Days
17
Price from
$3,825USD

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

"The mountains sing. Their hoary peaks, in their snow-white fur hats, carry on a conversation among themselves. They are laconic witnesses of time long past. Even the stones here speak.The Caucasus - this lovely territory, with its ancient culture, rich history, that has, from time immemorial, drawn the attention of thinkers, historians, students of local lore, travellers to it, like a magnet." Oleg Shamba.

TRIP CHANGES FOR 2017:
From 1st January 2017 this trip will change to 15 days in length. The locations and destinations visited will be altered slightly for 2017 in order to decrease the overall amount of time travelling each day and reduce the number of single night stays. We will spend less time in Yerevan and no longer overnight in Kutaisi or Goris, instead we will include overnight stays in Kvareli & Dilijan. Further details will be available in the coming months.
The itinerary will be as below:
1 Baku
2 Baku
3 Baku
4 Sheki
5 Sheki/Kvareli
6 Tbilisi
7 Tbilisi
8 Akhaltsikhe
9 Akhaltsikhe
10 Gudauri
11 Gudauri
12 Dilijan
13 Yerevan
14 Yerevan
15 Depart

The new code and name for this tour will be PCAA Explore Azerbaijan, Georgia & Armenia, this trip is now live on the website please refer to PCAA in search field and you can read in full detail the 2017 itinerary.


Start
Baku, Azerbaijan
Finish
Yerevan, Armenia
Countries
Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia
Style
Peregrine
Theme
Explorer
Code
PCAG
Physical rating
Traveller’s rating
22 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 as you're invited into a local home to share a traditional meal, before sampling Georgian wine from clay jars during a winemaking demonstration

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

  • Explore the city of Yerevan in Armenia with a local guide 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

Salam eleykim! Welcome to Azerbaijan. On arrival at Baku Airport you'll be met by one of our representatives and transferred to your hotel, (approximately 40 minute drive). Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6 pm this evening, followed by a group dinner. Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask reception where it will take place. If you can't arrange a flight that will arrive in time, you may wish to arrive a day early so you're able to attend. We'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability). If you're going to be late, please inform the hotel reception. 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
  • Central Park Hotel or similar (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Dinner
Azerbaijan's capital is a cosmopolitan oasis of East meets West and old meets new. Begin the day with a guided walk around Baku's World Heritage-listed Old City, visiting Shemakha Gate, the Palace of the Shirvanshahs, Maiden Tower, Caravanserai, the old market square and the Carpet Museum. There'll be plenty of opportunities to enjoy panoramic views of the city. Next, take a drive down the Absheron Peninsula, stopping by the Ateshgah Fire Temple, Mardakan medieval fortress and Yanar Dag Fire Mountain, a natural gas fire which burns continuously on a hillside. Afterwards, return to Baku for the evening.

Total driving distance is 100km, approximately 2 hours driving.
Accommodation
  • Central Park Hotel or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Baku - Old City Walking Tour
  • Baku - Maiden's Tower
  • Baku - Shirvan Shah Palace
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Today take a drive to Qobustan. 60 kilometres south of Baku, this is a popular day trip from the city. On arrival into Qobustan National Park, visit the one site museum and then climb the hill to the 6,000 UNESCO World Heritage-listed rock engravings. The prehistoric carvings, which are thought to be between 5,000 and 40,000 years old, depict scenes of hunting, fishing and gathering. .

Total driving distance is 130km, approximately 2 hours driving time.
Accommodation
  • Central Park Hotel or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Qobustan - Petroglyphs
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Today will be a full and fascinating day. Leave Baku behind and head for the Caucasus Mountains in the northwest of Azerbaijan. Along the way, as arid landscape give way to densely forested mountains, you'll visit an active mud volcano site to the side of the highway, the Diri Baba shrine in Maraza, the Yeddi Gumbez Tomb and the Juma Mosque in Shemakha. On arrival into Sheki, stop at a local craft workshop where the famous ‘shebeke’ (stained-glass windows with intricately carved frames) are made by hand. The group will also drop in to the well-known Sheki Khan’s Palace, where you'll be able to see its magnificent frescoes and stained glass. Tonight will be spent in Sheki.

Total driving distance today is 340km, approximately 7 hours driving time.
Accommodation
  • Olympic Hotel or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Sheki - Mud volcano
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. .
This morning you have the opportunity to visit a traditional bazaar. From here, drive towards Azerbaijan's border with Georgia, where you'll bid farewell to your Azeri leader and meet your new Georgian one. You'll also be changing vehicles at this point.

Enjoy a rare and intimate experience as you stop at a local’s house for a lunch, where you'll indulge in traditional homemade food and wine. Next, continue to another village where you'll visit a farmer’s house and see a unique old wine cellar. Here you'll become acquainted with the Georgian method of winemaking, which is quite different to the European method, and drink typical Georgian wine straight from clay jars. Afterwards, continue on your way to Tbilisi, where you'll spend the night. 

