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Armenia & Georgia

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  • Date: May
  • Destination: Armenia & Georgia
  • Duration: 12 nights
  • Price: 2499
Destination Armenia & Georgia
From Dublin
Date 2nd May & 6th June 2019
Duration 11 Nights
Price From €2,499 pp

Details are for guidance only and are subject to change

Spend 6 nights in Yerevan, Armenia, and 5 nights in Tbilisi, Georgia.

Introduction to Armenia

Visit the home of Christianity on this tour of Armenia. Based in the capital, Yerevan, discover the diverse history of this fascinating country. Armenia is one of our most popular tours for culture and history. Visit temples dating back to 1st Century and the sites of Noah’s ark landing according to the Bible.

Introduction to Georgia

From its green valleys spread with vineyards to its old churches and watchtowers perched in fantastic mountain scenery, Georgia is one of the most beautiful countries on earth and a marvellous canvas for walkers, horse riders, cyclists, skiers, rafters and travellers of every kind. Equally special are its proud, high-spirited, cultured people: Georgia claims to be the birthplace of wine, and this is a place where guests are considered blessings and hospitality is the very stuff of life.

A deeply complicated history has given Georgia a wonderful heritage of architecture and arts, from cave cities to ancient cathedrals to the inimitable canvases of Pirosmani. Tbilisi, the capital, is still redolent of an age-old Eurasian crossroads. But this is also a country moving forward in the 21st century, with spectacular contemporary buildings, a minimal crime rate and ever-improving facilities for the visitors who are a growing part of its future.

Itinerary

Day 1- Departure from Dublin. Arrival in Yerevan, Armenia.

Day 2 -YEREVAN/MATENADARAN/CASCADE/GENOCIDE MUSEUM

Yerevan, one of the world’s oldest continuously inhabited cities, once sat at the crossroads of several important trade routes, solidifying its importance in the region. The city was redesigned in the early 1900’s when lovely parks and squares were added to the historic part. Begin in Victory Park, situated on a hill north of the city, where you will see the towering statue of Mother Armenia up close. Enjoy panoramic views of Yerevan from the top, including Mount Ararat (where Noah’s Ark landed according to the Bible). The next stop is the Matenadaran museum, which houses a unique collection of ancient manuscripts covering such lofty topics as philosophy, law, mathematics, medicine and geography.

Continue to Cascade, a long stairway alongside multiple levels of fountains with its amazing sculptures square of world-famous artists as Botero, Chadwick, Flanagan, the Republic Square with its magnificent buildings enhanced by singing fountains, via Northern Avenue, an ambitious project of independent Armenia to Freedom Square and Opera House.

Your visit includes also Genocide Memorial and Museum.

Finish tour by visit flea market named Vernissage open on weekend only. Large open air market for handmade souvenirs, carpets, silver and jewellery.

Overnight in Yerevan.

Day 3–GARNI/GEGHARD/PARAJANOV MUSEUM

Garni temple is the only pagan temple in a territory of Armenia built in 1st C AD by the Armenian King Trdat the First. It is dedicated to God of Sun Mithras. The Garni temple lies about 32KM East of Yerevan and the complex hosts a number of buildings including a royal palace, Roman bath and a church. Destroyed by an earthquake in 1679, the Garni Temple was reconstructed in the 1970’s and is now made up of both original and replacement masonry. In Garni village participation in the preparation of Armenian bread “Lavash” in a special oven Tonir and degustation of traditional organic food.

Geghard (UNESCO world heritage site in Armenia) is an incredible medieval Armenian monastery, partly carved out of a mountain. Though the monastery has been around since before the 4th century, the main cathedral was built in 1215. The existing ensemble dates back to the 12th—13th centuries, the time of the flourishing of national culture, especially architecture.

Upon arrival to Yerevan visit – Sergey Parajanov Museum, which is one of the most interesting museums in Armenia. Sergei Parajanov is an Armenian film director of the soviet period. His films were rarely watched, but always admired and often regarded as one of the most important movies of the 20th century.

Overnight in Yerevan.

Day 4 –KHOR VIRAP/NORAVANK/ARENI CAVERN

Khor Virab has its special place in the history of Armenia and adoption of Christianity as a state religion in 301. The name Khor Virap means a Deep Dungeon, where Gregory was imprisoned by King Trdat for 13 years and survived, proving the real God and true religion.

The next stop is at the monastery Noravank (9-14c), the masterpiece of master Momik.

Recently excavated very well preserved Copper Age settlement Bird’s Cavern uncovers the secret s of 6000 years old wine production in Armenia. The site boasts incredible items excavated in 2008-2010, among which is the world’s oldest shoe 5,500 years old. Explore the unique cavern’s ritual and burial halls.

