In the world history of mankind, there is no other fact known when at least 2500 years the neighboring peoples and countries were able, over the course of centuries of cohabitation, almost always to come together against a common enemy, to have such close historical and cultural ties. According to Georgian legend, the ancestors of Armenians and Georgians, Hayk (Agios) and Kartlos, are brothers.

Combined tour – Armenia – Georgia

 * On the territory of Armenia, excursions are organized and carried out by our partner  – LLC  “Armenian Travel Bureau”.   www.atb.am

1

Day 1. Arrival

 Arrival to Yerevan. Meeting and transfer to the hotel. Overnight in the hotel in Yerevan.

2

Day 2 Yerevan– Echmiadzin –Zvartnots–Yerevan

Breakfast in the hotel.

Depart for the region of Armavir. Visit the Mother Cathedral of St. Echmiatsin, one of the first Christian churches in the world founded in 301-303 A.D. It is the Holy See of the Armenian Catholicos (Supreme Patriarch) and the center of the Armenian Apostolic Church. Afterwards proceed to visit St. Hripsime church built in the VII c.
Visiting the Echmiadzin museum.
Continue to explore the temple of  Zvartnots(«Celestial Angels») one of the wonders of the 7th century architecture of its time. This majestic temple was built in 652 and its ruins remain as reminder of a masterpiece of medieval Armenian architecture.
BacktoYerevan.
Lunch in a restaurant with Armenian cuisine.
A tour of Yerevan
 city includes stops at Republic Square, Victory Park, Mother Armenia, Cafesjian Center for the Arts, The Cascade, the monument to A.Tamanyan, Opera House, and Tsitsernakaberd Armenian Genocide Memorial.
Dinner in a restaurant with Armenian cuisine.
Overnight in the hotel in Yerevan.

3

Day 3 Yerevan– Garni – Geghard – Yerevan

Breakfast in the hotel.

Visit the Garni temple (III c. B.C – XIII c. A.D.) located on the edge of the picturesque gorge – the summer residence of the Armenian kings. The only remaining pagan temple in Armenia is preserved in the territory of the fortress built in the 1st century A.D. It is a vivid example of Hellenistic culture and was dedicated to the God of Sun Mithra.
Continue to the Monastery of Geghard-Ayrivank situated in a spectacular deep canyon. The monastery is famous for its rock chambers and represents the masterpiece of the Armenian architecture in the XIII c. According to the tradition the holy spear was kept in this monastery brought to Armenia by the Apostle of Thaddeus. The monastic complex is protected as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
Lunch in a restaurant with Armenian cuisine.
Visiting the institute of ancient manuscripts – Matenadaran. Manuscript art which was portable enough to be smuggled out ofharms way, has left the world a legacy of some 30,000 known Armenian manuscripts.
Visit to Vernissage crafts and flea market.
Dinner in a restaurant with Armenian cuisine.
Overnight in the hotel in Yerevan.

4

Day 4 Yerevan– KhorVirap – Noravank–“Old Bridge” winery– Vardenyats pass – Orbelyan caravan-serai – Sevan

Breakfast in the hotel.

Visiting Ararat valley. A visit to KhorVirap Monastery «deep pit». According to Armenian historian Agatangeghos (5th c.) the future first patriarch of Armenian Apostolic Church, GrigorLusavorich was imprisoned in this dungeon for 13 years. The monastery is several hundred meters away from the border between Armenia and Turkey, on the higher, left bank of Araxriver. From here there is a panoramic view of Mount Ararat.
A trip to the monastery Noravank. One of the masterpieces of medieval Armenian architecture – Noravank the religious centre of Syunik province, was built in 13-14c by architects Siranes and Momik and is known for its laced stone ornaments.
Lunch in a restaurant with Armenian cuisine.
ExcursionandArmenianwinetasting in “Old Bridge” winery. 
Built by Prince ChesarOrbelian in 1331, this inn accommodated travelers and their animals as they traversed the Silk Road through the Selim Pass. Restored in the 1950s, this caravanserai has unique decorations and stone carvings.
Proceed to the pearl of Armenia – Lake Sevan. It is the largest lake in the region, situated at about 1900 m above sea level.

