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Caucasus Pearls

ITINERARY

Visit: Baku, Sheki, Sighnaghi, Tsinandali, Shumi, Telavi, Tbilisi, Mtskheta, Gudauri, Kazbegi, Gori, Akhalstsikhe, Gyumri, Yerevan, Tbilisi.

Day 1 (Tuesday): Baku

In the morning you wil be picked up from the hotel for the tour to start at 10:00am. First, we will visit Mountain Park with panoramic views on the city and Baku Bay. After taking a walk in the alley we drive to the old city to visit several interesting sites: Palace of the Shirvanshahs (15th c.), medieval caravanserai and bathhouse, old mosques, art shops and finally, Maiden Tower, 12th century monument that is listed under the UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Overnight in Baku.

Day 2 (Wednesday): Baku - Sheki

After breakfast at the hotel, we drive to the north-west, to the town of Sheki. We are going to make a few stops along the way to visit two interesting historical monuments, 15th century mausoleum of Sheikh Diri-Baba in Gobustan town and 8th century Juma Mosque in Shamakhi town. In the evening, we arrive in Sheki. In the evening, take a short Sheki city tour to see Sheki fortress, Palace of Shaki Khans, old caravanserai and the mosque. Overnight in Sheki.

Meals: Breakfast

Day 3 (Thursday): Sheki - Sighnaghi

After breakfast we drive to Kish, a village located 5km from Sheki, to see the main attraction of the village, the Church of Kish. The church has an extraordinary history as its existing building is estimated to be built in the 12th century on much older pagan cultic site and belonged to Caucasian Albanian, Georgian and Armenian churches in different times through history. Today our Azerbaijan tour ends as from Kish we drive to Georgia-Azerbaijan border near Lagodekhi. Tour guide will assist the group with border procedures. On the border we change the transport and from now on local Georgian guide will lead the tour. From the border we drive to Sighnaghi, a town in a traditional wine-making Kakheti region in the east Georgia. Surrounded by medieval curtain walls, Sighnaghi is located on Gombori mountain range, overlooking Alazani river valley. We are going to sightsee Sighnaghi Museum and its rich collections, such as the ethnographic and archaeological exhibitions and collections of the works of prominent Georgian painter Niko Pirosmani. Afterwards we can take a walk in Sighnaghi. Overnight in Sighnaghi.

Meals: Breakfast

Day 4 (Friday): Signagi - Tsinandali - Shumi - Telavi - Tbilisi

After breakfast we leave Sighnaghi and drive to the village of Tsinandali. In Tsinandali, pay a visit to the Aleksandre Chavchavadze House Museum. Aleksandre Chavchavadze was a famous 18th century Georgian aristocrat, military figure and poet, whose residence, garden and wine-cellar functions as a museum and attracts a lot of visitors nowadays. From Tsinandali we drive to Shumi to take a look on Shumi winery and wine museum “Vazioni”. Visitors can taste local wine and snacks. Our next stop is Telavi, a major town of the Kakheti region. In Telavi we can visit the medieval fortress that served as a residence of the Kings of Kakheti, Batonistsikhe. Enjoy a short Telavi tour, then afterwards depart for Tbilisi through the Gombori pass. Overnight in Tbilisi.

Meals: Breakfast

Day 5 (Saturday): Tbilisi

Today, start your tour by visiting the Holy Trinity Cathedral (Sameba), one of the tallest Orthodox Christian Churches on earth. Our next stop is at Metekhi Platuau, where we visit Metekhi Church, constructed in the 5th century. Metekhi Church is located on the cliff overlooking River Mtkvari and the Old Tbilisi. From Metekhi we move down to the old city and take a walk on the streets of Shardeni, Iron Row, Cotton Row and Erekle II with lots of outdoor cafes, bars, restaurants, art galleries, souvenir stores and handicraft shopping spots. We continue on our way until we cross the glass Bridge of Peace and arrive at Rike Park. From here we head to the Narikala Fortress, an ancient fortification overlooking Tbilisi from the hill, which can be reached by a aerial cable car. From Narikala, we walk back to the old city to pay a visit to the following sites: the National Botanical Garden of Georgia, Jumah Mosque, Legvtakhevi Canyon and Waterfall and Abanotubani, the historical sulfur bathhouse district of Tbilisi. The tour finishes at the Meidan Square. Overnight in Tbilisi.

