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South Caucasus Odyssey: Azerbaijan, Georgia and Armenia

Program No. 16908RJ
Gain a deeper understanding of the South Caucasus as you visit sacred monuments, sample traditional cuisine, attend cultural performances and learn the story of this ancient region.

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Prices displayed below are based on per person,doubleoccupancy.
DATES & starting prices
May 8 - May 22, 2024
Starting at
Sep 4 - Sep 18, 2024
Starting at
Sep 25 - Oct 9, 2024
Starting at
DATES & starting prices
May 8 - May 22, 2024
Starting at
Sep 4 - Sep 18, 2024
Starting at
Filling Fast!
Sep 25 - Oct 9, 2024
Starting at

At a Glance

Delve into the wildly diverse cultures and landscapes of the South Caucasus — a mountainous strip of land between the Caspian and the Black Seas and home to the countries of Azerbaijan, Georgia and Armenia. Discover the heritage behind the bold designs of Azerbaijan’s carpets, savor deep red wines, and visit bakeries, artists’ studios and craft centers in Georgia, and admire the sculpted stone khachkar crosses that dot the green hillsides of Armenia, the world’s first Christian country.
Activity Level
Let's Go!
Walking 1-2 miles on varied terrain; some steep stairs and some stairs without railings. Standing in museums. Elevations up to 6,200 feet.
Small Group
Small Group
Love to learn and explore in a small-group setting? These adventures offer small, personal experiences with groups of 13 to 24 participants.

Best of all, you’ll…

  • Investigate the musical history of Azerbaijan, whose origins stretch before 3000 B.C.
  • In Armenia, visit Echmiadzin Cathedral — a UNESCO World Heritage Site and home to what some say is a piece from Noah’s Ark.
  • Witness demonstrations of traditional bread baking, vodka distilling, and the making of churchkela, the wonderful Georgian sweet.
Visit the Road Scholar Bookshop
You can find many of the books we recommend at the Road Scholar store on bookshop.org, a website that supports local bookstores.
Russia's Steppe Frontier, The Making of a Colonial Empire, 1500-1800
by Michael Khodarkovsky
In this sweeping, scholarly history Khodarkovsky traces Russian imperial adventures in the Caucasus from the decline of the Mongols to the end of the 18th century.
by Caroline Eden, Eleanor Ford
An excellent introduction to Samarkand (by turns inhabited by Uzbeks, Tajiks, Russians, Turks, Koryo-Sarams, Jews and Afghans), this compendium brings the region to life with essays, photos and plenty of recipes little-known to the West.
Black Dog of Fate, A Memoir
by Peter Balakian
This powerful memoir combines Balakian's coming-of-age as an Armenian-American in New Jersey with his growing realization of the horrors suffered by his family in the Armenian genocide of 1915 in Ottoman Turkey.
Stalin: New Biography of a Dictator
by Nora Seligman Favorov (Translator), Oleg V. Khlevniuk
An authoritative, illuminating biography of Georgian Josef Stalin, who ruled the Soviet Union from 1929 until his death in 1953 and caused the death and imprisonment of more than a million Soviet citizens per year.
Gentlemen of the Road
by Michael Chabon
This medieval adventure by Pulitzer Prize-winner Chabon is set in the Caucasus Mountains, where two thieves for hire are responsible for the fate of the empire of the Khazars.
Caucasus, A Journey to the Land between Christianity and Islam
by Nicholas Griffin
An engaging account of travels in the Caucasus in the footsteps of Imam Shamil, a Muslim who resisted the Russians in the 19th century. The book is a portrait of the people, land and issues in the region.
A Spy by Nature
by Charles Cumming
Introducing the London School of Economics graduate and reluctant British spy Alec Milius. When he lands a prime job for a British oil company, Alec finds himself trapped in a world of secrets and lies that could cost him his life.
Black Sea
by Neal Ascherson
In this skillful regional portrait, Ascherson weaves his own travels and impressions with a fascinating account of the Black Sea's history. From ancient mythology to modern politics, he admirably never loses sight of the sea itself.
Caucasus: Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan Map
by Freytag & Berndt
A travel map of the Caucasus at a scale 1:1,000,000.
Taste of Persia, A Cook's Travels Through Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Iran, and Kurdistan
by Naomi Duguid
Centering on a culinary tradition that is (alas) poorly understood in the West, this cookbook presents 125 recipes from the Caucasus and Middle East, framed with locals' stories and photographs.
Lonely Planet Georgia, Armenia & Azerbaijan
by John Noble
An excellent practical guide featuring a good overview of culture, history and nature, 16 pages of color photos, 40 maps and a language guide.
A Hero of Our Time
by Natasha Randall (Translator), Mikhail Lermontov
The story of the bored and cynical antihero Pechorin. A subtle, psychological and brooding masterpiece of Russian Romanticism originally published in 1840, it influenced later 19th century greats including Tolstoy, Dostoyevsky and Chekhov.
For the Love of Wine
by Alice Feiring
After falling in love with Georgia and its celebrated wine, Alice Feiring travels throughout the country meeting winemakers, farmers, artists and more, collecting both stories and recipes to present a compelling portrait of a stunning country and its remarkable people.
Passage to Ararat
by Michael J. Arlen, Clark Blaise (Introduction)
Arlen's National Book Award-winning memoir of his father and the rediscovery of his Armenian heritage. He interweaves stories of travel and family with an account of the troubled history of the country.
The Ghost of Freedom, A Modern History of the Caucasus
by Charles King
A professor at Georgetown, King reveals the imperial ambitions, larger-than-life personalities and romance of this strategic region.
An Armenian Sketchbook
by Vasily Grossman
Newly translated, Grossman's journal of a stay in Armenia in the early 1960s affectionately depicts the people and traditions of a mountain village.
The Georgian Feast
by Darra Goldstein
Historian and food expert Goldstein explores the food, traditions and geography of Georgia, as beautiful as it is bountiful, in this savory cultural history. With illustrations by delightful 19th-century primitivist Niko Pisosmani.
Stories I Stole, A Journey to Georgia
by Wendell Steavenson
Witty, engaging and attuned to the complexities of history and ethnicity, Steavenson, a veteran journalist, spins lyrical tales of the former Soviet Republic of Georgia as it crumbles around her in the late 1990s.
The Caucasus, An Introduction
by Thomas De Waal
A timely, readable portrait of the Caucasus by an experienced journalist working in the region. With historical background, insight into energy production and an analysis of struggles for independence.
Ali and Nino, A Love Story
by Paul Theroux (Afterword), Kurban Said
The deeply sentimental tale, set in Baku in the years before WWI, of an Azerbaijani Muslim boy in love with a Georgian Christian girl, originally published in 1937.
Highlanders, A Journey to the Caucasus in Quest of Memory
by Yo'av Karny
In this astute portrait of a complex region in the wake of the Soviet Union dissolution, an Israeli journalist travels into the Caucasus to uncover what fuels the conflicts that divide the region's many ethnic and religious communities.

Important registration tip:
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