Archeological evidence suggests that the area of South Caucasus is one of the oldest sites of human presence, dating back as far as 3 000 000 years. The gigantic isthmus of the Caucasus lies between the Black and Caspian Seas, serving as a crossroad of Europe and Asia for thousands of years.
The countries of South Caucasus – Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan – are distinguished by their distinct histories, language traditions, religions, cultures and natural surroundings. The interdependence was caused by cultural and political connections as the countries developed throughout the centuries.
Inhabitants of Azerbaijan burned crude oil in their lamps before anyone knew what it was. Beautiful, rocky Armenia was the first country to adopt Christianity as its official religion. And Georgia, acclaimed for its fabulous food and drink, claims to be the first area to cultivate the wine grape. These countries are distinguished by their distinct histories, traditions, cultures and natural surrounding.
While exploring the South Caucasus countries you will discover a fascinating cross-roads culture that has integrated both Europe and Asia. You will visit World Heritage Monasteries, unique painted churches, cave towns, stunning gorges and valleys, ethnographical and historical museums, art galleries and more…
Day 1 – Arrival
– You just need to reach the hotel. You can check in at the hotel any time.
– Overnight in Baku
Day 2: Baku
– Tour to “Gobustan Excursion on historical-art reserve “Gobustan”, where rock paintings have perfectly remained, barrows and housing objects dated from X-XIII millennial BC to the middle ages. There are certificates of inhabitants of region of an epoch of the stone age and the subsequent periods in “Gobustan” – Rock drawings, person parking, gravestone monuments, are concentrated there. Nearby is “GavalChalan” – original stone- tambourine, representing flat wise established huge plate. It is possible to hear rhythmic accurate motives by knocking on it. It is considered that these sounds accompanied ritual dances and ceremonies. Visiting of “Gobustan” will transfer you to other world, the world of last mankind and will allow you to feel the atmosphere of thousand – year history of this place.
– Start exploring Baku. Panorama of the city presented to the height of the mountainous part of a television tower clearly gives an idea of the contrasts and the extent of Baku, the horseshoe bay of Baku. The city is shaped like an amphitheater, descending down to the Caspian Sea. Tour covers the central part of the city showing the most interesting historical and architectural sites.
– Visiting of “Old Town” or “Inner City”. The territory of ”Inner City” – 22 hectares, which represents a small fraction of the total area of Baku (44,000 hectares). However, the concentration of architectural and historical monuments, dictates the need for this excursion into a separate and make this part of Baku, perhaps the most interesting to explore. Maiden Tower (XII century), Palace of Shirvanshahs (XV century), Castle Synyk Gala, Caravan Saray, Juma Mosque – this is not a complete list of attractions of the old Baku. Dinner at the local restaurant. Overnight in Baku.
Day 3: Baku – Shemakha – Sheki
– After breakfast drive to Shamakhy district. Visit the town of Shemakha, Diri Baba Tomb and YeddiGumbez. Shemakha was the capital of Shirvan Kingdom for several centuries. YeddiGumbaz (The Seven Cupolas) Mausoleum is the burial place for members of the royal families of the Shirvan shahs. Then drive to village Kish to visit the Albanian church. Legend says that the church was built in 78 AD, but the researchers place it a few centuries later. Dinner at the local restaurant. Overnight in Sheki.
Day 4: Sheki – Lagodekhi – Tbilisi
– Sheki is one of the most famous and ancient places of Azerbaijan. Situated 700 m (2297 ft.) above sea level like an amphitheatre surrounded by the mountains and forests of oak trees, this ancient city was long famed as a silk centre and an important stop on the Great Silk Route. There is an assumption that the name of the town goes back to the ethnonym of the Saks, who reached the territory of Azerbaij.
