Tour Highlights:

  • Experience Kazakh, Kyrgyz, Uzbek, Tajik, Turkmen and Russian cultures

  • 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

  • Walk through the Silk Road cities of Bukhara, Samarkand and Khiva

  • 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

  • Enjoy one of Asia's largest bazaars

  • 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 Ashgabat (Turkmenistan)
Day 2: Ashgabat - Darwaza gas crater  
Day 3: Ashgabat - Mary - Merv acient city - Bukhara (Uzbekistan)

Day 4: Bukhara city tour

Day 5: From Bukhara to Samarkand

Day 6: Samarkand city tour

Day 7: A day trip to Tajakistan 

Day 8: Samarkand - Tashkent

Day 9: Tashkent - Rishtan - Osh (Kyrgyzstan)

Day 10: City tours in Osh and Bishkesh

Day 11: Bishkesh - Burana Tower - Issy-Kul Lake

Day 12: Issy-Kul Lake - Karakol

Day 13: Karagol - Charyn canyon - Almaty (Kazakhstan)

Day 14: Almaty city tour

Day 15: Flight from Almaty to Baku (Azerbaijan)

Day 16: Baku city tour

Day 17: Absheron Peninsula

Day 18: Baku - Shemakha - Lahij - Sheki

Day 19: Sheki city tour

Day 20: Sheki to Telavi (Georgia)

Day 21: Telavi - Sighnaghi - Tbilisi

Day 22: Tbilisi city tour

Day 23: Tbilisi to Gudauri

Day 24: Gudauri – Georgia Pass – Gudauri

Day 25: To Akhalkaltsikhe via Gori

Day 26: A day tip to Vardzia cave town

Day 27: Akhalkaltsikhe - Tbilisi

Day 28: Tbilisi –  Haghpat - Dilijan – Sevan (Armenia)

Day 29: Sevan – Noratus cemetery - Orbelian Caravanserai – Tatev – Goris

Day 30: Goris – Zorats Karer – Noravank – Khor Virap – Yerevan

Day 31: Yerevan city tour

Day 32: Echmiadzin Mother Cathedral - Zvartnots Ruins

Day 33: Garni temple - Geghard Monastery

Day 34: Departure 

 
 

Rates & Departures

Please contact us to get your quote

Guaranteed Departures:

Group #1: Sep 1,2021

Group #2: Sep 1,2022

* 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.

For Private tours please contact us

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

 

What's Included!

Included

  • Accommodation at 4* hotels in DBL/Twin rooms (33 nights)

  • Transportation with a comfortable cars with AC

  • English speaking tour guides

  • Daily 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 (Lunches and dinners during the tours)

  • Airport transfers

  • Internal air flight from Ashgabat to Mary

  • Internal air flight from Osh to Bishkek

  • Railway transfer from Tashkent to Kokand (modern carriages,normal speed, seated places)

  • Visa invitation to Turkmenistan, including Letter of Invitation, State Registration and Travel Pass (obligatory for all foreigners).

  • Local taxes

Not Included

  • Flights

  • Meals on the arrival and departure days

  • Travel insurance

  • Visas to Armenia & Georgia (if required)

  • Visa to Azerbaijan

  • Visa invitations to Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan - (if necessary);  

  • Visa fees to Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan (if necessary)

  • Single room supplement

  • Bank transfer fees

 

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival to Ashgabat - Day trip to Kow-Ata underground lake (Turkmenistan)

Arrival in Ashgabat early in the morning. Meet at the airport and further group transfer to the hotel. Accommodation and rest.

After breakfast meet the local guide. Today we make a day trip to Nohur village, located in Kopetdag Mountains - here we visit tribal cemetery and pilgrim site; get acquainted with the local craftsmen, specializing in silk weaving. En route to Nohur village - visit Turkmenbashi mosque-

mausoleum and Kow-Ata underground lake. Return to Ashgabat in the evening.

