Enjoy the harvest season of Samtskhe-Javakheti

Travel Period –June-July / September-October

            • Two-day tour with two variations depending on the season
            • Best places where you can make and taste traditional products in Samtskhe-Javakheti
            • The beautiful scenery of the Mtkvari River Valley, Vardzia Cave complex, Tmogvi Fortress, Upper Vardzia Monastery
            • Taste unique and traditional cuisine, products and confectionery based on Meskhetian cuisine
            • Explore the wholesome foods being harvested in the region

Option 1

Day 1 – Tbilisi – Vardzia Resort

Day 2 –  Vardzia – Valodia’s Cottages – Upper Vardzia Monastery – Tbilisi

Option 2

Day 1 – Tbilisi – Vardzia Resort

Day 2 –  Vardzia – Agritourism Farm Tirebi – Tmogvi Fortress – Tbilisi

 

Day 1. Drive south towards the Hotel Vardzia Resort, overlooking the Vardzia Cave complex across the river. June and July are the mulberry picking season with residents busy harvesting mulberries and other fruits to make various products.  Mulberries are distilled to make vodka and also tklapi (fruit leather), pelamushi (fruit juice pudding), chiri (dried fruit) and bakmazi (reduced mulberry).

On this trip, you can join in harvesting and making bakmazi, a condensed juice made from white mulberries (Morus alba) and sometimes pears. Bakmazi is typical of the Samtskhe-Javakheti region and used as a natural sweetener, often eaten with bread and butter and various cookies. Vardzia Resort offers classes in traditional cuisine, so you can fill your day with a fun learning experience and then feast on what you have made.

Day 2. Start with a visit to the Vardzia Cave complex, inhabited since the Bronze Age and developed into a sophisticated monastic and defensive site between the eleventh and thirteenth centuries.

In Valodia’s Cottage in Korsikhevi you will hear many interesting stories from your hosts about the region and its culture, have a delicious dinner and swap stories with other guests about your trip.

The excursion ends at Upper Vardzia Monastery where the nuns make a range of handicrafts and offer classes in making candles, wooden crosses, icon painting and embroidery.

An optional programme for travellers visiting the region in the autumn

Day 1. Drive to the Hotel Vardzia Resort.   In September-October, you can explore all the wholesome foods being harvested such as local families picking numerous varieties of plums. The most popular are chanchuri plums,  used to make vodka, tklapi, pelverda (jam), chiri, and walnut churchkhelas. You can join various classes offered by your hosts in the Vardzia Resort including the enjoyable process of making tklapi,  a traditional Georgian pureed fruit rolled up. It is poured thinly onto a sheet and sun-dried on a line.

Day 2. Start your day with a visit to the Vardzia Cave complex and then continue to the agritourism Tirebi Farm where you can taste the delicious local cuisine. The owners will accompany you to the ancient Tmogvi Castle either on horseback or on foot. If you do not plan to travel to Tbilisi, you can book accommodation in Tirebi and enjoy a few more days in its rural atmosphere.

For more information please contact directly Samtskhe-Javakheti DMO!

 

 

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