This cultural tour will open to you the beauty of Armenia, Georgia as well as Artsakh. The tour includes visiting the most attractive places of Armenia and Georgia. This tour includes both cultural and adventure elements. Armenia and Georgia- being situated between Europe and Asia are two countries with early Christian culture and unique natural resources, full of fascinating contrasts. With this tour to Armenia and Georgia we will discover all the treasures of these countries. We will have chance to be present at cultural events in Georgia and Armenia, as well as visit the natural treasures of these two countries. The tour also includes visiting Artsakh and seeing the treasures of Armenian land there.
Duration: 10 days / 9 nights
Best Season: From May to November
Accommodation: Tourist hotels
Mode of travel: 4WD vehicles, minibuses, buses
Tour Support: If group size is 1-3 persons, English knowing guide-driver. If group size is more than 3 persons, bus or minibus, guide required language.
Included: Accommodation for tourist hotels
All activities as per itinerary with all entry fees
Travel permits in protected areas
Excluded: Optional activities
Arrival at Zvartnots airport. Time for leisure. Half-day trip to Garni Pagan Temple and Geghard Monastery.
This pagan temple of Garni was built in 1st. c. AC and was devoted to one of the Armenian Pagan Gods – Mitra. After Armenia converted to Christianity in the 4th c., the rulers of the country used the temple as their summer residence. King Khosrov stayed there often as the area was his favourite hunting ground. The temple consists of dwellings and bath quarters built in the 3rd century in the Roman style. The fantastic landscape of Garni canyon shakes the human imagination.
Proceed to Geghard Monastery (UNESCO World Heritage). The main church, constructed in 1215, is the oldest building in the monastery complex. Avazan church, 1283, is carved right into the solid rock and is an incomparable work of art. The monastery has withstood many assaults. It was one of the greatest spiritual and cultural centres in Armenia. Hundreds of khachkars (cross-stones) and caves are built in the rocks surrounding the Monastery.
Return to Yerevan. Agricultural produce market and Vernissage (souvenirs, arts and crafts market). Evening free. Overnight in Yerevan. (Transfer 80km)
Early in the morning we move to Khor Virap which is a place of pilgrimage for Armenians all over the world. According to history Armenian pagan king Trdat imprisoned Saint Gregory the Illuminator in a cave which became known as Khor Virap. He was the first Patriarch of all Armenians. From here one can enjoy the majestic view of Mount Ararat (where Noah’s ark landed according to the Bible), not too far from river Arax. Khor Virap is the closest point to Mount Ararat from the territory of Armenia, the most convenient place for observing and taking pictures of the biblical mountain.
Proceed to Noravank Monastery Complex:
Noravank monastery is considered to be the pulpit of Syunik bishops. The main church of St. Karapet was built in 1227. The reliefs on the entrance door and the windows on the western facade are very interesting from an architectural point of view. To the south of the complex one can see a two-storied sepulchre church built in 1339.The monastery had been completely reconstructed and reopened in 1999.
Zorats Stones( also called Qarahunge) is an archaeological site near the city of Sisian in Syunik province. About 223 large stone tombs can be found in this area. This place is called “Armenian Stonehenge”. The Munich archaeologists add that it may have served “as a place of refuge in times of war”, possibly in the Hellenistic – Roman period (c. 300 BC – 300 AD). A wall of rocks and compacted soil (loam) was built around the site with vertical rocks plugged into it for reinforcement: today only these upright rocks remain.
Then we move to Goris, overnight at a hotel in Goris. (Transfer 250km)
In the morning we move from Goris to Gandzasar. Gandzasar is a monastery complex in Artsagh. This monastery complex had a school and big library and it was one of the biggest spiritual centers of the time. Then we move to Shushi. Shushi is a fortress in Artsagh. Once it was the capital of Kharabagh. Nowadays Shushi is a cultural and architectural reserve. Shushi is situated 10 km away from Stepanakert, so we will move to Stepanakert, the present day capital of Kharabagh.
Overnight at a hotel in Stepanakert. (Transfer 200km)
Early in the morning we move to Tatev Monastry.
Monastery of Tatev is a 9th century Armenian monastery located in Tatev village in Syunik Province in southern Armenia. The term “Tatev” usually refers to the monastery. The monastery performed an important role in the history of the region, becoming its political, spiritual and cultural center. According to tradition, the monastery was named after Eustateus, a disciple of St. Thaddeus the Apostle. Later it became the political center of Syunik principality.
