Arrival at the international airport of Kutaisi. Transfer to the hotel, rest. After lunch, the guide will meet you at the hotel lobby and take on a city tour of Kutaisi – the capital of ancient Colchida, which existed already at the times of the Argonauts (13th century BC). Then we will visit Gelati Monastery.
Kutaisi, Prometheus cave, Batumi
After breakfast we will drive to Prometheus cave and continue to Batumi. We will visit Batumi Botanical garden – one of the biggest botanical gardens in the former Soviet Union, overlooking the Black Sea from the hilltop of the Green Cape. Lunch time. After lunch we will start the discovery of Batumi. With its charming, white, two-story buildings, Batumi still radiates the colonial atmosphere of its past. Reminiscent of past Turkish rule, British and French business activities and Russian immigration, a striking mixture of different cultures marks the town. While the street cafes and the waterfront boulevard invite the passers-by for a cup of Turkish coffee and a piece of “Pakhlava”, the seaport is a hive of busy commercial activity. Dinner in Batumi.
Breakfast. Free day in Batumi.
Batumi, Borjomi, Akhaltsikhe
After breakfast we will drive to Borjomi, famous for its mineral water, whose healing powers have been discovered in the 18th century, and which has become one of Georgia’s major export goods by the beginning of the 21st century. Afterwards we will drive to Akhaltsikhe and visit newly renovated Akhaltsikhe Castle. Check-in to the hotel in Akhlatsikhe, dinner.
Akhaltsikhe, Lake Sevan
After breakfast we will drive to Georgia – Armenia border, on the way we will visit Vardzia. Crossing the Georgian-Armenian border we enter the Shirak region and drive to the city of Gyumri, the northern and cultural capital of Armenia. Enjoy the walking evening city tour. Dinner and overnight in Gyumri.
Lake Sevan, Garni, Geghard, Yerevan
Breakfast at the hotel. A trip to Echmiadzin, the spiritual and administrative center of the Armenian Apostolic Church. Inspection of the pearls of Armenian architecture of the Church of St. Hripsime (7th century), and the world’s first Christian Cathedral (4th century). Tour to the museum of Echmiadzin Catedral. On the way back stop at the ruins of one of the most famous temples in Armenia – Zvartnots (7th century). Arrival to Yerevan. Check in to your hotel. Dinner at the restaurant and overnight in Yerevan.
Yerevan city tour
After breakfast we start the city tour in Yerevan. Today we visit Matenadaran – Institute of ancient manuscripts. Here are kept more than 17,000 manuscripts and fragments, and a collection of constantly updated with new discoveries, acquisitions and gifts. Visit of the Tsitsernakaberd Memorial Complex dedicated to the memory of the victims of the genocide of 1915 and Armenian Genocide Museum. Walking tour in the city center where we’ll see the Republic Square, the National Opera and Ballet Theater, Northern Avenue, Abovyan street – one of the oldest and well-known streets of the capital, cultural – architectural complex Cascade. Lunch time. Visit to “Araраt” Brandy Factory with excursion and brandy tasting. Free time.
Yerevan, Echmiadzin, Zvartnots, Yerevan
Breakfast. On the way to Geghard, we will stop at the “Arch of Charents”, which offers a splendid view of the Biblical Ararat mountain. A trip to the cave Monastery Geghard listed in UNESCO. Continue to the village of Garni and visit the only survived Armenian pagan temple. Enjoy the master class of traditional baking ceremony of Armenian bread lavash and lunch at the local restaurant. Return to Yerevan. Visit Gum market where one can find and taste fresh, dried and marinated fruits and vegetables of your choice. In the evening enjoy your dinner in a traditional restaurant.
