Days
15
Price from
£2,020GBP

From Baku to Yerevan, step off the tourist trail in the Caucasus Mountains.

Watch arid landscapes give way to verdant hillsides and majestic snow-capped mountains on this eye opening adventure through Azerbaijan, Georgia and Armenia. Explore a land where the walls speak of centuries of rich history, where ancient traditions intersect with a modern way of life. Journey through forests and past tall mountain peaks to find medieval mosques and villages. Wander through cosmopolitan Baku and Tbilisi, and make friends with the friendly Georgian locals over a glass of Qvevri wine.

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Terms & Conditions

Start
Baku, Azerbaijan
Finish
Yerevan, Armenia
Countries
Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia
Style
Peregrine
Code
PCAA
Physical rating
Traveller’s rating
4 reviews
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1, Max 16

Why we love this trip

  • Azerbaijan's cosmopolitan capital of Baku is often referred to as the 'new Dubai'. Enjoy a guided walking tour around the city's World Heritage-listed Old Town

  • Mud volcanoes, ancient mosques, lush forests and tall peaks – the Caucasus Mountains will take your breath away

  • Experience Georgian hospitality with an invitation into a local home to share a traditional meal, before sampling Georgian wine at a winery

  • See the historical sights of Mtskheta, Georgia's 3,000-year old ancient capital and religious centre

  • Explore the city of Yerevan in Armenia and gaze at the majestic Mt Ararat

Is this trip right for you?

  • There are some long travel days on this adventure. While tiring, this is a great opportunity to get to know your fellow travellers and enjoy the passing scenery.

  • As we don't want you to miss anything, the itinerary is densely packed, so you'll be busy. There will, however, be plenty of free time and opportunity for independent exploration.

  • On some days, there is a lot of walking between sights and around towns and cities. While it can be tiring to be on your feet, this is the best way to see a destination. Make sure you bring comfortable walking shoes with good support.

  • This trip has a strong historical focus. Anyone with an interest in the Caucasus region and history will really enjoy it.

Itinerary

This itinerary is valid for departures from 01 January 2017 to 31 December 2017. View the itinerary for departures between 01 January 2018 - 31 December 2018

Salam eleykim! Welcome to Azerbaijan. On arrival at Baku Airport you'll be met by a representative and transferred to your hotel (approximately a 40 minute drive). The adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6pm in the evening, followed by a group dinner. Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask reception where it will take place. We'll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so please ensure you have all these details to provide to your leader.
Accommodation
  • Sapphire Inn or similar (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Dinner
Get to know Baku with a tour of the city, taking in a visit to the Old City, including time at Shemakha gate, Shirvanshahs` Palace, Maiden Tower, Old Market Square and the Carpet Museum. Bring your camera as there will be panoramic views of Baku's skyline to enjoy from the lookout point. Afterwards head out on a tour of the Absheron Peninsula, visiting the Ateshgah fire temple, Mardakan medieval fortress and the eternally burning Yanardagh fire mountain. Return to Baku in the evening.
Accommodation
  • Sapphire Inn or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Baku - Maiden's Tower
  • Baku - Shirvan Shah Palace
  • Baku - Carpet Museum
  • Baku - Caravanserai
  • Baku - Absheron Peninsula Tour
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Enjoy a day trip to Qobustan, located around 60 kilometres south of Baku. Visit one of the world's largest open-air archaeological museums and wander past ancient rock art dating back 40,000 years. The prehistoric carvings depict scenes of hunting, fishing and gathering. There will also be an opportunity to see the on-site archaeological museum before returning to Baku.
Accommodation
  • Sapphire Inn or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Qobustan - Petroglyphs
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Today depart Baku and head for the Caucasus Mountains in the northwest of Azerbaijan. Watch arid landscapes slowly give way to densely forested mountains. En route to Sheki there will be stops at an active mud volcano, the Diri Baba shrine in Maraza, the Yeddi Gumbez Tomb, and the Juma Mosque in Shemakha. We also stop in to visit a family to see how they make yoghurt the traditional way and enjoy some local snacks.

