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Catholic places of the Caucasus Tours in Georgia » Group tours » Themed tours » Pilgrimage tours » Catholic Places in Georgia
Catholic places of the Caucasus
Tbilisi – Mtskheta – Borjomi – Akhaltsykhe – Vardzia – Armenia: Gyurmi – Arich – Yerevan – Echmiadzin – Zvartsnots – Garni – Gerard –  Matenadaran – Khor Virap – Noravank – Sevan – Dilijan – Sanain – Tbilisi – Kazbegi/Gudauri – Tbilisi – Bodbe – Sighnaghi – Tbilisi (11 days, 10 nights)
     
Catholic places of the Caucasus
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Day 1: Tbilisi
Arrival to Tbilisi. Meet with the representative of the company. Hotel accommodation.
Excursion in the capital of Georgia. The capital of Georgia is unique. It is located on the several mountain hills, on which the old blocks "creep". Tbilisi – is a beautiful river Kura with its picturesque rocky shores that flows across the whole city. "Old Town" – is the historic center of Tbilisi, that is located at the root of Mtatsminda (Holy Mount) mountain. Almost all of the buildings of the Old Town are historical and cultural sites, this part of the city is full of life, here tourists walk alone or in groups, lovers meet near the Clock Tower. This amusing Tower appeared here recently, built by the Puppet Theatre director Rezo Gabriadze. Here artists exhibit their paintings, artisans offer numerous souvenirs there. Basically, there are 2-3 storied houses, built of brick and stone that have a particular Tbilisi architecture, distinguished by narrow streets, galleries and carved wooden balconies. Tbilisi is one of the rare places in the world, where can peacefully exist in the Old Town Orthodox Church, catholic cathedral, synagogue and mosque. During the excursion, visit of Methekhi Church (V c.), Narikala fortress (IV c.), Sioni Cathedral (VI-VII c.), Anchiskhati Basilica of St. Mary, the oldest surviving church, Synaxis of Saint Trinity of the temple complex of Tsminda Sameba – the main Cathedral of Georgian Orthodox Church. Walk on Rustaveli Avenue. Night Tbilisi. Dinner. Overnight in Tbilisi hotel.
      
Catholic places of the Caucasus Catholic places of the Caucasus Catholic places of the Caucasus Catholic places of the Caucasus Catholic places of the Caucasus

Day 2: Tbilisi – Mtskheta – Kutaisi
Breakfast. Attend morning catholic service in Tbilisi (according to the time).  Excursion in ancient capital – Mtskheta – the town-museum, included to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Site. Visit Svetitskhoveli Cathedral (1010-1029), at the basement of which one of the major Christian relics – Lords Tunic is buried, brought in Georgia by Ellious, Jewish citizen of Mtskheta who witnessed crucifixion. This is the burial place of many Georgian kings too. Visit Samtavro Monastery, where the blackberry bush grows, flowers and fruits whole year round. St. Nino – the enlightener of IV century – lived and preached nearby. Wonderworking icon of Iberian Mother of God, wonderworking icon of St. Nino, grave of St. King Mirian and Queen Nana, hallows of St. Abibos Nekreseli, St. Shio Mgvimeli are located inside. Visit Temple-Monastery Jvari (VI c.). Departure to Kutaisi. Excursion in Kutaisi that is 3 thousand years old. Visit Monastery and Academy Gelati (XII c.) founded by the Georgian king David IV the Builder. Gelati is included in the list of world heritage site of UNESCO. Visit Bagrati Cathedral (XI c.). Dinner. Overnight.
Catholic places of the Caucasus Catholic places of the Caucasus Catholic places of the Caucasus Catholic places of the Caucasus Catholic places of the Caucasus

Day 3: Kutaisi – Borjomi – Akhaltsykhe
Breakfast. Visit Borjomi. Taste famous Borjomi water from the spring. Departure to the Akhaltsykhe fortress, the motherland of Sharl Aznavur, the ancient center of Catholicism in Georgia. In the complex, together with Orthodox Church of St. Marina, are placed mosque, catholic church and monastery of Benedictine Sisters, synagogue and Armenian Evangelical church. Hotel accommodation in Akhaltsykhe. Dinner. Overnight.
     
