11 DAYS CAUCASUS TOUR : AZERBAIJAN - GEORGIA - ARMENIA
DAY 01 ARRIVAL TO BAKU
Pick-up at the airport. Transfer to the hotel. Check-in at the hotel (registration time: 14:00) Overnight in Baku
DAY 2: BAKU CITY TOUR
Breakfast at the hotel. Proceed for Full Day Baku City Tour. We begin our tour with a panorama of the city, viewed from a height of the Upland Park. The tour covers the central part of Baku showing of the most interesting historical and architectural sites, as well as visiting a favorite walking place for residents and guests - Baku Boulevard. Also, we will visit the "Old Town", there are several dozen historical and architectural monuments are situated in its the territory, including the Palace of the Shirvanshahs, the symbol of Baku - Maiden Tower, places of rest and stay of medieval merchants - Caravansarai. Lunch. We continue our tour by bus to the central part of Baku in order to see the most interesting historical and architectural monuments. Our today's tour ends with a visit to the cultural complex named after Heydar Aliyev. The complex has several exhibitions that can be visited at the choice of the tourist (surcharge). Visit Fire Mountain. Transfer for dinner. Return to the hotel. Overnight in Baku.
DAY 3: BAKU – SHAMAKHA – SHEKI
Breakfast in the hotel. Check out. Drive in the North-West of Azerbaijan. The road to the city of Sheki will pass on one of the most beautiful corners of Azerbaijan at the foot of the Great Caucasus. Visiting Juma Mosque Shamaka. Lunch. Arrival to Sheki, check-in. Rest. We’ll start our Sheki tour from visiting the 18th century Khan's summer palace with magnificent frescos and exquisite stained-glass work. We will visit “Shebeke” workshop where the tourists will meet with local craftsman who will tell about “Shebeke” make process. After we will also visit workshop of Sheki baklava that is popular all over Azerbaijan. Dinner. Overnight in Sheki.
DAY 4: BORDER TO GEORGIA - SIGHNAGHI - TBILISI
Breakfast at the hotel and we will visit Sheki Bazaar where you will be able to buy fruits and souvenirs and see how local people trade and deal. Transfer to Georgian boarder, pass the border formalities, change the guide and driver. Starting exploring Georgia with the land of wine – Kakheti region. First we will visit Sighanghi, “city of love”. Excursion in this beautiful city, visit city fortress walls overlooking Alazany valley with stunning views. Lunch at the local restaurant and wine degustation at local wine cellar with Georgian cheese and bread and get brief information about Georgian wine – making tradition which is reserved by UNESCO intangible list. Drive to Tbilisi – the capital of Georgia. Dinner at the restaurant. Overnight at the hotel.
DAY 5: TBILISI
Breakfast at the hotel. Meeting guide at the hotel reception. Excursion in the capital city of Georgia. Founded by Vakhtang Gorgasali, the Georgian King of Kartli (Iberia) and made into a capital in the 6th century, Tbilisi is a significant industrial, social, and cultural center. Visiting following sights: Tbilisi Sameba Cathedral, the largest cathedral in the Caucasus, Metekhi Church is erected on the cliff, overlooking the Mtkvari River. The colorful Darejani Palace is also situated on the cliff, like the nest of a swallow. The Sulfur Baths are located in Old Tbilisi, on the other side of the river, opposite Darejani Palace. Narikala fortress, established in the fourth century. Lunch at a local restaurant. Then continue tour by visiting Shardeni street with its fashionable, cozy cafes and art galleries. Visit famous Bridge of Peace. Visit Rustaveli Avenue, main street of the city, passing along the attractions, such as Tbilisi Opera and Ballet theatre, Rustaveli Theatre, different art galleries and cafes. Dinner at the restaurant. Transfer and overnight in Tbilisi.
DAY 6: SADAKHLO – HAGHPAT – SANAHIN - YEREVAN
Reaching the Armenia-Georgia border, you will meet your guide and drive to Alaverdi to have local tasteful lunch. Then you will head to the amazing Haghpat and Sanahin Monasteries listed as UNESCO Cultural Heritage. Both monasteries were built in the 10th century and represent the medieval Armenian religious architecture. Drive to Yerevan. Overnight at the hotel in Yerevan.
