14 days/ 13 nights
Meet and greet at the airport. Transfer to the hotel. Check in formalities at the hotel. Overnight at a hotel in Baku.
Day 2/Baku Sightseeing Tour
After breakfast at the hotel will have Baku sightseeing tour including all the important historical and architectural sights. We will visit the Flag Square, the Carpet Museum, the House of Government, the Philharmonic Theatre named after M. Magomayev, the Baku Mayor’s office. Then the tour will continue to the old city that had preserved its ancient architecture, narrow cobbled streets till our days. The Old City Tour will include the Palace of the Shirvan Shahs (XV cent), the symbol of the city – Maiden Tower (IX century), Karvansarays, mosques and more. Visit the Cultural Center named after Heydar Aliyev. Overnight at the hotel in Baku.
Day 3/Baku – Gobustan (Gobustan National Park) – Baku (Bibi-Heybat Mosque)
Breakfast at the hotel. The day will start with a trip out of Baku to Gobustan National Park. The area is known for its petroglyphs, mud volcanoes and gas stones. All this heritage is protected by UNESCO. In the Gobustan Museum, we will explore the different archaeological finds of this area. Later we will feel like strolling around the Mars surface while exploring the grey-beige cracked earth with the mud volcanoes. At the end of the Gobustan tour, we will return to Baku. After lunch, we will see the Bibi-Heybat Mosque. Overnight at the hotel in Baku.
Day 4/ Baku – Shamakhi – Nij – Gabala (Gabala Lake) – Sheki (Palace of Sheki Khans)
After breakfast at the hotel, we will start the tour. Our first stop will be in the city of Shamakhi, with its largest mosque of the Caucasus and the tomb of the Shirvan Shahs, rulers of Yeddi Gyumbyaz. Then, we will head to Nij village where we will forget about modern life and feel in a special world. Here is located a unique small church of Udi people. There are only a few thousand Udis in the world today and the majority, approximately 4000 live in this area and village in Azerbaijan. They have roots of Caucasian Albania. They managed to preserve their traditions, language and culture. Today they practice Orthodox Christianity and we will be welcomed with their kindness to see their church. In Gabala we will see Tufandag Mountain and Gabala Lake. The town itself has an impressive and very old history. Finally, we will reach our last destination, Sheki town, and will start a guided tour. The sightseeing tour will include the Upper Town and the magnificent Palace of Sheki Khans. The palace once served as a summer residence of khans and nowadays impresses with its lavish dеsign and surrounding chinar trees. Shebeke craft workshop will be the last destination. Overnight at the hotel in Sheki.
Day 5/ Lagodekhi border – Tbilisi
Breakfast at the hotel. On this day we will head to Georgia. After passing Azerbaijan-Georgian (Lagodekhi) border we will meet our Georgian representatives and head to Tbilisi for overnight. Tbilisi is probably one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the South Caucasus. Its vibrant, lively atmosphere and the interweaving of modernity with antiquity will not leave anyone indifferent. Overnight at the hotel in Tbilisi.
Day 6/ Tbilisi – Mtskheta – Svetitskhoveli Cathedral – Jvari Monastery – Tbilisi City Tour
After breakfast, we will have a short trip to Mtskheta which was the first capital of Georgia from the 3rd century BC to the 5th century AD. The town is considered the religious centre of Georgia. Our excursion will start with the visit to the Cathedral of the 11th century – Svetitskhoveli. The next sight to visit is Jvari
Temple located at the top of the hill which offers a fascinating view of the confluence of two rivers Kura and Aragvi. After we return to Tbilisi, we will continue with a city tour including an in-depth exploration of the old town. The trip will start from the historic district of Metekhi, where we will see the Assumption Church located on the picturesque hill. Next stop will be Bridge of Peace – designed by a well-known Italian architect; it is one of the most famous city’s landmarks. Hereafter, we will go up to the Narikala Fortress, situated on a hill. We will reach the fortress by the cable car, and at the top, a spectacular view of the city opens. Going down by foot, the excursion will continue to the sulfur baths – famous royal bath complex (XVII-XIX centuries), standing on the warm natural sulfur springs. That is one of the main attractions of the Old Town. Stroll around cosy Shardeni Street named after the French traveller Jean Chardin. The street has an architecture resembling Paris and is full of cosy cafes, boutiques, and interesting galleries. Excursion to Sioni church. There is kept one of the greatest relics of Georgia, the cross of St. Patriarchate. Overnight at the hotel in Tbilisi.
Day 7/ Tbilisi – Ananuri Fortress – Gudauri – Gergeti Trinity Church – Tbilisi
After breakfast at the hotel we will head to Ananuri Fortress located in an amazing place on the shore of the Zhinvali reservoir and surrounded by green velvet hills. The fortress was founded in 1720 with a defensive purpose. The tour will proceed to Gudauri resort. The town is considered one of the most popular ski destinations in Georgia. Although its tourist season starts in winter, Gudauri is no less attractive in summer and autumn: green mountains, sunlit meadows strewn with fragrant flowers, fields with peacefully grazing cows, silence and absolute idyll! In Stepantsminda settlement we will go up the hill to visit Gergeti Trinity Church (14th century) situated at an altitude of 2170 m at the foot of Mount Kazbek. From the top opens an unforgettable view to the famous Mount Kazbek. The last tour destination will be to the Dariali Gorge and the church of Transfiguration. Return to Tbilisi. Overnight at the hotel in Tbilisi.
