16 Day Tour

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Tour

 If you are planning your first trip to the Caucasus, this private combined tour of Georgia and Armenia is just for you!

 

Tour description

This tour introduces you to the rich historical and cultural heritage of Armenia and Georgia. Armenia and Georgia share a very long tradition of Christianity.  Splendid sites, some of which are under the protection of UNESCO World Heritage, bear witness to the perfect sense of harmony represented in these monastic complexes. Some traditions of the old days are still present: You will see how the national bread – lavash and puri – are baked, taste Armenian and Georgian national dishes and see how wine is produced in clay amphorae buried in the ground like in ancient times.  

 

On our way through Armenia we visit exceptionally well-preserved excavations from the Bronze Ages as well as beautiful monuments from Roman and medieval times. On cliffs above deep canyons, harmoniously on the shores of Lake Sevan or hidden in deep forests, each attraction is uniquely embedded in the surrounding nature.

 

Georgia impresses with its diverse landscape and thousands of years old culture. Kakheti is considered the cradle of Georgian viticulture and is famous for its churches. Chevchuria entices with the sight of the legendary mountain Kasbek, to which Prometheus is said to have been chained once. And Svanetia has most originally preserved the traditions of the mountain tribes in the Caucasus and impresses with lushly blooming high alpine landscapes.

 

This and a lot more you will see and discover during this tour. We will manange the tour with comfortable vehicles and our skilled guide will accompany you. We insure you an unforgettable adventure with us!

 

 

Day 1 Airport - Yerevan City Tour
  • Arrival at the airport. Transfer to the hotel.
  • In the morning we visit Yerevan-Cascade, a monumental stairway, and the Victory Park, which offers an incredible view over the city. Then we will see the Cafesjian Center for Modern Arts, the Opera House and visit the Matenadaran. This museum bears the name of St. Mesrop Mashtots who invented the Armenian alphabet. It hosts an unrivalled collection of ancient manuscripts of which some are dated back to the 5th century AD and are associated with Mesrop Mashtots.
  • Lunch
  • The afternoon we spend at the Vernissage, a souvenir and art market. You can choose from a big variety of handycrafts and local products – wines, brandies, dried fruits, sweets, herbs, jewelry, etc.
  • Dinner
  • In the evening we walk to the Republic Square through the Northern Avenue and enjoy the Dancing Fountains Show.

 

Day 2 Arch of Charents - Geghard - Garni - Symphony of Stones
  • Breakfast at the hotel
  • Photo stop at the Arch of Charents. On a clear day the Arch of Charents  provides a simply stunning view of Mount Ararat.
  • Next we visit Geghard Monastery. The name Geghard or more fully Geghardavank, meaning “the Monastery of the Spear”, originates from the spear, which had wounded Jesus. It found its way to Armenia and now is on display in the Echmiadzin treasury. The monastery is  a UNESCO World Heritage Site and  is one of the most revered places in Armenia. Built on the site of a sacred spring the monastery was founded in the 4th century. The main cathedral and several chapels and sepulchers cut into the rock date back to the 13th century.
  • Situated on an outcrop over the river Azat the pagan temple Garni is the only hellenistic colonnaded temple in Armenia. King Tiridates I built it in 76 AD as a temple to the sun god Mithra (known as Mihr in Armenian). Later on it served as a royal summer house of the Armenian kings. In the vicinity of the temple there lie the ruins of the fortress, a royal summer palace and a bath complex of the 3rd century AD. The site of the temple offers a magnificent view into Garni Gorge.
  • Lunch
  • Deep in Garni Canyon the Goght River meets the Azat River. The canyon is famous for its wonderful hexagonal basalt steles. These pillars form sheer cliffs and overhanging structures from the bottom of the canyon to its rim, hence the name “Symphony of Stones” or “Basalt Organ”.
  •  Return to Yerevan, Dinner.

