Georgia – Armenian territory of two continents. Has a long history of two thousand years and ancient heritage.  Venture into the age-old towns and delightful mountain valleys of Armenia and Georgia, crisscrossed for millennia by historic trade routes. Unravel layers of history in Yerevan and Tbilisi, visit medieval stone churches with jaw-dropping views, and learn about some of the oldest-known hominin fossils discovered outside of Africa. Experience the vibrant culture and diverse cuisine of the South Caucasus through the eyes—and taste buds—of local historians, winemakers, artists, and chefs.

 

Day 1: Arrival in Tbilisi 

Day 2 Tbilisi – Mtskheta – Gori – Uplistsikhe – Tbilisi 

Day 3 Tbilisi – Ananuri – Gudauri – Kazbegi – Tbilisi 

Day 4: Border – Haghpat – Sanahin – Yerevan 

Day 5: Yerevan City Tour

Day 6: Yerevan – Garni – Geghard – Tsaghkadzor – Shopping in Yerevan 

Day 7: A free day in Yereva

Day 8: Yerevan – Sevan Lake – “Armenian Switzerland” Dilijan – Border

 

PROGRAM 

 Day 1 – Tbilisi 

Old Tbilisi

Tbilisi is the largest capital of Georgia. Located in a picturesque valley. Tbilisi is a 1700s old town, one of the oldest Christian communities in the world and located in a variety of ethnic and linguistic communities. Then visit the Metekhi Church, an ancient church built in the 12th Century, located on the edge of the cliffs below of Mtkvari River. In the past it was used as a fortress and as a royal residence in the same area. There will be a monument to the horse of King   Vakhtang I Gorgasali, the creator of the city. Then visit Sioni Cathedral, a large Orthodox church built in this city, is magnificent. The name of the church was taken from the Holy Land. Mount Sion in Jerusalem. It was named Sioni of Tbilisi, was built between the 6the and 7th Centuries. Visit Narikala Fortress and the Kartlis Deda, Mother Georgia Fort Narikala is a large stone fortress, located on the hill above the city of Tbilisi. Built since the 4th Century, the historians said that the Narikala Fortress is a fort on the Silk Road, the strongest and most difficult on fighting. The next go to Rustaveli Avenue is the main street of the city with a European atmosphere. With a large Roman-shaped building, lined with various brand name shops. There are various souvenir stalls, such as pottery paintings. And the local products are laid out on the sidewalk like an outdoor museum. 

Overnight in Tbilisi

 

Day 2 Tbilisi – Mtskheta – Gori – Uplistsikhe – Tbilisi 

Mtskheta

 Travel to Mtskheta, a major ancient city of Georgia. Used to be the capital of East Georgian Iberia. Mtskheta was the first Georgian Christian to enter the country and remained the center of the Orthodox Georgian till nowadays, visit Jvari Monastery or Holy Cross Church, the most sacred place in Georgia with biggest size of cross. Visit Svetitskhoveli Cathedral, built in the 11th Century, the symbol of Christian conversion, which has become a national religion of Georgia, in the year of 337. Then go to visit GORI, a city of history. It is the birthplace of Joseph Stalin, a Georgian former ruler of the Soviet Union. It also has a reputation for cruelty in the administration of the city, to see the Stalin Museum, that collected his stories and their belongings is displayed. 

Afternoon visit Uplistsikhe Cave Town, one of the oldest cave towns in Georgia. There is a large pagan hall where the pagan is used as a ritual place for the worship of fire. And there are a lot of rooms which is expected to be the oldest Christian church built in the 9th Century, and then return to Tbilisi. 

Overnight in Tbilisi

 

Day 3 Tbilisi – Ananuri – Gudauri – Kazbegi – Tbilisi 

 

Ananuri

Travel on the Georgian military highway to Ananuri Fortress. Built in the 16-17 Century, watch the remains of the walls surrounding the fort. It is like a veil that conceals the splendor of two churches within. Then take a picture of the Gudauri, a ski resort located at an altitude of 2,196 meters above sea level. This is the perfect place in the Caucasus Mountains because of its slope, which is a popular tourist destination from December to April every year.

