Premium Turkey & the Caucasus

Premium Turkey & the Caucasus

432 Views
29 Days From

$11870

$11544

Premium Turkey & the Caucasus

29 Days Starting in Istanbul and ending in Yerevan

Visiting: Istanbul, Canakkale, Selcuk, Pamukkale, Kas, Antalya, Konya, Cappadocia, Baku, Qobustan / Baku, Shamaki / Sheki, Sheki / Kakheti Region / Telavi, Telavi/Tbilisi , Tbilisi, Mtskheta / Tserovani / Borjomi, Vardzia / Borjomi, Gori/ Gudauri, Caucasus Mountains / Stepantsminda / Gudauri, Haghpat/ Dzoraget, Lake Sevan / Garni / Geghard / Yerevan, Yerevan

Tour operator:

Intrepid Travel

Tour code:

ERPCC

Guide Type:

Fully Guided

Group size:

1 - 12

Physical rating:

Medium, Medium

Age range:

15-99 years

Special diets catered:

Vegetarians

Tour operated in:
English
From:
$11870
$11544 Exclusive Tourhub Discount: -$326

NB: Prices correct on 19-May-2024 but subject to change.

See local operators tour description
- Sign In

This tour is no longer available, please see similar tours below or send an enquiry

Tour Overview

Immerse yourself in four unforgettable countries wrapped up in stories on a 29-day Premium journey. Go deep into the ancient heart of fascinating Turkey, then continue to the vibrant green hillsides and majestic snow-capped mountains of Azerbaijan, Georgia and Armenia. Explore lands where the walls hold the weight of centuries of rich history and where ancient traditions mingle with modern influences. Journey through forests and past towering peaks to find medieval mosques and villages. Travel with expert local leaders, make local friends along the way and discover there’s so much more to each destination than what meets the eye.

Highlights

  • Get to the heart of Turkey and the Caucasus’s capitals with experienced local leaders – enjoy guided city tours, stroll the ancient streets of Ephesus, uncover the secrets of Troy, marvel at Baku’s diverse architecture, explore Tbilisi’s winding narrow streets, and uncover the history of ancient Yerevan.

  • Experience the region’s diverse cuisine, from learning traditional yoghurt making methods in Shamakhi to home cooked meals in Cappadocia and Kakheti, freshly prepared lunch on board a boat cruise in Kas, and a lunch of regional specialties in a refugee settlement in Tserovani.

  • Visit the Tserovani Refugee Settlement in Georgia where you will visit a jewellery making workshop aimed at providing employment to displaced women within the camp, create a piece yourself and learn about the issues surrounding long-term displacement.

  • Discovery ancient wonders and otherworldly sights, from the Cotton Castle of Pamukkale and psychedelic rockscapes of Cappadocia to the open-air archaeological museum of Qobustan in Azerbaijan and the magnificent cave town of Vardzia in Georgia.

  • Get to the heart of Turkey and the Caucasus’s with experienced local leaders – enjoy guided city tours, stroll the ancient streets of Ephesus, learn the secrets of Troy, marvel at Baku’s diverse architecture, explore Tbilisi’s winding narrow streets, and uncover the history of ancient Yerevan.

  • Uncover the real Turkey during Exclusive Experiences, including a cooking class with a celebrated chef, visit to an empowering carpet weaving cooperative, cruise around the southern coast, and traditional dinner at a local’s home in Cappadocia

  • Visit the Tserovani Refugee Settlement in Georgia during an Exclusive Experience, where you will visit a jewellery making workshop aimed at providing employment to displaced women within the camp, create a piece yourself and learn about the issues surrounding long-term displacement.

  • Marvel at ancient wonders and otherworldly sights, from the Cotton Castle of Pamukkale and psychedelic rockscapes of Cappadocia to the open-air archaeological museum of Qobustan in Azerbaijan and the magnificent cave town of Vardzia in Georgia.

  • Enjoy Feature Stays in Cappadocia, with elegantly decorated rooms carved from stone, and at the foot of the Tsiv-Gombori mountains, with unforgettable views of the Alazani Valley.

Itinerary

Expand All

Day 1: Istanbul

Location: Istanbul

Accommodation: Fer Hotel or similar

Meals Included: dinner

Welcome to Istanbul, the continent-straddling metropolis that the Greeks, Romans, Byzantines and Ottomans have all once called home. Enjoy a complimentary transfer to your hotel from the airport. You’re never far from a great meal in Istanbul, so if you arrive early, grab lunch at one of the city’s many eateries. Your adventure then begins with a welcome meeting at 1 pm. After the meeting, head out with your local leader and small group to explore the Old City of Istanbul. Your knowledgeable leader will introduce you to some of the city’s historical treasures, including the dazzling Blue Mosque, the ancient Hippodrome and the Million – a stone road marker in use since the fourth century. This evening, get to know your fellow travellers over dinner at a stylish restaurant where local delicacies are paired with panoramic views of the Bosphorus.

Included Activities:
-Istanbul - City Tour
-Istanbul - Blue Mosque Visit
-Istanbul - Welcome Dinner
-Complimentary Arrival Transfer

Optional Activities:
-Istanbul - Topkapi Palace Combined Ticket (Topkapi Palace + Hagia Irene + Harem)
-Istanbul - Hagia Sophia

Day 2: Canakkale

Location: Canakkale

Accommodation: Hotel Cura or similar

Meals Included: breaksfast

Rise and shine for an early breakfast, then begin the drive to Canakkale, a port city located on the shores of the Dardanelles. Arrive in time to buy yourself some lunch, then head to the Gallipoli Peninsula. Thousands from across the world journey here each year to pay respect to those who lost their lives in the battles of 1915. Tour the former battlefields and find remnants of trenches used by the Turkish soldiers. Head up to the memorials of Lone Pine and Chunuk Bair while your leader explains the significance of the events across the landscape. Look down upon the rough hills and gullies that became the graveyard for thousands of young men on both sides. After a day that will no doubt be full of sombre reflection, the evening is free for you to do as you wish in Canakkale.