On arrival in Sheki, visit a local craft workshop where the famous ‘shebeke’ – stained-glass windows with intricately carved frames – are made by hand. You will also visit the well-known Sheki Khan’s Palace to see its magnificent frescoes and stained glass. Tonight will be spent in Sheki.
Accommodation
  • Sheki Saray Hotel or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Sheki - Mud volcano
  • Sheki - Khan's Palace
  • Sheki - Craft Workshop Visit
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
Please note that the mud volcanos are not accessible in foggy or wet weather and will only be included if road conditions are suitable.
Have breakfast at the hotel before driving to Lagodehki - the Azerbaijan-Georgia border town. Visit a local bazaar and then change leader and transportation. From here travel to Georgia's Kakheti region, famous for its wine making and welcoming hospitality. There will be a visit to the Gremi Architectural Complex and its museum, followed by lunch with a local family, which includes delicious homemade cuisine and wine. In the afternoon, continue to a winery and sample different kinds of famous Georgian wines. Listen to unique Georgian polyphonic songs, a traditional style of music prevalent in the Kakheti region. Afterwards, travel on to our accommodation in Kvareli.

Our stunning hotel this evening is located in a picturesque area on the bank of Ilia Lake, between the Kvareli Mountains and the Duruji River and has a castle like exterior. It offers an outdoor swimming pool with beautiful views of the lake and free Wi-Fi. Rooms feature lake or mountain views.
Included Activities
  • Sheki - Bazaar
  • Gremi - Architectural Complex (Closed Mondays)
  • Kvareli - Lunch with a Local Family
  • Kvareli - Winery Visit
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Following breakfast, journey to the beautiful 18th-century town of Sighnaghi, known for its quaint stone walls, small houses with terracotta roofs and decorated balconies. After some time to admire the picturesque views of Alazani Valley and Great Caucasus mountains, depart for Tbilisi and explore the capital of Georgia. Wander the old districts of the city, which are structured like terraces, and walk through the narrow streets to appreciate the colourful houses, patterned balconies and revamped modern architecture. Get to know the city on a walk beginning from the 13th-century Metekhi church, with its magnificent views over old Tbilisi, before visiting the main sights of the city. In the afternoon enjoy some free time.
Accommodation
  • Citadines Freedom Square Tbilisi or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Tbilisi - Old Town Walking Tour
  • Sighnaghi - Town Stopover
Optional Activities
  • Tbilisi - Anchiskhati Church - Free
  • Tbilisi - Sioni Cathedral - Free
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Enjoy panoramic views of the whole town and through the ancient Narikala fortress, then head to the historical domed sulphur bath area. Visit the stunning treasury of the Golden Fund at the historical museum (closed on Mondays), which will prove that Georgia is truly the land of the Golden Fleece. From here visit a local art studio and become acquainted with Georgian cloisonne enamel, also known as Minanqari, and see how it is made. Enjoy an afternoon of free time. 
Accommodation
  • Citadines Freedom Square Tbilisi or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Tbilisi - National History Museum
  • Tbilisi - Narikala Fortress
  • Tbilisi - Enamel Workshop
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
If Day 7 of your tour coincides with the museum closure this activity will take place on another day.
Today visit Mtskheta, the ancient capital and religious center of Georgia. See UNESCO Heritage Sites such as the 6th century Jvari Monastery and the impressive Svetitskhoveli Cathedral, where the Robe of Christ is purported to be buried. Afterwards, visit a wine cellar in the village of Chardakhi and taste unique wines, produced using traditional Georgian methods. Meet the owners of the winer cellar over a delicious lunch with freshly baked bread and "Qvevri" wines. In the afternoon, drive to the south western part of Georgia and visit Borjomi Spa town, famous for its mineral water "Borjomi". Spend the night in Akhaltsikhe.
Included Activities
  • Sighnaghi - Georgian Wine Tasting & Home Cooked Lunch
  • Mtskheta - Svetitskhoveli Cathedral
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Today drive to the the magnificent cave town of Vardzia, which stretches over half a kilometer along the river Mtkvari and has 19 tiers of winding cobbled streets. There is a church hewn out in rock with amazing 12th century frescos, and the complex also includes dwellings quarters, small hall-type churches, refectories and wine cellars. En route to Vardzia you'll also visit the 10th century Khertvisi fortress. In the afternoon return to Akhaltsikhe and visit the multicultural complex of Rabat (closed on Mondays).
Included Activities
  • Akhaltsikhe - Rabat Fortress
  • Meskheti - Khertvisi Fortress
  • Vardzia - Cave Town
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
Special Information
Visiting Vardzia involves a 30 mins walk up to the complex. Those who choose not to talk can hire local transport for a small amount each way (paid locally).
