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Complete Caucasus

Tailor Made Itinerary

21 Days From $6,251

Overview

One of the most linguistically and culturally diverse regions in the world, the Caucasus is a melting pot of traditions, conflicts and religions. Home to some of the oldest Christian churches on earth, it can also boast caravanserais and ancient rock art, spectacular landscapes and some of the richest biodiversity hotspots in the world.

This in-depth journey will take you through a land rich in religious faith and historical pedigree, where you will have an opportunity to explore ancient ...
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TRIP HIGHLIGHTS

  • Get off the beaten track and spend time in remote mountain villages in Svaneti
  • Discover the beauty of Armenia’s historic monasteries, hidden in remote valleys and gorges
  • Explore on foot and discover the heritage and history of Yerevan, Baku and Tbilisi
  • Visit local wineries and enjoy private cooking classes, hosted by local experts in their homes
  • Meet a duduk musician who will perform for you in the atmospheric Garni temple
  • Marvel at the early Stone age rock paintings in the volcanic desert landscape of Gobustan

ITINERARY

This is a suggested itinerary. Our experts have all travelled widely in the region and will be happy to tailor any of our itineraries to suit your tastes, or build a trip from scratch.

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DAY 1: ARRIVE BAKU: HISTORICAL SIGHTS

DAY 1: ARRIVE BAKU: HISTORICAL SIGHTS

On arrival into Baku you will be greeted by your Wild Frontiers representative and head out on a guided tour tp visit the sights of Baku. A walk through the modern city and Fountains Square brings you to the medieval walled city "Icheri Sheher" with its narrow alleyways, historic caravanserais, mosques and Palace of the Shirvan Shahs. Visit the 12th century Maiden's Tower whose function has never been established and climb to the top of its tower. As you continue through Baku see the restored mansions of the oil barons, some now home to municipal buildings and designer shops, and also the Bulvar, the wide promenade stretching the length of the bay. Check in is from 14:00 hours and this afternoon you will be free to relax after your early start. Depending on performance schedules you may choose to spend an evening at the Opera House.

Boutique 19 Hotel

DAY 2: BAKU: GOBUSTAN PETROGLYPHS AND MODERN SIGHTS EXCURSION

DAY 2: BAKU: GOBUSTAN PETROGLYPHS AND MODERN SIGHTS EXCURSION

Depart Baku for a half day excursion to Gobustan National Park. This mountain outcrop and cave complex is covered in thousands of rock paintings dating from the early Stone Age to the Bronze Age. You will also see the old oil fields of Bibi Heyat, learn about oil production in this area and see the bizarre mud volcanoes.

Boutique 19 Hotel
Breakfast

DAY 3: BAKU: ABSHERON PENINSULA EXCURSION

DAY 3: BAKU: ABSHERON PENINSULA EXCURSION

Today enjoy a half day excursion to the Absheron Peninsula, visiting the Ateshgah (or place of fire) a Zoroastrian Fire Temple. Also see the fortresses, which in medieval times formed part of the defence system of the Peninsula and the attractive mosque at Amirjan. There's time for a swim in the Caspian Sea, before returning to Baku where you will enjoy your final afternoon free for shopping, relaxing or more sightseeing. You might like to sit in the park overlooking the Caspian and watch the world go by or take a cruise on the Bay of Baku from the waterfront (only in summer). 

Boutique 19 Hotel
Breakfast

DAY 4: BAKU - SHAMAKHI - LAHIJ

DAY 4: BAKU - SHAMAKHI - LAHIJ

Head west and into the foothills of the Caucasus, en route visiting the Diri Baba (living grandfather) Mausoleum, and also stop at Shamakhi, once the capital of Shirvan and home to the 19th century Grand Mosque, the 11th century Gulistan Fortress and the ‘seven tombs of the khans of Shamakhi’. Leave the main road and head into the mountains to visit the charming village of Lahij, the centre of Azerbaijani handicrafts, where you will stay for the night.  

