Caucasian Treasures

21 days / 20 nights

Tour Highlights - Small Group Tour to Caucasus

  • 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  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

Rates & Departures

From To Status Price SGL Supp.*
1-Jun-2024
21-Jun-2024
Guaranteed
6500 USD
1350 USD
16-Oct-2024
05-Nov-2024
Guaranteed
5500 USD
1350 USD
01-Jun-2025
21-Jun-2025
Guaranteed
6900 USD
1350 USD
01-Sep-2025
21-Sep-2025
Guaranteed
6900 USD
1350 USD
01-Oct-2025
21-Oct-2025
Guaranteeed
6900 USD
1350 USD

*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.

What's Included

Included

  • Accommodation at 4* hotels in DBL/Twin rooms (20 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

  • Half board meal plan (19 Lunch)

  • Airport transfers

  • Local taxes

Not included

  • Flights

  • Meals on the arrival and departure days

  • Dinners

  • Travel insurance

  • Visa to Armenia and Georgia (if required)

  • Visa to Azerbaijan

  • Single room supplement

  • Bank transfer fees

Detailed Itinerary

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

Overnight in Baku

Today your introduction to Baku and the Caucasus will begin with sightseeing at Memorial Hill with a breathtaking view of the Caspian and city shoreline. We continue our walking tour of ‘Icheri Shey-Har’, the old town (UNESCO), with its maze of narrow, cobblestone streets lined with small mosques nestled between terraced cafes and grand turn-of-the-century architecture. This atmospheric medieval town is surrounded by an impressive defensive wall, that dates from the 12th century. Our tour will include visits to the Historical Museum and State Museum of Azerbaijani Carpets and Applied Folk Art, and the Shirvan Shah’s Palace – a royal palace built in the 15th century and the finest surviving example of Shirvan architecture. We end our sightseeing this day with a leisurely cruise on the Caspian Bay.
Overnight in Baku
Meal plan: Breakfast – Lunch

This morning we will continue further along the Caspian coast to Gobustan (UNESCO) 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. As the easternmost extension of the Caucasus Mountains, the Absheron Peninsula 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. Time permitting along the way, we may stop at the Nobel Brother’s House before visiting both Atesgah, the sacred Zoroastrian fire temple built on the site of a natural gas vent, and Yanar Dag or Flaming Mountain, one of few remaining natural gas flares in the area. Back to Baku.
Overnight in Baku
Meal plan: Breakfast – Lunch

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.
Overnight in Sheki, a lovely town which used to be on the Great Silk Road
Overnight in Sheki
Meal plan: Breakfast – Lunch

Early in 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 in Sheki
Meal plan: Breakfast – Lunch

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
Meal plan: Breakfast – Lunch

After breakfast drive to Alaverdi monastery, located on the Alazani valley, on the background of the snowy mountains of the Caucasus Range.
Later drive to Vardisubani and visit the “Qvevri” (clay amphora) workshop in the house of Zaza, a 4th generation “Qvevri” maker. Meet Zaza, who is also an amazing winemaker and learn all about the ancient Georgian traditional Qvevri wine-making secrets inscribed as a UNSCO Intangible Heritage of Humanity. Lunch at the Qvevri workshop.
Visit Tsinandali– the summer residence of the noble Georgian family – Chavchavadze. The founder of this beautiful European style palace and gardens was the father of the Georgian romanticism – Alexander Chavchavadze. Continue our tour to Sighnaghi “love town” – a medieval city located on the hills overlooking Alazani Valley and Dagestan Mountains (North Caucasus). 
Drive to Tbilisi, the Capital of Georgia. 
Overnight in Tbilisi
Meal plan: Breakfast ​- Lunch

Tbilisi was founded in the 5th century and became the capital of Georgia 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. Tbilisi today is one of the most modern and cosmopolitan cities in the Caucasus. We begin our visit with a walking tour through Tbilisi’s narrow streets and inner courtyards and stroll down Rustaveli Avenue, the main thoroughfare running east through the city. We will also visit Metekhi Church of the Virgin, Sioni Cathedral, Anchiskhati Basilica and the National Museum of Georgia, which houses an extraordinary collection of gold filigree work dating from the 6th century BC, among other items of repoussé work and jewelry.
Overnight in Tbilisi
Meal plan: Breakfast ​- Lunch

Today we will drive north along the famed Georgian Military Highway, the main transport artery linking Georgia with Russia into the mountainous provinces of the Greater Caucasus. Our first stop of the day will be in sacred Mtskheta (UNESCO), the ancient capital of eastern Georgia, at the southern end of the highway. Georgia’s conversion to Christianity occurred in Mtskheta in 337 AD and it is considered one of Georgia’s most important religious centers. We will visit Church of Jvari perched on a cliff overlooking the city, and the Sveti-Tskhoveli Cathedral, the first Christian church to be built in Georgia and its largest functioning cathedral.
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 to control the main road.
Overnight in Gudauri
Meal plan: Breakfast ​- Lunch

