Armenia, Mountainous Karabakh Republic and Georgia
This tour program takes in tours in Armenia, Mountainous Karabakh Republic and Georgia, the most fascinating countries in the Caucasus region!!!
Activities: trekking & hiking in the forests and mountains of Armenia, as well as in arboreta and national parks, wine tasting in Areni, seeing the most beautiful snow-capped peaks of the Caucasus Mountain Range: the Mount Kazbek (5047) in Georgia, and Mount Ararat (5165m) from Khor Virap Monastery in Armenia, relaxation at Jermuk spa town, sulphur baths and massage in Georgia, rock climbing, familiarization with regional cuisine of Armenia, Karabagh and Georgia, a cooking class, lavash baking, socializing with the local people everywhere, taking the aerial tramway, the longest in the world in order to reach the miraculous Tatev Monastery, following the old Silk Road with its old bridges and caravanserais (hotels of antiquity).
Day 1 Arrival in Armenia (Zvartnots International Airport). Transfer to hotel in Yerevan. Rest. Short walking tour in Yerevan upon request. Overnight in Yerevan.
Meal plan: Welcome Dinner or Lunch (Caucasian restaurant).
Day 2. Yerevan city tour. Visiting the main attractions in Yerevan such as Erebuni Fortress, Mother Armenia Monument, the Cascade, Matenadaran (manuscript museum), “Covered Bazaar”. Sergey Parajanov house museum. Free evening. Attending a cultural event (a folkloric dance show). Overnight in Yerevan.
Meal plan: breakfast, lunch (traditional Armenian restaurant, cooking class with a Cook).
Day 3. Early morning departure to Khor Virap Monastery in order to see the biblical Mount Ararat before it gets hazy. Areni winery tour and wine tasting. Areni Cave archeological site with world’s oldest winery. Noravank Monastery. Climbing the rock above the monastery. Take world’s longest aerial tramway to reach the fairy-tale Tatev Monastery, the pride of Armenia. Overnight in Goris town.
Meal plan: breakfast, lunch (Noravank Monastery’s refectory).
MOUNTAINOUS KARABAKH REPUBLIC
Day 4. Take a stroll in Goris and buy mulberry or cornel vodka from a local! Hiking in Khndzoresk Cave Habitat where people lived till 1950’s. Explore the beautiful nature of this abandoned village, enter the caves to see how the people lived there. Proceed to Karabakh. Shushi city tour. Hiking to Jldrduz Gorge. Overnight in Stepanakert, the capital city of Mountainous Karabakh Republic.
Meal plan: breakfast, lunch (in Stepanakert, tasting dishes typical to Karabagh cuisine).
Day 5. Artsakh (Karabakh) State Museum of History & Country Study, Stepanakert “Bazaar”. Visit Gandzasar Monastery, the “pearl and the encyclopedia of medieval Armenian architecture”. Drive back to Armenia. Armenian Stonehenge (Karahunj), world’s oldest observatory. Proceed to Jermuk spa town. Mermaid’s Hair Waterfall. Evening walk in the beautiful “Park of Statues”. Overnight in Jermuk.
Meal plan: breakfast, lunch (at Glshlagh village in Karabagh, tasting “jenjal” bread (stuffed with 14 kinds of herbs), Karabakh wines and other dishes typical to Artsakh).
Day 6. Relaxation day. Take spa procedures. Hiking to the forest near Jermuk to take a bath in hot mineral water natural stone baths(or by jeep). Overnight in Jermuk.
Meal plan: breakfast, lunch (at hotel, tasting specialties of Vayots Dzor Region).
Day 7. Selim Mountain Pass famous for its fascinating colorful mountain. Selim Caravanserai on the Silk Road where you’ll see some remains of the real old road, old bridges, hundreds of fresh water springs gushing from the rocks and the ground. Coffee break. Lake Sevan National Park. Noradouz Stone-cross field, the largest in the world. Climb up to Sevanavank Monastery to marvel at the beautiful view of the Lake Sevan, the “blue-eyed” bride of Armenia. Goshavank Monastery. Hiking to Jukhtakvank in Dilijan National Park. Overnight in Ijevan.
Meal plan: breakfast, lunch (at Sevan peninsula, tasting Lake Sevan fish barbeque and salads typical to Gegharkouniq Region).
Day 8. Ijevan city tour. Visit the renowned “Ijevan Arboretum”. Drive to the Georgian-Armenian border. Transfer to Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia. Tbilisi city tour. Visiting sulphur baths upon your request. Overnight in Tbilisi.
Meal plan: breakfast, lunch (at a typical Georgian restaurant).
Day 9. Mtshketa and Mount Kazbek tour. Mtskheta is one of oldest cities of Georgia. Mtskheta was a capital of the Georgian Kingdom of Iberia during the 3rd century BC - 5th century AD. Here Georgians accepted Christianity in 317 and Mtskheta still remains the headquarters of the Georgian Orthodox and Apostolic Church. Visiting the main attractions of the city and its ancient churches. In order to see the high peaks, roaring rivers and mountain lifestyle of Georgia’s Northern borderlands we will travel towards Mtiuleti and Khevi provinces via one of the oldest roads in Georgia, which the Russian Tsar Alexander I named the Georgian Military Highway. If weather conditions permit we'll see ‘Mkinvartsveri’ or Kazbek meaning ‘ice-top’ in English, spent volcano soaring to height of 5047 m. Mount Kazbek is the third highest and one of the best known peaks in the Caucasus. Its white pristine beauty wrapped in the rays of the rising sun almost fills the sky. Grand and dignified, it is at times capricious, even savage. Overnight in Tbilisi.
Meal plan: breakfast, lunch (at a typical Georgian restaurant).
Day 10. Early morning transfer to Gerogian – Armenian border. Akhtala Fortress and its Chalcedonian Monastery with beautiful frescoes. Haghpat and Sanahin Monasteries (UNESCO World Heritage Sites). Hiking to Kobayr, Georgian Monastery, half-ruined, frescoes under the open air and the breathtaking view to Debed River. Coffee break at a local’s house orchard in Kobayr village. Back to Yerevan. Overnight in Yerevan.
Meal plan: breakfast, lunch (at Alaverdi, tasting specialties of Lori Region).
Day 11. Garni Pagan Temple. Geghard Monastery. Hiking to Havuts Tar, a 13th century monastic complex in Khosrov Nature Reserve, abandoned and half-ruined. Overnight in Yerevan.
Meal plan: breakfast, lunch (in Garni, at a local house orchard, “lavash” baking, barbeque in tonir (a pit-oven where the traditional Armenian bread (lavash) is baked).
Day 12. Free day in Yerevan. Farewell dinner. Overnight in Yerevan.
Meal plan: breakfast, farewell dinner (fancy, but very popular Armenian restaurant with live music and a dance floor).