Small Group Tour in Central Asia 2019-2020

Caucasus Group Tour 2019-202016 Days | Azerbaijan, Georgia, Armenia

Explore Caucasus in the kilometers of vineyards and shady cellars, mountain peaks, ancient churches, monasteries and castles, hospitable people and endless poetic toasts. Take 16-day scheduled Caucasus tour that will introduce you to the three countries of the South Caucasus: Azerbaijan, Georgia and Armenia. You will enjoy a great number of archaeological, historical and architectural monuments, diverse nature, Caucasian cuisine that you cannot resist. You will keep memories of the Caucasus, the land between two seas, for a lifetime. 

This tour also runs as an extension to Central Asia group tour with guaranteed departure dates.

Participants need to be in good health, be able to walk for 4-6 hours every day at moderate speed, climb stairs and hills, and be able to carry their own luggage for up to 1 km across borders.

Tour map

Tour itinerary:

Day 1, Mo: Baku – Arrival (AZE)
 
Arrival in Baku. Private transfer to your hotel will be arranged. Check-in at 14:00.
At 18:00, meet your guide and other group members in the hotel lobby. Enjoy welcome dinner at national restaurant. Overnight at the hotel.
Driving distance: 30 km
Day 2, Tu: Baku (AZE)
 
Breakfast. At 09:00, start a guided sightseeing tour of Baku. Visit Martyrs’ Lane, known as ‘Shehidler Khiyabany’ among locals. Walk through the Alley of the Martyrs to find a beautiful view overlooking Baku’s coastline. Move to Icheri Sheher, the old part of the city. Visit the Shirvanshah's Palace, Caravanserai, Maiden Tower, and main market square, which has numerous art studios and souvenir stalls. Finish the sightseeing tour with Nizami Street and Fountain Square in the new part of Baku. Exploring the contrasts of Baku will take 5-6 hours, after which you’ll have free time in the afternoon. Overnight at the hotel.
Driving distance: 10 km
Day 3, We: Baku – Yanardag Mountain – Ateshgah – Gobustan – Baku (AZE)
 
Breakfast. Visit Yanardag Mountain, also known as Burning Hill, where natural gas has been ablaze for hundreds of years. Continue to the Ateshgah Fire Temple, located in the village of Surakhany. Zoroastrians from India travel thousands of kilometers to Ateshgah to worship the fire coming out of the earth. After lunch, drive to Gobustan National Park to visit the Petroglyph Museum and explore rock carvings dating back to 10,000 BC. The Gobustan Rock Art Cultural Landscape is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Weather permitting, drive to the mud volcanoes in Gobustan Reserve (change of vehicle). Gobustan is home to almost half of the world’s mud volcanoes. Return to Baku in the evening. Overnight at the hotel.
Driving distance: 220 km
Day 4, Th: Baku – Shamakhi – Lahich – Sheki (AZE)
 
Breakfast. Depart towards Sheki. On the way, stop at Diri Baba Mausoleum in the village of Maraza. Continue to Shamakhi and visit the historical Juma Mosque. Weather permitting, a scenic drive through Girdimanchay River Canyon to visit Lahich will follow. Lahich, an ancient village with charming cobbled sidewalks, is famous for its medieval water supply and sewage systems, as well as its traditional jewelry, copperware, carpets, pottery, daggers, and iron tools workshops. This quaint, 5th-century corner of the Caucasus Mountains is rich in historical and architectural value. Continue driving to Sheki for an evening arrival. Overnight at the hotel.
Driving distance: 340 km
Day 5, Fr: Sheki – Georgian border – Kvareli – Akhasheni (AZE-GEO)
 
Breakfast. At 08:30, visit the colorful Sheki Bazaar. Here, you can find virtually everything you may want to eat: local fruits and berries, spices, freshly-baked bread, honey, cheeses, and Sheki sweets. Continue to the Palace of Sheki Khans, which is surrounded by medieval fortress walls, and then visit handicrafts workshops and caravanserai. Leave Sheki and head towards the border with Georgia (115 km, ~2 h). Cross the border and start exploring the Eastern part of Georgia, which is famous for its viticulture and winemaking traditions. Our first stop in Georgia will be the Khareba Winery. On the way there, enjoy the picturesque landscapes of vineyards and wine-producing villages. Khareba’s unique wine cellar is located in a tunnel carved out of the rock. Originally built for military purposes, today the tunnel is used to store Kakheti’s finest wines. Enjoy a wine tour and a tasting session, and then drive to our overnight point, Akhasheni Wine Resort, by 18:30-19:00. This Resort is surrounded by beautiful vineyards with stunning views of the Caucasus Mountains – the perfect place to take a break before continuing our journey in Georgia.
Driving distance: 180 km
Day 6, Sa: Akhasheni – Sighnaghi – Bodbe – Tbilisi (GEO)
 