After breakfast drive north through the alpine meadows and mountain passes littered with medieval watchtowers, we will reach Dariali Gorge, a 9-mile (14 kilometer) 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.
After visiting Sameba church we will visit the local family where we can learn how to cook the famose Georgian dish Khinkali and have a lunch with the family.
After a tasty lunch we will have a leisure walk in Djuta village which is one of the highest inhabited village of Europe’s and also visit village Sno.
Overnight in Gudauri
Meal plan: Breakfast ​- Lunch

We journey down from the mountains today stopping in Gori, a town whose place in infamy is secured, as it is the birthplace of Joseph Stalin. We then travel 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.
We continue to Borjomi to have an overnight.
Overnight in Borjomi
Meal plan: Breakfast ​- Lunch

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. In the evening return to Borjomi.
Overnight in Borjomi
Meal plan: Breakfast ​– Lunch

Kutaisi is the second biggest city in Georgia. Due to this political events Kutaisi has been newly renovated and became very attractive. Kutaisi is also one of the oldest cities in Georgia. Its history is related with the famous mythos of Argonauts and Golden Flees.
Martvili and Okatse Canyon is one of the most popular destinations in Georgia,
Martvili Canyon is carved out by the Abasha river, the 2.4 KM gorge has around 70 meter high rock walls and several cascading waterfalls, You can explore the area via 700 metre walking trail and on a short 10-15 minute ride in an inflatable boat.
Okatse Canyon is one of the most picturesque sights in the Kutaisi area, The canyon gets it’s name from the river Okatse.  Before it was a little – known, hard to reach but it’s been developed and a suspension bridge was built over the gorge.
The highlight of the canyon is a narrow suspension bridge/walkway, about 1 km long, which ends at a wiewing platform that offers a breathtaking view of the surrounding nature.
Overnight in Kutaisi
Meal plan: Breakfast ​– Lunch

After breakfast drive to Bagrati Cathedral It is an 11th-century cathedral in the city of Kutaisi, in the Imereti region of Georgia. It is considered one of the four Great Cathedrals of the Georgian Orthodox world.
Prometheus Cave Natural Monument ( also known as Kumistavi Cave and Tskaltubo Cave ) The cave is a karst cave located in Tskaltubo Municipality in Imereti region of Georgia. The cave was discovered and studied by Georgian speleologists in the early 1980s.  It is part of a large cave system, united by underground river.
Drive from Kutaisi to Tbilisi
Overnight in Tbilisi
Meal plan: Breakfast ​- Lunch

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. After lunch we drive to a stunning exotic village out of a fairy-tale with the community of the Old-Believers and enjoy a real Samovar tea, wild raspberry jam, home-made cheese, bread, piroshki with potatoes and cabbage & carrot pickles… so yummy! Learn about the lifestyle and traditions of the Russian Molokans living in the fairy-tale alpine village.
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 Dilijan
Meal plan: Breakfast ​- Lunch

Visit the 9th century Sevanavank Monastery on the peninsula hill located at Lake Sevan (240 steps). It is one of the world’s largest highest freshwater lakes at 6233 ft.
Later we will visit the Stone Garden – Noratus, the largest field of Armenian exquisite cross-stones in the world.
Here also we are going to visit Mikayelyan Family Farm where we will have an excursion in the farm, we will do a cheese-making master class and tasting. Our cheese tasting will include wine and a plate of 9 types of cheeses including cheeses aged in wine and cognac, fruits, jam, crackers etc.
Driving through Vardenyats Mountain Pass famous for its fascinating colorful mountains we reach the Orbelian Caravanserai along the Great Silk Road. 
Continue to Jermuk Spa town, where we are going to have 2 overnights.
Overnight in Jermuk
Meal plan: Breakfast ​- Lunch

After we explore the town of Jermuk famous for its hot spring mineral water, we will drive to Syuniq region the southern region of Armenia. 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. 
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.
Lunch will be at a ceramist house where we will see how to do pottery using the Armenia old traditional way.
Overnight in Jermuk
Meal plan: Breakfast ​- Lunch

Drive to Yerevan. Our first 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. Lunch and wine tasting in Areni village. 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
Meal plan: Breakfast ​- Lunch

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!
Drive to Armavir region to have lunch with a cooking class with our charming host in a small village.
Continue 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.
Overnight in Yerevan
Meal plan: Breakfast ​- Lunch

 

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
Meal plan: Breakfast ​- Lunch

Transfer to Zvartnots International Airport. Departure from Yerevan (Armenia).

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