The legacy of the Caucasus

8 days / 7 nights

Tour date: every Saturday

Itinerary

TBILISI – MTSKHETA – GORI – UPLISSIKHE – KAKHETIA – KAZBEGI – DILIJAN – SEVAN – YEREVAN – ARARAT – KHOR-VIRAP – ARENI – NOROVANK – GARNI PLANT

Day 1. Meeting at the airport of Tbilisi. Transfer in hotel.
Excursion around Tbilisi. You will visit all the important sights of the Georgian capital: the sulfur baths complex, the Sioni church, the Tbilisi synagogue, the Metekhi cathedral, climb the cable car to the Narikala fortress, stroll through the Tbilisi courtyards and see how ordinary Tbilisiers live, visit the Fir Gorge and admire the Tbilisi waterfall, climb the Mtatsminda mountain and see Tbilisi from a bird’s-eye view. At the end of the tour you will find wine tasting in the wine cellar. Overnight in Tbilisi

Day 2. Mtskheta – Gori – Uplistsikhe
Breakfast. Our tour starts with Uplistsikhe. According to the legends, the city in the rock decided to knock out the great-grandson of Noah himself. We can not say for sure if this version is true, but archaeologists vouch for Uplistsikhe about three thousand years.
Houses and temples in the city were carved in a soft rock towering over the left bank of the Kura. The city remained “alive” until the Middle Ages. For some time, the famous Queen Tamara chose him as her residence. To date, 150 caves and some places of worship of various epochs are preserved from the ancient city. Today, Gori is a small provincial town, but once it had metropolitan status. The city is about a thousand years old. The ruins of a powerful fortress, Gorische, located on a high hill, remind us of its former greatness. From the height of its walls there is a delightful view of the surrounding mountains and the winding ribbon of the Kura. Next we will go to Gori. In the twentieth century, the town became famous without exaggeration to the whole world, as the birthplace of the most controversial leader, Joseph Stalin. Until recently, there was one of the last monuments to the Leader of Peoples on the territory of the former USSR. The monument is no longer there, but the house-museum of Stalin welcomes guests. We will make the last stop in Mtskheta, the main city of the Kingdom of Kartvel, the heart of Georgia. Kartli gave the name to the whole country (Georgia is called Sakartvelo in Georgia), becoming the center of the union of Georgian lands. You will not be able to fully understand Georgia if you do not visit Mtskheta.
Having lost the status of the capital of the state, the city retained the status of the capital of the spiritual. Here is the main Georgian Cathedral Svetitskhoveli, several ancient monastic complexes. In one of them, according to legend, Saint Nina Kappadokii, an enlightener of Georgia, lived. And the other was described in the famous poem by M. Yu. Lermontov “Mtsyri”. The town is woven from antiquities of the early Middle Ages, here each building is a cultural monument, it is not for nothing that Mtskheta is under the protection of UNESCO.

Day 3. Excursion to Kakheti.
City of Love Sighnaghi, Bodbe Monastery, holy spring, dinner at the Kakhetian family with barbecue and a master class in Georgian cuisine with home-made wine tasting and chacha. Manor of Princes Chavchavadze – Tsinandali. Kindzmarauli – wine tasting and a tour of the winery of the same name.

Day 4. Free day in Tbilisi or optional trip to Kazbegi (extra charge)
Breakfast. You will pass almost all the famous Georgian military road from Tbilisi to the border with Russia. The entire trip you will admire from the window magnificent views with stops for photo shoots in the most picturesque places. You visit the Ananuri Fortress, where the inhabitants of Tbilisi took refuge in the Middle Ages during the Persian raids, admire the Zhinval reservoir, drink mineral water, see the Gudauri ski resort and climb jeeps to the foot of Mount Kazbeg, where a fabulous view of its peak opens and visit Gergeti – one of the highest mountain churches in the world. On the way, you will have dinner in the mountain family, where you will get acquainted with the life of the mountain peoples of Georgia and learn how to make khinkali under the guidance of the owner of the house. Return to Tbilisi. Overnight in Tbilisi.