Dinner in a restaurant with Armenian cuisine.
Overnight in the hotel in Sevan.

5

Day 5 Sevan– Dilijan - Haghpat

Breakfast in the hotel.

Sevanavank monastery – to visit the monastery of Sevan we have to climb 200 steps (stepsare quite lowand are comfortable to climb).

Visiting Dilijan resort town, also known as “Armenian Switzerland”. 
Batik painting experience.
Lunch in a restaurant with Armenian cuisine.
Visit the architectural complexes of Sanahin and Haghpat (X-XIV cc.) the cultural and religious centers during the reign of the Armenian royal dynasty Kurikids (X-XII cc.).
Dinner in a restaurant with Armenian cuisine.
Overnight in the hotel in Haghpat.

6

Day 6 Haghpat - Sadakhlo - Dmanisi - Kveshi Fortress - Bolnisi - Tbilisi

Breakfast in the hotel.

Transfer to Armenian-Georgian border (Bagratashen).

Visit  the unique fortification of Dmanisi – the most important cultural monument in the Kvemo Kartli region. These are the remains of a big city. People settled here in the early Bronze Age – about 3,000 BC. Excavations on the territory of the settlement began in the 30s of the last century. As soon as archaeologists began to work, the earth began to reveal its secrets layer by layer. But the most amazing find (2001) is the remains of an ancient man. The analysis proved that these are our distant ancestors who first left Africa and colonized Europe. Experts have found that fragments of the jaw and skull belong to a bipedal man, and their age reaches 1.8 million years. Further, many more fragments were discovered and scientists were able to reconstruct the appearance of the so-called Dmanis Homo georgicus.

At the top of the site is an ancient fortress. These are the ruins of a once grandiose building. In some places, the height of buildings today reaches 2.4 – 3 meters. Earlier it was possible to enter the territory through the only gate. The ruins of three towers have been preserved, all of them facing south. The main defense of the fortress is its location. It rises on a high hill, and on both sides there are gorges, which made it practically impregnable and protected the city from invaders. On the territory of the ancient city is Dmanisi’s Sioni – one of the 5 Zion temples in Georgia (VI-VII centuries). In which fragments of ancient paintings are preserved.

Lunch in a restaurant with Georgian cuisine.

Visit to the medieval fortress of Kveshi – built between the 7th-9th centuries, on a low accessible rock. Kveshi fortress represented the royal and princely residence. Until the end of the 18th century, it served as one of the main outposts to deter enemy forces penetrating the region from the south. Here, over the centuries, an important trade road has passed. The entrance to the fortress is a tunnel carved into the rock. There are many traces of antiquity on the territory of the fortress. The most ancient of them are stone stelae of the 7th-8th centuries, in some places decorated with carved ornaments. The fortress is special in that it was a kind of center for meeting Western and Eastern cultures. The surrounding area offers beautiful views.

Visit  the monastery of the Apostles Peter and Paul on Mount Eliya. The monastery has an interesting architecture. Guests can enjoy magnificent views from the amazing observation deck. Views from the monastery walls are shrouded in silence and tranquility. Brotherly cells are located so that any stellar hotel can envy the magnificent panorama. On the terraces, descending in tiers from the monastery complex, vineyards are broken, grafted vines of various species and 90% of the vines are unique species. These are “Shavkapito”, “Chinuri”, “Goruli Mtsvane”, “Kisi” and “Saperavi”. Other breeds that bear fruit in Georgia and have long been tested in the local climate have been vaccinated with them. These vineyards on the terraces have no analogues in the country. If desired, you can organize a tasting of unique monastery wines.

Visit Bolnisi – city with different names: Katarinenfeld, Luxembourg and now – Bolnisi. In past centuries, there were German villages in the Kvemo Kartli region. The German history of Bolnisi began in 1818, when the Germans were evacuated from Swabia. The German settlement was originally called Katarinenfeld. At that time, the city had a clear linear layout, and the main street was called Tifliser-Strasse. In the center was a crossroads, from which a Lutheran temple stood to the south. In 1941, after the outbreak of war, all local Germans were resettled in Siberia or Kazakhstan. The surviving German architecture is not limited only to ground structures. The houses have an unusual shape, which is not typical for Georgian architecture and there is a cellar under each house.