Overnight in Yerevan.

Day 5-ECHMIADZIN/HRIPSIME/ZVARTNOTS/BRANDY FACTORY “ARARAT”

Echmiadzin translates literally “the place” where the Only Begotten Son of God descended. According to tradition, St. Gregory the illuminator saw a vision of the Only Begotten descended from heaven and with a golden hammer stroke the ground where the Cathedral was to be located. Echmiadzin is also The See of the Armenian Apostolic Church and residence for its head, the Catholicos.

The magnificent church of St. Hripsime was built in 618 by Catholicos Komitas on the site of the legendary martyrdom of virgin Hripsime that had fled to Armenia from Rome with her friends. Five kilometers towards Yerevan from Echmiadzin there are the ruins of Zvartnots.
Next visit to the “Ararat Brandy Factory ” with the degustation of 2 types of cognac.

Overnight in Yerevan.

Day 6- AMBERD FORTRESS/SAGHMOSAVANK/HOVHANAVANK

On your route to Amberd fortress(7-10cc), you will see the camps of Yezidi nomads grazing their cattle in the pastures. Amberd fortress and castle (10-13th cc) was the familial estate of the Pahlavouni princes. It is one of the few feudal castles of Armenia that has been more or less preserved to our days. This tour includes a visit to typical Armenian villages famous for their monasteries Saghmosavank and Hovhanavank The monastic complex includes a single-nave church of the 5th c, the oldest in the monastery and the principal church of St. Karapet of the cross-domed type built in 1216. The church is richly decorated with vegetative ornaments, it has a bas-relief with the depiction of Christ on a throne.

Overnight in Yerevan.

Day 7-DILIJAN/HAGHARTSIN/HAGHPAT/TBILISI

Known as Armenian Switzerland, Dilijan attracts visitors with lash forests, fertile meadows, rushing river Aghstev, stunning and quiet nature Stroll through the picturesque old quarter, particularly Sharambeyan street and its pottery, carpentry and other artisan shops. And taking another 18km drive through forest road find out the hidden treasure- 13th c Haghartsin monastery.

Explore the World Heritage UNESCO site Haghpat monastery founded in 976 during the reign of king Ashot III Bagratouni. The oldest structure of the Monastery is the church of St. Nshan. It is of the domed hall type and was consecrated in 991. The monastic complex also includes: a small domed church of St.Grigor, the chapel of St.Astvatsatsin, the scriptorium, the refectory which is outside of the monastery limits.

Arrival to Armenian Georgian border Bagratashen

Border formalities. Cross the border, meet your Georgian guide and driver

Transfer to Tbilisi. Overnight in Tbilisi.

DAY 8: Tbilisi, Georgia

Tbilisi, capital of Georgia from the 5th century AD has a long and fascinating history. Founded in the 4th century by King Vakhtang Gorgasali on the site of its warm mineral-water springs – it developed into the main city of the Caucasus. By the 12th century, Tbilisi was one of the most important political, economic and cultural centres of the Middle East. It stood as a key stop on the famous Silk Road – right on the border between Europe and Asia.

Tbilisi’s Old Town, the most ancient part of the city, is renowned for its wonderful mix of cultures. The mosque, the synagogue, the Armenian and Roman Catholic churches mingle harmoniously with the splendid Georgian churches and architecture. The wooden houses with open, carved balconies seem to welcome every visitor. The balmy sulfur baths have hosted poets, writers, musicians, kings down through the centuries.

Full-day city tour of Tbilisi with visits to the Old Town, Metekhi Temple, 12th c. “Abanotubani” – the baths area, The Mosque; Narikala, – The main fortress of Tbilisi. Walking through narrow streets, along which some carpet and souvenir shops are situated. We will continue excursion in the old town. We visit the Sioni Cathedral 11th c. Visit the “Peace Bridge”, Anchiskhati Church 6th c. Visit the National Museum (Closed on Mondays and public holidays). Then we walk along Rustaveli Ave. – The main 1 500 meter-long artery of the city decked out with elegant Renaissance and neoclassical buildings. Here you find the city’s most important theatres and the Opera House. We end the day with a visit to Sameba (Holy Trinity) Cathedral – Recently built magnificently dominating Cathedral of Georgian Orthodox Church. Hotel. Breakfast included.

DAY 9: Tbilisi – Kazbegi – Ananuri – Tbilisi. (340km).

Trip along the Georgian Military Road to Kazbegi (160 km) by crossing the Greater Caucasus at Jvari Pass (2395m.).Surrounded by gigantic mountains Kazbegi is a picturesque settlement overlooked by the biggest of all – Mount Kazbek (5047m) – one of the six 5000 metre peaks of the Caucasus. According to the legend, Prometheus was chained on the Mount Kazbek.

