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Experience
Continent
Country


Georgia & Armenia

The Mountains, cities and culture of central Asia.

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.

Activity Level
alt
You enjoy the great outdoors and possess a moderate spirit of adventure. For you, nothing beats exploring the natural world, whether by foot, wheels or water. You enjoy filling your days with great scenery and a range of different experiences. You are moderately fit. Previous outdoor activity experience is preferable. Where walking is involved you can expect up to 8 miles of walking on occasionally rough paths with up to 600m of ascent.



YOUR STORY STARTS HERE ...

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  • Dates, Prices & Holiday Information Sheet (PDF)
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    Date
    Nights
    Grades
    Depart From
    More Info
    Status
    Price From
    Date
    01 Jul 2017
    Nights
    13
    Grades
    Level B
    Depart From
    London (Heathrow), Birmingham
    More Info
    Status
    Available
    Price From
    £2,275
    Date
    02 Sep 2017
    Nights
    13
    Grades
    Level B
    Depart From
    London (Heathrow), Birmingham
    More Info
    Status
    Available
    Price From
    £2,275
  • Itinerary & Map
    01 Jul 2017 - 14 Jul 2017

    Day 1 - Tbilisi
    We fly to Tbilisi via Istanbul. We should arrive in the early hours.

    Day 2 - Tbilisi
    We transfer to our central hotel and go immediately to our rooms. After a late breakfast we start the holiday with a morning's walking tour of this impressive city led by our Georgian National Guide. After lunch in a city restaurant we visit the National Museum. Dinner will be in another local resturant

    Day 3 - Stepantsminda
    After breakfast we head north out of the city to the mountains and the UNESCO listed town of Mtskheta. We will have a brief look at the town and have a restaurant lunch. This afternoon we walk in the impressive Khada gorge amongst mountain peaks and open meadows.

    Day 4 - Stepantsminda
    Today we walk to Gergeti Church to hopefully enjoy the classic view of Mt Kazbegi. At just over 5,000m it is the third highest peak in Georgia and the seventh highest in the Caucasus.

    Day 5 - Tbilisi
    Today we drive out into the Chakhi lakes area for a walk through beautiful scenery. We will have a picnic lunch on the walk. We then continue back to Tbilisi for dinner and overnight.

    Day 6 - Tbilisi
    Today we drive east to the Kakheti wine region. After a brief visit to the David Gareja Monastery we have a walk in the countryside. We visit the 'Pheasant's Tears' vineyard for wine tasting. Both Georgia and Armenia claim to be the historic home of wine making. Today is a good day to hear Georgian arguments to support their case. Later we return to Tbilisi for a traditional Georgian farewell dinner.

    Day 7 - Dilijan
    We drive south to the Armenian border. After the formalities we continue for a visit to Haghpat and Sanahin Monasteries, walking in-between the two. We have a picnic lunch on the way. We stay the night in the spa town of Dilijan.

    Day 8 - Dilijan
    Today we visit the Lori region in north west Armenia. This is verdant country, famous for carpet making. We will walk from Odzun to the half ruined Kobayr Monastery, home to some spectacular frescos. We will visit a local honey farm for a chance to taste some of the produce. We have dinner and overnight in the hotel in Dilijan.

    Day 9 - Yerevan
    We drive by the beautifully situated Lake Sevan and continue up to the Selim Pass which is situated on the former Silk Road, the trade route from Asia to Europe. At the pass we can visit a caravanserai dating back to 1332. It is thought Marco Polo came this way. We will also have a quick look at Noravank Monastery. We will also visit the site of what is purported to be the oldest vineyard in the world. The Georgians might have something to say on the subject. We have dinner at our central hotel in Yerevan, the capital of Armenia.

    Day 10 - Yerevan
    We start with a walking tour of central Yerevan and then head out to Echmiadzin. This is the head quarters of the Armenia church, serving a similar purpose as the Vatican city does for Catholics. We will finish with a visit to the Yerevan Brandy factory. Apparently Armenian Brandy was Winston Churchill's favourite tipple. There should be some free time this afternoon to relax or explore the city as you prefer.

    Day 11 - Yerevan
    Today we are in the high mountains around Kari Lich Lake. The lake is at 3,200m and will be the highest point we will reach on this holiday. We will walk around the lakes. Remember we have already spent time at altitude so acclimatisation should not be a serious problem. We drive back to Yerevan for dinner.

    Day 12 - Yerevan
    We depart early to visit the spectacularly situated Geghard Monastery. On our visit we will have a chance to hear a quintet choir singing Armenian music. We have lunch at an outdoor village restaurant. Here you will have a chance to have a go at making Armenia bread, baked in a traditional underground oven. We will have a barbeque lunch and plenty of time to relax here. We return to Yerevan for our final night in the capital.

    Day 13 - Dilijan
    Today we drive back to Dilijan stopping for a short walk through Molokan minority communities. The name comes from the Russian word for 'milk drinkers'. Their lifestyle is something akin to the Amish in America. We continue to Parz Lich lake for a walk to Goshavank Monastery.

    Day 14 - In flight
    Finally we drive back across the border into Georgia to catch our flight from Tbilisi back to the UK.


  • Accommodation

    We stay in excellent hotels in Armenia and in Tbilisi. The hotel in Stepantsminda will be the best available and would equate roughly to a UK three-star hotel. In Armenia you will stay at hotels of the Tufenkian chain which are very comfortable and full of ethnic colour.

  • What's Included

    Holiday Price Includes:

    • Flights and airport transfers.
    • Excellent standard en suite accommodation.
    • Dinners in hotels and local restaurants.
    • Local guides throughout.
    • All local transport costs. 
    • All entrance fees to sites described in the itinerary
    Supplement for single room: £375
     

  • Holiday Highlights

    Holiday Highlights:

    • Echmiadzin. The Vatican of the Armenia church.
    • Mt Kazbeg. The highest mountain you may ever see.
    • The delicious food. Simple, local flavours.
    • Beautiful mountainscapes.
    • Great insights in two ancient cultures.

  • Travel Information & Regional Departures
    • Arrival transfer By road (c1hr).
    • Flights:Heathrow-Tbilisi via Istanbul (c6hrs 30mins), Turkish Airlines.
    • Regional Flights including Manchester and Birmingham may be available from £30 supplement.
    • UK add-on flights from £150 return, British Airways.
    • Upgrades available, please contact us for a competitive quote.

  • Holiday Photo Gallery
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  • Private Group Enquiry

    Planning a holiday for a group? For a quote or to simply enquire about the possibility of booking this holiday for your Walking Group please fill out the enquiry form below and our dedicated Private Group Department will get in touch with you shortly to discuss your options.

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Activity Level
alt
You enjoy the great outdoors and possess a moderate spirit of adventure. For you, nothing beats exploring the natural world, whether by foot, wheels or water. You enjoy filling your days with great scenery and a range of different experiences. You are moderately fit. Previous outdoor activity experience is preferable. Where walking is involved you can expect up to 8 miles of walking on occasionally rough paths with up to 600m of ascent.



YOUR STORY STARTS HERE ...

Please select a departure date






 
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