9 days/8 nights
Flight to Tbilisi
Breakfast. Arrival at the airport in the early morning and transfer to the airport.. After rest drive to the magnificent mountains of the Greater Caucasus (150 km). Our destination is the town of Kazbegi, nestled in the Tergi valley, but along the way we shall stop at some lakes to look for a variety of wetland birds including White – winged Black and Gull – billed Terns. As we reach the foothills we will stop again to explore some of the oak and beech woods that cloak the lower slopes, where we should find Green Warbler, Red – breasted Flycatcher and perhaps Semi-collared Flycatcher. Reaching the small town of Kazbegi in the late afternoon. Overnight in Kazbegi in a hotel.
Breakfast. Walk and bird watching around the Kazbegi, we shall encounter our first mountain birds, with tame flocks of Twite, Shore Lark of the penicillatarace and White – winged Snowfinch feeding alongside the road, all giving excellent photographic opportunities. We should also start to see our first raptors such as Griffon Vulture, Peregrine and the mighty Lammergeier. Also we have high chances to see Levant Sparrowhawk, as we start our climb on the slopes, we are sure to hear the male Caucasian Snowcock’s curlew – like call echoing around the mountains, a truly evocative sound. Overnight in Kazbegi. Walking time: 4 hours, reach 2900m above sea level
Breakfast. Walk toward Gergeti Tritity Church (2200m below sea level, 4 km, 2 hours) careful scanning of the high alpine meadows should reveal the dark shapes of Caucasian Black Grouse. In rocky parts we will find Guldenstadt’s Redstart and Great Rosefinch. Moreover, around Kazbegi we should find these wonderful birds in the reverie scrub lining the valley bottoms; Mountain Chiffchaff, Green Warbler and a variety of migrants, including European Bee – eater, Red-backed and Lesser Grey Shrikes, Red – throated Pipit, Yellow Wagtail and Ortolan Bunting. Overnight in Gudauri in a hotel.
Breakfast. Transfer to the Armenian-Georgian border Sadakhlo, coach and guide change and continue the tour in Armenia. The first city to be visited is the old Dilijan. Here we will walk along the Sharambeyan Street: the street of arts and museums. Then we will visit Dilijan State Reserve, where you can find various types of trees, for example, beech, pine, as well as Akhnabata which is the greatest in the Transcaucasia. The fauna of the reserve is very rich, you will encounter: brown bear, chamois, rate, wild cat, wolf rarely strays, Persian squirrel and etc. The particularly common birds are Caucasian grouse, turkey, gray partridge, pigeon woodpecker and the forest. Then we will leave for Lake Sevan which is on 1900 meters’ altitude from the sea level. Besides the natural beauty of the lake you may also admire of the Sevanavank. Leave for Yerevan and overnight there.
Breakfast. Visit to the Museum of Nature, where you may get acquainted with the flora and fauna of Armenian land. Then you will visit to Manuscript museum Matenadaran. The next direction is to Zvartnoc. We will visit to the Ruins of Zvartnoc Cathedral (dating back to VII century). Then we will continue our tour to the Mother Cathedral of Ejmiatsn, which is the holy centre for all Armenians. Return to Yerevan and overnight in the hotel.
Breakfast. Armash fish farm is one of the Caucasus’ richest ornithological hotspots and the only place that boasts the largest concentration and variety of birdlife in Armenia. Birds in this area: Pygmy Cormorant, Greylag Goose, Ferruginous Duck, Gadwall and Northern Shoveler etc. The site is an Important Bird Area of global significance. The Khor Virap (meaning deep pit) monastery is a 7th century Armenian monastery in the Ararat plain in Armenia, very close to the border with Turkey and the closest point in Armenia to Mount Ararat, the national symbol of Armenia. Birds in this area are: Herons, Rufous‐tailed Scrub‐Robin, Menetries’s Warbler, Sedge and Reed Warblers. Our next station is Noravank. Birds in this area are: Over 190 species have been recorded in this site, a number of which are listed in the International Red Data Book of Endangered Species. Species of conservation concern supported at the site include Short‐toed and Golden Eagles, Bearded and Egyptian Vultures as well as European Roller etc. Return to Yerevan and overnight in the hotel.
Breakfast. The tour starts with the visit of Garni Pagan Temple which is build in the first century. In 1679 the temple was ruined as a result of the earthquake and was rebuilt in 1975. Have a lunch at a local restaurant, where you have the opportunity to learn about the preparation of lavash (the national bread of Armenia). Then the tour continues to Geghard Monastery. Geghard name derives from the famous spear, which is used to pierce Christ, to make sure that he is dead. While the main chapel was built in 1215, the monastery was founded in the fourth century. Then the tour continues to Khosrov reserve which was created for the purpose of protecting those types and species of the animals and plants that are at the edge of disappearing, as well as it aims at creating new species. Among these animals are Armenian mouflon, wild sheep, Bezoar goats, leopard, bear, pig, fox, and badger. The reserve is especially rich in birds such as the black kite, eagle, griffon vulture, pigeon etc. Get back to Yerevan and overnight there.
Breakfast and transfer to the airport.