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Georgia & Armenia: Caucasus Explorer

Group Tour

15 Days From £2,595

Overview

This if we say so ourselves, is an outstanding itinerary, capturing the best of Georgia and Armenia, one of our favourite regions for cultural adventure.

Taking you from Georgia’s historic capital Tbilisi, through the pretty wine fields of Kakheti and up to the spectacular High Caucasus mountains, you will be following in the footsteps of Silk Road traders, Crusader Knights and Ottoman Princes. This region, lying at the crossroads of Europe and Asia, is packed with the legends of the Golden ...

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HIGHLIGHTS

At a glance

MEALS

14 x Breakfasts
13 x Lunches
13 x Dinners

TRANSPORT

Transport on the tour will vary with coasters in Armenia and minibuses in Georgia depnding on group size.

GROUP SIZE

Maximum: 12

CARBON CONTRIBUTIONS

A carbon-offsetting contribution to Eco Act for all bookings

EXPERT TEAM

The full services of a Wild Frontiers Tour Leader with local guides where appropriate

ACCOMMODATION

5 nights x Premium
6 nights x Superior
3 nights x Simple

ACCOMMODATION

Wherever possible we aim to use characterful accommodation that enhances the overall travel experience. This can obviously vary greatly across both countries and tours. On this particular trip we will be in hotels and guesthouses. The guesthouses can vary significantly from being more like a homestay with shared facilities to rooms with en-suite. Please note that the accommodation mentioned in the itinerary is intended as a guide only and is always subject to availability.

ENTRANCE FEES

All entrance fees for sights mentioned in the itinerary

FITNESS RATING

Low

FITNESS RATING

LOW: You should be comfortable walking around towns and cultural sites. May include some optional walks (typically 1-2hrs).

LOW/MODERATE: May be of a long duration and/or involve numerous border-crossings. May include easy/moderate day walks (up to 2-3hrs/day). You should be relatively fit and lead a generally active lifestyle.

MODERATE: May include several easy/moderate day walks (up to 2-5hrs/day) possibly at altitude. You should be relatively fit and lead a generally active lifestyle. Previous experience of similar trips helpful.

MODERATE/HIGH: May involve several days of moderate hiking (up to 3-6 hrs/day) possibly at altitude. You must be a fit and active traveller with appropriate trekking experience.

VERY HIGH: May involve several days of moderate/strenuous trekking (up to 4-7 hrs/day) possibly at altitude. You must be a very fit and active traveller with appropriate trekking experience.

Map & Itinerary

Individual departures may vary so please refer to the information in the tour specific links in the Dates and Prices section below

Georgia & Armenia: Caucasus Explorer
EXPAND ALL ITINERARY DAYS
COLLAPSE ALL ITINERARY DAYS

DAY 1: TOUR STARTS IN TBILISI (GEORGIA)

DAY 1: TOUR STARTS IN TBILISI (GEORGIA)

Our journey begins in Tbilisi, Georgia’s historic capital. For anyone arriving earlier than the group flights (see the GETTING THERE section below), rooms will be available from early afternoon.

Old Meidan or similar

DAY 2: IN TBILISI

DAY 2: IN TBILISI

The pre-departure meeting will take place this morning at the hotel, after which we will have a city tour including all of Old Tbilisi. From the Metekhi Church (13th century) overlooking the river Mtkvari to the Narikala Fortress (4th century), one of the oldest fortifications in the city, we’ll also pay a visit to the Sulphur Baths, the synagogue, the Anchiskhati Church (6th century) and Sioni Cathedral (6/7th century). In this cathedral the cross of St. Nino – the woman who brought Christianity to Georgia – is preserved. All these sights are in close proximity and it’s a pleasant walk. Afterwards we visit the stunning treasures of the National Museum and have the rest of the day to soak up the café culture of Tbilisi, relax and shop.

