Archeological evidence suggests that the area of South Caucasus is one of the oldest sites of human presence, dating back as far as 1.8 million years. Situated at the important crossroads, Georgia and Armenia have a unique and ancient cultural heritage, and are famed for their traditions of hospitality and cuisine. Georgia and Armenia abounds in natural variety. Georgia is also known as the cradle of wine. While exploring these South Caucasus countries you will discover a fascinating mixture of cultures that has integrated both Europe and Asia…
Day 1 – Arrival
Arrive in Tbilisi after your flight, you need to reach the hotel, you can check in any time after 14:00 Tbilisi time. Meeting in the lobby of the hotel at 19:00 Tbilisi time (UTC 04:00) and drive to Restaurant Funicular, where you will have welcome dinner.
Day 2: 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 3: 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 4: 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 5: 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. Lunch will be provided at one of Vardzia’s guesthouses. 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.
Welcome dinner at a local restaurant with tasting Armenian dishes and drinks.
Day 6: 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 7: 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. Enjoy the open-air lunch.
Return to Yerevan. Spice this day with an excursion and tasting in well-known Yerevan Brandy Factory.
Dinner at a colorful Armenian restaurant.
Day 8: Yerevan – Lake Sevan – 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.
Say goodbye to Armenia and continue your route to travel within Georgia.
After meeting with the Georgian guide you move forward to Tbilisi.
This tour will finish in Tbilisi (International Airport or Freedom Square) at 15:00 Tbilisi time (UTC 04:00)
- What To Expect- Discover two oldest countries – Georgia and Armenia just in one tour.
- Georgia and Armenia are one of the first Christian countries in the world.
- Situated at the important crossroads, Georgia and Armenia have a unique and ancient cultural heritage, and are famed for their traditions of hospitality and cuisine.
- Georgia and Armenia abounds in natural variety.
- Georgia is also known as the cradle of wine.
- What Is Included- Transportation by comfortable air-conditioned minivan, minibus or bus
- Accommodation in twin rooms: Astoria Tbilisi Hotel or Gallery Palace or Old Metekhi Hotel, Gino Wellness Rabath (or Vardzia Resort), 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
- 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