Caucasus Discovery, Azerbaijan, Georgia & Armenia

Overview

Tour operates: May till October
No. of days: 17 nights 18 days
Destinations: Baku-Absheron Peninsula-Gobustan-Lagodeki-Sheki-Sighnaghi-Tsinandali-Tbilisi-Mtskheta-Gori- Uplistsikhe-Kutaisi-Tskaltubo-Mestia-Ushguli-Mestia-Gelati-Kutaisi-Sapara-Akhaltsikhe-Vardzia-Bavra-Gyumri-Talin-Aruch-Yerevan-Echmiadzin-Zvartnots- Khor Virap-Areni-Noravank-Ashtarak-Fortress fo Amberd-Saghmossavank -Garni-Geghard-Lake Sevan.
Transport: Private air conditioned transport
Accommodations: All comfortable class accommodation with private facilities
Guides: Fully escorted by our experienced local English speaking guide
Tour starting point: Baku Ending point: Yerevan 
Guaranteed departure: Daily- Minimum 2 people required

Itinerary

Day by day itinerary
Day 1: Baku Arrival (Azerbaijan)
Arrive in Baku. Meet at the airport and transfer to the hotel. Dinner at a local restaurant. Overnight at a hotel in Baku. (-/-/D)
Day 2: Baku-Absheron-Baku
In the morning we start Baku city tour: we visit the old City: Shemakha gate, Shirvanshakhs’ Palace, Maiden Tower, caravan saray, old market square, Carpet museum. Afterwards, we tour the Absheron Peninsula and visit Ateshgah fire temple, Mardakan medieval fortress, Yanardagh Fire Mountain. We return to Baku for dinner at a local restaurant and overnight at a hotel. (B/-/D)
Day 3: Baku-Gobustan-Baku
Drive to Gobustan. Visit Gobustan rock paintings museum in the open air (UNESCO) & onsite archaeological museum. En-route photo-stop at the old oil rigs.
Dinner at a local restaurant. Overnight at a hotel in Baku. (B/-/D)
Day 4: Baku-Sheki
Breakfast at a hotel. Leaving Baku, depart for the Caucasus Mountains in the northwest of Azerbaijan. The dry landscape gives way to a densely forested mountain area. En-route visit to active mud volcanoes site, Diri Baba shrine in Maraza; Yeddi Gumbez tomb and Juma mosque in Shemakha. Arrive in Sheki, visit local craft workshop where famous “Shebeke” handmade vitrages are produced and well-known Sheki Khans Palace with its magnificent frescoes and stained glass. Dinner and overnight in Sheki.(B/-/D)
Day 5: Sheki-Lagodekhi (border)- Sighnaghi-Tsinandali-Tbilisi
Breakfast at a hotel. We visit traditional bazaar and then drive to the border with Georgia. Change guide and transport. Start exploring Georgia from Kakheti region. We drive to visit fortified town of Sighnaghi (18th century), a town preserved in its original image and offering visitors stunning views of the surrounding Caucasus Mountains. Continue to Tsinandali and visit a local Duke Alexander Chavchavadze`s estate and the garden formed in the 19th century. The park and the house used to be the gathering place of all poets and artists of the 19th century. Arrive in Tbilisi. Dinner at a local restaurant. Overnight at a hotel in Tbilisi. (B/-/D)
Day 6: Tbilisi
Today you’ll have Tbilisi sightseeing tour. During the tour we take you to the places that will show you old city. The city offers a great variety of sights, most of them very ancient. All the places of interest in the Old Town are very close to each other, within a few minutes’ walk. We start our visit to Old Tbilisi from Metekhi Church (13th century), and then walk to the Synagogue, Sioni Cathedral (6th-7th centuries) and Anchiskhati Church (6th century). Then we drive up to Mother Georgia statue and walk down to Narikala Fortress (4th century) and Sulphur Baths, en route enjoying views of the Old Town. Afterwards we visit the stunning treasury of the Georgian National Museum of History (closed on Mondays), before taking a stroll along Rustaveli Avenue – the main street in Tbilisi. Dinner at a local restaurant. Overnight at a hotel in Tbilisi. (B/-/D)
Day 7: Tbilisi-Mtskheta-Gori- Uplistsikhe-Kutaisi
We drive to visit the ancient capital and religious centre of Georgia – Mtskheta (3000 years old) and see its historical places: Jvari church (6th century) and Svetitskhoveli Cathedral (11th century) where the Robe of Christ is buried. Both Jvari and Svetitskhoveli are UNESCO World Heritage sites. Then drive to visit the town of Gori and its historical places: Uplistsikhe Cave Town (1st millennium BC) and Stalin’s museum. Uplistsikhe is the place where the Great Silk Road used to pass. This is an old and interesting complex with dwelling quarters, wine-cellars, bakeries, a three-nave basilica church hewn out in rock and even an antic theatre. Arrive in Kutaisi (antique town more than 3000 years old). Dinner at a local restaurant. Overnight at a hotel in Kutaisi. (B/-/D)
Day 8: Kutaisi-Tskaltubo-Mestia
In the morning we visit Bagrati Cathedral (11th century), UNESCO World Heritage site and a Natural grotto (closed on Mondays), amazing with its stalagmites and stalactites. Then we get ready for the most exciting part of your trip – a journey to Svaneti, the region of the highest mountains and glaciers and the most abiding ancient traditions. Arrive in Mestia – the center of Upper Svaneti. Dinner and overnight at a hotel in Mestia. (B/-/D)
Day 9: Mestia-Ushguli-Mestia
A three-hour drive will take us to the highest permanent village in Europe – Ushguli (2200m). Ushguli, and generally the whole Upper Svaneti region, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The village is most famous for its abundance of watchtowers and this is where you get the view of the highest mountain in Georgia – Mt. Shkhara (5068m). Walk around the village and visit Lamaria Church (12th century). Afterwards we drive back to Mestia. Dinner and overnight at a hotel in Mestia. (B/-/D)
Day 10: Mestia-Gelati-Kutaisi
In the morning we drive back to Kutaisi. We visit Gelati Cathedral (12th century) – one of the earliest academies in Europe an an UNESCO World Heritage site. Dinner at a local restauarnt. Overnight at a hotel in Kutaisi. (B/-/D)
