Best of Georgia & Armenia

Overview

Tour operates: May until October
No of days: 13 nights 14 days
Route: Tbilisi-Mtskheta – Gudauri-Kazbegi – Sno Valley-Gori – Akhaltsikhe-Vardzia-Georgia-Armenia Border (Bavra) – Gyumri-Haghpat – Sanahin – Dilijan-Dilijan – Lake Sevan – Noratous – Selim Pass – Karahunge – Goris-Tatev Monastery – Khndzoresk – Yeghegnadzor-Noravank – Areni winery – Khor Virap – Yerevan.
Transport: All private transfer in air conditioned transport
Accommodations: All comfortable accommodations with private facilities
Guides: English speaking local Guides
Tour Start point:  Tbilisi
End point: Yerevan (Or this tour can be done in reverse as well)
Guaranteed departure: Daily- Minimum 2 people required

Itinerary

Day by day itinerary

Day 1: Arrival
Arrival in Tbilisi. Meet at the airport and transfer to Tbilisi.
Dinner in a local restaurant. Overnight at a hotel in Tbilisi.
(-/-/D)

Day 2: 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 (if not Monday), before taking a stroll along Rustaveli Avenue – the main street in Tbilisi.
Dinner in a local restaurant. Overnight at a hotel in Tbilisi.
(B/-/D)

Day 3: Tbilisi – Wine Trip – Tbilisi
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 drive to a local Duke Alexander Chavchavadze’s estate and visit the garden formed in the 19th century by Duke’s father. The park and the house used to be the gathering place of all poets and artists of the 19th century. Here we visit an old wine factory and taste manufactured Kakhetian wine. For lunch we take you at a local family, where you’ll try homemade delicious food and wine. Here you’ll see how Georgian “Shashlik” is made. Honey will be served as dessert. Then drive to visit a farmer’s house to see a unique 300 year-old wine-cellar. You get acquainted with the Georgian way of wine-making, quite different from the European one and drink typical Georgian wine straight from the clay jars. Afterwards we 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 in a local restaurant. Overnight at a hotel in Tbilisi.(B/L/D)

Day 4: Tbilisi – Mtskheta – Gudauri
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. Today we also visit antique ruins of the city and then drive up the famous Georgian Military Highway (leading to the Georgian-Russian border). On the way visit Ananuri architectural complex (17th century), the two churches and the fortress overlook the Zhinvali water reservoir. The drive is very scenic through high Caucasus Mountains.Dinner and overnight at a hotel in Gudauri ski resort (2200 m.).(B/-/D)

Day 5: Gudauri – Kazbegi – Sno Valley – Gudauri
A stunning drive from Gudauri along the Tergi River will bring us to Kazbegi – the main town in the region. From Kazbegi a leisurely 2 hours walk up through beautiful valleys and woodland leads 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). We walk back to the town and drive to visit Sno Valley. Today we also visit a local family, where we’ll see how traditional felt is made and try delicious homemade jam. Return to Gudauri.
Dinner and overnight at a hotel in Gudauri ski resort (2200 m.).*Note: In case anyone mind walking, there is possibility to hire a local 4X4WD transport.(B/-/D)

Day 6: Gudauri – Gori – Akhaltsikhe
In the morning we will 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. Then we drive towards South-Western part of Georgia. Arrive in Akhaltsikhe.Dinner and overnight in Akhaltsikhe.(B/-/D)

Day 7: Akhaltsikhe – Vardzia – Georgia-Armenia Border (Bavra) – 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 got a church 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 at a hotel in Gyumri(B/-/D)

Day 8: Gyumri – Haghpat – Sanahin – Dilijan
After breakfast start walking city tour around Gyumri. Departure to monastic complexes of Sanahin (966 AD) and Haghpat (976 AD) which are among the outstanding works of medieval Armenian architecture and are inscribed in UNESCO World Heritage list. The architectural details and decoration of the monuments, which belong to the same epoch, have much in common and are even exactly alike in some cases, which gives us ground to presume that they were created by craftsmen of the same school. Drive to the resort town of Dilijan. Dinner and overnight at the hotel in Dilijan.(B/-/D)

Day 9: Dilijan – Lake Sevan – Noratous – Selim Pass – Karahunge – Goris
In the morning after breakfast drive to Lake Sevan visiting also to Noraduz, ancient cemetery with medieval khachkars (cross-stones) dating back to 6th c.  About 70 miles north of Yerevan sits Lake Sevan. This huge mountain lake, which takes up to 5% of Armenia’s surface area and is about 2,000 meters above sea level is one of the highest among the freshwater lakes in the world. Departure to Syunik region through Selim Pass visiting the caravanserai (XIV c.). The Selim caravanseray was built in 1332 by Prince Chesar Orbelian, according to an inscription in Armenian and Arabic, this used to be an important trade point in the famous Silk Road. Visit Karahunge (Stonehenge), ancient observatory 6mil B.C.  It is located at 1770 m. above sea level and occupies 7 hectares of territory. The monument consists of about 223 basalt slabs of which 84 have 4-5cm long openings in them (which, for Stone Age, have been rendered with incredible smoothness). In 2001 in the vicinity of Karahoonge many rock – paintings were discovered consisting of drawings that represent themselves a great astronomic interest. Drive to Goris for dinner and overnight.(B/-/D)