In the morning visit the town of Gori, home to the Stalin Museum, and historical Uplistsikhe Cave Town. Uplistsikhe is the place where the Great Silk Road used to pass. This is an old and interesting complex with dwelling quarters, wine-cellars, bakeries, a three-nave basilica church hewn out in rock and even a theatre. Afterwards, drive up the famous Georgian Military Highway (leading to the Georgian-Russian border). On the way you'll visit the Ananuri architectural complex – two churches and a fortress that overlook the Zhinvali water reservoir. The carvings on the churches are one of the best surviving examples of Georgian art. Enjoy a scenic drive through the Caucasus Mountains.
Accommodation
  • Marco Polo Hotel or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Gori - Stalin Museum
  • Uplistsikhe - Cave Complex
  • Ananuri - Architectural Complex
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
Enjoy a stunning drive from Gudauri along the Tergi River before arriving in Kazbegi. From here it's a leisurely 2 hour walk each way through beautiful valleys and woodlands to Gergeti Trinity Church, located at 2170 metres above sea level. If the weather is good it's possible to catch a glimpse of Mt Kazbegi, one of the highest glaciers in the Caucasus. Return to Kazbegi and then drive deep into the mountains through spectacular Sno Valley, where the exotic small village of Juta awaits. Surrounded by verdant mountains, it's completely cut off from the whole country six months of the year. Ancient ways of life survive here, and visiting the village is a truly unforgettable experience. Meet a local family and learn about their way of life over some tea and honey. Return to Gudauri.
Accommodation
  • Marco Polo Hotel or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Kazbegi - Gergeti Trinity Church Hike
  • Juta Village - Visit Local Family
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
Special Information
A 4WD vehicle can be hired (optional and at an extra cost paid on ground) to transport those who are unable to do the hike today. The hike involves changes in elevation of up to 470m.
Enjoy a final breakfast in Gudauri before driving to Sadakhlo, a town at the Georgia-Armenia border. Here the group will change leaders and transportation. Begin the Armenian leg of your adventure with a visit to Haghpat monastery, which is listed as a World Cultural Heritage Site by UNESCO. Haghpat stands as an example of one of the most outstanding works of medieval Armenian architecture. Later, travel to the medieval monastery of Goshavank, comfortably nestled between two hills near the banks of the Getik River. The monastery was the educational, spiritual and crafts center in medieval Armenia and is named after the celebrated Armenian scientist, author and lawgiver Mkhitar Gosh. Afterwards, continue on to the picturesque town of Dilijan, often refered to as the “Little Switzerland of Armenia’’. Dilijan's central Sharambeyan Street has been preserved and maintained as a charming "old town", complete with craftsman`s workshops, a gallery and a museum. Stay overnight at a hotel in Dilijan.
Included Activities
  • Gosh - Goshavank Monastery
  • Haghpat - Haghpat Monastery
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
After breakfast drive to the reflective waters of Lake Sevan, nicknamed “The Pearl of Armenia”. Sevan is one of the largest fresh-water high-altitude lakes in the world. Visit the romantic Sevanavank Monastery, which overlooks the water on the Peninsula. Move on to the village of Garni to visit the 1st century Garni Temple, built by the Armenian King Tiridates and dedicated to Mithra, the God of the Sun. Travel northeast of Garni, higher up the gorge of the Azat River, where there is a magnificent Geghard monastery. The UNESCO World Heritage Site is partly carved out of a mountain and surrounded by cliffs. In the afternoon, drive to the capital city of Armenia, Yerevan. Stay overnight at a hotel in Yerevan.
Accommodation
  • Ani Plaza Hotel or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Geghard Monastery - UNESCO World Heritage site
  • Lake Sevan - Sevanavank Monastery
  • Lake Sevan - Sightseeing Trip
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
After breakfast, become familiar with the streets of Yerevan on a guided city tour. Established in 782 BC, Armenia’s capital is one of the oldest cities in the world. Nowadays it's a lively city, where ancient culture is mixed with a modern lifestyle. Visit the Matenadaran, a depository of ancient manuscripts that contains historical documents from all over Europe and Asia. The building also holds the first copy of the Bible in Armenian. In the afternoon, depart for Echmiadzin, the spiritual center for all Armenians. The legend goes that the Echmiadzin Cathedral was designated in a vision where Christ came to Earth and struck the plains with a golden hammer. Return to Yerevan with a stop at the ruins of Zvartnots Temple, a stunning example of 7th century Armenian architecture. Return to the capital.
Accommodation
  • Ani Plaza Hotel or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Yerevan - City Tour
  • Vagarshapat - Echmiadzin Cathedral
  • Armavir - Zvartnots Temple
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Today your adventure comes to an end after breakfast. There are no activities included on this day and you are free to leave at any time.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast

Meals

14 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 6 dinners

Transport

Private Bus, Metro

Accommodation

Hotel (14 nights)

Included Activities

  • Baku - Maiden's Tower
  • Baku - Shirvan Shah Palace
  • Baku - Carpet Museum
  • Baku - Caravanserai
  • Baku - Absheron Peninsula Tour
  • Qobustan - Petroglyphs
  • Sheki - Mud volcano
  • Sheki - Khan's Palace
  • Sheki - Craft Workshop Visit
  • Sheki - Bazaar
  • Gremi - Architectural Complex (Closed Mondays)
  • Kvareli - Lunch with a Local Family
  • Kvareli - Winery Visit
  • Tbilisi - Old Town Walking Tour
  • Sighnaghi - Town Stopover
  • Tbilisi - National History Museum
  • Tbilisi - Narikala Fortress
  • Tbilisi - Enamel Workshop
  • Sighnaghi - Georgian Wine Tasting & Home Cooked Lunch
  • Mtskheta - Svetitskhoveli Cathedral
  • Akhaltsikhe - Rabat Fortress
  • Meskheti - Khertvisi Fortress
  • Vardzia - Cave Town
  • Gori - Stalin Museum
  • Uplistsikhe - Cave Complex
  • Ananuri - Architectural Complex
  • Kazbegi - Gergeti Trinity Church Hike
  • Juta Village - Visit Local Family
  • Gosh - Goshavank Monastery
  • Haghpat - Haghpat Monastery
  • Geghard Monastery - UNESCO World Heritage site
  • Lake Sevan - Sevanavank Monastery
  • Lake Sevan - Sightseeing Trip
  • Yerevan - City Tour
  • Vagarshapat - Echmiadzin Cathedral
  • Armavir - Zvartnots Temple

Reviews

Our Explore Azerbaijan, Georgia & Armenia trips score an average of 4.5 out of 5 based on 4 reviews in the last year.

Explore Azerbaijan, Georgia & Armenia, May 2017

David Bowden

Explore Azerbaijan, Georgia & Armenia, May 2017

therese hinder

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Important notes

1. An arrival transfer is included. Please provide your flight details to your booking agent no later than 14 days prior to travel.
2. A Single Supplement is available on this trip.
3. Gratuities included for the essential services only that you will receive as part of your tour package. Please see our Tipping section of these trip notes for more information.
4. Please always check 'passport and visas' for more details on visa application on this trip, though we always advise you to check with your nearest consulate for the most up to date visa information.
5. For the duration of this trip you will have three local guides, one in each country.

Essential trip information

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Essential Trip Information provides a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what's included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.