Included Activities:
-Gallipoli - Anzac Cove, Lone Pine and Chunuk Bair

Day 3: Selcuk

Location: Selcuk

Accommodation: Celsus Hotel or similar

Meals Included: breaksfast

Drive to Selcuk and stop along the way in Troy, where history and mythology sit side by side. Your leader will take you around the ancient city walls – there will be time for a photo op with a replica Trojan horse. Learn how the site has confounded historians and archaeologists, then continue to Selcuk. Join your leader for an orientation walk around this sprawling town at the base of the ancient Ayasoluk Hill fortress. Visit the last remaining column of the Temple of Artemis - considered to be one of the seven wonders of the ancient world, the ancient aqueducts and the 14th-century Isabey Mosque.

Included Activities:
-Troy - Archaeological site visit
-Selcuk - Leader-led orientation walk

Day 4: Selcuk

Location: Selcuk

Accommodation: Celsus Hotel or similar

Meals Included: breaksfast, dinner

Today, visit one of the best-preserved classical cities in the eastern Mediterranean and arguably the greatest Greco-Roman site in the world – Ephesus. Learn from your leader what life here was like as you tour the ancient theatre, stroll the marble streets once walked by Cleopatra and Mark Antony and marvel at the gymnasium, baths and restored Library of Celsus. Later, drive past apple and peach orchards to the quaint village of Sirince, where charming, red-roofed houses clamber up the hillside. Drop by a local wine house where you’ll taste locally produced fruit wines. Try a sip of kiwi, pear, peach, quince or all the above! Next, you’re in for an extraordinary treat – meet a local chef for a Turkish cooking class, using olive oil grown and made on-site and herbs and vegetables picked fresh from the garden. Learn how to make a range of small Turkish meze dishes using seasonal ingredients. Enjoy the fruits of your labour with an evening dinner of the mouth-watering meze plates you’ve made together.

Included Activities:
-Ephesus - Archaeological site visit
-Sirince - Village visit and fruit wine tasting
-Selcuk - Cooking class

Optional Activities:
-Selcuk - Ephesus Archaeological Museum
-Ephesus - Terrace Houses entry

Day 5: Pamukkale

Location: Pamukkale

Accommodation: Hierapark Hotel or similar

Meals Included: breaksfast

After breakfast this morning, travel to the town of Pamukkale. Named after its incredible travertine terraces, Pamukkale means ‘cotton castle.’ This magical and spectacular natural phenomenon was created by deposits from thermal waters that cascaded down the mountainside over hundreds of years, forming a collection of pools and terraces. As the water overflows, dazzling cream-coloured stalactites are formed that, from afar, resemble cotton or snow. The pools are filled with waters that many believe have healing properties for circulation and the digestive system. But that’s not all this site has to offer – head up to the ruins of Hierapolis, an important Roman bath centre founded by the King of Pergamon in 190 BC, where your leader will bring history to life and guide you through an ancient temple, holy area, monumental fountain, bath, basilica, necropolis and an impressive theatre. Enjoy a free evening to spend how you wish.

Included Activities:
-Pamukkale - Hierapolis and Travertines National Park

Day 6: Kas

Location: Kas

Accommodation: Payam Hotel or similar

Meals Included: breaksfast

Make the journey to the coast, stopping at the ghost village of Kayakoy. Abandoned after WWI and the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, this once-thriving village now lies as a sombre reminder of the human cost of war and politics. Spend some time on the eerie streets, then continue to Kas (meaning ‘eyebrow’) and begin exploring on a walking tour. Now primarily a holiday town, Kas is strewn with the remains of Lycian tombs, iconic, whitewashed walls covered with climbing bougainvillea and an ancient theatre where you can watch a spectacular sunset. The walk is sure to inspire your appetite, and your leader will be on hand to show you where to grab a great gozleme (stuffed Turkish flatbread). The rest of the afternoon is free to enjoy this easy-going town – maybe sit back with a pomegranate cocktail or check out the local markets.

Included Activities:
-Kayakoy - Village visit
-Kas - Leader-led orientation walk

Day 7: Kas

Location: Kas

Accommodation: Payam Hotel or similar

Meals Included: breaksfast, lunch

Set off for an experience like no other – a magical boat cruise around the islands with a local family who use their unique knowledge and love of the local waters to share a distinctly traditional way of cruising and eating with travellers. Cruise to their home village of Ucagiz, then to the village of Simena, where its friendly inhabitants sell ice cream in front of bougainvillea-covered houses. On board, you’ll enjoy a range of freshly prepared local greens, zucchini fritters and maybe even some Turkish raki. Sail from large bays to protected inlets where you can cool off with a swim in turquoise waters. Kick back with a cold beer or learn how to play Backgammon – Turkey’s most beloved game. Look out for the ruins of an ancient city submerged under the clear water. Return to Kas for an evening at your leisure.

Included Activities:
-Kas - Sailing trip with seafood lunch

Day 8: Antalya

Location: Antalya

Accommodation: Dogan Hotel or similar

Meals Included: breaksfast

Travel from Kas on a scenic route to Anatalya. Your accommodation is tucked away near the beach, but you may want to get out to explore Kaleici (the Old City) once you settle in on arrival. Head out on an early evening walk to see Hadrian's Gate, the Old Roman Harbour and plenty of photo-worthy views. Soak up the city’s Mediterranean atmosphere and attitude over a fresh seafood dinner – your leader can recommend some superb spots.

Included Activities:
-Antalya - Leader-led orientation walk

Day 9: Antalya

Location: Antalya

Accommodation: Dogan Hotel or similar

Meals Included: breaksfast

Wake up in beautiful Antalya and start your day with a guided visit through the Antalya Museum. The province of Antalya includes dozens of important ancient Hellenistic and Roman cities, and some of the best artefacts are on display in the museum’s 13 exhibition halls and open-air gallery. Travel to a lesser-known treasure – the archaeological site of Sagalassos. Set on the slopes of the Taurus mountains, the views from the site certainly deserve attention, but the ancient ruins are even more fascinating. Enjoy a guided visit through agoras, a Roman bath complex, an intricately decorated fountain and a theatre, and learn what life looked like against this remarkable backdrop.In the afternoon, return to Antalya. Maybe wander the narrow cobblestoned streets of Kaleici with an ice cream in hand, beat the heat with a dip in the sea, chill out poolside.

