Combined Wine Tour: Georgia & Armenia (11 days / 10 nights)
DAY 01: ARRIVAL
Arrival to Yerevan, meeting at Zvartnots International airport. Transfer and hotel accommodation. Leisure time. After lunch we will visit the famous brandy/wine/vodka factory "Noy". During the tour, we will see distillation department, cooperage department, the museum, wine cellar, where we can taste old wines and brandies. Visit to "Ararat" brandy factory, which in 1998 became part of Pernod Ricard Group, the world's leader in premium wines and spirits.
Here we will have an excursion through the museum of the factory. Brandy sampling. In the evening a panoramic tour of the capital of Armenia, which is one of the oldest cities in the world. We will see the Republic Square, the National Opera and Ballet Theater, cultural - architectural complex Cascade, the monument "Mother Armenia". Dinner and overnight in Yerevan.
DAY 02: YEREVAN - ECHMIADZIN - ZVARTNOTS - YEREVAN
After breakfast we will start to Echmiadzin, the spiritual and administrative center of the Armenian Apostolic Church. We will visit the pearls of Armenian architecture - The Church of St. Hripsime (618 AD) and the world's first Christian Cathedral (301 AD). Excursion to the unique museum of Echmiadzin Cathedral. On the way back stop at the ruins of one of the most famous temples in Armenia - Zvartnots (7th century). Then we'll visit "Maran" winery, where we'll taste white and red dry wines and fruit vodka. After excursion and degustation enjoy self-service lunch with delicious national dishes. Return to Yerevan.
DAY 03: YEREVAN - GEGHARD - GARNI - YEREVAN
After breakfast a trip to the cave Monastery Geghard (5-13c). Continuation of the tour will bring us to the pagan temple of Garni (77 AD) - the only Hellenistic temple extant in Caucasus. Lunch in a local family where we'll see the baking process of Armenian traditional flatbread, lavash. By the same time we'll have an opportunity to participate in the process of baking. We will taste both appetizing dishes and delicious homemade fruit wines. Return to Yerevan.
DAY 04: 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. The monastery is located 200 meters away from the Turkish border. From here you can have the best view of Biblical Mount Ararat. After we continue to Noravank Monastery which is built in an inaccessible location among stunning nature. Lunch in a local restaurant. Visit the cave, where was found the oldest leather shoe in the world, as well as grape seeds, wine press for stomping grapes, drinking cups, and withered grape wines. Then we drive to Areni village, which is especially famous for its rich vineyards. Visit to Areni wine factory to taste local wine and familiarize with the technology of wine making. Return to Yerevan.
DAY 05: YEREVAN - SEVAN - IJEVAN - DILIJAN
Breakfast. A trip to Lake Sevan - one of the most beautiful and large mountain lakes in the world, which is bordered on all sides by high mountain ridges. We will visit Sevanavank Monastery, located on the peninsula that offers magnificent panoramic views of the lake and surrounding mountains. Then, the excursion continues to the beautiful town of Ijevan. Visit to Ijevan Wine Factory famous for its white wine production and exceptionally tasty wines. Lunch in a local restaurant. Our tour will be continued to the forested resort town of Dilijan, which is also called "Armenian Little Switzerland" for its nature. Dinner and overnight in Dilijan.
DAY 06: ALAVERDI - SADAKLO - TBILISI
After breakfast we leave for the Armenian-Georgian border. On the way, we'll stop to visit Haghpat and Sanahin Monasteries - the two outstanding UNESCO listed monasteries of medieval Armenian architecture (10-13 cc.) Transfer to the Armenia-Georgia border Sadakhlo. On-border formalities. Upon arrival we'll have an excursion around the town - sightseeing in Old Tbilisi. All the interesting cultural and architectural monuments are situated in a five-minute's walk from each other.
We are going to start our excursion of the Old town from the Church of Metekhi (13th century), then we are going to visit the Sinagogue, the Cathedral of Sioni (6-7 centuries) and the Anchiskhati Church (6th century). Later we will walk up to the statue of Mother Georgia by the citadel of Narikal (4th century) we will go down the hill to the sulfur baths, enjoying the views upon the Old Town. In the evening we'll have a supper in a traditional restaurant. Overnight in Tbilisi.
DAY 07: TBILISI - SIGHNAGHI - VELISTIKHE - SCHUKHMANI - TELAVI
Breakfast. Trip to Kakheti region - a region known for its viniculture. In the morning we are going to visit the fortified town Signaghi on the hill. We will have a walk along the streets of the town, will have the chance to admire of the wonderful examples of threaded works and will enjoy the sceneries of the Big Caucasus Mountains and Alasan valley. We'll have a trip to visit an old peasant wine cellar and have a degustation of red and white Kakheti wine. Then we'll have a lunch of the most delicious home-made dishes and wine. Later we will continue our way to Telavi to the wine factory of "Shukhman" where we will have an opportunity to taste the wines of local production. In the evening, we will arrive to the administrative center of the Kakheti region- Telavi. Dinner and overnight at a private house in Telavi.
DAY 08: TELAVI - ALAVERDI - TBILISI
After breakfast, we will visit the Cathedral of Alaverdi (11th century). We will continue our way to Tbilisi. Then we'll visit the brandy factory "Sarajishvili" - the first brandy factory in Caucasus, founded by an entrepreneur David Sarajishvili in 1884. We'll visit the factory and degust brandy. In the evening we'll have a supper in a traditional restaurant. Overnight at a hotel in Tbilisi.
DAY 9: TBILISI - MTSKHETA - UPLISTSIKHE - KUTAISI
Breakfast. We'll have a trip to the old capital and a religious center of Georgia- Mtskheta, we'll visit monuments included in UNESCO's world heritage- Temple-monastery Javari (6th century) and Svetsitskhoveli Cathedral (11th century), where a piece of Jesus Christ's garment has been kept. Our trip will continue to the native town of Gori, where we will visit a cave town of Uplistsikhe (1st millennium BC), through which once lay The Silk Road. The visitors will have the chance to see that old complex with its inhabited caves, wine cellars and bakeries, ancient theatre and visit the medieval basilica. In the evening, we are going to arrive to Kutaisi. Kutaisi is a famous city, where the Argonauts led by Jason once made their way in search of the Golden Fleece. Dinner and overnight in a private house.
DAY 10: KUTAISI - AMBROLAURI - TBILISI
Breakfast. We visit Imereti region, which is one of the most beautiful regions in the Western Georgia. In a local village we'll be able to see a family wine cellar and taste Imeretian wines, which differ from Kakhetin wines both in taste and the method of production and keeping. Then we will continue our way to Racha, here we can taste Stalin's favorite wine- "Khvanchkara". We will also have an opportunity to participate in local dishes cooking. Then we will go back to Tbilisi. In the evening we'll have a supper in a traditional restaurant. Overnight at a hotel in Tbilisi.
DAY 11: DEPARTURE
Transfer to the airport.