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Caucasian Land of Hospitality

Caucasus - Cultural Tour (12 days)

Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan - the Caucasian land of hospitality. Visit the capitals of these three countries is the perfect introduction to their great culture, rich spirit and diversity. We make the way from Baku, Azerbaijan to Tbilisi, Georgia and Yerevan, Armenia, through the rolling hills and lush valleys, beautiful and scenic Caucasus Mountains and lakes, ancient architectural monuments and fascinating villages. 

Day 1

Arrival in Baku
Meeting at the airport. Check-in at the hotel. Overnight. 

Day 2

Start exploring Azerbaijan with a city tour of Baku, which is one of the oldest and biggest cities in the East for antiquity, territory and population. We'll visit the Walled City of Baku with the Shirvanshah's Palace and Maiden Tower, UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Inner City (Icheri Sheher) has preserved much of its 12th century defensive walls. The 12th century Maiden Tower (Giz Galasy), built over earlier structures dating from the 7th to 6th centuries BC, and the 15th century Shirvanshahs' Palace, one of the pearls of Azerbaijan's architecture. Juma Mosque and the Carpet Museum. We will have a walk in Naberezhny Park and along Baku Boulevard, the second largest one in Europe. On Boulevard we'll get a boat and make trip on it along Baku Bay. We'll be introduced with the interesting facts and legends of the largest lake in the world better known as Caspian Sea. Overnight in Baku. 

Day 3

Baku / Absheron Peninsula
Leaving for a tour in Absheron Peninsula. Ateshgah, the Fire Worshippers' Temple is located in the village of Surakhany. It was built on the land where natural gas burned eternally and worshipped by Zoroastrian believers who travelled from the province of Multan in India to visit this sacred place. These ancient fires are believed to have given Azerbaijan its name, which is thought by some researchers to mean the "Land of Fires". Visit also well preserved ancient castles of Absheron Peninsula dated 12th-13th c.c. There are several fine medieval castles - one each at Amirajan and Nardaran and two at Mardakyany - apparently built for defense by the Shirvan Shahs in the 14th century. Overnight at the hotel in Baku. 

Day 4

Baku / Sheki
Sheki is one of the most famous and ancient places of Azerbaijan. Situated 700 m (2297 ft.) above sea level like an amphitheatre surrounded by the mountains and forests of oak trees, this ancient city was long famed as a silk centre and an important stop on the Great Silk Route. There is an assumption that the name of the town goes back to the ethnonym of the Saks, who reached the territory of Azerbaijan in the 7th century BC. We'll start our Sheki tour from visiting the 18th century Khan's summer palace with magnificent frescos and exquisite stained glass work. Sheki History museum is famous with artifacts from several periods. Also visit the Albanian church located in Kish village. Legend says that the church was built in 78 AD, but the researchers place it a few centuries later. Upon our checking-in at the hotel, we'll enjoy the farewell dinner, tasting traditional Azeri cuisine dishes. Overnight at the hotel. 

Day 5

Sheki / Telavi / Sighnaghi
Depart from Azerbaijan to Georgia. Leave for Telavi, the main city and administrative center of Kakheti, eastern province of Georgia. Arrive in Tsinandali and visit Palace of Al. Chavchavadze, famous Georgian poet. Tasting of the Georgian wine here. We'll visit Telavi State Historical and Ethnographical Museum and Palace of the King Erekle; Shuamta (5th-17th c.c.) and Ikalto (5th c.) monastery complexes. Drive to Sighnaghi. Sighnaghi is situated in the very eastern part of Georgia. Even in the 12th-13th centuries these places had been populous. Sighnaghi faces the Alazani field from the rising ground (750 m elevation), it is combined with the surroundings and it's impossible to forget after having seen it. Overnight in Sighnaghi. 

Day 6

Sighnaghi / Bodbe / David Gareji / Tbilisi
On June 1, Orthodox Church of Georgia marks the day of St. Nino's entrance from Cappadocia. Bodbe Monastery keeps her tomb. After visiting the Bodbe Monastery of the 9th century, we'll take our way to David Gareji Monastery Complex, one of the most important landmarks of Georgia. This site is characterized by a unique combination of the historic architecture, prehistoric archaeological sites, rich paleontological fields and important bio-geographical features. Drive to Tbilisi. Overnight at the hotel 

Day 7

Tbilisi / Mtskheta
Trip to Mtskheta, the capital of the Georgian Kingdom of Iberia from the 3rd c. BC to the 5th c. AD. (UNESCO Heritage Site). Here Georgians accepted Christianity in 326. Visit Jvari Monastery (6th c.), an outstanding example of the Orthodox architecture in the Caucasus. Svetitskhoveli Cathedral (11th c.), known as "the Living Pillar." Both Cathedrals show the high artistic and cultural level attained by this ancient kingdom. Continue our way to Ananuri architectural complex. The characteristic architectural design of the late medieval period includes a fortress, two churches, an old watch tower, prison and civic buildings. Located on the famous Georgian Military Highway it stood as a guardian to the Northern boarders of Georgia. A picturesque view of the Zhinvali reservoir is open from the base of the Ananuri Fortress. Return to Tbilisi. Overnight. 

