🇬🇪The Republic of Georgia🇬🇪
The moment you arrive in Tbilisi it feels different.
You’ll want to say to yourself “this reminds me of that time in…in…” and find you come up short. It’s like no other place.
Rustic and modern, Georgia is filled with song and wine, sunshine and jaw-dropping mountains, idyll seaside towns and villages overrun with brambled vines.
You’ll always be met with immense smiles and more food than you can eat. You’ll find yourself dancing at dinner, embraced as family by total strangers and missing this gorgeous land the minute you leave.
ONLY 12 people max + your host, Juliana Dever!
Culturally Immersive, Guided, Fully Curated
Mix of Boutique and Branded Hotels
Easy-Moderate: Walking, optional trekking
So, where is Georgia?
It's the country, NOT the state.
Georgia lies mostly within the Caucasus Mountains between Europe and Asia.
The Greater Caucasus forms a natural border between Russia to the north, with the lesser Caucasus dividing Georgia from Turkey and Armenia to the south. The west ends at the Black Sea and the east, at Azerbaijan.
Georgia is in turns rugged, sophisticated, serene, and rustic.
You want an experience of a lifetime
You want to meet locals
You want to immerse yourself in traditions
You want to see the best parts of the country
...but you don't know where to start.
I get it. That's why I created this tour.
It's FULLY CURATED by me so that you don't have to google, to guess, to spend hours sifting through sites.
All the planning is done for you.
I've traveled to Georgia many times, road tripped from top to bottom, east to west, and visited with top winemakers, artists, musicians, and chefs. They're on board and excited to welcome you into their homes, studios and restaurants.
Along with my friend Sarah of Taste Georgia, I've handpicked each experience, stayed in each hotel, and visited each region to bring you the very best that the country of Georgia has to offer.
2021 Tour Dates to be Announced
The moment you land in Tbilisi you'll have someone waiting for you.
Escorted to your gorgeous Georgian hotel off a quiet street near Tbilisi's most vibrant square, you're taken care of.
From tastings to immerse yourself in Georgia's 8,000 year-old unbroken winemaking traditions, to city walks with our English-speaking guides that were born and raised in Georgia, to intimate dinners out with some of my favorite Georgians, you'll feel like a local within days.
Your visit to wine country will be in a private escorted van. Sarah, a wine professional that has been touring Georgia for the last five years already knows the very best wineries. That doesn't mean the biggest or most popular, it means the best wines. We're taking you there.
Driving up to the northern Greater Caucasus can be a challenge on your own. Because Georgia is on the cusp of being discovered, the public transportation infrastructure isn't there yet.
But that's not your concern. You're already taken care of. You just need to decide what kind of dumplings to order to fortify you for the hike with our mountain guides.
Oh, and that cheesy bread I've been going on about? Most people agree that the region of Adjara makes the best khachapuri you'll ever try.
I know a secret tree-house restaurant by a waterfall IN Adjara that makes fresh khachapuri that will make your knees weak. I'm taking you there.
This is the Georgia I want to share with you.
The Georgia you can only experience if you come with me this May.
Here's what's covered:
Does not include: Air Travel or gratuities for guides, drivers and porters
Our tour will kick off in the late afternoon. Meet the group for an introductory city walk followed by a rooftop wine reception and dinner at a traditional restaurant.
Start your morning with a more in-depth journey into Georgia’s history at the National Museum, then break for architectural walks or market tours and cooking classes. Lucky you, dinner is with locals at their favorite restaurants in the city.
It’s wine time! After a picturesque monastery visit we’ll stop for wine tasting at a top winery, feast at the home of a local, and learn how to make traditional walnut candies.
Today we visit the old capital of the region which is now an artisan village. We'll have lunch at the home of a husband and wife winemaking couple, and visit a cave city carved from rock thousands of years ago.
Start the day with an exhilarating visit to waterfalls and float the blue waters of the canyon. Watch your homemade feast being made at the home of a female professor turned winemaker. After a ride to the mountains, explore the rustic village on your own or curl up in the hotel lounge and watch the sunset over the mountains.
Get ready to hike! Whether you choose a moderate hike near town or opt for an active one up in the highest occupied village of Georgia, today is an energetic one…unless you prefer to spend downtime in the local coffee shop. Dinner is at a local spot with live music performed by mountain men.
We’ll visit a local market and have lunch before continuing on to the Black Sea resort town of Batumi. Chill out at the hotel’s casino or grab some of your new friends for dinner or rooftop cocktails.