Total driving distance today is 300km, approximately 4-5 hours driving time.
Accommodation
  • Citadines Apartment Hotel or similar (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Tbilisi - Anchiskhati Church - Free
  • Tbilisi - Metekhi Church - Free
  • Tbilisi - Orbeliani Bath House (Price differs on the service you require *Bath or Massage*) - Free
  • Tbilisi - Narikala Fortress - Free
  • Tbilisi - Sioni Cathedral - Free
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Take a sightseeing tour of Tbilisi this morning, which includes a walk through the fascinating Old Town. Here you will find a myriad of different religious buildings – churches, synagogues, mosques – as well as 19th-century houses with colourful wooden balconies. Your leader will take you on a journey back through the city's history, from the earliest centuries of its existence to the present-day.

You will also visit the famous sulfur baths, which made a deep impression on writers such as Alexander Pushkin, Mikhail Lermontov and Alexandre Dumas. Enjoy a panoramic view of the Old Town before seeing the stunning treasures of the Georgian National Museum (closed on Mondays). Finally, take a stroll along Rustaveli Avenue – the main street in Tbilisi. In the evening, you are free to explore and relax.

Total walking time today will be approximately 3-4 hours.
Accommodation
  • Citadines Apartment Hotel or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Tbilisi - National History Museum
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Today visit Mtskheta, the 3,000-year-old ancient capital and religious centre of Georgia. Here you will see historical sights such as the 6th-century Jvari Church and the 11th-century Svetitskhoveli Cathedral, where the robe of Christ is reportedly buried. Both Jvari and Svetitskhoveli are World Heritage-listed. Continue up the famous Georgian Military Highway, which heads towards the country's border with Russia. Along the way, stop in at the 17th-century Ananuri architectural complex, two historic churches and a fortress overlooking the Zhinvali water reservoir. This scenic drive will take you right into the heart of the high Caucasus Mountains to Gudauri, where you'll spend the next two nights.

Total driving distance today will be 115km, approximately 2.5 hours driving time.
Accommodation
  • Gudauri Marco polo Hotel or similar (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
In the morning, embark on a stunning drive along the Tergi River to Kazbegi, the main town in the region. In Kazbegi, enjoy a leisurely two-hour walk through beautiful valleys and woodlands to the Gergeti Trinity Church, which is located 2,170 metres above sea level. A 4WD vehicle can be hired (optional and at an extra cost) to transport those who are unable or unwilling to do the walk. Weather permitting, you may be able to catch a glimpse of one of the highest glaciers in the Caucasus – Mt Kazbegi.

Afterwards, walk back to town before getting back in the vehicle for the return drive to Gudauri, visiting a local art studio on the way. Here you will see how traditional 'Teqa' felt is made, and try some delicious homemade jam.

Total driving distance today is 75km, approximately 1.2 hours driving time.
Accommodation
  • Gudauri Marco polo Hotel or similar (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
Your journey continues today to the town of Gori, located in the heart of the Kartli region. As Gori was the birthplace of Joseph Stalin, you'll have the opportunity to stop in at the Stalin Museum. Next, explore Uplistsikhe cave city, which dates back to 1,000 BC and was once a stop along the Great Silk Road. Here you can see remnants of an ancient complex, with old dwelling quarters, wine-cellars, bakeries, a theatre and a three-nave basilica church hewn out of rock.

Afterwards, drive on to the Imereti region of west Georgia. With its cool springs, green fields and gardens, the area is very different to Kartli province. Visit the pretty and historic town of Kutaisi, which dates back 3,000 years.

Total driving distance is 300km, approximately 5 hours driving time.
Accommodation
  • Discovery Hotel or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Gori - Stalin Museum
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
This morning after a visit to a local farmer's market, head to the historical site of Kutaisi. The 12th-century Gelati Cathedral is one of the earliest academies in Europe and a UNESCO World Heritage-listed site.
Afterwards, discover the beauty of a natural grotto, which is full of stalagmites and stalactites. Continue on to Akhaltsikhe to spend the night. 

Total driving distance 180km, approximately 5 hours driving time.
Accommodation
  • Lomsia Hotel or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Kutaisi - Bagrati Cathedral and Gelati Monastery
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Travel to Vardzia today, stopping at the 11th-century Khertvisi Fortress along the way. Stretching for over half a kilometre along the Mtkvari River and consisting of 19 tiers, the magnificent 12th-century cave town of Vardzia is sure to be one of the highlights of your trip. There were once about 3,000 caves here, as well as a church hewn into the rock. The complex includes dwelling quarters, small hall-type churches, refectories, wine cellars, a pharmacy and more. After your visit, continue towards the Georgia-Armenia border at Bavra, where you say goodbye to your Georgian leader and meet your new Armenian guide. Continue on to Yerevan to spend the night.

Total driving distance 335km, approximately 6 hours driving time.

OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES:
Lunch with a local family (near Vardzia) with delicious skewered fried fish – 15USD p/p
Accommodation
  • Ani Plaza Hotel or similar (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Today embark upon a short walking tour around Yerevan. Established in 782 BC, Armenia’s capital is one of the oldest cities in the world. You'll see the monument celebrating the 50th anniversary of Soviet Armenia, Republic Square and the Statue of Mother Armenia. If time permits, you might also like to visit the Military Museum or the Matendaran and Tsitsernakaberd memorials.