Included Activities:
-Antalya - Antalya Museum
-Sagalassos - Archaeological site visit

Day 10: Konya

Location: Konya

Accommodation: Selçuk Hotel or similar

Meals Included: breaksfast

Say goodbye to Antalya and take a morning drive to Konya, an ancient city important in the Roman era and where the Sufi practice of 'whirling' was born. On arrival, discover the mystic resting place of Mevlana Celaleddin-i Rumi, the 13th-century mystic, poet and theologian whose teachings continue to inspire and influence Muslims worldwide. Visit the small museum dedicated to his life and work. The rest of the day is free to get to know the city. Konya offers a wealth of museums, mosques and monuments worth visiting, so be sure to ask your leader for recommendations. For a leisurely afternoon, head to Alaeddin Hill, where locals sip coffee, eat pastries and let the hours slip by calmly.

Included Activities:
-Konya - Mevlana Museum

Day 11: Cappadocia

Location: Cappadocia

Accommodation: Minia Cave Hotel or similar

Meals Included: breaksfast

Depart from Konya and travel to Cappadocia, where your leader will take you on an orientation walk to get to know your new surroundings. Check in to your Feature Stay accommodation and discover something truly special. Feel miles away from the modern world in a cave hotel that looks like a page straight out of a fairy tale. These uniquely beautiful rooms are carved into stone, featuring elegant décor and modern conveniences. Keep an eye out for hot air balloons passing overhead and head out for a drink to watch the sunset over one of the world’s most enchanting places. The rest of the evening is free for you to take it all in, or perhaps watch a performance of whirling by local Dervishes in a restored han (caravansary).

Included Activities:
-Cappadocia - Leader-led orientation walk
-Cappadocia - Sunset drinks

Optional Activities:
-Goreme - Whirling dervish performance

Day 12: Cappadocia

Location: Cappadocia

Accommodation: Minia Cave Hotel or similar

Meals Included: breaksfast

Early birds have the option of taking a hot air balloon over the ethereal Cappadocian landscape. The scene at sunrise is sure to take your breath away. After a relaxing breakfast overlooking the valley, step back in time with a visit to the Goreme Open Air Museum. See the incredible houses, churches and monasteries carved out of the soft cliff face as your leader shares stories of the civilisations who lived here. Next up, visit a carpet weaving cooperative that empowers women by giving them the tools to produce one-of-a-kind traditional rugs. Hear local insight into the history of traditional carpet weaving and see how the intricate pieces are made. Later in the afternoon, go on a short walk through the cheekily named Love Valley, which is famous for its phallic rock formations. Then head back to your hotel and perhaps take an optional Turkish bath to unwind at the end of the day.

Included Activities:
-Cappadocia - Valley walk
-Cappadocia - Goreme Open Air Museum
-Cappadocia - Carpet weaving co-op

Optional Activities:
-Cappadocia - Hot Air Balloon Regular Flight
-Cappadocia - Hot Air Balloon Deluxe Flight

Day 13: Cappadocia

Location: Cappadocia

Accommodation: Minia Cave Hotel or similar

Meals Included: breaksfast, dinner

Take a morning walk to see the fascinating rock formations of the Kizilcukur Valley. After lunch, head toward the red river of Avanos and descend to Ozkonak, where you’ll explore an underground city hollowed out of tufa rock that dates back to 400 BC. Return to the surface and visit the studio of a local ceramic master whose family have been in the pottery business for six generations. Speak with a local artist who will explain the history and techniques of traditional Turkish ceramics. Discover the rich clay from the red river and watch how it is moulded into exquisite pieces. This evening you’ll be warmly welcomed into the cave home of Nuray, a local woman who will prepare a special homecooked dinner for your group. Sit down to a feast made with passion, enjoy a friendly chat with your affable host and top off the night with some Turkish delight.

Included Activities:
-Cappadocia - Pottery demonstration
-Cappadocia - Ozkonak Underground City
-Cappadocia - Kizilcukur Valley
-Cappadocia - Home-cooked dinner

Day 14: Istanbul

Location: Istanbul

Accommodation: Fer Hotel or similar

Meals Included: breaksfast

This morning, say goodbye to Cappadocia and return to where it all began – Istanbul. When you arrive, you may wish to join your leader for a trip across the Bosphorus to the Asian side of the city. Here you’ll find lively, close-knit communities and jumbles of cute cafes, markets and restaurants. The rest of the afternoon is yours to explore more of the many charms of this enthralling city. This evening, consider rounding off your adventure by joining your group for an optional farewell dinner at one of Istanbul’s excellent waterfront restaurants.

Day 15: Baku

Location: Baku

Accommodation: City Park Hotel or similar

Meals Included: dinner

Salam eleykim! Welcome to Azerbaijan. On arrival at Baku Airport, you'll be met by a representative and transferred to your hotel. Baku certainly is a city where old meets new – ancient fortified buildings standing next to Russian imperial-style squares and ultra-modern architectural wonders. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6 pm in the evening, where you will meet your local leader and fellow travellers joining you for this adventure. If you arrive with time to spare, perhaps take a walk down the charming Nizami Street and observe its Baroque, Neo-Gothic and Neo-Renaissance architecture. After your meeting, enjoy a local dinner with your companions.

Included Activities:
-Baku - Welcome Dinner at Local Restaurant
-Complimentary Arrival Transfer

Day 16: Baku

Location: Baku

Accommodation: City Park Hotel or similar

Meals Included: breaksfast

This morning, embark on a tour of the city with a local guide. Pay a visit to the fortified Old City, once the Medieval capital, where your guide will weave together the history of Baku, from the rule of the Shirvanshahs to the cosmopolitan city you see today. Stop by the Shemakha Gate, Maiden Tower (visit optional), Old Market Square and end with a guided tour of the Palace of the Shirvanshahs. Be sure to bring your camera as there will be some panoramic views of Baku's varied skyline to enjoy. The rest of the day is free to explore.

