Have you been in Georgia?

Short city break in Batumi for cruise ships

Except lot of entertainment infrastructure, modern Hotels, cafes, Bars or Restaurants, nice beaches and parks, Batumi region has amazing mountainous nature with unique flora and fauna, waterfalls, antique villages with old traditions and lifestyle. Travel Agency Exotour provides very interesting activities: sport, cultural, thematic or just holiday vacations on the beach:

08:00 – starting the tour with Batumi seaside park and old-city district with lots of cafes, shops and churches;
10:30 –excursion to the Batumi Catholical Curch, museum of history and the Art gallery;
12:00 – drive to Gonio fortress, Sarphi resort till the Turkish border;
13:00 – walking tour to the Batumi Botanical garden;

One day tour in Batumi for cruise ships

New Radisson BLU Iveria Hotel Tbilisi

Located in the City Center in Rustaveli Avenue.
All Rooms are equipped with bathroom, satellite TV, phone, mini bar, free Broadband.
Hotel services are: Italian and International restaurants, Iveria Casino, business centre with conferences and meetings facilities, Wireless Internet access, Massage, Health Spa and Fitness Centre with an indoor pool and a Juice Bar, sauna, safe-box and parking.

Book Radisson SAS Iveria Hotel Tbilisi

Azerbaijan tour Itinerary from EXOTOUR 2010 year

Day 1: Your walking tour of Baku includes the medieval walled city "Icheri Sheher" with its narrow alleyways, historic caravanserais, mosques and Palace of the Shirvanshahs. Visit the 12th century Maiden’s Tower, the imposing mansions of the oil barons, built in the oil boom of 1870-1914 and Martyr’s Alley with its superb views over the Bay of Baku. Lunch. A trip to the Absheron Peninsula, visiting the Zoroastrian Fire Temple and Yanardagh (Burning Mountain). Dinner at Karvansaray restaurant with national music show program.

Day 2: Departure for Gabala early in the morning. The city, which is situated 225km from Baku, was built 1,800 years ago, for 600 of which it served as the capital of Caucasian Albania. The program includes visits to the historical museum and Albanian church in the Nij village.

Day 3: Depart for the Caucasus Mountains in the northwest of Azerbaijan. The dry landscape around Baku gives way to a densely forested mountain area. Visit the town of Shemakha, Juma Mosque and Yeddi Gumbez. Lunch in local café. Drive to Sheki. Check in at Sheki Saray Hotel. Drive into the countryside to the village of Kish with the oldest church in the Caucasus dating from the first century and enjoy walks in the surrounding Caucasus foothills.

Day 4: Transfer from Sheki to Shemakha. In this city, you will have the opportunity to visit such historical and architectural monuments as the Juma Mosque (19th century), Yeddi Gumbez (Seven Domes) and the observatory of the great scientist, N. Tusi, where one can see one of the biggest and most ancient telescopes in the world. Return to Sheki.

Day 5: Visit the Royal Summer Palace of the Sheki Khans with its magnificent frescoes and stained glass as well as Sheki Museum and Fortress. Drive to Baku. Visit to Kish and lunch on the road.

Day 6: Baku – Guba – Baku. Breakfast at the hotel. Drive to Guba, the northern part of Azerbaijan, border with Russia. Visit the Krasnaya Slobada, the Jewish settlement in Azerbaijan. Drive back to Baku.

Explore Caucasus Cultural Tours to Georgia and Azerbaijan

Sighnagi Town

Georgian Folk Music: about the Georgian Songs

Like a tender whisper or like a tremendous roar, the ancient Georgian folk songs fill the air.
For at least one thousand years, the polyphonous song has been a natural part of life in this country south of Caucasus. The Georgian people have always been singing during labour in the fields, at weddings and funerals, at parties and in wartime...
There are even serious music researchers who state that once upon a time, the Georgians taught our ancestors in the West to sing polyphonic songs. In Georgia, it is above all men, who sing polyphonic songs. There are also many folk songs for female voices, but there are no mixed choirs in traditional Georgian music.
Roughly speaking, Georgian can be divided into a West Georgian and an East Georgian tradition. In East Georgia, it is very common that two solo performers weave their richly ornamented parts together, carried by the flexible bordun voices of the other singers.
In West Georgia, the polyphony is more refined. In a westerners ear, the songs may often sound rather chaotic at first, with three or four voices living their own lives with no traditionally harmonious connection.
However, there are leading people in the West, who have declared that these songs, from a composition-technical point of view, are equivalent to the most refined works by Bach and Beethoven.
In West Georgian music, you may also often hear the unique krimanchuli song. Krimanchuli is a form of yodeling in an extremely high tone. The technique is very arduous and the best krimanchili singers are highly esteemed in Georgia. You may often listen to real championships when the singers try to surpass each other with the most outrageous musical excesses.

