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Zvartnots International Airport
2 Hours Before Flight Time
Arrive at Kutaisi International Airport (KUT) – Kutaisi International Airport (KUT)
Transfer from Kutaisi airport (with private driver) Check in at Hotel Solomon – Hotel Solomon
13:00 Pick up by private English speaking guide-driver Explore UNESCO site Bagrati Cathedral
Sightseeing at Gelati Monastery – UNESCO site
Explore UNESCO site Bagrati Cathedral
Explore Kutaisi and visit Bagrati Cathedral dating back to 11th c. The site is also included in UNESCO World Heritage sites list. The cathedral is standing on a hill and overlooks the city of Kutaisi. It’s named after the first King of united Georgia – Bagrati the Third.
Visit Gelati Academy and Monastery complex of 12thc. The complex is included in the UNESCO World Heritage sites list. The complex included an Academy, where some of the most renowned Georgian theologians, scientists and philosophers have graduated from.
Optional: Dinner at local restaurant – Palaty
Breakfast at hotel
Check out at Hotel Solomon
Start driving up to the Caucasus Mountains via Zugdidi town. On your way, stop near Enguri Dam, currently being world’s second largest arch dam – 271.5 m in height.
Arrive in Mestia town, center of Svaneti region.
Have a rest after long drive to Mestia. Take a walk among its narrow streets and Svan towers. Try out local dishes in one of the restaurants in city center.
Dinner at the guesthouse
Breakfast at hotel Mestia – Ushguli
Set in the topmost reaches of the Enguri valley beneath the snow-covered massif of Mt Shkhara (5193m), Georgia’s highest peak, Ushguli is an unbelievably atmospheric place. With more than 40 ancient Svan towers, it has been on the UNESCO World Heritage List since 1996, and even though it’s now awash with tourists, nothing can dim its enduring magic. Off-road trip & Shkhara Glacier hike Shkhara Glacier
Off-road trip & Shkhara Glacier hike
Start driving north in direction of Shkhara mountain, following Enguri river. In about 8 km, 40 minutes of driving on bumpy and rocky road, you will arrive at Shkhara base-camp, the beginning of the hike to the glacier.
Distance of Shkhara glacier walk: 4.6 km, 3 hours, easy; Ascent 307 m/ Descent 304 m (Click here for the route)
Dinner at the guesthouse
Check in at Hotel Panorama – Hotel Panorama
Breakfast at Guesthouse
Check out at Hotel Panorama
Approx. driving distance: 128 km, 3 h 53 min
Road type: Secondary road, mix of dirt roads / mountain passes
Highest point: Zagari Pass 2.620m asl.
Ushguli–Lentekhi- Korenishi – Zagari Pass Korenishuli Veranda -Korenishuli Veranda Georgian Baking Master Class
A unique place at the foot of the mysterious mountain Khvamli! If you want clean mountain air, peace and tranquility, then this is the place for you. The hospitable house, the most delicious local wine and the host Levan, who surround you with care and attention.
Learn how to bake traditional Georgian Khachapuri (Cheese Pie) and Lobiani (Bean pie) in what Georgian call “Tone” Oven. The master class takes place at premises of Korenishuli veranda, where you will have opportunity to taste your own bakery at the dinner time.
Dinner at guesthouse .
Dinner at guesthouse
Korenishi – Kutaisi – Zekari Pass
The road between Sairme and Abastumani (an ex-soviet mountain resort or rather sanatorium area in the Borjomi-Kharagauli National Park) is winding through wonderful mountain areas. This road was used from the times immemorial for caravan traffic.
Located at elevation of 2.174 m asl. Zekari pass is a great place to stop and enjoy the panoramic views of the area
Academician Eugene Kharadze on Mount Kanobili founded Georgian National Astrophysical Observatory currently renamed again as Abastumani Astrophysical Observatory in 1932, near resort Abastumani. Altitude of Mt. Kanobili varies between 1650-1700 m above sea level.