Included Activities:
-Baku - Palace of the Shirvanshahs
-Baku - Walking Tour with Local Guide

Optional Activities:
-Baku - National Museum of History of Azerbaijan
-Baku - National Carpet Museum

Day 17: Qobustan / Baku

Location: Qobustan / Baku

Accommodation: City Park Hotel or similar

Meals Included: breaksfast

This morning, head out of the city on a half day trip to Qobustan, located around 60 kilometres south of Baku. Stop off along the way to view old oil rigs and learn how Azerbaijan was one of the birthplaces of the oil industry. On arrival to Qobustan National Park, visit one of the world's largest open-air archaeological museums where a local guide will share the stories of ancient rock art dating back some 40,000 years. The prehistoric carvings depict scenes of hunting, fishing and gathering. Return to Baku in the afternoon for free time - Perhaps visit one of Baku's most significant modern landmarks, the Heydar Aliyev Center designed by Zaha Hadid. This evening you may like to take a walk along the waterfront to find a restaurant for dinner, keeping an eye out for the Baku Eye and Flame Towers that light up the city skyline at night.

Included Activities:
-Qobustan - Petroglyphs
-Qobustan - Half Day Trip

Optional Activities:
-Baku - The Heydar Aliyev Centre

Day 18: Shamaki / Sheki

Location: Shamaki / Sheki

Accommodation: Sheki Palace Hotel or similar

Meals Included: breaksfast, dinner

Leave Baku and head for the Caucasus Mountains in the northwest of Azerbaijan. Watch arid landscapes slowly give way to densely forested mountains. En route to Sheki, there will be stops at the Yeddi Gumbaz Mausoleum and the Juma Mosque in Shamakhi. On arrival in Sheki, visit a local craft workshop where the famous shebeke – stained-glass windows with intricately carved frames – are made by hand. You will also visit the acclaimed Palace of Shaki Khans to see its magnificent frescoes and stained glass. Arrive in Sheki and enjoy a final evening of Azerbaijani cuisine during an included dinner at a local restaurant.

Included Activities:
-Sheki - Khan's Palace
-Sheki - Stained Glass Workshop Visit
-Shamakhi - Yeddi Gumbaz Mausoleum & Juma Mosque

Day 19: Sheki / Kakheti Region / Telavi

Location: Sheki / Kakheti Region / Telavi

Accommodation: Savaneti Hotel or similar

Meals Included: breaksfast, lunch

Enjoy breakfast at the hotel before driving to Lagodekhi – a town at the Azerbaijan–Georgia border – where you will change transportation. From here, travel to Georgia's Kakheti region, known for its winemaking. Enjoy a wonderful lunch with a local wine making family, which includes delicious homemade cuisine, wine and chacha, a local brandy. There will also be time to listen to unique Georgian polyphonic songs – a traditional style of music prevalent in the Kakheti region. Afterwards, travel to your beautiful accommodation near Telavi. Tucked into the foothills of the Tsiv-Gombori mountains, the Savaneti Hotel offers a chic aesthetic in a serene location. Enjoy a lovely swimming pool, a marvellous on-site restaurant and unbeatable views of the Alazani Valley and Caucasus mountains.

Included Activities:
-Kakheti - Lunch and Wine Tasting with a Local Family
-Kakheti - Georgian Polyphonic Singing

Day 20: Telavi/Tbilisi

Location: Telavi/Tbilisi

Accommodation: Museum Hotel or similar

Meals Included: breaksfast

Following breakfast, explore the famous Telavi Bazaar. Wander through stall selling fresh produce and aromatic spices as your leader picks out delicious local specialties for you to try.  After snacking you way through the market, drive to Tbilisi with your leader. Once arrived perhaps wander the old districts of Georgia’s capital, which are structured like terraces, and walk through the narrow streets to appreciate the colourful houses, patterned balconies and revamped modern architecture. Enjoy a free afternoon – your leader will have some wonderful recommendations for local restaurants to head for dinner.

Included Activities:
-Telavi - Market Tour with Tastings

Day 21: Tbilisi

Location: Tbilisi

Accommodation: Museum Hotel or similar

Meals Included: breaksfast

This morning uncover the secrets of the city on a walking tour with your local guide, which includes the 13th-century Metekhi Church offering magnificent views over old Tbilisi. You will take a cable car to the ancient Narikala Fortress, a former Persian citadel with a history stretching back to the 4th century. Here your guide will share the layered history of the fortress while you take in sweeping views across Tbilisi. Then make your way to a historic part of the city where you will learn a little more about Tbilisi’s past. The name Tbilisi translates to ‘warm place’ which is thought to be after the bubbling hot springs that the city was built around. This afternoon you may like to visit one of the local bathhouses for a dip in the therapeutic waters, or perhaps visit the stunning treasury of the Golden Fund at the National History Museum (closed on Mondays), where you’ll learn why Georgia is called the land of the Golden Fleece.

Included Activities:
-Tbilisi - Narikala Fortress & Cable Car
-Tbilisi - Old Town Walking Tour with Local Guide
-Tbilisi - Anchiskhati Church
-Tbilisi - Sioni Cathedral

Optional Activities:
-Tbilisi - Thermal Bath House Visit - from
-Tbilisi - Georgian National Museum
-Tbilisi - The National Gallery
-Tbilisi - Open Air Museum of Ethnography

Day 22: Mtskheta / Tserovani / Borjomi

Location: Mtskheta / Tserovani / Borjomi

Accommodation: Golden Tulip Hotel (Feature Stay) or similar

Meals Included: breaksfast, lunch

Today you will visit Mtskheta, the ancient capital and religious centre of Georgia. Visit World Heritage-listed sites with your local guide on hand to share their fascinating histories, such as Svetitskhoveli Cathedral, one of Georgia’s most important religious monuments and the 6th-century Jvari Monastery. Afterwards, pay a visit to the Tserovani Refugee Settlement, home to 8000 people displaced by the 2008 conflict between the Russian Federation and the Republic of Georgia over South Ossetia. While here you will visit an enamel jewellery workshop – a social enterprise offering training and employment to displaced youth and women within the settlement. You will have the chance to meet the jewellery artists whose pieces tell the story of Georgia, and with their guidance, you will design a piece yourself. Have a light lunch of Georgian specialties then tour the settlement to learn about the issues surrounding long-term displacement faced by thousands of Georgia’s citizens to this day. This inspiring experience sheds light on a side of the country that few visitors get to see, and is sure to be one of your lasting memories of your time in Georgia. In the afternoon, drive to the south-western part of Georgia and visit Borjomi Spa Town, famous for its naturally fizzy mineral water. Stay overnight at your beautiful Feature Stay hotel, located in the former residence of the Iranian consul, a building with almost 130 years of history.

