Scheduled Caucasus Tour 2017

Small Group Georgia and Armenia Tour 2017-201810 Days | Georgia, Armenia

Tour mapGroup size: 1 - 14 persons

Small group Georgia and Armenia tour has collected the most interesting into its rich program. The program is designated to explore Caucasus essentials and what makes it unique: you will visit ancient fortresses and castles, taste fine traditional Caucasian drinks and delicious cuisine. Our small group tour with 100% guaranteed departure dates is the best way to spend 10 unforgettable days as you will be surrounded with like-minded people, discover hospitable and colorful countries of the Caucasus at a shared cost.

Tour itinerary:

Day 1 (Monday): Tbilisi
 
Arrival in Tbilisi. Transfer to hotel. Check-in at noon.
Day 2 (Tuesday): Tbilisi – Sighnaghi – Bodbe – Khareba – Gremi – Tbilisi
 
After breakfast depart towards the Kakheti region of Georgia, the cradle of Georgian winemaking.
Our first stop will be in Bodbe Convent, which according to the legend is a burial place of St. Nino, who converted Georgia to Christianity in the 4th century. According to Tsar Alexader III of Russia decree, since 1889 Bodbe complex functions as a nunnery. Continue Sighnaghi, the city of love and the Royal Town, one of the crossroads of the Great Silk Road surrounded by defensive walls with 23 towers. Drive to unique wine cellar “Khareba” located in the tunnel carved out of the rock. Originally built for military purposes, today the tunnel is used to store Khareba’s finest wines, which you will be offered during the tour. Excellent round-up to Kakheti tour will be visiting Gremi architectural complex, 16th century royal residence and the capital of Kakheti Kingdom. Gloomy and monumental, the Gremi castle is one of the most visited tourist points in Georgia. Return to Tbilisi. Drop off at the hotel for overnight.
Day 3 (Wednesday): Tbilisi
 
In the morning, have sightseeing tour in Tbilisi. Start at Holy Trinity cathedral, one of the largest orthodox cathedrals in the world. Continue to Metekhi church and monument to Vakhtang Gorgasali, the legendary founder of Tbilisi. Take cable car to Narikala Fortress to enjoy breathtaking panoramic view of the city. Walk down to the district of Sulphur bath houses passing by the only mosque in Tbilisi. Stroll through the Sharden area full of narrow streets with cozy cafés, wine tasting bars, souvenir shops, and breathe in the living past. Visit Sioni CathedralAnchiskhati Basilica, and the clock tower of famous Rezo Gabriadze Theatre. Cross the Bridge of Peace to Rike Park and head to Open Air Museum of Ethnography, a miniature model of Georgia. In the evening, visit a local restaurant to taste dishes of traditional Georgian cuisine. Overnight in Tbilisi.
Day 4 (Thursday): Tbilisi – Jvari – Ananuri – Kazbegi – Gudauri
 
Your today’s route will take over the Georgian Military Highway up North towards the border with Russia. First stop will be at Jvari Church, a true architectural masterpiece of the early Medieval Period overlooking the confluence of Aragvi and Mtkvari rivers from the top of the hill. Continue to Ananuri complex, a former residence of Argveti Dukes. Complex featuring churches and towers dating back to the XVI-XVII cc. is beautifully overlooking Jinvali reservoir. Drive further North to see the conjunction of two small mountain rivers famous for the fact that being different in color they still keep their own colors even after merge. We will then drive over the Cross pass and make a short stop at Soviet time “People’s Friendship” mountain view point overlooking a deep gorge of Caucasus mountain range. In Kazbegi, we will change our vehicle to a four-wheel drive car to reach Gergeti Holy Trinity Church located on altitude of 2170 m, and enjoy breathtaking views of Mt Kazbegi. Drive to Gudauri. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 5 (Friday): Gudauri – Gori – Uplistsikhe – Mtskheta – Tbilisi
 
After breakfast, drive to Gori and visit Stalin Museum. The museum includes more than 60,000 artifacts, the tiny house where Stalin was born, and impressive bulletproof train Stalin used to travel to Yalta and Potsdam. Explore cave town Uplistsikhe dating back to Hellenistic Period and notable for unique combination of various styles of rock-cut cultures and the co-existence of pagan and Christian architecture. Continue to Mtskheta, one of the oldest towns and the cultural and religious centre of Georgia. Mtskheta was the capital of the Eastern Georgian Kingdom of Iberia from the third century BC. Visit Svetitskhoveli Cathedral which may be translated as "The Life-giving pillar". Svetitskhoveli is the main cathedral of Mtskheta and a sacred place where the robe of Christ is being kept. Reach Tbilisi for overnight at the hotel.
Day 6 (Saturday): Tbilisi – Armenian border – Haghpat – Lake Sevan – Sevanavank – Yerevan
 
