Tour Highlights:

  • Reveal the secrets of the Caucasus - a hidden land, from Baku to Tbilisi and Yerevan to dramatic Caucasus Mountains and Silk Road sites frozen in time.

  • Experience the uncommon Caucasian hospitality at its best, visit wineries, sample Armenian cuisine and Georgian polyphonic singing

  • Cruise on the Caspian Bay in Baku

  • Explore Yerevan, the most dynamic capital in the Caucasus.

  • Travel along the famed Georgian Military Highway to the Caucasus Mountains

  • Explore the cave monastery of Vardzia

  • Visit Zoroastrian Fire Temples and 6000-year old Stone and Iron Age Petroglyphs

  • Visit the oldest Stonehenge in the world - 7500-year old in Armenia - Karahunj (Zorats Karer)

  • Visit  UNESCO World Heritage Sites

  • Ride the world's longest aerial tramway taking to Tatev Monastery

  • Marvel at the beauty of the biblical Mount Ararat, where the Noah's ark landed after the Great Flood

Itinerary in brief:

Day 1: Arrival to Baku (Azerbaijan)
Day 2: Baku city tour  
Day 3: Absheron Peninsula

Day 4: Baku - Shemakha - Lahij - Sheki

Day 5: Sheki city tour

Day 6: Sheki to Telavi (Georgia)

Day 7: Telavi - Sighnaghi - Tbilisi

Day 8: Tbilisi city tour

Day 9: Tbilisi to Gudauri

Day 10: Gudauri – Georgia Pass – Gudauri

Day 11: To Akhalkaltsikhe via Gori

Day 12: A day tip to Vardzia cave town

Day 13: Akhalkaltsikhe - Tbilisi

Day 14: Tbilisi –  Haghpat - Dilijan – Sevan (Armenia)

Day 15: Sevan – Noratus cemetery - Orbelian Caravanserai – Tatev – Goris

Day 16: Goris – Zorats Karer – Noravank – Khor Virap – Yerevan

Day 17: Yerevan City Tour

Day 18: Echmiadzin

Day 19: Garni, Geghard

Day 20: Departure from Yerevan

 
 

Rates & Departures

Please contact us to get your quote

* The minimum number of the group is 6 persons - Max. is 10 persons

Guaranteed Departures:

Group #1: May 10-29, 2021

Group #2: Jun 10-29, 2021

Group #3: Sep 10- 29, 2021

Group #4: May 10-29, 2022

Group #5: Jun 10-29, 2022

Group #6: Sep 10-29, 2022

Caucasian-treasures-20-days.jpg
 

What's Included!

Price of the private tours in USD based on DBL/TWIN room occupancy:

*Single Supplement is the additional amount applied to the cost of the trip to those who are travelling solo and do not wish to share.

Notes:
* Other hotels are available on request ( 4 or 5 star hotels)
* The tour is free of charge for children under 5 years old
* 50% discount for children from 6 to 10 years old with extra bed in room

Included

  • Accommodation at 4* hotels in DBL/Twin rooms (19 nights)

  • Transportation with a comfortable cars with AC

  • English speaking guide

  • Breakfast at the hotel

  • Entrance fees to all visited places

  • Armenian bread Lavash making in a local house in Garni village

  • Wine tasting in Areni village

  • Full board meal plan (18 Lunch/18 dinner)

  • Airport transfers

  • Local taxes

Not Included

  • Flights

  • Meals on the arrival and departure days

  • Travel insurance

  • Visa to Armenia and Georgia (if required)

  • Visa to Azerbaijan

  • Single room supplement

  • Bank transfer fees

 

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival in Baku (Azerbaijan)

Welcome to Baku! Meet & greet at the airport. Transfer to your hotel. Overnight in Baku

Days 2: Baku City tour

After breakfast we explore the oldest district of the city – “Old Baku” or “Icheri Shey-Har” (UNESCO World Heritage Site) with its maze of narrow, cobblestone streets lined with small mosques nestled between terraced cafes and grand turn-of-the-century architecture. Dozens of historical-architectural monuments are found here such as the Palace Shirvan Shahs, the Maiden Tower which is the symbol of Baku city, the Caravanserai – the merchants’ rest-stop. Old Baku is inhabited by 1300 families. It’s an ancient city inside the modern city of Baku. 