Walk up (1 hour 15min) to the Sameba Church beautifully situated on the hill (2150m) above the hill and providing splendid views of Mt. Kazbek. Return to Tbilisi. On the way visit Ananuri architectural complex of the 16th c. Hotel. Breakfast included.

Note I: Bringing walking shoes/boots are recommended to walk up on some steep slopes up to the Sameba church. It takes about an hour and a half to reach the church from the village Gergeti where you will be taken by our company vehicle. Please note, that our driver won’t be able to drive you up to Sameba church, as the road that goes up to the church is much damaged and the car might have problems afterwards.

Note II: If you prefer to get to the church by the car, there are local DeliCa type cars in Kazbegi and for an extra charge approx. 70 Lari – 45 USD they can drive you up to the church and back, drive up to the church takes approx. half an hour. Our guide can assist you in renting the local car if you are interested in this option.

DAY 10: Tbilsi – Signagi – Tsinandali – Tbilisi

Today we drive to the centre of Georgia’s largest wine growing region, Kakheti. Before arriving in Signagi, stop to see the Bodbe Monastery. Originally built in the 9th c. but significantly remodeled, especially in the 17th c., the monastery now functions as a convent and is one of the major pilgrimage sites in Georgia due to its association with St. Nino, the 4th-century Christian evangelist, whose relics are enshrined there. A short distance on is the fortified walled hill-town of Signagi. Weather permitting there are fine views of the Kakheti area and eastern Caucasus summits. It is an eclectic mix of old and new. The old section has narrow cobbled streets lined with typical houses complete with wooden balconies and shuttered windows. After that, we visit a local family for lunch to enjoy a traditional home-cooked meal, to sample Georgian home-made wines and to experience baking Georgian ‘Shoti’ (bread) and making ‘Churchkhela’ (sweet). Then we continue towards Tsinandali, excursion at the Tsinandali Estate – House-museum of Chavchavadze family. Return to Tbilisi. Hotel. Breakfast and lunch included.

DAY 11: Tbilisi – Mtskheta – Gori & Uplistsikhe – Tbilisi.

We start our trip by driving to Mtskheta. Mtskheta, the ancient capital of Georgia is situated 20km from Tbilisi. Historians date the town back to the 2nd millennium B.C. Mtskheta was the capital of Georgian Kingdom of Iberia between 500BC – 500AD. Here Georgians accepted Christianity in the beginning of the 4th century. The town and its architectural monuments are listed as the World’s Cultural Heritage sites by UNESCO. Visit Jvari Monastery (6th c.) and Svetitskhoveli Cathedral (11th c.).

Drive to Gori, a historical town. Today the town is mainly known for its huge Fortress and as a birthplace of J. Stalin. Visit Stalin Museum.

Drive to Uplistsikhe cave town dated to 7th c. BC. It contains a large central hall for pagan rituals, living rooms and a church of the 9th century. Return to Tbilisi Hotel. Breakfast included.

DAY 12: Departure.

Transfer to the airportfor your flight back to Ireland.

Breakfast included.

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Price inclusions

  • Flight Dublin to Yerevan, Via Paris
  • All transfers included
  • 6 nights accommodation in the 4* Ani Plaza Hotel, Yerevan or similar, based on 2 sharing
  • 5 nights accommodation in the 4* Ramada Encore Tbilisi Hotel or similar, based on 2 sharing
  • Meals as per the itinerary
  • Tours each day, outlined in the itinerary
    • All entrance fees to the sites and museums included
  • The use of luxury coaches throughout
  • Services of an expert English speaking guide who will lead the group throughout.
  • Flight Tbilisi to Dublin, via Istanbul
  • Taxes, charges & 20kg check-in bag per person

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Booking remarks

  • Inclusive of taxes and service charges as indicated
  • Single room supplement €520
  • Non refundable or transferable booking deposit €500 per person
  • Full payment due on receipt of confirmation if within 16 weeks
  • Optional Insurance €48 (conditions apply)
  • Itinerary subject to change
  • Tour subject to minimum numbers
  • Taxes, charges or compulsory charges introduced after publication are not included in the above price
  • These prices are guidelines only and are subject to change and availability. Pricing will be confirmed at time of booking.

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Accommodation details

Yerevan – 4* Ani Plaza Hotel or similar – 6 Nights

Tbilisi – 4* Ramada Encore Tbilisi Hotel or similar – 5 Nights

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Dates and Prices

Date Price
02 May 2019 €2,499
06 June 2019 €2,499

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