Evim Hotel
Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 5: LAHIJ - SHEKI

DAY 5: LAHIJ - SHEKI

Spend the morning exploring this beautiful village before driving through some of the region's most spectacular scenery as you follow the southern foothills of the Caucasus Mountains. Here you will reach the town of Sheki, one of the oldest centres of culture in Azerbaijan, founded more than 2,700 years ago.

Sheki Saray Hotel
Breakfast

DAY 6: SHEKI AND KISH EXCURSION

DAY 6: SHEKI AND KISH EXCURSION

Sheki is known for its charm and is one of the most ancient towns in the Caucasus, dating back to the late Bronze Age. Visit the Royal Summer Palace of the Sheki Khans with its magnificent frescoes and stained glass as well as Sheki Museum and Fortress. In the afternoon explore the village of Kish with the oldest church in the Caucasus dating from the first century and enjoy a walk in the surrounding Caucasus foothills.  

Sheki Saray Hotel
Breakfast

DAY 7: SHEKI - KAKHETI (GEORGIA) - TBILISI

DAY 7: SHEKI - KAKHETI (GEORGIA) - TBILISI

This morning you will leave Azerbaijan behind and drive into the Kakheti region of Georgia, well-known for its wine producing and great views of the Caucasus mountains and valleys of Kakheti. After a morning of travelling enjoy a delicious homecooked feast at a local family home. From here you will then visit the fortified 'town of love' Sighnaghi, which has preserved its original 18th century layout and offers stunning views over the Caucasus Mountains. Continue on to Tbilisi, en route visiting a traditional Georgian wine cellar, where you will learn how Georgian wine is made in quevri (clay vessels) - a UNESCO experience. 

KMM Hotel
Breakfast, Lunch

DAY 8: TBILISI: HISTORICAL SIGHTS

DAY 8: TBILISI: HISTORICAL SIGHTS

Enjoy a full day exploring old Tbilisi, a charming town built along the twisting valley of the Mtkvari river. Walk through narrow streets past colourful houses and patterned balconies, ancient domed sulphur baths and bustling daily markets. Take in some of the city’s most beautiful sites, before delving into the historical museum to discover why Georgia is known as the land of the Golden Fleece. Enjoy an evening of artistry and culinary delights, as you take in one of the most traditional of Georgian performances – a puppet show, held at the renowned Rezo Gabriadze Marionette Theatre, before sampling some of the country’s finest cuisine and wine at one of our favourite local restaurants.  

KMM Hotel
Breakfast, Lunch

DAY 9: TBILISI - MTSKHETA - UPLISTSIKHE - GORI - KUTAISI

DAY 9: TBILISI - MTSKHETA - UPLISTSIKHE - GORI - KUTAISI

A trip to Georgia isn’t complete without a visit to the ancient capital – Mtskheta, home to two UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Nearby is the ancient cave town of Uplistsikhe, dating from the 6th century BC this town was hewn in to the cliff face and is home to dwellings, wine cellars, bakeries, a three-nave church and even a theatre. 

Boutique Argo Hotel
Breakfast

DAY 10: KUTAISI - BECHO (SVANETI)

DAY 10: KUTAISI - BECHO (SVANETI)

This morning explore the sights of Kutaisi, capital of the ancient kingdom of Colchis where Jason and his Argonauts came looking for the Golden Fleece. This afternoon then sees the start of your journey to Svaneti, a region of some of the highest mountains and glaciers and the most abiding ancient traditions.

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 11: BECHO - WATERFALLS AND VILLAGES WALK - MESTIA (SVANETI)

DAY 11: BECHO - WATERFALLS AND VILLAGES WALK - MESTIA (SVANETI)

Today begin to explore the upper Svaneti Region, which preserved by its long isolation is an exceptional example of mountain scenery and is inscribed by UNESCO in the World Heritage List. Visit medieval-type villages where you can see some very unusual tower-houses that were used as defence posts against the invaders who plagued the region. Enjoy walks through remote woodland and past stunning mountain views, and go in search of some of the beautiful waterfalls that can be found in the area.

