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Christian Caucasus

Tours in Georgia » Group tours » Combined tours » Fascinating Caucasus
Christian Caucasus
During this trip you will have an opportunity to learn more about the culture and history of the first christian countries in the world - Armenia and Georgia, see the spear that pierced Christ's body, the place where the robe of Christ is buried. You will visit cities and churches carved out the rocks, the ancient pagan temples and fortresses. You can enjoy the beauty of local mountains and forests, rivers and lakes, and the hospitality of people that live here. You will feel the atmosphere of the capital and provincial towns, stroll and buy souvenirs made by the craftsmen. You will certainly try delicious national dishes and tasty wines that were produced here for thousands of years.
9 days, 8 nights
Christian Caucasus
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1 day: Armenia - capital Yerevan - Matenadaran museum - St. Echmiadzin Cathedral - Yerevan 
Arrival to 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. On a hill of the Tsitsernakaberd park is located the monument to the victims of the 1915 Genocide. The monument consists of 12 arranged in a circle and bowed slightly to the center pylons. Near is located the 40 m obelisk in the form of a pointed forked pyramid. In 2001, in Yerevan to the 1700th anniversary of Christianity in Armenia was built a magnificent temple of Gregory the Illuminator.
Excursion in the Matenadaran museum. Matenadaran - is a NII and storage of manuscripts (V - XV centuries.), which holds around 17,000 ancient Armenian manuscripts. Then, visit of the religious center of the Armenian Church and the UNESCO World Heritage Site - Holy Echmiadzin Cathedral (founded in 303), that is located in the city center and of total area of 80,000 sq.m. Here are located the Cathedral of Saint Echmiadzin (XVI c), the residence of the Catholicos of all Armenians, a seminary, and more. Cathedral of Saint Echmiadzin -is the oldest Christian church in Armenia. It was founded at the beginning of the IV., right after the adoption of Christianity by Armenians. According to the legend, a place to build the temple was mentioned to Gregory the Illuminator by Christ. We'll go to the museum of the cathedral, that holds rare religious artifacts, and visit the evesong (if it coincides with the time of our visit). Arrival to Erevan. Hotel accommodation. Visit and degustation in the Yerevan brandy factory "Ararat". Dinner. Overnight.
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2 day: Armenia: Erebuni fortress - Garni temple - Gegard monastery - Yerevan
Breakfast. Visit of the Erebuni Fortress, founded in 782 BC by the king of Urartu Argishti (29 years before the foundation of Rome) - this place is considered as the cradle of Yerevan. After that, we will go to the picturesque mountaneus area to the east of Yerevan to fortress complex of Garni (1st century AD). We will visit the only well kept pagan temple in Armenia. Garni - is a unique monument of the Hellenistic period in Armenia. The temple is dedicated to the sun god Mithra, was built in the second half of the I century AD under King Tiridates I, and has remained after the country adopted Christianity, because of the IV century BC to the III century BC castle was the residence of Armenian kings. The fortress is located on a high rocky cliff and is surrounded by deep gorges.
Unique, carved out the rock monastery Gegard (UNESCO World Heritage Site). Gegard - is an ancient monastery, the first buildings of which were built back in the IV. BC The name "Gegard" means "spear." According to legend, the monastery kept spear that crucified Christ was pierced by one of the Roman guards. Spearhead is kept in the museum of St. Etchmiadzin. Dinner. Overnight.

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3 day: Armenia: dungeon Khor Virap - Noravank monastery - mount Ararat - Gyumri
Breakfast. Start your day with a visit to the legendary Khor Virap, dungeons, where for thirteen years St. Gregory the Illuminator was imprisoned, who later turned Armenia into the first Christian country in the world in 301. Here, from the chapel, an unforgettable view of Mount Ararat is waiting for us. Our next stop is going to be the famous Noravank Monastery (XIII-th century), located in the canyon of red rocks - one of the most spectacular scenery in the country. We will have the opportunity to taste the best wines in the local Armenian village.Then we will go to north, past Mount Aragats (the highest point in Armenia) in Gyumri, the second largest city of Armenia, which was a center of Armenian culture in the late 19th and early 20th century. We'll walk through the historic city center (old Alexandroupoli), where one can see many buildings from the 19th century. Hotel accommodation in Gyumri. Dinner. Overnight.

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4 day: Gyumri - Vardzia - Akhaltsykhe - Borjomi
Breakfast. Crossing the the Georgian-Armenian border. Visit of Vardzia cave monastery complex (XII- XIII c.) - 19 stepped rock town. For 900 m along the left bank of Kura river, in the plumb wall of the mountain, around 600 buildings are cut out - churches, chapels, parrocks, pantries, baths, libraries. There preserved secret passages, remains of plumbing, and irrigation system. Vardzia - is the site of the era of Golden Age. More than thousands of monks lived there, and when being attacked, to 20 thousand of people could shelter there. Arrival to recently reconstructed 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 church. Arrival to Kutaisi. On the way to it we'll try the worldknown mineral water Borjomi from the spring. Dinner. Overnight in the hotel in Kutaisi.