Day 11: Kutaisi-Sapara-Akhaltsikhe
In the morning we visit local farmers’ market. Then drive towards South-Western part of Georgia. Visit beautiful Sapara Monastery (9th century). Arrive in Akhaltsikhe and visit multicultural complex of Rabat (closed on Mondays). Dinner and overnight at a hotel in Akhaltsikhe. (B/-/D)
Day 12: Akhaltsikhe-Vardzia-Bavra( border)-Gyumri
In the morning we travel to Vardzia. On the way visit Khertvisi fortress (10th century). The magnificent cave town – Vardzia (12th century) is one of the highlights of the trip. It stretches over half a kilometer along the river Mtkvari and has 19 tiers. There used to be about 3000 caves. It’s church is hewn out in rock with amazing 12th century frescos.
The complex also includes dwellings quarters, small hall-type churches, refectories, wine cellars, pharmacy, etc. Afterwards drive to Georgia-Armenia border (Bavra). Change guide and transportation. Start your acquaintance with Armenia. Drive to Gyumri. Dinner and overnight in Gyumri. (B/-/D)
Day 13: Gyumri-Talin-Aruch-Yerevan
After breakfast start tour in Gyumri – the second largest city of Armenia. Drive back to Yerevan. The road leads toward an excellent early church called Talin village in which there are the impressive remains of an important cathedral church of the 7th century. The village of Aruch is one of the oldest settlements of Armenia. Aruch and its environs are rich with historical- architectural monuments; burial-vaults from Bronze Age, temples, palaces, fortresses, khachkars, etc. The temple of Aruch (7th century A.D) is one of the most important medieval Armenian architectural constructions. Drive to Yerevan.
Welcome dinner in a local restaurant. Overnight at the hotel in Yerevan. (B/-/D)
Day 14: Yerevan-Echmiadzin-Zvartnots- Yerevan
In  the  morning  after  breakfast  start  city  tour  around  Yerevan  visiting  Mother  Armenia  Monument.  Visit Tsitsernakaberd Memorial and the Museum of Victims of Genocide. Proceed to Echmiadzin which is mere 20 km from Yerevan. Etchmiadzin Cathedral is known as the center of the Armenian Church and appears to be one of the world`s first Christian State churches. Legend has it that it was here that Jesus Christ descended from heaven to show where he wanted a church built. So Echmiadzin means “The only-begotten descended”. The Church was built between the years 301 – 303 AD under the Armenian king Tiridates III and the first Armenian Catholics, St. Gregory the Illuminator.
**Opportunity to have lunch in a local community tasting homemade dishes and a visit to the local Art School. 
Drive to the capital of Armenia – Yerevan with a stop at the ruins of Zvartnots Temple (7th c.). Optional visit to Brandy Factory* (12USD p/p). Dinner and overnight in Yerevan. (B/-/D)
15 Day: Yerevan-Khor Virap-Areni-Noravank-Yerevan
Sightseeing tour to Khor-Virap monastery (4-17th century). 45 km from Yerevan, the monastery of Khor-Virap has a very rich history, both religious and secular. It is situated in the Ararat valley against the biblical Ararat Mountain, were Noah`s Ark cast anchor. Continue tour to Noravank monastery – a great religious and cultural centre of 12th c. On the way visit Areni wine factory to taste local wine made from special sorts of vines. Noravank (“New Monastery”) is 122 km away from Yerevan and is located in a remote location surrounded by stunning nature. The oldest structure of the monastery is the church of St. Karapet (9-10th century) has not survived. The principal church is known as St. Karapet as well, which was built in the 13th c. The church has an atrium, which was rebuilt by the famous architect and sculptor Momik and is decorated with bas-reliefs of religious themes. **Opportunity to have lunch in a local cave cafe. Drive back to Yerevan. Dinner and overnight in Yerevan. (B/-/D)
16 Day: Yerevan-Ashtarak-Fortress fo Amberd-Saghmossavank -Yerevan
As the first Christian nation, Armenia is home to countless ancient churches and monasteries, all in locations of of positive and mysterious energy. The smallest pan-Armenian church of Karmravour (7th c) in Ashtarak, one of Aremenia’s most ancient cities, will be the first stop of the day. Drive to the Fortress of Amberd* (9th century) located halfway up Mt. Aragats, at the height of 2300m. The fortress stands on a rocky cape. There are also vestiges of a fortified three storied palace, a church built in 1026, a palace bathhouse with two domes, a central heating system, water tanks, a water-supply system, and a secret passage to a nearby cleft, and other buildings. Drive to the village of Saghmossavank. Visit Saghmosavank medieval monastery, situated in the breathtaking site, at the deep canyon of Ashtarak. Drive back to Yerevan. Dinner and overnight in Yerevan. (B/-/D)
17 Day: Yerevan-Garni-Geghard-Lake Sevan-Yerevan
After breakfast, depart for Garni Temple. The citadel and pagan temple of Garni is a picturesque monument of the Hellenistic period and an impressive piece of ancient Armenian architecture. It was built in the first century A.D. **Opportunity to have 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”. 
Northeast of Garni, higher up the gorge of the Azat River, there is a magnificent monument of medieval Armenian architecture – Geghard monastery inscribed in the UNESCO World Heritage list. Drive to Lake Sevan. Lake Sevan is the largest lake in Armenia and the Caucasus region. It is one of the largest fresh-water high-altitude lakes in the world. Here we will visit Sevanavank. Sevanavank is a monastic complex located on a peninsula at the north western shore of Lake Sevan. Sevanavank is an amazing monastic complex of 9th century.
Farewell dinner at a local restaurant with live Armenian Folk music.
Overnight at a hotel in Yerevan. (B/-/D)
18 Day: Depart Yerevan
Our service will end with airport transfer. (B/-/-)

