 km)

After breakfast
Narikala Fortress, Once a Persian citadel, the ancient Narikala Fortress dominates the Tbilisi skyline. Established in the fourth century, it was expanded in the seventh, 16th, and 17th centuries, before much of it was destroyed in an explosion in 1827. The view from the fortress is one of the best in the Georgian capital.
Tblisi Old town (Dzveli Tiblisi)
Despite having undergone countless reconstructions over the centuries, Tbilisi’s Old Town has somehow retained its picturesque charm. With a colorful blend of Eastern and Western styles, the district’s cobblestone streets, ancient landmarks, and beautiful balconies draw architecture, history, and culture enthusiasts from around the world.
Georgian National Museum
The city of Tbilisi is rich with history, but travelers looking to gain a deeper understanding of the nation’s dynamic past should pay a visit to the Georgian National Museum (Saqartvelos Erovnuli Muzeumi), where impressive galleries are lined with the art and artifacts of this diverse nation, dating back to the 8th millennium BC.
Overnight in Tblisi

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Day 10: Chateau Muhkrani - Ananuri Fortress complex - Tbilisi (166 km)

Founded in the late 19th century by Prince Ivane Mukhranbatoni, the Château Mukhrani is a winery and castle located in Mukhrani village, just outside of Tbilisi. Mukhrani wines received international acclaim from the beginning and the winery was one of the exclusive suppliers to the Chateau Muhkrani
Russian Imperial Court. The castle and gardens were once a cultural center for the Georgian elite and Russian royalty. Château Mukhrani was abandoned and nearly destroyed during Soviet times, but in 2002 plans began to restore the estate to its former glory and to revive the winery.
Since 2007, Château Mukhrani has once again been producing wine harvested in its own vineyards. The wine cellar has also been rebuilt according to its original design and now holds more than 60,000 barrels of wine. Today, visitors can tour the restored castle, gardens and wine cellar; sample Mukhrani wines and Georgian cuisine; and try their hand at traditional bread baking, churchkhela making or chacha distillation.
Ananuri Fortress complex
Along the turquoise waters of the Aragvi River, is a prime example of Georgia’s unique blended architectural aesthetic. It was home to the Aragvi feudal dynasty during the 18th century, and was the staging grounds of numerous battles that Georgians both won and lost.
It’s a miracle the complex still stands today, given all the battles it hosted. The fortress, which dates to the 17th century, bore witness to centuries of battles, the massacre of the Aragvi clan, multiple peasant revolts, and fire. After surviving hundreds of years of turmoil, the complex eventually fell out of use in the 19th century.
Though it’s a shell of what it was when the Dukes of Aragvi occupied it, the fortress is still worth exploring. It holds two castles joined by a curtain wall once used for defense and three churches. The largest church bears a traditional Georgian Orthodox grapevine cross carved into its facade and frescoes that were largely destroyed in a fire. These design elements, among others, illustrate the stylistic blend that is Georgian architecture, calling to mind structures from the classical Greco-Roman, Byzantine, and Persian Empires.
Overnight in Tblisi

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Dag 11: Tbilisi - Diamond Bridge - Khertvisi fortress - Idumala (239 km)

After our breakfast a breathtaking route is awaiting you when we’ll drive to the Diamond bridge.
Georgia's new 240-metre-long tourist attraction might be reserved only for those with a disposition for thrills.
The bridge hanging above Dashbashi Canyon -- two hours by car from the capital Tbilisi -- could inspire you to have a drink and enjoy the view at the gigantic diamond multi-level bar at its centre or ride across on a bicycle attached to a zip line. The owners claim the bridge is the longest and tallest free-hanging structure in the world. The complex also includes paths to the canyon and its waterfalls, panoramic views, a giant swing, as well as cottages and a hotel. After our lunch further through Georgia’s nature beauty to Khertvisi Fortress, located in a gorgeus surrounding.
Overnight in Idumala