Overnight in Baku (B-/L-/D-)

 

Day 3: Absheron Peninsula

Drive to the Absheron Peninsula which was the site of some of the world's first petroleum production in the 19th century and shows the ravages of its oil-rich history. We will visit Gobustan (UNESCO), a culturally significant landscape of myriad rock carvings with over 6,000 Stone and Iron Age petroglyphs which depict people, animals, battle-pieces, ritual dances, bullfights, boats with armed oarsmen, warriors with lances in their hands, camel caravans, pictures of sun and stars, on the average dating back to 5,000-20,000 years.

Later we visit the temple of fire worshippers called “Ateshgah”. Thousands of years ago the ancient supporters of Zoroaster religion worshipped the fire here. We continue to “The Burning Mountain” called Yanar Dag. Here you can witness an amazing natural phenomenon - the incessant natural gas burning process. Back to Baku.

Overnight in Baku (B-/L-/D-)

 

Day 4: Baku to Shemakha, Lahij and Sheki

Today we head northwest along one of the most scenic routes in Azerbaijan. We will pass through stark, arid landscapes dotted with mud volcanoes, before arriving in Maraza where just off the main road lies Pir Diri Baba Mausoleum built precariously into the side of a cliff. Stop in Shemakha, once the capital of the Shirvan Empire. We visit the Grand Mosque, built on the foundations of the first mosque built in the Caucasus in the 10th century. Afterwards we drive up into the mountains to explore the town of coppersmiths - Lahij, whose small population still speak their own language.
Overnight in Sheki, a lovely town which used to be on the Great Silk Road (B-/L-/D-)

Day 5: Sheki city tour

Early in the morning we visit Kish Church, a beautiful early medieval Caucasian Albanian church, located just outside of Sheki. Return to Sheki and check out a workshop where “shebeke” stained glass windows made with no glue or nails – are produced by masters.

The main attraction of this charming town is the exquisite Khan's Palace, inside the fortress walls and adorned with detailed mosaics and “shebeke” windows.

Overnight Sheki (B-/L-/D-)

 

Day 6: From Sheki to Telavi (Georgia)

This morning we depart for Georgia traveling along the foothills of the Greater

Caucasus range to reach Kakheti, a famous ancient wine making area. Georgia is considered one of the ancient winemaking centers. Lunch at a local winery in the Kakheti region. Continue to Gremi and its impressive citadel complex consisting of a 16th century domed church, tower and king’s chamber. We will also visit Alaverdi Cathedral. Built in the 11th century it is the 2nd tallest religious building in Georgia (155 ft or 55 m). We also visit the largest center of education in medieval Georgia - Ikalto Academy, beautifully located in a grove of cypress trees

Overnight in Telavi (B-/L-/D-)

 

Day 7: Telavi - Sighnaghi - Tbilisi

Today we will visit the fortified town of Sighnaghi, which is famous for its wine and carpet making culture. Enjoy breathtaking views of the Kizikhi area and the unique charm of Sighnaghi Royal Town. Have a walk in the narrow streets of the town shadowed by the wooden balconies, which are richly decorated with the lace of carved ornaments.
Overnight in Tbilisi (B-/L-/D-)

 

Day 8: Tbilisi city tour 

A day dedicated to the exploration of Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia. Tbilisi today is one of the most modern and cosmopolitan cities in the Caucasus. It was founded in the 6th century. Since that time the city has been destroyed and rebuilt on nearly 30 different occasions following a long history of fighting off Persian, Arab, Turkmen, Mongol, Turk and, finally, Russian invaders. We begin our tour with a visit to Old Tbilisi town with its "Sulfur Baths" district, Georgian Orthodox and Armenian Apostolic churches, and a Jewish synagogue and a Turkish mosque side by side, reflecting Tbilisi's acceptance and tolerance of different religions. We can also see a recent monument - Sameba Cathedral, the largest Christian Orthodox cathedral in the Caucasus. Besides we'll visit other sites such as Metekhi Church erected on a huge cliff, overlooking the Mtkvari River. Visit the State Museum of Georgia. 

