ARRIVAL IN YEREVAN
Scheduled flight to Yerevan. Transfer to the centrally located hotel and immediate check-in for the further 5 nights.
YEREVAN – CAPITAL OF ARMENIA
After the late breakfast we take an orientation tour of the city with the following visits:
– Obelisk with the best city view
– Erebuni Fortress, a Urartean birth certificate of the city from the 8th century BC
– Cascade, an enormous staircase complex made of light travertine stone with the exhibition rooms, which stretches up a mountain slope in the center.
Depending on the weather, you can enjoy a wonderful view of the city with the mountain Ararat in the background.
Break in cozy cafes and/or visit the exhibition rooms of the Cafesjian art center. Walk from the Cascade through the opera house and North Avenue to the Republic Square. Welcome dinner in the typical Armenian restaurant. Overnight in Yerevan.
YEREVAN – ZVARTNOTS – ETCHMIADZIN – YEREVAN (60 KM.)
Visit the Tsitsernakaberd genocide memorial. Drive to the main cathedral of the Armenian Apostolic Church in Etchmiadzin. Typical lunch in a garden restaurant. Then visit the partially restored ruins of Zvartnots Church, a monumental round church from the 7th century. Finally, we visit a Duduk master who introduces us to the secrets and sounds of the Armenian flute. Then, free time for your activities and overnight stays in Yerevan.
IN THE SHADOW OF THE HOLY MOUNTAIN ARARAT & WINE REGION ARENI
YEREVAN- KHOR VIRAP- ARENI – NORAVANK – YEREVAN (280 KM.)
Drive in the Ararat Plain to the most important place of pilgrimage in Armenia, the restored Khor Virap monastery from the 4th to 17th centuries. Gregory the Illuminator, who was imprisoned in a deep pit for 15 years before becoming a missionary to Armenia. From there you have a unique view of the sacred mountain of the Armenians, the Ararat (5165 m). Continue to the Vayots-Dzor wine region and visit the oldest scientifically dated finds of wine production in the Areni-1 cave.
Delicious lunch with a hospitable farming family and tasting of homemade wines and brandies from the regional wine varieties.
Then drive to one of the most beautiful monasteries in Armenia, Noravank Monastery, located in complete solitude and the seat of the Bishops of Syunik from 12th to 14th centuries. Wine tasting of well-known regional Areni wines (optional). Return to Yerevan and free time for your activities. Overnight in Yerevan.
CULTURAL LANDSCAPE OF ARMENIA
YEREVAN- GEGHARD – GARNI – YEREVAN (90 km.)
Drive to Geghard (UNESCO World Heritage Site) to visit the end of a gorge of the cave monastery, from the 12th/13th century, which is one of the most beautiful monasteries in the Caucasus. In an acoustic rock room, we enjoy Armenian songs from a quintet. Excursion to Garni, the former summer residence of the Armenian kings and a Hellenistic temple from the 1st century that has been preserved. Typical lunch in the country garden, where Armenian flatbread Lavash is baked in the tandoor. Return to Yerevan and visit the scientific library Matenadaran, which exhibits a valuable collection of ancient Armenian manuscripts, the oldest one dates from the 5th century.
Finally, visit the famous ARARAT cognac factory with a museum tour and tasting. Free time for your activities. Overnight in Yerevan.
WORLD CULTURAL HERITAGE OF NORTH ARMENIA & CAPITAL OF GEORGIA
YEREVAN- LAKE SEVAN- HAGHPAT – SADAKHLO (BORDER) – TBILISI (300KM.)
Drive to Lake Sevan, the “blue pearl of Armenia” and located at 1950 m, one of the largest high mountain lakes in Europe. Visit the Sevan Church from the 9th century, picturesquely situated on a peninsula and accessible via 230 basalt steps. Continuing along the winding monastery road to the monastery complex of Haghpat from the 11th to 13th centuries, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the rare Redeemer cross-stones depicting the crucifixion north. The border crossing at Sadakhlo around 5:30 p.m. Continuation to the Georgian capital Tbilisi and hotel accommodation for another 5 nights. Dinner and overnight in Tbilisi.
TBILISI – CAPITAL OF GEORGIA
Visit the oldest monuments and most modern sights in the old town, such as Metechi Church (13th century), Old Sulfur Baths, Sioni Cathedral (13th century) and Anchischati Church (6th century), the oldest church in Tbilisi. Lunch in a traditional restaurant. After visiting the old town, drive through Rustaveli and Aghmashenebeli streets. Free time for your activities. Overnight in Tbilisi.
THE GREAT CAUCASUS
TBILISI – ANANURI – STEPANTSMINDA – TBILISI (360KM)
Drive the Georgian military road between the mountains of the Greater Caucasus. On the way, visit the beautiful fortified church – Ananuri (17th century), which is located in the Jinwali reservoir. We reach the village of Stephantsminda via the Kreuzpass (2395m). In the village, we visit a local family, who tells us the secrets of Georgian delicacies. Then it goes to the Holy Trinity Church, which towers at 2170m. If the weather is good, you can enjoy a fantastic view of the highest glacier in the Caucasus, Kazbek, (5047m) up here. Return and overnight at the hotel in Tbilisi.
TBILISI – BODBE – SIGNAGI – TSINANDALI – TBILISI (340KM)
Today we visit the Kakheti wine region. We are the first to visit Bodbe Nunnery, the grave church of the Apostle of Georgia. Visit the historic town of Signagi with the beautiful view of the Caucasian mountains and the side that the Alazani valley offers. Onward journey to the summer residence of the Georgian prince and poet, Alexander Tschavtschavadze, who was the godchild of the Russian tsarina Catherine II. Visit a wine cellar where the traditional winemaking method is explained. Early dinner with Kachetin wine and folk songs (live). Return to Tbilisi and free time. Overnight in Tbilisi.
RELIGIOUS CENTER OF GEORGIA
TBILISI – MTSKHETA – TBILISI (60 KM)
Today we come to the old capital and religious center of Georgia Mtskheta. Georgia Mtskheta. Here we visit two Unesco monuments: Svetitskhoveli (XIth century), which for several centuries served as the coronation and burial church of the Georgian kings and Djvari Church (VIth century), a perfectly preserved monument of early Georgian architecture that gives us a wonderful view of the City of Mtskheta and the mouth of two rivers are offered. Return to Tbilisi and visit the National Museum. Farewell dinner in a traditional restaurant. Overnight in Tbilisi.
RELIGIOUS CENTER OF GEORGIA
Airport transfer and help with exit formalities.
SERVICES IN ARMENIA AND GEORGIA
- Overnight stays in good hotels of the upper class:
- 5 nights in good 3-5 star hotels in Yerevan (Armenia)
- 5 nights in good 3-5 star hotels in Tbilisi (Georgia)
- Meals in Armenia: 3x lunch and 1x dinner, e.g. in hotels, in traditional restaurants or with the farmers)
- Meals in Georgia: 2x lunch and 3x dinner, e.g. in hotels, in traditional restaurants or with farmers)
- Transfers and day trips as described in the comfort tour bus (according to the group size)
- Qualified tour guide
- All entrance fees according to the program
- All the program items listed below and visits according to the program
Water in the bus – ½ liter per person a day