From Tatev to Halidzor by ropeway – WINGS OF TATEV
Wings of Tatev is a 5.7 km (3.5 mi) cableway between Halidzor and Tatev monastery . It is the longest reversible aerial tramway built in one section only. Construction was finished on 16 October 2010. It runs from the village of Halidzor near a highway connecting the Armenian capital Yerevan to the village of Tatev. The cable car travels at a speed of 37 kilometres per hour and a one-way journey takes 11 minutes. At its highest point over the gorge, the car travels 320 m (1,050 ft) above ground level. It has two cabins, each capable of carrying up to 25 passengers. On the 23rd of October 2010 it was officially recorded in the Guinness World Records book.
Then we move to Vayq to spend night there.
Overnight at a hotel in Vayq. (Transfer 230km)
In the morning we pass through Selim and move to Caravanserai. The Selim Caravanserai was built along the Selim Pass (2410 m) in 1332, by Prince Chesar Orbelianis. The purpose was to accommodate weary travellers and their animals as they crossed from, or into, the Selim (Sulema) Mountains. Located at the south side of the Selim Pass, this is the best preserved caravanserai in the entire country. Ruins of a small chapel may still be seen adjacent to the vestibule, across the road from a spring. Having a walk here we will move to Sevan. Sevan, this wonder of nature, is 60 Km from Yerevan on a highway which cuts northward through mountains and rocks. Sevan has always been famous for its fish “Ishkhan” which means “prince-fish” in Armenian. The fish has graced many Lords’ tables in old times. One of the most interesting sites in Sevan is the monastery on the rocky peninsula founded in 874 AD by King Ashot I and his daughter Mariam. Other monuments include Sevan Monastery (874) and Astvatsatsin Church.
Then we move to Dilijan.
Overnight at Dilijan. (Transfer 170km)
Monastery Complex of Haghpat (UNESCO World Heritage).
The construction of this monastery is associated to the glory of the Bagratouni Royal Family. The oldest construction of the monastery was built in 977-991 and was called the Holy Cross church. Holy water fills the small pool in the church. Believers say this water has curative qualities for people with poor health. Many cross-stones are built on the ground of the churches. A three-storied bell tower built in 1245 is a part of the complex.
Monastery Complex of Sanahin (UNESCO World Heritage).
Sanahin is a monastery complex the most prominent structure of which is the Savor’s Church (956-967). The eastern part of the church holds a bas-relief depicting the two princes holding the miniature copy of the actual church. The former village of Sanahin is located on the right side of the gorge. It has become a part of the town of Alaverdi. An interesting point is the Academy dating back to 1063, where famous scientist, philosopher and writer Grigor Magistros-Savor lectured. The Sanahin Monastery had many feudal properties, a great number of estates, lands, vineyards, oil-mills and factories.
Overnight at Dzorages. (Transfer 120km)
Early in the morning we move to Tbilisi. Accommodation at a hotel, city tour.
Open Air Museum of Ethnography, The Art Museum of Georgia, Anchiskhati Basilica, the oldest surviving church in Tbilisi, built in the 5th-6th centuries. Sioni Cathedral, Georgian Orthodox cathedral, built in the 6th-7th centuries. Sameba – Holy Trinity Cathedral, the largest religious building in Georgia and South Caucasus. Called as “Millennium Building”. Metekhi church (XIIIc); Abanot-ubani (natural sulphur springs, bath –houses built in XVI-XVII cc); Narikala church (the church, first was built in IV c. and in XI it was destroyed. Finally, it was rebuilt in late XX c. There is a great view of old district of Tbilisi from this church); Karvasla: where you can see ancient Georgians clothes and hand made goods. Souvenir shopping (optional). (Transfer 110km)
Breakfast at the hotel. Trip to Kazbegi.
Historical province in eastern Georgia, on the southern slopes of the Greater Caucasus Mountains. Mtiuleti occupies parts of modern-day districts of Dusheti and Kazbegi.
A castle complex on the Aragvi River in Georgia. Built in the 17th century. It comprises a tower, small church, big temple and a bell-tower. It overlooks the artificial reservoir of Zhinvali.
A small town in the Mtskheta-Mtianeti region of north-eastern Georgia.
Stepantsiminda is known for its scenic location in the Greater Caucasus mountains, and is a centre for trekkers and mountain climbing. Local attractions include the famous Georgia writer Alexander Kazbegi Museum.
Overnight at a hotel in Gudauri. (Transfer 120km)
The Bazaleti Lake is a lake in eastern Georgia some 60 km northwest of the nation’s capital Tbilisi and 5 km south of the town of Dusheti. It is used for fish culture, irrigation and recreation. The nearby village and the historical district around the lake are also known as Bazaleti.
The surface area of the lake is 1.22 km. and its maximum depth is 7 m. The area around the lake housed a flourishing medieval town. In 1626, the Battle of Bazaleti between two rival Georgian factions took place there.
Currently, the area is a popular recreational area served by a modern tourist complex.
When returning to Tbilisi we will have a chance to have a walk, cultural event in Tbilisi. (Transfer 120km)