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Caucasus: An Overview
Geographically bound by the Greater Caucasus Mountain Ridge in the North and borders of Armenia, Georgia and Azerbaijan in the South, the Caucasus is a complex occurrence. Lot of different nationalities live in the Caucasus with own unique histories and original cultures. All are united under one Caucasian culture, difficult to differentiate. It’s neither Europe nor Asia, but a unique civilization surrounding cultures including the Scythians, Ancient Greece, Arabic, Mongol, Byzantium, Persia, Western Europe, Turkey, Russia and many others. With varied landscape, Caucasus is home to Mount Elbrus, the highest mountain peak in Europe with endless moors, alpine meadows and glacial borders on subtropical forests.
This transitional region consists of southern Russia, Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan with a foothold in both Eastern Europe and Western Asia, but viewed as part of modern Europe. Today Caucasus is an emerging tourist destination.
Armenia: A mix between an ancient, millennia-old civilization with stark mountain landscapes and remote canyons and the modern cultural hub of Yerevan.
Azerbaijan: The richest state of the Caucasus, its capital awash in oil wealth and international business, Zoroastrian fire temples, barren landscapes.
Georgia: The heart of the Caucasus with diverse landscapes ranging from high mountain peaks and wine-growing valleys to Black Sea resorts.
Russia: A beautiful region of mountains and river gorges, ethnic food, Stone Mountain top villages and a seemingly endless cycle of violence.
History of the Caucasus
Historically Scythia and of Southern Russia (Eastern Europe) and that of the Southern Caucasus (Transcaucasia; Caucasian Albania, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan) in the sphere of influence of Persia, Anatolia and for a very brief time Assyria along with the history of the Northern Caucasus (Ciscaucasia), constitute the history of the Caucasus region.
During the early 19th century, the Southern Caucasus and a part of the Northern Caucasus (Dagestan) all formed part of the Persian Empire. In 1813 and 1828 the Persians were forced to permanently surrender the Southern Caucasus and Dagestan to Imperial Russia. In the 19th century, Russia conquered and captured the rest of the Northern Caucasus in the Caucasian Wars (1817–1864).
Caucasian Culture and Tradition
Showing special respect to elders and guests has also been a widespread tradition - even if the guest is opponent. Social etiquette of interaction (khabza, habza) is an important guiding principle in Circassian traditional conduct. Another well-known tradition of social interaction is the Georgian supra (feast) lead by the tamada (toastmaster). The cultural, linguistic and religious diversity of the Caucasus region is matched by substantial cultural diversity.
Due to the isolation of these regions, some traces of ancient traditions have survived in the mountain areas. Despite great variation, the extended clans, still play an important social role in society. This has been particularly evident in the Chechen and Ingush societies with its organisation into taipas. Wine making has a very long tradition in the region and the Georgian traditional wine-making method using huge clay vessels is remarkable.
Caucasus Climate and Weather
The main peculiarities of the various regions occupied by the Central Caucasus are related to the altitude zoning and exposition of the entire Caucasus system.
The central range lies on the border of moderate and subtropical climatic belts (N and S side slopes respectively), in the contact zone of Atlantic and Mediterranean humid air masses on the one and of dry continental air masses originating from over the Inner Eurasia areas on the other.
In the western part, the best months are July and August. Winter is cold, snowfall is plentiful with frequent snow storms in the mountains. Summers are cool, nights are cold, sometimes with frosts.
In the eastern part of the range winter, lasts from November to March. With heavy snowfall, sometimes with bad storms, summer valley temperatures are warm and moderately common humid air.
South Caucasus is geographically unique region, Russian usually calls it Transcaucasia. Tourism to the countries of Transcaucasia includes Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia.
Azerbaijan: Visitors to Azerbaijan are attracted by medieval fortresses, mosques and magnificent palaces, well-known resort areas and natural beauties. There is a Caspian shore, mountains and plains, semi-desert areas and forests in Azerbaijan.
Armenia: Possibilities are created for tourism development in Armenia - hotels are built, skiing resorts are modernized and touristic complexes are constructed. Armenia is the first Christian state in the world and is considered one of the most interesting in the Old World with its countless historical and cultural monuments.
Georgia: Caucasus travel is incomplete without Georgia. The country with rich history and culture has been formed for centuries. Numerous monuments of architecture of the early Christianity period attract tourists from across the world. Guests value fresh air, green forests, mountain lakes, alpine lawns and Black Sea resorts in Georgia.
