ARMENIA & GEORGIA (SMALL GROUP TOUR)

  
Code AG9D

Price £995 per person
(This tour operates at a minimum of 4 persons)

Mar - Nov only

Departure every 2nd Friday of each month. Group size 4- 12.
Please add £150 per person for a private tour for 2, daily departure.


Price includes : Overland transfers, 4* hotels with daily breakfast, lunches in Armenia and dinners in Georgia, local English speaking guides, entrance tickets.

Price excludes : International flights, other main meals, drinks, optional tours, tipping and any service not specified.

Day 1: Friday departure from the UK

Day 2: Yerevan (-/-/-)
Arrival in Yerevan –Meeting with guide and transfer to your 4* hotel : Imperial Palace or similar.

Day 3: Yerevan City Tour (B/L/-) visit asia - tours to asia visit asia - tours to asia
Breakfast at the hotel. Yerevan sightseeing includes City centre, Republic square, Northern avenue, Swan Lake, State University, City panorama, Mother Armenia Monument, Parliament, President’s Palace, Opera, Sports & Concert Complex. Visit to the Genocide Memorial, dedicated to the Victims of 1915 and the Genocide Museum. Next visit is to Matenadaran (depository for ancient manuscripts, the collection of which is one of the biggest in the world). This outstanding collection includes manuscripts dating from 7th century and is widely appreciated by history and art amateurs and professionals.
The final visit is to Cascade complex, which is considered the modern art centre of Yerevan, with art pieces displayed throughout the whole area: the boulevard and up the stairs, from top of which you can enjoy the panoramic view on the city and Mountain Ararat. Cascade is home to Cafesjan modern art museum. This place becomes even more charming in the evening, when it is full of people, both locals and tourists from all over the world. Enjoy relaxing time in one of the cozy open-air cafes.
Optional: One hour tour to an Armenian brandy factory.

Day 4: Yerevan - Echmiadzin - Zvartnots - Khor Virap - Areni – Noravank - Yerevan (B/L/-) visit asia - tours to asia
Breakfast at the hotel. Visit to Zvartnots (included in the UNESCO World Heritage List (2000)) , a temple of Vigil Forces, built in 641—661 A.D. as Armenia’s main cathedral by the Catholicos Nerses III, is considered one of the architectural wonders and unique example of Armenian architecture of early Christian period. It was damaged by an earthquake in the 10th century.
Тhe ruins of this cathedral still speak about the rare beauty of it. Drive to Etchmiadzin city, the ancient capital of Armenia. Since 4th century, it is the largest religious centre, the residency of Catholicos of All Armenians. Visit to Etchmiadzin Cathedral, one of the ancient churches in the Christian world, also a UNESCO World Heritage. It is the centre of Armenian Apostolic Church founded in 301 A.D. by St. Gregory the Illuminator.
Drive to Ararat valley. Visit to Khor Virap Church – the place of imprisonment of St. Gregory the Illuminator, who stayed here in the small dungeon for 13 years without any food, accused by the Armenian King of preaching Christianity. Khor Virap Church was built on the dungeon and now people have a chance to go down into the dark pit themselves. It is one of the holy places for the Christian world. It is also the best point to enjoy the most spectacular view of the gorgeous biblical mountain Ararat shining with its two white peaks. The hills adjoining Khor Virap were the site of the early Armenian capital - ancient Artashat built by King Artashes I, founder of the Artashesid dynasty, around 180 B.C. It is one of the few ancient towns, built by the special design of the famous Carthaginian general Hannibal. After the defeat in a war against Rome, he found shelter in Armenia...
Drive through the spectacular canyon between the red rocks toward Noravank Monastery (13th c.). On the way visit local winery in Areni village for wine testing. Areni used to be one of the centres of wine production in Armenia. In September 2010, archaeologists discovered a 6,100-year-old winery and wine cellars, a wine press for stomping grapes, fermentation and storage containers, drinking cups, grape vines, skins, and seeds were found. This is the earliest winery and wine cellar found to date.
Drive back to Yerevan.

