Expert-Led Group Tour

Georgia Group Tour - Christmas in Tbilisi

6 days

from £1,295pp
  • For a truly magical experience, spend Christmas in Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia
  • Stroll through the festively decorated streets and square
  • Venture out of the city, and visit Georgia's famous wine district

Offering a truly magical experience, spend Christmas in Georgia's capital city, Tbilisi. A city that celebrates in style over the festive period, with streets adorned with fairy lights and a wide range of festive events on offer.

Tbilisi's history is wonderfully diverse and its mix of cultures means that you can now choose between a mosque, a synagogue, Armenian or Georgian churches and a new Roman Catholic church. Its National Museum boasts an extraordinary collection of pre-Christian gold and silver, as well as collections of archaeology, history and ethnography.

Do they celebrate Christmas in Tbilisi?

Yes, they do, however, Georgia marks Christmas according to the Julian Calendar so Christmas Day is celebrated on 7 January, not in December. On this date, one of the main events is the Alilo procession. This is a Georgian tradition, which was revived in recent years and takes place on Christmas Day (January 7th). Tbilisi residents dress up and, with carts pulled by donkeys, gather near the Radisson Blu Iveria Hotel in Rose Revolution Square. They walk along Rustaveli Avenue and on towards the Holy Trinity Church for the Christmas service, collecting donations of food, which are later given to charity.

What is the weather like in Georgia in December?

Be prepared for a city covered in snow as well as long dark nights. Temperatures will range from -2 to -20 degrees, so it is important to wear layers to keep warm.

Don’t let this put you off. With enchanting frozen views of the cities many canals and rivers and snow-covered palaces, it is such a beautiful time to travel to Tbilisi.

What is there to do in Tbilisi over Christmas?

Christmas falls in January in Georgia, December 25th is a normal working day so museums and palaces will be operating as normal.

Time can be spent exploring the city’s historic landmarks, beautiful streets and modern buildings during the Christmas time. Take a walk on the wonderfully lit Rustaveli Avenue.

What is the accommodation like in Georgia?

Georgia hotels range from cosy boutique options to modern design accommodation and to the more unique.

The base for our Christmas in Tbilisi group tour will be the hotel Citadel Narikala, a charming boutique hotel which is centrally located. 

What is the food like in Georgia?

Georgian food is considered an expression of the culture. Warm, gooey comfort food like khachapuri (cheese-stuffed bread) finds balance with matsoni (sour yoghurt). Herbs like tarragon, flat parsley, dill and coriander combine with walnuts and garlic for rich fillings and sauces. 

What clothing should I wear?

Plenty of layers are important including a hat, scarf, gloves, thick socks and waterproof winter boots, as well as a warm winter coat. It is also important to bear in mind that, while it's cold on the street, indoors it's normally well above "room temperature". As part of the tour, we will be spending time indoors at museums so it is best to wear things that can be easily taken off and put back on again.

Is this group tour suitable for solo travellers?

Our group tours are perfect for solo travellers, as travelling as part of an organised group in faraway places does provide security and peace of mind. We handle all of the arrangements for you and there will be a local tour guide on hand throughout to provide advice and help if needed, as well as the expertise of a tour lecturer.

We have a no mandatory single supplement policy on most of our group tours, meaning that we will always do our best to match you up with another solo traveller of the same sex so that you do not have to pay for a single room.

If you would prefer the privacy of your own room and would like this guaranteed, then the single room price supplement will apply. However, we are currently offering 2 free single supplement places on a first come, first served basis.



Departing on:
  • 23rd December 2018

For a detailed itinerary or to book your place on this tour, please contact us.