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DAY 12: Idumala – Ardahan – Şavşat karagöl - Şavşat(216 KM)

After our breakfast we’ll drive through alternate landscapes and pass the boarder of Turkey again on our way to Ardahan, where you will visit the Ardahan castle before you’ll go to Savsat. Savşat has a wonderful area and you’ll visit many unique places. First, we go to the Yavuz Village observation terrace, where we will watch the landscapes of Şavşat. From here, we will stop by Şavşat Karagöl via Kocabey Village. After our tour of Şavşat Karagöl, one of the two "Karagöl" in the region, together with Borçka Karagöl, we will see the Tibeti Church in Cevizli Village, which was built in the 900s, and turn our route to Mısırlı Village.
Overnight in Savşat

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DAY 13: Şavşat - Macahel (142 KM)

You’ll enjoy a local breakfast in stunning nature to start the day with a pleasant walk in the Papart Forest in the Papart Valley, which is one of the important valleys of the region. From here you’ll go to Maçahel (Turkey’s first and only biosphere reserve area under UNESCO protection, Macahel (also known as Camili) in the Black Sea province of Artvin’s Borçka district, fascinates with its unique culture as well as untouched springs, naturally aged woods, endemic plants, historic mosques and the pure Caucasian honey bee.)
Lekoban Plateau, which can be reached from two different road routes, Şavşat and Borçka; provides peaceful, serene habitat for a variety of forms of natural life.
Located in the foothills of the Karçal Mountains, which reach an altitude of 3,450 meters, at the Georgian border, the plateau is a popular destination for trekking, photography and nature enthusiasts with its rich biological diversity.
One of the most important characteristics of the Karçal Mountains - the ecosystem diversity that arises with sudden altitude changes - turns the region into a central attraction for nature tourism.
After a waik of about one hour you’ll reach the pearl of this region: the Meral falls.
Overnight in Macahel

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DAY 14: Macahel - Çağlayan - Rize - Trabzon (255 KM)

After breakfast, we leave to Fındıklı district. Located in Çağlayan Village
We get village impressions by visiting historical houses with Laz rural architecture. After a tea break in a beautiful garden, we taste a wonderful natural flavored ice cream in the center of Fındıklı. Afterwards, we will continue on the road and visit the Tea Factory in Rize, if it is open. Then we take a short shopping break in the center of Rize. After we ate our wonderful haricot bean menu at Çayeli, we may encounter a surprise program from our guide depending on time. At the end of the day, we will start the return journey and move towards Trabzon.
Overnight in Trabzon

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DAY 15: Trabzon - Trabzon airport - Antalya ✈️(9 KM)

A full day of rest to do what you want to do before departure to Trabzon airport for your early evening flight back to Antalya.
And again a unique ETD-Travel tour came to an end and we wish you all a safe journey home with a lot of great memories in your luggage.

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INCLUSIVE - EXCLUSIVE - GOOD TO KNOW

INCLUSIVE:
- Domestic flights Antalya - Trabzon / Trabzon - Antalya
- 14 nights in 3*/4* hotels - mountain lodges - guest houses
- 14x breakfast
- New model minibus with airco
- English speaking guide

EXCLUSIVE:
- 1x breakfast
- All lunches and diners
- All drinks
- Entrance fees (museum card)
- Personal expences
- Travel- and cancellation insurance (also for permit holders in Turkey) You can arrange those insurances at your bank or insurance agent

GOOD TO KNOW:
- Minimum 8 - maximum 12 persons
- You will need your passport which is valid for at least 7 months
- You need foreign currency for Georgia (Dollar or Euro) and Turkish Lira (cash)
- At most places you can pay with credit cards
- Casual clothes - sturdy waterproof walking shoes – raincoat - umbrella -
warmer clothing for the evenings and in the mountains
- Changes in the order in the program are reserved
- For swimmers bathing suits (also for a spa)
- You can take a day off rest at day 4, day 10 and/or day 15