Day 8/ Tbilisi – Sighnaghi – Tsinandali – Tbilisi
After breakfast at the hotel we will drive to the east of the country, to Kakheti – the main winemaking region of Georgia. We will stroll along the cosy streets of Sighnaghi town. This small amazing “city of love” is endowed with significant historic and cultural heritage sites. The tour will continue to Tsinandali estate which is the patrimony of the famous Georgian dynasty – Chavchavadze. The estate is known for its amazing labyrinth planted with exotic trees in it and cellars, where the unique collection of Georgian and European wine is preserved. Return to Tbilisi. Overnight at the hotel in Tbilisi.
Day 9/Tbilisi – Bagratashen Border – Dilijan (Dilijan National Park, Red Deer Breeding Center, Parz Lake)
After breakfast at the hotel drive to Armenia. Proceed to Dilijan. Drive to Dilijan National Park and visit “Red Deer Breeding Center” in the heart of Dilijan National Park, where we can feed the deers. Drive to Parz Lake, which is a small lake formed by natural climatic changes. “Parz” in Armenian means clear. This lake is a fantastic place to rest, think and admire the beauty of nature. Drive back to Dilijan. Overnight at the hotel in Dilijan.
Day 10/Dilijan – Sevan Lake (Sevanavank Monastery) – Tsaghkadzor Ropeway – Yerevan
After breakfast at the hotel, our first stop is Lake Sevan where we will have a lake cruise on the boat and finish it at Sevanavank Monastery on the semi peninsula. The trip to Sevan is undoubtedly one of the most exciting ones in Armenia. This wonder of nature is surrounded by Geghama Mountains. The sweet waters, sandy beaches and fresh air attract holiday makers every year. Man and the nature have never been as harmonious as it is here, in Sevan. During the 8th century a few monks settled on the former island of Sevan in the present day Sevanavank Monastery, and began to build their churches. Due to the strategically good location, many others came here. For a while it was the residence of the king Ashot Erkat (Ashot the Iron) who received his name due to his numerous glorious victories. With the time the walls of the monastery were destroyed and in 1930 the last monk left the monastery. During the lunch at the lake we will have an opportunity to taste the fish from the lake prepared with the special local recipe. Then we will drive to a skiing town Tsaghkadzor. On a slope of Teghenis mount (2851 m.) is located the ropeway. 2-seat chair lifts take you to the mount from where opens a breathtaking view of Lake Sevan. Then drive to Yerevan. Overnight at a hotel in Yerevan.
Day 11/Yerevan Sightseeing Tour
After breakfast at the hotel, we will have an early morning walk in the pink city of Yerevan. We are proud to say that this ancient city is 29 years older than Rome. We will start walking in the most pleasant Republic Square with Government buildings, History Museum and Marriott Hotel surrounding it. Walking up one of the oldest streets in Yerevan – Abovyan Street – we will appear in the richest avenue in Yerevan – the Northern Avenue with many brand shops, luxurious cafes and restaurants. Our next stop – the Opera and Ballet House and the Swan Lake – faces the Northern Avenue. We will enjoy our time in the fascinating weather of the sunny Yerevan while walking around Cascade Monument. It has 2780 stairs designating the 2780 anniversary of the capital city. If we walk up the “huge staircase” of 500 meters height and 50 meters width, we can enjoy the wonderful panorama of the city with the spectacular Opera House, Mount Ararat as well as the view to the whole city. We will then walk up the huge stairs to the Park of Freedom. Here the whole city seems to be at our hands. Magnificent view. In the evening we can enjoy the colorful singing and dancing fountains. Welcome dinner at a local restaurant or tavern, tasting traditional dishes in traditional atmosphere with an opportunity to enjoy a nice folk show. Overnight at a hotel in Yerevan.
Day 12/Yerevan – Garni Temple – Geghard Monastery – Yerevan (Vernissage)
After breakfast at the hotel, we will explore the top tourist attractions of Armenia: Garni Temple (a pagan temple built in 1st century, the only survival of the Hellenic epoch in the whole territory of the Caucasus) and the Monastery of Geghard (UNESCO). The monastery was first recorded in a document of 1250. Geghard is famous due to the relics, among which the most important one is the spear which wounded Christ on the Cross. It was presumably brought there by the Apostle Thaddeus. Here in Geghard, we can also watch the process of “lavash” baking in the traditional underground oven “tonir”, and (optional*) enjoy the medieval vocal concert. Drive to Vernissage Souvenir Market in Yerevan. Overnight at a hotel in Yerevan.
Day 13/ Yerevan – Khor Virap Monastery – Areni Village (Wine tasting) – Birds Cave – Noravank Monastery – Yerevan
After breakfast at the hotel, we will start a most panoramic tour of the Southern part of Armenia – changing views that cannot be admired anywhere else in the world. Drive to Ararat valley which offers the closest and the best view to Biblical Mount Ararat. Our next stop is Areni Bird’s Cave – one of the rarest and best-preserved late Copper Age monuments in South Caucasus, which shows that wine production in Armenia has at least 6000-year history. After a short drive along the beautifully changing panorama, we will appear in a most unusual and peaceful spot – red color Noravank Monastery (13th century). The whole magic of Noravank trip attracts a traveler just at the point of turning the road to the Monastery. The narrow road, leading to the monastery, is blocked by beautiful red color rocks on both sides. Drive back to Yerevan. Overnight in Yerevan.
Breakfast at the hotel. Departure.