10 days of fun between armenia and georgia
Arrival at the Zvartnots international airport. Meeting your tour guide and private transfer to the hotel. Accommodation in hotel. Spend rest of the day at leisure
overnight in Yerevan
Breakfast at the hotel. Sightseeing tour around the vibrant city Yerevan. Being established in 782 BC, nowadays Yerevan is a thriving city with the excitement, hustle and bustle of a modern capital. We start our exploration from the Republic Square, the masterpiece of the architect Alexander Tamanian. Continue to the Opera House, a stunning architectural piece and the hub of Yerevan. Freedom Square is just behind, surrounded by parks which have been taken over by outdoor cafes, and finally Swan Lake. We visit Cascade Complex, an open-air museum of modern art with massive stairways leading up to the Victory Park providing a fantastic overlook to the entire downtown from above. The complex links the historic residential and cultural centers of the city with a vast area of waterfalls and outdoor gardens. Dinner at the local restaurant.
Overnight in Yerevan (Breakfast - dinner)
Breakfast at the hotel. Drive to Khor Virap Monastery, a real piece of history. The religious importance of the monastery is related to the first Armenian Catholicos, Grigor Illuminator who introduces Christianity to Armenia. It stands before the snowcapped flanks of Mount Ararat offering astounding views of the mountain, the national symbol of Armenia. Proceed to Echmiadzin, the spiritual center of all Armenians and the seat of the Armenian Catholicos. Echmiadzin Cathedral is the oldest standing churches in Christendom built in 303 AD over a pagan fire altar. This landmark is also protected by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. We visit a local Art School for a master class of Armenian traditional dish “Tolma”. Our hosts will share with us all the tactics and secrets of Armenian cuisine known for its irresistible flavors. Tour through the art salons with creative artworks by children. Drive back to Yerevan with a stop the ruins of Zvartnots temple (closed on Monday) - the pearl of the 7th c. architecture (inscribed in UNESCO World Heritage list).
Overnight in Yerevan. (breakfast - lunch)
Breakfast at the hotel. Drive to Garni village to visit Garni Temple dating back to the 1st century. The citadel and pagan temple of Garni is a picturesque monument of the Hellenistic period and an impressive piece of ancient Armenian architecture. Here you will have an opportunity to enjoy the charming melodies of Armenian “duduk” by a local performer. Duduk and its music is inscribed in the list of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. Short and scenic walk of 1-1.5 hours in the river valley around basalt hills reaching the portion of the Garni Gorge typically referred to as the "Symphony of Stones", a unique and picturesque monument of the nature (Optional: opportunity to reach the gorge by 4WD mode). The gorge is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Lunch at a local house in Garni where you will have opportunity to watch Armenian national bread “lavash” baking and barbeque making process in the underground stove called “tonir”. Then we visit Geghard Monastery. The spectacular towering cliffs surrounding the monastery are part of the Azat River gorge, and are included together with the monastery in the UNESCO World Heritage Site listing. Some of the chambers within the complex are entirely dug out of the cliff rocks, others are little more than caves, while others are elaborate structures, with both architecturally complex walled sections and rooms deep inside the cliff. Back to Yerevan visit famous depositary of ancient manuscripts the Matenadaran (closed on Monday and Sunday), which contains historical documents from all over Europe and Asia throughout many centuries.
Overnight in Yerevan. (Breakfast - lunch)
Breakfast at the hotel. Continue to Lake Sevan, which is about 70 miles north of Yerevan and the second largest alpine lake in the world. Lake Sevan is “The Pearl of Armenia”and is "recognized as a national treasure" in the country. It is considered one of the three great "seas" of historic Armenia Sightseeing on the Peninsula, visiting Sevanavank Monastery. After lunch proceed to the monastic complex of Haghpat (976 AD) which is among the outstanding works of medieval Armenian architecture and are inscribed in the UNESCO World Heritage list. The complex used to be an educational center of the middle ages were the majority of Armenian scholars and scientists get their background education. Drive to Arm-Geo border. Transfer to Tbilisi. Dinner at a local restaurant.
Overnight in Tbilisi. (Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner)
Today we will explore the capital of Georgia, Tbilisi. Wonder in the old districts of the city which are structured like terraces, as well as take a walk in the narrow streets to enjoy colorful houses, patterned balconies and wonderful samples of modern architecture. We will start the tour form Metekhi church (13th century )facing the magnificent views over old Tbilisi. A stroll along winding little streets takes us to the main sights of the city. Afterwards, we enjoy the panoramic views of the whole town and through the ancient Narikala fortress (4th century), find ourselves in the historical domed sulphur bath area- connected with the name of our city. Dinner at a local restaurant.
Overnight in Tbilisi. (Breakfast-Dinner)
In the morning we drive to visit the ancient capital and religious centre of Georgia – Mtskheta (3000 years old) and see its historical places: Jvari church and Svetitskhoveli Cathedral where the Robe of Christ is buried. Both Jvari and Svetitskhoveli are UNESCO World Heritage sites. Continue to Kartli region, and visit Uplis tsikhe – the ancient cave town, (1st millennium BC) located on the legendary Silk Road. Photo stop at stalin`s house and museum.
overnight in Gudauri (Breakfast - Dinner)
A stunning drive from Gudauri along the Tergi River will bring us to Stepantsminda - the main town in the region. From Step antsminda (Kazbegi) a leisurely 1.5 hour walk up through beautiful valleys and woodland brings us to Gergeti Trinity Church located at 2170m. Weather permitting you may catch a glimpse of one of the highest glaciers in the Caucasus - Mt. Kazbegi (5047m). Then we take the same way back to drive to Tbilisi. Dinner at a local restaurant.
(walking time: 3 hours)
Overnight in Tbilisi. (Breakfast - Dinner)
In the morning we start exploring Kakheti region well known for its wine producing. We enjoy superb views of Great Caucasus Mountains and valleys of Kakheti, acknowledge traditions and culture of the country and region, taste wines and delicious food. First we visit local Duke’s estate from 19th century in Tsinandali. See his house-museum, and have a glass of local wine. Then continue to a local farmer’s house to see century old wine-cellar, taste home-madewines. Afterwards drive to visit fortified town of Sighnaghi (18th century). The town preserved its original image and now offers visitors stunning views of the surrounding Caucasus Mountains. Return to Tbilisi. Dinner at a local restaurant.
Overnight in Tbilisi. (Breakfast - Dinner)
Transfer to the airport for your departure flight