Armenia & Georgia

Length: 12 days/11 nights
Start and end point: Yerevan - Tbilisi
Best season: June - the end of September

 

 

 

 

learn more of history, culture, traditions and habits of these two nations, visiting Armenia and Georgia

 

 

ARMENIA

DAY 1. ARRIVAL - YEREVAN SIGHTSEENG TOUR

Arrival in Yerevan at Zvartnots Airport.

Passport control, issuing of visas.

Check  in to Hotel.

After some rest you will have an excursion around Yerevan . You will visit The State Museum of Armenian History. The State Museum of Armenian History and the National Gallery of Armenia are situated together at Republic Square in the center of the city. With their extensive collections of artwork and historical artifacts, the Museum and Gallery can give visitors a good general understanding of the history and culture of Armenian nation.

Free evening.

 

DAY 2. YEREVAN SIGHTSEENG TOUR

Visit the Erebuni  Fortress and museum (782 BC). Then, you will have an opportunity to observe the city from the height of the Cascade.

Matenadaran. The Matenadaran’s collection of about 17,000 manuscripts includes almost all the areas of ancient and medieval Armenian culture and sciences - history, geography, grammar, philosophy, law, medicine, mathematics, cosmography, theory of calendar, alchemy, chemistry, translations, literature, art history, miniature, music and theatre, as well as manuscripts in Arabic, Persian, Greek, Syrian, Latin, Ethiopian, Indian, Japanese and other languages. There are many originals, lost in their mother languages and known only by their Armenian translations. The history of the Matenadaran dates back the creation of the Armenian alphabet in

405 AD.

Then, you will tour the Ararat Brandy factory , complete with a tasting session.

DAY 3. YEREVAN KHOR VIRAP - NORAVANK MONASTERY – ARENI WINERY

Khor Virap (4-17century) is the legendary site where king Trdat 3 imprisoned Saint Gregory the Illuminator in an underground cell for 13 years, for preaching Christianity. When King Trdat III was inflicted with madness and then cured by Saint Gregory, he converted to Christianity, and in 301 AD established Armenia as the first Christian nation. Khor Virap is a major place of pilgrimage for Armenians from all over the World, and visitors can still descend into the dungeon where Saint Gregory was held captive. - Then, you will visit the Monastery of Noravank, with beautiful stone crosses (“khachkhars” in Armenian). This 13th century monastery has been completely renovated and was reopened in 1999. The surrounding cliffs offer a spectacular backdrop of mineral colors reflected from the sun. Lunch in a village house.

After lunch, you will visit Areni winery complete with tasting. Return to Yerevan.

 

DAY 4. YEREVAN - ECHMIADZIN - PAGAN TEMPLE OF GARNI - MONASTERY OF GEGHARD

Visit the Echmiadzin Cathedral, the most ancient Christian temple in Armenia and the Holy See of the Armenian Apostolic Church. You will visit the underground site of the pagan temple upon which the present cathedral stands. You will also visit the Museum. Churches St. Gayane and St. Hripsime.- Then, your trip will continue to Garni - The pagan temple is an outstanding monument of Hellenistic culture in Armenia. The temple was built in the second half of the 1st century BC. In 1679, it was destroyed by an earthquake. In 1975 the temple was restored. Geghard - The names comes from the legendary lance used to pierce the body of Christ, which was kept here for centuries. Though the exact date of its foundation is unknown. The present complex was constructed in the middle of 13th century. The main church Katoghike is one of the oldest buildings in the complex. Return to Yerevan.

 

DAY 5. YEREVAN - LAKE SEVAN - DILIJAN

No trip to Armenia is complete without a visit to Lake Sevan, one of the largest and highest altitude lakes in Eurasia at about 1900 meters above the sea level. At lake Sevan,  you will visit Hairavank Monastery (9-12 cc).

The tour will continue to Dilijan, one of the main resort in Armenia, which is surrounded by towns a temperate forest.  Many wild berries and fruit trees are found here. - Lunch in a local restaurant.

After lunch, you will visit the Haghartsin Monastery (12-13cc).

Return to Yerevan.

DAY 6. SANAHIN MONASTERY - HAGHPAT MONASTERY - GEORGIA BORDER - TBILISI

Tour of Lori Province. Lori is located in the northern part of Armenia, Lori is the largest province of Armenia. Its capital is Vanadzor . Surrounded by mountains, Lori has a striking beauty, with contrasts of dramatic gorges and forested hills.

First, you will visit the medieval Monastery of Sanahin (12th century) UNESCO World Heritage site comprised of several churches and chapels.

Another UNESCO World Heritage site in Lori province, which you will visit, is the monastic Complex of Haghpat (10-13 cc). Lunch, you will taste the most delicious  khorovats. Your tour will continue to the Armenian-Georgian border, Sadakhlo. There you will say goodbye to the Armenian guide and driver, and meet the Georgian guide and driver.

Transfer to the capital city of Georgia Tbilisi city. Dinner at a restaurant with traditional Georgian cuisine.

Check in to hotel.