Overnight in Ashgabat

Day 2: Ashgabat - Darwaza gas crater - Ashgabat

After breakfast start of the half-day sightseeing tour around the city. Visit National Museum of Turkmenistan, Nissa ancient fortress (UNESCO Heritage site), Independence Park and Neutrality Arch.

After lunch transfer to the most unique site in Central Asia - Darwaza burning gas crater. Arrival in Darwaza before sunset. Enjoy barbeque dinner near the burning gas crater; watch and make photos of the crater during the nighttime. Return to Ashgabat (slow driving after dark). Arrival at the hotel before or just after midnight.

Overnight in Ashgabat

 

Day 3: Ashgabat - Mary (morning flight) - Merv ancient city - "Farap" land border - Bukhara (Uzbekistan)

After breakfast meet the guide and further transfer to the airport; flight to Mary.

Upon arrival - transfer to visit the ancient city of Merv, which is also included into the list UNESCO Heritage Sites. Exploring the region.

Further transfer to the land border with Uzbekistan. Border formalities. Meet Uzbek team of guide and driver and further transfer to Bukhara.

Overnight in Bukhara

 

Day 4: Bukhara city tour

After breakfast start of the guided sightseeing tour around Bukhara: Ismail Samani Mausoleum, Chashma Ayub Mausoleum, Bolo Khauz Mosque, Ark Citadel, Po-i-Kalyan Complex (Kalyan Minaret and others), Ulugbek Madrasah, Abdulaziz-Khan Madrasah. After lunch visit Lyab-i Hauz Architectural Ensemble, Kukeldash Madrasah, Nadir Divan-Begi Madrasah, domed shopping arcade.

Overnight in Bukhara

 

Day 5: Bukhara - Samarkand (road transfer, 280 km)

Breakfast at the hotel. Transfer to Samarkand which will take around 5 hours. On arrival - start of the sightseeing tour in Samarkand. Visit the main pride of the city - Registan Square, most famous square in Central Asia (Ulugbek Madrasah, Sher-Dor Madrasah, Tilla-Qori Madrasah); and Gur-e Amir Mausoleum, Tamerlane’s final resting place.

Overnight in Samarkand

 

Day 6: Samarkand city tour

Breakfast at the hotel. Meet the guide; continuation of the city tour in Samarkand. Visit Bibi-Khanym Mosque, Shah-i-Zinda Necropolis, Ulugbek Observatory. After lunch visit Afrosiab museum and settlement, Saint Daniel’s tomb and Silk paper workshop.

Overnight in Samarkand

 

Day 7: Samarkand - “Jartepa” land border (Tajakistan) - Penjikent - “Jartepa” land border - Samarkand 

After early breakfast we take a day trip to Tajikistan - the important part of ancient Sogdiana.

In the morning - transfer to the land border with Tajikistan. Border formalities. Meet Tajik guide and driver and drive to the region of Seven Lakes. The Seven Lakes are located in the west of Fann mountains; each of them has its own color. At the last of Seven Lakes - Khozorchashma Lake we enjoy a picnic. After lunch drive to Penjikent. Sightseeing in Penjikent includes visiting of the following sites: Rudaki Museum, local Bazaar and mosque. Further visit ancient Penjikent which was a major Sogdian city and was destroyed by Arab conqueror.

By the evening - return to the land border with Uzbekistan. Border formalities and transfer to the hotel.

Overnight in Samarkand

 

Day 8: Samarkand - Tashkent

Breakfast at the hotel. Road transfer to Tashkent. On arrival - start exploring the capital city of Uzbekistan. Visit Minor white Mosque, Independence Square, Amir Timur Square and Tashkent metro. Accommodation at the hotel in the evening.

Overnight in Tashkent

 

Day 9: Tashkent - Kokand (train 060, 08:07-12:13) - Rishtan - "Dustlik" land border - Osh (Kyrgyzstan)

After early breakfast transfer to the railway station for further transfer to Kokand by train (modern carriages, normal speed, seated places).

