Georgia- Armenia- Georgia
DAY 1: Arrival at Tbilisi
Meeting at Tbilisi airport and transfer to the hotel.
DAY 2: Tbilisi
Breakfast. Today we will have excursion in the capital. Here you may encounter with many religious and cultural builings: churches, sinagoges, mosques which comprise the whole color of 19th century. Visit sulfur bath. Later visit the stunning treasury History Museum and the National Art Museum of Georgia (depends which will be open). After all we will have a walking along Rustaveli Avenue - the main street in Tbilisi.
DAY 3: Tbilisi –Mtskheta-Ananuri- Gudauri
Breakfast. Visit the ancient capital and religious center of Georgia – Mtskheta and its historical sites: the Church of Jvari (6th century) and Svetitskhoveli Cathedral (11th century). Jvari and Svetitskhoveli are World Heritage Sites of UNESCO. On the road we will visit the complex Ananuri. Drive to Gudauri, one of the resort cities of Georgia.
DAY 4: Gudauri-Kazbegi - Tbilisi
Breakfast. In the morning we will start a spectacular road route north along the river Tergi, up to Kazbegi, the main city of the region. Stop at a farm to see how families produce a delicious artisan cheese, before beginning our walking route through spectacular valleys and forests to reach the Trinity Church Gergeti. Return to Tbilisi. Overnight in a hotel in Tbilisi.
DAY 5: Tbilisi-Gori-Uplistsikhe-Borjomi –Akhaltsikhe
Breakfast. Departure for Gori, home of Joseif Stalin. Visit to the Cave City of Uplistsikhe (1st millennium BC), inhabited until the 14th century. Since then, the caves have been transformed into lodgings, shops and public buildings (of which the oldest is the theater of Georgia) and into giant wine cellars. Visit Borjomi. Overnight at Akhaltsikhe.
DAY 6: Akhaltsikhe-Vardzia-Bavra-Gyumri
Breakfast. Departure for the Rabat fortress. Arrival in Vardzia and visit to the rock city. Founded in the 12th century as a fortified religious town, it is one of the best examples of the Georgian Gold Age. The complex originally had over 3,000 caves and could hold 50,000 people. Transfer to the Bavra border, change of car and guide, departure for Gyumri, second capital of Armenia, administrative center of Shirak region. Overnight in Gyumri.
DAY 7: Gyumri-Ejmiatsin-Zvartnoc-Yerevan
Breakfast. Visit the museum of Aslamazyan sisters, one of which is famous as “Armenian Frida Calo”. Then we will continue our excursion to centuries-old monuments Ejmiatsin and Zvartnots. These sites are listed on UNESCO World Heritage list. The Cathedral of Ejmiatsin, founded in 303, is the official residence of the Catholicos of Armenia. We’ll continue the trip to Zvartnots Temple, which was built on 7th century by Nerses Builder Catholicos. Drive to Yerevan and overnight there.
DAY 8: Yerevan – Garni – Geghard - Yerevan
Breakfast. Take trip to Garni. This Pagan Temple was built in the 1st century AD. It is the only temple that has been preserves from the Pagan times in Armenia. It was devoted to the god Mihr, who was the god of cleanness. In 1679 it was destroyed by earthquake. In the 1975 the Temple was restored. Then we will continue our trip to Geghard Monastery. Its name came from the legendary lance that was used to pierce the body of Christ. It has been kept here for centuries. Though the exact foundation of the monastery is unknown, the present complex was built in the mid – 13th century. Return Yerevan. Overnight.
DAY 9: Yerevan – Khor Virap – Areni – Noravank – Yerevan
Breakfast. Take trip to Khor Virap Monastery (4-18th cc.). This monastery is very prominent because of its history; Gregory the Illuminator, who introduced Christianity to Armenia, has been imprisoned there about 13 years as at that time there was a prison in the place of the monastery. Here we can enjoy the spectacular view of the sacred Ararat Mountain - an immortal symbol of Armenia. We will continue our tour to Noravank - a monastery of XII century situated among amazing sheer rocks on the bench of a twisty gorge. This is the only monastery where we may find a unique sculpture of Father God. On our way back we will visit village Areni which is considered to be an important center of wine production industry. You are welcome to taste its excellent wine. Return Yerevan and overnight there.
DAY 10: Yerevan-Sevan-Hagpat-Sadakhlo (16:00) Tbilisi
Breakfast. We will drive to Lake Sevan which is one of the largest lakes in the world. It stands out with its sweet and astonishingly blue water. Here we can enjoy the breathtaking scenery of the beautiful lake. Then we will visit Sevanavank Monastery which is situated on Sevan Peninsula. There are 2 monasteries actually; one of them is destroyed but the other stands still. They have been built in the Middle Ages, around 10th century.Today we will visit a unique monument of Armenian architecture of X-XIV centuries: the monastery Haghpat which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is 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 centers of medieval Armenia. After all we will drive to the border between Armenia and Georgia. We’ll change guide and transport and continue the trip in Georgia. Drive to Tbilisi. Overnight there.
DAY 11: Departure
Transfer to the airport.
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