I’d say this might be one of the most delicious days of your life, but that would be slighting the previous week of eating you’ve just done. But today, my friends, today we have homemade Adjarian khachapuri in a tree house. We’ll finish off with another wine tasting. #sorrynotsorry
It’s time to walk off all that cheesy bread with a city tour that you won’t want to miss. Batumi is an eclectic mix of gothic, modern, Georgian and European architecture that will wow you. Afterward, choose between a nature walk or a Georgian designer boutique tour. We’ll take an early evening gondola ride to the mountaintop and then back down for a seaside dinner.
We'll return to Tbilisi with some free time for you to revisit or explore more of the city and get those last souvenirs. Our farewell dinner is at one of my favorite penthouse restaurants, which may or may not contain a surprise or two. 😉
Award-winning travel blogger, photographer, actor, and travel personality, Juliana Dever had the country of Georgia in her sights for over a decade. Ever since that first bite of walnut eggplant in Moscow in 2005 she vowed to go to Georgia.
In 2015, on a mission to make that happen, she set up a meeting with Sarah May Grunwald of Taste Georgia at the World Travel Market. The partnership was set in motion.
Sarah, who has been running wine and food tours in Georgia since 2014, and Juliana met in Tbilisi in 2017 and laid the groundwork for this culturally immersive tour. Their aim is to support women in travel as well as highlight the women-owned businesses in Georgia wherever possible.
Juliana Dever - Founder, CleverDever Adventures
Juliana Dever is a travel writer, actor and TV host.
As an avid traveler who has visited more than 60 countries, Juliana is always on the search for the local’s perspective. This has led her to volcano-top gatherings with the entire population of a Greek Island, making truffles with the top chocolatier in Bruges, camping with Bedouins in the Middle East and visiting with camel breeders in the Gobi Desert.
Juliana's thirst for connecting to other cultures and its people became the catalyst for her travel blog www.cleverdeverwherever.com.
Her undying love of Georgia has lead to her to visit the country four times so far. She has spent two months road-tripping across the entire country to curate the best possible itinerary for this tour.
Oh, and you might recognize her from ABC's Castle - she played Jenny Ryan for 7 seasons.
If you get a chance to travel with Juliana, you're in the hands of an expert traveler with an infectious love of the food, song and dance of Georgia.
As a travel writer, Juliana has won Gold and Silver medals for her travel stories and photography on Georgia from NATJA (North American Travel Journalists Association). She also won a Gold medal for Best Travel Blog, 2018 from NATJA.
Sarah May Grunwald - Taste Georgia
Sarah May is the owner and co-founder of Taste Georgia. Having traveled to Georgia almost 20 times, she considers Georgia her spiritual homeland.
A passionate Georgiaphile and winelover, Sarah shares her vast knowledge of Georgian wines with visitors in a way that leaves them excited about their new-found insight, and in love with the country itself.
She is originally from California and now works between Tbilisi and Rome, Italy where she is a professor of wine.
Janae Williams - Tour Concierge
Janae is an L.A. native who can often be found listening to Hamilton, writing tongue-in-cheek status updates about pop culture on Facebook, or eating her bodyweight in tacos.
Fluent in English, Spanish and conversationl in Italian, Janae loves travel, especially demystifying the process and making it feel accessible to people.
She’s a serial ex-pat and to date has lived in Canada, Australia, Spain, and, most recently, Mexico.
“I loved every minute. It was so well organized, planned, and we had such great guides - it made this the best holiday of my life. I would definitely go on another CleverDever Adventure, it is worth every penny.” –Ruth W.
"This is the 1st tour I've ever taken where I felt like I got an actual glimpse of how locals really live, instead of only seeing tourist stop highlights. I could've never done this on my own." - Tammy T.J.
"I have not laughed so hard or been as comfortable with strangers as this trip, or fallen in love with a country like I have with Georgia and her people." - Jane L.
Loved loved loved it, so much fun, would 100% do another/more tours! Thank you for doing all of this!! It really was the trip of a lifetime! Also loved that it was in a place most tourists don't go!! - Taylor V.
"Traveling with Juliana is first, extremely FUN! But more importantly, she works tirelessly to uncover authentic, local experiences, digging deep to find the literal and figurative secret ingredients that make a destination delicious.
You’ll make great (local) friends, because Juliana knows that you can’t TRULY experience a place without its people. You’ll emerge with a new perspective that you didn’t have before, and count yourself as a member of a bigger community of world citizens."
