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Highlights of Georgia, Armenia & Azerbaijan

Highlights:

  • Baku, Tbilisi, Yerevan City tours
  • The Maidens Tower
  • Gobustan Rock Museum and Mud volcanoes
  • Nekresi monastery
  • Chauchavadze’s Estate
  • Ananuri Castle
  • Susto Gergeti Trinity Church
  • Gori, Stalin’s birth place
  • Ancient capital Mtskheta
  • Haghpat Monastery
  • Lake Sevan & Sevanavank monastery
  • Teghenis mountain range
  • Geghard Monastery
  • Garni Pagon Temple
  • Listen to Armenian Duduk music
  • Ancient city of Echmiatsin
  • Ararat Brandy tasting
  • Cave wine tasting
  • Baking cooking class
  • Virap Monastery.

Inclusions:

  • Private arrival and departure airport to hotel transfers
  • 13 nights accommodation in 3.5*– 4* hotels
  • Breakfast daily, 7 lunches, 6 dinners
  • Fully escorted with an English speaking guide
  • Private coach transportation throughout tour
  • Touring, sightseeing and entrances, mentioned in the above itinerary.

Highlights of Georgia, Armenia & Azerbaijan


Day 1: Baku Arrive into Baku airport and be transferred to your hotel. The rest of the day is at your leisure.

Day 2: Baku After breakfast meet with our guide to commence our Baku city tour. Starting with Martyrs ‘Alley, a memorial site dedicated to those killed during Black January by the Soviet Army, you will then continue to Icheri Shekher (Innertown) with its historical buildings and narrow lanes. Enter the old town through the Shemakha gates, and visit the Palace of Shirvanshakhs, home to one of the most powerful dynasties in the history of Azerbaijan. Walk to the medieval caravanserai that was one of the main stopping points for caravans travelling along the ancient Silk Road. We then enter the Maiden Tower, which is the symbol of Baku and visit the old market square and Carpet museum. In the evening we will have a group welcome dinner at a local restaurant where you can enjoy authentic delights.

Day 3: Baku – Gobustan – Sheki Today we will visit the Gobustan rock paintings museum which is a UNESCO world heritage site and then onto the archaeological museum where you can see history unfold. Continue to the mud volcanoes in Gobustan Reserve that is home to almost half of world’s mud volcanoes. We then continue our journey to Sheki, another great stop on the Silk Road.

Nekresi Orthodox MonasteryDay 4: Sheki – Lagodekhi – Kvareli – Nekresi – Gremi – Telavi This morning we’ll visit a traditional bazaar in Sheki where you can meet the locals and barter for some local souvenirs, before traveling to Lagodekhi for our border checkpoint and some lunch. Afterwards we’ll cross over into Georgia through to Nekresi Monastery, one of the largest monasteries in the Kakheti region. We’ll visit a local family and be shown true Georgian hospitality before continuing to Gremi, an architectural complex built in 16th century and in the evening, we will arrive in Telavi.

Day 5: Telavi – Tsinandali – Gombori pass – Tbilisi Start the morning with a visit to an agricultural market in Telavi, then continue to visit Chavchavadze`s Estate in Tsinandali, the former home to Prince Alexander Chavchavadze, one of the most colourful and influential characters in Georgian History. The palace is surrounded by beautiful gardens and park lands designed in the English style. Afterwards we drive towards Tbilisi via Gombori Pass.

Day 6: Tbilisi Tbilisi offers a great variety of sights, most of them very ancient and full of stories, and places of interest in the old town all within a few minutes walking distance from each other. We start our visit of the Old Tbilisi from Metekhi Church, then walk to the brick-domed Sulphur Baths. From the baths we head up the hill to visit Narikala Fortress, one of the oldest fortifications in the city. Afterwards we continue to the Synagogue, & Sioni Cathedral and Anchiskhati Church. This marks the end of the Old Town tour. In the afternoon we will visit the stunning treasury building of the Georgian State Museum or the historical museum, before taking a stroll along Rustaveli Avenue – the main street in Tbilisi.

Day 7: Tbilisi – Stepantsminda Today we visit Ananuri castle, which represents a multifunctional architectural complex of the late feudal times in Georgia. Built on the right bank of Aragvi River in 16th-17th cc, it was the main seat of Aragvi Eristavi - Dukes dynasty since 13th c. The village Ananuri is located on the main trade route leading North to Russia and in the past it was part of the Great Silk Road. Nowadays the road is called the Georgian Military Highway. It’s beauty shines as you drive along the Zhinvali water reservoir and the blue mountain river of Aragvi. The castle, the bell tower, three churches and beautifully carved walls are the highlights and why the site is frequently visited. We then arrive to Stepantsminda (Kazbegi) and from here we have a 2.5 hours walk up through beautiful valleys and wood-land that leads to Susto Gergeti Trinity Church located at 2170m above sea level.

