This October, Panorama Travel is offering a FAM to the Republic of Georgia, where agents can explore Georgian cuisine and diverse wines, visit spa resorts, learn about the country’s ancient history and experience the warm Georgian hospitality. The 10-day FAM, starting at $995 pp dbl, begins with an exploration of Georgia’s wine region. At the Pheasant’s Tears winery, guests can sample artisanal natural wines produced according to ancient Georgian traditions. All wines are fermented and aged in Qvevri (clay vessels) lined with organic beeswax and buried in the earth in a traditional wine-making method that was inscribed on the UNESCO representative list of the intangible cultural heritage of Humanity in 2013. Mtskheta—one of the oldest cities—also bears a UNESCO title due to its historical significance and numerous ancient monuments. The city is considered to be one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world, was the capital of the eastern Georgian kingdom of Iberia from the 3rd century BC to the 5th century AD, and was also the site of Georgia’s adoption of Christianity in 334. To this day, it remains to be one of the headquarters of the Georgian Orthodox Church. To experience ancient culture, guests can visit Tsar’s sulfur baths, known as an “oasis in the middle of a desert,” for a dip in the pools which were once the delight and privilege of high society in the 19th century and during the Soviet era. The pools have recently been renovated and are a pleasant excursion for visitors.
Additional highlights of the tour include visits to Svetitskhoveli, the Living Pillar Cathedral known as the burial site of Christ’s mantle and the site for coronation and burial for the kings of Georgia; the Ananuri Fortress, a fairy tale complex of two fortresses and two churches situated on the shore of the Zhinvali reservoir; and Vardzia, a cave monastery in southern Georgia that was excavated from the slopes of the Erusheti Mountain on the left bank of the Mtkvari River. Panorama Travel’s Georgia FAM runs from Oct. 7-16, 2016. Rates include roundtrip ticket airfare from New York (JFK) to Tbilisi (TBS), accommodations, all transfers, guided tours and most meals and drinks. For more information, call (800) 204-7130 or visit panoramatravel.com.