The traces of mighty kingdoms Colchis (16th-6th cc BC) and Urartu (13 th-6th cc BC) still can be found in Georgia, Armenia and Turkey – the areas of many legends and myths. The fabulous Mt. Kazbegi where Prometheus was chained and biblical Mt. Ararat and the final destination of Noah’s Ark… What may be hidden behind these legends and myths?
Our tour between mythical Mt Kazbegi and biblical Mt. Ararat is the route through many cultures, following the footsteps of the first migrators. Many borders are lost and changed but the exquisite décor, symbols and frescos – the witnesses of all the events still vividly display the faith, hope and fear of the Georgians, Armenians, Seljuks and Ottomans. they make us visualize the mystical universe show through their buildings and rituals.
Early in the morning arrive in Tbilisi, meet in the airport and transfer to a hotel.
After late breakfast Tbilisi sightseeing tour. During the tour we take you to the places that will show you old city. You can take a glance to the history of the city from early centuries by walking in narrow streets of the city and exploring the religious and secular architecture. Here you find different religious buildings – churches, synagogues, mosques, as well as famous 19th century houses with wooden multi-colored balconies. Then we drive up to get a panoramic view of the whole city and walk down to the Narikala Fortress (4th century). You will visit the sulfur bath district. Afterwards we discover the stunning treasury of the Georgian historical museum, before taking a stroll along Rustaveli Avenue – the main street in Tbilisi.
Overnight in Tbilisi.
We drive to visit the ancient capital and religious centre of Georgia – Mtskheta (3000 years old) and see its historical places: Jvari church (6th century) and Svetitskhoveli Cathedral (11th century) where the Robe of Christ is buried. Both Jvari and Svetitskhoveli are UNESCO World Heritage sites. Afterwards drive up the famous Georgian Military Highway (leading to the Georgian-Russian border). On the way visit Ananuri architectural complex (17th century), the two churches and the fortress overlook the Zhinvali water reservoir. The drive is very scenic through high Caucasus Mountains.
Overnight at a hotel in Gudauri ski resort (2200 m.).
A stunning drive from Gudauri along the Tergi River will bring us to Stepantsminda – the main town in the region. From Stepantsminda a 1.5 hour walk up through beautiful valleys and woodland leads us to Gergeti Trinity Church located at 2170m. Weather permitting you may catch a glimpse of one of the highest glaciers in the Caucasus – Mt Kazbegi (5047m). We walk back to the town return to Tbilisi.
Overnight in Tbilisi.
Transfer to the Georgia-Armenia border . Visit Hakhpat monastery (UNEScO World heritage site) and continue to the lake sevan. Visit Sevan monastery.
Overnight in Yerevan for 2 nights.
Visit Chor Virap Monastery and enjoy the view of Mt. Ararat (5137 m). Continue to summer palace of Armenian kings – Garni and cave monastery of Geghard (UNESCO World Heritage Site).
Visit Echmiadzin Monastery. Drive to the North, to the town of Gyumri that was heavily damaged in 1988 by eartquacke.
Overnight in Gyumri.
Drive to the Georgian-Armenian border. After border formalities depart for Vardzia. We drive through Meskheti and Javakheti regions to visit Vardzia – the magnificent cave town of the Golden Age. The cave complex stretching over half a kilometer once consisted of some 3000 caves and was one of the best examples of Georgia’s renaissance. We will also visit Khertvisi fortress. In the evening arrive in Akhaltsikhe. Photo stop at Rabati fortress.
Overnight in Akhaltsikhe.
In the morning we drive to Imereti province (West Georgia), which is very different from Kartli province (East Georgia) with its cool springs, green fields and beautiful gardens. Visit the pretty town of Kutaisi, the second largest in the country (antique town more than 3000 years old) and its historical places: Gelati Cathedral (12th century) – one of the earliest academies in Europe, and the splendid Bagrati Cathedral (11th century).
Overnight in Kutaisi.
Drive to the Black Sea coast. Visit Botanical Gardens and Gonio Fortress close to the town of Batumi. Cross the Georgia-turkey border and continue to the town of Hopa.
Overnight in Hopa.
Visit former Georgian settlements and monasteries in Tao-Klarjeti. Visit monastery Övsank and Ishkhan. Continue along the Lake Tortum to Eryrum.
Overnight in Erzrum.
Sightseeing in Erzrum and drive to the town of Ani - former capital city of Armenian Kingdom.
Overnight in Kars.
Drive to the town of Dogubeyazit at the foot of Mt. Ararat (5137 m.) Visit Isak Pasha Palace and continue to the town of Van.
Overnight in Van for 2 nights.
Boat trip to the island Akhtamar and visit beautiful Armenian monastery from the 10th century. In Van visit the old capital of Urartu Tushpa and enjoy the sunset from there.
Transfer to the airport.
Ladies require scarves in the Georgian orthodox churches, sometimes skirts too, but they can find some in the entrances.
Short trousers are forbidden in the church.
You can bring along: sun cream, hat, rain - and wind coats, etc.
For some program points comfortable shoes are needed.
Visa requirements for Armenia:
Nationals of the following countries can travel to Armenia without a visa: EU members, Great Britain, Switzerland, Russian Federation, Ukraine, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Georgia, China, Brazil, Uruguay, Argentina, USA...
Visa requirements for Turkey:
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