ARMENIA AND GEORGIA
The bordering countries of Armenia and Georgia are so close but so different at the same time. Enter into the mysteries of the South Caucasus, explore the secrets of these two unique hidden lands full of ancient temples and hillside monasteries, soaring mountains, picturesque wine regions and incredibly friendly people. We will stroll around ancient Yerevan and bright Tbilisi, visit the Silk Road, get acquainted with UNESCO objects and enjoy the view of majestic Caucasus Mountains…
Arrival in Yerevan, transfer to the hotel. Relax.
Start of the tour by visiting Yerevan (2803 years old), the capital of Armenia defined as the “pink city” for the color of the stones used for the buildings but also for the reflection of the light coming from the snowy peaks of Mount Ararat at sunrise. Stop at the Republic Square, Mashtots Avenue, Opera house, “Cascade” Park and then a panoramic tour of the city. Visit to the Armenian Genocide Memorial and Museum. Also visit to the Matenadaran: Museum of the ancient manuscripts that preserves more than 17000 precious manuscripts. In the afternoon departure for a tour in Etchmiadzin – the Residence of the supreme patriarchs of the Armenian Orthodox apostolic church, considered the most sacred place in the country. After the visit to the Cathedral, visit to the 7thI century ruins of Zvartnots (UNESCO site) which is majestic with all its architectural and landscape splendor on the bottom of the biblical mountain Ararat. Return to Yerevan and overnight in hotel.
Breakfast in hotel and then departure for a tour to Garni: center of Hellenistic culture of the country and ancient summer residence of the Armenian kings. From Garni continue to the Geghard Monastery, which dates back to the 13th century. Departure for a tour towards Lake Sevan: the “Pearl” of Armenia, one of the largest high altitude lakes in the world after Titicaca. It is located at 1900 m above sea level. Visit of the Sevanavank monastery (9th century) located on the peninsula of Sevan, from where opens a beautiful panorama of the lake. Overnight in Yerevan.
Overnight at the hotel.
Breakfast in hotel and departure for a tour in the Ararat region: to visit Khor Virap Monastery (4th -17th century), the place where the history of Armenian Christianity begins. From the monastery we can enjoy a splendid view of the biblical Mount Ararat. Then departure for the region of Vayots Dzor and visit to Areni village, famous for its wine, wine tasting at one of the local wineries. Afterwards we dive into the Noravank Canyon, an oasis for its flora and fauna. Continue to the wonderful monastic complex of Novarank (12th – 14th century) placed in a spectacular position on the edge of a precipice, surrounded by mountains of ocher and orange color. Overnight in Yerevan.
Breakfast at the hotel and departure for the Armenian/Georgian border. On the way to Tbilisi, visit two UNESCO heritage monuments: Sanahin Monastery built by Armenian princes from Constantinople in the 10th century and the Haghpat Monastery (10th – 13th century). Arrival at the Armenian/Georgian border, processing of customs formalities and continuation towards Georgia. In the evening, arrival in Tbilisi. Check-in and accommodation in hotel in Tbilisi.
Breakfast at the hotel. The day will be dedicated to the guided tour of the city and its historical monuments of Tbilisi: 13th century Metekhi Church, Sulphur Baths, 4th century Narikala Fortress, 6th – 7th century Sioni Cathedral, 6th century Anchiskhati Church, treasure of the National Museum of Georgia. Overnight in hotel in Tbilisi.
Breakfast at the hotel. Departure for Mtskheta: ancient capital and religious center of Georgia; UNESCO World Heritage Site: Jvari Monastery (6th century) and Svetitskhoveli Cathedral (11th century) – one of the most sacred places in Georgia where Jesus’ tunic is buried. Then we will continue towards Gudauri along the Georgian Military Highway. On the way we will stop at the Ananuri Fortress (16th century). Arrival at the Gudauri ski resort (2200 m), check-in and accommodation in hotel in Gudauri.
Breakfast at the hotel and departure for Kazbegi. Arrival in Kazbegi and walking to the Trinity Church of Gergeti (14th century) Located at 2170 m above sea level – where you can admire the magnificent panorama that opens onto Mount Kazbegi (5047 m) covered with glaciers. In the evening return to Tbilisi. Overnight in hotel in Tbilisi.
Breakfast at the hotel and departure for the wine region, Khakheti. First visit to the Cathedral of Alaverdi 11th century) and then to the Complex of Gremi (16th century), later visit to the Church of Kvelatsminda near the town. Return to Tbilisi. Overnight in hotel in Tbilisi.
Breakfast, transfer to the airport. Check-in and flight. End of services.