On arrival in Kokand - one of the ancient cities of Fergana valley, start the city tour. Visit Palace of Khudayar Khan, Mausoleum of Modari Khan, Juma Mosque.  After lunch transfer to the land border with Kyrgyzstan. Border formalities. Meet Kyrgyz team of guide and driver and further transfer to Osh.

Overnight in Osh.

 

Day 10: Osh - Bishkek (midday flight). City tours in Osh and Bishkek.

After breakfast meet the guide and start the city tour in Osh. Visit Suleiman Mount, one of the main shrines of the Islamic world in Central Asia. On the mount visit to a historical museum, located in the main cave. After that walk up the hill and watch a little mosque of Babur, The Great Mogols Dynasty founder, and take a bird eye’s view of the city.

After lunch transfer to the airport and flight to Bishkek. On arrival - short sightseeing tour and transfer to the hotel.

Overnight at the hotel in Bishkek.

 

Day 11: Bishkek - Burana Tower - Issyk-Kul Lake

Breakfast at the hotel. Meet the guide and driver and drive to the second largest alpine lake in the world – Issyk-Kul Lake. On the way visit the ruins of the ancient city Balasagyn and Burana tower. Upon arrival accommodation at the hotel and rest.

Ovenright in Issyk-Kul 

 

Day 12: Issyk-Kul - Karakol 

Breakfast at the hotel. Start driving to Karakol. On the route visit the museum of Petroglyph’s in Cholpon-Ata and museum of the famous Russian explorer of Central Asia N.M. Prjevalsky. Upon arrival city tour in Karakol. Visit a Dungan mosque(19century), a unique construction built in Chinese style with no nails used. Also, see the wooden Russian Orthodox Cathedral of The Holy Trinity built at the end of the 19th century.  Walk around the central bazaar to feel the real life of the city.

Overnight in Karakol

 

Day 13: Karakol - "Kegen" land border - Charyn canyon - Almaty (Kazakhstan)

Early breakfast at the hotel. Departure from Karakol at 08:00. Transfer to the land border with Kazakhstan. Border formalities. Further transfer to Almaty. En route visit spectacular Charyn Canyon. The Charyn Canyon is located in the Charyn National Park about 215 km east of Almaty and approximately a 3 hour drive via the A 351 and A 352.  The Canyon has been described as the Grand Canyon’s little brother. The Canyon itself is approximately 150 km long, and, in places up to 300 meters deep. One area of particular interest is an area of 2 km called the Valley of Castles, due to the pillars and rock formations forming imposing, almost man-made structures.

Arrival in Almaty by the evening.

Overnight Almaty

Day 14: Almaty City tour

In the morning, start of the sightseeing tour about Almaty (10 hours). Visit the following places: the Green Bazaar, Panfilov Park, Zenkov Cathedral, the Memorial of Glory and Eternal Flame. Next visit of the Kok-Tobe hill with the tallest TV tower in the world. Short ride from the top of the hill to the center of the city by the famous Almaty cableway.

After lunch transfer to the most beautiful lakes, located in the surroundings of Almaty - Big Almaty Lake. Arrival to the Lake and slight hiking in the surroundings. En route visit to “Sunkar” Falcons’ Farm to watch the show with hunting birds.

Overnight in Almaty

 

Day 15: Almaty to Baku (Azerbaijan)

Transfer to the International airport of Almaty. Departure from Kazakhstan to Baku. Upon arrival in Baku you will be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel. Free day to explore the city on your. 

Overnight in Baku

 

Day 16: Baku

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 Shirvan Shahs Palace, the Maiden Tower which is the symbol of Baku city, the Caravanserai – the rest stop of the merchants. The Old Baku is inhabited by 1300 families.It’s an ancient city inside the modern city of Baku. We end our sightseeing this day with a leisurely cruise on the Caspian Bay (weather permitting). 