Lela's Guesthouse
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 12: USHGULI EXCURSION (SVANETI)

DAY 12: USHGULI EXCURSION (SVANETI)

A morning drive takes you up to the highest permanent village in Europe - Ushguli, where 6 months of the year snow covers the whole area and often the road is closed. The villages in this area are famous for their watchtowers, dwelling houses and ancient one-nave basilicas with impressive murals. Spend time exploring on foot and discover some of Georgia’s best kept secrets.

Lela's Guesthouse
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 13: MESTIA (SVANETI) - TSKALTUBO - KUTAISI

DAY 13: MESTIA (SVANETI) - TSKALTUBO - KUTAISI

Transfer back down to Kutaisi, stopping en route to visit Tskaltubo, once the main spa resort in the whole of the Soviet Union during the 60s and 70s, with trains from Moscow arriving daily. Here you can also explore the impressive Prometheus Cave with fascinating stalactites and stalagmites in the themed halls of the grotto. 

Boutique Argo Hotel
Breakfast

DAY 14: KUTAISI - BOJORMI - AKHALTSIKHE

DAY 14: KUTAISI - BOJORMI - AKHALTSIKHE

This morning you will leave Kutaisi and head for the small but beautiful spa town of Borjomi. Borjomi is known for its natural spring water and you will have the opportunity to enjoy lunch at one of the roadside cafes and take a walk in the town's Central Park. Continue to Akhaltsikhe and visit the carefully renovated Rabati Fortress which stands over the town. 

Hotel Lomsia
Breakfast

DAY 15: AKHALTSIKHE - VARDZIA - DZORAGET (ARMENIA)

DAY 15: AKHALTSIKHE - VARDZIA - DZORAGET (ARMENIA)

This morning you will visit Khertvisi Fortress before moving on to the magnificent 12th century Vardzia Cave Town, one of the highlights of any visit to Georgia. There used to be about 3000 caves here, but now there are just over 500, which include a church hewn out of rock with amazing 12th century frescos. Continue south on to a high plateau and down to the border with Armenia, resting at Dzoraget for the night.

Tufenkian Avan Dzoraget Hotel
Breakfast

DAY 16: DZORAGET - HAGHARTSIN - LAKE PARZ - DILIJAN

DAY 16: DZORAGET - HAGHARTSIN - LAKE PARZ - DILIJAN

Today visit the medieval Haghartsin Monastery, set in a scenic valley beside a stream and home to several interesting khachkars (cross stones). Continue on to Lake Parz, one of Dilijan's most attractive natural sites, as well as the Monastery of Goshavank, established by Mkhitar Gosh, the famous scientist and author of medieval Armenia. Continue on to the small town of Dilijan.

B&B Armenia
Breakfast

DAY 17: DILIJAN - LAKE SEVAN - SELIM PASS - KARAHUNJ - GORIS

DAY 17: DILIJAN - LAKE SEVAN - SELIM PASS - KARAHUNJ - GORIS

Driving to the south of the country today will take you past Lake Sevan, visit a medieval field of Khochkors and the Sevan Monastery out on a peninsular in the lake. Drive over the 2400m Selim Pass, home to an old caravanserai, one of the few remaining reminders of Armenia's part in the Silk Road. Before reaching Goris you can visit Karahunj, an ancient star gazing circle of stones. 

Mirhav Hotel
Breakfast

DAY 18: GORIS - TATEV - ARENI - YEREVAN

DAY 18: GORIS - TATEV - ARENI - YEREVAN

This morning visit the beautifully located Tatev Monastery, a former centre for the arts and sciences which stood as a bastion of culture and learning for centuries. Continue on to Areni, where you will visit a family-owned winery that has been growing and producing wine for over 40 years using the endemic Areni grape. Tour the vineyard and try three varieties of wine in the unique ‘Wine Cube’, set within the vineyards. The wine will be paired with a traditional lunch and there is also the option to try making your very own khatchkars, before driving on to Yerevan for the evening.