Notes

coming soon

Map

Coming soon

Dates/Prices

Tour costs and Dates

We guarantee all tour departures for a minimum of 2 passengers. In order to confirm your booking we will need a non-refundable deposit of 400 USD per person. The final invoice will be sent to you 4 weeks before the tour departure, the final cost dependent on the final group size. If the following dates or the described itinerary does not meet your travel needs, please write to us, we can arrange a customized tour for you.

 Tour cost comfort class accomodation

No of Pax. 2 3-5 6-9 10-14 Single Supplement
Price in US Dollar per person $4185 $3500 $3000 $2770 $985

 

Tour cost tourists class accommodations

No of Pax. 2 3-5 6-9 10-14 Single Supplement
Price in US Dollar per person $3500 $3000  $2400 $2150 $550

Hotels

Places Comfort class hotels Tourist Class hotels
Baku Shah Palace or Fairmont Hotel Antolia or Nur hotel
Sheki Sheiki Palace hotel Sheiki Palace hotel
Tbilisi  Ambasadori or Biltmore hotel KMM or Sharden
Kutaisi  Tskalbu Plaza hotel Bagrati 1003 hotel
Mestia  Kala, Chuba Chubu hotel Lomsia hotel
Akhaltsikhe Lomsia hotel  Lomsia hotel 
Gyumri Nane or Viktoria hotel Araks hotel
Yerevan Historic or Opera Suit Hotel  Silachi or Minotel Hotel

*** Please note that all above hotels are subject to availability or we will arrange
alternative hotels of a similar standard.

Tour departures 2018

Starting Date Ending Date Availability  
1- May 18-May AVAILABLE Enquire Now
15-May 1-June AVAILABLE Enquire Now
1-June 18-June AVAILABLE Enquire Now
15-June 2-July AVAILABLE Enquire Now
25-June 12-July AVAILABLE Enquire Now
1-July 18-July AVAILABLE Enquire Now
15-July 1-August AVAILABLE Enquire Now
20-July 6-August AVAILABLE Enquire Now
1-August 18-August AVAILABLE Enquire Now
15-August 1- September AVAILABLE Enquire Now
25-August 11 -September AVAILABLE Enquire Now
1-September 15-Sepetember AVAILABLE Enquire Now
15-September 2-October AVAILABLE Enquire Now
25-September  18-October AVAILABLE Enquire Now
1-October 18-October AVAILABLE Enquire Now
15-October 1-November AVAILABLE Enquire Now
 

TOUR COST INCLUDES

• All domestic transportation with private transfers,mentioned in the itinerary.
• Twin sharing accommodation at hotels mentioned above with private facilities 
• Meals Full Board Please follow the key above (B) Breakfasts (L) Lunches (D) Dinners
• All the sightseeing tours as described in the itinerary and entrance fees
• Experienced local English speaking Guide
• Visa letter support

TOUR COST EXCLUDES

• Visa Fees.
• Expenses in hotels such as laundry, telephone and room service, etc.
• Optional activities
• Meals Lunches
• Personal expanses
• Single supplements
• Tips for Guides and drivers

If you would like to customize your trip please write to us we are more than happy to arrange your trip according to your request  

About Tour operators Silk Road and Himalayas

We are a small, highly experienced “boutique” travel company operating unique tours thoughout Central Asia, Far East, and Indian Subcontinent.