Overnight in Baku

 

Day 17: Absheron Peninsula

In the morning we drive to the Absheron Peninsula which was the site of the some of the world's first petroleum production in the 19th century and shows the ravages of its oil-rich history to this day in the many rusting oil derricks that still dot the landscape. Our journey today offers excellent views of the Caspian Sea as well as providing several unique sightseeing stops. We will visit Gobustan (UNESCO World Heritage Site) where over 4000 stone and Iron Age Petroglyphs have been discovered in the hill caves above town depicting scenes of hunting and dancing rituals and a varied repertoire of animal figures along with thousands of artifacts and tools. Later we visit the temple of fire wore-shippers called “Ateshgah”. Thousands of years ago the ancient supporters of Zoroaster religion worshipped the fire here. At the museum complex of Ateshgah you will learn a lot about the lifestyle, traditions and the customs of the Zoroastrian people living here. Then we continue to the “burning mountain” of Yanar Dag. Here you can witness an amazing natural phenomenon - the incessant natural gas burning process. 

Overnight in Baku

 

Day 18: 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.
Continuing past small villages nestled among steep mountains and lush valleys dotted with vineyards, we will also stop in Shemakha, a city that served for many centuries as the capital and commercial center of western Azerbaijan before being replaced by Baku in the latter part of the 19th century. Nearby sits the famed Yeddi Gumbaz (Seven Tombs), of which only three remain completely intact. These were the royal tombs of the last Shirvan Khansto rule before the region became part of the Russian Empire. In town, we will stop at Juma Meschid, or Grand Mosque, whose 10th century foundations are part of the first mosque built in the Caucasus. Later we will leave our bus and transfer to a minivan to make the drive up into the mountains to explore the craft town of Lahij, whose small population still speak their own language. The town is famous for its coppersmiths.
Later continue to Sheki and overnight.

 

Day 19: Sheki city tour

With an early start to the morning we visit Kish Church, a beautiful Albanian Caucasus church which dates from the 1st century, located just outside of Sheki. After we return to Sheki and tour the town. The main attraction of this charming town is the exquisite Khan's Palace, set in the midst of dilapidated fortress walls and adorned with detailed mosaics and Shebaka windows made from fragments of colored glass and hand-shaped wooden cross-pieces. Later, we will have the opportunity to visit a Shebaka workshop, as well as a silk shop and the town market.
Overnight Sheki

Day 20: From Sheki to Telavi (Georgia)

This morning we depart for Georgia and lunch at a local winery in the Kakheti region of eastern-Georgia (which is synonymous with wine) as a fitting place to begin our introduction to the world-renowned Georgian hospitality and delicious food.
A short drive from Telavi will take us to Gremi and its impressive citadel complex consisting of a 16th century domed church, tower and king chamber. We will also visit Alaverdi Cathedral which was built in the 11th century and at 155 feet (55 m) is the 2nd tallest religious building in Georgia. Our road winds further to the Ikalto Academy, beautifully located in a grove of cypress trees. Founded by King David the Builder in the 12th century, the academy was the largest center of education in medieval Georgia and was said to have served as a place of study for the celebrated poet Shota Rustaveli who wrote the Georgian national epic, The Knight in the Panther Skin.
Overnight in Telavi.

 

Day 21: 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. Afterwards we continue on to Tbilisi.
Overnight in Tbilisi

 

Day 22: 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 another sites such as Metekhi Church erected on a huge cliff, overlooking the Mtkvari River. Then we'll continue our sightseeing with a visit to the Fortress of Narikala and its St. Nikolas Church. We can walk up the stairs of the fortress in order to get a bird's eye view of the magical city of Tbilisi. Walking down the path from the hill by the cobbled Leselidze Street, we come across the 13th century Armenian St. George Church and a Jewish synagogue with an elegant facade. Here we discover Shardeni Street with its fashionable cozy cafes and art galleries. While walking down we will come across the Anchiskhati Church, the oldest church in Tbilisi keeping the miraculous icon of Jesus Christ. We’ll stroll down Rustaveli Avenue, the main thoroughfare running east through the city. Visit the State Museum of Georgia displaying a wealth of pre-Christian gold, silver and precious-stone work from burials between the 3rd millennium BC and the 4th century AD. Drive to Open Air Ethnographic Museum in order to see all kinds of Georgian national old country-houses and castles. Visit the State Museum of Georgia. 