Included Activities:
-Tserovani - Refugee Settlement & Enamel Workshop Visit
-Mtskheta - Jvari Monastery
-Mtskheta - Svetitskhoveli Cathedral

Optional Activities:
-Borjomi - Sulfur Pools
-Borjomi - Central Park

Day 23: Vardzia / Borjomi

Location: Vardzia / Borjomi

Accommodation: Golden Tulip Hotel (Feature Stay) or similar

Meals Included: breaksfast

Today, drive to the magnificent and once mighty cave city of Vardzia, with a stop en route at the 10th-century Khertvisi Fortress. Vardzia stretches over half a kilometre along the river Mtkvari and has 19 tiers of winding cobbled streets. There is a church hewn out in rock with amazing 12th-century frescos, and the complex also includes dwellings quarters, small hall-type churches, refectories and wine cellars. You will tour the site with a local guide who will provide historical context and explain the rise and fall of this magical city, which now serves as a working monastery. Head back to Borjomi for the evening, and perhaps ask your leader to recommend the tastiest Georgian dishes for dinner. You may like to try some khinkali, which are spicy dumplings, or tatarberaki, a local Meskhetian version of pasta.

Included Activities:
-Meskheti - Khertvisi Fortress
-Vardzia - Cave Town Visit with Local Guide

Optional Activities:
-Borjomi - Cable Car One Way

Day 24: Gori/ Gudauri

Location: Gori/ Gudauri

Accommodation: Marco Polo Hotel or similar

Meals Included: breaksfast, dinner

In the morning visit Gori, a charming town with unique history that is also the birthplace of Joseph Stalin. Your leader will take you on a city tour before you visit the Stalin Museum. See the sites of Gori, including The Memorial of Georgian War Heroes and Gori Fortress, and delve into its artistic side see traditional ornamental mosaics. Afterwards, drive up the renowned Georgian Military Highway, which eventually leads to the Georgia–Russia border. On the way, you'll visit the Ananuri architectural complex – two churches and a fortress that overlook the Zhinvali water reservoir. Your leader will explain how the carvings on the churches are some of the best surviving examples of Georgian art. Take a scenic drive through the Caucasus Mountains, and arrive at your hotel in Gudauri. Enjoy an included dinner.

Included Activities:
-Ananuri - Architectural Complex
-Gori - Stalin Museum
-Gori - City Tour

Day 25: Caucasus Mountains / Stepantsminda / Gudauri

Location: Caucasus Mountains / Stepantsminda / Gudauri

Accommodation: Marco Polo Hotel or similar

Meals Included: breaksfast, dinner

Enjoy a stunning drive from Gudauri along the Tergi River before arriving in Stepantsminda. From here, head into the heart of the Caucasus Mountains, change the vehicle to 4WD and take the mountain road to Gergeti Trinity Church, located at 2170 metres above sea level. Weather depending, you may catch a glimpse of Mt Kazbegi. On the way back to Gudauri, stop at the small village of Sno to explore the local version of Easter Island - a park with half a dozen massive stone heads representing famous figures of Georgian history. Return to Gudauri this afternoon for time to relax in your hotel. This is the perfect opportunity to enjoy the mountain air and views. Your hotel has many facilities including a wellness centre.

Included Activities:
-Stepantsminda - Gergeti Trinity Church
-Stepantsminda - Caucasus Mountains Day Trip

Day 26: Haghpat/ Dzoraget

Location: Haghpat/ Dzoraget

Accommodation: Avan Dzoraget Hotel or similar

Meals Included: breaksfast, lunch

Enjoy a final breakfast in Gudauri before driving to Sadakhlo – a village at the Georgia–Armenia border. On the way to the border stop in Tbilisi to break the journey and have lunch. Continue to Armenia and after completing all formalities, begin the Armenian leg of your adventure with a visit to Haghpat Monastery, listed as a World Cultural Heritage Site. Haghpat stands as an example of one of the most outstanding works of medieval Armenian architecture – your leader will give you an introduction to the country’s history and design. Continue on to the charming town of Dzoraget where you will spend the evening enjoying serene views of the Debed river.

Included Activities:
-Haghpat - Haghpat Monastery

Day 27: Lake Sevan / Garni / Geghard / Yerevan

Location: Lake Sevan / Garni / Geghard / Yerevan

Accommodation: Tufenkian Historic Yerevan Hotel or similar

Meals Included: breaksfast

After breakfast, you'll meet your Armenian driver, new vehicle, and local guide, and drive to the reflective waters of Lake Sevan, nicknamed ‘The Pearl of Armenia’. Sevan is one of the largest fresh-water high-altitude lakes in the world. Visit Sevanavank Monastery, which overlooks the water on the Peninsula. Move on to the village of Garni to visit the first century Garni Temple, where your guide will explain how it was built by the Armenian King Tiridates and dedicated to Mithra, the God of the Sun. Be treated to a special local performance in the temple and hear the magnificent sounds of the Duduk – a flute-like instrument originating to Armenia, and currently listed on the UNESCO in-tangible Cultural Heritage List. Travel northeast of Garni, higher up the gorge of the Azat River, to the magnificent Geghard Monastery. This World Heritage-listed site is partly carved out of a mountain and surrounded by cliffs. In the afternoon, drive to Armenia’s capital, Yerevan, where you will spend the next two evenings.

