Georgian History, Nature, and Wine Tour
- Gonio-Apsaros Fortress: Tour the mighty walls and towers of a site dating back to the 3rd century BC. Part Roman, part Byzantine, part Ottoman, this spot is central to the Argonauts legend and is believed to be the apostle Matthew's resting place.
- Makhuntseti waterfall: Scenic winding roads and dense forested ravines lead the way to our stop at this majestic 160-foot cascade, highest in Georgia.
- Wine tasting: Visit a mountain chateau where you'll taste a distinctive Porto Franco wine, along with cheese-filled khajapuri bread – a traditional Georgian specialty.
About this Batumi tour
Home to subtropical beaches and Olympic-grade ski mountains, Georgia spans between the Black Sea and the Caspian with the mighty Caucasus in the middle. It's a land that's been making history for several thousand years, and wine for even longer. Yet to most outsiders, it's still an unknown destination.
GoBe will get you caught up quickly as you visit Gonio-Apsaros Fortress, a coastal stronghold that several world-dominating empires have occupied and renovated over the millennia. Your guide will help you decode the fortress's layers to reveal parts from the Romans period, others from the Byzantine and Turkish eras, and aspects that tie back to this region's ancient Colchis roots.
Gonio also guards enduring legends: it's known as the place where Apsaros, son of King Ayet, was buried after having been slain by Jason, leader of the Argonauts, during the quest for the Golden Fleece. The remains of the apostle Matthew are also believed to rest there.
A steep drive into lush ravines shifts the scenery as you head up to the mountain wine chateau – catching jaw-dropping views of mossy Makhunseti Waterfall along the way; at 165 feet, it's Georgia's tallest cascade.
Archeological evidence of winemaking in this country dates back some 8,000 years. After all that practice, they've got it down: Georgian wines are ranked among the world's best. There at this Adjara vineyard, you'll sample a unique Porto Franco produced from locally-grown Chkhaveri grapes, accompanied by traditional khajapuri cheese bread.
Once you've gotten this taste of it, you're sure to have Georgia on your mind for a long time to come.
Chacha for two, please
Reaching back 80 centuries, Georgia's winemaking history beats the pants off any other country's. Its fine wines are universally served at tables throughout the former Soviet Union, but still not well known in the West, though that's changing. What's unlikely to make its way west anytime soon is Georgia's even more favorite drink – chacha, essentially homebrewed moonshine. Usually hand bottled and sold in corner markets, it's said to be great for whatever ails you. Who are we to disagree?
Arriving by cruise ship? Please proceed pier side, to the port entrance, and look for our tour representative with the displayed logo sign.
Most shops are open daily from 10:00 a.m. to 8 p.m., but some stay open until 9 p.m. The local currency is the Georgia lari and it is divided into 100 tetri. Euros and dollars are accepted at most establishments.
Plan to walk for about .5 miles over paved/gravel paths with inclines & steps. Pathways at the fortress do not have rails; paths by the waterfall may be slippery. Limited mobility? You may find this tour too challenging. It is not wheelchair accessible.
Cultural, Scenic, Food and Wine, Bus Tour
English, Russian, German, Italian
Tour Participation Requirements
This experience is rated moderate. Full participation may require extended periods of walking over even and uneven surfaces, steep terrain and/or water activity in a slight current. There may be steps, inclines, cobblestone surfaces, and extended periods of standing. Participants with physical limitations should take this into account.
Suitable for all ages, but if you are under 18 years of age you won't be able to drink wine on this tour. 18 is the legal drinking age in Georgia.
Full refunds issued for cancellations made 7 full days prior to the date and time of requested services. Cancellations made within the 7-day and 72-hour window will receive a 50% refund of purchase total. Purchases are non-refundable inside of 72 hours.
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