Day 5: Tbilisi sightseeing tour
– Tbilisi sightseeing tour – the Old Town and the New City. The city offers a wide variety of sights, most of them very ancient. We begin our visit just a few minute walk from the hotel in the compact area of Old Tbilisi. Starting at the church of Metekhi, we walk to the brick domes of sulfur baths and then on to spectacularly located Narikala’s fortress – one of the oldest fortresses in Georgia, overlooking Mtkvari river gorge. After that we visit the synagogue, and the Sioni and Anchiskhati churches, which mark the end of the Old Town. After we visit the treasury of the National Museum of Georgia (Georgian Archaeology from 8th millennium B.C.), walking along Rustaveli Avenue – the main street in Tbilisi and visit the treasury of the Georgian Museum of Fine Arts. (The treasury preserves and presents works from the Bronze Age, Antic-Hellenistic, and medieval periods, as well as significant modern artifacts up through the 20th century). Visit the holy trinity cathedral, the third biggest church in the world. Dinner in the local restaurant, tasting Georgian dishes and wine. Spend the night in Tbilisi.
Day 6: Tbilisi – Mtsketa – Ananuri – Stefantsminda – Tbilisi
– After a breakfast in the hotel, we visit the ancient capital and the religious centre of Georgia – Mtskheta (3000 years old) and see its historical sites: Jvari monastery (6th century) and Svetitskhoveli cathedral (11th century), where it is said, Christ’s shroud is buried. Both Jvari and Svetitskhoveli are UNESCO World Heritage sites. Then we visit the ancient ruins of the city and drive north towards the Northern Caucasus along the well-known Georgian Military Road. On the way we visit Ananuri – a 17th century architectural complex. An exciting drive from Gudauri along the Terek River will take us to Kazbegi – the main town in the region. From Kazbegidrive with 4 WD vehicles through beautiful valleys and woods brings us to Gergeti Trinity church located at 2170m. in good weather you can see for a moment one of the highest glaciers in the Caucasus – the mountain Kazbegi (5047m). We go back to the Tbilisi. Dinner in the local restaurant, tasting Georgian dishes and wine. Spend the night in Tbilisi.
Day 7: Tbilisi – Gori – Borjomi – Akhaltsikhe
– After a breakfast at hotel, you will drive to Akhaltsikhe (approximately 3 hrs.) It was founded at least 800 years ago, and was a regional administrative center for the Ottomans from the 16th century up to the Russian-Turkish War. On the way to Akhaltsikhe, we may stop at Uplistsikhe Cave Town-Fortress, which history begins in the I-II millennium B.C. or Stalin’s museum in Gori. Lunch will be provided in Gori or Borjomi.
– Check-in at Akhaltsikhe’s hotel. Afterwards, a tour to the 13th century Rabat Fortress that is a mix of different religions and architecture. In the evening, a dinner at local restaurant.
Day 8: Akhaltsikhe – Khertvisi – Vardzia – Akhalkalaki – Yerevan
– After a breakfast at the hotel, a tour to the 2nd century B.C. Khertvisi Fortress, once destroyed by Alexander the Great and a cave monastery Vardzia, the caves of which stretch along the cliff for some five hundred meters and in up to nineteen tiers and which area is believed to be first inhabited during the Bronze Age. After lunch you go to the border, where you change the transport and guide.
– After meeting with the Armenian guide you move forward to Yerevan – the hospitable capital of Armenia. Check-in. Rest. Dinner at a local restaurant with tasting Armenian dishes and drinks.
Day 9: Yerevan city tour – Etchmiadzin (UNESCO) – Zvartnots (UNESCO) – Yerevan
– Start discovering Armenia by a visit to the State History Museum where you get familiar with a complete picture of the Armenian culture and history dating back to 1 million years ago up to nowadays. Then go sightseeing in one of the world’s oldest cities – 2796-year-old Yerevan. Open-air lunch at one of restaurants located just in Hrazdan River gorge.
– Then you move forward to the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin – the spiritual centre of the Armenian Apostolic Church and the seat of the Supreme Patriarch and the Catholicos of All Armenians. Numerous kings and Catholicoses have been crowned and consecrated here.