Day 5: Yerevan - Garni - Geghard - Sevan – Dilijan - Tbilisi (B/L/D) visit asia - tours to asia
Breakfast at the hotel. Depart by road to the only remaining pagan temple in Armenia devoted to the God of Sun – Myrth, in Garni, built in 77AD by King Trdat (Arshakid Dynasty). The temple is Greco-Roman style with characteristic pillars. It stands proudly on a rocky ridge with a deep canyon presenting a beautiful view. The temple was a summer residence for Arshakid dynasty. Visit the ruins of Royal Palace and Royal bath-house nearby. Canyon of Garni - magnificent and outstanding scene which creates the image of falling crags. It obtained the name "Symphony of Stones" due to its view. The fantastic landscape of Garni canyon shakes the human imagination. Enjoy a family hosted lunch in a village house after watching the process of making 'Lavash' (Armenian traditional stone baked flat bread).
Continue by road to the unique caved temple St. Geghard (12th -13thcc.), the name of which means “holy spear” in the honour of the long-preserved spear, the same spear that pierced the body of crucified Christ. It is now exhibited in the museum of Etchmiadzin Cathedral. Geghard Monastery is included in the UNESCO World Heritage list (2000). The monastery is hidden in the majestic rocks and this scene creates an impression that the rocks have been protecting the ancient monastery for ages.
Continuation to Sevan Lake, one of the greatest high mountainous freshwater lakes of Eurasia. Climb on the peninsula from where the fascinating view on the Lake is open. Visit Sevanavank monastery, which stands in its greatness on the peninsula overlooking the lake for centuries. Drive to mountainous resort Dilijan, or so called “Armenian Switzerland”, which is well-known for its forests as well as for its mysterious flora and fauna. During the drive one can enjoy thContinue by road to the unique caved temple St. Geghard (12th -13thcc.), the name of which means “holy spear” in the honour of the long-preserved spear, the same spear that pierced the body of crucified Christ. It is now exhibited in the museum of Etchmiadzin Cathedral. visit asia - tours to asia visit asia - tours to asia Geghard Monastery is included in the UNESCO World Heritage list (2000). The monastery is hidden in the majestic rocks and this scene creates an impression that the rocks have been protecting the ancient monastery for ages.
Continuation to Sevan Lake, one of the greatest high mountainous freshwater lakes of Eurasia. Climb on the peninsula from where the fascinating view on the Lake is open. Visit Sevanavank monastery, which stands in its greatness on the peninsula overlooking the lake for centuries. Drive to mountainous resort Dilijan, or so called “Armenian Switzerland”, which is well-known for its forests as well as for its mysterious flora and fauna. During the drive one can enjoy the unbelievable change of the surrounding environment and land shaft from the mountainous lake to the green and rich forest mountains. the 5th century by Vakhtang Gorgasali. Tbilisi is a significant industrial, social and cultural centre of Georgia. Located strategically at the crossroads between Europe and Asia and lying along the historic Silk Road routes, Tbilisi has often been a point of contention between various rival powers and empires. The history of the city can be seen by its architecture. The place is so unique and the scenery with the nature surrounding it is so breathtaking that most of visitors are in awe. Appearing unexpectedly, out of the dense forests, in front of the visitors, the Monastery creates a magical impression of a lost world. Complex includes Church St. Stepanos, St. Mary and St. Gregory’s Church, as well as famous refectory. Transfer to Arm- Geo border Sadakhlo. After border passing formalities we head to Tbilisi. Overnight at 4* Astoria hotel or similar.

Day 6: Tbilisi City tour (B/-/D) visit asia - tours to asia
Breakfast at the hotel and embark on a city tour. Tbilisi (literally "Warm Spring") is the capital and the largest city of Georgia, lying on the banks of the Mt'k'vari River, founded in the 5th century by Vakhtang Gorgasali. Tbilisi is a significant industrial, social and cultural centre of Georgia. Located strategically at the crossroads between Europe and Asia and lying along the historic Silk Road routes, Tbilisi has often been a point of contention between various rival powers and empires. The history of the city can be seen by its architecture. Tbilisi sightseeing tour includes: Old town: Metechi church and the statue of King Vakhtang Gorgasali (founder of Tbilisi -5th century); Abanotubani, the ancient district of Tbilisi, known for its sulfuric baths; Narikala fortress; Sharden street, Sioni Cathedral, The Holy Trinity Cathedral, known as Sameba, which is the main Georgian Orthodox Cathedral listed among the largest Orthodox churches in the world; Shota Rustaveli Avenue, Agmashenebeli avenue.

Day 7: Mtsketa- Ananuri fortress - Zhinvali lake (B/-/D)
Breakfast at the hotel. Drive to Mtskheta, an old capital of the kingdom of Iberia (from IV cc BC to VI cc AD), this is how ancient Georgian tombs were called. Mtskheta is known to be the religious capital of Georgia, here is located one of most important cathedral – Svetitskhoveli. Svetitskhoveli can truly be accepted as the pearl of Georgian architect.
The second destination during the trip is Jvari monastery, the church stands up on the hill, overlooking the town. The architecture of the church has been retained from the VI cc and represents one of the most interesting monuments in whole Georgia. Lunch in a local restaurant. Visit Ananuri (17th century), a castle complex on the Aragvi River. On the way to Ananuri short stop for Zhinvali water reservoir.
Drive back to Tbilisi for overnight.

Day 8: Sighnaghi - Bodbe - Tsinandali winery - Tbilisi (B/-/D) visit asia - tours to asia
Breakfast at the hotel. Drive to eastern part of Georgia Kakheti region, known almost exclusively for its vineyards and wineries. Visit Signagi, ancient city, also known as the City of Love, with stone-paved streets and the balconies in old - Georgian style. It is one of the beautiful towns of Kakheti region. At the elevation of about 790 m above sea level, the town overlooks the Alazani valley and faces the Greater Caucasus Mountains. The town is walled with the remnants of 18th century fortifications.
Visit Bodbe Monastery. Originally built in the 9th century, it has been significantly re-modeled in the 17th century. The monastery now functions as a nunnery and is one of the the major pilgrimage sites in Georgia.
Drive to Tsinandali - the land of wine. Tsinandali is noted for the estate and its historic winery, which used to belong to the aristocratic poet Alexander Chavchavadze. Wine degustation. Drive back to Tbilisi.

Day 9: Transfer to the airport for flight home.