Overnight in Tbilisi (B-/L-/D-)

 

Day 9: Tbilisi to Gudauri

Today we will drive north along the Georgian Military Highway, linking Georgia with Russia into the mountainous provinces of the Greater Caucasus. The first stop of our tour will be in sacred Mtskheta (UNESCO World Heritage Site), the ancient capital of eastern Georgia. Georgia conversion to Christianity took place in Mtskheta in 337 AD. We will visit Church of Jvari perched on a cliff overlooking the city, the Sveti-Tskhoveli Cathedral, the first Christian church to be built in Georgia. Continuing our journey into the mountains, we will stop in Ananuri to see the incredible 16th century fortress complex built by the warring dukes of Aragvi in an attempt to control the main road. This evening overnight in Gudauri, a popular winter mountain resort-town.

Overnight in Gudauri (B-/L-/D-)

Day 10: Gudauri – Georgia Pass – Gudauri

Continuing our journey up and north through alpine meadows and mountain passes littered with medieval watchtowers, we will reach Dariali Gorge, a 9 mile (14 km) gash in the Earth. We will marvel at the snow-capped Mount Kazbek (the highest mountain in Georgia), an extinct volcano that surrounds us and reaches to just over 16,500 feet (5047m). We drive to the base of the hill and then walk across the meadow leading to the Tsminda Sameba Monastery - a 14th century church built on a mountain peak at 7,200 feet (2200m). After Tbilisi, it is the most popular sight in Georgia.

Dinner and overnight in Gudauri (B-/L-/D-)

Day 11: Gudauri - Gori - Akhaltsikhe

We journey down from the mountains stopping in Gori, founded by one of the greatest kings of Georgia, David the Builder in the 12th century.  Visit the house museum of Joseph Stalin in Gori as this town is his birthplace. Continue our trip through the Borjomi Gorge and make a stop in the Borjomi Forest for our walk to the Chitakhevi St. George (Green) Monastery, built between the 9th and 10th centuries.

Overnight in Akhaltshikhe (B-/L-/D-)

Day 12: Akhaltshikhe – Vardzia Cave town – Akhaltsikhe

Today venture further into the southwestern region of Samtshke-Javakheti, named after two of the original Georgian tribes, the Meskh and Javakhs and often seen as the cradle of Georgian culture. The road to Vardzia leads past arid and stone-terraced landscapes including the famed 10th century Khertvisi Castle, one of the oldest fortresses in Georgia. Vardzia history is inextricably linked to Queen Tamar, Georgia's most famous and loved royal who reigned during the 12th century. It became the most important monastery and primary center of culture in Georgia.

Overnight in Akhaltshikhe (B-/L-/D-)

Day 13: Akhaltsikhe - Tbilisi

Today we return to Tbilisi, stopping en route to visit the Phoka St. Nino Nunnery. Established on July 23, 1992 by the Catholicos-Patriarch of all Georgia, Ilia II, the convent is situated in an Alpine zone 6,890 feet (2,100m) above the sea. As the legend goes, this very place was Saint Nino's entrance point to Georgia and she then followed the river Paravani to the city of Mtskheta. A beautiful basilica dedicated to St. Nino was built here in the 10th century and was later restored by the monastery in 2005.

Overnight in Tbilisi (B-/L-/D-)

Day 14: Tbilisi - Haghpat (Armenia) - Dilijan - Sevan

Drive to Armenia, our first stop is Haghpat monastery (UNESCO) dating back to the 10th century. It’s a perfect example of medieval Armenian architecture. Continue to Dilijan, known as "Armenia's Little Switzerland". Visit Haghartsin, a fairy-tale medieval monastery nestled in the middle of the forest. 