Transfer to Tbilisi.

Dinner in a restaurant with Georgian cuisine.

Overnight in Tbilisi.

7

Day 7 Tbilisi – Mtskheta – Ananuri –Gudauri – Kazbegi – Tbilisi

Breakfast at the hotel.

Mtskheta-Mtianeti is one of the most picturesque and diverse lands in Georgia. It hosts 3500 and 5000 m high snowy peaks of the Greater Caucasus and mountain passes, beautiful gorges, secluded lakes and alpine valleys.

Visit  the city of Mtskheta which is included into the list of Heritage of UNESCO. Mtskheta  is an ancient town of extraordinary importance to the Georgian nation. It was the capital of the eastern Georgian kingdom of Iberia from the 3rd century BC to the 5th century AD. Mtskheta was the site of Georgia’s adoption of Christianity in 334 and remains the headquarters of the Georgian Orthodox Church. Mtskheta is of primary interest to any travelers interested in Georgian history or Orthodox Christianity.

Visits of  Jvari (The Cross) Monastery. The 6th century monastery is on the high mountain, there opens a beautiful view of the city and merge of two rivers Aragvi and the river Mtkvari. It is the culmination of a number of artistic and architectural aspiration in early Christian Georgian architecture. The view from above is amazing.

Visit  of Svetitskhoveli (The Life Giving Pillar) Cathedral, which is included into the list of Heritage of UNESCO. Svetitskhoveli is one of the most sacred places in Georgia and, along with Jvari Monastery, the clear highlight of a trip to Mtskheta. It was founded in 1010, built on the site of Georgia’s first church, and contains the graves of the ancient Georgian kings, including Sidonia, who was said to have been buried holding Christ’s robe.

Visit  of  Samtavro monastery.  According to legend, St. Nino actually lived on this site and prayed within the smaller of its two extant churches. This small church dates from the 4th century. The larger church on this site was built in the 11th century and contains the graves of Mirian, the Georgian king who adopted Christianity, and his wife, Nana.

Our path will run north along the Georgian Military Highway, to the border with Russia. Throughout the route you will be surrounded by dramatic mountain scenery. Eight kilometers from the dam there stands Ananuri castle. The waters of Aragvi rise to the very walls of this magnificent monument of the XVII century. The fortress walls are fortified by two large and several small towers, which offer magnificent views. Inside the fortifications there are two outbuildings and the dome churches, the main church of which is decorated with rich carvings on the facade in the form of a cross and grapes.

Lunch in a restaurant with Georgian cuisine.

Visit of Gudauri. The ski resort is located on the south-facing plateau of The Greater Caucasus Mountain Range in Georgia. The resort is situated in the Stepantsminda District, along the Georgian Military Highway near the Cross Pass, at an elevation of 2,200 meters, above sea level with skiable area enjoying maximum exposure to the sun. The resort offers high quality skiing opportunities. The slopes of Gudauri are completely above the tree line and are best for free-riders and are generally considered to be avalanche-safe. The ski season lasts from December to April. Heliskiing is also available throughout the season.

In the hollow of Kobi a highway connects to the river Tergi, violent temper of which has repeatedly been described by classics and sung by poets. We will go along the shore and 20 minutes later arrive to Stephantsminda settlement, which was called Kazbegi in the years of 1921-2007.

One of the symbols of Georgia,Gergeti Trinity Church  built in the XIV century, with its austere charm and wild beauty of this place have a striking effect on one’s imagination. Far below lies Stephantsminda, while on the opposite side of the gorge there is a steep rock wall of height of more than 4 kilometers. Gergeti Trinity Church is built against the background of the eternal glaciers of Kazbegi– the very same mountains from Greek mythology, where the gods chained Prometheus for stealing fire for people. Its peak whitens at the altitude of 5034 meters, and snow never melts there. Georgian name of Kazbegi is Mkinvartsveri, which means icy peak. The church is a popular waypoint for trekkers in the area, and can be reached by a steep 1-2 hour climb up the mountain, or around 30 minutes by Jeep* up a rough mountain trail.

Return to Tbilisi.

Dinner in a restaurant with Georgian cuisine.

Overnight in Tbilisi.

