IRAN - ARMENIA - GEORGIA 15 Days 14 Nights
It is a special opportunity to get acquainted with those ancient civilizations which have been the ancestors of the modern world we have today. During this journey you will know the majestic history of those countries which have had the oldest experience of culture, art, architecture and science. Use your chance to see the monumental masterpieces of Iran, Armenia and Georgia.
Day 1: Arrive
Meet and greet at the IKA international airport, transfer to the hotel. Check in.
Overnight: Tehran (B/L/D)
Day 2: Tehran
City tour in Tehran, to visit the Golestan Palace, the National Museum, Glass museum and Jewelry Museum.
Overnight: Tehran (B/L/D)
Day 3: Tehran- Zanjan
Move to Zanjan, en route visiting of the Soltaniyh dome then continue to Zanjan, check in and rest.
In the afternoon visiting of the Rakhtshuy Khane Museum, Salt men and old bazar of Zanjan.
Overnight: Zanjan (B/L/D)
Day 4: Zanjan - Tabriz
Drive to Tabriz, en route visiting of the Kandovan stone village then continue to Tabriz and visiting of the Alishah Citadel, the Municipality building, Blue Mosque, Bazar and Azerbaijan museum.
Overnight: Tabriz (B/L/D)
Day 5: Tabriz - Nordooz - Meghri – Goris
Early morning excursion to Siyah Bisheh (Chalderan) visit of the St. Thaddeus Cathedral then move to Jolfa to visit the St. Stephanus Cathedral, Drive along the Aras River to the Nordooz boarder and departure. Meet Armenian guide at the border and drive to Goris. On your way to Goris. Visit the cave village of Khndzoresk, a picture –perfect valley with a stream running through it, where many caves and rock formations are waiting to be explored. Overnight and dinner in Goris. (B/L/D)
Day 6: Goris – Tate v- Noravank – Areni - Yerevan
Breakfast. Tour to the most magnificent monastery in all Armenia, Tatev Monastery (9-13cc), a former center for the sciences and art, where many famous Armenians lived and worked centuries ago. Lunch at the local restaurant. Sightseeing in Noravank monastery - a great religious and cultural centre of 12th c. On the way visit Areni wine factory to taste local wine made from special sorts of vines. Drive to Yerevan. Dinner at the traditional restaurant with folk music. Overnight in Yerevan. (B/L/D)
Day 7: Yerevan City tour – Ejmiatsin – Zvartnoc - Yerevan
Breakfast. Excursion around Yerevan city. Visit to Manuscript museum, Matenadaran. Then our tour continues to Genocide museum and Tsitsernakaberd monument and Brandy Factory. Lunch at the restaurant.
Visit the Mother See of Holy Echmiadzin, the spiritual center of Armenian Apostolic Church. En route, your guide will tell you the story of Armenia’s conversion to Christianity.
Tour will continue to the ruins of the glorious 7th century Zvartnots Cathedral. - Return to Yerevan, dinner at the restaurant and overnight.
Day 8: Yerevan – Garni – Geghard - Yerevan
Breakfast. Visit to the History museum. Lunch at the local house, where you will have opportunity to see and participate in the preparation of Armenian bread ‘‘Lavash’’. Then our tour continues to the Pagan Temple of Garni, which is the only non-Christian temple currently, standing in Armenia and cave monastery in Geghard. Geghard monastery inscribed in UNESCO World Heritage list (inscribed in UNESCO World Heritage list). Geghard is another incredible ancient Armenian monastery, partly carved out of a mountain. ). Then visit to Megerian Carpet factory. The Megerian Family has been involved in selling, restoration, and production of fine oriental rugs for over four generations. Originally from Armenia, the Megerians established their rug trade business in the United States in 1917, and quickly developed an expertise in rug repairing and restoration. Over time, they began to realize the growing demand for different trends and subtle design changes, and took their well-honed skills to the loom to create their own decorative rugs. Dinner at the restaurant of the factory. Overnight in Yerevan. (B/L/D)
Day 9: Yerevan-Sevan-Dilijan
Breakfast. Visit to Lake Sevan, one of the world’s largest high-altitude lakes (2000 meters above the sea level). Visit the Sevanavank Monastery, with a late 9th century Church, a 12th century gavit and khachkars.Lunch at the local house. Then our tour continue to the medieval Haghartsin Monastery. Walk to the Famouse Sharambeyan street in Dilijan. Dinner and overnight in Dilijan. (B/L/D)
Day 10: Dilijan-Sanahin-Haghpat-Sadakhlo-Tbilisi
Breakfast. Today we will visit two unique monuments of Armenian architecture of X-XIV centuries: the monasteries of Sanahin and Haghpat which are UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Literally the name ’’Sanahin’’ in Armenian means "this one is older than the other," which probably means that this monastery is older of than Haghpat. These two monasteries are very close to each other and can be easily seen from one to the other. Both are located on an uneven plateau, separated by a deep crack formed by a small river that flows into the river Debed. Haghpat Monastery was one of the largest religious, cultural and educational centres of medieval Armenia. Lunch at the local house. After all we will drive to the border between Armenia and Georgia. We’ll chnage guide and transport and continue the trip in Georgia. Drive to Tbilisi. Have check in. Welcome dinner at a Georgian restaurant. Overnight in Tbilisi. (B/L/D)
Day 11: Tbilisi Tour
After breakfast have Tbilisi city tour. We will visit the Old Tbilisi Sulfur Baths, Georgian Orthodox and Armenian Gregorian churches, Jewish synagogue, also, Turkish mosque side by side, reflecting city’s acceptance and tolerance of different religions. The tour includes following sights: Metekhi Church, which is erected on the cliff, overlooking the Mtkvari River. Have a lunch at a Georgian restaurant.