Breakfast. Free morning at Akhasheni Wine Resort. At 12:00, continue exploring Kakheti by visiting Sighnaghi Royal Town, which is surrounded by defensive walls with 23 towers and was an important trading center on the Great Silk Road. Continue to Bodbe Convent – according to legend, this is the burial place of St. Nino, who converted Georgia to Christianity in the 4th century. Arrive in Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia, in the evening at about 18:00–19:00. Overnight at the hotel.
Driving distance: 150 km
Day 7, Su: Tbilisi (GEO)
 
Breakfast. Then take a morning sightseeing tour of Tbilisi. Start at Metekhi Сhurch and the monument to Vakhtang Gorgasali, the legendary founder of Tbilisi. Visit Narikala Fortress to enjoy a breathtaking panoramic view of the city. Walk down to the district of sulphur bath houses and pass by the only mosque in Tbilisi. Stroll through the Sharden area, full of narrow streets with cozy cafés, wine tasting bars, and souvenir shops, and breathe in the history of Old Tbilisi. Also visit Sioni Cathedral, Anchiskhati Basilica, and the famous Rezo Gabriadze Theatre’s clock tower, before crossing the Bridge of Peace to Rike Park. After a couple of hours at your leisure, join the group to proceed to one of the local restaurants to taste traditional Georgian cuisine (departing from the hotel by bus at 19:00). Overnight at the hotel in Tbilisi.
Driving distance: 10 km
Day 8, Mo: Tbilisi – Jvari – Ananuri – Kazbegi – Gudauri (GEO)
 
Breakfast. Today you’ll explore the North of Georgia. The first stop will be at Jvari Monastery, a true architectural masterpiece of the Early Middle Ages, which is picturesquely perched above the confluence of the Aragvi and Mtkvari Rivers. Continue to the Ananuri Complex, a former residence of Argveti Dukes, which features churches and towers dating back to the 16th and 17th centuries and beautifully overlooks Jinvali Reservoir. Next, drive over the Cross Pass and make a short stop at the Soviet-era “People’s Friendship” mountain view point, which overlooks a deep gorge of the Caucasus Mountains. In Kazbegi, switch to a four-wheel drive vehicle to reach Gergeti Holy Trinity Church (located at an altitude of 2,170 m) and enjoy breathtaking views of Mount Kazbegi. Reach Gudauri at about 19:00 for overnight at the hotel.
Driving distance: 210 km
Day 9, Tu: Gudauri – Gori – Uplistsikhe – Mtskheta – Tbilisi (GEO)
 
Breakfast. Drive to Stalin’s home town of Gori. Visit the Stalin Museum, which includes more than 60,000 artifacts, the tiny house where Stalin was born, and an impressive bulletproof train that Stalin used to travel to Yalta and Potsdam. Explore the cave town of Uplistsikhe, which dates back to the Hellenistic Period and is notable for its unique combination of various styles of rock-cut architecture, including both pagan and Christian. Continue to Mtskheta, one of the oldest towns in Georgia and the country’s cultural and religious center. Mtskheta was the capital of the Eastern Georgian Kingdom of Iberia from the 3rd century BC. Visit Svetitskhoveli, the main cathedral of Mtskheta and a sacred place where the robe of Christ is kept. Reach Tbilisi in the evening. Overnight at the hotel.
Driving distance: 250 km
Day 10, We: Tbilisi – free day (GEO)
 
