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Review Highlights
The Trip of A Lifetime ... Flat Out Excellent Private Tour

My husband and I worked with John Graham to schedule a private tour of the Tusheti and Khevsureti... read more

Reviewed 6 days ago
StThecla
5 reasons John Graham Tours should lead your group through Georgia

John Graham led our large choral group through Tbilisi, Kutaisi, and Kazbeghi over 9 days but... read more

Reviewed 1 week ago
tofumidget
,
Washington DC, District of Columbia
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Reviewed June 13, 2019

I learned about this trip a few years ago on nyt.com and asked to be on John's mailing list.

The trip certainly met my expectations-- great sites, food and wine, singing and museums, and lots of photo opps. The monasteries and churches were remarkable, and often, if we were the only ones there, John sang to demonstrate the acoustics. I was surprised by the many candles and beautiful candelabra in the churches and monasteries.

I had asked about fresh fruits and vegetables, not realizing that the area is famous for its produce and vegetable dishes. We had vegetables with every meal! And there are greenhouses so that the people can have their tomato and cucumber salads year-round.

The informal restaurants were remarkable. I enjoyed seeing how families started these businesses in their homes and gardens. John did an excellent job of selecting restaurants and menus. There was a lot of food, and we ate family style.

I appreciated the commentary and explanations. Roseanna, the Armenian guide, gave us the Armenian and women’s viewpoints.

We had Georgian singing —chants and folksongs— at two dinners, and John taught us how to toast with the wine at dinner. The frequent and long toasts that are mandatory probably explain why I didn't notice any drunken people on the trip.

A few additional comments:

There was a lot of walking on this trip, uphill and on cobblestones to visit the monasteries. Skirts were required for women visiting the monasteries. I didn't have one so borrowed wraparound skirts at the entrance..

I was sorry that I couldn't communicate better with most of the people, but the ones who did speak English were friendly and very nice.

Facial tissues are the all-purpose paper product for the rooms and dining; I would have considered taking my small washable microfiber towel if I had known.

Date of experience: May 2019
1  Thank cchang2010
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 4, 2019

A wonderful 13 day trip through the beautiful countryside, villages, and cities in Eastern Georgia and Armenia. Bring a camera (or phone) to take pictures of these beautiful places! John Graham plans carefully for everyone’s enjoyment. Local guides are informative and able to share each country’s past history and present day life. The driver is excellent and able to change plans should the roads be under construction. We were given the varied, superb experiences to walk around and listen to the ancient history of landmark churches, monasteries, and museums. We ate delicious food representative of each country, and had the opportunity to listen to their beautiful music. An unforgettable experience !!

Date of experience: May 2019
1  Thank Vake95
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 2, 2019 via mobile

John put together a fantastic trip along the theme of Ancient Christianity in the Caucasus (Georgia and Armenia) - visiting churches, monasteries, museums but also wineries and very nice niche hotels, as well making us go to local opera and ballet! He then took the role as our personal tour guide, illuminating our small traveler group with his impressive scholar knowledge of the matter. He also stimulated rich discussions within the group and wonderfully cheered our dinners with thematic toasts. As a consequence our group of 10 fellow travelers got a unique immersion in the local context - and enjoyed a tremendously warm friendship atmosphere!

Date of experience: May 2019
1  Thank luigip418
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 6, 2019

John Graham of John Graham tours has found his calling! As a participant in his Silk Road Artisans Tour of the Republic of Georgia 2019 I was fortunate to benefit from his extensive knowledge of the history, culture, language, religion, performing arts, handcrafts, liturgical chants, cuisine and viticulture. Everywhere he took us we were welcomed with open arms because we were with “Johnny”. He is well liked and respected by the locals for promoting (and preserving) Georgian culture. John is also a gifted liturgical chanter who filled the ancient monasteries and churches with his resonant voice.
I highly recommend joining one of John’s tours for a very unique travel experience. You will not be disappointed.

Date of experience: April 2019
1  Thank DayTrip601962
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 5, 2019

Our tour, called “Silk Roads,” was fantastic. Not only was everything in the itinerary provided, it was all pre-arranged and paid. We guests did not have to worry about any logistics. Our job was just to enjoy ourselves and appreciate this fascinating country. The food was always delicious, the activities very interesting, the countryside beautiful. In the background the snow-covered Caucasus mountains provided constant beauty. But our tour was mostly about hand-on activities: we learned Needle-felting, the properties of jet jewelry-making, the cultivation of tea plants, Georgian cooking, wine tasting from traditional underground clay vessels, the art of the sword-smith, ceramics, and more. In many of the monasteries and ancient churches we visited, John and sometimes others chanted traditional chants connected with Easter, as this was the season. We learned why the older stone churches have better acoustics for the chanters than newer, cement-block churches. We also saw churches from every century from 6th onwards, some with magnificent frescoes. John filled each day with history and culture, so our experiences were surrounded with information. Every day was filled with adventure — it was absolutely wonderful. We met such lovely people, and John himself made us all feel so welcome, and comfortable.

Date of experience: April 2019
1  Thank 37_Frederica
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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