 

GEORGIA

DAY 7. TBILISI - MTSKHETA - GUDAURI

Trip to the ancient capital and religious center of Georgia - Mtskheta. Here, you will visit the cross-domed church of Jvari (6-19 cc). Jvari is a masterpiece of the early medieval period. It stands on a mountain opposite the ancient city of Mtskheta. St. Nino erected the first wooden cross at the site. Its pedestal can still be seen in the center of the church. This example of classic tetra conch design, strikes visitors with its grandeur and integrity. The interior, once decorated with mosaics, is rather bare today, but a spectacular view opens from the church, witch is seen from far away, equally well from all directions.

Then, you will visit the Svetitskhoveli cathedral (UNESCO World Heritage Site) (11th century) - which may be translated as “the life - giving pillar”, the main church of Mtskheta and a sacred place where the robe of Christ is kept. An enormous cedar tree grew on the place where Christ’s robe was buried. The place was chosen as a site for the future church. The branches of this magic tree served for construction pillars. This bright example of Georgian renaissance architecture was erected by architect Arsukidze in 11th c., in the place where the first church in Georgia once stood in the 4th c.

Ananuri architectural complex (16-17 cc) - belonged to the house of the Eristavi of Aragvi - a violent local ruler. The characteristic architectural design of the late medieval period includes a fortress, two churches, an old watch tower, prison and civic buildings. Located on the famous Georgian Military Highway, it stood as a guardian to the northern boarders of Georgia. A picturesque view of the reservoir bellow opens from the base of the Ananuri fortress.

Arrival to Gudauri ski resort (19200 meters above the sea level)

Overnight in Gudauri.

 

DAY 8. GUDAURI - KAZBEGI- GUDAURI

A stunning drive from Gudauri along the Tegri River will bring you to Kazbegi  the main town in the region. From Kazbegi, a leisurely 1.5 hour walk up through beautiful valleys and woodlands leads to Gergeti Trinity Church located at 2170 m. Weather permitting, you may catch a glimpse of one of the highest glaciers in the Caucasus -

t.Kazbeg (5047 m). Then drive through the dramatic Dariali Gorge before returning to Gudauri.

Overnight in Gudauri.

 

DAY 9. GUDAURI - KUTAISI - IMERETI - KUTAISI

The Imereti province is referred in to historical sources as Egrisi, Lazika, Colchis and Abkhazeti. It’s situated at 125-300 m. above sea level. Winters here are mild, and summers relatively hot. Upper and lower Imereti is surrounded by the Eastern Likhi Range, the Great Caucasus Range and Meskheti Mountains. To the West of the Likhi Range lies the Rioni Lowland - a land of fertility and abundance, rich in cool springs, green fields, lush forests and delicate, manicured gardens. - Here stands the ancient capital of the kingdom of Colchis - Kutaisi, now the second biggest city of Georgia. Among the important cultural sites of Imereti, you will visit the ruins of the domed Church of Bagrati (10-11 cc). Bagrati church of the Assumption of the Virgin was built by King Bagrat III in Kutaisi, in 1003 AD. It is a marvelous example of domed- church architecture from the high medieval period, noted with impressive examples of stone carvings. The partially ruined cathedral is situated on the top of the hill called Ukimerioni and commands a splendid view of Georgia’s second city Kutaisi. This was an ancient citadel, a royal palace and one of the most important castles from the 6th  to the 17th  cc.

Then, you will visit the cross-domed church of Gelati (12th c.). The  Gelati Complex comprises the churches  the Virgin (the main church),  St. Nicolas, of St. George, and the academy which was the center of cultural and spiritual life. The Gelati Monastery Complex was founded by King Davit the Builder in the 12th c. It is noted by the finest examples of Georgian mural painting. Among them is the only surviving portrait of King David the Builder whose grave can be found at the gateway of the monastery. The giant 12th century mosaic of the Virgin with Child is completely unique.

Dinner and overnight at guesthouse in Kutaisi.

 

DAY 10. KUTAISI - GORI - TBILISI

Tour to Kartli. In  Kartli you will visit the rock-cut town of Uplistsikhe (1st half of 1st mill. BC). Uplistsikhe - meaning “The Fortress of God” is an ancient cave town from the 1st half to the 1st Millennium BC situated on the crossroads of important trade routes. It was a main center of paganism, and comprises a complex of halls, caves, theatres, altars, pagan temples, secret tunnels, prisons, pharmacy passages-streets all carved out of stone over an area of 4 hectares. At its peak of prosperity, the city had a population of 20 000. In 9-10 cc. AD a three nave continue along to basilica was added to the complex.

Then, tour excursion will continue to Gori town. Here, you will visit Joseph Stalin’s House-museum. The museum exhibits re-created surreal and revealing scenes from the life of the dictator and includes unique photos, gifts and furniture. The house where Stalin was born is preserved under a stone canopy nearby. A large statue of the “Leader of the people” stands in the central square.

Return and overnight in Tbilisi.

 

DAY 11. TBILISI SIGHTSEENG TOUR

Tbilisi sightseeing program - the Old and New Towns. 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 minute’s walk. Visit Old Tbilisi from Metekhi Church (13th century), and then walk to the brick-domed Sulphur Baths.From the Baths head up the hill to visit Narikala Fortress (4th century) - one of the oldest fortifications in the city. Afterwards continue to the Synagogue, Sioni Cathedral (6-7 cc) and Anchiskhati Church (6th century). This marks the end of the Old Town. Then visit the stunning treasury of the Georgian Art Museum.

 

DAY 12. DEPARTURE

Transfer from the hotel and departure.


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