Breakfast. Free day in Tbilisi (guide and transportation are not provided).
Advantour offers an optional culinary masterclass on traditional Georgian food. The masterclass includes 3-4 dishes and snacks and takes 4-5 hours. It should be booked in advance. The price is 60 USD per person.
We suggest the following activities and places to visit in Tbilisi:
  • Georgian National Museum on Rustaveli Avenue – to visit the “Archaeological Treasury” exhibition;
  • National Gallery on Rustaveli Avenue – to see the works of the famous Georgian artists Niko Pirosmani, David Kakabadze, and Lado Gudiashvili;
  • Tbilisi flea market at Dry Bridge – where you can find antiquities (many of which are from the Soviet era), paintings by local artists, and handmade Georgian souvenirs;
  • David Agmashenebeli Avenue – a recently-renovated pedestrian street full of historical buildings that have beautiful facades in the art nouveau, pseudo gothic, and classicist styles with a mix of typical Georgian ornamentation and balconies. All along the street there are plenty of cozy art cafés, galleries, shops, and wine bars;
  • Dezertirebi Bazaar – which sells local, natural products including Georgian sweets (such as churchkhela); various types of dried fruits, nuts, and spices; and Georgian cheeses;
  • Funicular railway to Mtatsminda Mountain – which offers a beautiful view of Tbilisi;
  • Wander in Sololaki – a neighborhood full of art nouveau houses.
In the evening, you can visit the famous Tbilisi sulphur bath houses to relax in the hot, naturally sulphur-enriched water after a long day of exploring (both public and private rooms are available, but private ones should be booked in advance).
For those who are interested in culture, we suggest visiting the State Opera House of Georgia to enjoy a ballet or opera performance (opera.ge). You can find out what other cultural events are on in Tbilisi, and book tickets, at tkt.ge.
Day 11, Th: Tbilisi – Armenian border – Haghpat – Lake Sevan – Sevanavank – Yerevan (GEO-ARM)
 
Breakfast. Meet your driver at the hotel after breakfast to transfer to the Georgian-Armenian border point, Sadakhlo-Bagratashen. Cross the border and meet your Armenian guide and driver to start the journey to the land of ancient traditions and the ancient churches. Drive to the Lori region and visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Haghpat Monastery. This stunning example of traditional Armenian architecture was erected between the 10th and 13th centuries. Standing on a hillside, Haghpat beautifully overlooks the Debed River Canyon. The monastery’s location was chosen to protect the peace and seclusion of the monks. Drive through Dilijan to Lake Sevan, one of the largest high-mountain freshwater lakes in the world. The lake’s coastline is rich with dense woods, white cliff faces, mountain steppes, and Alpine meadows. Visit Sevanavank Monastery, which is situated at the lake and is surrounded by mountains. Reach Yerevan, the capital of Armenia, in the evening. Overnight at the hotel.
Driving distance: 370 km
Day 12, Fr: Yerevan – Etchmiadzin – Yerevan (ARM)
 
Breakfast. In the morning, drive out of the city to Etchmiadzin, the Holy See of Armenia and the residence of the head of the Armenian Apostolic Church – the Catholicos of All Armenians. Return to explore Yerevan, the oldest capital city in the South Caucasus. Yerevan is known as the Pink City and attracts visitors with its humble yet splendid landscapes. Our first stop in Yerevan will be at the Armenian Genocide Memorial Complex on Tsitsernakaberd Hill. Next, visit the Cascade Monument, which was the main symbol of the city’s 2,780th anniversary and has the equivalent number of stairs – this enormous staircase is 500 meters high and 50 meters wide. From the top of the monument, enjoy a breathtaking city view that includes the Opera House, Mount Ararat, Swan Lake, Republic Square, and Abovyan Avenue, all of which we’ll see as we walk the streets of Yerevan. The sightseeing tour will finish in the afternoon, after which you’ll have some free time. Overnight at the hotel.
Driving distance: 50 km
Day 13, Sa: Yerevan – Khor Virap – Areni cave – Noravank – Goris (ARM)
 
Breakfast. At 08:00, check out of the hotel and head to Khor Virap Monastery. According to legend, St. Gregory the Illuminator (who is credited with converting Armenia to Christianity) was kept in the basement here for 13 years for disseminating Christianity, until King Tradt decided to adopt the new religion. The monastery’s location allows you to enjoy superb views of Mount Ararat. Drive to the Noravank Complex, which is situated on a ledge of a deep, winding gorge. Noravank stands among bizarrely-shaped, precipitous red cliffs. Visit the Areni Cave complex where, in 2010, the world’s oldest leather shoe was found. Continue travelling across the country to Syunik, Armenia’s southernmost province, while enjoying views of the mountain ridges, highland landscape, and villages. Arrive in Goris at around 18:00. Overnight at the hotel.
Driving distance: 260 km
Day 14, Su: Goris – Tatev – Areni – Yerevan (ARM)
 