Old Meidan Hotel or similar
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 3: TBILISI - MTSKHETA - ANANURI - KAZBEGI

DAY 3: TBILISI - MTSKHETA - ANANURI - KAZBEGI

Today we will drive to the ancient capital and religious centre of Georgia, Mtskheta, where we will visit Jvari Monastery (6th century) and Svetitskhoveli Cathedral (11th century), both of which are UNESCO World Heritage Sites. After lunch we will stop at Ananuri to visit two fortified churches beautifully situated on the Jinvali water reservoir. As we follow the Georgian Military Highway we will enjoy wonderful views of the Great Caucasus Mountains.

Porta Caucasia Hotel or similar
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 4: KAZBEGI - GERGETI – JUTA - KAZBEGI

DAY 4: KAZBEGI - GERGETI – JUTA - KAZBEGI

Today we set out on foot from Kazbegi for a three-hour walk up through beautiful valleys and woodland to Gergeti Trinity Church (14th century) located at 2170m. Weather permitting we may catch a glimpse of one of the highest glaciers in the Caucasus on Mt Kazbegi (5047m). After lunch we will set off through the spectacular Sno Valley to the small village of Juta (2165m), which still surprises visitors with its preserved ancient way of life. Surrounded by the gorgeous mountains it is completely cut off from the whole country during six months of the year.  We will wander the streets of Juta and hike a short distance to see views of Chaukhebi Mountain, before heading back to Kazbegi.

Porta Caucasia Hotel or similar
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 5: KAZBEGI - UPLISTSIKHE - STALIN MUSEUM – GORI

DAY 5: KAZBEGI - UPLISTSIKHE - STALIN MUSEUM – GORI

This morning we will visit Uplistsikhe Cave Town (1st millennium BC) – one of the main points along the Great Silk Road before continuing on to the town of Gori in the heart of the Kartli region. Gori is infamous not only as one of the focal points of the Russian occupation in August 2008 but also as the birth place of a certain Josef Stalin. Here we will visit the fascinating Stalin Museum (which remains unchanged since its Cold War era opening), and see his house and private carriage, before heading out for dinner in a local restaurant.

Hotel Victoria or similar
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 6: GORI - SIGHNAGHI – TELAVI

DAY 6: GORI - SIGHNAGHI – TELAVI

The road takes us east today, into the famous wine-growing region of Kakheti where we will visit a unique wine cellar to learn more about the winemaking process and sample several Kakhetian wines. After lunch we will continue on to the fortified town of Sighnaghi and pay a visit to the Monastery of St. Nino at Bodbe, one of the country’s most popular pilgrimage sites, before arriving in Telavi this evening.

Rusiko's Guesthouse or similar
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 7: TELAVI – GREMI – NEKRESI – KVARELI – TSINANDALI - TELAVI

DAY 7: TELAVI – GREMI – NEKRESI – KVARELI – TSINANDALI - TELAVI

After breakfast we will visit the photogenic fortified church complex of Gremi and drive to the Nekresi Monastery (4th century), once on the Silk Road. We will visit a local family for lunch in Kvareli, where we will see how Georgian bread is baked and the Georgian sweet ‘churchkhela’ is made. After sampling the freshly baked bread and churchkhela we will continue on to Tsinandali house-museum and gardens, an estate which used to be the gathering place of the aristocracy in the 19th century. We will end the afternoon with another wine tasting, before heading back to Telavi.

Rusiko's Guesthouse or similar
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 8: TELAVI - TBILISI

DAY 8: TELAVI - TBILISI

This morning, before we leave Telavi, we’ll visit the local market. Later we will learn more about local industries and traditions in Georgia, with the opportunity to visit a pottery workshop where the clay jars called qvevri are made, which have been used in Georgian winemaking for millennia. Continuing on we will make a stop at the 11th century cathedral at Alaverdi, before arriving back into Tbilisi where you will have the afternoon at your leisure to explore the streets of Tbilisi at your own pace.

