Highlights of Georgia & Armenia

Start: Yerevan Finish: Tbilisi

Visiting: Armenia, Georgia, Azerbaijan, The Silk Road, Falkland Islands


Duration: 13 Nights

Physical rating: Leisurely / Moderate

Special diets catered: Please inform Exodus of specific dietary requirements

Tour Operator: Exodus

Group size: 4 - 16

Age range: 16 to 99

Tour operated in: English


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Tour Overview

The monasteries, churches and cathedrals of Georgia and Armenia are amongst the oldest in the world. Many are built in stunning locations, surrounded by gardens and forests, perched on top of dramatic gorges or silhouetted before snowcapped mountains. The range of scenery is immense, from Mount Ararat towering majestically over the skyline of Yerevan, to the lush valleys of ancient vineyards across the lowlands of Georgia. Here, wine has been produced for almost 10,000 years and there is the opportunity to visit one of its most famous wine cellars. 

Highlights

  • iconVisit UNESCO churches and fortresses in Georgia
  • iconExperience café culture in Tbilisi
  • iconWalk amongst the pre-Christian cave houses in Uplistsikhe
  • iconSee Mount Ararat towering over Yerevan
  • iconHave the option to add-on an Azerbaijan extension 
  • iconExplore spectacular monasteries in Armenia including Khor Virap

Itinerary

Map Image
icon Day 1 : Start Yerevan

Our trip begins in the hotel in Yerevan.  *Ani Plaza Hotel or similar*

icon Day 2 : Full day exploring Yerevan and the surrounding area.

Meals: breakfast, lunch

This morning, we embark on a city tour of Yerevan then visit the Matenadaran (Armenia's ancient manuscripts library), an imposing building at the top of Yerevan's grandest avenue. Next is the Tsitsernakaberd Genocide Memorial and museum, dedicated to the massacre of 1.5 million victims in 1915. The visit will help us understand how the huge Armenian diaspora community has developed across the world. After lunch, a short drive through the city takes us to the impressive 7th-century ruins of Zvartnots Cathedral, the churches of Hripsime and Gayane and then Echmiadzin. This was the capital of Armenia from 180 to 340 AD (when Christianity was first adopted by the Armenian people). The main cathedral sits amongst hedges and lawns, where bearded clergy in dark robes sit in theological debate. In the gardens, there are many fine khachkars (carved cross stones) and bell towers.  On our return to Yerevan, we stop at the Megerian Carpet Museum and Factory to see how these intricately hand-woven rugs and carpets are brought to life. *Ani Plaza Hotel or similar*

icon Day 3 : Morning visit to Geghard Monastery and Garni pagan temple; afternoon visit to Vernissage market.

Meals: breakfast, lunch

In the morning we drive for an hour to Geghard Monastery (a UNESCO site) where on the hillside you can still see caves that housed monastic cells. A short drive takes us to the village of Garni where we explore the only pagan temple left in Armenia, and outside we're likely to meet friendly locals selling homemade honey and sweets. After lunch, we return to the city and visit Vernissage handicraft market then have free time to sample the thriving café culture of Yerevan. *Ani Plaza Hotel or similar*

icon Day 4 : Khor Virap Monastery; wine tasting at Areni village; visit Noravank monastery; to Goris.

Meals: breakfast, lunch

Today is a long but fascinating day. Leaving the capital, we drive to the monastery of Khor Virap, one of the holiest sites in the country, with stunning views of Mount Ararat. Our second stop is in Areni village where the finest Armenian wine is produced. Here we visit a vineyard and enjoy a wine tasting. The next stop is Noravank, where, after lunch we visit the monastery (a masterpiece of the 13th century architect Momik) dramatically located in the canyon. Then, we head via one of the world's longest cable cars to Tatev Monastery, perched on the edge of the Vorotan Canyon. Afterwards, we journey for approx. 3 hours to the small town of Goris where we stay the night. *Diana Hotel or similar*

icon Day 5 : Silk Road and Lake Sevan via Selim caravanserai and Noraduz.