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5 day: Kutaisi - Gori - Mtskheta - Tbilisi
Breakfast. Excursion in Kutaisi - the city that has has more than 3 thousand years. Visit of the monastery and academy Gelati (XII c.), established by the great georgian tsar David IV the Builder, included to the UNESCO World Heritage Site List. Overlook of Bagrati Cathedral (XI c.) and "monastery of wish fulfillment" Metsameta. Excursion in the kastr cave of Prometheus, where by the legend he gave the fire to people and because of that he was enchained to the rock. Arrival to Gori. Excursion in the Stalin museum. Museum consists of three blocks - museum, house and railway carriage. Then, excursion in the ancient capital of Georgia - Mtskheta - the town-museum, included to the UNESCO World Heritage Site List. Visit of Svetitskhoveli Cathedral (1010-1029), at the bottom of which is buried one of the major Christian relics Lords chiton, as well as the burial place of many of the Georgian kings. Here is also the part of life-giving pillar. Visit of Samtavro monastery, where year round grow, flower and fruit blackberry bush, near of which in the IV century lived and preached St. Nino- enlightener, the first preacher of Christianity in Georgia. Woderworking icon of Iberian Mother of God, woderworking icon of St. Nino, grave of St. Tsar Merian and Tsarina Nani, hallows of St. Abibos Nekresky, St. Shio Mhvimskoho are placed inside. Visit of the ancient temple - monastery Jvari (VI c.). Arrival to Tbilisi. Hotel accommodation. Dinner. Overnight.
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6 day: Tbilisi
Breakfast. Excursion in Tbilisi. The capital of Georgia is unique.It stands on the several mountain hills, on which "creep" the old blocks. Tbilisi - is a beautiful river Kura with its picturesque rocky shores, that flows across the whole city. Tbilisi is one of the rare places in the world, where can peacefully exist in the Old Town orthodox church, catholic cathedra, synagogue and mosque.
"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 round - the - clock full of life, here walk alone or in groups tourists, meet lovers near the Clock Tower. This amuzing Tower appeared here recently, built by the Puppet Theatre director Rezo Gabriadze. Here artists exhibit their paintings, artisans offer numerous souvenirs.
During the excursion, visit of Mechetian Church ( V c.), Narikala fortress ( IV c.), Sioni Cathedral (VI-VII c.), Anchiskhati Basilica of St Mary, the oldest surviving church, Synaxis of Saint Truinity of the temple complex of Tsminda Sameba - the main Cathedral of Georgian Orthodox Church. Walking tour at the Shota Rustaveli avenue. Dinner. Overnight in the hotel in Tbilisi.

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7 day: Tbilisi - Bodbe - Sighnaghi - Tbilisi
Breakfast. Departure to Sighnaghi. On the way to it, visit the monastery complex of St. George and the grave of St. Nino in the Bodbe village. Excursion in the "town of everlasting love" Sighnaghi. Walk along the ancient town, that is placed at the top of the ridge, overlooking Alazani valley. Currently it was completely restored to its original form.   Optional wine degustation in the 300 years old wine cellar, where the wine is stored in clay jars buried in the ground. Return to Tbilisi. Dinner. Overnight.
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8 day: Tbilisi -  crossing the border at Bagratashen - Sanain - Dilijan - Sevan - Yerevan
Breakfast. Moving to the territory of Armenia. The intersection of the Georgian-Armenian border in Bagratashen. Crossing the border (about 30 minutes - 1 hour). Change of buses and guides. Excursion around the monastery Sanain. Sanain monastery occupies a small, about 2 ha territory in central part of which, around the main temple Sanain - charges of Blessed Virgin - built Amenaprkich church and chapel of St. Gregory (X c.)the building of the Academy (XI c.), the book depository (1063g.) gallery building (end of X century.), vestibule (1181g.) and bell tower (XIII c.). Then, drive to Dilijan.In the city recently was opened Museum of Art,with the broad participation of Russian and Armenian (I.Aivazovskiy, Minas Avestyan, etc.) paintings of the XIX-XX centuries., Western European paintings of the XVII-XIX centuries. (Jean-Baptiste Greuze, master of the Correggio range, the Flemish masters of the XVII century. Etc.) and the artifacts of the archaeological cultures, studied in Tavush, ethnographic collection. A trip to the blue pearl of Armenia and the Caucasus, the largest of the lakes - Lake Sevan (1900m).Climb up the stairs to the observation platform of the monastery of Sevan, with a magnificent view of the lake. Visit of the monastery. Arrival to Yerevan. Hotel accommodation. Dinner. Overnight.
9 day: Yerevan
Breakfast. Depending on departure time, you will have a free time. Buying souvenirs. Transfer to the airport.

Tour price in Euro p/p:
Surcharge for single occupancy
Price includes:
  • Hotel accommodation in 3* stars hotels: 3 nights in Tbilisi (Georgia), 1 night in Kutaisi (Georgia), 3 nights in Yerevan (Armenia), 1 night in Gyumri; standard doubles;
  • H/B: 8 breakfasts and 8 dinners + 1 lunch;
  • Excursions according to the program with guide: one guide in Georgia, another in Armenia;
  • Entrance tickets;
  • Cognac "Ararat" degustation;
  • Transport service according to the program: one bus in Georgia, another in Armenia.
  • One gratis for TL in single room.
Price does not include:
  • Flight;
  • Wine tasting in Sighnaghi (Georgia) - 20 Euro per person
  • Personal expenses.

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