Overnight in Sevan (B-/L-/D-)

Day 15: Sevan – Orbelian's Caravanserai – Tatev – Goris

Visit the 9th century Sevanavank Monastery on the peninsula hill located at Lake Sevan. It is one of the world’s largest highest freshwater lakes at 6233 ft. Driving through Vardenyats Mountain Pass famous for its fascinating colorful mountains we reach the Orbelian Caravanserai along the Great Silk Road. Riding the world’s longest aerial tramway (3.5 mi) you’ll reach the miraculous Tatev Monastery, the most formidable monastic complex in Armenia founded in the 9th century.

Overnight in Goris (B-/L-/D-)

Day 16: Goris – Karahunj – Noravank – Khor Virap – Yerevan

Our first stop is Karahunj known as the “Armenian Stonehenge”, the oldest observatory in the world which is 7500 years old, truly an enigmatic site. Our next stop is Noravank Monastery, an architectural gemstone nestled among brick-red cliffs, just above a deep gorge. Later we'll drive to Areni village, the cradle of viticulture. This is where the world’s oldest winery (6100 years old) has been found in Areni-1 Cave Complex. Winery tour and wine tasting. Drive to the 4th century iconic Khor Virap Monastery at the closest point to biblical Mount Ararat (5165m or about 17,000 ft).

Overnight in Yerevan (B-/L-/D)


Day 17: Yerevan City Tour

Today we explore the secrets and hidden gems of Yerevan, the rose-colored “pearl” of Armenia, a beautiful European city mostly built with different shades of local pink stone called "tuf" quarried in Armenia. Founded in 782 B.C. Yerevan is reputedly one of the oldest cities in the world to have been continuously inhabited. A cultural showcase not to be missed is Matenadaran, one of the world’s largest and oldest repositories of Armenian, Greek, Persian manuscripts. Marvel at the illuminated pages of some of those manuscripts within their glass cases.  

Tour of "Goom" food bazaar, a real museum of food! Lunch in the best traditional Armenian restaurant. Thereafter you visit Yerevan Brandy Company built in 1877. The degustation will include their best cognac and one kind of the oldest wines from 1944.

Overnight in Yerevan (B-/L-/D-)


Day 18: Echmiadzin – Zvartnots Ruins

Today we embark on our journey to the lands of ancient treasures of Christian history…Vatican City of Armenia, the spiritual center of Armenia and the seat of the Armenian Patriarch. Explore the UNESCO heritage sites; the Mother Cathedral of Holy Etchmiadzin (303 AD), the oldest official church in the world; the 7th c. Church of St. Hripsime and Zvartnots ruins. Lunch with a cooking class with our charming host in a small village.

Overnight in Yerevan (B-/L-/D-)

 

Day 19: Garni Temple – Geghard Monastery - Symphony of Stones

We drive to Garni Fortress, the royal summer residence of the Armenian Kings and visit Garni Temple of the Sun, the only standing Hellenistic temple in the Caucasus and the former USSR. We continue to Geghard Monastery (UNESCO), the most beautiful rock-cut medieval monastery in the world with its fascinating natural setting and decorative art carved inside the solid rock. Traditional Armenian bread “lavash” making near the monastery and lunch in a local house. Tour the Garni Gorge to see the most surreal site in Armenia – “Symphony of Stones”.

Overnight in Yerevan (B-/L-/D-)


Day 20: Departure

Transfer to Zvartnots International Airport near Yerevan. Departure

 

I was lucky enough to choose The Caucasus Tours to organize my family trip to Armenia. It is the best company I have ever used. They chose a beautiful hotel for us with a local character in Yerevan downtown where we had the best breakfast ever with stunning views of Mount Ararat. They provided us with a luxury minivan with an absolutely charming driver - Artur. Our guide (Ani) was the highlight! She made our trip the absolute best we've ever had! She is passionate and knowledgeable about Armenia. You will leave with an appreciation of her country and of her! .

- Christelle C.

 
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