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CODE:
ZUT
DAYS:
12
FROM (USD):
$752 +
KITTY FROM (USD):
310 USD
PHYSICAL:
ACCOMMODATION:
20%
80%
Review:
4.70
OUT
OF 5.0
 
Silk Route between Istanbul and Tbilisi
OR VICE
VERSA

OVERVIEW

12 days between Tbilisi and Istanbul or vice versa...
Asia is the continent where overlanding all started, and Dragoman has been the leading operator there since our first trucks went through in the 1980s - take advantage of our years of experience and come with us as we include all the must-see attractions as well as heading into the wilds, well away from the usual tourist trail. This wonderful holiday-length overlanding adventure is the first leg of the ancient Silk Road, along which ancient traders would journey between Europe and China. Our journey starts in the magnificent city of Istanbul, once the capital of the Byzantine and Ottoman empires and heaving with awe-inspiring historical sites. We will then overland through Turkey to the magical land of Cappadocia, where we explore the underground cities and Byzantine rock-hewn churches of the Göreme Valley before heading northeast to the breathtaking ancient monastery of Sumela. Our route then skirts the Black Sea and crosses over into the unique country of Georgia. Here you'll discover the port town of Batumi, the ancient city of Kutaisi and its fantastic Orthodox churches, and the town of Gori, birthplace of the infamous Soviet dictator Josef Stalin. We then head to the charming capital of Georgia, Tbilisi. Join us on this wonderful and unforgettable overland experience on the Silk Road!

Itinerary

Please choose a departure date as details may vary:

View over the capital Tbilisi, Georgia
Tbilisi

Border information: if you are joining in Tbilisi, you will most likely enter Georgia at Tbilisi International Airport (IATA code: TBS).

There will be a pre-departure meeting at 10:00am - on arrival please look out for a note from your leader with more information about this important meeting.

This afternoon we will visit the old town of Tbilisi and visit sites including the National Museum, Sioni Cathedral and the Metekhi Temple.

Please note that many of the options listed below will only be possible for those with extra time in Tbilisi before the start of your trip with us - please contact the Sales team if you would like to book pre-tour accommodation with us to have extra time exploring Tbilisi.

In Tbilisi we will stay in a comfortable hotel with good facilities.

*Important note - do not bring any medicines containing tramadol, codeine, temazepam, morphine or opiates to Central Asia. These are illegal in all circumstances in most of Central Asia and you will risk arrest. If in doubt about a particular medicine, please do not bring it. See the notes at the bottom for more details.*

Activities Description Approx. Cost
Optional Learn all about the history of Georgia during Soviet times, and the struggle for independence, at the Museum of Soviet Occupation GEL 3
Optional Enjoy an evening of local dancing and music at a Georgian restaurant in Tbilisi GEL 25
Optional Explore the ancient Narikala Fortress and take in the fantastic views of Tbilisi below Free
Optional Visit the beautiful Orthodox Sioni Cathdral in Tbilisi's Old Town Free
Optional Discover the folk architecture, craftwork and culture of the various regions of Georgia at the Giorgi Chitaia Open Air Museum of Ethnography GEL 1.5
Optional See the incredible collection of historical artefacts at the Simon Janashia Museum of Georgia GEL 3
Optional See the grandiose modern Holy Trinity Cathedral of Tbilisi, the seat of the Georgian Orthodox Church Free
The 14th-century Tsminda Sameba Church near Stepantsminda, Georgia
Stepantsminda

Today our journey begins with a beautiful drive to the spectacularly located town of Stepantsminda (formerly known as Kazbegi).

Either this afternoon or tomorrow morning, we will take a trek up to the Tsminda Sameba Church (the Church of the Holy Trinity), a beautiful small church nestled in the mountains.

In Stepantsminda we will stay in a local hotel or family-run guesthouse.

Estimated Drive Time - 4-5 hours (please note that all drive times given here are the approximate number of hours that the truck will be in motion only, and does not include any time taken for coffee or lunch stops, border crossings, photo stops, activities en route, comfort breaks, shopping stops, toilet stops, etc. The times given are approximate estimates only and whilst given with the best of intentions, the drive times are heavily dependent on traffic, road conditions, weather, police roadblocks, and many other factors - flexibility is essential on any overland trip!).

Activities Description Approx. Cost
Included

Hike to beautiful 14th-century Gergeti Trinity Church, set in the stunning mountains above Stepantsminda

Included in Kitty
Make the local delicacy of kinkhalis, Stepantsminda, Georgia
Stepantsminda

We spend this morning in and around Stepantsminda, where we can trek to the Tsminda Sameba Church if we haven't done so already.

This afternoon we have a beautiful drive to the UNESCO world heritage site of Mtskheta, the ancient capital of Georgia. Whilst here we will explore the 11th century Svetitskhoveli Cathedral.

In Mtskheta we will stay overnight in a local guesthouse. 

Estimated Drive Time - 3-5 hours.

Georgian monk at Gelati Monastery, Kutaisi, Georgia
Kutaisi

This morning we drive to Gori, the birthplace of Stalin - here we will have a guided tour of the city and the Stalin Museum.

We then make our way to the ancient town of Kutaisi. This afternoon we will visit the medieval Bragrati cathedral and the Gelati monastery.

In Kutaisi we will stay in a local hotel or a family-run guesthouse.

Estimated Drive Time - 4-5 hours.

Activities Description Approx. Cost
Optional Visit the beautiful 11th-century Bagrati Cathedral, a symbol of the city of Kutaisi Free
Included Explore the colossal and awe-inspiring Prometheus Caves near Kutaisi Included in Kitty
At the Black Sea port of Batumi, Georgia
Batumi

This morning we will continue to the port town of Batumi, where we will have a free afternoon to explore.