Jens Moller
producer of the Mono Music CD with Ensemble Tbilisi

In May 2001 the UNESCO, meeting in Paris, designated 19 oral traditions to a World Cultural Heritage List. One was the polyphonic singing from Georgia:
Chakrulo - the Georgian song, which 30 years ago was selected to be part of the music that was to represent human culture aboard the spacecraft Voyager I. It is on its way to Outer Space from the Earth travelling at 144 000 km/h and it is at present in the Autumn of 2001 some 12 000 millions km away.

Sights and Churches of Georgian Highland Racha

In Oni Tourists can find the church of Archangel Gabriel, the Jewish synagogue, the museum of Fine arts, the Giga Japaridze's theatre museum, the studio gallery of artists Maia Nadareishvili and Izo Nadareishvili, listen to the folk music by choir "Racha", formulate the journeys toward Utsery and Shovi resorts, which are famous with their mineral waters, also toward village Shkmeri, Mravaldzali and Shkmeri. excursions on mamisony hill, visit the "Duroiani house" in the village of Ghebi etc.

Synagogue - Is located in Oni. It had been built in 1895 by Warsaw Synagogue project. It is an important architectural building.

Barakony - The church of St. Maria. It represents an old construction of Georgian domical church. It?s one of the most important churches of Racha, belonging to last period of Georgian rchitecture. It had been built in 1753 by the order of the lord Rostom of Racha.

Nikortsminda - Georgian domical church. It had been built during the reign of Georgian king Bagrat III in 1010-1014. The Church is beautified by frescos of XVII century. The church is decorated by splendid ornaments.

The pass of Mamisony - Is located in the central range of the Caucasus. On the watershed of the Ardony and Chanchaxi Rivers. Length 2619 meter. There are sub alpine and alpine zones.

Shovi - Is located in 1520 meter reduced from the level of the sea and 30 kilometer from Oni. There are Carbon dioxide - hydro carbonate, Natrium, Calcium mineral spring waters.

Utsera - The resort in the municipality of Oni. Reduction from the level of the sea 1050 meter, from Ony 10 kilometers way. It is rich with mineral waters. There is St. Maria church in the territory of resort X-XI Century. the church has been rebuilt in 1992-2002.

The museum of architecture
- Is located in Oni, built in 1952 by cultural workers of Georgia. In the museum are kept all about 14000 major and additional exponents.

Accommodation in Racha region: Hotel Racha in Oni

You can rest at the hotel in Oni where experienced host, quiet atmosphere and the kitchen of Racha are waiting for you. We are inviting you to the oldest city (Oni) of Racha, which is located on the left bank of the Rioni river. Reduction From the level of the see is 830 meters and from Tbilisi 310 meter. The hotel contains: four double rooms and one single room, private office for business meetings, big kitchen, 2 bathrooms and a toilet. There are two TV-sets in the hotel. Hotel has its own garden and double garage.

Contact: 7 Baratashvili Street, Oni. Mob: (899) 15-76-38

Mountaineering travellers will enjoy also other tours to Georgia Highland Regions such as Kazbegi, Khevsureti, Sairme and Svaneti

Svaneti Hiking Tour - 4 days

Day 1. Drive to west Georgia: visit antique town of Uplistsikhe, Stalin Museum in Gori, arrival in Kutaisi and excursion in the City: Bagrati Temple, Gelati Cathedral, stay overnight at the Hotel Altani in Kutaisi.
Day 2. Via Zugdidi drive to Svaneti with off-road vehicle, visit Museum of History and Ethnography, hiking near the Town and stay overnight at the guesthouse in Mestia.
Day 3. Drive to Ushguli village Svaneti situated 2200 m. above the sea level and is famous with its watch towers and beautiful view of Mt. Shkhara, tour to Ethnographical Museum, 12th Century Church of the Virgin Mary. Back to Mestia and stay overnight.
Day 4. Mestia hiking tour to the beautiful mountainous places around the City, return to Radisson SAS Iveria Hotel Tbilisi.

Tour extension for adventure travellers: Horseback riding in the Caucasus Mountains.
Rates: from 360 EUR p.p.

Tour provider Exotour Tbilisi, Georgian Tour Operator
Photos by Bardi Vadachkoria

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