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Caucasus Discovered

Categories:

  • Holidays
  • Asia
  • Asia (other)

Price:

From $3,030

Stay:

15 nights

Travel Dates:

Tuesday 31st of March 2020 until Tuesday 6th of July 2021

Description:

Caucasus Discovered - 16 Days / 15 Nights - from $3030* per person (with On The Go Tours).

Cross the Caucasus from Georgia to Azerbaijan on this 16 day overland adventure which starts in Tbilisi and ends in Baku. Discover the incredible Vardzia Cave Monastery, the lush scenery of Stepantsminda and the bubbling mud volcanoes of Gobustan. Stay in a Silk Road caravanserai in Sheki and take in the highlights of Armenia including Lake Sevan and ancient Yerevan.

Itinerary:

Day 1

Welcome to Tbilisi!

Welcome to Georgia and its charming capital of Tbilisi! Make your own way to our joining hotel where there’s a pre-departure Welcome Meeting at 6pm. The evening is free to explore the city as you please. 
Overnight: Tbilisi

Day 2

Terrific Tbilisi

Today we explore Tbilisi. Wander through the charming Old Town and visit sites including the fascinating National Museum, the Sioni Cathedral and the 12th century Metekhi Temple. The temple once served as a fortress and residence for the Georgian Tsars and has been destroyed and rebuilt several times throughout its history. There’s free time later today if you wish to explore the hilltop Narikala Fortress or join an optional visit to the Museum of Soviet Occupation. 
Overnight: Tbilisi   |  Breakfast

Day 3

Dilijan National Park & Lake Sevan

Tbilisi - Lake Sevan (Armenia). Boarding our overland truck for the first time, we leave Tbilisi behind and drive to the border with Armenia. Pass through the picturesque scenery of Dilijan National Park to shimmering Lake Sevan. Landlocked Armenia’s only beaches are found at the lake, making it a popular summer retreat for Armenians. We’ll spend the night camping on the shore of the lake.
Overnight: Lake Sevan  |  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Days 4-5

Ancient Yerevan

Lake Sevan - Yerevan. Setting off from Lake Sevan on day 4, our first stop is the UNESCO-listed Geghard Monastery, which has been carved out of the rock face of the Azat River Gorge. We continue to the impressive Graeco-Roman Garni Temple before arriving in ancient Yerevan, one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. 

There’s free time to relax or explore Yerevan at leisure during our two night stay here. Perhaps join an optional excursion to the Ararat Brandy Museum. 
Overnight: Yerevan

Day 6

Armenian Highlands

Yerevan - Armenian Highlands. This morning we set off from Yerevan into the stunning scenery of the Armenian Highlands. There’s a stop at the Khor Virap Monastery, near the Turkish border. This important pilgrimage site is set in the shadow of Mt Ararat and on a clear day there will be incredible views of the snow-capped peak. After our visit we’ll continue driving and will find a suitable spot to wild camp tonight. 
Overnight: Armenian Highlands  |  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7

Vardzia Cave Monastery

Armenian Highlands - Vardzia (Georgia). Today we cross back into Georgia and arrive at the incredible Vardzia cave city. First inhabited during the Bronze Age, the network of caves is one of the highlights of the Caucasus. Though the site was mostly abandoned in the 16th century, a handful of monks still reside in the Vardzia Cave Monastery and they ring the bells at 07:00 every morning. 

We’ll either explore the site today or tomorrow, depending on how long it takes to cross the border from Armenia to Georgia. Tonight, we wild camp near to Vardzia. 
Overnight: Vardzia  |  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8

Mtskheta

Vardzia - Mtskheta. We’ll explore Vardzia if we didn’t get the chance yesterday, before continuing to the lush Borjomi National Park. Enjoy a short hike in the ancient forest and opt to ride a cable car up the mountain. Later, we’ll arrive in Mtskheta and visit the 11th century Svetitskhoveli Cathedral.
Overnight: Mtskheta   |  Breakfast, Dinner

Day 9

Stepantsminda

Mtskheta - Stepantsminda. Today we drive to the town of Stepantsminda, nestled in beautiful scenery. During our stay here we’ll enjoy a trek up to the tiny Tsminda Sameba Church, which is hidden away in the rolling hills and mountains of the Georgian Caucasus. There’s an optional cooking class where you can learn how to make delicious Georgian kinkhalis (meatballs). 
Overnight: Stepantsminda   |  Breakfast, Dinner

Days 10-11

Telavi & Wine tasting

Stepantsminda - Telavi. On day 10 we drive to the wine producing region of Telavi. During our stay in the town there’s plenty of time to explore and visit some of the local vineyards. Watch traditions such as grape harvesting in action and enjoy some Georgian hospitality with lunch and wine tasting at a local winery on day 11.
Overnight: Telavi   |  Breakfast x 2, Dinner x 2

Day 12

Lagodekhi National Park

Telavi - Lagodekhi National Park. Leaving Telavi, we head towards the border with Azerbaijan. Stop at the impressive Gremi Citadel before we spend our final night in Georgia wild camping in Lagodekhi National Park. 
Overnight: Lagodekhi NP  |  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 13

Sheki & Caravanserai stay

Lagodekhi National Park - Sheki (Azerbaijan). Today we enter Azerbaijan and drive to the old town of Sheki. Explore the exquisite Khan’s Palace before we arrive at our accommodation for the night. You’re in for a treat as we are staying in a hotel which has been built inside an ancient caravanserai, once an important stopover for weary travellers on the Silk Road. 
Overnight: Sheki (Caravanserai)

Day 14

Lahij Village

Sheki - Lahij. Today we drive to Lahij, an ancient mountain settlement which is famous for its copper and arms production. Explore the site at leisure and camp with facilities tonight. 
Overnight: Lahij  |  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 15

Gobustan & Baku

Lahij - Baku. Today we drive to Gobustan, the region known for its bubbling mud volcanoes and ancient petroglyphs. After exploring this site, we complete the final leg of our overland adventure to Baku, the bustling capital of Azerbaijan. This emerging metropolis is an incredible contrast of the old and new. The discovery of oil has led to huge economic growth and as a result, Baku is an emerging city on the world scene. Take time to explore historic architecture such as the Maiden Tower and admire the glistening skyscrapers which dot the skyline. 
Overnight: Baku

Day 16

Baku

Today our Caucasus adventure comes to an end. If you wish to extend your stay in Baku then speak to our sales team. A number of optional activities are available if you have the time including a guided tour of the Old City.

Departs: Selected departures from 31 Mar 20 to 06 Jul 21.

Conditions: * It is our policy to present the cost of our flights & holidays inclusive of all airport and government charges. Please accept however that these charges are not within our control, therefore we reserve the right to pass on any increase. Travel agent professional service fees where charged, will be additional to the advertised prices.

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