The chant of monks reverberates around the bare stone walls of the monastery and seems to fill the whole gorge with sound. A scene unchanged since the 12th century when the first monks found their way here. The austere surrounds of the monastery built by man reduced to nothingness by the work of nature, an iconic scene in the great Caucasus.
We start in Georgia at Tbilisi, its beguiling capitol. Your guide will show you around before you set off for the highlands in the north. The main route through the Northern Caucasus, the dividing line between Europe and Asia inspired both Pushkin and Tolstoy. It is easy to see why. You enjoy views of Mt Kazbeg at over 5,000m. We have time to visit the Georgian wine region before travelling the short distance into Armenia.
You have much to see in Armenia. This is a country immersed in history. It was the first country to adopt Christianity as the state religion and you will see religion plays a huge part in Armenia culture and architecture. Your walks will take in prehistoric temples and ancient monasteries. You visit an ancient caravanserai on the Silk Road from China to Europe. In the hills you discover ruined monasteries with sumptuous mosaics. Everywhere you travel there is the feeling of experiencing an ancient land. You stop at a village for dinner and see how food is prepared. It might just be the most memorable barbecue you will ever have.