STARTFINISHPrice Excluding Flights £Flight cost fromSingle SupplementTour LecturerStatus 
23rd Dec 2018 28th Dec 2018 £ 1,495 £ 400 £ 250 Local Guide Available
  Click here to see what is included/excluded

what is included

  • 4 Breakfasts, 4 Lunches, 4 Dinners
  • 5 nights accommodation at the Citadel Narikala Hotel
  • A glass of wine at Tsinandali
  • Airport transfers on arrival and departure
  • All land transportation by a comfortable A/C vehicle
  • An English-speaking guide throughout
  • Entrance fees to the visited sites
  • Gratuities for local guide, drivers and porters
  • Home-made wine at lunch with a local family in Ateni
  • Limited wine at dinner on the 26th of December

what is excluded

  • Any extra services
  • Any meals and / or drinks unless specified
  • International Flights
  • Items of personal nature
  • Travel or personal insurance

TO ALLOW FLEXIBILITY, OUR GROUP TOURS DO NOT INCLUDE INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS AS STANDARD. WE CAN ARRANGE INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS ON YOUR BEHALF AND THE ABOVE IS AN INDICATION OF COST, BASED ON RETURN FLIGHTS DEPARTING FROM LONDON. ALL INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS FROM THE UK ARE ATOL PROTECTED.

Itinerary at a glance

Collapse all
Day 1

Fly London to Istanbul

Day 2

Fly Istanbul to Tbilisi


Tbilisi
Note: You will need to walk through passport control where your passports will be checked and stamped and photos will be taken. No visa required for the UK passport holders.

You will be welcomed at the airport by your guide and transferred to your hotel.

After breakfast at the hotel start the city tour of Tbilisi at midday. Visit the Old Town - the original settlement of Tbilisi with winding roads, alleys and wooden balconies; Metekhi Church standing proudly above the river on a cliff-top; Sulphur baths - according to legend responsible for giving the name to the city; Narikala Fortress - impressive ruins located above the Old Town a landmark of the city and excellent for views of the swirling river Mtkvari and the Old Town; Sioni Cathedral the beating-heart of Georgian Orthodoxy; Anchiskhati Church a yet more ancient style of Georgian church with a choir to match. After that, walk along Rustaveli Ave. - The main 1 500 meter-long artery of the city decked out with elegant Renaissance and neoclassical buildings. Here you find the city's most important theatres and the Opera House.

The largest city in Georgia by a considerable distance, Tbilisi can justifiably claim to be the heart of the country. Squeezed between mountain ranges, the city fills the Mtkvari river valley. Having been the capital of Georgia for more than 1,500 years, in some form or another, Tbilisi is rich in history. However, as a city that hints at a new-found wealth, Tbilisi is undoubtedly changing. New building projects have added a touch of glamour to this historic city and contrast with the narrow streets, unchanged religious buildings and caravanserais of the old town.


Lunch and Dinner at local restarants


You will be staying at Citadel Narikala, Full board

Day 3

Tbilisi - Mtskheta - Uplistsikhe - Gori - Tbilisi
In the morning drive to the town Mtskheta which lies in a lush valley on the confluence of two rivers, the Aragvi and the Mtkvari. It is overlooked by the marvelously simple church of Jvari, a perfect example of early Georgian Christian architecture. Also visit Svetitsikhoveli Cathedral, Georgia's largest remaining Cathedral and burial place of the Georgian kings, notably members of the Bagrationi family. It has an extraordinary interior combining paintings, frescoes and a domed chapel used for the Christmas service. They are both UNESCO sites.

After that, Proceed to Uplistsikhe, a cave town hewn into the living rock, 8 kms south-east of Gori. The citadel dates back to the 7th century BC. It served as a strategic point on the ancient Silk Road from ancient times until the 15th century AD. It contains a large central hall for pagan rituals, living rooms and a 9th century church.

Lunch with a local family in Ateni (at the winery of a former Minister of Culture of Georgia)

Return to Tbilisi. En route to Tbilisi drive to in Gori. Today Gori is mainly known as the birthplace of J. Stalin. Visit Stalin's Museum.