Included Activities:
-Geghard - Geghard Monastery
-Lake Sevan - Sevanavank Monastery
-Garni - Temple Visit & Duduk Performance

Day 28: Yerevan

Location: Yerevan

Accommodation: Tufenkian Historic Yerevan Hotel or similar

Meals Included: breaksfast, dinner

This morning your local guide will introduce you to the sights and sounds of Yerevan on a tour of the city. Established in 782 BC, Armenia’s capital is one of the oldest cities in the world. Nowadays, the city’s liveliness comes from its ancient culture mixed with a modern lifestyle. Afterwards, visit the Armenian Genocide Museum to learn the tragic history of this region. The afternoon is free for reflection or further exploration. Tonight, join your group for a final dinner at a local restaurant. Armenian cuisine is built on a foundation of fresh local produce and meat. Perhaps try some khorovats, a barbecued kebab, or spas, a refreshing yoghurt soup.

Included Activities:
-Yerevan - City Tour with Local Guide
-Yerevan - Armenian Genocide Memorial Complex

Day 29: Yerevan

Location: Yerevan

Meals Included: breaksfast

Your adventure comes to an end after breakfast this morning. If you would like to spend some more time in Yerevan, we would be happy to arrange additional accommodation ahead of time (subject to availability).

What's Included

  • Istanbul - City Tour

  • Istanbul - Welcome Dinner

  • Istanbul - Blue Mosque

  • Complimentary Airport Arrival Transfer

  • Gallipoli - Anzac Cove, Lone Pine and Chunuk Bair

  • Troy - Archeological site visit

  • Selcuk - Cooking class

  • Selcuk - Leader-led orientation walk

  • Ephesus - Archaeological site visit

  • Pamukkale - Hierapolis and Travertines National Park

show more

What's Not Included

  • Tipping and Gratuities

  • International Travel

Transport

  • This trip includes some long travel days and some rough travelling in areas away from main tourist routes. Windy roads and rough surfaces make for some challenging travel experiences. On some long travel days we depart early in the morning to ensure we optimize our time at our next destination. If you experience travel sickness we recommend you consider medication to help ease the discomfort.

Accommodation

  • The style of accommodation indicated in the day-to-day itinerary is a guideline only and may change. On some occasions, alternative arrangements may need to be made due to the lack of availability of rooms in our preferred accommodation. In these cases, we will use a similar standard of accommodation.
  • Throughout the trip, we request that our properties prepare rooms in time for our arrival, especially if we're arriving prior to normal check-in time. However, this isn't always possible which means we won't be able to check-in immediately on arrival at some hotels. Instead, we can store our luggage and explore our new destination or on some trips, have use of shared day rooms until all rooms are available.

Important Information

  • 1. A complimentary airport arrival transfer is included; valid if you are arriving on Day 1 or if you have booked pre-tour accommodation through us. You must provide your flight details to your booking agent at least 14 days prior to travel.
  • 2. A single supplement is available if you’d prefer not to share a room?on this trip. The single supplement applies to all nights of your trip?and is subject to availability. There are a limited number of single supplements available per trip departure. Please speak to your booking agent for further information.
  • 3. Due to current border crossing restrictions for different Caucasus nationalities, your Trip Leader may be from nearby Ukraine or Russia. Your leader will have in-depth knowledge and extensive travel experience throughout the Caucasus. Local guides from Georgia, Azerbaijan and Armenia are represented throughout the itinerary to ensure you receive a diverse and uniquely local range of perspectives.
  • 4. Upon arrival in Baku, please meet your driver in the Arrivals Hall. If you are delayed beyond one hour after your scheduled arrival time or can't locate the driver, please call our local office representative in Baku at +994 552 974 020

Check out our Q&As

  • Are internal flights included in this tour?

    Yes

  • Is this trip right for you

    There are a couple of long drives on this trip, in particular on Days 6, 18, 20 and 26. These journeys are by private vehicle and although they may be a little tiring, they're a great chance to sit back and enjoy the passing scenery and chat to your fellow travellers.

    Some activities in Azerbaijan, Georgia and Armenia, are weather and road condition dependent. For example, the trip to the high Caucasus around Kazbegi. Your leader will keep you up to date on any necessary itinerary changes due to local conditions.

  • Are all entrance fees included in the price?

    Yes, except optional activities

  • Are children permitted to take part in the tour?

    Yes if aged 15+ and accompanied by an adult

  • Are the local guides on the tour English speaking?

    Yes

  • Are airport transfers included in this tour?

    Yes, Complimentary arrival airport transfer

  • What policies are in place for Covid-19?

    Please contact us for latest COVID-19 policies

  • How long has the tour company been trading?

    Intrepid Travel has been taking travellers around the world for over 30 years

  • Will the accommodation included meet local health and safety regulations?

    Yes

  • What Ethical Travel credentials does the tour company have?

    Since 2002, The Intrepid Foundation has supported over 130 organisations across the world. We’re creating positive impact through the joy of travel, community and connection.

  • Do you operate a “single share” option and how does it work?

    Over 50% of traveller travel solo with Intrepid. You can choose to share a room with another solo travelle of the same sex for no additional charge, or choose to pay a single supplement if you’d like your own room. Please request this when booking, and we will secure you a single supplement wherever possible. Please note, if you are booking a last-minute trip, it may be harder for us to secure a single room

Reviews of this operator

Nicole  

North American Adventure

12-Oct-2021

This was my first international solo trip, but I never felt “alone” - there was always someone to go shopping, hike, or grab a quick bite with. The itinerary was a great balance between organized activities, while still allowing free time for exploring. Each location was unique and charming in its own way. Spending the night in the holy city of Moulay Idriss and wandering the winding streets of Chefchaouen were especially memorable. Thank you Mustapha and Intrepid for an incredible adventure!

Henry Guy Robinson   United Kingdom

Cambodia Discovery

22-Jan-2024

The overall experience was fantastic. V good tour leader. All places visited had something special to do or see. I would book a tour with this company again. Only one negative tour hub is not I repeat not available to contact direct by phone.

Merouane Harkat   Uk

Explore Southern Africa

08-Mar-2024

Best trip ever was, 2 things I didn't like the black mamba stop was wasting day and village ,so 2 night I think was just wasting, I could do 2 days in Kruger, and one more night in delta

Ann  

Amazing Guatemala and beyond tour with Intrepid

13-Dec-2022

Did Guatemala and beyond trip in November 22. It was amazing, we were so well looked after by our guide Aura. She was very knowledgeable and during our bus trips she gave us the history of the 4 countries. The border crossings can be tricky but handled very well by our guide. We saw all the most interesting and beautiful places. The hotels were lovely comfortable colonial style. I will travel with intrepid again

Trustpilot
RICHARD ALAN RODDY   England

Central American Journey

08-Feb-2024

Very enjoyable, good paced Tour. Tour Leader, Choko was helpful, knowledgeable and extremely informative.