Catholic places of the Caucasus Catholic places of the Caucasus Catholic places of the Caucasus Catholic places of the Caucasus Catholic places of the Caucasus
    
Day 4: Akhaltsykhe – Vardzia – Yerevan
Breakfast. Attend morning  service in the Catholic Church (according to the time). Next, visit Vardzia cave monastery complex (XII- XIII c.) – 19 stored rock town. 900 m along the left bank of Kura river, in the plumb wall of the mountain, around 600 buildings are cut out there – among them churches, chapels, parrocks, pantries, baths, libraries. There are preserved secret passages, remains of plumbing, and irrigation system. Vardzia – is the site of Golden Age. More than thousands of monks lived there, and when being attacked, 20 thousand of people could find shelter there. Departure to Armenia. Pas border (it takes about 30 minutes up to one hour). Change bus and guide. Hotel accommodation in Yerevan. Dinner. Overnight.
     
Catholic places of the Caucasus Catholic places of the Caucasus Catholic places of the Caucasus Catholic places of the Caucasus Catholic places of the Caucasus
  
Day 5: Yerevan – Echmiadzin – Zvartsnots – Yerevan
Breakfast. Excursion in Yerevan. The capital of Armenia Yerevan - is one of the oldest cities in the world. It is of the same age as Babylon and Rome. Year of the foundation of the city is 782 BC – then king Argishti founded the fortress of Erebuni.  The monument to the victims of the 1915 Genocide is located in the park on the hill of the Tsitsernakaberd. Nearby, the obelisk in the form of a pointed forked pyramid is located. In 2001, in Yerevan a magnificent temple of Gregory the Illuminator was built to commemorate the 1700th anniversary of Christianity in Armenia. The church was consecrated by Pope John Paul II at the opening ceremony. During his visit to Armenia, the Holy Father had brought with him the relics of St. Gregory the Illuminator, founder and patron of Armenian Church that is still kept in the church of St. Gregorio Di Napoli.
Departure to the ancient capital of Armenia Vagharshapat (Echmiadzin). Excursion in the Catholicate - residence of the head of the Armenian Apostolic church. Visit main Cathedral of Saint Echmiadzin (St. Echmiadzin 303 A.D.). The name is translated as "The Descent of the Only-begotten" or "place of the descent of Christ". Cathedral was founded at the beginning of the IV c. immediately after the adoption of Christianity by Armenians. According to the legend, the place for the construction of the temple was suggested by Gregory the Illuminator Christos. Visit the Museum of "Treasury of Etchmiadzin". The spearhead that wounded Jesus Christ and many other unique relics and artifacts are kept in the museum. Visit the ruins of unique Zvartnots temple. St. Etchmiadzin and the Temple of Heaven's Vigil Forces – Zvartnots are included in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Next, visit museum of Armenian Genocide and the memorial. 
Visit Armenian Catholic Church. Meet with the representatives of catholic community of Yerevan  according if possible. Dinner in Armenia restaurant. Master-class from chef. Walk in the center of the city. Overnight.
     
Catholic places of the Caucasus Catholic places of the Caucasus Catholic places of the Caucasus Catholic places of the Caucasus Catholic places of the Caucasus
    
Day 6: Yerevan – Garni – Gegard – Materadanan – Yerevan
Breakfast. Excursion in monastery of Gegard carved in the rock (XII-XIII c.). The name "Gegard" means "spear." According to legend, the monastery kept the spear. One of the Roman guards pierced Christ with this spear during the crucifixion. Spearhead is kept in the museum of St. Echmiadzin cathedral. Excursion in the summer residence of Armneian kings – fortress of Garni (III BC-XIII AD) and visit pagan temple of the Sun (I c.) constructed by the king Trdat in 77 AD. Lunch in Armenian village. Return to Yerevan. Visit Research Institute of Ancient Manuscripts – Matenadaran. Its museum operates unique repository of ancient writings and manuscripts (V-XV c.). Visit Yerevan cognac factory and degustation of cognac – “Ararat”. Dinner. Overnight.
     