Dinner at a local restarant


You will be staying at Citadel Narikala, Full board

Day 4

Tbilisi
In the morning visit Agmashenebeli Avenue, the main shopping and dining street on the right bank of the town. The street is refurbished and mostly restored to former grandeur. After that, visit the State Museum of Georgia which houses an extraordinary collection of gold filigree work dating from the 6th century BC among other items of repoussé work and jewellery.

Free time in the afternoon

Dinner at the Funicular restaurant overlooking the city - the upper station of the railway built in 1903 takes you to the Panoramic Park which provides spectacular views of the city.


Lunch at a local restarant


You will be staying at Citadel Narikala, Full board

Day 5

Tbilisi - Signagi - Tsinandali - Tbilisi
Today, visit the Kakheti region - cii lies due east from Tbilisi in a land dotted with fine old churches and vineyard after vineyard. Historically Kakheti was often the centre of political turmoil however some of the most beautiful and important buildings were erected here and the church architecture is as diverse as the wines in the region.

Begin your visit from the fortified town of Signagi, home to narrow cobblestone streets and views of the eastern Caucasus mountain peaks. Visit Signagi Museum, where you have the chance to see Pirosmani paintings and archaeological exhibits.

The day's excursions end at the Tsinandali Estate, which once belonged to the 19th century aristocratic poet Alexander Chavchavadze. Explore the museum and grounds, and return to Tbilisi.


You will be staying at Citadel Narikala, Full board

Day 6

Tbilisi
After breakfast check-out the hotel.

You will be picked up from the hotel at least two hours before your return flight home.

Fly Tbilisi to Istanbul

Fly Istanbul to London


You will be staying at Citadel Narikala, Full board

Accommodation

Below you can see some of the wonderful places we recommend you stay on your journey.

Citadel Narikala

Citadel Narikala

The Hotel Citadel Narikala is a unique boutique hotel offering a truly Georgian Experience....

View Accommodation

For a detailed itinerary or to book your place on this tour, please contact us.

Destination Experts

Our experts have unrivalled firsthand knowledge of Georgia

Joe Parkes, Travel Expert

"It was extremely helpful to work in conjunction with Joe and his much more up to date knowledge of India and arrive at an itinerary which we were happy with. We enjoyed the whole trip and probably what made it special for us was the fact that all the arrangements worked so well and we really didn’t have to worry about anything at all. Even when we decided to make a small change it was dealt with efficiently and promptly. We can't think of anything that would have made our trip more enjoyable."

"The service from start to finish has been excellent. Joe was very quick to respond to any queries and put together an excellent itinerary at short notice."

"A pleasure to deal with Joe. Efficient, helpful, knowledgeable and fun!"

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Paul Craven, Travel Expert

" I spoke to five different companies, but Paul was by far the most knowledgeable and empathetic."

"The service which I received from your Travel Expert Paul Craven was excellent, he was able to answer any queries I put to him."

"Paul must be congratulated on his expertise and great patience in dealing with all my programme changes. He must dread my phone calls!! A big thank-you from both of us to Paul and Carol."

Read More

For a more detailed itinerary with great ideas on what to do and where to stay, please get in touch with our experts.

Local Guide

Local Guide

Our Georgia group tour will be accompanied by an English speaking guide throughout the duration of the tour.

They will meet you on arrival at Tbilisi airport on the first day, travel with you throughout your time in Georgia, and travel with you to the airport for your departure on the last day.

Tipping for the local guide is included as part of this group tour.
Enquire about this Expert Led tour:

Group Size:

Min 6 / Max 15

Tour Expert:

Local Guide

Departure Date (S):

  • 23rd December 2018

  • Low Activity - The tour may involve little to no walking. Nothing over 1 hour in length. The tour will be at a very relaxed pace and involve a large amount of free time.

Holiday Ideas in Georgia

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RESPONSIBLE STEPPES

  • Each time you travel with us we donate £5 to a local charity in the UK and £10 to an international charity

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