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Georgia - Armenia - Georgia

Tours in Georgia » Group tours » Combined tours » Fascinating Caucasus
Georgia – Armenia – Georgia
Kutaisi – Borjomi – Akhaltsykhe – Vardzia – Yerevan – Echmiadzin – Zvartnots - Garni – Gegard – Khor Virap – Noravank – Sevan – Dilijan – Sanain – Bagratashen – Tbilisi – Mtskheta – Bodbe – Sighnaghi – Kazbegi /Gudauri – Gori – Kutaisi
11 days, 10 nights
Day 1: Kutaisi – Borjomi – Akhaltsykhe
Arrival to Kutaisi. Meeting with the representatives of the agency. Excursion in the ancient city Kutaisi, that is more than 3 thousand years old. Visit Gelati monastery and academy, established by the great Georgian king – David IV the Builder. It is included into the list of World Heritage sites of UNESCO. Visit Bagrati Cathedral. Departure to Borjomi.  Tasting of the worldknown mineral water Borjomi from the spring. 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. Supper. Overnight in Akhaltsykhe.
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Day 2: Akhaltsykhe – Vardzia – Yerevan
Breakfast. Visit Vardzia cave monastery complex (XII- XIII c.) - 19 stored 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 Golden Age. More than thousands of monks lived there, and when being attacked, 20 thousand of people could find shelter there. Departure to Armenia. Cross border (from 30 minutes up to 1 hour). New transport and guide are provided. Hotel accommodation in Yerevan. Supper. Overnight.
Day 3: Yerevan – Echmiadzin – Zvartnots – Matenadaran – 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. The monument consists of 12 pylons arranged in a circle and bowed slightly to the center. Nearby, the 40 m 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.
Departure to the ancient capital of Armenia – Vagarshapat (Echmiadzin). Excursion in the residence of Armenian Catholicos - the head of the Armenian Apostolic Church. Visit Subr Echmiadzin Cathedral (Holy Echmiadzin founded in 303 AD). The name is translated as “the descent of the Only-begotten", i.e. “place of the descent of Christ". Cathedral was founded at the beginning of the IV c., right after the adoption of Christianity by Armenians. According to the legend, a place to build the temple was noted to Gregory the Illuminator by Christ. Visit the museum – Treasure of Echmiadzin. The spearhead wounding Jesus Christ is kept in the museum with many other unique relics and artifacts. Visit the ruins of Zvartnots temple, Holy Echmiadzin and the Temple of Heaven Vigil Forces – Zvartnots that are included into the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Return to Yerevan. Visit Research Institute of Ancient Manuscripts – Matenadaran. Its museum operates unique repository of ancient writings and manuscripts (V-XV c.). Next, tour in the museum of Armenian Genocide and visit memorial of victims. Visit Armenian Catholic Church. Supper. Overnight.
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Day 4: Yerevan – Garni – Gegard – Yerevan
Breakfast. Excursion in monastery 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. Dinner in the local village. Return to Yerevan. Upon request, visit Yerevan cognac factory and degustation of cognac - “Ararat”. Dinner. Overnight.
Day 5: Yerevan – Khor Virap – Noravank – Yerevan
Breakfast. Start your day with a visit to 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). An unforgettable view of Mount Ararat is waiting for you from the belfry there. Dinner in the cave. Our next stop is going to be the 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. Supper. Overnight.
Day 6: Yerevan – Sevan – Dulijan – 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. Aivazovskiy, 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 Sanahin. Sanahin Monastery occupies a 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 the Georgian-Armenian border at Bagratashen (it takes about 30 minutes - 1 hour). Change of transport and guide. Departure to Tbilisi. Hotel accommodation. Supper. Overnight.
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Day 7: Tbilisi – Mtskheta – Tbilisi
Breakfast. 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 round - the - clock full of life, here walk alone or in groups tourists, meet lovers 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. Basically here 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 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.
Next, 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 Georgian 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.).
Return to Tbilisi. Supper. Overnight in Tbilisi hotel.
Day 8: Tbilisi – Bodbe – Sighnaghi – Tbilisi
Breakfast. Departure to the the " city of everlasting love" - Sighnaghi. Visit Monastery complex of St. George and Nino's grave in the village of Bodbe. Excursion in the city of Sighnaghi situated in the top of the hill overlooking Alazani valley. On request - Georgian wine degustation in the historic 300-year old wine cellar, where the wine is stored in the clay jars buried in the ground. Return to Tbilisi. Supper. Overnight.
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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. Supper. Overnight.
Day 10: Tbilisi – Gori – Kutaisi
Breakfast. Departure to Gori. Upon request, visit museum of Stalin. Museum consists of three blocks - museum, house and private railway carriage of Stalin. Departure to Kutaisi. Visit the cave of Prometheus, where we recall the legend of Prometheus. According to the legend, Prometheus was chained on the rock because he gave fire to humanity. Hotel accommodation. Supper. Overnight.
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Day 11: Kutaisi
Breakfast. Free time. Souvenir purchase. Transfer to the airport. Home return.
Tour price in Euro p/p:
Surcharge for single occupancy
Price includes:
  • Hotel accommodation 3*: 4 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 supper and 1 dinner in Armenia;
  • English talking guide according to the program (one guide in Georgia and one in Armenia);
  • Transportation according to the program (one bus in Georgia and another in Armenia) ;
  • Entrance fees according to the program;
  • One group leader free of charge.
Price does not include:
  • Dinners;
  • Georgian wine Degustation in Sighnaghi – 20 € p/p;
  • Cogniac degustatin in factory “Ararat” –  16 € p/p;
  • Visit of Stalin Museum – 10 € p/p;
  • Personal expenses;
  • Insurance.
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