Georgia & Armenia: Journey to the Caucasus - A Limited Edition Small Group Journey (2020)

This fascinating journey to the heart of the Caucasus offers a surprising taste of old world Eastern European charm.

Journey Overview

This fascinating journey to the heart of the Caucasus offers a surprising taste of old world Eastern European charm. Bridging East and West, these former Soviet Republics boast thousands of years of history, jaw-dropping scenery and a rich cultural heritage. Armenia was one of the first countries to adopt Christianity, and there are magnificent churches in abundance in the most unexpected locations. Neighbouring Georgia lays claim to the world’s oldest wine industry and, on this journey, rare skin-fermented wines stored underground in clay jars are uncorked and savoured. The food throughout the region is delicious and hearty and, in many places, there’s a delightfully unspoiled medieval vibe. 

Journey Highlights

  • Wander through the historic heart of Tbilisi’s old town
  • Prepare lavash in time-honoured fashion in a local home
  • Sip wine from earthenware pots in the world’s oldest vineyards in the Kakheti region
  • Uncover medieval history at the Haghpat and Sanahin monastic complexes
  • Witness a spiritual vocal performance in an ancient monastery
  • Float across the high altitude waters of Lake Sevan on a private boat trip
  • Taste Armenia’s noble brandy at a Yerevan distillery
  • Meet local artisans and traditional carpet manufacturers in colourful markets and workshops
  • Hike up to the 14th century Gergeti Holy Trinity Church, one of the world’s most spectacularly situated
Itinerary

Journey Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive Tbilisi, Georgia.

Arrive into the Georgian capital and this evening join your tour director and fellow travellers for a cocktail briefing on the adventure ahead.
Tbilisi Marriott Hotel

Day 2: Tbilisi | An Assortment of Architectural Styles.

Tbilisi is a surprising blend of cultures. Your adventure starts with a walk through the cobbled streets of the atmospheric old town. Visit the 12th century Metekhi Church and a 19th century Jewish synagogue. Admire the old Georgian houses with their distinctive wooden, curved balconies and the Sioni Cathedral. You’ll see the oldest surviving church in Tbilisi before getting a bird’s-eye view of the city from the Narikala Fortress, which can be accessed by cable car or on foot. On the way back down, stop at the Sulphur Baths and the National Museum of Fine Arts. Tonight is a chance to savour some of Georgia’s finest cuisine at a favourite traditional restaurant.
Tbilisi Marriott Hotel | Meals: BLD

Day 3: Tbilisi | Design Your Day.

Start the day at the Simon Janashia Museum of Georgia with its extraordinary collection of gold filigree work.  After lunch – design your day with the choice of a visit to a local workshop, (where artisans introduce us to the ancient technique of cloisonné, a decorative enamelwork tradition over 1,200 years old), or embark on a local neighbourhood architectural walking tour of Tbilisi/ Free time at leisure.

  • An artisan introduction to the ancient technique of cloisonné (decorative enamelwork).
  • Join an architectural expert for a walking tour around the city.

Tbilisi Marriott Hotel | Meals: BL

Day 4: Kakheti | Birthplace of Winemaking.

Explore the most picturesque part of Georgia - Kakheti, which borders the Great Caucasus range. This area is the birthplace of viticulture and winemaking, admire the profusion of vineyards and beautiful churches as you drive through. Stop at the 9th century Bodbe Nunnery before arriving at the pretty fortified town of Sighnaghi, famous for its wine and carpet making. Meander through the narrow streets before lunch with a local family serving up traditional dishes from the region, and of course matching wines. Before returning to Tbilisi we visit the grand Tsinandali estate, once home to the noble Chavchavadze family and noted for its historic winery.
Tbilisi Marriott Hotel | Meals: BL

Day 5: Mtskheta | Medieval Religious Architecture.

The World Heritage site of Mtskheta is your first stop today. Georgia’s cultural and religious centre, it is also one of the country’s oldest towns. Visit the early medieval Jvari Church and Svetitskhoveli Cathedral. Heading along the Georgian Military Highway, take in the Ananuri Architectural complex, with churches and towers dating back to the 16th and 17th centuries. Arrive into the sleepy town of Kazbegi later this afternoon where views of Mt. Kazbek are breathtaking – especially from your hotel room.
Rooms Hotel Kazbegi | Meals: BLD

Day 6: Kazbegi | Gergeti Holy Trinity Church.

This morning, head for the beautifully situated 14th century Gergeti Holy Trinity Church which perches high on a hill overlooking the town and the surrounding mountain scenery. Get up close by 4WD or, for the more energetic, on foot. More traditional Georgian hospitality today over lunch with one of the local families. This afternoon, enjoy the stylish Nordic atmosphere of the hotel before sundowners on the terrace.
Rooms Hotel Kazbegi | Meals: BLD

Day 7: Tbilisi | Heart of Georgia.

