10 Days 9 Nights
Travel through the two of the most ancient Christian countries of the world, and learn everything there is to know about their unique history, traditions, architecture, and people. Despite their many similarities, both Georgia and Armenia have distinct attractions to offer.
Arrival at Tbilisi. Pick up from the airport and transfer to your hotel. Free evening.
Tbilisi sightseeing tour starts at Tbilisi's Holy Trinity Cathedral, Georgia's tallest church built between 1993 and 2004. It is also one of the largest religious structures in the world. Its magnificent golden dome can be seen from practically any point in Tbilisi. Continue to the old part of the city.
In the morning, drive to the Kakheti region. Visit the famous city of love Sighnaghi, located on a hilltop with a panoramic view of the Alazani Valley. The remainder of the defensive wall, with 23 towers, is still standing around the town. Climb one of the towers and walk along the wall until you reach the next one. Continue to the Bodbe monastery, which was built in the IX century. It is currently used as a nunnery, but it also serves as a tourist attraction. Continue to Tsinandali. Visit the house museum of Alexander Chavchavadze, a famous public figure and poet from the nineteenth century. At the time, Georgian nobles were known for their sophisticated European taste, as evidenced by the exquisite English Garden that surrounds the house. The house's wine cellar contains a unique selection of Georgian and European wines. You will be served a glass of Tsinandali white wine as a welcome gift. Drive to Telavi, the largest town of Kakheti. Have a short tour around the city. Drive back to Tbilisi. Drop off at your hotel.
In the morning, head to Kazbegi. Along the way, stop by Jvari monastery, a UNESCO world heritage site erected in the sixth century on a hill overlooking the Aragvi and Mtkvari rivers' scenic confluence. Carry on to Ananuri Fortress. A magnificent complex consists of two churches with an ornately decorated façade, several towers, and defense walls. With a view of the Zhinvali reservoir in the background, all of these structures create a stunning panorama. Continue to Kazbegi on the Georgian Military Highway. Make photo stops at the Gudauri View Point, also known as the Friendship Monument, and the Jvari Overpass Travertine Natural Monument. Reach Stepantsminda. Hike or drive to Gergeti Holy Trinity Church to take in the breathtaking views of Mount Kazbek (5033 m). Drop off at the hotel.
After breakfast, drive to Gori, the city where Joseph Stalin was born. Visit Stalin's house-museum and make a photo stop at Gori Fortress. You will see the house where Stalin was born and spent his childhood, a defense pavilion, Stalin's armour-plated train carriage, and a museum. Our final destination for the day is Uplistsikhe cave town, located 15 kilometres from Gori on the left bank of the Mtkvari River. It dates back to the first and second millennia B.C. Uplistsikhe played a prominent role in politics, religion, and culture during the Hellenistic and Late Antique periods, as well as being an important trade center on a route connecting Asia and Europe. The complex contains several significant cave structures, including the "Theatre," a temple from the first or second centuries AD, the pre-Christian Temple of Makvliani, the large hall known as the Hall of Queen Tamar, Uplistsuli Church, the triple-church basilica on top of the hill, and a long tunnel leading down to the Mtkvari river. Drive back to Tbilisi. Drop-off at your hotel.
In the morning, depart Tbilisi and drive to the Georgian-Armenian border. After crossing the border, you will be met by our Armenian guide and driver. Begin exploring Armenia with a visit to the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Haghpat and Sanahin monasteries in the Lori region. The two monasteries, constructed between the tenth and thirteenth centuries, represent the pinnacle of Armenian religious architecture. Drive to Lake Sevan, also known as the "Pearl of Armenia" by passing through luscious green fields bursting with thriving flowers and the charming town of Dilijan. Located at an elevation of 1900 meters above sea level, Lake Sevan is one of the largest freshwater lakes in the world. Visit the Sevanavank monastery complex, which is located on a peninsula on Lake Sevan's northwestern shore. Enjoy breathtaking panoramic views from the complex. Drive to Yerevan for overnight.
Begin your sightseeing tour of Yerevan with the city's main symbol, the Cascade monument. A massive limestone stairway that provides breathtaking views of Yerevan and Mount Ararat. Wander around Yerevan's pink streets and see the Swan Lake, Republic Square, the Opera and Ballet Theater, the Northern Avenue, and so on. Continue to Matenadaran, the Institute of Ancient Manuscripts, which houses over 17,000 ancient and medieval manuscripts. Drive to the Armenian Genocide Memorial Complex on Tsitsernakaberd Hill. Optional: Visit Megeryan Carpet factory or Yerevan Brandy Company.
In the morning, drive to the Geghard monastery, one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Armenia. The monastery complex is surrounded by towering cliffs and contains several churches and tombs, the majority of which are carved deep into the rock. It was the first monastery built in Armenia following the adoption of Christianity as the state religion in the early fourth century AD. Continue the tour to Garni Temple, Armenia's only remaining pagan temple from the first century AD. It was dedicated to Mitra, the Armenian Sun God. It is now symbolized as pre-Christian Armenia. Drive to the next UNESCO World Heritage Site in Armenia, the Cathedral and Churches of Echmiatsin (Echmiadzin) and the Zvartnots Archaeological Site. Echmiadzin is recognised as the spiritual heart of the Armenian people. Constructed in the VI century, it became one of the first official Christian Churches in the world. On the way back to Yerevan, visit the ruins of the VII-century Zvartnots temple, which was destroyed by an earthquake in the X century. Drop off at the hotel.
In the morning, drive to Khor Virap monastery, which is famous for its breathtaking views of Armenia's symbol, the majestic Mount Ararat. The name "Khor Virap" means "deep dungeon," and legend has it that St. Gregory the Illuminator, the patron saint of Armenia, was imprisoned here for 13 years. Continue to Noravank Monastery, a 13th-century monastery perched on a hill with scenic views. The brick-red cliffs that surround the area are the best part of the sight. Drive through a narrow canyon to reach the Areni cave, one of Armenia's most important archaeological sites, where the oldest shoe, winery, and straw skirt have been discovered. Visit the Areni winery near the cave, where you will be able to sample a local Areni wine. Drive back to Yerevan. Drop off at your hotel.
Transfer to the airport. Departure.