Mountains and Monasteries

Mountains and Monasteries

189 Views
21 Days
From

$6862

$6673

Mountains and Monasteries

21 Days Starting in Baku and ending in Tbilisi

Visiting: Baku, Sheki , Telavi, Tbilisi , Gudauri , Kutaisi , Mestia (Svaneti) , Borjomi , Gyumri , Yerevan , Goris , Tsaghkadzor

Tour operator:

Sundowners Overland

Tour code:

MOBT

Guide Type:

Fully Guided

Group size:

1 - 15

Physical rating:

Relaxed

Age range:

All ages

From:
$6862
$6673 (USD) The Big ADVENTURE Sale: $189
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Tour Overview

Retrace old caravan routes, discover ancient pagan temples lost in time, see monasteries carved into solid rock, and marvel at a collection of mysterious stones 3,000 years older than Stonehenge. You’ll find them all in the stunning high Caucasus Mountains.

Itinerary

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Day 1: Baku
Location: Baku

Spared destruction by the Mongols, Azerbaijan-€™s capital of Baku has a walled city where narrow streets lead to Shirvanshah-€™s Palace and the Maiden Tower, while the Caravanserai is a reminder that Silk Road caravans once stopped here.
In the evening of Day 1 join your Tour Leader and fellow travellers at 5:00pm for your Welcome Meeting as detailed on your Joining Instructions.

Day 2: Baku
Location: Baku

We begin the day exploring Baku, including the medieval walled city 'Icheri Sheher'.  We then travel to the countryside where we find a Zoroastrian fire temple, formerly used by traders from Persia and India, while the Yanar Dag Fire Mountain is an interesting geological occurrence.

Day 3: Baku To Sheki
Location: Sheki

Today we travel through beautiful landscapes stopping first to visit Shemakha.  Weather permitting we will also stop by the 'village of masters' Lahij which is famous for its' authentic handicrafts, particularly copper.  

Day 4: Sheki And Kish
Location: Sheki

Sheki is one of the most ancient cities of Azerbaijan and is rightly called the architectural reserve of the country.  The Palace of Sheki Khans is a rare and stunning example of combining the national and palace architecture traditions.  We also visit the workshop of Kelagai, which is a traditional large, square silk head scarf and its production is included in the list of intangible cultural heritage UNESCO. 

Day 5: To Kakheti
Location: Telavi

Welcome to Georgia!  Today we travel across the border and into the Kakheti wine region, and the towns of Gremi, Nekresi and Telavi, enjoying the excellent food, wine and stunning mountain views.

Day 6: To Tbilisi
Location: Tbilisi

Tbilisi, the charming capital is situated on the Mtkvari River and is a delightful city to explore on foot. With 5th century origins in the Old Town we visit Metekhi Church and Sioni Cathedral then stroll along Rustaveli Avenue to Freedom Square.

Day 7: To Gudauri
Location: Gudauri

Today we farewell our welcoming hosts and continue our journey to the UNESCO site of Mtskheta, the centre of the Georgian Orthodox Church and one of the oldest continually inhabited cities in the world. Christianity was proclaimed the state religion here in the 4th century, today the Jvari Monastery and Svetitskhoveli Cathedral are UNESCO World Heritage Listed sites. From here we join the Georgian Military Highway and continue onto the mountain resort of Gudauri.

Day 8: Gudauri And Stepantsminda
Location: Gudauri

A stunning drive from Gudauri along the Tergi River will bring us to Kazbegi -€“ the main town in the region. We set out on a challenging and rewarding 1.5 hour walk to Gergeti Trinity Church (2170m) high in the Caucasus Mountains. Alternatively, transport will be arranged locally. Weather permitting you will have a chance to see Mt Kazbegi.

Day 9: Kutaisi Via Gori
Location: Kutaisi

We continue through Gori, Stalin-€™s birthplace, to see where it all began visiting the dictators house and museum -€“ though you will not find any reference to his purges which cost millions their lives. Then on to Kutaisi.

Day 10: Mestia (Svaneti)
Location: Mestia (Svaneti)

Climbing deep into the Caucasus Mountains to Svaneti we see unique -€˜watchtower-€™ constructions which provided protection from would-be conquerors so successfully that the Svan tribes became isolated in their mountain fortresses. Enjoy a cable car ride up Mt Zuruldi (weather permitting) where exceptional views of the Caucasus Mountains can be enjoyed. Continuing to Zugdidi where we join a tour of the Dadiani Palace, a testimony to the regions rich royal past, before continuing to Mestia.

Day 11: Mestia
Location: Mestia (Svaneti)

Travel deep into the Svan heartland to Ushguli which at 2200 metres is the highest permanent village in Europe. Today upper Svaneti is a UNESCO Heritage Site, where the locals retain their old unwritten language and are known to practice blood-feuds from time to time. Svan offers some of the best views in Europe across the surrounding peaks and glaciers of the High Caucasus, and if the weather conditions are right, we-€™ll have the opportunity to see them.

Day 12: Return To Kutaisi
Location: Kutaisi

It is Kutaisi where Georgia-€™s most revered King, David the Builder, is buried within the UNESCO listed Gelati Monastery. Here we marvel at the wonderful mosaics and wall paintings of this well-preserved complex.

Day 13: Borjomi Via Akhaltsikhe
Location: Borjomi

We leave Kutaisi for Akhaltsikhe where we wander the Rabat Fortress (Old Town) with its rare examples of darbazebi (traditional Georgian houses), castle, mosque and synagogue. Later we visit Prometheus grotto, one of Georgia-€™s natural wonders rich in petrified waterfalls, stalactites, stalagmites, underground rivers and lakes.  