8

Day 8. Tbilisi – Ujarma – ikalto – Tsinandali – Telavi

Breakfast at the hotel.

During this tour you will discover Kakheti, the main wine region of Georgia. It is considered the cradle of viticulture and winemaking. The hot sun of this region, the fertile land, the green valleys and the hard work of the Georgian farmers have allowed the development of about 500 vine

Udjarma is a fortress-town located between Tbilisi and Telavi. The road there lies through beautiful Gomborinek mountain pass. For a long time it has been hidden from the eyes of tourists, until 2010 when a new road to Telavi passing by the fortress was built. Since then Ujarma has become one of the major attractions and a must-see spot in the bucket list of many tourists. The fortress is one of the most important Georgian architectural monuments of Early Middle Ages, due to its strategic location and value in the past.

Old legends continue to excite our imagination at the medieval academy of Ikalto. Late in the 6th century Saint Zenon, one of the “Syrian Fathers”, founded the Ikalto Monastery 7-8 km west of the town Telavi. The Monastery was famous as one of the most significant cultural-scholastic centers of Kakheti as well as of the whole of Georgia because of the Spiritual Academy in which outstanding Georgian philosopher Arsen Ikaltoeli used to live and work. Archaeological excavations revealed numerous workshops, wine-cellars, a smithy, store-rooms and other household rooms grouped around the Academy building.  Educational center in Eastern Georgia raised the greatest Georgian Poet of the XII century Shota Rustaveli and had the largest winery in those days.

Visit of Tsinandali. At this point begins the second, European life of the Georgian wine. Prominent figure of the XIX century, Prince Chavchavadze was first to produce bottled wine in his estate by European technology and export it abroad.The history of the Chavchavadze family and their ancestral estate is closely tied with the history of Georgia. Today there is a museum busy with tourists from all over the world. The interior of the 19h century has almost been fully restored.  The museum has the working desk of the poet, the first grand piano, personal things and books.

Particularly noteworthy backyard winery – “Marani“. In terms of area, it is approximately equal to the entire manor’s house, and in its basements there is a unique collection of wines – a wine cellar with 20 thousand bottles. The collection begins in 1814 and includes such legendary wines of the nineteenth century, as Tsinandali, Saperavi, Chateau Lafite, Chateau Ikem, etc. In the vineyards of the Tsinandal estate there are 11 varieties of Georgian grapes. The unique vineyard is located between two ravines and a forest, and the so-called terroir in winemaking is really special here. “. The program includes wine tasting.

The wine company “SHUMI” located in the historic center of the Georgian wine village  Tsinandali. “SHUMI” has vineyards in all major micro-vineyards of Georgia. The assortment of the company includes red and white wines, dry and semi-sweet wines, organic (bio) wine, wine spirits, “Chacha” (grappa), etc. A private wine museum, with 294 unique native Georgian and 92 foreign vineyard species, is also home to a museum of ancient Georgian wine-making facilities and other exhibitors

Lunch in a restaurant with Georgian cuisine.

Telavi  is the main city and administrative center of Georgia’s eastern province of Kakheti The first archaeological findings from Telavi date back to the Bronze Age. One of the earliest surviving accounts of Telavi is from the 2nd century AD, by Greek geographer Claudius Ptolemaeus, who mentions the name Teleda (a reference to Telavi). Telavi began to transform into a fairly important and large political and administrative center in the 8th century AD.

Batonis Tsikhe citadel is located in Telavi town. It served as the residence of Kakhetian Kings of the 17-18th centuries.The castle encloses two churches, the ruins of the 11th century royal baths, the pantheon and the Persian style Palace of King Erekle II. At present there is established house-museum of King Erekle II, the Ethnographic Museum and the Picture Gallery.  The museum houses King Erekle’s belongings and along with them: numismatic collection, early medieval sarcophagus, late medieval armor, and collections of XVII-XIX c.c. cooper household objects, weapons, Khevsuretian (East Georgian mountainous region) clothes. It is said that King Erekle II was born and died in the south-east part of the castle.

Dinner in a restaurant with Georgian cuisine.

Overnight in Telavi.

9

Day 9. Telavi - Gremi – Nekresi – Kvareli lake – Kindzmarauli – Khareba – Tbilisi

Breakfast at the hotel.