 

Day 3 Armenian Alphabet - Amberd Fortress - Tegher Monastery - Echmiatsin
  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • The Armenian Alphabet Monument perches on the western slope of Mount Aragats. The complex celebrates the 1600th anniversary of the creation of the Armenian alphabet in 2005. The complex includes sculptures of the 39 letters of the Armenian alphabet, as well as monuments to the great Armenian thinkers. All the letters and statues are made of Armenian tuff.
  • Amberd, translated as “a fortress in clouds”, really seems to touch the sky. This gem of early medieval Armenian architecture (supposedly 7th century) majestically stands 2,300 meters high above sea level on the slopes of Mount Aragats. For centuries, it served as one of the foremost defensive sites of the Kingdom of Armenia. The fortress complex includes the castle, a bath and a church and offers stunning views into the plains towards Yerevan and Mount Ararat.
  • Lunch
  • Also on the slopes of Mount Aragats we will visit Tegher Monastery, a unique complex dating back to the 13th century.
  • Echmiatsin is the fourth-largest city in Armenia, one of the historic capitals of Armenia.  It is the spiritual center of the Armenians, as it is the seat of the Catholicos, the head of the Armenian Apostolic Church. Armenia’s patron Saint Gregory the Illuminator had a vision of Jesus descending from heaven. Jesus stroke the earth with a golden hammer to show where the cathedral should be built. It is one of the world’s oldest Christian structures still in use.
  • Dinner and overnight  in Yerevan

 

Day Khor Virap - Areni - Bird´s Cave - Noravank - Karahunj Observatory - Goris
  • Breakfast at the hotel
  • At our first stop we enjoy a beautiful view of the biblical Ararat Mountain, where Noah’s ark cast anchor. Khor Virap Monastery (which means «deep dungeon») rests atop a small hill facing the Ararat; here Grigor Luisavorich (St. Gregory the Illuminator) was imprisoned for 13 years before he convinced the Armenian king to adapt Christianity as a state religion in 301 AD. 
  • Our journey south-eastwards brings us to Areni, which is one of the actively developing wine regions in Armenia. Here the famous indigenous red wine Areni is produced. We will not miss the chance to taste it at one of the local wine factories.
  • Winery has an unparalleled tradition in Areni: in the mystical Bird’s Cave, where archeologists recently found the oldest one-piece leather shoe (about 5500 years old), wine vats date back to the Late Calcolithic Period.
  • Lunch at the Cave Restaurant
  • Noravank Monastery lies hidden in a beautiful gorge surrounded by red cliffs – one of the most stunning landscapes in Armenia. Here the famous architect, sculptor and miniaturist Momik built the beautiful two story Surp Astvatsatsin church with elaborate relief sculptures over the entrance.
  • In the afternoon we will visit Karahunj Observatory, a prehistoric monument, which comprises stone settings, stone tombs and standing stones. Karahunj observatory, dating back to the VI millennium B.C, is considered to be the oldest observatory, the so-called “Armenian Stonehenge”. As for its better-known “fellow” Stonehenge in England, its origin and function is still open to questions.
  •  Dinner and overnight in Goris.

 

Day 5 Old Khndzoresk - Tatev - Selim Caravanserai - Hayravank - Sevanavank
  • Breakfast at the hotel
  • In the morning we visit Old Khndzoresk – the ruins of a cave town, which we will reach via the unique “Swing bridge”. Khndzoresk was one of the largest cave villages in the region. Inhabited until about 1950 it still features picturesque views of the ruins set against the slopes of a beautiful gorge.
  • In a 12 minute ride the cable car “Wings of Tatev” will bring us from Halidzor village over the breathtaking gorge of the Vorotan River to Tatev Monastery. Tatev is among the best known monasteries in Armenia, famed for its historical significance as well as its beauty. It hosted an important Armenian university in the 14th and 15th century.  
  • Lunch in Tatev.
  • Vardenyats (Selim) Caravanserai, built in 1332, bears witness to the importance of the Silk Road crossing through Armenia. Selim is the best preserved of several caravanserais that were built along commercial routes for the accommodation of travelers from the East to Europe.
  • Over Selim Pass we approach Lake Sevan, the largest lake in Armenia and the Caucasus region.
  • Beautifully set against the lake are Hayravank Monastery and Sevanavank Monastery, the latter is located on a peninsula that used to be an island.
  • Dinner at a beachside restaurant.
  • Overnight in Sevan.

