Republic of Georgia with Nicholas & Leslie Goellner

October 24 - 30, 2022 | Join Waitlist Below

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Heritage & Connection

Dive deep into the culture and cuisine of Georgia with Leslie & Nicholas Goellner

October 24 - 30, 2022

Join the Waitlist — We will contact you if and as space becomes available

7 Day, 6 Nights

From Tbilisi to Kakheti and Kazbegi

Price from

$6,000

Per person, based on double occupancy

Questions? Text or call us
+1 (855) 219-8018

Join the Waitlist
We will contact you if and as space becomes available

Seven thousand feet above the world, you breathe in pine-scented autumn air. Behind you, a two-thousand-year-old church soars against the craggy, snow-capped horizon. You’re in the small, mountainous Republic of Georgia, cradle of civilization, birthplace of wine. You’ve already experienced the bounty of the harvest, sampled silky local varietals you’re still struggling to pronounce, all prefaced with the heart-felt words from a local tamada toastmaster. Somewhere down there, a rustic tavern lunch awaits, rich with saffron, garlic and pomegranate. But you’re in no rush. In this moment, up here with the eagles, your sole focus is to drink in the sky.—

Your companions on this exquisite journey are Nicholas and Leslie Goellner. Their Kansas City restaurant, The Antler Room, has gotten the attention of Bon Appetit, Food & Wine, Wine Enthusiast and the James Beard Awards for their globetrotting menu and focus on natural wines. For Nicholas, this trip is the culmination of a lifelong passion for Georgian culture and cuisine: “I couldn’t tell you another food culture that’s actually made such a significant impact on the cooking that I do.” For Leslie, it’s a rare chance to experience Georgia’s natural wines: “With so little access to small-production organic wines, this truly is a once-in-a-lifetime to taste directly from the source.”

You might not know much of Georgia, or why it’s the world’s next big thing. That changes when you sit in cozy taverns where locals break out in polyphonic song, over tables piled high with platters of basil and dill, sharp sheep’s milk cheese, robust stews and delicately sauced beans. By the end of this journey, you’ll be energized, inspired and hungry for more of Georgia’s traditions, hospitality and beauty.

Experience

Tbilisi's vibrant streets, medieval monasteries and rolling vineyards, the snow-capped Caucasus mountains

Savor

Georgia's aromatic flavors, the secrets behind baking our own traditional khachapuri cheese bread

Celebrate

The bounty of the harvest, the joyous rituals of the tamada toastmaster, with some of the world's oldest wines

Connect

With the traditions of an ancient culture, with Leslie & Nicholas, and the timeless grace of Georgian hospitality

3 Reasons to Travel with Leslie & Nicholas

Nicholas and Leslie Goellner are the passionate duo behind Kansas City's The Antler Room. Nicholas is not your typical chef. He trained as an Olympic fencer, and worked as a congressional aide before switching gears and attending the French Culinary Institute in New York. Leslie managed top NYC and SF restaurants before returning home to Kansas City where she met Nicholas. One night while watching Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown, they discussed Nick working at Noma in Copenhagen. It was the beginning of a whole new chapter, one that left them ready to take on their next globetrotting adventure.

Small Country. Big Impact.

“My favorite types of food cultures are the ones where you have something familiar—you've had these spices before—but you've never had them used this way before,” says Nicholas. “That to me is what I love about Georgian food. I mean, it's a tiny country. But man, it's has a loud voice when it comes to food.”

Only in Georgia

“We’re going to taste wines that aren’t exported at all, because they're only made for one family's consumption. That’s one of the coolest things you could possibly taste, something that's so unique to the place that unless you go, you're not going to experience it.”

Back to the Beginning

The Georgian mother of a childhood friend opened Nicholas up to the world of cuisine. “I realized that if I'm going to cook for a living, the kind of food I want to make is the kind of food that you need to keep on coming back. Georgian food is all of those things to me.”

Your Experience

“Georgia has some of the oldest winemaking practices in the world—and they’re still using them! It’s a reflection of time, place and tradition.”
Nicholas Goellner

Tbilisi, Kakheti, Kazbegi

“Georgian culture is so full of love for food and beverages, you can't help but be inspired!”
Leslie Goellner

Day by Day

Day 1

Gamarjoba! Welcome to Georgia’s lively, artful and ancient capital of Tbilisi. Today we jump right in, exploring the city from cobblestone alley to mountaintop, scaling fortresses and visiting grand Soviet monuments before losing ourselves amongst slick modern galleries and coffee shops found in the twisting backstreets of the Old Town.

Next, we’ll take a deep dive into Georgia’s iconic cheese bread, with a hands-on-master class to learn to bake our own khachapuri while sipping local, organic wine. In the evening, we’ll experience the Supra, a Georgian dinner custom which features countless authentic dishes and a handful of toasts as well. Not only will we have our own tamada (local toastmaster), but a polyphonic vocal ensemble will perform between courses. Not too bad for day one!