Meals: breakfast, lunch

This morning we will drive along part of the ancient Silk Road, with a destination of the well-preserved 14th century Selim caravanserai. After a visit, we continue to the top of the pass where the landscape changes, before descending to the blue water of Lake Sevan. We make a stop at Noraduz Cemetery to see the 'forest' of khachkars (cross-stones which incorporate both Pagan and Christian symbols) before continuing to our hotel on the shores of the lake, the largest in the Caucasus and known as Armenia's 'seaside'. The lake is volcanic and lies at an altitude of 1,950m reflecting the sky like a mirror and changing colour throughout the day. *Harsnaqar Hotel or similar*

icon Day 6 : To Sevanavank and Haghartsin Monasteries; to Haghpat.

Meals: breakfast, lunch

After breakfast, we visit Sevanavank, a famous monastery with commanding views of Lake Sevan. Our group then heads north to Lori, the lush alpine region of northern Armenia. After a short stop in Dilijan, a small town known for its arts and crafts, we visit the 12th-century Haghartsin Monastery, nestled in a forested valley. This beautiful site, whose name means ‘Dance of the Eagles’, was built by two brothers, princes of the Bagratuni kingdom. On the way to Haghpat, our final stop of the day, we stop for lunch in the Molokan village of Fioletovo. Molokans (milk drinkers) are a sect of Russian Old Believers who broke away from the Russian Orthodox Church in the 16th century. On arrival in Haghpat, the evening is free for you to relax or explore at your own pace. *Qefo Hotel or similar*

icon Day 7 : Visit medieval churches at Haghpat and Sanahin before crossing into Georgia; to Tbilisi.

Meals: breakfast, lunch

Our final morning in Armenia includes visits to the impressive UNESCO sites of Haghpat and Sanahin. After lunch in Haghpat we will continue on to cross the border. Here we say goodbye to our Armenian leader and driver and walk approximately 10 minutes across the border into Georgia, where we will be met by our new guide, and travel on to the capital Tbilisi. Our hotel is a short walk from the wonderfully restored historical centre with its relaxing pavement cafés and bars. *Tbilisi Inn or similar*

icon Day 8 : Walking tour of Tbilisi; free afternoon; Georgian folk show.

Meals: breakfast, dinner

Much of Tbilisi can be visited on foot and in the morning we will explore the old town. Here we see the ancient sulphur baths, Sioni Cathedral and the beautifully decorated synagogue, built at the beginning of the 20th century. We will also visit Rustaveli Avenue, the main artery of the city and the Treasury of the State Museum, with its fantastic collection of pre-Christian gold artefacts and jewellery. The rest of the afternoon will be free, with time to explore the art galleries, handicraft and painting markets and the enormous new Holy Trinity Cathedral, all within a reasonable distance of our hotel. Or you may choose to relax with a coffee in one of the many cafés that line the streets of the old town. This evening we will enjoy a dinner at a local restaurant and a Georgian folk show. *Tbilisi Inn or similar*

icon Day 9 : To Kazbegi village for views of Mt. Kazbek; alpine walk to Gergeti Trinity Church; on to Gudauri.

Meals: breakfast, dinner

After breakfast, we will take a long drive up the Georgian Military Highway, through the great Caucasus Mountains via Ananuri Church. Our goal for the day is the town of Stepantsminda (formerly Kazbegi) where, after lunch, we walk up through the village of Gergeti to the landmark Holy Trinity church. The walk will take us 2-3 hours in total. For those who don't want to walk, local jeeps can usually be rented for a reasonable cost. If the weather is clear, we will have spectacular views of Mount Kazbek, the third highest of the Georgian Caucasus Mountains, soaring to 5,047m. We will drive back to the ski resort of Gudauri, where we will have dinner and spend the night in a cosy, alpine-hut-style hotel. *Hotel Alpina or similar*

icon Day 10 : To Uplistsikhe pre-Christian cave town; onto Gori, birthplace of Stalin; finish Kutaisi