Meals: Breakfast

Day 6 (Sunday): Tbilisi - Mtskheta - Ananuri - Gudauri

After breakfast at the hotel we drive to the north to Mtskheta, the historical capital of Georgia. Mtskheta, located at the confluence of the two rivers of Mtkvari and Aragvi, is famous for its two UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Jvari Monastery (6th century) and Svetitskhoveli Cathedral (11th century). After a Mtskheta sightseeing tour, where we visit the hand crafts stores, souvenir shops and wine cellars located in the centre of the town, we continue on our way to the north and drive through Georgian Military Highway towards the mountainous Khevi province. On our way to Gudauri ski resort, make a stop at Zhinvali Reservoir and visit the Ananuri Architectural Complex. Ananuri once served as a fortress and residence of local feudal Lords, Eristavi of Aragvi. In the evening we arrive at Gudauri, Kazbegi Municipality. Enjoy dinner and overnight in Gudauri.

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 7 (Monday): Gudauri - Kazbegi - Tbilisi

After breakfast we leave Gudauri for Kazbegi. Along the way, at the Cross Pass, we make a stop at the red travertine hill and taste the local mineral water. After our arrival in Kazbegi we set off on the Mount Gergeti trek. Mount Gergeti is famous for its Holy Trinity Church, built in the 14th century, the church is overlooking the town while standing under the Kazbegi peak and glacier. After our trek to Mount Gergeti is finished we head back to Kazbegi and leave for Tbilisi. Overnight in Tbilisi.

Meals: Breakfast

Day 8 (Tuesday): Tbilisi - Gori - Uplistsikhe - Akhaltsikhe

After breakfast we depart for the Samtskhe-Javakheti region. On our way we drive through Kartli province, where our first stop is in Gori. Upon arrival in Gori, visit the Museum of Joseph Stalin, which consists of Stalin’s Memorial House, exposition building and his room with various personal belongings. From Gori we head to Uplistsikhe Cave Complex, another well known site near Gori. Uplistsikhe represents an ancient cave complex and one of the oldest urban settlements in Georgia, dating back to the 1st millenium BC. It is also possible to visit a small museum nearby and watch an 8 minute movie about Uplistsikhe. Our next stop is Borjomi, a spa resort located in Mtkvari ravine. Borjomi is famous for its mineral water ‘Borjomi’. After a walk around town and Borjomi Central Park, we depart for Akhaltsihke and arrive there in the evening. Overnight in Akhalstsikhe.

Meals: Breakfast

Day 9 (Wednesday): Akhaltsikhe - Akhaltsikhe Castle - Vardzia - Akhaltsikhe

After breakfast we start our journey to the historical Samtskhe region and its administrative centre, Akhaltsikhe (translated as “new castle”) town. Visit the most remarkable site of Akhaltsikhe, Rabati Castle, a medieval fortification complex. During the Rabati excursion we are going to take a look at the fortress, museum, 14th century Jakeli Castle, fortress church and the St. Marine church. From Akhaltsikhe, we head to Vardzia. Built during the Georgian Golden Age in the 12th-13th cc., Vardzia is another well known rock-hewn cave monastery, located on the slopes of Erusheti mountains in Samtskhe region. In the evening we drive back to Akhaltsikhe. Overnight in Akhaltsikhe.

Meals: Breakfast

Day 10 (Thursday): Akhaltsikhe - Bavra - Gyumri

Today, we start our trip to Armenia with a drive towards the Bavra Border Crossing Point. On our way we make a short stop at Khertvisi fortress, a medieval fortification erected in the Mtkvari River Ravine. After our arrival at the Bavra Border Crossing Point, we will change vehicle and, guided by the local expert, will continue the tour into Armenia. First, we head to Gyumri, the second largest city of Armenia and enjoy a short city tour there. Overnight in Gyumri.

Meals: Breakfast

Day 11 (Friday): Gyumri - Etchmiadzin - Zvartnots - Yerevan

After breakfast we take a walk in the historical centre of Gyumri. Gyumri has lots of buildings from 19th century when the city was named as Alexandropol under the rule of Russian Empire. After the Gyumri city tour, continue your journey to Vagharshapat town to visit two important Armenian monuments, Etchmiadzin Cathedral, built in the 4th century and the 7th century Zvartnots Cathedral. Etchmiadzin Cathedral represents a centre and symbol of Armenian Apostolic Church. From Vagharshapat we head to the capital of Armenia, Yerevan. In the evening we pay a visit to the Mesrop Mashtots Institute of Ancient Manuscripts, known as Matenadaran Museum and take a look at its rich collection of medieval manuscripts and books. Overnight in Yerevan.

