On The Trail Of The Argonauts
Arrival at the international airport in Athens, shuttle service to the 5* hotel.Check-in, free time.
Visit to the Temple of Poseidon where the god of the Sea will bestow his blessings for a safe journey.
In the evening, welcome dinner in a restaurant with a view of the Temple of Poseidon, during which the team members meet the captain.
Our captain Andrei Podkolzin, a famous yachtsman and the founder of Ocean TV.
Breakfast in the hotel to the sounds of the harp. Greek goddesses will see the seafarers on their way and wish them a safe journey.
Shuttle service to the town of Volos (the port of Iolkos). Distance – 320 km. Time en route -3,5 h This is where the Argonauts set off on their journey. A monument has been erected to them on the town embankment. Embarking on the yacht, settling in.
Setting out to sea along the Volos—Skiatos route. Distance 30 sea miles , time tn route 5 hours. Initiation as seamen and learning yachting skills
Night on the Island of Skiatos, either on the boat or at a five-star hotel (the choice is yours).
Transfer to the Halkidiki Peninsula. Distance 50 sea miles . Time en route 8 hours. Yachting lessons and initiation into life at sea continue. Sea fishing. Night in a Mirragio Resort deluxe five-star hotel.
Transfer to the Island of Lemnos. Distance 50 sea miles. Time en route 8 hours. Here the Argonauts made their first stop. According to legend, only women lived on the island. They did not want men on their land. But soon the situation changed. The Argonauts were given a warm welcome and joy and merriment reigned on the island. We will tell you the reason and the consequences after we land on the shores of Lemnos. Where will we eat? Night on the boat or in a five-star hotel (the choice is yours).
Transfer from the Island of Lemnos to Turkey, the port of Chanakkale situated on the eastern shore of the Dardanelles Straits. Distance 50 sea miles.Time en route 8 hours. Passing through border and customs control, embarking on Turkish shores.
Chanakkale —fortress town. The first local settement dates back to the beginning of the 5th millenium B.C. Later people from these localities founded Troy. Walking tour around the Old Town. Night on the boat or in a five-star hotel (the choice is yours).
Breakfast in the hotel. Excursion to Troy. Shuttle service to Istanbul. Distance 346 km. Time en route 5,45 hours. Lunch.
Arrival in Istanbul, check-in at a five-star hotel. Dinner at Ali Asakbasi Gumussuyu. Night in Istanbul.
Breakfast at the hotel. Excursion around the historical center of Istanbul. Distance 5 km. Time en route all day. Lunch at a local restaurant.
… with a visit to the Grand Bazaar.
Dinner at a restaurant, Turkish cuisine, folklore program. Shuttle service to the hotel. Night in Istanbul.
Arrival at Batumi international airport where a representative of our company will meet you. Shuttle service to the hotel. Check-in, rest.
Evening walk around the city center. Distance—2 km, excursion time—one hour. The old town is the tourist center with numerous hotels, restaurants, bars, cafes, and boutiques.
Batumi is particularly beautiful in the evening when, lit up by colored lights, its facades acquire the magnificent appearance of palaces. Dinner in a local restaurant. Night in Batumi.
Breakfast in the hotel. Check out. Shuttle service to Svaneti (the village of Mestia).Svaneti is an alpine region in northwest Georgia on the southern slopes of the Great Caucasian Mountain Range. Its center is the village of Mestia. Svaneti is a historic province that has retained its primordial nature. Its distinguishing features are snow-capped mountains and ancient turrets. These turrets were built in the 12th-13th centuries.
There is nothing else like them anywhere else in the world. They are free-standing four-sided (5x5 m) stone fortifications up to 25 meters high. They have five floors, blind walls, and the entrance is no lower than 5 m from the ground. The Svaneti turrets are reminders of bygone wars and bloody hostility. Throughout its history, Svaneti, which is several thousands of years old, has never been conquered by enemies. The Svan way of life is still austere and aesthetic. The Svans are hunters and shepherds. Arrival in Mestia, hotel check-in, lunch.
After lunch we will take an excursion around Mestia.
We will visit the local ethnography museum. It features an extensive exhibit that could compete with the collections of any European museum. You will see valuable items of gold and silver collected at different times: icons, jewelry, embossed work, hunting hear, suits of armor, coins, and many more masterpieces of applied art.
And of course, we will take a look at the ancient Svan turret-fortresses and homes.
After our walk around Mestia and its environs, we will return to the hotel for a short rest.
Dinner in one of the rural taverns. It will be accompanied by the performance of a folklore vocal-dance ensemble. Svan songs and dances differ from the rest of Georgian folklore and date back thousands of years to the time of the Shumers.
Night in Mestia.
Breakfast in the hotel. We are off to do some gold-digging. Yes, do not be surprised! The thing is that the story of King Aeetes and the Golden Fleece is not just a legend. The Svans, who belonged to the Colchis kingdom, have been digging for gold since the days of old by throwing a sheep skin into the mountain stream.
We will also try our hand with the help of experienced local gold-diggers. And we are bound to find some gold!
A picnic lunch will be served right on the rocky river bank.
In the afternoon, we will visit a Svan family of wood carvers and makers of traditional felt hats.
Woodcarving is an ancient Svan craft, in which they are skilled masters.
The felt hat, which a true Svan will never remove from his head, is nothing other than a knight’s helmet lining. The traditions of making and wearing this headgear have been around for more than fifteen hundred years. You may take part in making your own woodcarving items and Svan hats.
We will have dinner at the home of a Svan family (Georgian cuisine). Shuttle service to the hotel.
Night in Mestia.
Breakfast at the hotel. Check out.Shuttle service to Tbilisi. Distance—462 km, time en route—6.5 hours, with a stop for lunch in Zugdidi.
On the way, we will visit the Prometheus cave. This sinkhole, which is more than … years old, lies at a depth of 80 m underground. It is a total of 11 km in length, 1 km of which is open for visitors.
The cave path is wide and adorned in stalactites.
An underground river runs through the end of the cave, along which, after embarking on a boat, we ride to the earth’s surface.
Arrival in Tbilisi, check-in at the hotel, rest. Free time.
Those who wish may visit the Tbilisi sulfur baths. The baths are located in the very center of the Old City. Thermal springs have been gushing from under the ground here for thousands of years. This is in fact where Tbilisi originated. As Alexander Pushkin said, “I have never seen anything more magnificent than the Tiflis baths in my life!” Alexander Duma also liked them.
Dinner in one of the restaurants of the Old City accompanied by a folklore program (Georgian national cuisine). Return to the hotel. Night in Tbilisi.
Breakfast at the hotel. Sightseeing walk around the Old City. Distance - up to 3 km. Tbilisi is the capital of Georgia and the largest city in the country, its history dates back for more than 1,500 years. Its center has been completely restored, with the architecture of the olden days retained.
We will stop by a carpet stall not far away. You don’t have to buy anything, you can just look. It is very colorful.
From there, we will descend into a basement where Georgian bread called shotiis baked on coals. When we were children there was nothing more delicious than hot shoti dunked in pear juice. You will also be able to try some.
Then we will take a look at a typical Tbilisi courtyard. This is how people lived in our town at the end of the 19th-beginning of the 20th centuries. Now, of course, the city architecture has significantly advanced. But ask any of the owners of these houses if they want to move, and they will refuse, not for any amount of money.
If you like, you can stop by one of the old churches and visit Father Rostom. He used to be a film director, but then decided to become a priest. He is also part of the Old City. It is a real pleasure to talk to him. And he never misses a chance to socialize.
All of this beauty can be found in one small corner. But this doesn’t mean it is the only one of its kind. There are many streets like this that are just as picturesque. And in our city, they all lead to the temple.
We will have lunch in the world-renowned restaurant of puppet-maker Rezo Gabriadze. It is located in the theater. In this ambient environment, we will be treated to both Georgian and European cuisine prepared by the city’s best chefs.
Excursions to Mtskheta and the Jvari monastery. Distance—15 km. Mtskheta is the ancient capital of our country. This is where Georgia’s conversion to Christianity began. The Svetitskhoveli Church was built in the 11th century on the site where Georgia’s first Christian church was erected where Christ’s robe was buried in the first anniversary A.D.
The Jvari Church is situated not far from Mtskheta. According to legend, in the 4th century, King Mirian erected a cross there. It stood tall in an open place and drew pilgrims from all over the Caucasus. In the second half of the 6th-beginning of the 7th centuries, the Jvari Monastery was built at the site. The church has survived almost unchanged to the present day.
Svetiskhoveli is a magnificent cathedral built in the cross-dome style.
The facades of the church are decorated with carved stonework. The external walls feature a blend of canonical Christian symbols, such as crosses and angels, as well as traditional Georgian symbols, such as solar signs and bunches of grapes.
The church’s interior is simple and full of light. The frescos that have survived on the walls were mainly done in the 16th-17th centuries.
Shuttle service to Tserovani, to the residence of Revaz Uturgauri, the owner of Sky Travel. It is situated at the top of a mountain range 9 km from Mtskheta.
From here a panoramic view of the Great Caucasian Mountain Range opens up.
Return to the hotel. Night in Tbilisi.
Breakfast in the hotel. Shuttle service to the Alazani Valley—the center of Georgian winemaking. Distance – 80 km. Time en route – full day. We will cross the picturesque mountain pass of Gombori, after which we will descend into the Alazani Valley. At the top of the pass, we will make a short stop, open a keg of kindzmarauli, take photographs and…
… continue on our way!
Today we will visit the Ikalto monastery, which was one of Georgia’s important religious and scientific centers in the Middle Ages. There used to be a spiritual academy here. One of its graduates was poet Shota Rustaveli, the author of Knight in a Panther’s Skin.
Here we will also find out how Georgian monks made wine in the Middle Ages.
The next stop on our journey will be the Alaverdi Monastery. It was founded in the 6th century when monasticism began here. In the Middle Ages, the monastery was also one of Georgia’s major spiritual centers.
Wall paintings from the 15th century have survived.
The monks of Alaverdi also made wine. International symposiums on the olden-day way of making keg wine are held at the monastery every year.
Then we will go to the Gremi fortress. It was built in the 15th century and served as the summer residence of the Georgian kings. There is a small modern ethnography museum in the fortress. The exhibits date back to the second century B.C. - late Middle Ages.
We will have lunch in the wine museum restaurant where you can taste the local wines. Before lunch we will take a short excursion around the wine museum.
Evening flight in a hot-air balloon over the Alazani Valley. (The flight will depend on the weather conditions.)
We will take a photograph for keepsakes…
After landing, the passengers will be initiated as balloonists and awarded diplomas and badges. And of course the ceremony would not be complete without champagne! Return to Tbilisi.
Dinner in one of the restaurants in the Old City. Night in the hotel.
Breakfast in the hotel. Check out. Shuttle service to Tbilisi international airport (time to be clarified). Departure.