Gudauri

Afternoon, take you to Kazbegi, a small town. North of the country Close to the Russian border. It is about 145 km from Tbilisi, with the view of the Caucasus Mountains along the route, then back to Tbilisi. 

 Optional: Dinner at the local restaurant with tradition performances to feel real Georgian spirit, traditions and and lead the feast with real “Tamada”.

Overnight in Tbilisi

 

Day 4: Border – Haghpat – Sanahin – Yerevan 

Haghpat

Meet Armenian guide and driver after passing border formalities at Sadakhlo/Bagratashen check point. Trip to the northern Armenia, the magical place of forested mountains and deep canyons. Visit the masterpieces of medieval Armenian architecture – Haghpat Monastery (centuries XI – XIII) and Sanahin Monastery (centuries IX – XII), which are included in the list of UNESCO World Heritage (2000). They are located in the northern part of Armenia, in the region of Lori, near the town of Alaverdi. The monasteries were important religious centers as around 500 monks lived there. Haghpat Monastery, located northwest of Sanahin was built with the appearance of the above. The complex was home to libraries, scriptoriums, schools and canteens. Here Arts and Humanities, theology and painting were taught. Drive to Yerevan. Check-in at the hotel. Overnight in Yerevan.

 

Day 5: Yerevan City Tour

Cascad

Breakfast at the hotel. City tour in Yerevan will start with the panoramic view of the city and acquaintance with the Center of the city, Republic Square, the sightseeing of Opera and Ballet building, the Parliament and Residency of the President of Armenia, State University, Mother Armenia Monument, Sports & Concert Complex. A visit to Tsitsernakaberd – a Monument to the Armenian Genocide Victims, as well as the Genocide Victims’ Museum, commemorating the 1.5 million Armenians who perished during the first Genocide of the 20th century in the Western Armenia and in the territory of Ottoman Empire. Visit Cascade complex, which is considered the modern art center of Yerevan. Cascade is home to Cafesjan modern art museum. This place becomes even more charming in the evenings, when it is full of people, both locals and tourists from all over the world, enjoying the magic and the warmth of the capital. You will enjoy spending time in one of the cosy open-air cafes surrounded by beautiful sculptures, redolent flowers shining brightly with magic colours. It is also a popular place for open air concerts in summer season. Overnight in Yerevan.

 

Day 6: Yerevan – Garni – Geghard – Tsaghkadzor – Shopping in Yerevan

Geghard

Breakfast at the hotel. Visit the only remaining Pagan temple in Armenia, devoted to the God of Sun – Myrth, in Garni. Photo stop at Charentc Arc. A visit to the ruins of Royal Palace and Royal bath-house nearby. 

Optional: Family hosted lunch in a private village house, with watching the preparation of “Lavash” (Armenian traditional flat bread baked in stone-make oven) by countryside Armenian ladies using the same ancient technology as hundreds of years before.

Continue the tour to the uniquely caved Geghard monastery, which dates back to 12th-13th centuries, the name of which means “holy spear” in the honour of the long-preserved spear, the same spear that pierced the body of crucified Christ, which were brought here by Apostle Thaddeus. 

Drive to Tsaghkadzor (means “gorge of flowers”) town, the magical place of forested mountains. Short walking tour around the small town. Visit Kecharis monastery.

Optional: Opportunity to go up to the mountain peaks by ropeway, where you will catch an unforgettable gorgeous panoramic view of this part of the world.

Drive back to Yerevan. Visit Armenian carpet factory with possibility to watch the production of the handmade rugs. The factory has a showroom where purchases are offered (shipping of rugs to your country is possible). A visit to Vernissage, an open-air exhibition-market. Drop to Dalma Garden or Yerevan Mall for shopping. Overnight in Yerevan.

 

Day 7: A free day in Yerevan

 Free day in Yerevan. 