Old Meidan or similar
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 9: TBILISI - HAGHARTSIN - GOSHAVANK - DILIJAN (ARMENIA)

DAY 9: TBILISI - HAGHARTSIN - GOSHAVANK - DILIJAN (ARMENIA)

After an early breakfast we will drive to the Armenian border and cross over and on to the 12th century Haghartsin monastery. We will then head to the Monastery of Goshavank (12-13cc), established by Mkhitar Gosh, the famous scientist and author of medieval Armenia, before reaching the alpine town of Dilijan.

Old Dilijan or similar
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 10: DILIJAN – LAKE SEVAN - NORATUS - SELIM – GORIS

DAY 10: DILIJAN – LAKE SEVAN - NORATUS - SELIM – GORIS

Exploring further this ancient land, we will visit perhaps one of Armenia's most surreal sights - the field of approximately 900 khachkars (carved memorial stones) at Noratus, on the shores of Lake Sevan. We will then visit the medieval Sevanavank Monastery and stop at the Selim Caravanserai, dating from 1332 and reputed to be the best preserved of its type in the country, before arriving in Goris.

Mirhav Hotel or similar
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 11: GORIS – TATEV – SHINUHAYR - KHNDZORESK - KARAHUNJ - GORIS

DAY 11: GORIS – TATEV – SHINUHAYR - KHNDZORESK - KARAHUNJ - GORIS

This morning we will head to one of the highlights of Armenia - Tatev monastery - which is reached by the longest cable car in the world. From here we continue on to a local village where we will spend some time visiting a small wool factory and learning about the opportunities created for local women in the area. After lunch we will visit the cave village of Khondzoresk, before our final stop of the day at the prehistoric site of Karahunj, Armenia's Stonehenge.

Mirhav Hotel or similar
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 12: GORIS - ARENI - KHOR VIRAP - YEREVAN

DAY 12: GORIS - ARENI - KHOR VIRAP - YEREVAN

This morning we will drive to Areni in the heart of Armenia's wine growing region where we will be able to visit a winery and sample some of the local produce. We will then visit the monastery of Khor Virap, stunningly located with Mount Ararat towering above it. This was where St Gregory the Illuminator who brought Christianity to Armenia was imprisoned for thirteen years. Later today we will head towards the Armenian capital, Yerevan.

Opera Suite Hotel or similar
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 13: IN YEREVAN

DAY 13: IN YEREVAN

Today we will enjoy a day of sightseeing around Yerevan, one of the world’s oldest continuously inhabited cities, which can date its origins back to the 8th century BC and the founding of the Erebuni Fortress by King Argisthi in 782. Sitting on the banks of the Hrazdan River, against the impressive backdrop of Mount Ararat, the Armenian capital has been at the heart of the staunch and traditional Armenian Highlands for centuries. We will head to the Matenadaran Manuscript museum and also visit the Memorial to the 1915 Genocide, before heading to the Cascades, a giant stairway made of limestone, which houses a contemporary art gallery hosting local and international exhibits.

Opera Suite Hotel or similar
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 14: IN YEREVAN

DAY 14: IN YEREVAN

This morning we will explore Etchmiadzin, the spiritual heart of the Armenian Apostolic Church. Armenia is considered to be the first country in the world to adopt Christianity as its state religion, and in 303 AD the first church was built on the site of Etchmiadzin. After lunch we will have some free time to explore the Armenian capital at our own pace, before heading out for our farewell dinner.

Opera Suite Hotel or similar
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 15: TOUR ENDS IN YEREVAN

DAY 15: TOUR ENDS IN YEREVAN

The tour ends after breakfast at the hotel (rooms available until midday today).