 

Haghartsin Monastery - Lastiver - Goshavank - Lake Parz - Dilijan
  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • Driving north we reach the forested Dilijan region in which several outstanding monastic complexes are hidden. Famous for its pale stone  and the skillful architectural composition of its refectory Haghartsin Monastery (10–13th century) is one of them.
  • From Yenokavan village we will hike along a ridge and down into the forested gorge to Lastiver. There we will find small caves called Lastiver and Anapat with mysterious sculptures and a beautiful stream with waterfalls.
  • Between small houses constructed on trees for overnight guests we will have Armenian barbecue for lunch.
  • In the afternoon we will visit a beautiful spot of Armenian nature – Lake Parz, which is nestled between the mountains of Dilijan National Park. From there we hike part of the newly constructed Transcaucasian Trail to Goshavank Monastery (XII–XIII century) via Lake Gosh. The village of Gosh is famous for Mkhitar Gosh, the author of the first Armenian code of law. Goshavank Monastery complex was the educational and cultural center of the region and in front of the church stands the probably most beautiful khachkar.
  • Dinner with Armenian national dishes at the famous Kachuch restaurant.
  • Overnight in Dilijan.

 

Day 7 Haghpat - Sanahin - Akhtala - Tbilisi
  • Breakfast at the hotel
  • Today we visit the UNESCO World Heritage sites Haghpat and Sanahin, early medieval monastic complexes in the Lori region. Sanahin, the older one, features a number of beautiful churches and chapels, connected by several large gavits and an exquisitely decorated scriptorium. Haghpat is built partly into the hillside. Seen from above the belltower stands out over the grass-covered roofs. Once inside you will marvel at the large perfectly balanced halls with their superb acoustics. 
  • Lunch at a local restaurant in Haghpat village.
  • As the northernmost Armenian monastery Akhtala already shows some Georgian influence in its architecture and decor. Akhtala features the best preserved frescoes in Armenia.  Biblical scenes and saints in the byzantine tradition cover all the walls of this huge church, which give it a very special atmosphere. 
  • Heading north we leave the Armenian highlands and cross the border into Georgia. 
  • We enjoy the evening discovering the beautiful old city center of Tbilisi.
  • Dinner and overnight in Tbilisi.

 

Day 8 DJvari - Mtskheta - Shiomghvime - Tbilisi
  • Breakfast at the hotel
  • High on a cliff lies the 6th century church Jvari offering splendid views onto the old capital Mtskheta. Down in the old city the churches of Svetitskhoveli Cathedral (11th century) and Samtavro Monastery  (4th century) bear witness to the importance of the place as it was here that Georgia adopted Christianity in AD 334. 
  • Lunch in the nicely restaurated town
  • Close to Mtskheta and yet separated from the world by surrounding sheer cliffs lies the monastery of Shiomghvime, dedicated to one of the Syrian monks that brought Christianity to Georgia.
  • Dinner and evening stroll through Tbilisi

 

Day 9 Dzveli Shuamta - Alaverdi Church - Ikalto - Winery - Telavi
  • Breakfast at the hotel
  • Heading east a wooded mountain range gives way to splendid views of the Caucasus Mountains over the plains of the Alazani River. Hidden in these woods are the ancient monasteries of Shuamta and Ikalto whereas Alaverdi Church (11th century) proudly rises from the plains and attracts visitors from afar. Alaverdi Church is  one of the largest of the country and the religious center of the Kakheti region.
  • In the afternoon we will visit a winery to learn about the traditional method of making wine in clay vessels buried in the ground.
  • Dinner and overnight in Telavi

 

Day 10 Gremi - Nekresi - Old Gavazi - Lagodekhi
  • Breakfast at the hotel
  • Some of the most remarkable monasteries are perched on rocky outcrops at the foot of the Caucasus Mountain range. Both Gremi and Nekresi feature a rustic appearance from the outside, whereas inside they are covered over and over with delicate frescoes. Old Gavazi is a charming little church (6th century)  with a unique round appearance. 
  • As we approach Laghodekhi the mountains draw closer. Laghodeki National Park offers beautiful hikes to waterfalls in magnificent beech forests.
  • Dinner and overnight in Lagodekhi

 