Yerevan, Khor Virap, Noravank, Areni, Yerevan
After breakfast a trip to the Ararat valley, visiting one of the most revered shrines of the Armenian people – the Monastery of Khor Virap, where for many years was imprisoned first patriarch of Armenia, St. Gregory the Illuminator. The monastery is located 200 meters away from the Turkish border. Khor Virap is considered to be a pilgrimage center for all Armenians, from where we have the best view of Biblical Mount Ararat. After we’ll visit one of the most beautiful monasteries in Armenia – Noravank, which is a remarkable architectural complex of 13th century. The Monastery is built in an inaccessible location amongst stunning nature. Lunch in a local restaurant. Visit Areni wine factory in Areni village, wine tasting. Return to Yerevan.
Breakfast and leave for the Armenian-Georgian border. On the way visit Lake Sevan – one of the largest high altitude and fresh water mountain lakes in the world. Inspection of Sevanavank Monastery, standing on the peninsula that offers magnificent panoramic views of the lake and surrounding mountains. Continue to monastery of Haghpat (10th century). Haghpat is among the outstanding and greatest works of medieval Armenian architecture included in World Heritage List of UNESCO. Transfer to the Armenia-Georgia border Bagratashen. After border formalities, we change the guide and bus and continue to Tbilisi. Free day in Tbilisi.
Tbilisi city tour, Mtskheta city tour, Tbilisi
Breakfast at the hotel restaurant. After we are going to have a city tour in Tbilisi. The first destination will be “Metekhi” church.
After breakfast we will drive to Kakheti region. First we will drive towards the winery of Schuchmann Wine Company and continue to the village of Tsinandali, where we will visit residence of Prince Alexander Chavchavadze, the estate is famous for its decorative garden built in the 19th century. Roaming in the rooms and halls of the House Museum and the botanical garden around it takes visitors back to the time of its original inhabitants. Afterwards, we will continue to Gurjaani, where one will be introduced to Georgian wine making traditions. You will be hosted by a local family and will see how wine is being made in private houses. In a traditional Georgian wine cellar, called “marani”, you will taste the homemade wine kept in a “kvevri” (amphora) built into the ground. Furthermore, we will see the process of baking the Georgian bread “Shoti”, as well as the confection of the traditional Georgian dessert “Churchkhela” made of hazelnut/walnuts and grape juice porridge. Finally, you will enjoy lunch in a warm-hearted environment, which will make you familiar in Georgian traditions. After we will drive to Bodbe Monastery. Free time to discover the 18th century royal town Sighnaghi, situated at the top of the hill, sheltered by the old town wall and towers, filled with fountains and hand carved balconies. Due to its truly romantic looks and atmosphere, it is also called The Town of Love. After we will drive back to Tbilisi.
Tbilisi, Ananuri, Kazbegi
Breakfast. We shall start our journey along the Georgian Military Highway, where we will make a first halt at the Ananuri architectural complex, which was the residence of the Eristavi (the rulers) of Aragvi. The main church of the Holy Virgin is the focal point of the fortress. The facade of the church is decorated with an exquisite relief and ornaments. Then we will continue our way to Kazbegi. Upon our arrival we will have a lunch. Afterwards we will start ascending to the Gergeti Trinity church located at the height of 2127 meters right above the village Stephantsminda. It is a really beautiful road, surrounded with the dramatic views of tall mountains and picturesque terrain. The road will tack us through the forest and up to the vast plateau where the glorious church stands tall at the very end of the cliff. Upon our approach incredible views of the mighty Mount Kazbeg (5047) and the fabulous Kazbegi Valley. Dinner at the hotel.
Breakfast. After we will drive to Uplistsikhe, a cave town near Gori on the left bank of the Mtkvari river, which was built during the first half of the first millennium BC. This huge rock-city is the most ancient and impressive masterpiece of the Georgian architecture. More than one hundred rooms, halls and central streets, the roof stage of the antique theatre, as well as a water system are preserved. Unfortunately, Uplistsikhe was strongly damaged by earthquakes and invasions. In spite of this, the monument has a mighty appearance and even today makes a profound impression upon the visitors. Lunch in a local restaurant and drive to Kutais. Free time.