At 09:00, our driver will meet you at your hotel in Tbilisi and transfer to “Sadakhlo-Bagratashen” Georgian-Armenian border point. Cross the border, meet your Armenian guide and driver and start the journey to the land of ancient traditions and oldest temples.
Drive to Lori region and visit UNESCO World Heritage Site Haghpat monastery. Stunning example of Armenian traditional architecture erected in 10-13th centuries. Standing on a hillside, Haghpat beautifully overlooks Debed River. Location of monastery was chosen to protect peace and seclusion of its monks. Drive through Dilijan to Lake Sevan, “The Jewel of Armenia” and one of the largest high-mountainous fresh water lakes in the world. The coastline of Lake Sevan is rich with thick woods, white bare steep rocks, mountain steppes and Alpine meadows. Stop at Sevanavank to visit the remnants of the monastery that include two temples – Surb Arakelots and Surb Astvatsatsin standing among numerous khachkars. The buildings were constructed from black tuff which probably gave the monastery its name Sevanavank – “the Black Monastery”. The view from there is simply magnificent: the mountains surround lake from all sides and snow tops are seen almost on the entire perimeter and disappear behind horizon. Continue to Yerevan for overnight.
Day 7 (Sunday): Yerevan – Garni – Geghard – Vernisage – Etchmiadzin – Yerevan
 
Depart Yerevan and drive to Garni, one of the major villages in Armenia famous for its fortress. The fortress is the only pagan sacred place from the 1st century that survived aggressive introduction of Christianity in the 4th century. Next stop is at the monastery complex Geghard (“spear”). A beautiful landscape of Geghard is framed with towering cliffs. Decorative art cut into rocks reflect and explain Medieval Ages development throughout the region. The complex was introduced to the history in the 4th century as a sacred spring inside a cave. Visit Vernissage, the biggest souvenir market in Yerevan. Continue to the Holy See of Armenia, Etchmiadzin. Visit Etchmiadzin Cathedral which is the residence of the head of Armenian Apostolic Church the Catholicos of All Armenians. Return to Yerevan for overnight at the hotel.
Day 8 (Monday): Yerevan – Khor Virap – Areni – Noravank – Yerevan
 
In the morning, head to Khor Virap monastery (“deep pit”). According to the legend, St. Gregory the Illuminator, the Baptist of Armenia, had been kept here in the basement during 13 years for the disseminating of Christianity until tsar Tradt decided to adopt new religion. Monastery location allows you to enjoy the best views of the Mount Ararat. Continue to Complex of Noravank, situated on a ledge of a deep winding gorge of a tributary of the Arpa River near the village of Amaghu, Yeghegnadzor District. Noravank ensemble stands amidst the bizarre-shaped precipitous red cliffs. Built in place of an ancient cloister, it grew in the reign of Princes Orbelian of Syunik. In the 13th-14th centuries it became a residence of Syunik's bishops. Consequently, a major religious and later cultural center of Armenia was closely connected with many educational institutes, primarily with Gladzor’s university and library. Drive back to Yerevan. Stop on the way at Areni, a city known for producing famous Armenian wine from pomegranate and apricot. Have a wine degustation in a local winery. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 9 (Tuesday): Yerevan
 
One of the oldest cities of the world, Yerevan is famous as a pink city and calls visitors with its humble and at the same time splendid landscapes. Start city tour visiting Cascade Monument which was the main symbol of the cities 2780th anniversary with the equivalent number of stairs. Mega scale staircase is 500 meters high and 50 meters wide. A panoramic view from the monument opens up breathtaking city view with Opera HouseMount Ararat, Swan Lake, Republic Square, and Abovyan Avenue, which you will also walk by during the tour. Continue to the Armenian Genocide memorial complex on the hill of Tsitsernakaberd. An excellent round-up of the tour will be a visit to the Megeryan carpet factory where you can observe a process of creating famous Armenian rugs. You will see carpets from different regions of Armenia and find out about hidden meanings of elements used in their design. In the evening, enjoy farewell dinner and traditional folklore show. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 10 (Wednesday): Yerevan – departure
 
Check-out from hotel till noon. Free time till transfer to Yerevan International Airport. End of the tour.

Accommodation:

Hotels, 3*
Tbilisi - 4 nights

Kopala, Tiflis

Gudauri - 1 night

Marco Polo, Goodaura, Carpe Diem

Yerevan - 4 nights

Cascade, Silachi, Hrazdan

 

  • All transfers;
  • Accommodation based on double/twin room sharing, breakfasts included;
  • Sightseeing tour program in each country with local English-speaking guides;
  • Entrance tickets to sights as per itinerary;
  • Wine tasting in Khareba, Georgia;
  • Dinner and folklore show in Tbilisi (day 4), and Yerevan (day 7).
  • Full board (lunch and dinner);
  • Hotel charges for additional services;
  • Visa support letter and consular fees for visas to Georgia and Armenia;
  • Personal travel insurance.

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