Those who are looking for a new experience may enjoy an immersive tour to two gems of Eastern Europe, taking in their dramatic landscapes and colorful history.

The Old Town and Narikala Fortress at dusk in Tbilisi
The Old Town and Narikala Fortress in Tbilisi © Frans Sellies/Getty Images

New for 2020, the ‘Georgia & Armenia Uncovered’ tour is offered by leading guided vacation company, Trafalgar. During the 11-day trip, guests will explore the city of Tbilisi and take a cable car to the ancient Narikala Fortress. There will also be an opportunity to visit the twin Unesco World Heritage sites, the 6th century Jvari Monastery and the 11th century Svetitskhoveli Cathedral in Mtskheta.

Svetitskhoveli Cathedral in historic town of Mtskheta, Georgia
Svetitskhoveli Cathedral in historic town of Mtskheta, Georgia © Elena Mirage/Shutterstock

The tour also offers guests the chance to connect with locals and learn about local traditions. Among the trip’s cultural highlights are a masterclass in Georgian bread-making, and a trip to the fortified town of Sighnaghi to embrace the country’s wine traditions. Moving from Georgia to Armenia, guests will get to enjoy Russian pancakes and homemade tea with a local in Fioletovo village. They will also meet a local family in Garni who will teach them how to make Armenia’s national flatbread lavash, paired with cheese and greens.

Woman wearing a hat with a backpack standing on a street in Signagi.
The tour takes in the fortified town of Sighnaghi in the Caucasus Mountains ©

Other highlights in Armenia include trips to the city of Yerevan, Lake Sevan and Karahunge, crossing the Wings of Tatev ropeway to the ‘monastery on the edge of nothing;’ and visiting a community making a living from crafting traditional wool carpets. An excursion to the Khor Virap Monastery will be a historical high point of the trip, and guests will be treated to a moving performance of Armenian spiritual songs at the Unesco-listed Geghard Monastery.

Sevanavank Monastery on Lake Sevan, Armenia
Sevanavank Monastery on Lake Sevan in Armenia © Justin Foulkes/Lonely Planet

“These lesser-known destinations in Eastern Europe are a best-kept secret,” says Trafalgar USA president, Melissa DaSilva, adding that the brand is supporting and encouraging tourism efforts in these emerging destinations. “They offer all the things travelers love about Europe, from timeless culture and winding cobblestone streets to incredible cuisine and stunning landscapes.”

The ‘Georgia & Armenia Uncovered’ tour departs on 18 April 2020, and further information is available here.

This article was produced in collaboration with Trafalgar and written to reflect Lonely Planet’s policy of editorial independence and impartiality.

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