Day 10: Goris – Tatev Monastery – Khndzoresk – Yeghegnadzor
Start the tour from Goris to explore the city, visiting the exciting Dig Dig stones – natural monument. Nestled in a bowl of green hills and mountains, with interesting formations and many previously inhabited caves in them, Goris has some of the nicest overall Armenian architecture in Armenia. Excursion tour to Khndzoresk, which is a cave village, and there are many signs of past settlement throughout the valley which are just waiting for discovery. You will see that man has carved many of the caves out and they served as houses for people. Continue to explore a monastic complex of Tatev (Cultural Heritage Site by UNESCO) which is an architectural masterpiece dating from the 10th century and is often called a monastery built on the edge of nothing. Departure to Yeghegnadzor for dinner and overnight.(B/-/D)

Day 11:  Yeghegnadzor – Noravank – Areni winery – Khor Virap – Yerevan
After breakfast tour to Noravank monastery – a great religious and cultural centre of 12th c.. Noravank (“New Monastery”) is 122 km away from Yerevan and is located in an inaccessible location throughout the stunning nature. The oldest structure of the monastery is the church of St. Karapet (9-10 c) that 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-relives on religious themes. Visit Areni winery for wine degustation made of special sorts of vines. Sightseeing tour to Khor-Virap monastery 4- 17th cc. 45 km. from Yerevan the monastery of Khor-Virap has a very rich history, both religious and secular. Khor Virap was built in Artashat during the reign of the Arshakids dynasty. At that time it was used as a pit- dungeon for convicts. In the 60s of the 4th century Artashat was ruined by Persian invaders. It is situated in the Ararat valley against the biblical Ararat Mountain, were Noah’s arch cast anchor. The importance of it is connected with Gregory the Illuminator, who introduced Christianity to Armenia and is considered to be the first Armenian catholicos. Here you will also have an opportunity to take a lit candle from the pit like His holiness Paul II did while his visit to Khor Virap. Drive to the capital of Armenia – Yerevan. Check-in at the hotel. Dinner in a local restaurant. Overnight at the hotel in Yerevan.(B/-/D)

Day 12: Yerevan City Tour – Etchmiadzin – Zvartnots – Yerevan
In the morning after breakfast start city tour around Yerevan visiting Mother Armenia Monument. 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 Catholicos, St. Gregory the Illuminator. **Opportunity to have lunch in a local community tasting homemade dishes and communication with local children of 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*. Dinner and overnight at the hotel in Yerevan.(B/-/D)
* Brandy Factory entrance fee ~ 12 USD per person

Day 13: Yerevan – Garni – Geghard – Matenadaran – Yerevan
After breakfast depart to 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. by the Armenian King Tiridates and it is dedicated to a heathen god, probably to Mithra, the god of the sun whose figure stood in the depth of the sanctuary. After proclaiming Christianity as a state religion in Armenia in 301, the temple was probably used as a summer residence of the kings. **Opportunity to have lunch at a local house in Garni where you can 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 UNESCO World Heritage list. Continue tour to Matenadaran** which contains historical documents from all over Europe and Asia throughout many centuries. There is also the first copy of the Bible in Armenian and the Gospels that fascinate with their beautiful miniatures.
Farewell dinner in a local restaurant with live Armenian folk music. Overnight the hotel in Yerevan.(B/-/D)
*NOTE: Matenadaran is closed on Sundays and Mondays

Day 14: Departure
Transfer to the airport. Departure home!

 

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 hotels

No of Pax. 2 3-5 6-9 10 Above Single Supplement
Price in US Dollar per person $3350 $2900 $2675 $2430 $620

Tour cost tourists class hotels

No of Pax. 2 3-5 6-9 10 Above Single Supplement
Price in US Dollar per person $2770 $2445 $2045 $1770 $325

Hotels

Places Premium class hotels Tourist Class hotels
Tbilisi Marriott Hotel Hotel Sharden or New Kopala
Gudauri Marco Polo Hotel Carpe Diem
Akhaltsikhe Lomisa Hotel Lomisa Hotel
Gymri Nane Hotel Araks Hotel
Dilijan Best Western Paradise Hotel Haghartsin Hotel
Goris Mirhav Hotel Mirhav Hotel
Yeghegnadzor Amrots Hotel Amrots Hotel
Yerevan Paris Hotel or Republica 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 2019

Starting Date Ending Date Availability  
01-May  14-May  AVAILABLE Enquire Now
15-May  28-May AVAILABLE Enquire Now
01-Jun  14-Jun  AVAILABLE Enquire Now
10-Jun  23-Jun  AVAILABLE Enquire Now
15-Jun  28-Jun  AVAILABLE Enquire Now
22-Jun  05-July  AVAILABLE Enquire Now
1-Jul  14-Jul  AVAILABLE Enquire Now
15-Jul  28-Aug  AVAILABLE Enquire Now
27-Jul  09-Aug  AVAILABLE Enquire Now
10-Aug  23-Aug AVAILABLE Enquire Now
20-Aug  02- Sep  AVAILABLE Enquire Now
31- Aug  13-Sep  AVAILABLE Enquire Now
10-Sep  23-Sep  AVAILABLE Enquire Now
20-Sep 03-Oct  AVAILABLE Enquire Now
28-Sep  11-Oct  AVAILABLE Enquire Now
01-Oct  14-Oct  AVAILABLE Enquire Now
15-Oct  28-Oct  AVAILABLE Enquire Now
 

TOUR COST INCLUDES

• All domestic transportation and transfers, mentioned in the itinerary.
• Twin sharing accommodation at hotel mentioned above
• Meals indicated above: Key (B) Breakfast (L) Lunch (D) Dinner
• All the sightseeing tours as described in the itinerary and entrance fees
• English speaking local guides
• Visa letter support

TOUR COST EXCLUDES

• Visa Fees.
• Expenses in hotels such as laundry, telephone and room service, etc.
• Optional activities
• Meals not mention above
• 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.