Joanne W  

Wonderful Croatian tour

02-Dec-2022

Our tour guide,Tamara, was the highlight of our Explore Croatia tour. She was knowledgeable, organized, and so kind and fun. Croatia is a beautiful country. I loved the people, the scenery, the food, the history. I hope to go back one day. Intrepid was perfect for me. There was group time and there was plenty of free time. It wasn’t a luxury tour but all of our accommodations were clean and safe. The dinner in Hvar was SO special!

Trustpilot
Miguel Angel Araujo   Usa

One Week In Costa Rica

27-Feb-2024

The trip was amazing, everything was well planned out & there wasn't any issues. The tour guide was very friendly and made the experience fun. During the trip I didn't have to worry about safety as we were never put in harms way. I would definitely recommend & do again.

Kelly  

North Morocco Adventure

25-Oct-2021

Touring the beautiful North of Morocco I learned far more than I’d anticipated in this 9 day tour. Interesting sights to see, with knowledgeable local guides, this tour provides a great balance of exposure to a different culture with ample time for relaxation. Chefchaouen is an absolute highlight, & not a place many Morocco trips of this kind go to. Loved it!

Sharik  

Essential Morocca

21-Oct-2021

Essential Morocco was an absolute dream. Every single day had such informative walking tours and tours of local facilities. Whether it was dinner with a local family or visiting a pottery factory, I learned so much about Moroccan culture. The accommodations were safe and I felt secure the entire 11 days. This trip wouldn’t have been the same without one person. That person is Youssef. If you are coming to Morocco with Intrepid and you don’t request Youssef, you’re doing it wrong. Words cannot describe how incredible of a guide he is. There were 3 of us on our trip of 18-29 year olds and he made us all feel so welcome and safe all the time. Whether that is cracking jokes on long drives or giving us the itinerary for the next day, Youssef ensured we felt respected and seen.

Barbara Ruth Roback   Canada

Cambodia Adventure

15-Jan-2024

Absolutely superb leader - knowledgeable. fun, safety conscious. Group of 15 travellers from 5 countries who bonded into a solid team. In addition to a fantastic itinerary, our leader’s love of karaoke made the trip unforgettable. It even inspired a song written as a tribute to him.

