Scheduled Caucasus Tour 2018-2019

Caucasus Tour10 Days | Azerbaijan, Georgia, Armenia

Tour map

This 10-day Caucasus tour is a fascinating journey through the history of three wonderful countries: Azerbaijan, Georgia and Armenia. Learn about the culture of these nations, explore their modern and ancient architectural monuments, and enjoy picturesque landscapes and unique local dishes. Azerbaijan’s history covers thousands of years, from petroglyphs to palaces to promenades. Georgia is a land of heartfelt gatherings and beautiful scenery, home to some of the oldest wine making technology in the world and some of the most stunning mountain churches in the Caucasus. The final stops of the tour are in Armenia, with visits to UNESCO World Heritage Sites and the beautiful Lake Sevan, one of the largest high mountain lakes in the world. You will leave with warm memories of the Caucasus and much more knowledge of Azerbaijan, Georgia and Armenia than you did before.

Tour itinerary:

Day 1: Baku (Azerbaijan)
 
Arrival in Baku early in the morning or on the previous day. You will be met by our driver and transferred to the hotel for overnight.
At noon, start a sightseeing tour in Baku. Visit Martyrs’ Lane, called ‘Shehidler Khiyabany’ among locals. When you walk through Martyrs’ Lane, you will find a beautiful view overlooking Baku’s coastline. Continue touring new Baku and exploring architecture of the 19-20th centuries: Nizami Street, Fountain Square, Nizami Ganjavi monument, Rasul-Zade Street. Pay a visit to Azerbaijan History National Museum and move to the old part of the city – Icheri Sheher. Visit Maiden Tower, Shirvanshahs’ Palace, Caravanserai, and market square with numerous art studios and souvenir stalls. An excellent round-up to the city tour will be visit to the richest bank of Azeri carpets – National Carpets Museum. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 2: Baku – Absheron Peninsula – Gobustan – Baku (Azerbaijan)
 
Today you will visit the area of the Greater Baku and Absheron Peninsula. Start with Gobustan National Park. Pay a visit to the Petroglyphs Museum and explore petroglyphs dating back to 10,000 BC. Continue to mud volcanoes in Gobustan Reserve. Gobustan is home to almost half of world’s mud volcanoes. Later drive to Ateshgah – temple of fire worshippers located in Surakhany village. Zoroastrians from India travelled thousands of kilometers to Ateshgah to worship fire coming out of the earth. Drive to Yanardag Mountain with natural gas burning for several thousands of years.
Return to Baku. Overnight at hotel.
Day 3: Baku – Lahij – Kish – Sheki (Azerbaijan)
 
In the morning, depart Baku and drive to Sheki town. On the way, visit Diri Baba Mausoleum in Maraza village. Continue to Shamakha and have a sightseeing of historical Juma Mosque, Yeddi Gumbez Mausoleum, and the Shirvan Shah's family grave yard. Drive through Girdimanchay River’s canyon to visit Lahij, the 5th century place rich in its historic and architectural values. Lahij is an ancient village with charming eye-catching sidewalks inlaid by stones. It is famous for its medieval water supply and sewage systems, as well as traditional jewelry, copperware, carpets, pottery, daggers, and iron tools.
Continue driving to Sheki. On the way, visit the first Albanian church in Caucasus in the village Kish dating back to the 1st century AD. Arrival in Sheki for overnight.
Day 4: Sheki – Georgian border – Kvareli – Gremi – Telavi (Azerbaijan – Georgia)
 
Check out from hotel and start sightseeing tour in Sheki. Visit Sheki medieval fortress, Sheki Khans Palace, local History Museum, handicrafts workshop, mosque-madrassah, and local bazaar. Depart Sheki and head towards border with Georgia (115 km, ~2 h.). Cross the border, meet your Georgian guide and start exploring the eastern part of Georgia, famous for its viticulture and winemaking traditions.
We will pass through the beautiful landscapes of vineyards and wine-producing villages. First stop will be at unique Winery Khareba located in the tunnel carved out of the rock. Originally built for military purposes, today the tunnel is used to store Kakheti’s finest wines. Wine tour and wine tasting. Continue to Gremi architectural complex, 16th century royal residence and the capital of Kakheti Kingdom. Then reach Telavi, administrative center of Kakheti region. Have a short drive around the town. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 5: Telavi – Tsinandali – Bodbe – Sighnaghi – Tbilisi (Georgia)
 
