Yerevan - Amberd Fortress - Artik - Gyumri - Bavra (Armenian-Georgian Border) - Akhaltsikhe - Vardzia - Borjomi - Kazbegi - Mtskheta - Tbilisi - Bagratashen (Armenian-Georgian Border) - Haghpat - Ijevan - Dilijan - Lake Sevan - Geghama Mountains - Garni - Yerevan
Arrival to the Yerevan International Airport. Transfer to the 4* Hotel. Overnight.
After breakfast at the hotel we will drive to the North to the highest mountain of Armenia Aragats (4090 m) to visit Amberd Fortress a midcentury fort-city built during the 10th century. We will enjoy the landscape surrounding the fortress and alpine flowers near the fortress and on the wings of Aragats. After lunch we will drive to the North-East towards Gyumri, which is the second largest city in Armenia visiting on the way Artik town rich with the monuments of Armenian culture. In that area tombs from the ancient times were built belonged to the period of 14-13cc, 12-11cc, 10-9cc B.C. Artik's ancient culture is important not only because it gives us a chance to explore the ways of life of the Aragats ancient population, but it also shows us the connection between the Armenian culture and that of the ancient East’s civilizations. After accommodation in the hotel in Gyumri we will have city tour visiting the most interesting places and sights in one of the oldest cities in Armenia, which is also famous place for its historical-cultural traditions, strong art and crafts, education and also by film making industry (a lot of films were produced in Gyumri). We will visit Yot Verk (St. Nshan) Church in the Central Square of Gyumri built in 1859, Statue of Mother Armenia and also we will walk in the famous Gyumri’s craftsmen street and other sightseeing of old Gyumri, where a lot of Armenian films have been produced. After city tour we will have dinner tasting the food specific to Gyumri famous kitchen.
After breakfast at the hotel we will drive to the north to the Armenian-Georgian border at Bavra. After crossing the Border we will continue our tour to the city Akhaltsikhe. After check in at the hotel we will visit renovated historical place “Rabati Castle”. Then we will have dinner and stay for overnight in Akhaltsikhe.
After breakfast we will drive to Vardzia, which is a cave monastery site in southern Georgia, excavated from the slopes of the Erusheti Mountain on the left bank of the Mtkvari River, thirty kilometers from Aspindza. The main period of construction was the second half of the twelfth century. The caves stretch along the cliff for some five hundred meters and in up to nineteen tiers. The Church of the Dormition, dating to the 1180s during the golden age of Tamar and Rustaveli, has an important series of wall paintings. The site was largely abandoned after the Ottoman takeover in the sixteenth century. Now part of a state heritage reserve, the extended area of Vardzia-Khertvisi has been submitted for future inscription on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Then we will drive to Borjomi where we will have dinner and stay for overnight at the Hotel.
After breakfast we will drive towards Kazbegi. On the way to Kazbegi we will visit Friendship memorial – dedicated to the 200 years anniversary of Georgia-Russian agreement of military supporting. Then we will visit Stepantsminda village. We will drive to Gergeti Sameba church located on the 2200 m above the sea level, and will enjoy the amazing view of Kazbegi glacier (5045m). Then we will visit Sno gorge. Here we will enjoy the trout catching in the Monks` trout pool and have dinner and overnight at the hotel in Kazbegi.
After breakfast we will continue our tour to Mtskheta – the old capital of Tbilisi, where we will visit “Svetitskhoveli Church, Jvari Monastery”. Then we will drive to Tbilisi, where we will visit Old Tbilisi part. We will have dinner and stay for overnight in Tbilisi hotel.
After breakfast we will drive to the Georgian-Armenian border. After crossing the Border we will drive to Qefo hotel in Haghpat village. After check in and having little rest in the hotel we will drive to Haghpat Monastery built in X century, that is included in UNESCO Heritage Site. Leaving Haghpat Monastery we will drive up to the Tsakhkashat village, where we can explore Armenian village life, experiencing the hospitality and tasting national Armenian dishes during our lunch hosted by the local family. After lunch we will drive to Sanahin village stopping on the way in one of the most beautiful places in northern Armenia called Sanahin Monastery Complex included in UNESCO Heritage Site. The complex was built in 966 A.C. and stands on a high plateau, amidst low structures, against the background of steep forest-grown slopes of Bazum ridge. After excursion in the complex we will drive back to the hotel in Haghpat village, where we will have dinner and stay for overnight.
After the breakfast at the hotel in Haghpat village we will drive to the South towards Ijevan town taking off-road through mountainous landscapes. Having picnic lunch in the nature we will continue through Ijevan to Dilijan National Park located on the upstream pool of Aghstev river, and surrounded by the Lesser Caucasus mountains. In Dilijan after accommodation in the hotel we will have dinner and stay for overnight.
After Breakfast at the hotel we will drive to Lake Sevan, which is the largest lake in Caucasus as well as one of the largest, and highest freshwater lakes of the world located on 1897m above sea level, depth is 90m, an area-1260km square, lengh-70km, width-55km and the volume is 58billion cubic meters. In summer, the middle temperature of lake surface is 18-23 degrees above zero, which is very convenient for swimming. After reaching the shore of Lake Sevan we will walk to the top of Sevan peninsula to visit Sevanavank monastery built in 305 A.C. by the daughter of King Ashot Bagratuni - Mariam and during the 9th century became the royal citadel of the Armenian Kings. From Sevan we will continue our way towards Geghama Mountain chain located to the North-East of Lake Sevan in Kotayk region. Here we will visit Lake Vishapakar, and one of the unique wonders of the world, rock carvings of Geghama mountains. Having picnic lunch and enjoying the lake and surrounded beautiful nature we will continue our way to Garni Temple built in the second half of the 1st century B.C. and dedicated to a heathen god, probably to Mitra, the god of the sun. After Christianity the temple was used as a summer residence of Armenian Kings described as ‘‘A House of Coolness‘‘. Leaving the temple we will drive through the Canyon of Garni stretching along the river Azat and Goght. Enjoying magnificent, seemingly artificial slopes from the foot to the top of the gorge named "Symphony of Stones" we will continue our way to Yerevan. We will have dinner in one of the nice restaurants in the center of Yerevan, tasting Armenian kitchen and enjoying Armenian music. After dinner we will embark on an evening tour of Yerevan city that includes walking through nice Northern prospect towards the Republic Square, where we can enjoy the Large Dancing Water Fountains. After tour transfer to the Yerevan International Airport for flight.
Airport transfer, costs of transportation,Transfer from Gyumri to Bavra and from Bagratashen (Armenian-Georgian borders) to haghpat, Yerevan and Gyumri city tours, entrance fees, overnight, full board, as well as the local guides. Price is per passenger and is calculated for 20 pax, for double accommodation, self-driving option and are net of commissions.
Airfare, personal expenses, visa fees, guide's tips, insurance and other costs not mentioned above.