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Exploring the Caucasus in Armenia and Georgia

15 days from £3975 per person

A tour that combines Armenia with its spectacular heritage of medieval churches and monasteries, beautiful landscape and charming people with its northern neighbour, Georgia, which is also rich in history, architecture and mountain views. Both countries excel in producing delicious food and wines and are particularly well suited to travel in the summer months.

Route: Yerevan – Dilijan – Tbilisi – Telavi – Tbilisi – Akhaltsikhe – Kutaisi – Tbilisi

Itinerary Highlights

Often referred to as the “pink city”, Yerevan is a historical haven that offers many interesting museums that feature exhibitions ranging from ancient, Soviet-era and modern times.

Dilijan is amongst Swiss-like landscape and is home to artists and craftsmen. An expatriate Armenian businessman restored the traditional Armenian architecture of the central, old town.

Set on both banks of the Mtkvari River in a deep valley, Tbilisi has a fantastic offering of elegant architecture, Soviet relics, mountain trekking and culinary delights.

Itinerary: Exploring the Caucasus in Armenia and Georgia

Fly with Air France to Yerevan via Paris. (D)
Accommodation in Yerevan: Republica Hotel (or similar)
Upgrade option: Tufenkian Historic Yerevan Hotel (or similar)
In the morning drive out to the religious capital of Armenia, the town of Echmiadzin, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Firstly, see the archaeological site of Zvartnots Cathedral, a masterpiece of 7th century architecture. Continue the main Echmiadzin Cathedral where you can listen to the choir perform the Divine Liturgy. There are outdoor handicraft markets with hand-made souvenirs and carpets from local craftsmen. (B/L/D)
Accommodation in Yerevan: Republica Hotel (or similar)
Upgrade option: Tufenkian Historic Yerevan Hotel (or similar)
Head south through agricultural land to see Khor Virap Monastery. Weather permitting, there is an excellent view of Mount Ararat from here. Continue through a picturesque gorge to Noravank Monastery, with intricate exterior carvings set amongst great natural beauty. En route, visit Areni village famous for wine production. We can visit a small, family-owned winery and try the wine. (B/L/D)
Accommodation in Yerevan: Republica Hotel (or similar)
Upgrade option: Tufenkian Historic Yerevan Hotel (or similar)
Today take a city sightseeing tour of the capital of Armenia. See Republic Square, the Opera House and the Cascade. Drive through Baghramyan Avenue to see Parliament, the Presidential Palace and the National Academy of Sciences. A stop at Victory Park there is a panoramic view of the city. Visit the Food Market with its variety of fresh and dried fruit. The Manuscript Museum of Matenadaran has a great collection of beautifully illuminated medieval Armenian manuscripts. Also visit the Genocide Memorial Complex. (B/D)
Accommodation in Yerevan: Republica Hotel (or similar)
Upgrade option: Tufenkian Historic Yerevan Hotel (or similar)
Today drive east from the city and visit the unique medieval monastery of Geghard, some of which is carved from solid rock. Continue to Garni village to visit a pre-Christian pagan temple from the 1st century. If you wish you may walk through Garni canyon to see the 'Symphony of Stones' volcanic rock formations. (B/D)
Accommodation in Yerevan: Republica Hotel (or similar)
Upgrade option: Tufenkian Historic Yerevan Hotel (or similar)
In the morning drive to Lake Sevan, one of the largest, high-altitude lakes in the world at 1900m. Visit a 9th-century Sevan monastery, perched on a cliff above the lake. Drive on to Dilijan and see Haghartsin and Goshavank monasteries, hidden among the forests of Dilijan National Park. Stay one night at the Dilijan Hotel. (B/L/D)
Accommodation in Dilijan: Dilijan Hotel (or similar)
In the morning drive north through the valley framed by the mountains of the Lesser Caucasus. Drive via Russian-populated villages of molokans, who have striking similarities to Jewish traditions. Visit Haghpat and Sanahin medieval monasteries. Try a special Armenian barbecue for lunch before visiting Akhtala monastery. From here drive to the Armenia-Georgia border and change guides and vehicles. Continue out of the mountains to Tbilisi. (B/D)
Accommodation in Tbilisi: Tbilisi Marriott Hotel (or similar)
This morning take a walk through old Tiflis and visit the Metekhi church, Synagogue and the Sioni Cathedral then drive up to Narikala Fortress which has fine views over the old town. Later this afternoon extra the New Town which includes a visit to the National Art Museum and a stroll along Rustaveli Avenue. Among the treasures of the city are its two major museums—the Museum of Georgian Fine Arts and the Janashia Museum of Georgia. (B/L/D)
Accommodation in Tbilisi: Tbilisi Marriott Hotel (or similar)
Today we will explore picturesque and the most fertile part of Georgia—Kakheti, which borders the Great Caucasus range from the north Alazani Valley, summits of which are over 3,000 m. This region is known as a birthplace of viticulture and wine- making. Wine is a symbol of Georgian hospitality, friendship, tolerance and a key to the mystery of Georgian longevity. Visit Bodbe nunnery complex founded in the first part of the fourth century. During the Middle Ages Bodbe Convent represented ecclesiastical and cultural centres of the country. Enjoy breathtaking views of Kizikhi and the unusual charm of Sighnaghi Royal Town. Wooden balconies are richly decorated with carved ornaments. Drive to former Alexandre Chavchavadze family residence with a marvellous garden, house museum, park and winery dating back to the 19th century. In the evening arrive at Telavi. (B/L/D)
Accommodation in Telavi: Chateau Mere (or similar)
In Alazani valley visit the elegant 12th century Alaverdi cathedral. En route, visit Gremi complex, the citadel and royal residence, from where there is a beautiful view of the valley. Nekresi monastery complex in Kvareli region was founded by St. Abibo Nekreseli, one of the Thirteen Syrian monks who came to Georgia in the 6th century to strengthen Christian faith. In the evening return to Tbilisi. (B/L/D)
Accommodation in Tbilisi: Tbilisi Marriott Hotel (or similar)
Explore Mtskheta, one of the oldest towns and the cultural and religious centre of Georgia. Svetitskhoveli Cathedral is the main church of Mtskheta and a sacred place where the robe of Christ is said to be kept. Later visit the impressive rock cut town of Uplistsikhe, an ancient cave town dating from the first half of the 1st millennium BC. The entire town is a complex of rock-cut streets, residences, churches, secret tunnels, water passages, markets and the oldest theatre in Georgia. Nearby is the town of Gori, birthplace of Joseph Stalin. (B/L/D)
Accommodation in Akhaltsikhe: Lomsia Hotel (or similar)
After breakfast explore Vardzia, inextricably linked to Queen Tamar, Georgia's most famous and beloved royal who reigned during the 12th century. She founded the cave town of Vardzia which became the most important monastery and primary centre of culture in Georgia. Inside the caves view the remarkably well-preserved frescoes depicting the young queen. (B/L/D)
Accommodation in Kutaisi: Bagrati 1003 Hotel (or similar)
After breakfast explore Kutaisi - an ancient city, the capital of the Kingdom of Colchis. Visit Gelati complex, which comprises the churches of the Virgin (the main church), of St Nicolas, of St. George, as well as the academy which was the centre of cultural and spiritual life. Visit Bagrati Cathedral (11th century) located on Ukimerion Hill. The next stop will be at the 12th century Gelati Academy built by King David the Builder. Visit Prometheus Caves, characterised by a variety of underground rivers and beautiful landscapes. (B/L/D)
Accommodation in Kutaisi: Bagrati 1003 Hotel (or similar)
In the morning return to Tbilisi. En route visit a ceramic market and Ubisi architectural complex. This evening there is a farewell dinner at a local restaurant. (B/L/D)
Accommodation in Tbilisi: Tbilisi Marriott Hotel (or similar)
Morning at leisure. In the afternoon transfer to Tbilisi airport for the Turkish Airlines flight to London via Istanbul. (B)
**KEY: N = No meals, B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner

What To Do Next?

We design unique, tailor-made holiday itineraries to suit you, by combining your ideas with our knowledge and experience. Once you have an idea of what you’re looking for, or if you require some advice, please call us or complete the enquiry form online for a quotation.

What's included

  • International flights from the UK
  • Private car and driver
  • Sightseeing with an accompanying English speaking guide
  • Hotel accommodation and taxes

What's not included

  • Cost of visas
  • Travel Insurance
  • Expenses of a personal nature

Guide to Price

The above price is based on two people travelling together and sharing accommodation in low season. The price is only a guide and can vary according to selected airlines, hotels and date of travel. If you wish to travel with your family, friends or on your own we will be very happy to assist you with your arrangements.

Georgia Holiday Review

“It really was a marvellous experience. Georgia is fascinating and the people are so friendly and interested in Westerners, especially if you're old enough to remember Stalin and know the history of that period.”

GH - Georgia - September 2015

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