Georgia & Armenia – 13 day ‘Journey to the Caucasus’

This is a fascinating new part of the world to explore combining old world Eastern European charm. Bridging the east and west, these former Soviet Republics boast thousands of years of history, amazing scenery and unique cultural heritage.

You will have a number of special highlights including witnessing a spiritual vocal performance in an ancient monastery, sip wine from earthenware pots in the world’s oldest vineyards and prepare a lavash feast in a local home.

The trips start in Tbilisi, Georgia and finish in Yerevan, Armenia.

There are only 5 departures in 2020: 01 May, 31 May, 12 Jun, 04 Sep, and 04 Oct.
Cost is AUD 9495 p/p twin share. The maximum group size is 18 people.

Abercrombie & Kent, a world renowned international company, offers a very high level of quality touring, accommodation, meals and inclusions on this tour.

Full tour itinerary

Day 1: Arrive Tbilisi, Georgia
Arrive into the Georgian capital and this evening join your tour director and fellow travellers for a cocktail briefing on the adventure ahead.
Tbilisi Marriott Hotel

Day 2: Tbilisi | An Assortment of Architectural Styles
Tbilisi is a surprising blend of cultures. Your adventure starts with a walk through the cobbled streets of the atmospheric old town. Visit the 12th century Metekhi Church and a 19th century Jewish synagogue. Admire the old Georgian houses with their distinctive wooden, curved balconies and the Sioni Cathedral. You’ll see the oldest surviving church in Tbilisi before getting a bird’s-eye view of the city from the Narikala Fortress, which can be accessed by cable car or on foot. On the way back down, stop at the Sulphur Baths and the National Museum of Fine Arts. Tonight is a chance to savour some of Georgia’s finest cuisine at a favourite traditional restaurant.
Tbilisi Marriott Hotel | Meals: BLD

Day 3: Tbilisi | Design Your Day
Start the day at the Simon Janashia Museum of Georgia with its extraordinary collection of gold filigree work. After lunch – design your day with the choice of a visit to a local workshop, (where artisans introduce us to the ancient technique of cloisonné, a decorative enamel work tradition over 1,200 years old), or embark on a local neighbourhood architectural walking tour of Tbilisi/ Free time at leisure.
• An artisan introduction to the ancient technique of cloisonné (decorative enamelwork).
• Join an architectural expert for a walking tour around the city.
Tbilisi Marriott Hotel | Meals: BL

Day 4: Kakheti | Birthplace of Winemaking
Explore the most picturesque part of Georgia – Kakheti, which borders the Great Caucasus range. This area is the birthplace of viticulture and winemaking, admire the profusion of vineyards and beautiful churches as you drive through. Stop at the 9th century Bodbe Nunnery before arriving at the pretty fortified town of Sighnaghi, famous for its wine and carpet making. Meander through the narrow streets before lunch with a local family serving up traditional dishes from the region, and of course matching wines. Before returning to Tbilisi we visit the grand Tsinandali estate, once home to the noble Chavchavadze family and noted for its historic winery.
Tbilisi Marriott Hotel | Meals: BL

Day 5: Mtskheta | Medieval Religious Architecture
The World Heritage site of Mtskheta is your first stop today. Georgia’s cultural and religious centre, it is also one of the country’s oldest towns. Visit the early medieval Jvari Church and Svetitskhoveli Cathedral. Heading along the Georgian Military Highway, take in the Ananuri Architectural complex, with churches and towers dating back to the 16th and 17th centuries. Arrive into the sleepy town of Kazbegi later this afternoon where views of Mt. Kazbek are breathtaking – especially from your hotel room.
Rooms Hotel Kazbegi | Meals: BLD

Day 6: Kazbegi | Gergeti Holy Trinity Church
This morning, head for the beautifully situated 14th century Gergeti Holy Trinity Church which perches high on a hill overlooking the town and the surrounding mountain scenery. Get up close by 4WD or, for the more energetic, on foot. More traditional Georgian hospitality today over lunch with one of the local families. This afternoon, enjoy the stylish Nordic atmosphere of the hotel before sundowners on the terrace.
Rooms Hotel Kazbegi | Meals: BLD

Day 7: Tbilisi | Heart of Georgia
Today’s adventure is to the fertile Kartli province with a stop in Gori, the birthplace of Joseph Stalin where a controversial museum traces his life. For lunch today, enjoy traditional dishes with the local wine.
Tbilisi Marriott Hotel | Meals: BL

Day 8: Sadakhlo, Armenia | Byzantine Monasteries | Yerevan, Armenia
We farewell Georgia this morning crossing into Armenia at the Sadakhlo border. After a short drive we arrive at Akhtala Fortress and Church. After lunch, we visit the beautiful Haghpat monastic complex, representative of Armenia’s finest religious architectural tradition with a unique style blending element of Byzantine ecclesiastical architecture and the traditional vernacular of the Caucasian region. Haghpat is justifiably a World UNESCO listed monastery. We drive on to Yerevan, the capital of Armenia.
Armenia Marriott Hotel Yerevan | Meals: BLD

Day 9: Yerevan | Lake Sevan
Travel today to Lake Sevan, the largest body of water in Armenia and the Caucasus region, where a boat trip is included. Then continue on to the Armenian capital, Yerevan. Yerevan stretches along the banks of the River Hrazdan, under the wistful gaze of Mount Ararat.
Armenia Marriott Hotel Yerevan | Meals: BL

Day 10: Yerevan | In the shadow of Mount Ararat
Your introduction to the capital begins with a guided tour of the city, one of the world’s oldest continuously inhabited metropolises. See the beautiful Government buildings, the Central Post Office and banks. Visit the State History Museum as well as the Cafesjian Modern Art Museum, which exhibits collections of Armenian and international contemporary artworks. Later, we visit the sombre Genocide Museum and Memorial. Also in the afternoon, we discover why Armenian brandy is world famous at a VIP tasting specially organised for us at the Yerevan brandy factory. There is also time this afternoon to pore over the stalls at the Vernissage flea market, a short walk from the hotel.
Armenia Marriott Hotel Yerevan | Meals: BL

Day 11: Yerevan | Geghard | Garni
Our morning begins with a spiritual vocal performance in the acoustic hall of the ancient Geghard Monastery. Afterwards, a visit to the pagan Temple of Garni, which dates to the Hellenistic era. Built around 77 A.D., it is the only Greco-Roman colonnaded building in the country. Afterwards, we take part in a centuries-old Armenian cultural tradition at a hands-on lavash making ceremony followed by lunch in a local home. There is also time this afternoon to explore the stalls at the Vernissage flea market, a short walk from the hotel.
Armenia Marriott Hotel Yerevan | Meals: BL

Day 12: Yerevan | Etchmiadzin | Zvartnots
This morning we visit the the ruins of the 7th century Zvartnots Cathedral. Later we visit the Etchmiadzin Cathedral. This ancient catherdral is headquarters for the Armenian Orthodox Church. We explore the museum, then enjoy lunch at the family owned Megeryan Carpet Factory & Museum. Get comfortable as you admire exquisite handmade carpets before a traditional Armenian lunch in a rustic, but atmospheric, restaurant. This afternoon is at leisure, and tonight we celebrate the end of our journey through the Caucasus with a farewell dinner.
Armenia Marriott Hotel Yerevan | Meals: BLD

Day 13: Depart Yerevan
Transfer to airport for departure flight.
Meals: B

For more information or to discuss booking spaces on this tour, please call us on (03) 9600 1482 or email contact@transotwaytravel.com.au