Day 5. Tbilisi – Dilijan (Old District, Haghartsin) – Lake Sevan (Sevanavank) – Yerevan
Breakfast. Transfer to the border with Armenia. Meeting at the border. Drive to the mountain resort Dilijan. It is located high in the mountains (1200-1500m), covered with virgin pine forests. Walk through the old district of Dilijan. The architecture of Dilijan is interesting for its lighter and airy style using wood in the structures and facades of houses. Of interest is Sharambeyan Street, located in the historic district of the old Dilijan with a lot of restored workshops of local artisans, which recreates the spirit of the old city of the XIX century. Inspection of the monastery complex Haghartsin (XIII century). Haghartsin – the most secluded and cut off from the outside world monastery, including a group of monastic buildings, closely adjacent to each other. The monastery unexpectedly appearing among the thick trees creates a fabulous impression of a lost world.
A trip to the mountain lake Sevan – one of the wonders of Armenia. This dazzling blue lake is located high in the mountains. Cold and majestic, it harbors inexplicable beauty. Not without reason many artists choose Sevan as an object of their art. Next transfer to Yerevan. Hotel accommodation and free time to spend the evening in Yerevan. Overnight in Yerevan.

Day 6. Yerevan City Tour: Erebuni Museum, Local Market – Carpet Factory – Legendary Ararat Brandy Factory (Tour and Tasting)
A sightseeing tour of Yerevan, ancient (29 years older than Rome) and at the same time a modern beautiful city with a unique flavor against the backdrop of the majestic biblical Mount Ararat, sparkling with its snow-capped peaks. Excursion to the ruins of the Erebuni fortress, founded by the Urartu king Argishti I in 782 BC. e. and a visit to the Erebuni Museum (1968) with exhibits from the Urartu era. The fortress played an important role in the life of the Armenian state. From the name of the fortress comes the name of the city – Yerevan. Visit the local market. Then visit the carpet-making factory, where many of the most traditional tradi- tions of the Armenian ков ков ков ков ков сохрани cohort have survived; finish A unique opportunity is provided to participate in the process of hand weaving a carpet. A small sightseeing tour of Yerevan, which includes an acquaintance with the city center and its sights: the building of Opera and Ballet, the Parliament and the Residence of the President of the Republic of Armenia, Republic Square, Swan Lake, Cascade. Visit to the world famous Yerevan Brandy Factory “Ararat”, which has been keeping the tradition of producing the legendary brandy since 1887. For 1 hour, visitors are given the opportunity to familiarize themselves with the cognac manufacturing process, with the factory museum, taste different cognac varieties of varying degrees of aging, and also purchase real Armenian cognac in the store directly at the factory. Overnight in Yerevan.

Day 7. Yerevan – Khor Virap – Areni (Cave of the Birds) – Noravank – Yerevan
Breakfast at the hotel. Drive to Ararat valley to Khor Virap church. From here opens a unique panorama of the biblical Mount Ararat glittering with snow-white peaks. There is a sacred place deep under the church: here Gregory the Illuminator spent 13 years in a dungeon imprisoned on the orders of King Trdat for spreading Christianity in Armenia. After his release in 301, Gregory the Illuminator sanctified the Armenian people, and Christianity was adopted in Armenia as the state religion. At the place of imprisonment of Gregory the Illuminator, the church of Khor Virap was built, which became a holy place for the entire Christian world, and Gregory the Illuminator was elevated to the face of the saints and is considered the founder of the Armenian Apostolic Church. The church has an entrance to the dungeon, so it is possible to go down the stairs and inspect the place of imprisonment. Not far from the church are the ruins of the ancient capital of Armenia Artashat, which is one of the few ancient cities built according to a special project. The author of the city plan was the commander of ancient Carthage Hannibal, who fled to Armenia after he lost the war with Rome. A trip to the village of Areni – the cradle of winemaking. Visit to Areni Cave. This cave belongs to the class of clasto-karst caves, as it was formed in limestone conglomerates. Since 2007, archaeological excavations have been carried out here. As a result, materials dating back to 4200-3500 BC were found: plant remains, dishes, grape and apricot stones, woven reed cloth, women’s jewelry, part of the body of a mummified goat, and more. The oldest shoe in the world was found precisely during the archaeological excavations carried out in the village of Areni, Vayots Dzor region. Green shoes are for the right foot; Shoe is small enough; According to European standards, it complies with the current 37 size. He was discovered by the head of a group of archaeologists, a specialist at the University of Ireland Cork Ron Pinhasi. In his opinion, greens were needed to support the shape of the shoe. Laboratory tests have determined that the oldest shoe has a history of 5637-5387 years. A few years ago, a place adapted for wine production was discovered in the Cave of the Birds. This is the oldest winery in the world has a 5000-5500-year history. A trip to the monastery complex Noravank (XIII-XV centuries), which is an outstanding monument of medieval architecture and a major religious and cultural center. Located among the bizarre sheer red rocks on the ledge of a winding gorge, it is an extraordinary spectacle in its beauty. The oldest monument of Noravank is the Surb Karapet church (IX-X c.). To the north of it in the XIII century. the main temple of the monastery was erected, also dedicated to this saint. The sculptor and architect of it was the famous talented architect Momik. To the north of the main temple is the tomb of the Orbelyan family. The temple is decorated with images of the Virgin and Child, God – the father, the crucifixion of Christ, as well as a large number of cross-stones of openwork. Surb Astvatsatsin (Our Lady) Church located nearby is a highly artistic monument of memorial significance. The first floor served as a tomb, the second – a memorial temple. The western facade of the building is especially beautiful, it is decorated with cantilever stairs leading to the second floor. Return to Yerevan. Overnight in Yerevan.