Svetitskhoveli CathedralDay 8: Stepantsminda – Gori – Mtskheta – Tbilisi We drive to Gori, the heart of the Kartli region and the birthplace of Stalin. Here we visit his house and the Stalin museum. Afterwards we drive to the ancient capital and religious centre of Georgia – Mtskheta. It has been the capital of most of eastern Georgia from about the 3rd century BC, and remained so until the 5th century AD, when King Vakhtang Gorgasali switched his base to Tbilisi. Mtskheta has always kept its status as a spiritual capital, and its Svetitskhoveli Cathedral is still the setting for important ceremonies of the Georgian Orthodox Church. Later in the day we head back to Tbilisi for the evening.

Day 9: Tbilisi – Sadakhlo – Dilijan Heading for the Georgian-Armenian border Sadakhlo, we will change guides and drivers and then continue with the Armenian portion of our tour. Once over the border we continue to Haghpat monastery complex a UNESCO world heritage site. The monastery is known as a fortified complex and used to be inaccessible due to its location. We will then drive through Vanadzor to visit the resort town Dilijan. On the way we will stop for lunch at the house of a Khachkar master. Khachkar is a cross-stone craftsmen’s and symbolizes Christianity in Armenia and dates back to the 4th century. After lunch we arrive in Dilijan, where you have the rest of the day at leisure for you to wander around Diiljan, before joining back together for dinner.

Day 10: Dilijan – Lake Sevan – Cheese making – Tsaghkadzor – Yerevan Today we visit the picturesque Lake Sevan and the Sevanavank monastery which is a 9th century monastery founded on the peninsula that used to be an island. The monastery offers beautiful panoramic views of the alpine lake area. Afterwards we head Contact us on 1300 362 844 or res@tempoholidays.com | tempoholidays.com Svetitskhoveli Cathedral, Mtskheta, Georgia to Noraduz village known for it’s special cheese degustation. The cheese-making is exclusive to this village and is rubbed with either brandy or wine and is preserved in special barrels with wine or brandy for about 1– 3 years. It has a special name“Armezan”. After some cheese tasting we continue our journey to Tsaghkadzor. A lovely town that is surrounded by the Teghenis mountain range. We take the cable car up the mountain to have a nice walk around the Kecharis monastery complex, before going on to Yerevan for the evening.

Day 11: Tsaghkadzor – Geghard – Garni We head out to Geghard Monastery, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Geghard Monastery contains a number of churches and tombs, most of them cut into the rock, which illustrates the very peak of Armenian medieval architecture. The complex of buildings is set into a landscape of great natural beauty, at the entrance to the Azat Valley. We then continue to Garni Pagan Temple which is the only pagan temple that remains after the adoption of Christianity in the 1st century AD and is also a UNESCO World Heritage site, with Roman bath, and mosaics dedicated to the God of the sun, Mithra. In the Garni temple we have the opportunity to listen to Armenian Duduk music. From here we can enjoy some lunch at a family owned local house and partake in a Lavash baking master class. On the drive back to Yerevan we visit Echmiatsin, one of the main sacred and hallowed places for Armenians. This ancient city is almost two thousand years and located in the picturesque Ararat Valley.

Day 12: Yerevan – Matenadaran After breakfast at the hotel we start our city tour of Yerevan, visiting City Park, Abovyan street, Republic Square, Baghramyan avenue of embassy and Governmental buildings etc. The Cascade with Gafesjian Centre of Art is dedicated to bringing the best of contemporary art from all over the world to Armenia and presenting the best of Armenian culture to the world. We also visit the Genocide Memorial and museum dedicated to the victims of the Great Genocide that took place in 1915 and the memorial with eternal fire. Matenadaran is a Museum and Scientific Institute of ancient manuscripts and hosts the treasures of Armenian science and 20,000 ancient manuscripts which is the largest collection in the world. Our short tour in Matenadaran will be exclusively guided by the most prominent specialists of the Institute. Yerevan Brandy Factory makers of ARARAT brandies are legendary and embody the Armenian, cultural and their historical heritage. We will have an exclusive guided excursion in the factory and degustation of various types/ages of famous Armenian Brandy at the Brandy Gallery.

Day 13: Khor Virap – Noravank – Yerevan Drive to Khor Virap Monastery which dates back to the 4th century. From the monastery we head towards the Turkish border to admire the beauty of Mount Ararat and will also have the opportunity to see the closed border between Turkey and Armenia. We’ll visit the chapel which was constructed over the deep dungeon where Gregory the Illuminator was imprisoned for 13 years. We then make a short detour on a narrow road that somehow finds its way through an outlandish narrow, rocky gorge emerging into dramatic scenery of rocky mountainous landscape. Stopping at Areni village which is famous for its wine and viticulture, this area of Armenia is believed to be the location of one of the oldest wine producers in the world as the ruins of an over 6500 years old winery was recently discovered. As the road heads higher into this amazing valley, above looms the incredibly located Noravank Monastery. We will have lunch in Noravank in a local restaurant close to the monastery. Then after lunch we have a special visit to the cave winery. The winery is about 6000 years old. The cave was also famous for the excavation of the oldest shoe in the world. Afterwards we drive back to Yerevan for the evening.

Day 14: Yerevan Today after breakfast the tour ends with a transfer from your hotel to the airport for you forward journey.


Travel Dates:

1 Apr; 5, 15 May; 8, 22 Jun; 13, 28 Jul; 4, 14 Sep; 1 Oct 2020

From $3,290*pp

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