Breakfast. In the morning, visit Tatev Monastery. To reach the monastery, a towering, impregnable stronghold, we’ll ride on the longest reversible aerial tramway in the world, which is recognized in the Guinness Book of World Records (5,752 m, 12 min). The monastery’s remote location was strategically favorable and Tatev served as the religious and political center of the region. Depart for Yerevan. On the way, stop in Areni, a town known for producing wine from pomegranate, apricots, and a variety of berries. Take the opportunity to taste different wines and spirits at the Areni Winery. Arrive in Yerevan at around 18:00. Overnight at the hotel.
Driving distance: 290 km
Day 15, Mo: Yerevan – Garni – Geghard – Yerevan (ARM)
 
Breakfast. Depart Yerevan and drive to Garni, the only pagan temple in Armenia that survived the introduction of Christianity in the 4th century. Our next stop is the Geghard (“spear”) monastery complex. The beautiful landscape surrounding the Geghard is framed by towering cliffs. Decorative art cut into the rocks reflects and explains Medieval development in this region. The complex was established in the 4th century around the sacred spring inside the cave. Return to Yerevan. Free afternoon to explore more of Yerevan (we suggest visiting the Ararat Brandy Factory or the Vernissage souvenir market), or to relax before we meet in the evening for a farewell dinner at one of the local traditional restaurants. Overnight at the hotel.
Driving distance: 80 km
Day 16, Tu: Yerevan – Departure (ARM)
 
Checkout from the hotel till noon. Free time till transfer to Yerevan International Airport. End of the tour.
Driving distance: 10 km
  • 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;
  • Dinners in Baku (day 1), Tbilisi (day 7), Yerevan (day 15);
  • Two wine tastings (at Khareba (Georgia) and Areni (Armenia) wine factories);
  • E-visa to Azerbaijan.
  • Full board (lunches and dinners);
  • Hotel charges for additional services;
  • Personal travel insurance;
  • International flight tickets before and after the tour.

Accommodation:

Baku - 3 nights
Park Inn, Intourist
Sheki - 1 night
Sheki Saray, Sheki Palace, Marxal
Telavi - 1 night
Akhasheni Wine Resort
Tbilisi - 4 nights
River Side, Ibis, Citrus, New Tiflis
Gudauri - 1 night
Marco Polo
Yerevan - 4 nights
DoubleTree by Hilton
Goris - 1 night
Mirhav, Mthnadzor

Upcoming Departure Dates in 2019

Status Days Price, USD
1
May
Armenia Small Group Tour
Yerevan, Hayravank, Noratus, Sevanavank, Etchmiadzin, Khor Virap, Noravank, Goris, Tatev, Areni, Garni, Geghard
11 more departures >>>
Available 7 1,280
6
May
Azerbaijan and Georgia Group Tour
Azerbaijan, Georgia
11 more departures >>>
Available 10 1,880
6
May
Caucasus Group Tour: Az, Ge, Am
Azerbaijan, Georgia, Armenia
12 more departures >>>
Available 16 2,980

More similar tours toCaucasus Group Tour 2019-2020

Georgia and Armenia Small Group Tour 2019-2020

Book your cultural and gastronomical 13 day holidays in Georgia and Armenia with fixed dates and join a group of like-minded people. South Caucasus welcomes you with breathtaking nature, ...

Details
$ 1980 per person
Caucasus Winter Group Tour 2019

The tour offers an excellent blend of active sports and historical-cultural tourism during Christmas holidays. Sports day has alternatives up to your ...

Details
$ 1580 per person
Azerbaijan and Georgia Small Group Tour 2019-2020

Explore Oriental and Westernized Caucasus with Azerbaijan and Georgia group tour with 100% guaranteed departure dates. Group travel will cut your costs and enjoy your adventures with ...

Details
$ 1880 per person