Breakfast

ACCOMMODATION USED ON THIS TOUR

Superior

No frills, basic accommodation, but often in the most exciting of places

Premium

Excellent standards without the big price tag

Simple

No frills, basic accommodation, but often in the most exciting of places

Simple

No frills, basic accommodation, but often in the most exciting of places

Superior

No frills, basic accommodation, but often in the most exciting of places

Superior

No frills, basic accommodation, but often in the most exciting of places

Accommodation displayed here should be taken as a guide only. *Please refer to the Detailed Itinerary of your individual departure for more information.

PRIVATE HOLIDAYS: DATES DON’T FIT?

All group tours can be taken on a private basis.

REVIEWS OF THIS TRIP

Additional Details

Responsible Travel

Responsible travel and sustainable tourism are fundamental ideas that Wild Frontiers has been committed to since our birth. It is our strong belief that these words should not be simply ‘tagged on’ to itineraries and websites but should be at the very core of each trip, and our adventures are therefore designed with the local people, culture and eco-system in mind. We believe that a successful trip not only delivers a unique and unsurpassable journey for our clients, but that it also benefits the peoples whose lands we are privileged to visit. For more information, please see our responsible travel page.

Getting There

If you would like us to send you a quote for the suggested tour flights or on any alternative flight that may suit you better, please let us know, noting that for our US clients, we will most likely refer you to one of our preferred partners. For this trip our suggested flights from the UK (subject to change) are shown below.

If you wish to arrange your own flights you are completely free to do so and in this case we can arrange any transfers or supplementary accommodation that you may require. However please note that if you are planning on making your own flight arrangements, we recommend that you first check with us to see if the trip is guaranteed. We then suggest that you purchase flights that are flexible and ideally refundable as due to the nature of adventure travel, itineraries and destination accessibility can change at any time. For more information, please refer to our booking conditions.
 

Flight Code Departing Arriving
PS 118 London Heathrow (LHR) 11:45 Borispol Airport (KBP) 17:00
PS 511 Borispol Airport (KBP) 19:20 Tbilisi Airport (TBS) 23:05
PS 612 Yerevan Airport (EVN) 06:30 Borispol Airport (KBP) 08:25
PS 117 Borispol Airport (KBP) 09:30 London Heathrow (LHR) 10:55

Visas

Visas are necessary for many of the destinations we travel to and while we aim to provide you with the most up-to-date information, requirements frequently change and as such for the latest advice we advise that you check with the relevant embassies or contact our recommended visa agency, Travcour www.travcour.com

For this tour UK passport holders currently do not require a visa for Georgia or Armenia.

Non-UK passport holders or non-UK residents should contact the relevant embassies for individual requirements.

Further details will be sent out to you on booking, however ensuring that correct and valid visas are obtained remains the sole responsibility of the client.

Extensions

If you have more time available, why not arrive early to adjust to a new time zone or just to get a feel for the country before your tour starts? Or alternatively you might choose to allow a few extra days after the tour to relax or to undertake some further exploration.

The choice is completely yours and we can usually arrange anything from simply additional accommodation and transfers to full tailor-made itineraries.

Below is just a small sample of what you could do. Please contact the office for more details and to discuss your individual requirements.

Svaneti

If you enjoy mountain walking, you could visit the north-west of Georgia to experience one of the most stunning parts of the Caucasus region. Allow 7-10 days.

Governmental Travel Advice

Many governments issue advice which highlights potential hazards their citizens might experience when travelling abroad. We strongly suggest you refer to your country’s particular advisory site before booking and contact us if you have any queries or concerns. Click to follow links to the advice of the British Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) or the US State Department.

Non-UK citizens should consult the travel advice of their respective governments.

Key Information

CLIMATE

The weather conditions can be extremely varied (even within the course of a day!) The Greater Caucasus Range moderates local climate by servingas a barrier against cold air from the north and the relatively small territory covers different climatic zones, which are determined by distance form the Black Sea and by altitude. The climatic zones range from humid sub tropical to snow and glaciers.

IS THIS TRIP FOR ME?