1 Dates & Availability

tourhub Discount Available - Sign In

Instant Booking Available

Sunday - Sunday

Jun 09, 2024 - Jul 07, 2024
$13324 $11662

Operator discount: -$1332

Exclusive Tourhub Discount: -$330

Instant Booking Available

Sunday - Sunday

Aug 11, 2024 - Sep 08, 2024
$12695 $12346

Exclusive Tourhub Discount: -$349

Instant Booking Available

Sunday - Sunday

Aug 18, 2024 - Sep 15, 2024
$12815 $12463

Exclusive Tourhub Discount: -$352

Instant Booking Available

Sunday - Sunday

Aug 25, 2024 - Sep 22, 2024
$13935 $13552

Exclusive Tourhub Discount: -$383

Instant Booking Available

Sunday - Sunday

Sep 01, 2024 - Sep 29, 2024
$13935 $13552

Exclusive Tourhub Discount: -$383

Instant Booking Available

Thursday - Thursday

Sep 05, 2024 - Oct 03, 2024
$12585 $12239

Exclusive Tourhub Discount: -$346

Instant Booking Available

Sunday - Sunday

Sep 08, 2024 - Oct 06, 2024
$13200 $12837

Exclusive Tourhub Discount: -$363

Instant Booking Available

Sunday - Sunday

Sep 15, 2024 - Oct 13, 2024
$14475 $14077

Exclusive Tourhub Discount: -$398

Instant Booking Available

Thursday - Thursday

Sep 19, 2024 - Oct 17, 2024
$13075 $12715

Exclusive Tourhub Discount: -$360

Instant Booking Available

Sunday - Sunday

Sep 22, 2024 - Oct 20, 2024
$14475 $14077

Exclusive Tourhub Discount: -$398

Instant Booking Available

Sunday - Sunday

Sep 29, 2024 - Oct 27, 2024
$13815 $13435

Exclusive Tourhub Discount: -$380

Instant Booking Available

Sunday - Sunday

Oct 06, 2024 - Nov 03, 2024
$12955 $12599

Exclusive Tourhub Discount: -$356

Instant Booking Available

Sunday - Sunday

Oct 13, 2024 - Nov 10, 2024
$11870 $11544

Exclusive Tourhub Discount: -$326

Instant Booking Available

Sunday - Sunday

Mar 30, 2025 - Apr 27, 2025
$14230 $13839

Exclusive Tourhub Discount: -$391

Instant Booking Available

Sunday - Sunday

Apr 06, 2025 - May 04, 2025
$13995 $13610

Exclusive Tourhub Discount: -$385

Instant Booking Available

Sunday - Sunday

Apr 13, 2025 - May 11, 2025
$13995 $13610

Exclusive Tourhub Discount: -$385

Instant Booking Available

Sunday - Sunday

Apr 20, 2025 - May 18, 2025
$13995 $13610

Exclusive Tourhub Discount: -$385

Instant Booking Available

Thursday - Thursday

Apr 24, 2025 - May 22, 2025
$13995 $13610

Exclusive Tourhub Discount: -$385

Instant Booking Available

Sunday - Sunday

Apr 27, 2025 - May 25, 2025
$13995 $13610

Exclusive Tourhub Discount: -$385

Instant Booking Available

Sunday - Sunday

May 04, 2025 - Jun 01, 2025
$15115 $14699

Exclusive Tourhub Discount: -$416

Instant Booking Available

Sunday - Sunday

May 11, 2025 - Jun 08, 2025
$15115 $14699

Exclusive Tourhub Discount: -$416

Instant Booking Available

Thursday - Thursday

May 15, 2025 - Jun 12, 2025
$13995 $13610

Exclusive Tourhub Discount: -$385

Instant Booking Available

Sunday - Sunday

May 18, 2025 - Jun 15, 2025
$15115 $14699

Exclusive Tourhub Discount: -$416

Instant Booking Available

Sunday - Sunday

May 25, 2025 - Jun 22, 2025
$15115 $14699

Exclusive Tourhub Discount: -$416

Instant Booking Available

Sunday - Sunday

Jun 01, 2025 - Jun 29, 2025
$14550 $14150

Exclusive Tourhub Discount: -$400

Instant Booking Available

Sunday - Sunday

Jun 08, 2025 - Jul 06, 2025
$14550 $14150

Exclusive Tourhub Discount: -$400

Instant Booking Available

Sunday - Sunday

Jun 15, 2025 - Jul 13, 2025
$14550 $14150

Exclusive Tourhub Discount: -$400

Instant Booking Available

Sunday - Sunday

Jun 22, 2025 - Jul 20, 2025
$14550 $14150

Exclusive Tourhub Discount: -$400

Instant Booking Available

Sunday - Sunday

Jul 06, 2025 - Aug 03, 2025
$13995 $13610

Exclusive Tourhub Discount: -$385

Instant Booking Available

Sunday - Sunday

Jul 20, 2025 - Aug 17, 2025
$13995 $13610

Exclusive Tourhub Discount: -$385

Instant Booking Available

Sunday - Sunday

Aug 03, 2025 - Aug 31, 2025
$14550 $14150

Exclusive Tourhub Discount: -$400

Instant Booking Available

Sunday - Sunday

Aug 17, 2025 - Sep 14, 2025
$14550 $14150

Exclusive Tourhub Discount: -$400

Instant Booking Available

Thursday - Thursday

Aug 21, 2025 - Sep 18, 2025
$14550 $14150

Exclusive Tourhub Discount: -$400

Instant Booking Available

Sunday - Sunday

Aug 24, 2025 - Sep 21, 2025
$14550 $14150

Exclusive Tourhub Discount: -$400

Instant Booking Available

Sunday - Sunday

Aug 31, 2025 - Sep 28, 2025
$14550 $14150

Exclusive Tourhub Discount: -$400

Instant Booking Available

Thursday - Thursday

Sep 04, 2025 - Oct 02, 2025
$15115 $14699

Exclusive Tourhub Discount: -$416

Instant Booking Available

Sunday - Sunday

Sep 07, 2025 - Oct 05, 2025
$15115 $14699

Exclusive Tourhub Discount: -$416

Instant Booking Available

Thursday - Thursday

Sep 11, 2025 - Oct 09, 2025
$15115 $14699

Exclusive Tourhub Discount: -$416

Instant Booking Available

Sunday - Sunday

Sep 14, 2025 - Oct 12, 2025
$15115 $14699

Exclusive Tourhub Discount: -$416

Instant Booking Available

Thursday - Thursday

Sep 18, 2025 - Oct 16, 2025
$13995 $13610

Exclusive Tourhub Discount: -$385

Instant Booking Available

Sunday - Sunday

Sep 21, 2025 - Oct 19, 2025
$15115 $14699

Exclusive Tourhub Discount: -$416

Instant Booking Available

Thursday - Thursday

Sep 25, 2025 - Oct 23, 2025
$13995 $13610

Exclusive Tourhub Discount: -$385

Instant Booking Available

Sunday - Sunday

Sep 28, 2025 - Oct 26, 2025
$15115 $14699

Exclusive Tourhub Discount: -$416

Instant Booking Available

Thursday - Thursday

Oct 02, 2025 - Oct 30, 2025
$14550 $14150

Exclusive Tourhub Discount: -$400

Instant Booking Available

Sunday - Sunday

Oct 05, 2025 - Nov 02, 2025
$14550 $14150

Exclusive Tourhub Discount: -$400

Instant Booking Available

Sunday - Sunday

Oct 12, 2025 - Nov 09, 2025
$13995 $13610

Exclusive Tourhub Discount: -$385

Book with Confidence

  • Free Date Changes

    Intrepid Travel allows you to make 10 free date changes, as long as the change is made at least 56 days before the start of the tour.

  • Transfer as credit to Future Tours

    Intrepid Travel allows you to transfer existing payments to a future tour to avoid cancellation fees if you can't travel and inform intrepid travel, 56 days before departure.

  • Low Deposit

    Intrepid Travel requires a minimum deposit of 400 USD per person or the full booking value, whichever is less, with the final balance not due until 56 days before departure.

  • Cancellation Policy

    We don't charge a cancellation fee, here is a summary of intrepid travel charges.

    Up to 56 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of deposit.

    At 55 days before tour starts: Forfeit 30% of booking price.

    At 30 days before tour starts: Forfeit 60% of booking price.

    At 14 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of booking price.

  • COVID Protection

    Trips from 1 January 2023 onwards
    From 1 January 2023, Intrepid will no longer require travellers to provide proof of vaccination against COVID-19.

    However, we continue to strongly recommend that all travellers and leaders get vaccinated to protect themselves and other Specific proof of testing or vaccination may still be required by your destination or airline. Please ensure you check travel and entry requirements carefully.

    This policy excludes all Polar trips and select adventure cruises, where testing and vaccination remains a requirement. Please refer to the Essential Trip Information of your chosen tour for more details.

Why book with tourhub?

Safe & Secure

Your money is protected in an external trust until you travel.

pts logo

100% Guaranteed Refunds if your trip is cancelled.


The safest way to make overseas, multi-currency payments.

Guaranteed Best Value

Industry leading discounts, we won't be beaten on price.


No cancellation or amendment fees from tourhub.

(Operator terms may apply)

Expert Knowledge

Reliable & unbiased advice from travel experts.


Direct contact with the tour operator via our messaging service.


Inspiration & advice from a community of 6000+ real travellers, influencers & content creators.

Trusted Service

Official partners & licensed agents of 1000+ tour operators worldwide.


Don't just take our word for it...

"Tourhub: Friendliness, Professionalism & Integrity I would happily give tourhub a 6* review if I could..."

Similar Tours

Travel Guru Features

Our Reviews