Abastumani was once at the forefront of astronomical development. The town – famous in the 19th Century for the quality of its air and thermal waters – was a popular summer resort for the Romanov family who then controlled Georgia as part of the Russian Empire
Check in at Green Hotel Abastumani – Green Hotel Abastumani Visit Abastumani Astrophysical Observatory
Breakfast at Guesthouse
Breakfast at Guesthouse
Check out at Green Hotel Abastumani
Drive to Akhaltsikhe town for guided excursion in medieval Rabati fortress.
The city was first mentioned in the chronicles in the 12th century, when it was a seat of the House of Akhaltsikhe, dukes of Samtskhe. In the sixteenth century, it became a regional administrative center for the Ottomans, and remained as such up to the Russo-Turkish War. It is a rather sleepy town, but its Old City is definitely worth a visit.
Akhaltsikhe – Vardzia Visit Vardzia Cave city
Explore medieval Vardzia cave city and monastery. Vardzia is carved in the slopes of the Erusheti Mountain, stretches along the 500 meters wide cliff and consists of 19 tiers.
Georgian Queen Tamar is credited for establishing a monastery in Vardzia during her reign in the 12th c., which housed 2000 monks. During its rise in the 12th c. the cave city contained 6000 apartments, throne room and a large church with bell tower. Take a walk, explore the caves, medieval frescoes and walk through a narrow “secret” tunnel on your way out.
Check in at Valodias Cottages – Valodias Cottages Dinner at guesthouse
Valodia’s eco cottages, hotel, farm, greenhouse and winery are located near the village Vardzia on the right bank of the River Mtkvari. The farm has an excellent location in the nature, beautiful surrounding and offers fresh vegetables, farm trout fish barbeque and Meskheti homemade wine.
Breakfast at Guesthouse Vardzia – Bavra Border Crossing at 11:00
Guide and transport changing. 11:00 Arrive at Armenian-Georgian Bavra border, guide and transport changing. Drive to Gyumri, the 2nd largest city of Armenia. Visit the Gallery of Mariam and Eranuhi Aslamazyan Sisters. Aslamazyan sisters have been the first woman artists during USSR. One of the sisters, Mariam Aslamazyan was called Armenian Frida Kahlo, as there is a great similarity in their paintings. (Closes at 5 PM). Lunch in Gyumri. Drive the Armenian Alphabet Park, a huge stones representing each of Armenian letter, the favourite place for the photography lovers.
Drive to Yerevan.
Overnight at the hotel in Yerevan.
Breakfast at the hotel. Drive to Garni village to visit Garni Temple dating back to the 1st century. The pagan temple of Garni is a picturesque monument of the Hellenistic period and an impressive piece of ancient Armenian architecture. Hike to Garni Gorge to reach “Symphony of stones” (~2.5-3 hours). Millions of years are required for the shaping of such formations. Volcanic eruptions are followed by the cooling processes of the lava, resulting in the beautiful geometric forms and hanging columns resembling musical “organ pipes”. Lunch in the village house garden with Lavash (Armenian traditional flat bread) baking ceremony.
Drive to Geghard cave Monastery. The spectacular towering cliffs surrounding the monastery are part of the Azat River gorge, and are included together with the monastery in the UNESCO World Heritage Site listing. Some of the chambers within the complex are entirely dug out of the cliff rocks. Return to Yerevan. We will continue our exploration of the vibrant capital of Armenia, Yerevan, where ancient culture is mixed with modern lifestyle and great tradition. Visit to Brandy factory. Overnight at the hotel in Yerevan.
Breakfast at hotel. Sightseeing tour to Khor-Virap monastery 4- 17th cc. 45 km. from Yerevan the monastery of Khor-Virap has a very rich history, both religious and secular. Khor Virap was built in Artashat during the reign of the Arshakids dynasty. At that time it was used as a pit- dungeon for convicts. In the 60s of the 4th century Artashat was ruined by Persian invaders. It is situated in the Ararat valley against the biblical Ararat Mountain, were Noah’s arch cast anchor. The importance of it is connected with Gregory the Illuminator, who introduced Christianity to Armenia and is considered to be the first Armenian Catholicos. Here you will also have an opportunity to take a lit candle from the pit like His holiness Paul II did while his visit to Khor Virap. Ararat Valley is the cradle of Armenia wine-making traditions so we proceed to visit “Tushpa Wine Cellar”. Here we will take tour inside the factory and enjoy high quality Armenian wine in all its perfection and delicate taste. Continue tour to Artyom Yerkat center. The guest will take part to master class with Master Artyom, here the visitors will discover their own creative talent with the help of Master Artyom, gluing the piece of fabrics, plastics, feathers or dried leaves on a cardboard. They have an opportunity to have a talk with the master around a tea/ coffee table after the workshop. (Duration of workshop~1.5 hours). Drive to Yeghegis. Dinner and overnight at the hotel in Yeghegis. (Arevi or similar hotel).