Today’s adventure is to the fertile Kartli province with a stop in Gori, the birthplace of Joseph Stalin where a controversial museum traces his life. For lunch today, enjoy traditional dishes with the local wine.
Tbilisi Marriott Hotel | Meals: BL

Day 8: Sadakhlo, Armenia | Byzantine Monasteries | Yerevan, Armenia

We farewell Georgia this morning crossing into Armenia at the Sadakhlo border. After a short drive we arrive at Akhtala Fortress and Church. After lunch, we visit the beautiful Haghpat monastic complex, representative of Armenia’s finest religious architectural tradition with a unique style blending element of Byzantine ecclesiastical architecture and
the traditional vernacular of the Caucasian region. Haghpat is justifiably a World UNESCO listed monastery. We drive on to Yerevan, the capital of Armenia.
Armenia Marriott Hotel Yerevan | Meals: BLD

Day 9: Yerevan | Lake Sevan

Travel today to Lake Sevan, the largest body of water in Armenia and the Caucasus region, where a boat trip is included. Then continue on to the Armenian capital, Yerevan. Yerevan stretches along the banks of the River Hrazdan, under the wistful gaze of Mount Ararat.
Armenia Marriott Hotel Yerevan | Meals: BL

Day 10: Yerevan | In the shadow of Mount Ararat.

Your introduction to the capital begins with a guided tour of the city, one of the world’s oldest continuously inhabited metropolises. See the beautiful Government buildings, the Central Post Office and banks. Visit the State History Museum as well as the Cafesjian Modern Art Museum, which exhibits collections of Armenian and international contemporary artworks. Later, we visit the sombre Genocide Museum and Memorial. Also in the afternoon, we discover why Armenian brandy is world famous at a VIP tasting specially organised for us at the Yerevan brandy factory. There is also time this afternoon to pore over the stalls at the Vernissage flea market, a short walk from the hotel.
Armenia Marriott Hotel Yerevan | Meals: BL

Day 11: Yerevan | Geghard | Garni

Our morning begins with a spiritual vocal performance in the acoustic hall of the ancient Geghard Monastery. Afterwards, a visit to the pagan Temple of Garni, which dates to the Hellenistic era. Built around 77 A.D., it is the only Greco-Roman colonnaded building in the country. Afterwards, we take part in a centuries-old Armenian cultural tradition at a hands-on lavash making ceremony
followed by lunch in a local home. There is also time this afternoon to explore the stalls at the Vernissage flea market, a short walk from the hotel.
Armenia Marriott Hotel Yerevan | Meals: BL

Day 12: Yerevan | Etchmiadzin | Zvartnots

This morning we visit the the ruins of the 7th century Zvartnots Cathedral. Later we visit the Etchmiadzin Cathedral. This ancient catherdral is headquarters for the Armenian Orthodox Church. We explore the museum, then enjoy lunch at the family owned Megeryan Carpet Factory & Museum. Get comfortable as you admire exquisite handmade carpets before a traditional Armenian lunch in a rustic, but atmospheric, restaurant. This afternoon is at leisure, and tonight we celebrate the end of our journey through the Caucasus with a farewell dinner.
Armenia Marriott Hotel Yerevan | Meals: BLD

Day 13: Depart Yerevan.

Transfer to airport for departure flight.
Meals: B

Journey Details

Maximum Group Size: 18

Departures are guaranteed to operate with a minimum of 2 guests.

Tour Inclusions

All accommodation as detailed on a double/ twin share basis with private facilities; meals as specified; bottled water during transfers and touring; airport welcome; assistance with luggage and group transportation by private air-conditioned vehicle; services of English speaking A&K Resident Tour Director; economy flights only if specified as included in itinerary, all entrance fees, planning, handling, operational and communication charges, all tipping.

Tour Exclusions

International flights not specified as included, visas, insurance coverage of personal loss, injury, illness or damages incurred during your trip; items of a purely personal nature such as drinks, laundry, dry cleaning, internet, fax or phone charges; transfers, sightseeing or meals not specified in itinerary; excess baggage charges

Tailor Made Travel with A&K

If scheduled departure dates don’t work for you, or you would prefer to travel privately, talk to your A&K travel specialist or your travel agent about creating the perfect bespoke journey for your, or a small group.

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Accommodation/Partners

Accommodation/Partners

Tbilisi Marriott Hotel

Georgia & Armenia: Journey to the Caucasus - A Limited Edition Small Group Journey (2020)

Situated in an historic building with a central location in the heart of the city, the Tbilisi Marriott Hotel offers deluxe accommodation ... Read more

Armenia Marriott, Yerevan

Georgia & Armenia: Journey to the Caucasus - A Limited Edition Small Group Journey (2020)

Located right on Republic Square in the centre of Yerevan, the grand Armenia Marriott Hotel Yerevan is an impressive building with grand ... Read more

Rooms Hotel Kazbegi

Georgia & Armenia: Journey to the Caucasus - A Limited Edition Small Group Journey (2020)

With the spectacular backdrop of the Caucasus Mountains, Rooms Hotel, formerly an austere Soviet-era resort, has been rejuvenated and c ... Read more

Dates & Prices

Journey Dates & Prices

Prices are per person, based on double occupancy

Sep 4, 2020 - Sep 16, 2020
Price AU$9,495pp Single Supplement AU$2,595 Internal Air (From) AU$0 Availability Available Book
Oct 4, 2020 - Oct 16, 2020
Price AU$9,495pp Single Supplement AU$2,595 Internal Air (From) AU$0 Availability Available Book
Notes:

Availability shown here is updated weekly and indicative only. Availability on any product or journey shown here is not specific to a category of travel and may not denote availability at the cheapest ‘From’ price. For real time availability, talk to your travel agent or call Abercrombie & Kent on 1300 851 800.

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