Day 8

Today we'll have a sightseeing tour of Tbilisi, capital and the largest city of Georgia. The city covers an area of 372 km. (144 square miles) and has 1,093,000 inhabitants. Founded in the 5th century AD by Vakhtang Gorgasali, the Georgian King of Kartli (Iberia) and made into a capital in the 6th century, Tbilisi is a significant industrial, social, and cultural center. Narikala fortress, which dates from the 4th c. AD. Metekhi church (13th c.), a central domed building with four free-standing pillars, and three protruding apses. Anchiskhati Basilica of St. Mary, the oldest surviving church in Tbilisi. It dates from the 6th century and has largely preserved its original architecture. Sioni Cathedral of Dormition. The current church is based on the 13th century version with some changes from the 17th to 19th centuries. Sameba (Holy Trinity) church. It is the tallest religious building in Georgia (86 meters in height). After having unforgettable impressions during the day, getting thermal water procedure in Sulphur Baths will be very relaxing part of the tour. Farewell Dinner at the Georgian national restaurant with the folk concert. Overnight at the hotel. 

Day 9

Tbilisi / Haghpat / Sanahin / Lake Sevan
Depart to the Georgian-Armenian border. We visit the Monasteries of Haghpat and Sanahin (UNESCO World Heritage Sites). These two Byzantine monasteries in the Tumanian region from the period of prosperity during the Kiurikian dynasty (10th -13th c.c.) were important centers of learning. Sanahin was renowned for its school of illuminators and calligraphers. The two monastic complexes represent the highest flowering of Armenian religious architecture, whose unique style developed from a blending of elements of Byzantine ecclesiastical and the traditional vernacular architectures of the Caucasian region. Continue our trip to Dilijan. Visit Haghartsin (10th-14th c.c.) and Goshavank Monasteries, magnificent and beautiful ecclesiastic monuments which are the highlight of the medieval Armenian architecture. They are situated in dense oak woods, in the gorges of small but turbulent mountain rivers. The local terrain and scenery determined the compositional peculiarities of these ensembles. Continue the way to Lake Sevan, a huge mountain lake that takes up 5% of Armenia's surface area and is about 2000 meters (6562 ft.) above sea level. Overnight at the hotel. 

Day 10

Lake Sevan / Yerevan / Etchmiadzin
Drive to Yerevan and start a sightseeing tour of the city with visits to Matenadaran, the Research Institute of Armenia which houses beautiful illuminated manuscripts created by scribes centuries ago. Tsitsernakaberd Monument and Museum, built in 1965, this monument commemorates the 1915 Genocide of Armenians. The monument and its eternal flame are viewed as pilgrimage sites for Armenians all around the world. The Museum of Folk Art, which houses about 12 000 exhibits (embroidery, silver jeweler, wooden, stone and gold objects, ceramic ware, ornamented metalwork, carpets and rugs). They provide a fairly accurate idea about how well various branches of folk art are developed. Visit the Etchmiadzin Cathedral, the center of the Armenian Apostolic Church (301-303 AD) and the Holy See of the Armenian Apostolic Church including the Treasury museum and the underground Pagan Altar. Overnight in Yerevan. 

Day 11

Yerevan / Garni / Gerhar
We begin our day with a visit to Garni, the Pagan Temple of the 1st century, which was also the residence of Armenian Kings in the 3rd century. Visit the Geghard Cave Monastery, a fantastic sample of Armenian medieval architecture. Back to Yerevan. Overnight. 

Day 12

Yerevan / Khor Virap / Noravank / Departure
Exploring South of Yerevan. Khor Virap Monastery (AD 4th-17th c.c.). It is situated in the Ararat Valley against the Biblical Mt. Ararat (where Noah's Ark cast anchor) on the left bank of the River Araks. We also visit Noravank Monastery ("New Monastery"). It became the center of the Syunik bishopric. The church, completed in 1339, is said to be the masterpiece of the talented sculptor and miniaturist Momik. In modern times the church had a plain hipped roof, but in 1997 the drum and conical roof were rebuilt to reflect the original glory. Back to Yerevan. Farewell dinner at a typical Armenian restaurant with live Armenian music. Transfer to the airport.

Other details available upon request 
Note: Duration of the tour must be fit to your arrival and departure Flights. 

Package Includes: 
- Airport - Hotel - Airport Transfer
- Inland transportation
- Guide assistance
- Hotel Accommodation (in the cities) Double room
- Guest House Accommodation (in the villages) - HB Meal: BLD - 1 bottle of mineral water per person per day - Museums Entrance fees - 

Leaving party at the National restaurant - Wine tasting


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