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Discover the Caucasus
Sitting at the crossroads of some of the world's greatest civilisations are three of the oldest countries on the planet: Azerbaijan, Georgia and Armenia. Welcome to the Caucasus, a region off the radar for many travellers, where ancient cultures and sublime gastronomy combine. You'll find these are genuinely unique areas where there's something for all of your clients - tuck into some of the samples below to find out how Abercrombie & Kent can show you the highlights!
The Caucasus: An Introduction
General Manager Natalia Odinochkina offers an all-encompassing introduction to each of the three Caucasus countries in this informative webinar. Learn when to go, where to go, where to stay, what to see, what to eat and so much more with this succinct guide to the region.
For an example of what your clients could enjoy over the course of two weeks, why not take a look at this promotional itinerary, where prices are offered at a special reduced rate?
Though the wider region is famous for its millennia-old civilisation, Azerbaijan understandably presents itself as the avant-garde hub of the Caucasus. Its oil-rich capital Baku is adorned with state-of-the-art architecture, from the iconic Flame Towers to the Zaha Hadid-designed Heydar Aliyev Cultural Centre. That is not to say that it's without its history though - wander through the streets of the UNESCO World Heritage Old Town or get exclusive private access to the house of the Nobel Family.
Have a peek at our special feature on Baku to find out more
Mountainous Georgia is a bewilderingly attractive land that has expertly drawn on the finest features of neighbouring cultures while simultaneously preserving its own age-old traditions despite substantial external pressure. The end result is a combination of historic cities, the oldest churches in Christianity, picture-perfect scenery and a truly delicious cuisine - you don't need to go far to try the ubiquitous khachapuri cheesy bread, but you should head out to the Kakheti wine region to see how 8,000 years of viticulture has produced a truly refined style.
Like Georgia, Armenia is one of the most ancient Christian lands still in existence - in fact, it can lay claim to being the first state to adopt Christianity, having made it the state religion way back in 301AD! And today there is a real treasure trove of history left over, from the stunning lakeside location of Sevan Monastery, to the Institute of Ancient Manuscripts in the capital of Yerevan, the 4th-century cave monastery of Geghard, and even the 1st-century pagan temple of Garni - the only Graeco-Roman colonnaded building in any former Soviet Union state.
Abercrombie & Kent is able to provide fantastic rates and deals throughout Azerbaijan, Georgia and Armenia - whether your client is looking for 5* international brands, such as Four Seasons and Marriott in the capitals, or 4* boutique hospitality out in the country, such as the ROOMS Kazbegi Hotel with its magnificent mountain views, we have the flexibility to offer some superb options to match the needs and requirements of everyone.
Scrumptious Food and Sumptuous Wine
Khachapuri is only one example of Georgian cuisine that has become much popular elsewhere, particularly in Russia. Traditional soups, such as kharcho, and delicious khinkhali dumplings, available with a variety of fillings, can be savoured in some wonderfully typical restaurants like Old Metekhi, which offers stunning views of the Narikala Fortress and Mtkvari River as you eat. The porridge-like harissa, where wheat and meat are cooked together, is considered the national dish of Armenia and exotic-looking dolma, minced meat wrapped in grape leaves (pictured), are also widely prevalent - the specialist Dolmama restaurant in Yerevan is also one of the oldest buildings in the city. Azerbaijani dishes, meanwhile, have a stronger influence from Turkish and Persian cuisine. Lamb and mutton are widely used in dishes such as qovurma and tira kabab, but the pastries are exquisite too - try out the sweet and syrupy pakhlava or the crescent-shaped shekerbura.
And for wine connoisseurs Georgia really is a treat. The mild winters, sunny summers and abundance of natural mountain springs make for the perfect wine-making conditions, but exports tend to be limited to Eastern Europe, which means that the sweet flavours are not so well known internationally. The most ancient method of burying beeswax-coated clay vessels called kvevri for up to 50 years has been enshrined on the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage List, but other production methods are also in popular usage and it is well worth enjoying a fine glass of Tsinandali or Saperavi.
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