Overnight in Tbilisi

 

Day 23: 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, at the southern end of the highway. 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 and its largest functioning cathedral and the Samtavro Monastery complex.

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

 

Day 24: Gudauri – Georgia Pass – Gudauri

A stunning drive from Gudauri along the Tergi River will bring us to Kazbegi – the main town in the region. From Kazbegi a leisurely 2 hour walk up through beautiful valleys and woodlands leads us to Gergeti Trinity Church located at 2170m. Weather permitting you may catch a glimpse of one of the highest glaciers in the Caucasus – Mt Kazbegi (5047m or 16, 500 feet). (Or we can rent jeeps in Kazbegi to drive to Gergeti church). We walk/drive back to the town and before returning to Gudauri drive to Dariali Gorge. Drive back to Gudauri. 

Dinner and overnight in Gudauri

 

Day 25: 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. Later we drive to Akhaltsikhe to have dinner at the hotel

Overnight in Akhaltshikhe

 

Day 26: 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. Crowned as co-ruler by her father, Giorgi III, she became the first woman to ascend to the throne of feudal Georgia and is credited with extending and unifying Georgian rule with successful defeats against Muslim and Turk forces. With Georgia's strong economic and political position, she founded the cave town of Vardzia which became the most important monastery and primary center of culture in Georgia. We will explore the monastery to view the remarkably well-preserved frescoes depicting the young queen.

Overnight in Akhaltshikhe

 

Day 27: 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

Day 28: Tbilisi - Haghpat (Armenia) - Dilijan - Sevan

Today we visit the Monastery of Haghpat (UNESCO), an exceptional example of Armenian ecclesiastical architecture that developed in Armenia in the 10th to 13th centuries which is unique by virtue of its blending of elements of Armenian Church architecture and the traditional vernacular building style of the region. Continue to Dilijan spa town in Dilijan National Park, a protected area renowned for its serene lakes, picturesque hill trails and peaceful villages. Words alone can’t describe the natural beauty of Dilijan. Many poets used to say, "If there are woods, mountains, streams and mineral waters in paradise, it must be like Dilijan”. Due to its forested mountains and mild climate, Dilijan is named "Armenia's Little Switzerland". Walking in Old Dilijan town. Continue to the Lake Sevan, the world’s second largest high altitude lake at 1900m above sea level. Climb up to the Sevan Monastery to marvel at the beautiful view of the Lake Sevan, the “blue-eyed” bride of Armenia. Hotel check in. 

Overnight in Sevan

 

Day 29: Sevan – Orbelian's Caravanserai – Tatev – Goris

Heading to the south of Armenia, we will visit the Stone Garden - Noraduz, the largest field of Armenian exquisite cross-stones (UNESCO) in the world. Driving through Selim Mountain Pass famous for its fascinating colorful mountains we reach Selim Caravanserai on the Great Silk Road at the highest point of the pass. Here little has changed since the fourteenth century. The Caravanserai offered hospitality to travelers along the highway crossing the Selim mountains.  We continue driving to Syuniq, the southernmost region of Armenia sharing a border with Iran. We visit the miraculous monastery of Tatev riding the world’s longest aerial tramway (5.7km) built by the Swiss in 2010. Tatev is a formidable monastic complex founded in the 9th century. It’s the biggest monastery in Armenia. It's located on a rocky peninsula more than 100 meters above the Vorotan River. According to tradition the relics of the Apostles, Sts. Peter and Paul, were placed under the dome's supporting pillars. It’s surrounded by bottomless gorges. We drive to Goris town. 