Day 14: Gyumri
Location: Gyumri

This morning we visit the remarkable remains of Vardzia, a monastery complex carved into the rocks and cliffs dating back to the 12th - 13th centuries.
Continuing to the Armenian Border at Bavra we farewell our Georgian guide and after completing border formalities we set foot in Armenia bound for the capital of the Shirak Province, Gyumri.

Day 15: Into Armenia And Yerevan
Location: Yerevan

Armenia was the world-€™s first state to adopt Christianity as its official religion. Winding our way to Armenia-€™s capital we make a stop at the archaeological remains of Zvartnots.

Day 16: Yerevan
Location: Yerevan

Beyond the city we visit the last surviving Pagan Temple in Garni of indeterminate origin, and farther on the UNSECO World Heritage Listed monastery of Geghard, which is carved, literally, out of the surrounding mountain.

Day 17: Yerevan
Location: Yerevan

Whilst in Yerevan we explore the delightful city with beautiful tree-line streets, cafes and museums on our city tour including a visit to the State History Museum.

Day 18: Yerevan To Goris
Location: Goris

Leaving Yerevan we stop to admire some of the region-€™s surrounding treasures including Noravank Monastery. We will also take in the stunning Tatev Monastery as well as the breathtaking view over biblical Mt Ararat (weather permitting), the reputed resting place of Noah-€™s Ark.

Day 19: Goris To Tsaghkadzor
Location: Tsaghkadzor

Travelling northwards from Goris to Tsaghkadzor we visit the breathtaking Khndzoresk Village. Situated on the steep slopes of Khir Dzor is the thousand-year-old Khndzoresk cave village, today around four hundred natural and man-made dwellings remain etched in the hillsides. Sixty-three metres above the ground Khndoresk Swinging Bridge runs over a deep canyon connecting the old and new villages.
Continuing our journey, we take some time to uncover the mysterious Karahunge Observatory, known as the Armenian Stonehenge (predating its English counterpart by 3,000 years), Selim Caravanserai and onto Gegharkunik region to see Noratus Medieval Khachkar Field, a fascinating medieval cemetery. The scenery and mountain setting provides the perfect canvas and backdrop to such a unique and impressive array of history, carved in stone.

Day 20: Tsaghkadzor To Tbilisi
Location: Tbilisi

Today we wind our way through valleys and gorges to seek out the hidden monasteries amongst untouched nature, serenity and impressive architecture - Haghpat and Haghartsin before returning to Tbilisi. En route we pause at the serene Lake Sevan, the world-€™s second largest, high altitude lake at 1900 metres above sea level. From here we can climb up to Sevanavank Monastery to marvel at the stunning panoramic views across the azure waters.

Day 21: Tbilisi
Location: Tbilisi

Our adventure has drawn to a close. Say farewell to your travelling companions and tour leader before departing your hotel this morning. 

Check out our Q&As

  • Who will be my travelling companions on the tour?

    Like-minded, well travelled clients who you are sure to forge lasting friendships with as you unlock the wonders of the world together.

  • How long has the tour company been trading?

    Since 1964

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

    You will

  • What documents will I receive before I travel?

    Comprehensive tour documentation and visa guidelines

  • What policies are in place for Covid-19?

    Please see full booking conditions for details.

  • Can I join the tour once it has departed?

    Contact us to see if an alternative start point applies to your chosen journey.

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

    Yes, we ensure that all accommodation is of a suitable standard for our journeys.

  • What happens if I need to change my holiday date once I’ve booked?

    Please see full booking conditions for details

Dates & Availability

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Tuesday - Monday

Apr 09, 2024 - Apr 29, 2024
$6862 $6673 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: $189 (USD)

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Tuesday - Monday

May 14, 2024 - Jun 03, 2024
$6862 $6673 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: $189 (USD)

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Tuesday - Monday

Jun 18, 2024 - Jul 08, 2024
$7032 $6839 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: $193 (USD)

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Tuesday - Monday

Jul 16, 2024 - Aug 05, 2024
$7127 $6931 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: $196 (USD)

Instant Booking Available

Tuesday - Monday

Sep 10, 2024 - Sep 30, 2024
$7127 $6931 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: $196 (USD)

Instant Booking Available

Tuesday - Monday

Oct 08, 2024 - Oct 28, 2024
$7032 $6839 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: $193 (USD)

Instant Booking Available

Tuesday - Monday

Apr 08, 2025 - Apr 28, 2025
$6931 $6741 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: $191 (USD)

Instant Booking Available

Tuesday - Monday

May 13, 2025 - Jun 02, 2025
$7133 $6937 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: $196 (USD)

Instant Booking Available

Tuesday - Monday

Jun 17, 2025 - Jul 07, 2025
$7310 $7109 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: $201 (USD)

Instant Booking Available

Tuesday - Monday

Jul 15, 2025 - Aug 04, 2025
$7411 $7208 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: $204 (USD)

Instant Booking Available

Tuesday - Monday

Sep 09, 2025 - Sep 29, 2025
$7411 $7208 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: $204 (USD)

Instant Booking Available

Tuesday - Monday

Oct 07, 2025 - Oct 27, 2025
$7310 $7109 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: $201 (USD)

Book with Confidence

  • Low Deposit

    Sundowners Overland requires a minimum deposit of 10% or the full booking value, whichever is less, with the final balance not due until 75 days before departure.

  • Cancellation Policy

    We don't charge a cancellation fee, here is a summary of sundowners overland charges.

    Up to 75 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of deposit.

    At 74 days before tour starts: Forfeit 50% of booking price.

    At 35 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of booking price.

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