12 Days | 11 Nights
Welcome to Georgia! In the arrival hall meet your driver who will take you for around 30 minutes to your hotel in Tbilisi.
At 10:00 join the group for the full-day Tbilisi city sightseeing tour. It starts from the Holy Trinity Cathedral of Tbilisi, known as Sameba. It is one of the tallest Orthodox churches in the world and the tallest in Georgia. From the cathedral we take a walk through Shardeni and Erekle II streets, where you can spot many cafes and bars. On our way in the old town see the Sioni Cathedral from the 13th century. From here we are going to cross the glass Bridge of Peace and take the cable car from Rike Park to the Narikala fortress to enjoy panoramic views of the city. Walk down to the old city to see the Juma Mosque and the little waterfall in the Legvtakhevi area. Continue to the sulfur bath houses in Abanotubani and the Maidan Square. Overnight in Tbilisi.
Check out of the hotel, followed by a short 20 km drive to the capital of early Georgian kingdoms, Mtskheta. Go sightseeing to the UNESCO World Heritage Sites: the Jvari Monastery from the 6th century and the Svetitskhoveli Cathedral from the 11th century, both of which represents authentic styles of Georgian church architecture. We continue our way to the north along the Georgian Military Highway. Reach the Zhinvali reservoir to visit the Ananuri architectural complex. Ananuri was a residence of local feudal dukes in the Middle Ages. The fortification and the two churches inside the curtain walls are well-preserved. From Ananuri we continue our way north towards the Greater Caucasus Mountains and arrive at Gudauri ski-resort.
Today explore the Caucasus Mountains. We begin our journey by driving north and arriving in Kazbegi town through the Cross Pass (2395 m). On our way to Kazbegi we can make couple of stops to observe waterfalls and snowy peaks of the Caucasus Mountains, and taste mineral waters. Kazbegi is an administrative of Khevi province. From Kazbegi we drive up to the top of Gergeti Mountain and visit Gergeti Trinity church. The church is located at an elevation of 2170 m under the Kazbegi peak (5047 m), the third highest mountain in Georgia. We return to your hotel in Tbilisi.
Journey to the Samtskhe-Javakheti region in the south of Georgia. On our way stop at the Museum of Stalin in Gori. It consists of the memorial house where Stalin was born and his personal belongings. Close by is the ancient Uplistsikhe cave complex. Cut in rock, Uplistsikhe is one of the earliest urban settlements in Georgia that dates back to the 1st millennium BC. Our next stop will be at Borjomi spa-resort, which is famous for its mineral sparkling water ‘Borjomi’. Take a short walk through Borjomi Central Park, which is a part of the much larger Borjomi-Kharagauli National Park, one of the largest protected areas in Georgia. In the evening we arrive at the hotel in Akhaltsikhe.
Start the day with an excursion to Rabati Castle in Akhaltsikhe. Established in the 9th century and later rebuilt during the Ottoman Empire, Rabati is a fortress that has a small “city” – church, mosque, park, various shops and hotels – inside its walls. From Rabati we drive to Vardzia, a functioning rock-hewn cave monastery built in the 12th and 13th century. A well-fortified monastery with 15 churches, more than 300 rooms and 600 storage facilities like 25 wine cellars. Vardzia became an important political, cultural and educational center of Georgia in Middle Ages. From Vardzia we return back to Akhaltsikhe or overnight in Vardzia (depending on availability).
After breakfast at the hotel we drive to the border of Georgia and Armenia. On our way we make a short stop at the ancient Khertvisi fortress in Mtkvari River ravine. After our arrival at Bavra Border Crossing Point, our group will change transport and guided by the local expert continue the trip in Armenia. We drive to Gyumri, the second largest city of Armenia and have a short orientation tour there. Overnight at a hotel in Gyumri.
Take a walk in the historical center of Gyumri with its 19th century buildings when the city was called Alexandropol and under the rule of the Russian Empire. Head to the city of Vagharshapat to visit two well-known Armenian churches St Hripsime and Zvartnots. Saint Hripimise was built in 618 and is one of the oldest churches of the country; the Zvarnots Cathedral from the 7th century is dedicated to Saint George. We head to the capital of Armenia, Yerevan. Visit to the Mesrop Mashtots Institute of Ancient Manuscripts, commonly referred as Matenadaran. Take a look at the rich collection of medieval manuscripts and books. Overnight in Yerevan.
Start our excursion inside and around Yerevan. First we visit the History Museum in the city center. Yerevan History Museum has a rich collection of 400,000 objects that represents local culture and history from ancient to present times. Afterwards, we drive to see the Temple of Garni, the Greco-Roman pagan temple from pre-Christian period. Destroyed by the earthquake in the 17th century, the temple was reconstructed during Soviet times. Our trip continues to the Geghard Monastery, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Founded in the 4th century by Gregory the Illuminator, it is party carved out of a mountain and surrounded by cliffs. Overnight in Yerevan.
After breakfast at the hotel we depart to the southern part of Armenia. Our first stop is at Khor Virap monastery in Ararat Province. According to local belief Gregory the Illuminator was imprisoned here for about 13 years, after he introduced Christianity to Armenia. From the monastery visitors can view the Mount Ararat, the national symbol of Armenia. From Ararat Province we continue our way to the south-east and arrive at the Armenian wine village Areni, Vayots Dzor Province. The village is known for its red wine-making tradition and you will go for a wine tasting. Proceed to the Noravank Monastery established in the 13th century and located in a narrow gorge of the Amaghu River. Overnight in Yerevan.
Head to the beautiful Lake Sevan, with 1900 meters above sea level one of the world’s largest freshwater high-altitude lakes. From Sevan we drive to the north and arrive in Dilijan, the administrative center of Tavush Province. Visit Sharambeyan Street in the old town with its artistic workshops and souvenir stores. From Dilijan we continue our way to Lori Province and tour the medieval Sanahin Monastery, one of the UNESCO World Heritage sites. The last attraction of our Armenian tour is the Haghpat monastery, founded in the 10th century by the Bagratid royal family. Drive to the Georgian-Armenia border at Sadakhlo Village. Meet the Georgian representative for your transfer to the hotel in Tbilisi.
Check out latest at 12:00 pm. Dependent on departure time transfer to Tbilisi Airport to say farewell.