Optional Tour 1 : Yerevan – Silk Road – Noravank – Tatev Monastery (ropeway) – Yerevan

Noravank

Drive to Noravank Monastery complex (13-14th century). There is such an incredibly beautiful scenery along the road to Noravank, that the visitors cannot resist stepping out of the vehicle and walking all the way to the Monastery with their cameras, to enjoy and record the unique bizarre-shaped precipitous red cliffs. Drive to Tatev Monastery, which is one of the most unique and beautiful monasteries in Armenia, located on the steep of deep gorge surrounded with very strong settings. It was built during the 9-13th centuries as an Armenian intellectual center where philosophers, musicians, painters, calligraphers and monks lived. Ride on the longest ropeway in the world (5,7 km), recorded in Guinness record book, over the canyons to the monastery of Tatev. Drive back to Yerevan.

Optional Tour 2 : Yerevan – Ararat valley – Silk Road – Noravank – Yerevan

Drive to Ararat valley, visit Khor Virap Church, which is one of the holy places for the Christian world, from where opens the closest and the most spectacular view of the gorgeous biblical mountain Ararat, shining with its two white peaks. After visiting Khor Virap continue driving to Gnishik canyon, the narrow road of which goes through the beautiful steep rocks which change the color from gray to red. Drive through the spectacular canyon between the red rocks towards Noravank Monastery complex (13-14th century). There is such an incredibly beautiful scenery along the road to Noravank, that the visitors cannot resist stepping out of the vehicle and walking all the way to the Monastery with their cameras, to enjoy and record the unique bizarre-shaped precipitous red cliffs. Drive back to Yerevan.

Optional Tour 3 : Yerevan – Etchmiadzin – Zvartnots – Yerevan

Drive to Etchmiadzin City, which used to be an ancient capital of Armenia. Since 4th century, it has been considered the largest religious center, the residency of Catholics of all Armenians. Etchmiadzin cathedral is one of the ancient churches in the Christian world, included in the UNESCO World Heritage List (2000). It is the center of Armenian Apostolic Church, founded in 301 A.D by St. Gregory the Illuminator. The museum of the Cathedral, located behind the Altar, has collection of religious artifacts about Holy Mass, subjects made of gold, silver, precious stones, decorations, colossal silver boiler for making the myrrh and legendary Holy spear. A trip to one of the architectural wonders of Armenia – Zvartnots temple (641-661 BC), which got its name from the word “Zvart”, which, translated from Armenian, means “joyful and beautiful”. The remaining ruins give an idea of the rare beauty of this temple, which is listed as an UNESCO World Heritage Site (2000). Drive back to Yerevan.

Overnight in Yerevan.

Day 8: Yerevan – Sevan Lake – “Armenian Switzerland” Dilijan – Border

Sevan Lake

Breakfast at the hotel and check-out. Drive to Lake Sevan, one of the wonders in Armenia. This blue lake is one of the greatest high mountainous freshwater lakes of Eurasia. On a clear and sunny day, the water is often of a deep turquoise colour. Total surface of the lake is 940 km2. Climb on Akhtamar peninsula, from where opens a fascinating and breathtaking view on Sevan Lake. Visit Sevanavank Monastery (9th century), which stands in its greatness on the peninsula, overlooking the lake for centuries.

Drive to mountainous resort Dilijan, or so called “Armenian Switzerland”, which is well-known for its forests, as well as for its mysterious flora and fauna. Small walking city tour in Dilijan with a visit to handicrafts’ street, where one can watch the preparation of different national souvenirs from wood, stone and ceramics. A visit to Haghartsin Monastery complex, located in a secluded place of a forest. Appearing unexpectedly in front of the visitors, out of the dense forests, the Monastery creates a magical impression of a lost world. After a visit to the monastery in 2005, His Royal Highness Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi made a generous donation for certain renovation works and preservation of this monastery, representing the rich history of the human kind. Complex includes Church St. Stepanos, St. Mary and St. Gregory’s Church, as well as a famous refectory.

Drive to Armenian-Georgian border. Say goodbye to guide and driver on Armenian side of the border.