Tufenkian Historic Yerevan Hotel
Breakfast, Lunch

DAY 19: YEREVAN: HISTORICAL SIGHTS AND ETCHMIADZIN EXCURSION

DAY 19: YEREVAN: HISTORICAL SIGHTS AND ETCHMIADZIN EXCURSION

This morning you explore Etchmiadzin, the spiritual heart of the Armenian Apostolic Church. In 301 Armenia was the first country in the world to adopt Christianity as its state religion, and in 303 the first church was built on the site of Etchmiadzin. This afternoon is dedicated to the Armenian capital, a city whose history stretches back to before the founding of Rome. See, among other things, the Matenadaran Manuscripts Museum - a huge depository of ancient manuscripts, the Memorial of the 1915 genocide, and the old Urartian Fortress of Erebuni, the first capital of Armenia. The Blue Mosque makes an interesting visit in this Christian country and the doors to the brandy distillery are open to all visitors interested in trying for themselves this popular local tipple, famous for being Winston Churchill’s favourite drink.

Tufenkian Historic Yerevan Hotel
Breakfast

DAY 20: YEREVAN: GARNI AND GEGHARD EXCURSION

DAY 20: YEREVAN: GARNI AND GEGHARD EXCURSION

Your final day of explorations will first take you through a scenic route into the mountains to visit the pagan temple of Garni, dating back to the 1st century AD. Here you will meet a duduk musician who will give you a beautiful performance within the atmospheric Garni temple and tell you more about Armenia’s national instrument, called “duduk”. Continue to Geghard Cave Monastery, which consists of the "Mother of God" Cathedral and two chapels carved deep into the rock. Complete the morning with a bread making masterclass in the company of a local expert who will teach you about Armenia’s national bread, called “lavash”.  

Tufenkian Historic Yerevan Hotel
Breakfast, Lunch

DAY 21: DEPART YEREVAN

DAY 21: DEPART YEREVAN

Today you will be collected from your hotel and transferred to the airport in time for your onward flight.  

Tufenkian Historic Yerevan Hotel
Breakfast

SUGGESTED ACCOMMODATION

Premium

Excellent standards without the big price tag

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

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

Simple

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

Luxury

Outstanding service and facilities, giving you the 5* experience

Accommodation listed here is intended as a guide only, to give you a taste of what we can do. Our experts can tailor any aspect of this itinerary and accommodation to suit your budget and tastes.

GUIDELINE PRICE & WHAT’S INCLUDED

COMPLETE CAUCASUS (21 DAYS) $6,251

MEALS

As specified in the itinerary, sampling some of the country's finest cuisine.

TRANSPORT

Private air-conditioned vehicles with experienced, dedicated drivers.

ENTRANCE FEES

Tours and admission fees, including tickets specified in the itinerary.

EXPERT TEAM

Licensed English-speaking guides and a support team available 24/7.

ACCOMMODATION

As specified in the itinerary, using some of our favourite local properties.

ACCOMMODATION

Ultra - The best of the best, the ultimate indulgence
Luxury - Outstanding service and facilities, giving you the 5* experience
Premium - Excellent standards offering a higher-end experience
Superior - Good quality service and overall comfort
Simple - No frills, basic accommodation, but often in the most exciting of places

CARBON CONTRIBUTIONS

If you book international flights through Wild Frontiers.

This itinerary is aimed to give you an idea of what we can offer. The price shown above is based on two people travelling outside of peak periods. As this itinerary is only a suggestion and can be tailor-made to suit your interests and budget, your final price may differ.

START PLANNING YOUR TRIP

Our team of experts have a wealth of knowledge and experience to help you plan your adventure of a lifetime.

WHEN TO GO

WHY WILD FRONTIERS?

Meet the expert, Natalie

Natalie is our Causcaus expert, who has travelled extensively in the region.

Speak to Natalie by calling
+44 (0)20 3944 6258

Armenia has such a wonderful feel to it; a resilient, charming and peaceful country with plenty of activities to interact with locals - their welcome and warmth will definitely make your trip

OTHER ITINERARIES IN ARMENIA