Day 1 Highlights

  • Old Tbilisi walking tour
  • Hands-on cheese bread making 
  • Welcome dinner
  • Stay at Rooms Tbilisi

Day 2

After a big breakfast, we get a taste of the Caucasus on a century-spanning day trip that takes in UNESCO-protected mountaintop monasteries and the roots of one of the oldest wines in the world. Our road ahead weaves through the mountains to the cave town of Uplistsikhe, hewn from the rock and continuously occupied for more than 2,000 years. Next, we get serious with wine at Château Mukhrani, one of Georgia’s oldest and highly regarded vineyards, for a tour and tasting over lunch. And what better way to end a meal in Georgia then with a live Khridoli martial-arts performance that mixes wrestling, boxing, fencing and archery.

In the afternoon, we’re off to visit the ancient village of Mtskheta, where a sacred 4th-century Jvari Monastery looks down from vertical cliffs above–we’ll go up to learn about its history and take in sprawling mountain views. We return to Tbilisi in time for a hands-on cooking class and dinner with Leslie and Nicholas at Culinarium Khasheria, a test kitchen and restaurant owned by top Georgian chef, Tekuna Gachechildze.

Day 2 Highlights

  • Visit Uplistsikhe & Jvari Monastery
  • Château Mukhrani tasting lunch
  • Cooking class & dinner at Culinarium Khasheria
  • Stay at Rooms Tbilisi

Day 3

Today we explore verdant Kakheti on a daytrip to the heart of Georgia’s wine country that’s home to over 500 varieties of grapes. The route is a breathless thrill, as we pass sweeping views of rolling hills and vineyards and hilltop villages backed by snow-capped Caucasus peaks. We start with a visit at a local vineyard to see how unfiltered wine is still fermented using traditional methods: filling qvevri clay pots with foot-stomped grapes, and burying them in the earth. 

Next we savor the robust glory of Georgian wine at lunch, then finish with a walk through the atmospheric, historic village of Signagi. Finally, on the way back to Tbilisi, we’ll stop by the tranquil village of Nukriani and learn how to make Churchkela (a candle-shaped sticky sweet) from the women who run the local community organization. 

Day 3 Highlights

  • Visit traditional winery
  • Ramble by foot in historic village
  • Stay at Rooms Tbilisi

Day 4

Up, up and away! Today we shift our home base to Kazbegi, one of the highest inhabited points in the majestic Caucasus mountain range, threading our way ever upward along sheer cliffs to catch a glimpse of mountain life. Lunch is a treat: In the kitchen of a local family, we”ll learn several ways to prepare khinkali dumplings and dine in true highland tradition.  For dessert, we’ll sip some fiery chacha, a Georgian “moonshine” made from grapes. 

In the afternoon, we’ll traipse along the buttresses of a 13th-century castle before heading off to our mountain aerie of a hotel for a dinner in the mountain air followed by a good night’s sleep.

Day 4 Highlights

  • Transfer to Kazbegi
  • Lunch with local family
  • Visit 13th-century castle
  • Stay at Rooms Kazbegi

Day 5

Fill up on a big breakfast. Today we’re hitting the mountains, by foot (car transport is also an option). First, we take a half-day hike up up up to the Gergeti Trinity Church, the national symbol of Georgia. You won’t forget the view. After an hour-and-a-half trek up, we reach a 14th-century cross-cupola church soaring 7,000 feet above sea level like a lost eagle in flight. 

We celebrate our hike with a well-deserved lunch of local dishes served in a cozy family guesthouse, then follow the trails back down to our hotel for a relaxing evening. Try your luck at roulette, have a rejuvenating soak in the pool, or enjoy the spa–or maybe all of the above.

Day 5 Highlights

  • Hike to Gergeti Trinity Church
  • Lunch at local tavern
  • Stay at Rooms Kazbegi

Day 6

We head back to Tbilisi today on a roadtrip you won’t forget. We explore Kazbegi National Park’s gorges and lush mountains, then take a specially arranged 4WD drive to the elusive Gveleti waterfall, named for its snakelike slivering spray backed by cliffs. We follow with a sprawling lunch with a family in the tiny Caucasus village of Tsdo, then reach Tbilisi with time for some last-minute souvenir shopping, finished with a music- and dance-filled farewell feast of Georgian food–and lots of wine. Be ready to take your turn as tamada as we celebrate the traditions and flavors, and our unforgettable time together, in the Republic of Georgia.