Meals: breakfast, dinner

Today is our longest day. We drive three hours to Uplistsikhe which was once an enormous rock-hewn town dating from the pre-Christian era. Uplistsikhe is located on the left bank of Mtkvari River and is notable for its unique rock-cut style and the co-existence of pagan and Christian architecture. Ancient temples and theatres can still be identified and we walk up sandstone steps for a winding view across the river and plains. We take a short drive to the town of Gori, the birthplace of Joseph Stalin. Visiting Stalin Square where a huge statue of him used to stand we take a guided tour of the fascinating museum of his life and the role he played in the Soviet Union. Stalin's bulletproof train carriage, which he used to travel to the Potsdam Conference in 1945, lies in the grounds of the museum. It is worth a visit for its simple but elegant interior. The small wooden house where he was born is also here in a temple-like structure – there are still people in Georgia who greatly admire Stalin. We then continue to Kutaisi where we spend the night. *Kutaisi guesthouse*

icon Day 11 : Explore Sataplia Cave; visit UNESCO-listed Gelati Monastery; finish in Borjomi.

Meals: breakfast, dinner

After breakfast drive to Sataplia Nature Reserve (about 12 km – 20-25 minutes to the west), where the footprints of herbivorous and raptor dinosaurs of different epochs are found. Easy walkways take us to the conservation building of dinosaur footprints, an exhibition hall, unique karst caves, Colchic Forest and the wild bee habitat area. There are also beautiful views of the Imereti region to be enjoyed. After that, take the road back to Kutaisi and continue on to Gelati Academy and Monastery. Founded by King David IV in the 12th century, Gelati was inscribed in UNESCO's World Heritage List in 1994. It is no surprise that the King chose yet another superb location for this monastery, whose monks were members of the royal court. After the visit, we drive to the lovely mineral town of Borjomi.  *Old Borjomi Hotel / Borjomi Palace or similar*

icon Day 12 : Visit Borjomi-Kharagauli National Park and Mtskheta; drive back to Tbilisi; free evening in the Georgian capital.

Meals: breakfast

After breakfast visit the lovely Borjomi-Kharagauli National Park and take a guided walk (1-2 hours). Afterwards travel back to Tbilisi, stopping at Mtskheta, the former capital of Georgia, where we will see the 11th-century Sveti-Tskhoveli Cathedral, the largest functioning cathedral in Georgia. However, the main reason people visit Mtskheta is to see Jvari Church, perched on a hill overlooking the valley and built in the 6th century on the spot where St. Nino set up her cross in the 4th century, which converted the town from paganism to Christianity. Continuing on to Tbilisi we will have some free time to enjoy this historic capital. *Tbilisi Inn or similar*

icon Day 13 : Visit Sighnaghi and the wine region of Kakheti; lunch and wine tasting with a local family; return to Tbilisi.

Meals: breakfast, lunch

After breakfast we leave Tbilisi, driving east to the wine region of Kakheti, where we visit the recently renovated royal town of Sighnaghi.  We will then have lunch with a local family who will prepare some specialities paired with wine, and we continue with a visit to Tsinandali Family Estate and its wine cellar, which once belonged to the 19th century aristocratic poet Alexander Chavchavadze. The residence consists of a summer home, garden and winery, featuring several vintages of white wine. We make our way back to Tbilisi for our final night in Georgia. *Tbilisi Inn or similar*

icon Day 14 : Finish Tbilisi

Meals: breakfast

Our tour ends after breakfast.