Day 8. Yerevan – Garni (baked lavash) – Geghard – Yerevan. Transfer to the airport and departure.
Breakfast at the hotel. Excursion to the extraordinarily beautiful pagan temple of the Sun (I century AD) in the village of Garni. Built in the Greek style with a characteristic colonnade on all sides and located on the top of a hill, separated from the mountain ridge by a deep gorge, it is an unusual spectacle in its beauty, which sometimes seems unreal. The fortress of Garni served as the summer residence of the Arshakid royal court. Destroyed by a strong earthquake in 1679, later in 1969-1974. the temple was restored. A part of the wall of the fortress that surrounded the temple was preserved, as well as the ruins of the royal palace and the bathhouse. Interesting is the mosaic floor of the waiting room and the inscription on it: “They worked without getting anything.” There are inscriptions in Greek, from which it follows that the temple was built in 77g. n e. Tsar Trdat I (Arshakid dynasty). The passage to the rarest temple cut out of the rock of St. Gegard (XII – XIII centuries), which means “holy spear” in honor of the spear kept for a long time, which interrupted Christ’s torments on the cross Echmiadzin). The temple is located high in the mountains in the picturesque gorge of the Azat River. This is a masterpiece of Armenian medieval architecture. It is a complex consisting of the main church, two cave churches, as well as tombs. In the first cave temple of the cliff beats a cold spring, which to this day is the object of worship. It is believed that his holy water heals diseases, rejuvenates, gives beauty. Geghard Monastery is included in the UNESCO World Heritage List (2000).
Demonstration of the unique process of baking Armenian bread – pita bread in a tank in a rural house.

Return to Yerevan. Transfer to the airport and departure.

Package price per person at accommodation in number DBL/TWIN:

• Hotel 3* – $630
• Hotel 4* – $845
• Hotel 5* – $1125

Package price per person at accommodation in number SNGL:

• Hotel 3* – $850
• Hotel 4* – $1060
• Hotel 5* – $1680

The price includes:

Accommodation in hotels in Tbilisi and Yerevan;
Breakfast
Transfers
English-speaking guide
Wine degustation in Tbilisi and Kindzmarauli, Areni
Master class on baking pita in Garni;
Excursion to the legendary Ararat brandy factory and tasting;
All entrance tickets
Water in the bus
Good mood!

Children on an occasional seat of 6-12 years – 50% discount
Children on an occasional seat under 6 years – FREE
Children on the main place under 12 years – 50% discount

Дополнительно оплачивается:

- Авиаперелет
- Раннее заселение/поздний выезд в/из отеля
- Организация дополнительного питания
- Дополнительная экскурсионная программа
- Сим карты местных мобильных операторов (по запросу выдается при прилете в аэропорт Тбилиси)

The price doesn’t include:

- Flight
- Early check-in / late check-out to and from the hotel
- Organization of additional food
- Additional excursion program
- Sim cards of local mobile operators (upon request issued upon arrival at Tbilisi airport).