Day 1: Saturday: Departure from homeland
Day 2: Sunday: Arrival to Yerevan –Echmiadzin – Zvartnots – Vernissage Yerevan
Arrival to International Zvartnots airport in Yerevan. Private transfer to the hotel. Check in. Short rest or overnight. Breakfast at the hotel. Tour start at 11:00. Drive to Echmiadzin town which is the religious center of Armenia. Visit Echmiadzin cathedral of 4th cent and St. Hripsime church of 7th cen. Armenia is the 1st country of the world to adopt Christianity as a state religion in 301 AD. Return back to Yerevan and visit the ruins of Zvartnots cathedral of 7th cen. UNESCO. Visit Vernissage open-air handcraft market in Yerevan. Overnight in Yerevan.
Day 3: Yerevan – City tour – Garni – Ghegard – Yerevan
Breakfast at the hotel. City tour in Yerevan by car with a stop over Cascade monument for a panoramic view to the city. Visit Tsiternakaberd Memorial park and museum dedicated to the victims of 1915 Genocide. Drive to Garni pagan temple of 1st cen. dedicated to the God of Sun. Continue to Ghegard cave monastery of 12-13 cent. UNESCO. Return back to Yerevan. Overnight in Yerevan.
Day 4: Yerevan – Khor Virap – Noravank – Yerevan
Breakfast at the hotel. Drvie to Khor Virap monastery o 4-17th cen. which offers the best and the closest view to Mt. Ararat. This is a very important sanctuary for pilgrims as here Armenian church 1st Catholicos (highest supreme of the church) was imprisoned before proclaiming Christianity as a state religion. Continue to Noravank monastery of 9-14th cen. which is situated in picturesque Gnishik river canyon. It’s very close to wine producing region Areni where an optional stop can be done for local wine tasting (2-5 EUR p/p). Return back to Yerevan. Overnight in Yerevan.
Day 5: Yerevan – Sevan – Hagpat – Arm/Geo border on Bagratashen/Sadakhlo – Tbilisi
Breakfast to the hotel. Drive to lake Sevan which is the second highest largest alpine freshwater lake of the world. Continue to Hagpat monastery of 9-13th cen. which is one of the most beautiful monastic complexes in Armenia and was among first monuments to be inscribed in UNESCO heritage list. Drive to Arm-Geo border on Bagratashen – Sadachlo. End of Armenia services. Border formalities and meet Georgian guide and driver. Transfer to Tbilisi. Check-in and free time. 4 nights in a hotel in Tbilisi.
Day 6: Tbilisi Sightseeing
Tbilisi Sightseeing Tour. Historic part of Tbilisi is located at the foot of Narikala Fortress. It charms visitors with its romantic, narrow streets, beautiful facades and picturesque sites next to each other, including Metekhi Church, Synagogue, Sioni Cathedral, Bridge of Peace, Anchiskhati Church and famous sulphur bathhouses. Take a cable car to Narikala fort. Modern part of Tbilisi is no less impressive, especially Rustaveli Avenue with its exquisite, 19th century architecture. In the afternoon visit the treasury of the Museum of Georgia with Golden artifacts from the period of Golden Fleece. Free time.
Day 7: Tbilisi – Mtskheta – Uplistsikhe – Tbilisi
Drive to visit the old capital of Georgia – Mtskheta (UNESCO Word Heritage). Christianity in Georgia started from this town in 4th century. Visit Jvari Monastery at the top of a high cliff and enjoy a splendid panoramic view of how two rivers, Aragvi and Mtkvari join each other. Later, visit Svetitskhoveli Cathedral (11th century), spiritual centre of the country. Continue to drive to the town of Gori. Photo-stop at Stalin’s house and museum. Then visit the cave town of Uplistsikhe, built back in the 1st millennium, BC by pagan tribes. There was a pass of Silk Road, whose traces are still seen. Back to Tbilisi.
Day 8: Tbilisi – Ananuri – Gudauri – Stepantsminda – Tbilisi
Drive along the Georgian Military Highway. Visit Ananuri Fortress overlooking Jinvali water reservoir. Follow the serpentines leading up to the Greater Caucasus Mountains. On the way have some photo-stops and taste mineral water near Cross pass. On arrival in Kazbegi you will enjoy the view towards Kazbegi Peak (5047m).
Optional walk or Jeep drive to Gergeti Trinity Church (suppl. for Jeep 30 EUR per car with 5 seats). Back to Tbilisi.
Different Program for the season from 1st December to 1st April.
Tbilisi – Tsinandali – Signagi – Bodbe – Tbilisi
Visiting eastern region of Kakheti, noted for its hospitality and winemaking. First you will visit the duke’s estate in Tsinandali. Then visit the grave of St. Nino, who brought Christianity to Georgia, in Bodbe Convent. Next to it is situated a beautiful town of Signagi, with a picturesque view on Alazani Valley. It is surrounded by defensive wall built in 18th century. Sightseeing the town. Overnight in a hotel in Tbilisi.
Optional wine-tasting in a wine-cellar in Signagi: 8 EUR/pp.
Day 9: Departure
Transfer to the airport (without guide) and departure.