Catholic places of the Caucasus Catholic places of the Caucasus Catholic places of the Caucasus Catholic places of the Caucasus Catholic places of the Caucasus
    
Day 7: Yerevan – Khor Virap – Noravank – Yerevan
Breakfast. Visit the legendary Khor Virap, dungeons, where St. Gregory the Illuminator was imprisoned for thirteen years. Later, he turned Armenia into the first Christian country in the world (301 AD). Here Pope John Paul II had lit candles during his visit of Armenia. An unforgettable view of the Mount Ararat is waiting for you from the belfry there. Lunch in the cave. Next visit famous Noravank Monastery constructed in XIII c. It is located 122 km away from Yerevan, near the city Ekhednagzor in the gorge of the river Arpa. The gorge is famous for sheer red cliffs towering behind the monastery. There is a double stored church Supr Astvatsatsin with its narrow cantilevered staircases. Noravank was founded in 1205 by Bishop Hovhannes, a former abbot of Vahanabank. Complex consists of church the Surb Karapet (St. John the Baptist), the chapel of Surb Gregory (St. Gregory) with vaulted hall and Surb Astvatsatsin (Holy Mother of God).  Return to Yerevan. Farewell dinner in the amazing Armenian restaurant. Overnight.
    
Day 8: Yerevan – Sevan – Dilijan – Sanain – Border Bagratasheni – Tbilisi
Breakfast. Departure to the blue pearl of Armenia and one of the biggest lakes in the Caucasus region – Lake Sevan (1900 m.). Climb the strairs to the observation deck of Sevanavank monastery with amazing view to the lake. Tour in the monastery. Departure to Dilijan. Museum of Art was recently opened in the city, with the broad exhibition of Russian and Armenian (I. Aivazovsky, Minas Avestyan, etc.) paintings of XIX-XX centuries, Western European paintings of XVII-XIX centuries (Jean-Baptiste Greuze, master of the Correggio range, the Flemish masters of the XVII century. etc.), the artifacts of the archaeological cultures from Tavusha and ethnographic collection too. Excursion in the territory of Sanahin. Sanahin Monastery occupies small area of ??2 hectares. Near main temple – Surb Astvatsatsin of Sanahin there are Amenaprkich church and chapel of St. Gregory (X c.), academy (XI c.), library (1063 AD), gallery (end of X c.), narthex (1181 AD) and bell tower (XIII c.). Cross Georgian-Armenian border at Bagratashen (it takes about 30 minutes – 1 hour). Change of transport and guide. Departure to Tbilisi. Hotel accommodation. Dinner. Overnight.
     
Catholic places of the Caucasus Catholic places of the Caucasus Catholic places of the Caucasus Catholic places of the Caucasus Catholic places of the Caucasus
     
Day 9: Tbilisi – Kazbegi/Gudauri – Tbilisi
Breakfast. In the morning, departure from Tbilisi in the direction of Stepantsminda (Kazbegi). On the way, we visit the picturesque Ananuri fortress (XVI c.), overlooking the Aragvi river and also, attracting visitors with the beauty of Zhinvali reservoir. Leaving behind the ski resort Gudauri (2200 m), enjoy the stunning trip along Tergi River through Cross Pass (2400 m). Visit Stepantsminda (Kazbegi). Excursion in Kazbegi: church of the Holy Trinity of Gergeti (2170 m. above the sea level). With fair weather condition there is a chance to enjoy stunning mountain Kazbegi (5147 m), one of the highest tops of Georgia. Return to Tbilisi. Dinner. Overnight.
     
Day 10: Tbilisi – Bodbe – Sighnaghi – Tbilisi
Breakfast. Departure to the "town of everlasting love" – Sighnaghi. On your way, visit Bodbe village and the monastery complex of St. George and the grave of St. Nino who brought Christianity to Georgia. Excursion in "town of everlasting love"- Sighnaghi located at the top of the ridge overlooking Alazani Valley. Upon request Georgian wine degustation in 300 years old winery where they keep wines in clay vessels underground. Return to Tbilisi. Dinner. Overnight.
    
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Day 11: Tbilisi
Breakfast. Free time according to the flight. Souvenir purchase. Transfer to the airport.

Tour price in Euro p/p:
20+1 25+1 30+1 Surcharge for single occupancy
869 847 799 208
    
Price includes:
  • Hotel accommodation 3*: 5 nights in Tbilisi (Georgia), 1 night in Akhaltsykhe (Georgia), 1 night in Kutaisi (Georgia) and 4 nights in Yerevan standard DBL rooms;
  • Half board: 10 breakfasts and 10 dinners;
  • Degustation of Cognac;
  • Lunch in Armenian village;
  • Lunch in Cave;
  • English talking guide according to the program: one guide in Georgia and one in Armenia;
  • Entrance fees;
  • One group leader free of charge;
  • Transportation according to the program: one bus in Georgia and another in Armenia.
Price does not include:
  • Flight tickets;
  • Personal expenses;
  • Insurance.
 
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