Afterwards, head to the Echmiadzin Cathedral, which is known as the spiritual centre of the Armenian Apostolic Church. Next, visit the ruins of the Zvartnots Temple, a 7th-century UNESCO listed site. Zvartnots is an outstanding example of ancient artistic and engineering ingenuity.

Total driving distance 110km, approximately 2 hours driving time.
Accommodation
  • Ani Plaza Hotel or similar (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
After breakfast today, take a drive through villages and vineyards, enjoy amazing views of the biblical Mt. Ararat. Your first stop is Khor Virap monastery near the border of Turkey. Enjoy a sightseeing tour of the monastery, which is situated on top of a hill amidst stunning scenery. Pilgrims come from all over the world to visit. Afterwards, head to Areni village, where you'll visit a local Armenian Winery. Continue on to Noravank Monastery. Wedged into a tall, brick-red gorge, Noravank was an important cultural centre in the 13th century. Finally, drive to Goris - a small city nestled in a bowl of green hills and mountains. You'll spend the night here.

Total driving distance 270km, approximately 5 hours driving time.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Today explore Goris. Take a tour of Khndzoresk (also known as Cave Village), a village and rural community wedged into the side of a mountain. Unable to construct houses on the slopes, the local people have used natural and man-made caves as their homes.

Continue on to the monastic complex of Tatev, an architectural masterpiece dating from the 10th century and often referred to as the monastery 'built on the edge of nothing'. You'll reach the monastery via the world's longest aerial tramway - the “Wings of Tatev”. Afterwards, head back to Yerevan for the night.

Total driving distance 310km, approximately 5 and a half hours driving time.
Accommodation
  • Ani Plaza Hotel or similar (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Today it's an early departure to the citadel of Garni. Garni hails from the Hellenistic period and is an impressive example of ancient Armenian architecture. The Armenian King Tiridates built it in the first century AD, most likely as a dedication to the heathen god of the sun - Mithra. Higher up the gorge of the Azat River is the World Heritage-listed Geghard Monastery, which is partly carved out of a mountain.

In Garni, perhaps choose to enjoy lunch at a house and watch locals prepare traditional “lavash” bread and barbecue in an underground stove called a “tonir”. The cost for this optional activity is 16 USD per person.

Afterwards, continue to Lake Sevan, which is the second largest alpine lake in the world. After some photo stops and sightseeing along the peninsula, return to Yerevan for the night.

Total driving distance 220km, approximately 4 hours driving time.
Accommodation
  • Ani Plaza Hotel or similar (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
This morning drive to the ruins of Amberd Fortress. Translating to "fortress in the clouds", Amberd used to be one of the Armenian Kingdom's primary military-defensive points.  On the way you'll stop at the “Monument of the Armenian Alphabet”, built in 2005 to honour the creation of Armenian letters. After driving back to Yerevan, visit a market to sample some delicious traditional fare. The rest of the day is free to explore the city in your own time.

Total driving distance 110km, approximately 2 and a half hours driving time.
Accommodation
  • Ani Plaza Hotel or similar (1 night)
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

16 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 3 dinners

Transport

Private Bus, Metro

Accommodation

Hotel (16 nights)

Included Activities

  • Baku - Old City Walking Tour
  • Baku - Maiden's Tower
  • Baku - Shirvan Shah Palace
  • Qobustan - Petroglyphs
  • Sheki - Mud volcano
  • Tbilisi - National History Museum
  • Gori - Stalin Museum
  • Kutaisi - Bagrati Cathedral and Gelati Monastery

Reviews

Our Azerbaijan, Georgia & Armenia trips score an average of 4.14 out of 5 based on 22 reviews in the last year.

Azerbaijan, Georgia & Armenia, October 2016

Carmelia Wall

Azerbaijan, Georgia & Armenia, October 2016

michael roberts

Dates & availability

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Important notes

1. An arrival transfer is included.
2. 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.
3. The Azerbaijan E-Visa is included in the trip cost.
4. For the duration of this trip you will have three local guides, one in each country.
5. In the case of a genuine crisis or emergency, Peregrine's local operator Visit Georgia can be reached on: +995 593 99 69 68 and/or +995 599 55 89 98.
6. Please make sure you have access to an additional US$500, to be used when unforeseen incidents or circumstances outside our control (eg. a natural disaster, civil unrest or an outbreak of bird flu) necessitate a change to our planned route.
7. The Azerbaijan Ministry of Foreign Affairs requires that all travel arrangements in Azerbaijan be booked through the same provider. In order for us to process your Azerbaijan E-visa all additional accommodation must be booked through Peregrine Adventures.
8. High altitudes may be experienced during this trip of up to 2395m above sea level.
9. Please note a Formula 1 will be held in Baku on 16-21 June 2016 and the central part of the city will be blocked during the event. During this time we will use alternative roads and the group will need to walk more.

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.