Explore the Caucasus: Armenia & Georgia (10 days / 9 nights)
DAY 01: ARRIVAL IN TBILISI
Arrival at the international airport of Tbilisi. Dinner in traditional restaurant and overnight in the hotel.
DAY 02: TBILISI
In the morning you will have free time for rest and relaxation. After breakfast meet the tour guide and start Tbilisi city tour, which is famous for its historical monuments, bridges and caravanserais, for its hot mineral springs which gave start to the city's name. According to written sources, its history goes back more than 1550 years. The historical center of Tbilisi "Old Town" is located at the foot of Mount Mtatsminda. It has retained Tbilisi's special flavor, which is distinguished by narrow streets built up mainly by 2 or 3 storey stone or wooden houses with porches and balconies. The buildings belong to the middle of the 14th - early 20th centuries. The sulfur baths were built over the hot springs, about which A. Pushkin and A. Dumas raved in their travel notes 200 years ago. Overnight in the hotel.
DAY 03: TBILISI - ANANURI - KAZBEGI - TBILISI
Breakfast. Drive along the legendary and picturesque Georgian Military Highway.This road leads to Georgian-Russian border and will take us to the small town of Kazbegi located amidst the majestic Caucasus Mountains. On the way we'll visit Ananuri architectural complex of the 17th century. Arrive to Kazbegi and leisure time. Walk along the picturesque surroundings of the town and then climb the hill to the main attraction of the area Gergeti Trinity Church, which is located at an elevation of 2170m. Enjoy the wildly beautiful views of the Caucasus Mountains and Mount Kazbek. Return to Tbilisi. Overnight in the hotel.
DAY 04: TBILISI - MTSKHETA - GORI - UPLISTSIKHE - TBILISI
After breakfast we'll drive to the ancient capital and religious center of Georgia - Mtskheta . The town's history dates back more than 3000 years. It was the capital of the Georgian Kingdom and has experienced several religions. Visit to the Monastery of Jvari of the 6th century, included in UNESCO list of World Heritage Site, and Svetistkhoveli Cathedral of 11th century, where Christ's Robe is buried. The trip continues to the hometown of Stalin - Gori. Visit to Stalin Museum and the famous cave city Uplistsikh e (I millennium BC), where the Great Silk Road used to pass. Return to Tbilisi.
DAY 05: TBILISI - SADAKHLO - DILIJAN
Breakfast. Transfer to the Armenia-Georgia border Sadakhlo. After border formalities, we will change the guide and bus. Crossing the Georgian - Armenian border we'll enter the Lori region and drive towards the forested resort town of Dilijan, which is also called "Armenian Little Switzerland" for its nature. On the way, we'll stop at the medieval bridge of Sanahin over the Debed River. Visit Haghpa t and Sanahin - two outstanding UNESCO listed monasteries of medieval Armenian architecture (10-13 cc.). Lunch in a local restaurant. Continue the trip to reach the town of Dilijan. Dinner and overnight in Dilijan.
DAY 06: DILIJAN - LAKE SEVAN - YEREVAN
After breakfast we will walk along the most beautiful and oldest street of the Old Dilijan - Sharambeyan where we will find small art schools and souvenir shops. Dilijan has a rich historical and cultural heritage. Here we will visit one of the highlights of the region, the medieval Monastery Haghartsin (13 cc.). Then we will continue to Lake Sevan - one of the most beautiful and large mountain lakes in the world. Inspection of Sevanavank Monastery, standing on the peninsula that offers magnificent panoramic views of the lake and surrounding mountains. In the evening arrival to Yerevan.
DAY 07: YEREVAN - GARNI - GEGHARD - YEREVAN
Breakfast. A visit to Matenadaran - Institute of ancient manuscripts. Here are kept more than 15,000 manuscripts and the collection is constantly updated with new discoveries, acquisitions and gifts. After we'll visit the cave Monastery Geghard (5-13cc.), which consists of a large above-ground church and three rock-hewn churches, in the vicinity of hundreds of natural and artificial caves. Continuation of the tour will bring us to the pagan Temple of Garni (77 AD). Inspection of "Temple of the Sun" and the ancient royal baths, the only Hellenistic temple extant in the region. The temple is situated on the edge of the picturesque valley. Lunch time. Return to Yerevan.
DAY 08: YEREVAN - KHOR VIRAP - NORAVANK - ARENI - YEREVAN
Breakfast. A trip to the Ararat valley, visiting one of the most revered shrines of the Armenian people - the Monastery of Khor Virap, which is located 200 meters away from the Turkish border. Khor Virap is considered to be a place pilgrimage center for all Armenians, from where we can have the best view of Biblical Mount Ararat. The tour will be continued to the one of the most beautiful monasteries in Armenia - Noravank, which is a remarkable architectural complex of 13th century. Lunch in a local restaurant. On the way back we'll visit Areni wine factory in Areni village to taste local wines. Return to Yerevan.
DAY 9: YEREVAN - ECHMIADZIN - ZVARTNOTS - YEREVAN
Breakfast. A trip to Echmiadzin, the spiritual and administrative center of the Armenian Apostolic Church. Inspection of the pearls of Armenian architecture of the Church of St. Hripsime (618AD), and the world's first Christian Cathedral (301AD). We will visit the unique museum of Echmiadzin Cathedral. Visit the Church of St. Gayane (5-7 cc). On the way back we will stop at the ruins of one of the most famous temples in Armenia - Zvartnots (7th century). Return to Yerevan. Lunch time. Visit of the memorial of Tsitsernakaberd, which commemorates the innocent victims of a severe in history of the Armenian Genocide in 1915. Leisure time.
DAY 10: DEPARTURE
Check out and transfer to the airport.