Grand Caucasus Tour
- Price from:
- 1221 EUR /person
- 00 37410 53 96 09
- 00 37410 53 80 17
- Payment Types:
- Credit Card
- Travellers cheque
- Wire Transfer
- 10 days
- Location Start:
- Location Finish:
- Start time:
- 10.30 am
- End time:
- 06.30 pm
- We Speak:
- Russian, German, Italian, French, English
Last updated: 05/11/2007
A cultural delight as we travel to Caucasus and explore the highlights of this hidden land. From Yerevan and Tbilisi to dramatic Caucasus Mountains, Silk Road sites, wineries and ancient ruins
In the morning meet other group participants and tour leader, brief pre-tour Caucasus region orientation meeting. The day starts with investigating the best of Yerevan : Republic Square, heart of the city. Wander in the narrow streets of the old center with sunlight playing on its pink walls, sample a light snack at the busy outdoor terraces at the Opera Square or pamper your senses in the colours and flavours of open-air fruit bazaars. A cultural showcase not to be missed is Matenadaran, one of the world's oldest repositories of Greek, Persian and Arabic manuscripts. Later in the day, visit Vernisage, the lively arts and crafts market. Featuring everything from exquisite artwork to naive hand-made items, it is a lot of fun to wander in. Transfer to your hotel for rest. In the evening welcome dinner at Mer Gyughe ethnic restaurant where you are entertained by costumed dancers and musicians.
Breakfast at hotel. Today we continue our exploration of the treasures of Caucasus with a visit to the Vatican city of Armenia, Holy Echmiadzin. Experience a fascinating journey through time, descend to the ruins of the pagan sanctuary beneath the altar and pay tribute to the Treasury of Mother Cathedral with striking collection of relics of Christianity. En route we stop at the impressive ruins of Zvartnots Temple, a magnificent cathedral dating back to the VII c. Return to Yerevan, evening free.
Breakfast at hotel. Drive east to the magnificent Temple of the Sun and the legendary Monastery of Spear. Explore the mosaic ancient baths and ruins of the royal palace, immerse yourself in the atmosphere of this mythical place and examine remarkable cross stones carved into sheer rock. Continue to Khosrov Nature Park, a vast reserve founded originally for royal hunt by King Khosrov of the IV c. It now serves a refuge for endangered species including brown bear, wolf, red fox and Bezoar goat. Free time to explore the area. Evening return to Yerevan, transfer to hotel, rest.
Breakfast at hotel and departure from Yerevan. Driving south, we visit the ancient site of Khor Virap, the royal prison where St. Gregory the Illuminator was imprisoned for 13 years. Driving through the village of Areni made famous by its wineries, we stop at the open market, taste wine and fruits. After a drive through the mysterious, red-colored iron rocks of the Gorge of Bamboos we arrive at magnificent Noravank Monastery. This is a place where the monumental beauty of nature serves a prefect frame for man-made treasure. Suggested lunch in a local restaurant housed in a vast cavern and we proceed to one of the most stunning sites of Armenia, Lake Sevan and Silk Road. Highlights of the day include Selim Caravanserai, situated on the ancient Silk Road, romantic Ayrivank Monastery and the Stone Garden. Arrival at your hotel on the beach.
Breakfast at hotel and departure from Sevan. This day takes in some of the less travelled routes of Northern Armenia. The first stop of our journey is the mysterious Kobayr Monastery situated on the edge of a narrow ravine. Superb frescoes and amazing legends make Kobayr one of the most beautiful and secluded sites of Armenia. Later we continue our exploration and admire the jewels in the crown of Northern Armenia, Sanahin and Haghpat Monasteries. The severe and majestic design and the marvellous bas-reliefs justly rank these sites among the celebrated UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Our trip finishes in the small town of Noyemberyan where we spend overnight in a local guesthouse.
Breakfast at hotel. Today we begin our journey of Georgia's fascinating and historical countryside and head for Tbilisi, the vibrant capital of Georgia. Arrival in Tbilisi and check in at the hotel. After rest you will start your tour of old Tbilisi. Best explored on foot your tour includes some of the most colourful sites of this ancient city - Metekhi Temple, Narikala Fortress with a marvellous panoramic view of the city, Sulfur Baths dating back to the time of Arab Khalifs, the Synagogue and Sioni Cathedral. Fine masonry with carved woodworks, arts and crafts workshops and oriental bazaars offer us an insight into the fascinating cultural diversity of Tbilisi. Traditional dinner in an ethnic restaurant where you will treat yourself to an abundance of Georgian hospitality.
Breakfast at hotel. Embark on a journey revealing many secrets of the turbulent history of Georgia. Visit to the ancient capital of Georgia - Mtskheta founded 3000 years ago, Jvari church built to house the robe of Jesus Christ and Svetitskhoveli Cathedral, major pilgrimage sites listed as UNESCO World Heritage sites. Proceed to Gori, the birthplace of Joseph Stalin. Visit the remarkable Stalin Museum re-creating surreal and revealing scenes from the life of the tyrant. A large statue of the "Leader of the People" still dominates the square of Gori. Proceed to visit Uplistsikhe or The Fortress of God, an ancient cave town dating back to I millennium BC. Explore its caves, temples, labyrinth passages and colonnaded streets, all carved out of stone. Wander among the impressive ruins of the amphitheatre, one of the oldest in the world. From Uplistsikhe drive to Bakuriani, a lovely resort situated at the height of 1,800m and surrounded by Caucasus Mountains. Check in at your hotel in Bakuriani, rest.
Breakfast at your hotel and departure from Bakuriani. Arrive in Kazbegi, a lovely town nestled at the base of Caucasus Mountains. Enjoy the wildly beautiful views of Mount Kazbek, one of the six 5,000 m peaks of the Caucasus range where Prometheus was said to be chained. Gergeti Trinity, a remote but enchanting church dramatically sited at the foot of Kazbek, is another cultural showplace. In order to reach the church you will take a winding road uphill through flower-filled meadows enjoying fantastic vistas of the area. You will discover rare stone carvings representing Christian and even older, pagan beliefs. Late evening arrival in Tbilisi.
Breakfast at hotel. Today we head deep into the heart of Kakheti, a fertile region which boasts three hundred years of wine-making. We visit the house of the Duke of Georgia, the Farmers' Market and Tsinandali wine factory where we taste some of the finest red and white wines. Heading for a small village to see a XVII c. winery, the oldest in Georgia, we learn first-hand the local tradition of sampling wine from kvevri, a clay jar kept in the ground. An opportunity to sit down with the owner over a glass of 5 year-old wine and learn a bit more about the real Georgia. Afternoon is yours to explore the area on your own. Late evening back to Tbilisi.
Free day in Tbilisi to relax and enjoy the city at your own pace. Early morning transfer to airport, end of tour.
- Inclusions -
- Accommodation for 10 nights
- Exclusions -
- Visa fees
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