What's Included

  • icon
    All breakfasts, 7 lunches, 4 dinners

  • icon
    Transfer for group flights

  • icon
    All accommodation

What's Not Included

  • icon
    Visas or vaccinations

  • icon
    Single supplement

  • icon
    Azerbaijan extension

  • icon
    Travel insurance

Food

All breakfasts, 7 lunches and 4 dinners are included. Georgian specialities include Khachapuri (cheese pies), Khinkali (meat dumplings) and Lobio (bean stew with herbs and spices). There are many sauces made from walnuts to accompany cheese or meat dishes. Churchekhela - walnuts in solid grape juice is a typical local sweet. Armenian specialities feature a variety of local cheeses, flat Lavash bread, sweet Lavash made from fruits, Khoravats (barbecues), Dolma (stuffed vine leaves), Kartofel (raisin and apricot pilaf rice dish) and Kyufta (veal meatballs cooked with cognac). Local beer, wine, vodka and cognac are readily available in both countries as is fruit vodka, which is locally distilled and tastes more like grappa. Still and sparkling water is easy to find, as are other soft drinks. There is a huge variety of food in both countries. Vegetarians can easily be catered for, as there are lots of fruit and vegetables, cheese and other dairy products, various local breads and dumplings. Vegans or those with wheat or dairy intolerance will find there is far less variety but can be accommodated. Walnuts are ubiquitous in salads and sauces, so those with nut allergies should be aware. Please advice Exodus at the time of booking if this affects you. 

Your Peace of Mind Options

  • icon
    Low Deposit

    Exodus requires a deposit of 20% to secure a place on this tour, and the final balance is not due till 70 days before departure..

  • icon
    Secure payments

    All payments to TourHub are deposited into an externally regulated Trust account.


Reviews

Read all 22 reviews
Three wonderful countries not to be missed
Don't wait to visit Armenia, Georgia and Azerbaijan. Now is the time. This very interesting and thorough tour covering a large geographical area gives an in-depth experience into ....more Don't wait to visit Armenia, Georgia and Azerbaijan.

Now is the time.

This very interesting and thorough tour covering a large geographical area gives an in-depth experience into each of these three former Soviet republics.

In Armenia, one travels from Yerevan in the centre, then south, back to Lake Sevan and on to the north to the cross the border.

In Georgia, from Tbilisi, one radiates out from the capital to the North, West, East and South.

In Azerbaijan, which is only for two days only Baku and a small area around can be covered.

The only downside was a lot of coach travel albeit extremely comfortable as we had a 51 seater for 14 of us! I loved Armenia the best with Yerevan and its lovely Republic square, the brown dry barren scenic hills to the south, the vast expanse of Lake Sevan and the complete change of scenery to the north where it was green trees and UK type countryside.

For me this trip, semi-completed a journey started three years ago.

As in 2016, I visited the Baltic countries, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania.

Then in 2017, three of the five Stans - Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan.

And finally this trip.

It is so interesting being able to look back and reflect on the difference between these countries, each one of which appears to be at a different developmental stage.

What I notice the most having visited all nine, is the effect of their geographical location, the West to East/Europe to Asia influence on their individual progress, along with their proximity to their friendly or not-so-friendly neighbours.

I would definitely recommend visiting these three and some of the other former Soviet republics as the more you see the more one starts to understand their history.

; ....less
HIGHLIGHTS OF GEORGIA & ARMENIA
It has been a very easy travel, available to everybody (special fitness is not required), The two countries visited were very unknown for me, i enjoyed it, but at last, it was ....more It has been a very easy travel, available to everybody (special fitness is not required), The two countries visited were very unknown for me, i enjoyed it, but at last, it was a religious travel, there are so much religious issues in this countries, all their lives goes arround it, and it is noticed and lived in some way during the trip.

; ....less
Armenia nd Georgia are excellent destinations
I was pleasantly surprised by Armenia and Georgia. Bot countries far exceeded my expectations for them. People are friendly. Prices are cheap by western European and American ....more I was pleasantly surprised by Armenia and Georgia.

Bot countries far exceeded my expectations for them.

People are friendly.

Prices are cheap by western European and American standards.

The scenery is beautiful.

Our hotels were nice.

; ....less
Amazing trip!
We managed to see the most important attractions of Georgia and Armenia. We managed to see the most important attractions of Georgia and Armenia.

