Caucasus Tour: Georgia - Armenia / 11 days

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Tour description

It’s a pleasure to welcome to Silk Road Armenia Travel Agency.‘Caucasus Pearls’ is a 15-day combined group tour with fixed dates, which explores three countries of South Caucasus – Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Armenia. Starts from: TBILISIType: SMALL GROUP tourDates: every second SaturdayTotal distance: 1685 km11-day combined tour with guaranteed dates to two countries – Georgia and Armenia – takes off in Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia. During these 11 days, participants of this tour will be able to visit different cities and towns of Armenia and Georgia, and get acquainted with people, history and culture of the two countries. Group will be guided by the local experts in each country who will introduce the most important and interesting historical and cultural monuments of Georgia and Armenia to them.The group is “Guaranteed to run” after 2 people book this tour.

ItineraryDay 1: TBILISI CITY TOURStop At: Tbilisi Mall, Tbilisi11-day Georgia-Armenia tour takes off in Tbilisi. On day 1 we will have Tbilisi city tour. Throughout this tour we will visit one of the tallest Orthodox church in the world the Holy Trinity Cathedral of Tbilisi, Metekhi Plateau and the 5th century church, old Narikala Fortress on the hill overlooking the city, narrow streets of the old Tbilisi – Shardeni and Erekle II, the glass Bridge of Peace over river Mtkvari, Legvtakhevi canyon and waterfall, Abanotubani – sulfur bathhouse district, Jumah Mosque and Maidani Square full of bars, restaurants, cafes and souvenir stores. Overnight in Tbilisi. Duration: 2 hoursNo meals included on this day.Accommodation included: Overnight at 3* HotelDay 2: TBILISI – MTSKHETA – ANANURI – GUDAURIStop At: Mtskheta Church of the Holy Cross, Mtskheta, Mtskheta-Mtianeti RegionOn day 2 after breakfast we move 20 km north from Tbilisi to the capital of early Georgian kingdoms – Mtskheta – to sightsee two UNESCO World Heritage Sites: Jvari Monastery (6th c.) and Svetitskhoveli Cathedral (11th c.), both of which represents authentic styles of Georgian church architecture. From Mtskheta, we continue our way to the north and by the Georgian Military Highway get to the Zhinvali reservoir to visit Ananuri architectural complex. Ananuri was a residence of local feudals in middle ages. Fortification and the two churches inside the curtain walls are well-preserved. From Ananuri we continue our way north towards the Greater Caucasus mountains and arrive at Gudauri ski-resort.Dinner and overnight in Gudauri. Duration: 4 hoursMeals included: • DinnerAccommodation included: Overnight at 3* HotelDay 3: GUDAURI – KAZBEGI – TBILISIStop At: Mount Kazbek/ Mqinvartsveri, Stepantsminda, Mtskheta-Mtianeti RegionOn day 3 tour explores Caucasus mountains. We begin our journey by driving north and arriving in Kazbegi town through the Cross Pass (2395 m). On our way to Kazbegi we can make couple of stops to observe waterfalls and snowy peaks of the Caucasus mountains, and taste mineral waters. Kazbegi is an administrative of Khevi province. From Kazbegi we drive up to the top of Gergeti Mountain and visit Gergeti Trinity church (14th c.) which is located at an elevation of 2170 m under the Kazbegi peak (5047 m), overlooking Kazbegi town from the top of the mountain. In the evening we return to Kazbegi and drive back to Tbilisi.Overnight in Tbilisi. Duration: 5 hoursNo meals included on this day.Accommodation included: Overnight at 3* HotelDay 4: TBILISI – GORI – UPLISTSIKHE – BORJOMI – AKHALTSIKHEStop At: Gori Fortress, Gori, Shida Kartli RegionAfter breakfast we drive to the South Georgia – Samtskhe region. On our way, we will make several stops in Kartli. Museum of Stalin in Gori consists of the memorial house where Stalin was born and his personal belongings. From Gori we head for a sightseeing tour in the ancient Uplistsikhe cave complex. Cut in rock, Uplistsikhe is one of the earliest urban settlements in Georgia that dates back to the 1st millennium BC. Our next stop will be at Borjomi spa-resort, which is famous for its mineral sparkling water ‘Borjomi’. Visitors can taste Borjomi and take a walk through Borjomi Central Park, which is a part of much larger – Borjomi-Kharagauli National Park – one of the largest protected areas in Georgia. In the evening we arrive in Akhaltsikhe – administrative center of Samtskhe-Javakheti region.Overnight in Akhaltsikhe. Duration: 6 hoursNo meals included on this day.Accommodation included: Overnight at 3* Hotel Day 5: AKHALTSIKHE – RABATI CASTLE – VARDZIA – AKHALTSIKHEStop At: Akhaltsikhe Synagogue, Akhaltsikhe, Samtskhe-Javakheti RegionAfter breakfast we start our excursion at Rabati Castle of Akhaltsikhe. Established in the 9th century and later rebuilt during the Ottoman Empire, Rabati is a fortress that has a small “city” – church, mosque, park, various shops and hotels – inside its walls. From Rabati we drive to Vardzia – a