DESTINATION GEORGIA 11 DAYS/ 10 NIGHTS COMBINED PACKAGE OFFER IN ARMENIA AND GEORGIA FOR 2017
DAY 1 Departure from home country
DAY 2 Yerevan City tour – Garni – Geghard – Yerevan Tour
After breakfast sightseeing tour of Yerevan including the Republic Square, the Opera House, the Parliament, the Cascade as well as the monument ‘Mayr Hayastan’ (Mother Armenia) with a panoramic view of Yerevan and Mount Ararat. Visit to Matenadaran – institute of ancient manuscripts. Departure for Kotayq region. Stop at the Arch of Yeghishe Charents to have a bird-eye view of Mount Ararat and Yerevan city. Lunch in the village with lavash (Armenian bread) bakers. Watching and assisting Armenian women bake lavash in tonir (well-stove) and tasting it with home-made cheese and herbs. Continue to bronze age Garni Village to visit the 1st century Pagan Temple of Garni located in a picturesque position and in perfect harmony with the pure nature. Then visit the UNESCO Heritage site Geghard Monastery (13th century) carved into solid rock. Return to Yerevan. Dinner at restaurant. Overnight in Yerevan.
After breakfast departure for Echmiadzin – the holy seat of the Supreme Patriarch – Catholicos of all Armenians. Armenia was the first country to adopt Christianity as a state religion in 301 AD. The Cathedral was built in 303 on the site of a pagan temple after the adoption of Christianity. Visit UNESCO Heritage Sites St. Hripsime Church (7th cent) and ruins of the cathedral of Zvartnots (7th cent). Lunch in a restaurant. Return to Yerevan. Visit to Tsitsernakaberd– Memorial and Museum of the Armenian Genocide of 1915. Afternoon free to explore Vernissage – an open-air art market open only at weekends. Dinner at restaurant. Overnight in Yerevan.
After breakfast at hotel drive towards the south to visit the historic Monastery of Khor Virap (Deep Pit), an important pilgrimage site close to the Turkish border where St. Gregory the Illuminator has been imprisoned for 13 years before the official conversion of Armenia to Christianity in 301 A.D. From the monastery you can enjoy a breathtaking view of majestic snow-peaked Biblical Mount Ararat and the vast Ararat valley. Continue to Vayots Dzor Region to visit Noravank Monastery – the jewel of medieval Armenian architecture set in a marvelous canyon and built in a perfect harmony with the surrounding nature. Lunch at restaurant. Return to Yerevan. Dinner at restaurant. Overnight in Yerevan.
Full day excursion to the north – east of Armenia to Lake Sevan – the emerald of Armenia situated at 2000 meters above sea level, therefore considered one of the highest altitude lakes in the world. Visit to Noraduz hosting the biggest collection of world famous Armenian khachkars (cross-stones) – the pride of Armenian medieval architecture. Visit to the 9th century Sevanavank Monastery on Sevan Peninsula (formerly an island). Lunch at restaurant. After a short stop at the statue of Akhtamar, the tour will continue on to the beautiful mountainous and forested region of Dilijan and then on to the magnificent and impressive complex of Goshavank Monastery (11-13th centuries). Arrival in hotel in Dilijan. Dinner and overnight in hotel Dilijan.
Breakfast at hotel and check-out. Drive to the north of Armenia to visit some of the architectural masterpieces of medieval Armenia. Visit to the Monasteries of Haghpat and Sanahin built between 10-13th centuries and set amidst forest-clad hills close to the town of Alaverdi, a small copper-mining town on the river Debed. The monuments are preserved by UNESCO and included in the World Heritage List. Lunch at restaurant. Drive ro Armenian-Georgian border Sadakhlo. Meeting at the border. Custom formalities and drive to Tbilisi. Arrival in hotel in Tbilisi and check-in. Dinner free. Overnight in Tbilisi.
DAY 7 Tbilisi City Tour
Breakfast in the hotel. Explore Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia founded in the 5th c by King Vakhtang Gorgasali. First visit to Metekhi church (13th c.) a cross – cupola church, part of the Royal residential complex. Continue the tour going down to Sioni Cathedral (7 – 19th cc.), considered the symbol of Tbilisi. A short glimpse Anchiskhati basilica and bell tower (6 -18th cc.). Lunch at a local restaurant. After lunch visit to Narikala Fortress (4th c.) – main citadel of the city, which overlooks the oldest part of Tbilisi. During centuries Narikala was considered the best strategic point of the city. Ascending by funicular road, descending by foot. After the getting panoramic view we visit Sulphur bath houses. Walk through the old town, the ancient streets where the souvenir shops are located. Next visit to National Museum of Georgia that contains an exhibition of gold work. These are extraordinary specimens of gold filigree and reposes work discovered at important archaeological sites. Dinner at a local restaurant. Overnight in Tbilisi.
Breakfast at the hotel and drive to Mtskheta – the ancient capital of Georgia. You will have the opportunity to visit: Svetitskhoveli Cathedral (11 th c.) – one of the sacred places of Georgia, the burial place of the Holy Mantle of Christ and Jvari Church (6 – 7th cc.) – church of the Holy Cross, masterpiece of the early Medieval Period. Next drive to Shida Kartli region. Drive to town Gori, birthplace of Joseph Stalin and visit the House-museum. Lunch at restaurant. After lunch visit to cave-town Uplistsikhe (end of 2 – beginning 1BB BC) – “God’s Fortress”, the ancient cave town hewn into the rock. Drive to Saktskhe – Javakheti region. Arrival in Akhaltsikhe. Hotel check-in. Dinner and overnight at a hotel in Akhaltsikhe.
DAY 9 Akhaltsikhe – Vardzia – Tbilisi Tour
Breakfast at the hotel. Foto stop to Khertvisi fortress – one of the oldest fortresses in Georgia and was functional throughout the Georgian feudal period. As the legend says, Khertvisi was destroyed by Alexander the Great. Drive to Vardzia – cave monastery complex. In the mountain carved about 600 rooms: churches, chapels, living cells, store-rooms, baths, refectories, treasuries and libraries, with the unique mural paintings. Lunch at a local restaurant. After lunch drive to Tbilisi. On the way you enjoy the beautiful nature. Arrival in Tbilisi. Hotel check-in. Dinner at a local restaurant. Overnight in Tbilisi.
DAY 10 Tbilisi – Alaverdi – Gremi – Velistsikhe – Tbilisi Tour
Breakfast at the hotel. Drive to Kakheti region via Gombori Pass (1620 m). First we will visit Alaverdi Monastery – the greatest temple of the mediaeval Georgia. Earliest parts of it date back to 6th century. The present day cathedral dates to the 11th century. The monastery as well as other cathedrals in Kakheti is almost deprived of all decors however, it still makes a strong impression thanks to its immense sizes and harmony and the stretched high in the sky accentuated dome. Next stop – Gremi –16th century architectural monument. The complex is what has survived from the once flourishing town of kingdom of Kakheti in the 16th and 17th centuries. It functioned as a lively trading town on the Silk Road and royal residence until being razed to the ground by the arms of Shah Abbas I of Persia in 1615. Lunch at a local restaurant. On the way to Tbilisi we will visit 300 year-old wine cellar (marani) in Velistsikhe .Tasting georgian red and white wines will give you opportunity to join the Georgian culture and traditions. Return to Tbilisi. Dinner at a local restaurant. Overnight in Tbilisi.
DAY 11 Departure
Hotel check-out. Transfer to the airport. Flight to home country.