Overnight in Goris

 

Day 30: Goris – Zorats Karer – Noravank – Khor Virap – Yerevan

After a hearty breakfast we discover the spirit of the Old town of Goris. It’s a town in orchards where the houses have the same unique architecture with red tile roofs, arched windows. The town is beautifully planned in the 19th century. Later we will visit one of the most fascinating places in the world – the megalithic stone structures of Zorats Karer.  1500 years older than Stonehenge scientists believe there is a connection between this ancient observatory and its English counterpart. We crossing the Vorotan Pass we visit the most enigmatic place in Armenia – the Monastery of Noravank. an architectural gemstone nestled among brick-red cliffs, just above a deep gorge. Then we drive to Areni village, the cradle of viticulture! This is where world’s ancient winery was discovered (6000 years old)! Winery tour and wine tasting. We continue to the south driving through the agricultural heart of Armenia, Ararat Plain offering a fantastic scenery of fruit orchards, endless vineyards at the foothills of Ararat Mountain where the Noah’s ark landed. The next stop of our trip is Khor Virap, the most sacred pilgrimage destination in Armenia where you’ll get the best view of the biblical Mount Ararat (5165 m). Guided by the remote majesty of biblical Mount Ararat, we explore the site, its underground chambers, elegant chapels and are captivated by the ascetic atmosphere of the site. Hotel check in.
Overnight in Yerevan


Day 31: Yerevan City Tour

Today we explore Yerevan, the “pink pearl” of Armenia and the most dynamic capital in the Caucasus. It's a beautiful European city built of purple and pink tufa stone. Yerevan is one of the the oldest continuously inhabited cities of the world has a history that dates back to 782 BC. (more than 2800 years old)We'll have a panoramic tour of the city starting with the "Victory" Park offering a bird's eye view of the  city. We also visit the Cascade which is a colossal white stairwell built on a Yerevan hillside in the 1970’s, with water fountains running down the sides, all reminiscent of a natural river or stream cascading. Get acquainted with the rich spiritual and cultural life of ancient Armenia at Matenadaran, a unique Research Institute and museum of ancient and medieval illustrated manuscripts. Marvel at the illuminated pages of some of those manuscripts within their glass cases. We also visit the Armenian Genocide Memorial and Museum 

Overnight in Yerevan


Day 31: Echmiadzin

Today we embark on our journey to the lands of ancient treasures of Christian history…Vatican city of Armenia, Holy Echmiadzin with its world’s earliest Christian churches included in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Visit Echmiadzin Mother Cathedral. It was originally built by Saint Gregory the Illuminator  in 301-303 A.D., when Armenia became the first officially Christian state in the world. Continue to St. Hripsime and St. Gayane churches built in 7th century. These churches are considered  masterpieces of early medieval Armenian architecture. On the way back to Yerevan visit the Ruins of Zvartnots Cathedral. The remnants of Zvartnots, even in ruins, are a majestic sight... In Yerevan we visit Vernissage Arts & Crafts Open Air Market, the biggest in the Caucasus, where you can buy all kinds of artwork, carpets and rugs, jewelry and other typical Armenian souvenirs. 

Overnight in Yerevan

 

Day 33: Garni - Geghard

Leaving the frantic pace of the city we are heading towards Garni Pagan Temple, the only Hellenistic Temple in the Caucasus. The Pagan Temple of Garni is the only pagan temple currently standing in Armenia. Gracing the hillside the pagan temple was dedicated to the God of Sun, Mithra. It was built in 77A.D. Proceed to Geghard Monastery (UNESCO) carved out of a huge monolithic rock. Geghard is an incredible ancient Armenian monastery, partly carved out of a mountain. It is said that the Holy Lance that pierced the body of Christ was kept here. The architectural forms and the decoration of Geghard's rock premises show that Armenian builders could not only create superb works of architecture out of stone, but also hew them in solid rock. Back to Garni village. Visiting a local house in Garni village. Traditional Armenian bread-lavash making in tonir (underground earth-stove). 

Overnight in Yerevan


Day 34: Departure

Transfer to Zvartnots International Airport near Yerevan. Departure

 
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