DESTINATION GEORGIA 10 DAYS/ 9 NIGHTS COMBINED PACKAGE OFFER IN GEORGIA+ARMENIA FOR 2017
Arrival in Tbilisi. Meeting at Tbilisi International Airport with a guide. Transfer to the hotel. Hotel check-in. Short rest.
DAY 2 Tbilisi City Tour
Breakfast at the hotel. Explore Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia founded in the 5th c by King VakhtangGorgasali. First visit to Metekhi church (13th cc) a cross – cupola church, part of the Royal residential complex. Continue the tour going down to Sioni Cathedral, considered the symbol of Tbilisi. A short glimpse Anchiskhati basilica and bell tower (6th -18th cc). Lunch at a 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 traditional restaurant. Overnight in Tbilisi.
DAY 3 Tbilisi – Alaverdi – Gremi – Velistsikhe – Tbilisi Tour
Breakfast at the hotel. Drive to Kakheti region via Gombori Pass (1620 m). First visit to 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 5-6 year old georgian red and white wines will give you opportunity to join the Georgian culture and traditions. Return to Tbilisi. Dinner at a local restaurant and overnight in Tbilisi.
DAY 4 Tbilisi –Gori – Uplistsikhe- Mtskheta-Tbilisi Tour
Breakfast at the hotel and drive to town Gori, birthplace of Joseph Stalin and visit the House-museum. After lunch visit to cave-town Uplistsikhe (end of 2 – beginning 1BB BC) – “God’s Fortress”, the ancient cave town hewn into the rock. Next drive to Mtskheta – the ancient capital of Georgia). Lunch at a local restaurant. After lunch at the local restaurant 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. Arrival in Tbilisi. Dinner at a local restaurant. Overnight inTbilisi.
Breakfast at the hotel. Hotel check-out. Transfer to Georgian – Armenian boarder Sadakhlo. Meeting with the Armenian guide. Custom formalities and deaprture for Armenia. Drive to Lori region 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. Arrival in hotel in Dilijan and check-in. Dinner and overnight in hotel in Dilijan.
Breakfast at hotel and check-out. Drive to the magnificent and impressive complex of Goshavank Monastery (11-13th centuries). After a short stop at Akhtamar statue, continue 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 the 9th century Sevanavank Monastery on Sevan Peninsula (formerly an island). Lunch in a restaurant. Visit to Noraduz hosting the biggest collection of world famous Armenian khachkars (cross-stones) – the pride of Armenian medieval architecture. Arrival in hotel in Yerevan and check-in. Dinner and 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 c.) and ruins of the cathedral of Zvartnots (7th c.). Lunch in a restaurant. Return to Yerevan. Visit NAtional History Museum. Walking in the city center. 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 in a city restaurant. Overnight in Yerevan.
DAY 9 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 Kotaik 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 c.) carved into solid rock. Return to Yerevan. Good-bye dinner at a city restaurant. Overnight in Yerevan.
DAY 10 Departure
Hotel check-out. Transfer to the airport. Flight to home country.