The editorial team was looking for 2011's "most authentic, most innovative, most immersive, best-guided, and most sustainable tours." The unique Eastern Turkey & Georgia: Legacy of Empire itinerary fills the bill.
"The outfitters we selected continue to find new ways travelers can connect with places and people," notes National Geographic Traveler Senior Editor Norie Quintos, who headed up the project. "More and more, it's about human interaction."
On this tour, travelers visit the workshop of a local potter as well as enjoying lunch in a private village home, and observing a felt-making demonstration.
The rugged sunburnt Anatolian Plateau of Eastern Turkey and the steep-sided green valleys of Georgia are brilliantly paired on this unusual back-road exploration. The trip begins among the folded hills of out-of-the-way Anatolia, rich with the traces of early civilizations, and continues along the balmy Black Sea Coast to the unfamiliar little country of Georgia, where guests are welcomed at tables laden with some of the finest food and wine on earth, and hosted by an official Georgian toastmaster.
MIR has one 2011 departure of the trip, August 27-September 10, 2011 with some space still available.
Other MIR tours picked in past years by National Geographic Traveler as "Tours of a Lifetime" are:
Georgia & Armenia: Mountains & Monasteries