In Batumi we will stay in a comfortable hotel.

Estimated Drive Time - 3-5 hours.

Activities Description Approx. Cost
Optional Visit the Batumi Archaeological Museum, home to many historical exhibits found in excavations in the area GEL 2
EXPAND ALL DAY ITINERARIES FOR THIS TRIP
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Zaza is definitely a great asset in Georgia!
Peter D - - 4th June 2015
Gino and Jim are a perfect match and they turned my first overland trip from Istanbul to Xi'an into a truly unforgettable adventure! Both are very helpful and very pleasant persons and it is great fun to travel with them. I always felt safe and secure with them, no matter where we were. Many thanks to you guys, you are incredible!
Julia S - - 4th June 2015
Impressive work in all aspects, no matter if it was maintaining the truck or making sure that everybody was having a good time!
Stine J - - 4th June 2015
Once again, really outstanding crew who are credits to Dragoman.
Jennifer P - - 4th June 2015
Zaza in Georgia was excellent, if a little quietly spoken.
Jennifer P - - 4th June 2015
Trip completely as descibed and very profressionally lead.
Richard C - - 4th June 2015
Excellent - having travelled with Tim previously, it was great to do so again.
Richard C - - 4th June 2015
Tim and Lynsey were absolutely tops. I could not have asked for better drivers/leaders.
Joshua C - - 4th June 2015
Sophie had very good English skills. She had a great sense of humor and was knowledgeable about her country of Georgia.
Charleen K - - 4th June 2015
On long trips or when spirits were down, Domingo did a wonderful job at cheering people up. Euan the driver was great, he drove very well, and had a very good attitude.
Kushal I - - 4th June 2015
Our guide in Georgia was Sophie - she was helpful, pleasant and knowledgeable of the country's history, geology, and past events. Very willing to help.
Joseph K - - 4th June 2015
Domingo and Euan were just perfect at their jobs!
Elva B - - 4th June 2015
The truck was capable and roomy. It was set-up really well and easy to utilise during camping.
Kelly P - - 4th June 2015
Overall the trip was fantastic. The two guides added to my overall satisfaction; they were responsible, approachable, friendly and honest.
Kelly P - - 4th June 2015
They were both fantastic. I don't think we could have asked for a better crew.
Kelly P - - 4th June 2015
Zaza was also great; really helpful, knowledgable, and friendly.
Kelly P - - 4th June 2015

PHOTO GALLERY

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DATES & PRICES

Take a look at the departures and prices for this trip This group overland journey has multiple departures.
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Start
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Beginning:

Thu
23 Mar
2017
Ending:

Mon
3 Apr
2017
12 Days

Istanbul to Tbilisi
Price (USD)  Kitty (USD)        Approx. (USD)
$940 + $300 = $1,240
limited
Beginning:

Thu
4 May
2017
Ending:

Mon
15 May
2017
12 Days

Istanbul to Tbilisi
Price (USD)  Kitty (USD)        Approx. (USD)
$940 + $300 = $1,240
available
Beginning:

Thu
15 Jun
2017
Ending:

Mon
26 Jun
2017
12 Days

Istanbul to Tbilisi
Price (USD)  Kitty (USD)        Approx. (USD)
$940 + $300 = $1,240
available
Beginning:

Sun
6 Aug
2017
Ending:

Thu
17 Aug
2017
12 Days

Tbilisi to Istanbul
Price (USD)  Kitty (USD)        Approx. (USD)
$752 + $310 = $1,062
closed
Beginning:

Sun
1 Oct
2017
Ending:

Thu
12 Oct
2017
12 Days

Tbilisi to Istanbul
Price (USD)  Kitty (USD)        Approx. (USD)
$940 + $300 = $1,240
limited
Beginning:

Sun
12 Nov
2017
Ending:

Thu
23 Nov
2017
12 Days

Tbilisi to Istanbul
Price (USD)  Kitty (USD)        Approx. (USD)
$940 + $300 = $1,240
available
Beginning:

Thu
22 Mar
2018
Ending:

Mon
2 Apr
2018
12 Days

Istanbul to Tbilisi
Price (USD)  Kitty (USD)        Approx. (USD)
$980 + $300 = $1,280
available
Beginning:

Thu
17 May
2018
Ending:

Mon
28 May
2018
12 Days

Istanbul to Tbilisi
Price (USD)  Kitty (USD)        Approx. (USD)
$980 + $300 = $1,280
available
Beginning:

Thu
14 Jun
2018
Ending:

Mon
25 Jun
2018
12 Days

Istanbul to Tbilisi
Price (USD)  Kitty (USD)        Approx. (USD)
$980 + $300 = $1,280
available
Beginning:

Sun
19 Aug
2018
Ending:

Thu
30 Aug
2018
12 Days

Tbilisi to Istanbul
Price (USD)  Kitty (USD)        Approx. (USD)
$980 + $300 = $1,280
available
Beginning:

Sun
30 Sep
2018
Ending:

Thu
11 Oct
2018
12 Days

Tbilisi to Istanbul
Price (USD)  Kitty (USD)        Approx. (USD)
$980 + $300 = $1,280
available
Beginning:

Sun
11 Nov
2018
Ending:

Thu
22 Nov
2018
12 Days

Tbilisi to Istanbul
Price (USD)  Kitty (USD)        Approx. (USD)
$980 + $300 = $1,280
available
* Sale price is for a limited time only and is subject to change at any time.
 

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