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 trekking tour to Armenia and Georgia we will discover all the treasures of these countries. This tour to Armenia includes visiting Lake Sevan, the blue beauty of Armenia – at 1,900 m altitude and the largest high mountain lake in Europe, hiking the wonderful places of Armenia and Georgia. Having a tour in Yerevan, the capital of Armenia, you will have a chance to admire the beauty of biblical Mount Ararat from the highest points of Yerevan. Tour to Georgia includes visiting Kazbek and other wonderful natural places of this land. We take time to meet and enjoy the famous hospitality and the wonderful taste of the sun even made meals in our private homes in the villages.
Duration: 17 days / 16 nights
Best Season: From June to September
Accommodation: Tourist hotels, camping tents
Food: Breakfasts, meals in the mountains
Mode of travel: 4WD vehicles, minibuses/ hiking
Tour Support: If group size is 1-3 persons, English knowing guide-driver, 4WD vehicles, horses carrying luggage. If group size is more than 3 persons, bus or minibus, guide required language, English knowing trekking guide, horses carrying luggage.
Included: Accommodation for tourist hotels and camping tents
Breakfasts, meals in the mountains
All transfers, rent of horses
All activities as per itinerary with all entry fees
Travel permits in protected areas
Guiding service, local guides in museums
Excluded: Optional activities
Early morning arrival at the hotel in the city center. After having a little rest we will have a wonderful city tour in Yerevan. The day will include visit to Matenadaran museum where the oldest and most valuable collections of manuscripts are presented.
It goes up to 3.035m. Here then we will put our tents. To admire the nature we will take a walk around the lake. Horses will carry our bags.
Overnight in camping tents. (Trekking 5 hrs. 12km, altitude 1000m up)
We hike to the top of Azhdahak (3.597m). In clear weather conditions, we have a fantastic view on Lake Sevan. The highest mountain in Armenia is Aragats (4.090m).
Overnight on the base of the mountain in the camping tents. (Trekking 7 hrs. 9km, altitude 500m up and down)
Today we hike to Lake Vank (2,600 m). We take pleasure in colorful summer meadows and crossing small rivers. Along the way we admire 5000 years old Petroglyphs and Wishapstones . These are images on rocks having more than 2 meter height. The images are about pagan “Gods of Water” (Trekking 5 hrs. 9km, altitude 200m down).
Overnight in camping tents.
We reach Khosrov reserve where there are more than 1,800 plant species worthy of protection and there are 30 species of reptiles. Endemic animals like the Armenian mouflon and bezoar goats here are on the verge of extinction. We walk through picturesque places along Azat river to nearly overgrown paths, surrounded by thorny bushes. Here you cannot stay indifferent to the colorful butterflies which will lead us to the next natural watercourse river which is perfect for swimming. We see wild birds and admire the colorful lizards on the rocks. We will finish the day with a night in a cave near the gorge. (Trekking 7 hrs. 11km, altitude 700m down).
We continue our tour on the 7th day and further downhill. Thanks to our expert and well trained guides we discover an old Ingrown Church (7th century). The path is going along the gorge through the deserted villages and Imerzek Geghamahovit. Not far from Glan we rise again into the depths of the gorge and swim in the waterfall. We reach the plateau of the glans, inhabited by 3 families from farming and beekeeping. We witness the ceremony of baking lavash. Lavash is a thin bread of Armenians from early times. We will not only taste it but will see how the whole family work and make lavash. We visit the monastery of St. Stephen (13th century), which is about 30 minutes from the village Glan. In the evening we will have delicious meal of home-made dishes. (Trekking 3 hrs., 7km, altitude -200m up and down)
In the morning we start our way to Garni . In the valley of Gocht river we visit the “Symphony of Stones” – huge basalt columns formed by volcanic activity. Garni is a pagan temple of sun and cave monastery Geghard(UNESCO World Heritage Site, 7th century) fascinates us with its architecture and with many small monastic caves. We continue our tour to Lake Sevan. Here we visit Sevan Monastery (9th century).(Transfer 90km ).
Today we enjoy the comforts of our hotel, relax in the hotel swimming pool, the sauna, swim in the lake in summer and taste seafood. On the large terrace we have a fantastic panoramic view. Then we will have a short hike in the area.
Transfer by bus, on the Sevan passport. At the end of the tunnel, the color will be changed; we can admire the view of thick woods and luxuriant green. Passing the small health resort of Dilijan, we visit Goshavank Monastery (12th-13th centuries) . Then we continue through the village of Ijevan Enokavan. From here our trek day starts: rising up on a wide road, surrounded by lush summer meadows and shady trees. The way goes in a narrow path surrounded by luxurious meadows thick wood, which will make a romantic atmosphere. We will see a cave, which was used in per-Christian times for religious purposes, and ancient rock inscriptions. After a short stop, we reach camp Lastiver with bar, fireplace, stone huts and tree houses, near the rushing river for climbing and swimming. Way back. Overnight in a guesthouse in Dilijan. (Trekking 3 hrs. 10km, altitude 400m up and down, transfer 120km).
From Vanadzor Dilijan we drive to the village of Molokans Lermontowo (old Russian religious minority Molokans, milk drinkers), an early Christian nation. Vanadzor was hardly damaged by the earthquake in 1988. We will visit the monasteries of Sanahin Haghpat and the spiritual center in the Middle Ages (10th century). Many monuments of Armenia are embedded in a great, desolate landscape. Then we continue our way to the Georgian border, it is not too far. New language, new characters. We reach Tbilisi in the evening. (Transfer 180km).
Overnight at hotel.
Trip to Mtskheta, the 3000 year old capital of Georgia’s (UNESCO Heritage), the center of the Georgian Orthodox Church. We visit “sticky” Jvari Church (6th century) and Svetitskhoveli Cathedral (11th century). After lunch, we enjoy the magnificent panorama while having a short hike on Basaletisee .Then we continue our way from the Georgian Military Highway to the monastery fortress Ananuri (17 JH.) admiring the picturesque views of the Schinwali reservoir. Overnight in Gudauri. (Transfer 140km).
Further along the highway, it goes through the Cross Pass, 2,400 m altitude, after this pass we move to the Sno village, which is the starting point of our hike today. Through flowering fields we walk up the gorge (3.032m) and enjoy our first view of the great mountain giants Kazbek (5.047m).Overnight in Stephanzminda (former Kazbegi) (Trekking 4 hrs. 10km, altitude 1000m up and down, transfer 30km).
In the morning we visit pilgrimage church Zminda Sameba Trinity Church (2,000 m) and hike in the foothills of Kazbek. In 4-5 hours we reach the glacier Gergeti , we cross the glacier and enjoy fantastic views of the high snow-capped mountains in the area. Overnight in tents. ( Trekking 3 hrs. 7km, altitude 700m up, transfer 7km).
The next day we come to a short, steep climb to the hut Bethlemi (former Meteo Center, first base camp at 3,670 m) where we will stay. From there we continue towards the summit up to the higher glacier field .On the way back to the lodge we visit the small chapel of Kazbek (Trekking 3 hrs. 4km, altitude 900m up).
Early in the morning we descent to Stephanzminda (Kazbegi) and from there ride to Tbilisi. Overnight at hotel. (Trekking 5 hrs. 11km, altitude 1500m down, transfer 150km).
City tour. Mineral Baths. Farewell dinner.