– When Noah emerged from the Ark in the Ararat Valley, he built an altar of sacrifice in the place where the Mother Cathedral is now standing and offered a sacrifice. St. Gregory the Illuminator chose the location of the 4th C Mother Cathedral in accordance with the vision he had. In his dream, he saw the Miatsin (meaning “the Only Begotten Son of God”) with glittering light on his face descending from the Heaven and with a golden hammer striking the ground where the Mother Cathedral of Holy Etchmiadzin was to be located. Hence, Etchmiadzin means “the place, where the Only Begotten Son of God descended”.
– On the way back to Yerevan you stop at the ruins of outstanding Zvartnots Temple.
– You’re in Yerevan again.To deeply feel the spirit of the city you dine and spend the evening at one of open-air cafes.
Day 10: Yerevan – Geghard (UNESCO) – Garni – Yerevan
– In the morning the coach takes you to Geghard Monastic Complex located on the mountainside of the almost closed amphitheater of harsh cliffs. It is famous for its rock-cut architecture. Thanks to its hard-to-reach area, the Holy Lance which pierced the side of Christ has been kept here for 500 years. St. Thaddeus Apostle brought it to Armenia in 33 AD. In honor of the Holy Lance, Ayrivank Monastery (meaning “Cave Monastery”) was renamed Geghart (the Armenian translation of “the Holy Lance”).
– On the way you stop at Charents Arch to enjoy the majestic view of the Biblical Mount Ararat.
– The next highlight is the only standing pagan temle in Armenia – Garni, devoted to Mihr, who, in accordance with the Armenian Mythology, was the God of the Sun. From here you will enjoy the impressive view of breathtaking high cliffs called “Symphony in the stone”.
– An unforgettable experience is waiting for you in Garni village – you can take part in a real ritual of baking national “lavash” bread with local villagers.
– Return to Yerevan. Spice this day with an excursion and tasting in well-known Yerevan Brandy Factory. Dinner at a colorful Armenian restaurant. Overnight in Yerevan.
Day 11: Yerevan – Lake Sevan –Haghpat (UNESCO) – Sadakhlo – Tbilisi
– It’s time to driving to one of the highest fresh-water lakes in the world – the Sevan (1 900m). From the top of Sevan Peninsula you can admire the full view of the lake of volcano-tectonic origin and the adjacent mountain chains.
– Driving through wooded mountains of Dilijan National Park and deep gorges of Northern regions you stop in mountainous Haghpat village. You just cannot leave Armenia without seeing a masterpiece of architecture – Haghpat Monastic Complex.
– Say goodbye to Armenia and continue your route to travel within Georgia.
– After meeting with the Georgian guide you move forward to Tbilisi. Check-in. Rest. Welcome dinner at a local restaurant with tasting Georgian dishes and drinks.
Day 12: Departure
– After breakfast, free time, check out at 12:00 and this beautiful tour is finished.
– We’ll transfer you to the airport if you have flights from 12:00 to 18:00
- What To Expect- Discover world’s three oldest countries Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan just in one tour.
- Inhabitants of Azerbaijan burned crude oil in their lamps before anyone knew what it was.
- Beautiful, rocky Armenia was the first country to adopt Christianity as its official religion.
- Georgia acclaimed for its fabulous food and drink, claims to be the first area to cultivate the wine grape.
- Visit all "must to see" places in Azerbaijan, Georgia and Armenia
- What Is Included- Transportation by comfortable air conditioned minivan or minibus
- Accommodation in twin rooms: Azkot Hotel or Diplomat Hotel, Issam Hotel & Spa or MinAli Hotel, Astoria Tbilisi Hotel or Gallery Palace,Old Metekhi Hotel or similar(4*) hotels in Tbilisi , Vardzia Resort or Gino Wellness Rabath, Silk Road Hotel or Bass Boutique Hotel
- Half board catering service, breakfasts at the hotel and dinners at the best local restaurants
- English speaking guide service whole the tour (guides are changing on the border of each country)
- Entrance fees and local guides, and 1 bottles of mineral water without gas per person per day
- What Is Not Included- Any international flights
- Travel insurance
- Single room supplement
- Alcoholic beverages
- Service except described