Trip to one of the biggest regions of Georgia – Kakheti, which is a winemaking Cradle. Kakheti is the most important region for winemaking, characterized by its unique vine grape varieties, unusually well suited climate, topography, and centuries of exceptional winemaking experience.

Gremi -visit of the lock Rattle which represents an architectural complex constructed in in 1565, and consists of church of Archangels Mikhail and Gabriel, a belltower, the three-storyed palace and a wine cellar (marani). The complex is surrounded with a wall, with towers and embrasures where the remains of the secret underpass conducting to the river still remaines. Le complexe est ce qui a survécu d’une fois la ville prospérant de Gremi et est localisé à l’est du village actuel du même nom. Gremi avait l’habitude d’être pas seulement politique, mais aussi le centre économique et culturel de Kakheti.

Nekresi Monastery complex is standing on a hill and facing a beautiful view of the Alazani Valley. Although it was founded by St. Abibo Nekreseli, one of the Thirteen Syrian monks who came to Georgia in the 6th century to strengthen Christian faith but already in the 4th century one of the first Christian churches was built here. Thus Nekresi Monastery ensemble includes several structures built in different times.

Lunch in a restaurant with Georgian cuisine.

Kvareli Lake Resort is rather comfortable for the adults as well as for the children. Here you can find all conditions to enjoy peace, nature, silence and fresh air. The Lake became a leisure and recreational center. From one side it is surrounded by hillocks covered with deciduous forests, from the other side there is a recreational park with attractions and playgrounds and very beautiful amphitheater; lakeside is accompanied by an alley with several cafes and restaurants.

Visit to the “Kindzmarauli” winery.  He is the main producer of famous wine brands. The company owns three-quarters of the Kindzmarauli micro-zone vineyards, several wine stores and wine shops, a restaurant and a tasting room on the plant’s territory. Wine “Kindzmarauli” wanders naturally, but the process is interrupted before it is completed, cooling the container with juice. Therefore, it retains the natural sweetness and aroma of Saperavi grapes, unlike other semi-sweet wines, to which sugar is added. In addition to Kindzmarauli, other well-known brands of Georgian wine, Makuzani, Kvareli, and rare semi-sweet Kisi are made here using European technology. In the assortment there are cognacs “Kvareli”, “Gremi”, “Eniseli” aged up to 23 years. The program includes wine tasting.

Trip to winery of “Khareba” who owns the biggest cellar in Georgia made in the Caucasian spine which extents from 8 km. Gvirabi (tunnel ) is carved in the rock of the Caucasus Mountain Range. Nowadays, it is the winery “Khareba” cellar, used to age wine. In 2011, special tour facilities were created around the wine tunnel: a big recreational park, which includes the river and old Qvevries, as well as a Georgian water mill, traditional Georgian bakery “Tone”, a Chacha (grappa) distilling facility, a traditional Georgian marani (wine cellar) with the “Satsnakheli” (Georgian traditional wooden grape press) and other cultural sites. The programme includes wine tasting for more than 30 varieties of the best wines produced by winery “Khareba”.

Return to Tbilisi.

Dinner in a restaurant with Georgian cuisine.

Overnight in Tbilisi.

10

Day 10. Tbilisi

Breakfast at the hotel.

We will visit the Old Tbilisi.  Established more than 1500 years ago it is known that the first settlers arrived much earlier. The course of its history has been hard and never smooth. Tbilisi is a multicultural city. It is the home for more than 100 different ethnic groups. The architecture in the city is a mixture of local (Georgian), with strong influences of Byzantine, European/Russian (neo-classical), and Middle Eastern architectural styles. Tbilisi has a great number of important landmarks and sightseeing locations: churches, museums, and parks.

Visiting one of the symbols of Tbilisi. Sameba (Holy Trinity Cathedral) is the main cathedral of the Georgian Orthodox Church. Sameba is one of the main sacred places for Georgians. It is one of the highest churches in Europe with the height of 101 meters. It is also a unique building, the catherdral is build on top of another temple (Lower Church). Sameba is surrounded by a garden with beautiful flowers. There is a small pond with swans and ducks in the garden. And in the evening, this place is so lighted up that the church resembles fire, rushed to the sky.