DAY 7: GARNI – GEGHARD – YEREVAN
After breakfast at the hotel, you will meet your guide and start a city tour in Yerevan. During the city tour, you will see the most beautiful sights of the capital, like The Republic Square, where you may see the stone carpet right in the middle, hiding history of 3000 years underneath. Directly from the Republic Square opens the Northern Avenue, which represents the modern part of the city, linking the Republic Square with Freedom Square. The huge building of the Opera and Ballet Theatre is located here. Afterwards you will admire the enchanting Cascade Monument and Mother Armenia Monument. Also, you will visit the Genocide memorial to get closer to one of the saddest pages of the Armenian history. Afterwards, you will drive to the only preserved Pagan Temple in the whole Caucasus area Garni (1st century). You will continue your way to Geghard Monastery, part of which was carved right inside the cliff in the 4th century. During your lunch you will participate in a master class of baking Armenian traditional bread “Lavash”. Geghard is in the list of UNESCO Heritage Drive back to Yerevan. Overnight in Yerevan.
DAY 8: YEREVAN – KHOR VIRAP – ECHMIADZIN – ZVARTNOTS – YEREVAN
After breakfast at the hotel, head to the region Ararat to visit Khor Virap, situated close-by the river Araks. The importance of this monastery is connected with the first Armenian Catholicos Gregori Illuminator who made Christianity the state religion. Then the road will take us to Echmiadzin – the mother church of the Armenian Apostolic Church and the holy seat of the Supreme Patriarch-the Catholicos. Echmiadzin Cathedral was constructed in 303, and is one of the unique architectural constructions of the IV century. On the way back we will visit the ruins of Zvartnots. The temple was constructed in the VII century and destroyed by powerful earthquake in the X century. Both Zvartnots temple and Echmiadzin Cathedral are included on the UNESCO Cultural Heritage list. Overnight in Yerevan.
DAY 9: YEREVAN – SEVANAVANK – DILIJAN – GOSHAVANK - SADAKHLO
After breakfast at the hotel, we will drive to the lake Sevan, which is the second highest freshwater lake in the world (about 2000 meters above the sea level). Being endowed with incomparable beauty, Sevan has turned into one of the main tourist attractions of Armenia. Reaching the peninsula of Sevan, we will climb the stairs to Sevanavank Monastery, founded by Gregory Illuminator in 305 and enjoy the view to the blue-eyed lake from above the hill. Afterwards, we will head to Dilijan, also known as “Armenian Switzerland” due to its fabulous nature, surrounded by dense forests and rocky mountains. Here we will visit Goshavank Monastery, situated in Gosh village on a green hill. The monastery was founded in the 12th century and used to be an educational center. You will find a unique Khachkar (cross-stone) under the wall of the church, which was created with old simple instruments. You will be enchanted by the amazing construction of the monastery and the stunning nature of Dilijan. After a tour in this wonderful area, you will be transported to the Armenia-Georgia border to continue your trip. Transfer to Tbilisi, have a dinner and overnight at the hotel.
DAY 10: TBILISI – ANANURI – KAZBEGI – GUDAURI
Breakfast at the hotel. Meeting guide at the hotel reception. Today we drive to Kazbegi, northern part of the country and mountain region of the country and Georgian ski resort. On the way, we pass Ananuri Castle and Jinvali water reservoir of amazing beauty. Stop upon request. Lunch at a local restaurant. Passing Pasanauri village and along the Aragvi River and picturesque landscapes arrive in Gudauri. Then transfer to Kazbegi (about 40km from Gudauri). Driving along the Tergi River will bring us to Stepantsminda – the main town in the region. From centre, (if the weather permits us) we drive through beautiful valleys and woodlands to visit Gergeti Trinity Church located on the hill at 2170m. You may observe one of the highest glaciers in the Caucasus – Mt Kazbegi (5047m). Drive back to Gudauri, dinner and overnight at the hotel.
DAY 11: GUDAURI – GORI – UPLISTSIKHE - TBILISI
Breakfast at the hotel. Then drive to Gori. The city was founded by one of the greatest kings of Georgia, David the Builder (1089–1125). Visit Joseph Stalin Museum in here. Lunch at a local restaurant. Afterwards drive to visit Uplistsikhe, "the lord's fortress", which is an ancient rock-hewn town in eastern Georgia. Built on a high rocky left bank of Mtkvari River, it contains various structures dating from the 2nd ML BC to the Late Middle Ages, and is notable for the unique combination of various styles of rock-cut cultures. Drive back to Tbilisi. Transfer to Georgian restaurant and have a dinner with folk – show.
DAY 12: TBILISI - HOME
Breakfast at the hotel. According to the flight details transfer to the airport. Our services end here…