Day 6 Highlights

  • 4WD drive to Gveleti waterfall
  • Lunch with local family at Tsdo village
  • Farewell feast in Tbilisi
  • Stay at Rooms Tbilisi

Day 7

Alas, our time in Georgia together is done. We’ll pack up, say our goodbyes and take back our new found appreciation of the Caucasus—and of our new friends! See you next time.

Day 7 Highlights

  • Transfer to airport

Where We Sleep

Soviet vintage and contemporary design, industrial flair blend together seamlessly: Nothing captures the playful, innovative spirit of today’s Georgia better than our boutique accommodations.

Rooms Tbilisi

Tbilisi

More than a just a hotel, this erstwhile Soviet publishing house is the kind of atrium-like crossroads where everyone turns up sooner or later, from black-clad artists just back from Berlin to local politicians and homegrown hipsters. On weekends you’ll find them all here, drinking cocktails in the library and enjoying breakfast at the lavish buffet, piled high with enough jewel-like fruits, jams and pastries to inspire a Dutch Master.

Rooms Kazbegi

Kazbegi

Once a spa for the Soviet party elite, this lovingly restored, charmingly geometric hotel is perched high in the Caucasus mountains. Of course, there are floor-to-ceiling windows throughout, ensuring that wherever you are—nestled in bed, curled up in a hand-crafted wicker chair on the sweeping terrace, swimming in the reflecting pool—the snow-capped peaks are so close it seems you can just about touch them.

The planning and day-to-day operations of this trip were excellent! I felt very well cared for.
Jeffry D.
The food was excellent. I’m going to have to work hard to get back to my weight pre-Georgia!
Gabriela S.
The trip was curated in a way that provided unique experiences we wouldn't have had if we traveled solo.
Katherine R.

Book Republic of Georgia with Nicholas & Leslie Goellner

Number of Travelers

Payment

Reserve your spot today with a $1,000 per-person deposit plus room supplements (if relevant). Full payment is due 180 days prior to your trip departure date. We’ll email you a reminder. If your trip departs in less than 180 days, we’ll collect full payment either 30 days from when we receive your deposit, or 60 days prior to your trip departure date, whichever is sooner. For details read our Deposit FAQs

Price from

$6,000

Per person, based on double occupancy

Can't travel on these dates?
Call us at

+1 (855) 219-8018

Questions?

That’s OK, we have answers. Read our FAQs below. Or text or call us at +1 (855) 219-8018 to speak with a Modern Adventure Trip Specialist.

  1. What does the price include?

    Six nights at unique four- and five-star accommodations; private travel for all day trips and excursions; departure airport transfer; private tours with local guides and cultural experts; exclusive VIP access and tastings; guided activities, adventures and expeditions; entrance fees; daily breakfasts, most lunches and dinners; local beverages with meals.

  2. What does the price not include?

    International roundtrip airfare; travel insurance; transportation to the trip’s starting point; activities not included in the trip itinerary; hotel incidentals including room service, laundry service and hotel bar tabs; food and beverages not included in itinerary; gratuity for tour leader.

  3. Where does the trip start and end?

    Our adventure begins at the Rooms Hotel in Tbilisi, Georgia. The closest airport is the Tbilisi International Airport (TBS). Our adventure ends seven days later in Tbilisi, Georgia. Your flight home should be scheduled to depart TBS at 12:30pm or later.

  4. What travel documents are needed?

    US citizens are not required to have a visa for stays in Georgia of under 90 days. Just bring a valid US passport. For citizens of other countries, please check with the nearest Georgian embassy or consulate for requirements.  

  5. Do I need to pay a solo traveler supplement?

    For solo travelers, there is a $1,500 single-supplement fee—paid at the time of booking to secure a private room. These single rooms are extremely limited and available on a first-come, first-serve basis.

  6. Who is going on this trip?

    Our adventures typically have between 10 and 18 guests, and our Modern Adventure Team. Our experiences are fun and inclusive and you can expect to be joined by a diverse group in terms of age, background and interests—including solo travelers, couples and friends traveling together. This adventure is for travelers age 18 and above.

  7. Who is leading this trip?

    This trip is led by an expert Modern Adventure trip leader. They’re an experienced travel guide, a representative of Modern Adventure and your go-to person for questions or concerns on the trip. We’ll be joined throughout our adventure by local, expert guides who are deeply knowledgeable with respect to local cultures, customs and history and are passionate about sharing that with us.

  8. What is the cancellation policy?

    You may cancel on or before June 26, 2022 and receive a full refund minus a $500 per-person service fee. If you cancel on or after June 27, 2022, there is a 50% cancellation fee; on or after August 25, 2022, there is a 100% cancellation fee. We highly recommend purchasing travel insurance as we are not able to make exceptions to this policy in cases of family/medical emergency or cases of the trip being canceled (see our Terms and Conditions for full details).

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