You will visit the oldest and the most important temple in Tbilisi.  Metekhi Church is erected on the cliff, overlooking the Mtkvari River. There is a statue of King Vakhtang Gorgaslani, founder of Tbilisi, in front of the church. The church dates back to the 12th century and has a diverse history, connected with Mongol invasions and political repressions of the Soviet Empire. The colorful Darejani Palace is also situated on the cliff, like the nest of a swallow.

Ascending by cable car to the Narikala Fortress – the heart and soul of Tbilisi. The fortress was established in the 4th century. An old odd masonry of its walls, observation towers and winding narrow paths, all tells about the antiquity of the building. From the many towers you will have a great panorama over the city, the old part as well as the modern part. Just behind Narikala you will find the Botanical Garden with its waterfalls, millions of species of flowers and trees. This is a favorite place to have a family rest or a walk for lovers.

One of the main attractions of Tbilisi is the famous Sulfur baths. Here you can use all kinds of “bath services”, taking a bath and swimming in the water of natural hot sulfur springs. Exactly here Tbilisi started. “Tbili” in Georgian means “hot”. In finding these sources King Gorgasali ordered to build the city here. In time immemorial the magic properties of healing attributed to these sources, but now everyone knows the benefits of sulfur baths.

In the carriages of the funicular you will go up to the mountain Mtatsminda, where in any time of the day you can enjoy great views of Tbilisi. You will have a walk in the Bombora Park (the former name of the park was Stali’s) here you can see the whole city at a glance from the Ferris wheel, try a popular Georgian lemonade “Lagidze Waters” in a variety of flavours.

The tour takes you to Rustaveli Avenue, where attractions such as the Tbilisi Opera and Ballet Theatre, the Parliament, Rustaveli Theatre, different art galleries and cafes will draw your attention and provide a cosmopolitan atmosphere.

Lunch in a restaurant with Georgian cuisine.

The Memorial History of Georgia is a stunning sculpture made by sculptor Zurab Tsereteli consisting of a 30-meter tall tower that depicts kings and queens with Jesus depicted on the central column below them. The monument depicts people and events in the history of Georgia, reflected certain biblical moments. The sheer size of the sculpture catches your eye straight away and as you explore the detailed carvings, you are lost in a world of legends and mythology. However, the view of the Tbilisi sea along with the existing sculpture, is nothing less that beautiful.

Dinner in a restaurant with Georgian cuisine.

Transfer to Tbilisi Airport

 

 

* The cost of the tour is paid at a price established by agreement of the parties.

* Timetables : on request

 

Included in cost:

Airport Transfers;

Transport throughout all round;

Accommodation in the hotel 4* in Yerevan– Ani Plaza  or alike; in Tbilisi –hotel  “Old Tbilisi” or alike ;

Accommodation in the hotel 3+*  in Sevan– Bohemian Resort or alike, in Telavi –hotel  “Old Telavi”  or similar;

Accommodationin the hotel in Haghpat– Qefo hotel 3* or alike

Food along the route;

Professional  guide;

Professional driver;

Entrance fees to museums, historical and cultural centers;

local guides in  museums;

Wine tastings;

Comfortable tourist transport;

Medical insurance;

1 bottle of water without gas per person per day.

Price NOT included:

Flights;

Meals and Drinks not mentioned in the program;

Personal expenses;

Visas to Armenia and Georgia (depending on citizenship. Citizens of the EU, USA and many other countries without a visa).

 

Georgia-Armenia
Yerevan  Armenia
Yerevan  Armenia
Ejmiadzin Cathedral  Armenia
Echmiadzin museum  Armenia
Zvartnots   Armenia
Tsitsernakaberd  Armenia
Garni  Armenia
Gegard  Armenia
Ararat  Armenia
Noravank  Armenia
karavan saray  Armenia
Sevan  Armenia
Dilijan  Armenia
Monastery on Mount Eliya
Dmanisi
Mtskheta
Mtskheta
Mtskheta
Gudauri
Kazbegi
kazbegi
Udjarma
Akhali Shuamta
Shumi
Telavi
Kvareli lak
Old-Tbilisi-narikala-fortress
Tbilisi
Mtatsminda

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