Caucasus Highlights

Caucasus Highlights

15 Days / 14 Nights

Price from$8,352

• Baku • Sheki • Sighnaghi • Tbilisi • Uplistsikhe • Yerevan

Azerbaijan, Armenia and Georgia are exotic, exciting, dynamic and ultimately hugely rewarding - wander ancient streets, temples, mausoleums and monasteries, sample traditional food and wine, step back in time with history museums and enjoy unusual artworks and craft markets unlike any others in this tailor-made journey.

Caucasus Highlights map

Day 1: Baku Transfer to your hotel on arrival in Baku.

Day 2: Baku City tour of Baku exploring the harbour, Martyr's Lane memorial park and the Old City. Visit the Atashgah Temple, an ancient religious temple of fire worshipers built in 17th century. Afternoon walk in Fountain Square.

Day 3: Baku > Sheki Visit Diri Baba Mausoleum and Juma Mosque en route to Sheki. Afternoon tour of Sheki Khan Palace, an important historical site. The palace is noted for its beautiful stained-glass windows which are assembled as a puzzle, without the use of nails or glue. Travel to nearby Kish village to view the church and wander the narrow streets and cobblestone roads.

Day 4: Sheki > Lagodekhi > Gremi > Telavi Cross the Lagodekhi border and drive to the Kakheti region in Georgia, the birthplace of viticulture and wine-making. Visit Gremi architectural complex, consisting of a tower, king's chambers, defensive walls and a central-dome Archangel's church built of square bricks.

Day 5: Telavi > Tsinandali > Ikalto > Alaverdi > Sighnaghi > Tbilisi Visit Tsinandali Family Estate and wine cellar, featuring several vintages of white wine. Visit Ikalto Monastery and Alaverdi Cathedral and explore Sighnaghi, one of Georgia's most attractive towns, famous for its wine and carpet making culture.

Day 6: Tbilisi City tour of Georgia's capital. Visit Metekhi Church of Assumption, Georgian Synagogue, Sioni Cathedral, Anchiskhati Basilica, Narikhala Fortress, Sulphur Baths, Rustaveli Avenue and the National Museum of Georgia, where you can enjoy the permanent exhibition 'The Archaeological Treasury'.

Day 7: Tbilisi > Mtskheta > Ananuri > Gudauri Drive to Mtskheta, the ancient capital of Georgia. Visit Jvari, the 6th century cross-shaped monastery, and the fortified cathedral of Svetitskhoveli, where the Robe of Christ is buried. Continue to Ananuri Architectural complex, overlooking Jinvali reservoir. Dinner is included tonight at your hotel.

Day 8: Gudauri > Gori > Uplistsikhe > Kutaisi Visit Joseph Stalin's Museum in Gori. Continue to Uplistsikhe, the "Fortress of God", notable for its unique combination of various styles of rock-cut cultures and the co-existence of pagan and Christian architecture. Here you can see ancient wine presses carved in stone. Arrive in Kutaisi, the ancient Kingdom of Colchis.

Day 9: Kutaisi > Prometheus > Tbilisi Visit Bagrati Cathedral, the symbol of united Georgia. Continue to Gelati Monastery where a number of 12th century manuscripts have been preserved. Explore Prometheus Caves, a 1.2 kilometre-long cave complex providing breath-taking examples of stalactites, stalagmites, petrified waterfalls and underground rivers and lakes.

Day 10: Tbilisi > Sadakhlo > Haghpat > Sanahin > Dilijan > Sevan Cross the Sadakhlo border into Armenia and visit Haghpat Monastery. Its oldest structures date back to the 10th century. Visit Sanahin Monastery and continue to Sevan for overnight.

Day 11: Sevan > Selim Pass > Noravank > Tetev Monastery > Goris Explore romantic Sevanavank Monastery, founded in 874 by Princess Mariam. Continue to Noravank, a 12th century monastery complex set in a canyon rich with rare flora. Stop at Halidzor Village and take the longest tramway in the world to Tatev Monastery.

Day 12: Goris > ZoratsQarer > Areni Winery > Khor Virap > Yerevan Visit ZoratsQarer where 223 large stone tombs can be found. Continue to Areni Wine factory. Drive to Khor Virap, offering views across a vast plain to Turkey and the twin peaks of Mount Ararat.

Day 13: Yerevan Walking tour of Yerevan, visiting Matenadaran, home to a large collection of Greek, Persian and Arabic manuscripts, the History Museum and Picture Gallery. Next visit the Genocide Memorial and Museum, concluding the day at Vernisage, a large arts and crafts market.

Day 14: Yerevan > Garni > Geghard > Ejmiatsin > Zvartnots > Yerevan Drive to Garni and visit the pagan Garni architectural complex and Geghard cave monastery. Continue to Echmiadzin Cathedral, built in 303 on the site of a pagan temple after the adoption of Christianity as a state religion in 301. Nearby are the ruins of the spectacular Temple of Zvartnots.

Day 15: Yerevan Transfer to the airport.

• Tailor-made journey • 14 nights' accommodation • English-speaking local guides • All transfers and transportation • Entrance fees to museums • 14 breakfasts and 1 dinner

Pricing (per person) $NZD



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