After breakfast, continue exploring Kakheti by visiting Tsinandali, residence of dukes of Georgia, with beautiful English garden, museum, and wine cellar which belonged to prince Chavchavadze, public figure and poet of 19th century. Continue to Bodbe Convent and Sighnaghi Royal Town, one of the crossroads of the Great Silk Road surrounded by defensive walls with 23 towers. In the afternoon, head to Tbilisi for overnight.
Day 6: Tbilisi – Mtskheta – Tbilisi (Georgia)
 
After breakfast, drive to Mtskheta, one of the oldest towns and the cultural and religious centres of Georgia included in the UNESCO world heritage list. Visit Jvari Church, a true architectural masterpiece of the early Medieval Period built on a hilltop. You will enjoy the views of the confluence of Aragvi and Mtkvari rivers. Visit Svetitskhoveli, the main cathedral of Mtskheta and a sacred place where the robe of Christ is being kept. Return to Tbilisi for sightseeing tour. Visit the 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 Cathedral, Anchiskhati Basilica, and the clock tower of famous Rezo Gabriadze Theatre and cross the Bridge of Peace leading to Rike Park. In the evening, visit a local restaurant to taste dishes of traditional Georgian cuisine. Overnight in Tbilisi.
Day 7: Tbilisi – Armenian border – Haghpat – Lake Sevan – Sevanavank – Yerevan (Georgia – Armenia)
 
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 Haghpat monastery, a UNESCO World Heritage site. This stunning example of Armenian traditional architecture was erected in 10-13th centuries. Standing on a hillside, Haghpat beautifully overlooks the 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-mountain freshwater 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 - carved cross-stones. The buildings were constructed from black tuff which probably gave the monastery its name Sevanavank – “the Black Monastery”. Enjoy a magnificent view: the mountains surround lake from all sides and snow tops are seen almost on the entire perimeter and disappear behind the horizon. Continue to Yerevan for overnight.
Day 8: Yerevan (Armenia)
 
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 the Cascade Monument, which was the main symbol of the cities 2780th anniversary with the equivalent number of stairs. The mega scale staircase is 500 meters high and 50 meters wide. A panoramic view from the monument opens up breathtaking city view with Opera House, Mount Ararat, Swan Lake, Republic Square, and Abovyan Avenue, which you will also walk by during the tour. If it is a weekend, visit Vernissage, the biggest souvenir market in Yerevan. 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 dinner and traditional folklore show. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 9: Yerevan – Garni – Geghard – Etchmiadzin – Yerevan (Armenia)
 
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 (meaning a spear). The beautiful landscape of Geghard is framed with towering cliffs. Decorative art cut into rocks reflects and explains Medieval Ages development throughout the region. The complex was introduced to the history in the 4th century as a sacred spring inside a cave. Continue to Etchmiadzin, the Holy See of Armenia. Visit Etchmiadzin Cathedral*, which is the residence of the head of the Armenian Apostolic Church, the Catholicos of All Armenians. Return to Yerevan for overnight.
* The site is presently under renovation works.
Day 10: Yerevan – departure (Armenia)
 
Check-out from hotel till noon. Free time till transfer to Yerevan International Airport. End of the tour.

Accommodation:

City

Comfort Option

Economy Option

Nights

Baku

Park Inn, Intourist

Sapphire, Shah Palace, Central Park

2

Sheki

Sheki Saray, Sheki Palace

Issam

1

Telavi

Chateau Mere, Schuchmann Chateau

Old Telavi, Rcheuli Marani, Alazani Valley

1

Tbilisi

Tiflis Palace, Riverside, Ambasadori

Kopala, Tiflis, KMM

2

Yerevan

Grand Hotel Yerevan, DoubleTree by Hilton Yerevan, Opera Suite

Hrazdan, Silachi, Cascade

3

 

  • All transfers (1-2 pax by sedan, 3-4 pax by Mercedes Vito or similar, 5-15 pax by Mercedes Sprinter passenger van);
  • Accommodation based on double/twin room sharing, breakfasts included;
  • Sightseeing tour program in each country with local English-speaking guides;
  • Entrance fees to sights as per itinerary;
  • Wine tasting in Kakheti region, Georgia;
  • Dinner in Tbilisi (day 6), and Yerevan (day 8).
  • 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;
  • International flight tickets before and after the tour;
  • Azerbaijan tourist e-visa. 

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