-Nicole Bordges, CEO, Wanderlust Media
Here's what you miss out on if you don't take this trip:
The excitement of knowing you’re visiting a jewel of a country that most people have yet to hear of + being one of the original CleverDever Adventure Travelers + awesome new friends + absurd amounts of cheesy bread directly from the oven + knowledge that you’ve forged new travel territory + meals with locals + expert guides that have grown up in Georgia + wine tastings + at least a months worth of Instagram photos + the chance to hear random polyphonic singing + dancing like a fool and not caring + Juliana making up car games + rustic mountain experience + cave city tour + private lunches with winemakers + curated tour of places most tourists will never see + fully planned itinerary without having to lift a finger + gondola rides!
Is it safe to travel to Georgia?
Yes. Georgia is a safe country, and in fact rates higher in the Gallup Law and Order report than the United States. While you may have recently heard of Georgia in the news for having disagreements with Russia (an issue they've had for centuries), these have been largely peaceful in recent years.
For anyone that has seen travel advisories issued by their local government, please note that they affect disputed territories that we will neither cross into nor travel near.
What city do you fly into?
The main capital city of Tbilisi is the most accessible to fly into. It’s also where we’ll start our tour.
What is the currency? What is the best way to get it?
The Georgian Lari is the national currency. As a very general guideline, you can expect roughly 2 to 1 exchange rate with the US Dollar and 3 to 1 with Euro. Laris can easily be obtained at any ATM, including the airport when you land.
Will I need a visa?
Most travelers to Georgia do not need a visa including visitors from North America and the European Union, however be sure to double-check that it is not required for your country of residence here.
One other thing, Georgia absolutely requires a valid passport, so make sure you have one and make sure it’s valid for at least six months after the finish of our trip. Go check your passport and be sure the expiration date is December 1, 2020 or after.
Is the tour open to everyone globally?
Yes! Everyone’s invited!
What language do they speak in Georgia?
Georgian. Many people in cities and towns speak English. Most people under 35 speak Georgian and English, while folks over 35 tend to speak Georgian and Russian. But we’ll also have several Georgian guides with us to help prevent anything getting lost in translation!
What is the climate like?
On the coast it can be mild and rainy but during the summer there are large amounts of sun. In the mountains it will be cooler. For the most part, the areas that we will be visiting in the central plains will be sunny, nice and warm. Expect highs around 80°F/ 26.5°C and lows of 55°F/13°C everywhere but in the mountains where it is typically about 10 degrees cooler.
How should I dress?
Georgia is very western with respect to dress, so you don’t have to make any special considerations when visiting other than dressing for the weather. Because we will be going up to the mountains, you'll need light layers and a rain jacket. We’ll also be doing some hiking, so you’ll want appropriate footwear for both terrain and comfy shoes for city walking.
Don’t worry, I’ll send everyone who’s going with me a suggested packing list. 😉
What is the food like? How can food restrictions be accommodated?
You can get the rundown from this post that I wrote specifically about Georgian food. But expect meals filled with wonderful vegetable dishes, lots of cheesy bread (I know you all can’t WAIT to try that cheesy bread!), dumplings, and I’m told there are some great meals if you eat meat as well.
We can accommodate for celiac, vegan, vegetarian, kosher and other food restrictions. Please note Georgians cook very heavily with walnuts and sunflower oil so nut allergies are very difficult to accommodate. Therefore we do not take liability for this.
What is the wine like?
I hope you like wine. 😍🍷 This is a trip to a wine-lovers paradise.
We will be visiting several winemakers during this trip and trying lots of wines. The reds are deep and powerful, the whites can be fruity, fragrant and lively and the ORANGE wine…oh it’s my favorite by far. It might take a few tastings to appreciate it, but it just might become your all-time favorite!
What kind of adapters will I need?
Georgian power sockets are type C and F, which are standard euro round prong plugs. The voltage is 220, so plan to have dual-currency electronics or bring a voltage converter to prevent burnouts.
How much hiking will we be doing?
Once we drive up to the mountains you can take a half-day hike in Mestia, or opt to go via 4x4s even further up into Ushguli, the most remote settlement in Georgia, for a full day hike to Shkara Glacier. How much or how little is up to you.
How's the Internet?
Georgia is very well wired and many cafes and museums have free Wi-Fi if you ask for the password. For anyone on the Georgia email list that reserves their spot during the *private pre-sale period* (beginning Friday, August 31st) I will be providing Georgian SIM cards as a bonus so you’ll be totally hooked up.