Day 11 Signagi - Bodbe - David Gereja - Tbilisi
  • Breakfast at the hotel
  • Thanks to the beautiful location on a hill crest Signagi with its fortifications and carefully renovated old houses is one of the most beautiful cities in Georgia.  
  • Just outside the city the major pilgrimage site of Bodbe Convent draws the attention of visitors who come to pray at the grave of St. Nino and gather water from the sacred spring. 
  • David Gereja is a monastery complex famous for its numerous churches and chapels cut into the rocks of the desertlike mountain range at the border to Azerbaijan. The isolated location, the stunning views and the sheer size make this place  a highlight of the tour.
  • Dinner and overnight in Tbilisi

 

Day 12 Ananuri - Stepansminda - Gveleti Waterfall - Gergeti Church
  • Breakfast at the hotel
  • Today we head straight north on the Georgian Military Highway, that leads over the main pass through the Caucasus into Russia. The fortified church of Ananuri bears witness to the fact that this route always has been of great strategic importance. As the road winds its way up into the mountains we enjoy stunning views and the alpine vegetation. 
  • A short leisurely hike off Dariali Gorge leads us to Gveleti waterfall.
  • Stepantsminda´s main attraction is the Gergeti Church on top of a steep hill right in front of the famous Mt. Kasbek. 
  • After visiting the church we will  enjoy the last light on Mt. Kazbek at a perfect viewpoint beyond Stepantsminda.
  • Dinner and overnight in Stepantsminda

 

Day 13 Truso Valley - Motsameta - Kutaisi
  • Breakfast at the hotel
  • Visiting Truso Valley is a very special experience. After branching off the main valley and passing a narrow gorge we will marvel at the beautiful wide valley with intense hydrothermal activity that suddenly opens up before our eyes. Medieval dwellings and watchtowers add to the charm of this hidden gem.
  • Back in the lowlands we head for the ancient city of Kochis, nowadays Kutaisi. On our way we visit Motsameta Monastery, perched on a cliff above the Tskaltsitela River 
  • Dinner and overnight in Kutaisi.

 

Day 14 Gelati Monastery - Mestia
  • Breakfast at the hotel
  • After a morning stroll over the Kutaisi market we visit Gelati Monastery, a masterpiece of  the ‘golden age’ of medieval Georgia. The monastery features a rich decor of mural paintings as well as a 12th century mosaic. 
  • Heading towards the Caucasus we enjoy the majestetic mountains draw nearer until we enter between them on the beautiful road to Upper Svanetia.
  • In the evening we enjoy the pitoresque town of Mestia with its abundance of medieval tower houses surrounded by mountains over 4000m high.
  • Dinner and overnight in Mestia

 

Day 15 Mestia - Ushguli
  • Breakfast at the hotel
  • Svaneti is the highest inhabited area in the Caucasus. For centuries the Svan people have dwelled in this isolated valleys and developed a very unique culture. We will visit a traditional Svan house in Mestia.
  • We reach Ushguli (UNESCO world heritage site) by a narrow dirt road. Its medieval appearance in a stunningly beautiful valley is one of the most unique sights in Georgia.
  • A hike through a lush and beautiful valley leads to the foot of a glazier.
  • Dinner and overnight in Mestia

 

Day 16 Mestia - Tbilisi
  • Breakfast at the hotel
  • Today we head back to Tbilisi
  • In Tbilisi we will visit the Royal Baths, The Holy Trinity Cathedral and enjoy the wide view over the city from the Naricala Fortress
  • Dinner and overnight in Tbilisi

 

map of private tour of Armenia and Georgia

Tour Price: Private tour of Armenia and Georgia

People/Guests1-34-67-14
Price / per tour / AMD986 1001 186 8001 387 500
Price / per tour / RUB*133 257160378187 500
Price / per tour / USD*2 0762 4992 921

         

            * RUB and USD might be different depending on the current exchange rate

 

The price of the private tour of Armenia and Georgia includes

  • Pick up at the airport / hotel and transport  with our comfortable cars/minivans
  • An English, Russian and Armenian speaking guide
  • Bottled water in the carransport service of the tour on comfortable  transport

 

The price does not include

  • Meals
  • Accommodation (We are happy to assist you in booking hotels or guesthouses)
  • Entrance fees 

 

Regardless of the tours presented, we are happy to work with you to plan your own individual tour through Armenia to include exactly the places you would like to visit.

Contact us at any time and we will give you free consultation. We will do everything to make your stay unforgettable.

 

 

Pictures of this tour: