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Review Highlights
Unforgettable experience

John is the best tour guide imaginable - friendly, laid back, and extremely knowledgable. We toured... read more

Reviewed June 23, 2020
Ethiopia - a fantastic trip in a fascinating country

Although the January 2020 trip was the first tour that John Graham had organized and led in... read more

Reviewed February 3, 2020
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All reviews deep love food and wine his knowledge georgian music the high country pre dawn alpine meadows visiting churches just returned from a two week fascinating country natural beauty once in a lifetime georgian orthodox church knowledgeable guide an adventure perfect guide fantastic trip
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Reviewed June 19, 2019

John Graham knows the people, the language and the place, so you cannot do better than a trip organised by him. This comment relates to East and West Georgia and to Tbilisi itself. He answers the endless, sometimes tedious, questions with patience and humour. He plans the programme for each day, but also has a rare capacity for some flexibility. What is more, Georgia is a lovely and varied country.

Date of experience: June 2019
Thank Fowl666
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 16, 2019

I met John when I toured Georgia with him in June 2017 and on my return home immediately started planning this tour. Together with twelve friends we toured the entire country from Sighnagi in the east to Mestia in the high Caucasus, the Black Sea and Akhaltsikhe in South Georgia.
John's exceptional ability to patiently explain the history and ways of this wonderfully diverse country and its charming people has been well documented in other reviews. For us he painstakingly researched the flora, enabling us to see some of the rare endemic flora and fauna in the different regions. His intimate knowledge of so many areas has led to a broad basis of friends and during an impromptu singing session by a river he was recognised and I was told how exceptional he is, not only the chanting which is the basis of his phD, but also singing in general including the local folk songs.
The tour was created round my various, sometimes challenging wishes, including the desire to put a toe in the Black Sea where John researched and found a stunning hotel which mirrored the best of what the area offered.
Our visit to Mestia, deep in the Caucasus, with remarkable weather, was perfected thanks to the contacts John has, including Svanetti singers, and dancers, alpinist and fresco conservator opening doors to frescoed churches and medieval towers as well as visiting glaciers and alpine meadows ablaze with flowers with a back drop of some of the highest snow covered peaks in the Csucasus.
There are not enough superlatives to describe our two weeks in the company of such a conscientious and gifted guide..

Date of experience: June 2019
1  Thank CWhubbard
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 14, 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 5, 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.
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