Breakfast at the hotel. Drive towards Artabuynk village, from which the guest will start hiking to fortress Smbataberd. It is a fortress located upon the crest of a hill between the villages of Artabuynk and Yeghegis (It is likely that Smbataberd was founded during the 5th century, but was better established and heavily fortified during the 9th to 10th centuries.) Lunch. Continue hiking tour to “pilgrimage” towards Tsakhats Kar monastery, en route enjoying the views of rocky terrain. From Tsakhats Kar we walk to village Yeghegis, where tourist will visit Zorats church from medieval centuries. Hiking distance 13 km, Duration of the hike is 4.5 hours. Dinner and overnight at the hotel in Yeghegis. (Arevi or similar hotel)
After breakfast depart to Lake Sevan visiting the interesting points of the region. Visit the medieval Selim Caravanserai, an important trading post on the Great Silk Road. This caravanserai has welcomed travellers along the highway through the mountains of Selim (Sulema). Selim is an excellent example of medieval Armenian architecture. Then we leave for Noratus, a small village at the lake. The village cemetery has one of the largest collections of khatchkars dating centuries 7-10 (de-cross-stone). Visit a local family which runs a cheese farm and get acquainted with the techniques of cheese production. Our host will treat us with special types of cheese made in wine and brandy, accompanied by other types of cheese, fruits, jam, fresh fruits and flatbread ”lavash’ ‘Drive to Lake Sevan which is about 70 miles north of Yerevan and the second largest alpine lake in the world. Visit Hayravank Monastery. Drive to Dilijan town, one of the popular resorts in Armenia. The resort is often referred as the “Little Switzerland” of Armenia. Have short city tour, visit the Sharambeyan Street in the center, which is known as an “old town. The street is complete with artisan workshops where you can explore the secrets of handicrafts. The guest will take part to cemetery making master class and cooking master class. Dinner and overnight at the hotel in Dilijan. (Toon Armeni or similar BB)
09:00 after breakfast at the hotel start our hiking tour from Goshavank monastery to Gosh Lake. (Around 1 hour hike) After hiking drive to Ijevan Telik center there the guest will take part to Carpet making master class. (Duration ~1.5 hour). Lunch in a local restaurant. Departure to Sadakhlo.
Check in at Hotel Brigitte Tbilisi
Small hotel with 11 rooms, located in the center of the city, really near to the Freedom square and central Rustaveli Avenue.
After breakfast start a full day city tour in Tbilisi. You’ll combine driving and walking through the city and visit:
Holy Trinity Sameba Cathedral – the main Georgian Christian Orthodox cathedral, it is the largest religious building not only in Georgia but in the region of South Caucasus, and is listed among the largest Orthodox churches in the world. The cathedral was constructed between 1995 and 2004, as a “symbol of the Georgian national and spiritual revival”.
Metekhi church 13th c presents one of the most important architectural monuments of old Tbilisi.
Narikala Fortress 4th c dominates the Old Tow n as a most impressive architectural landmark. With its inaccessible slopes, the fortress served as a main fortification and defended the city for centuries.
Legv takhev i(“Fig Ravine”) and a little bridge across the river.
Old Sulfur Bathhouses with healing natural warm water have been praised by numerous travelers who visited the city.
Meidan square & Shardeni street neighborhood -famous for cozy cafes, bars, restaurants, souvenirs‘ shops, picture galleries.
Caravanserai (Tbilisi History Museum): The Museum collection contains unique objects weapons and household accessories starting from the Bronze Age.
Breakfast at the hotel. Transfer to Tbilisi Airport