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Highlights of Georgia and Armenia 2019
This is an very good tour if you are fascinated by ancient churches and monasteries. You will see many on this tour. Although some are situated in amazing locations there ....more This is an very good tour if you are fascinated by ancient churches and monasteries.

You will see many on this tour.

Although some are situated in amazing locations there are far too many to remember them all.

I felt that the tour could benefit for a little variation in itinerary.

The food and wine were excellent as were the very friendly people and our superb tour guides.

All of which made this a very memorable trip to what is an interesting and relatively undiscovered part of the world for western tourists.

; ....less
Highlights of Armenia and Georgia
An excellent 2 week trip taking in two very different countries both of which have a long history and are extremely proud of their magnificent cultural heritage. Both Armenia ....more An excellent 2 week trip taking in two very different countries both of which have a long history and are extremely proud of their magnificent cultural heritage.

Both Armenia and Georgia also boast wonderful scenery and it is very interesting to witness how they have developed in the post Communist era.

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HIGHLIGHTS OF GEORGIA & ARMENIA
Both the scenery and the old buildings were fantastic. The guides were both exceptionally good and the food remarkably fresh and varied Both the scenery and the old buildings were fantastic.

The guides were both exceptionally good and the food remarkably fresh and varied;
Exciting trip to Georgia and Armenia
It was a very good trip and liked it a lot. Georgia was very special experience for me and Armenia was good as well but both in their own way. ....more It was a very good trip and liked it a lot.

Georgia was very special experience for me and Armenia was good as well but both in their own way.

In Georgia you feel yourself in Europe Armenia is still like soviet union but still very beautiful.

People in both countries are amazing, very friendly and their hospitality will leave you speechless.

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Very interesting, and lots of churches
A pair of countries from the deep beginnings of world Christianity.Early architecture predominantly religious based is the mainstay of the holiday. However it’s easy to look beyond this at the ....more A pair of countries from the deep beginnings of world Christianity.

Early architecture predominantly religious based is the mainstay of the holiday.

However it’s easy to look beyond this at the beautiful landscapes, friendly people, tasty food and vibrant towns & cities; ....less
I love Armenia
I arrived to Airport with my family, the rental agent of this company https://travelcar.am/rent-a-car-in-yerevan [1] met us and guided to the car, so we started the trip.[1] https://travelcar.am/rent-a-car-in-yerevan I arrived to Airport with my family, the rental agent of this company https://travelcar.

am/rent-a-car-in-yerevan [1] met us and guided to the car, so we started the trip.

[1] https://travelcar.

am/rent-a-car-in-yerevan;

Dates & Availability

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Saturday Jul 17, 2021

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Saturday Jul 24, 2021

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Saturday Aug 28, 2021

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Saturday Jun 04, 2022

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Saturday Jun 18, 2022

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Saturday Jul 02, 2022

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Saturday Jul 16, 2022

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Saturday Jul 23, 2022

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Saturday Aug 27, 2022

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Saturday Sep 03, 2022

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Saturday Sep 10, 2022

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Saturday Sep 17, 2022

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Saturday Sep 24, 2022

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Saturday, Jul 17, 2021

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Saturday, Jul 24, 2021

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8Available

Saturday, Aug 28, 2021

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8Available

Saturday, Sep 04, 2021

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Saturday, Sep 11, 2021

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6Available

Saturday, Sep 18, 2021

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8Available

Saturday, Sep 25, 2021

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Saturday, May 07, 2022

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Saturday, May 21, 2022

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Saturday, Jun 04, 2022

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8Available

Saturday, Jun 18, 2022

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8Available

Saturday, Jul 02, 2022

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8Available

Saturday, Jul 16, 2022

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8Available

Saturday, Jul 23, 2022

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8Available

Saturday, Aug 27, 2022

13Nights

8Available

Saturday, Sep 03, 2022

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8Available

Saturday, Sep 10, 2022

13Nights

8Available

Saturday, Sep 17, 2022

13Nights

8Available

Saturday, Sep 24, 2022

13Nights

8Available