Caucasus Tours and Travels
Packed out with the best tours and travels, the Caucasus is one of the most interesting regions in the world. Tours not only include the sights and famous places of Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia, but to their histories, cultures and traditions as well.
Group Tours: Caucasus group tours include trips with other travellers from India and around the world, discovering Azerbaijan, Georgia and Armenia. Cultural and gastronomically 13 day holidays in Georgia and Armenia with fixed dates and join a group of like-minded people. South Caucasus welcomes nature, historical and architectural monuments, delicious cuisine and traditional wine and many more.
Private Tours: Private Caucasus cultural tours introduce the present and the past of Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan.
Caucasus Fundamentals: This tour revolves around the Land of Fire, Azerbaijan, welcoming Georgia and grand Armenia. The Caucasus Essentials tour takes to the most important and must-see sights, along with some hidden places of the Caucasus.
Holy Caucasus: Travelling through the two oldest Christian countries, Georgia and Armenia, the world opens up a new world of experiences in the beautiful Caucasus.
South Caucasus in a Week: Gain a wide range of experiences ranging from the cradle of Georgian wine, eternal fire of Azerbaijan and the first Christian country of Armenia.
Caucasus Tour Packages
With enough experience, know-how and contacts to organize any journey across this region tour packages are tailor-made.
Individual Tours: To visit the Caucasus with a company of friends, a specially-designed itinerary that fulfils requirements and interests.
For Travel Agencies: Keeping in mind Caucasus Holiday Packages are customized for the clients, fulfil their requests.
Other Special Requests: Caucasus Tour Packages from India with specific objective in mind, like film shooting or covering scientific expedition are created.
Group Tours: Group Tours Packages are designed to help each of guests lift the touristy veil and get in touch with the genuine spirit of a place. It’s customised in a way to make the journeys as intensive as possible, combining a variety of activities along with the trip.
Photo Tours: Photography has become an increasingly popular interest among many guests hence tailor-made photo tours are included.
Trekking and Hiking Tours: Besides, there are Caucasus Holiday Packages for the mountain lovers, help encourage adventure tourism.
Weekend Escapes: Special weekend tours, short adventure, Refreshing and fun, totally carefree weekend escapes are simply thrilling with the Customized Caucasus Tour Packages.
Dook International - Leading Caucasus Tour Operator
We, at Dook International, established as leading Caucasus Tour Operator create a special approach, discovering the true spirit of a location. We are very careful about the selection of our staff, hence every member of our friendly team is a real professional. On our signature tours an expert guide will take you to the very heart of a country and its people, providing you with truly unique experiences. By combining a variety of activities, we strive to make your adventure tour as intensive as possible, giving no option to get bored.
Our adventure and tailor-made tours are completely different. We work out routes to the smallest detail and are always ready to improvise because unexpected twists and turns are what make a regular trip an adventure! We’ve developed original tour itineraries based on our own travel experiences. We continue to travel. It’s impossible to explore all of the Caucasus, but one can always learn something new. We regularly go on trips ourselves negotiating mountain crossings and fords, spending the nights in boutique hotels, village homes and tents. We do this to come up with new adventures that will be available to you soon.
Caucasus Travel Guide and Tips
• Caucasus travel guide and tips provide information about a great number of the most beautiful archaeological, historical and architectural monuments of the world significance, natural variety of the reserves, natural parks and ecological parks and unique ethnographic heritage of the region.
• Each country has its own distinct culture and traditions that provide a great variety of experiences within a reasonable distance of each other.
• The region is unbelievable option for those looking for something more off the beaten track and without the tourist crowds.
• Each of the capital cities offers its own distinct flavour represented by the architecture and atmosphere, beautiful mountainous regions with spectacular landscapes. Delicious and unique cuisines are available at very affordable prices.
Best Time to Visit Caucasus Countries
The best time to visit the Southern Caucasus is either in July or August with spring and autumnal foliage supplying a beautiful backdrop to accompany walking tours. Further north, higher the elevation, the cooler things get with the hanging glaciers of North Ossetia Nature Reserve indicative of winters and mild summers. Religious and harvest festivals are there throughout the region with Easter events celebrated just as earnestly in Orthodox Christian churches as harvest time in the fertile valley vineyards of the south.