The Narikala fortress, established in the fourth century. At Leselidze Street, we come across the 13th century Armenian St. George Church and a Jewish synagogue with an elegant facade. On the opposite side of the street is Sioni Church, leading to the bank of the Mtkvari River. Here you discover Shardeni Street with its fashionable cozy cafes and art galleries. Walking we will come across the Anchiskhati church, the oldest church in Tbilisi keeping the miraculous icon of Jesus Christ. Finally, the tour takes you to Rustaveli Avenue, where attractions, such as the Tbilisi Opera and Ballet Theatre, the Parliament, Rustaveli Theatre, different art galleries and cafes, will draw your attention and provide a cosmopolitan atmosphere. Visit national museum to see wonderful Golden treasury. Have a dinner at a traditional Georgian restaurant. Overnight in Tbilisi hotel.
Day 12: Tbilisi – Mtskheta – Ananuri – Kazbegi
After breakfast drive to Mtskheta (UNESCO Heritage), an ancient capital of the Georgian Kingdom from the 3rd century BC to the 5th century AD. Visit Jvari church and Svetitskhoveli Cathedral, a life-giving pillar - Cathedral of 11th century - magnificent, both inside and outside. Have a lunch and wine degustation at the “Chamber of Georgian wine”. Drive to Kazbegi. A stunning drive from Gudauri along the Tergi River will bring us to Kazbegi – the main town in the region. On the way, we visit Ananuri Castle and Jinvali water reservoir of amazing beauty. En route stop and see different local hand made things (thick felt, embroidery, iconographic painting). Have a dinner and overnight at the hotel “Rooms” in Kazbegi. (B/L/D)
Day 13: Kazbegi – Gergeti trinty church – Tbilisi
After breakfast drive to the Gergeti trinity church located at 2170m by 4X4 cars. Weather permitting you may catch a glimpse of one of the highest glaciers in the Caucasus – Mt Kazbegi (5047m). We drive back to the town and before returning to Tbilisi visit Gveleti waterfalls and Dariali Gorge. Drive back to Tbilisi. (Upon group request have rafting tour on Aragvi River which takes about 3 extra hours. Price per person additional 20 USD). Dinner at the restaurant in Tbilisi. Overnight in Tbilisi hotel.(B/L/D)
Day 14: Tbilisi – Telavi - Tsinandali – Sighnaghi – Tbilisi
After breakfast drive to the Kakheti region and visit house museum of Prince Aleksandre Chavchavadze, with beautiful garden and wine cellar, where we will taste 5 sorts of wine. It was the place where Chavchavadze frequently entertained foreign guests with music, wit, and – most especially – the fine vintages made at his estate winery (marani). Familiar with European ways, Chavchavadze built Georgia’s oldest and largest winery where he combined European and centuries-long Georgian winemaking traditions. The highly regarded dry white Tsinandali is still produced there. Afterwards drive to Signagi, “city of love”. On the way visit Bodbe monastery of St. Nino. According to Georgian tradition, St. Nino, having witnessed the conversion of Georgians to the Christian faith. Have Signagi city tour. In the evening drive back to Tbilisi. Have farewell dinner with folklore program in Tbilisi. Overnight in Tbilisi hotel. (B/L/D)
Day 15: Departure
Breakfast. Transfer to the Airport
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