It may sound obvious but Wild Frontiers tours are not always for everyone and it is important to us that the tour you choose is the most suitable. All our tours have a fitness rating as a guideline but you should check the day-by-day itinerary carefully. In certain instances we may ask you to complete a travel questionnaire before confirming your booking in order to ensure your suitability. Should you have any concerns about your ability to partake in any aspect of the tour then please contact the office.

KEY ASPECTS TO CONSIDER

Anyone in a reasonable state of health, with an open mind and a sense of adventure should be perfectly able to cope with this tour, as many of the activities are optional. There will be some long journeys in the vehicles on the tour, so please be prepared for this. In certain instances we may ask you to complete a Travel Questionnaire before your booking is confirmed to ensure your suitability for the trip. Should you have any concerns about your ability to partake in any aspect of the tour please contact our office to discuss.

THE NATURE OF ADVENTURE TRAVEL

We feel that it’s worth pointing out that while we will always strive to stick as close to the stated itinerary as possible, it may be necessary from time to time to make changes to our itineraries or services (due to weather, political and religious influences etc.) and this can happen with little or no notice. This unpredictability can be one of the most exciting aspects of adventure travel and for many of our clients often leads to unexpected highlights as the tour-leader necessarily adapts the tour to the changing conditions. However we are aware that this lack of assuredness may not suit everyone. As such, with the greatest respect, if you are someone who needs to know that everything will happen exactly as planned, we would kindly suggest that perhaps our tours are not for you. Adventure travel can be infectious and once you’ve caught the bug, it is likely to never leave you, but especially if this is your first such tour we would strongly urge you to give us a call if you have any concerns whatsoever about your suitability for this trip.

TRAVELLING SOLO AND SINGLE SUPPLEMENTS

As a company approximately 70% of our clients are solo travellers, so it’s very unlikely you’ll be alone!

Our prices are typically based on twin-share accommodation but single supplements are not compulsory for any Wild Frontiers tour. If you prefer not to pay a single supplement we’ll pair you with someone else of the same sex for you to share with throughout the trip. On this trip, if you do opt to pay for a single supplement then please note that it will cover you for all nights of the tour.

Please note that paying a single supplement entitles you to lone occupancy of a single room. In many cases these rooms will be of the same size as a double/twin room, but in some cases they may be smaller.

INSURANCE

Insurance that provides cover for emergency repatriation in case of a medical emergency is compulsory for all tours. You should be aware that due to some of the geographical areas visited and some of the activities included on certain of our trips some standard insurance policies may not always provide adequate cover. As such we strongly recommend that you purchase a policy that adequately covers your trip. Please see the Insurance section for more details.

General Information

TOUR PRICE

All our tours are priced on a land-only basis, giving you maximum flexibility when deciding how to get to and from your tour.

DEPOSIT

A £200 (or equivalent) deposit is required to confirm your booking.

PROTECTION FOR YOUR MONEY

For further details please see our travelling with peace of mind page

WILD MILES

This tour will earn you {wild-miles} Wild Miles

WHAT'S NOT INCLUDED

We believe in a completely transparent approach to pricing with no hidden extras. As such, please note that the following are not included in the cost of the tour.

Visas & Travel Insurance: Visas will always be tour/nationality dependent but travel insurance is mandatory
Tips: Always optional but some guidance will be given in the pre-departure information documents
International Flights: Please ask us for an obligation-free quote for flights which originate in the UK
Airport Transfers: We include complimentary transfers if arriving/departing on the suggested group flights
Beverages & any costs of a personal nature: This will include items such as laundry and souvenirs

WILD FRONTIERS COMMUNITY

If you’re still not sure if this trip is right or just want to see get some different perspectives, then why not have a look at the wide variety of resources we have on our website? Browse our community section to read our blogs, watch videos and find out about our events. 

WHY WILD FRONTIERS?

We are frequently asked what makes Wild Frontiers different from other tour operators. Visit our Why Wild Frontiers page to find out.

INSPIRATION