Meals: Breakfast

Day 12 (Saturday): Yerevan - Garni - Geghard - Yerevan

After breakfast, begin your excursion of the Yerevan city and its surroundings. First, visit Yerevan History Museum in the centre of the city. The museum has a rich collection of different artifacts that represent local culture and history from ancient to present times. From Yerevan we set off to see the Temple of Garni and the Geghard Monastery (founded in the 4th c.). The Temple of Garni is an ancient pagan temple with Greco-Roman colonnaded architectural style. Destroyed by the earthquake in the 17th century, this pre-Christian temple was rebuilt in the 20th century during the Soviet times. From Garni we can take a walk along the canyon of the Azat River and arrive at Geghard, which is located close from the Temple of Garni. Geghard Monastery is listed among the UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Finally, we drive back to Yerevan. Overnight in Yerevan.

Meals: Breakfast

Day 13 (Sunday): Yerevan - Khor Virap - Areni - Noravank - Yerevan

After breakfast at the hotel, take a trip to Khor Virap Monastery in Ararat Province. Khor Virap is one of the most visited pilgrimage sites in Armenia due to the local beliefs, according to which St. Gregory the Illuminator, who is credited with converting Armenia to Christianity, was imprisoned in this place for 13 years by the Armenian King. Visitors can also observe the view of Mount Ararat, the national symbol of Armenia, from the monastery. From Khor Virap we continue our way southeast and arrive in the wine village of Areni, located in Vayots Dzor Province and famous for its red wine. We can visit the wine factory and taste the local Armenian wine. From Areni we drive to Noravank Monastery, established in the 13th c., Noravank is situated in a narrow gorge of Amaghu River, near the town of Yeghegnadzor. Overnight in Yerevan.

Meals: Breakfast

Day 14 (Monday): Yerevan - Sevan - Sanahin - Haghpat - Sadakhlo - Tbilisi

After breakfast we drive to one of the world’s largest alpine lakes, Sevan. From Lake Sevan we continue our way to the north and arrive in the administrative centre of Tavush Province, Dilijan Town. On a Dilijan city tour, visit Sharambeyan Street, full of workshops, handicraft shops, souvenir stores and traditional buildings. From the centre of Tavush Province, we move to the Lori region and visit medieval Sanahin Monastery (built in 10th c.), which is another site among the UNESCO World Heritage list from Armenia. Sanahin Monastery was founded by the Bagratid royal family in the 10th century and consists of several churches and chapels. From Sanahin we head to Haghpat Monastery located nearby. From Haghpat we drive to the Georgia-Armenia border. After crossing the Sadakhlo border, we continue on to Tbilisi. Overnight in Tbilisi.

Meals: Breakfast

Day 15 (Tuesday): Depart Tbilisi

After breakfast at the hotel, check out by 12:00pm. End of services.

Meals: Breakfast

 

Package Includes:

  • 14 nights' Accommodation in 3* hotels
  • Breakfast daily
  • 1 x dinner on day 6
  • 1x transfer from Lagodekhi border: 3
  • 1x transfer to Bavra border on day: 10
  • Transportation service all days
  • 1x local jeep in Kazbegi on day: 7
  • English speaking Guide & Driver service all days
  • 1 x wine tasting in Shumi winery on day 4
  • 1 x glass of wine in Tsinandali museum on day 4
  • 1 x wine tasting in the village Areni on day 12
  • Entrance fees per program
  • 1 bottle of mineral water per person per day

Not Included:

  • Visa fees
  • Travel insurance
  • Air tickets
  • Accommodation in a single room
  • Hotel night on the last day of the Land Only itinerary
  • Alcohol beverages unless mentioned in the itinerary
  • Breakfast on the final day if departing earlier than 8 am
  • Lunches & Dinners
  • Farewell dinner in Georgian Traditional restaurant with folk show - 25 EUR per person
  • Individual airport transfers

 

Hotels or similar:

  • Sighnaghi Hotel Solomoni 1805 / Pirosmani
  • Tbilisi hotel ZP / Brigitte
  • Gudauri hotel Gudauri Hut / Alpina
  • Akhaltsikhe hotel Tiflis
  • Yerevan – Silachi or similar
  • Gyumri – Alexandrapol or similar
  • Central Baku Hotel
  • Issam Hotel

Prices are per person twin share in Australian Dollars. Conditions apply and cruises are subject to change and availability. Prices are subject to currency fluctuations. (gh)

Package Information

  • Duration: 15 Days/14 Nights
  • Type: Coach Tour
  • Departures: May - October 2019 and 2020
  • Cities Visited: Baku, Sheki, Sighnaghi, Tsinandali, Shumi, Telavi, Tbilisi, Mtskheta, Gudauri, Kazbegi, Tbilisi, Gori, Akhalstsikhe, Gyumri, Yerevan, Tbilisi
  • Price From: $ 0.00
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