functioning rock-hewn cave monastery founded in the 12th-13th c.c. A well-fortified monastery, Vardzia became an important political, cultural and educational center of Georgia in middle ages. From Vardzia we return back to Akhaltsikhe. Overnight in Akhaltsikhe.Duration: 4 hoursNo meals included on this day.Accommodation included: Overnight at 3* HotelDay 6: AKHALTSIKHE – BAVRA – GYUMRIStop At: Gyumri Main Square, Gyumri, Shirak ProvinceAfter breakfast at the hotel we drive to the border of Georgia and Armenia. On our way we make a short stop at the ancient Khertvisi fortress in Mtkvari river ravine. After our arrival at Bavra Border Crossing Point, our group will change transport and guided by the local expert will continue its trip in Armenia. We drive to Gyumri – the second largest city of Armenia and have a short city tour there.Overnight in Gyumri. Duration: 4 hoursNo meals included on this day.Accommodation included: Overnight at 3* HotelDay 7: GYUMRI – ETCHMIADZIN – ZVARTNOTS – YEREVANStop At: Zvartnots Temple, Vagharshapat, Armavir ProvinceAfter breakfast we take a walk in the historical center of Gyumri. Historic district of Gyumri has many buildings from 19th century when the city was called Alexandropol and was under the rule of Russian Empire. After Gyumri sightseeing tour we drive for the city of Vagharshapat to visit two well-known Armenian cathedrals – Etchmiadzin, built in the 4th century, and 7th century Zvartnots. Etchmiadzin Cathedral is a center of Armenian Apostolic Church and is considered as one of the oldest cathedrals in the world. From Vagharshapat we head to the capital of Armenia – Yerevan. In the evening we visit Mesrop Mashtots Institute of Ancient Manuscripts, commonly referred as Matenadaran, and take a look at the rich collection of medieval manuscripts and books of its museum. Overnight in Yerevan.Duration: 4 hoursNo meals included on this day.Accommodation included: Overnight at 3* Hotel Day 8: YEREVAN – GARNI – GEGHARD – YEREVAN Stop At: Garni Temple, Garni, Kotayk ProvinceOn day 8 after breakfast we start our excursion inside and around the Yerevan city. First we visit the History Museum situated in the center of the city. Yerevan History Museum has a rich collection that represents local culture and history from ancient to present times. Afterwards, we drive to see the Temple of Garni – Greco-Roman colonnaded pagan temple from pre-Christian period. Destroyed by the earthquake in the 17th century, temple was reconstructed during the Soviet Union. From Garni our trip continues to Geghard monastery (founded in the 4th century) near Yerevan, which is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and take a walk along the canyon where the complex is located. From Geghard we drive back to Yerevan. Overnight in Yerevan. Duration: 3 hoursNo meals included on this day.Accommodation included: Overnight at 3* Hotel Day 9: YEREVAN – KHOR VIRAP – ARENI – NORAVANK – YEREVAN Stop At: Khor Virap, Lusarat, Ararat ProvinceAfter breakfast at the hotel we depart to the south part of Armenia. Our first stop is at Khor Virap monastery in Ararat Province. According to local belief St. Gregory the Illuminator was imprisoned here for about 13 years, after he introduced Christianity to Armenia. From monastery visitors can observe view on the Mount Ararat – national symbol of Armenia. From Ararat Province we continue our way to the south-east and arrive at the Armenian wine village Areni, Vayots Dzor Province. Village is known for its red wine-making tradition. We can visit wine factory in Areni and have wine degustation. From Areni we leave for Noravank – a monastery established in the 13th c. in the narrow gorge of Amaghu river. In the evening we return to Yerevan. Overnight in Yerevan. Duration: 6 hoursNo meals included on this day.Accommodation included: Overnight at 3* Hotel Day 10: YEREVAN – SEVAN – SANAHIN – HAGHPAT – SADAKHLO (18:00) – TBILISIStop At: Lake Sevan, Lake Sevan, Gegharkunik ProvinceOn day 10 after breakfast we head to Lake Sevan, one of the world’s largest freshwater high-altitude lakes (1900 m above sea level). From Sevan we drive to the north and arrive in Dilijan – administrative center if Tavush Province. On city tour we visit Sharambeyan street in the old town full its artistic workshops and souvenir stores. From Dilijan we continue our way to Lori Province and get to the medieval Sanahin monastery (built in 10th c.) – one of the UNESCO World Heritage sites. From Sanahin we drive to the last site of our Armenian tour – Haghpat monastery, founded in the 10th century by the Bagratid royal family. From Haghpat we get to the Georgia-Armenia border at Sadakhlo village and led by the Georgian driver transfer to Tbilisi.Overnight in Tbilisi. Duration: 8 hoursNo meals included on this day.Accommodation included: Overnight at 3* HotelDay 11: TBILISIStop At: Tbilisi Mall, TbilisiBreakfast at the hotel. Check out time untill 12:00 pm. End of service.Duration: 1 hourNo meals included on this day.No accommodation included on this day.

What's included

  • 1x Dinner
  • Accommodation included: 10 nights
  • 1x transfer to Bavra border on day: 6
  • 1x transfer from Sadakhlo border on day on day 10
  • Transportation service all days except day 11
  • 1x local jeep in Kazbegi on day: 3
  • English speaking Guide & Driver service all days
  • 3 x overnights in Tbilisi 3 * hotel
  • 1 x overnight in Gudauri 3 * Hotel
  • 2 x overnight in Akhaltsikhe 3 * Hotel
  • 1 x overnight in Gyumri 3 * hotel
  • 3 x overnights in Yerevan 3 * hotel
  • BB (Bed & breakfast)
  • 10 x breakfasts on days: 2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11
  • 1 x dinner on day 2
  • Entrance fees per program
  • 1 bottle of mineral water per person per day
  • 1 x wine tasting in Armenian village Areni on day 9
  • All taxes
  • Entry/Admission - Tbilisi Mall
  • Entry/Admission - Mtskheta Church of the Holy Cross
  • Entry/Admission - Mount Kazbek/ Mqinvartsveri
  • Entry/Admission - Gori Fortress
  • Entry/Admission - Akhaltsikhe Synagogue
  • Entry/Admission - Gyumri Main Square
  • Entry/Admission - Zvartnots Temple
  • Entry/Admission - Garni Temple
  • Entry/Admission - Khor Virap
  • Entry/Admission - Lake Sevan
  • Entry/Admission - Tbilisi Mall

What's not included

  • Visa fees
  • Travel insurance
  • Air tickets
  • Accommodation in a single room
  • Hotel night on the last day of the Land Only itinerary
  • Alcohol beverages unless mentioned in the itinerary
  • Breakfast on the final day if departing earlier than 8 am
  • Lunches
  • Dinners on days: 1,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11;
  • Arrival & Departure airport transfers

Itinerary

Day 1: Day 10: YEREVAN – SEVAN – SANAHIN – HAGHPAT – SADAKHLO (18:00) – TBILISI Stop At: Lake Sevan, Lake Sevan, Gegharkunik Province On day 10 after breakfast we head to Lake Sevan, one of the world’s largest freshwater high-altitude lakes (1900 m above sea level). From Sevan we drive to the north and arrive in Dilijan – administrative center if Tavush Province. On city tour we visit Sharambeyan street in the old town full its artistic workshops and souvenir stores. From Dilijan we continue our way to Lori Province and get to the medieval Sanahin monastery (built in 10th c.) – one of the UNESCO World Heritage sites. From Sanahin we drive to the last site of our Armenian tour – Haghpat monastery, founded in the 10th century by the Bagratid royal family. From Haghpat we get to the Georgia-Armenia border at Sadakhlo village and led by the Georgian driver transfer to Tbilisi. Overnight in Tbilisi. Duration: 8 hours No meals included on this day. Accommodation included: Overnight at 3* Hotel

Day 2: Day 11: TBILISI Stop At: Tbilisi Mall, Tbilisi Breakfast at the hotel. Check out time untill 12:00 pm. End of service. Duration: 1 hour No meals included on this day. No accommodation included on this day.

Day 3: Day 1: TBILISI CITY TOUR Stop At: Tbilisi Mall, Tbilisi 11-day Georgia-Armenia tour takes off in Tbilisi. On day 1 we will have Tbilisi city tour. Throughout this tour we will visit one of the tallest Orthodox church in the world the Holy Trinity Cathedral of Tbilisi, Metekhi Plateau and the 5th century church, old Narikala Fortress on the hill overlooking the city, narrow streets of the old Tbilisi – Shardeni and Erekle II, the glass Bridge of Peace over river Mtkvari, Legvtakhevi canyon and waterfall, Abanotubani – sulfur bathhouse district, Jumah Mosque and Maidani Square full of bars, restaurants, cafes and souvenir stores. Overnight in Tbilisi. Duration: 2 hours No meals included on this day. Accommodation included: Overnight at 3* Hotel

Day 4: Day 2: TBILISI – MTSKHETA – ANANURI – GUDAURI Stop At: Mtskheta Church of the Holy Cross, Mtskheta, Mtskheta-Mtianeti Region On day 2 after breakfast we move 20 km north from Tbilisi to the capital of early Georgian kingdoms – Mtskheta – to sightsee two UNESCO World Heritage Sites: Jvari Monastery (6th c.) and Svetitskhoveli Cathedral (11th c.), both of which represents authentic styles of Georgian church architecture. From Mtskheta, we continue our way to the north and by the Georgian Military Highway get to the Zhinvali reservoir to visit Ananuri architectural complex. Ananuri was a residence of local feudals in middle ages. Fortification and the two churches inside the curtain walls are well-preserved. From Ananuri we continue our way north towards the Greater Caucasus mountains and arrive at Gudauri ski-resort. Dinner and overnight in Gudauri. Duration: 4 hours Meals included: • Dinner Accommodation included: Overnight at 3* Hotel

Day 5: Day 3: GUDAURI – KAZBEGI – TBILISI Stop At: Mount Kazbek/ Mqinvartsveri, Stepantsminda, Mtskheta-Mtianeti Region On day 3 tour explores Caucasus mountains. We begin our journey by driving north and arriving in Kazbegi town through the Cross Pass (2395 m). On our way to Kazbegi we can make couple of stops to observe waterfalls and snowy peaks of the Caucasus mountains, and taste mineral waters. Kazbegi is an administrative of Khevi province. From Kazbegi we drive up to the top of Gergeti Mountain and visit Gergeti Trinity church (14th c.) which is located at an elevation of 2170 m under the Kazbegi peak (5047 m), overlooking Kazbegi town from the top of the mountain. In the evening we return to Kazbegi and drive back to Tbilisi. Overnight in Tbilisi. Duration: 5 hours No meals included on this day. Accommodation included: Overnight at 3* Hotel

Day 6: Day 4: TBILISI – GORI – UPLISTSIKHE – BORJOMI – AKHALTSIKHE Stop At: Gori Fortress, Gori, Shida Kartli Region After breakfast we drive to the South Georgia – Samtskhe region. On our way, we will make several stops in Kartli. Museum of Stalin in Gori consists of the memorial house where Stalin was born and his personal belongings. From Gori we head for a sightseeing tour in the ancient Uplistsikhe cave complex. Cut in rock, Uplistsikhe is one of the earliest urban settlements in Georgia that dates back to the 1st millennium BC. Our next stop will be at Borjomi spa-resort, which is famous for its mineral sparkling water ‘Borjomi’. Visitors can taste Borjomi and take a walk through Borjomi Central Park, which is a part of much larger – Borjomi-Kharagauli National Park – one of the largest protected areas in Georgia. In the evening we arrive in Akhaltsikhe – administrative center of Samtskhe-Javakheti region. Overnight in Akhaltsikhe. Duration: 6 hours No meals included on this day. Accommodation included: Overnight at 3* Hotel

Day 7: Day 5: AKHALTSIKHE – RABATI CASTLE – VARDZIA – AKHALTSIKHE Stop At: Akhaltsikhe Synagogue, Akhaltsikhe, Samtskhe-Javakheti Region After breakfast we start our excursion at Rabati Castle of Akhaltsikhe. Established in the 9th century and later rebuilt during the Ottoman Empire, Rabati is a fortress that has a small “city” – church, mosque, park, various shops and hotels – inside its walls. From Rabati we drive to Vardzia – a functioning rock-hewn cave monastery founded in the 12th-13th c.c. A well-fortified monastery, Vardzia became an important political, cultural and educational center of Georgia in middle ages. From Vardzia we return back to Akhaltsikhe. Overnight in Akhaltsikhe. Duration: 4 hours No meals included on this day. Accommodation included: Overnight at 3* Hotel

Day 8: Day 6: AKHALTSIKHE – BAVRA – GYUMRI Stop At: Gyumri Main Square, Gyumri, Shirak Province After breakfast at the hotel we drive to the border of Georgia and Armenia. On our way we make a short stop at the ancient Khertvisi fortress in Mtkvari river ravine. After our arrival at Bavra Border Crossing Point, our group will change transport and guided by the local expert will continue its trip in Armenia. We drive to Gyumri – the second largest city of Armenia and have a short city tour there. Overnight in Gyumri. Duration: 4 hours No meals included on this day. Accommodation included: Overnight at 3* Hotel

Day 9: Day 7: GYUMRI – ETCHMIADZIN – ZVARTNOTS – YEREVAN Stop At: Zvartnots Temple, Vagharshapat, Armavir Province After breakfast we take a walk in the historical center of Gyumri. Historic district of Gyumri has many buildings from 19th century when the city was called Alexandropol and was under the rule of Russian Empire. After Gyumri sightseeing tour we drive for the city of Vagharshapat to visit two well-known Armenian cathedrals – Etchmiadzin, built in the 4th century, and 7th century Zvartnots. Etchmiadzin Cathedral is a center of Armenian Apostolic Church and is considered as one of the oldest cathedrals in the world. From Vagharshapat we head to the capital of Armenia – Yerevan. In the evening we visit Mesrop Mashtots Institute of Ancient Manuscripts, commonly referred as Matenadaran, and take a look at the rich collection of medieval manuscripts and books of its museum. Overnight in Yerevan. Duration: 4 hours No meals included on this day. Accommodation included: Overnight at 3* Hotel

Day 10: Day 8: YEREVAN – GARNI – GEGHARD – YEREVAN Stop At: Garni Temple, Garni, Kotayk Province On day 8 after breakfast we start our excursion inside and around the Yerevan city. First we visit the History Museum situated in the center of the city. Yerevan History Museum has a rich collection that represents local culture and history from ancient to present times. Afterwards, we drive to see the Temple of Garni – Greco-Roman colonnaded pagan temple from pre-Christian period. Destroyed by the earthquake in the 17th century, temple was reconstructed during the Soviet Union. From Garni our trip continues to Geghard monastery (founded in the 4th century) near Yerevan, which is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and take a walk along the canyon where the complex is located. From Geghard we drive back to Yerevan. Overnight in Yerevan. Duration: 3 hours No meals included on this day. Accommodation included: Overnight at 3* Hotel

Day 11: Day 9: YEREVAN – KHOR VIRAP – ARENI – NORAVANK – YEREVAN Stop At: Khor Virap, Lusarat, Ararat Province After breakfast at the hotel we depart to the south part of Armenia. Our first stop is at Khor Virap monastery in Ararat Province. According to local belief St. Gregory the Illuminator was imprisoned here for about 13 years, after he introduced Christianity to Armenia. From monastery visitors can observe view on the Mount Ararat – national symbol of Armenia. From Ararat Province we continue our way to the south-east and arrive at the Armenian wine village Areni, Vayots Dzor Province. Village is known for its red wine-making tradition. We can visit wine factory in Areni and have wine degustation. From Areni we leave for Noravank – a monastery established in the 13th c. in the narrow gorge of Amaghu river. In the evening we return to Yerevan. Overnight in Yerevan. Duration: 6 hours No meals included on this day. Accommodation included: Overnight at 3* Hotel