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Georgia - Where Europe meets Asia with Armenia Extension

12 days from £2228.00pp

To book this holiday please contact our Sales Team directly on

0330 160 7700
or

TBILISI, YEREVAN AND THE CAUCASUS MOUNTAINS

Discover the spectacular scenery, fascinating history and welcoming people of one of the world’s most enthralling regions.

At the crossroads of two vast continents, on the route of the great Silk Road and in the shadow of the Caucasus Mountains, Georgia and Armenia are two of the world’s most beautiful countries. Together, they boast an ancient, fascinating history that includes some of the oldest known beginnings of wine making and Christianity, with Armenia the first country on earth to adopt the religion. With a burgeoning tourism infrastructure now bringing 21st-century comforts to their spectacular setting, Georgia and Armenia are fast becoming essential wish-list destinations

What does this price include?

  • 10 nights’ bed and breakfast accommodation at four-star hotels in Tbilisi (4 nights), Gudauri (2) and Yerevan (4)
  • Seven lunches and four dinners
  • Early check-in at your hotel in Tbilisi
  • Outbound flights to Tbilisi (overnight on the way out), returning from Yerevan
  • Coach travel and transfers throughout
  • Fully escorted by a friendly, experienced tour manager

Your Itinerary

View a full breakdown of your holiday to help you plan your trip

  • Fly to Tbilisi’s Rustaveli International Airport.

  • Upon arrival, meet your tour manager and transfer to your welcoming hotel, where breakfast will be served. After the chance to rest and relax – rooms will be available shortly after your arrival, enjoy this afternoon’s guided walking tour of the compact, historic Georgian capital.

    The country’s capital for over 1500 years, Tbilisi sits beneath the vast, imposing Narikala Fortress on a natural spring next to the Mtkvari River, in a dramatic gorge, and for centuries occupied a position as the most important trading centre in the Caucasus, a key stop on the ancient Silk Road. A colourful Old Town, a cosmopolitan mix of cultures and faiths living in harmony and watched over by the statue of founder King Vakhtang Gorgasali, boasts a delightful maze of narrow streets lined with shops, stores and an increasing number of modern bars, cafés and restaurants catering to visitors. Enjoy the tour, which will also include a chair lift-ride to the heights above, to take in the view of the city, and this evening dinner is served at the hotel, accompanied by some traditional Georgian polyphonic singing.

  • Re-board the coach today for the journey west out of the city and into the beautiful, rolling countryside, heading first to ancient Gori, beneath its own imposing fortress, and famed as birthplace of Soviet leader Josef Stalin. A fascinating museum houses over 60,000 exhibits, including the house in which the dictator is said to have been born, and the train in which he travelled.

    You’ll also visit the ancient cave town of Uplistsikhe, where dwellings, some from the 1st century BC, as well as temples and whole streets with houses and merchants’ shops, are hewn from the barren rock. Lunch is included.

    Return to Tbilisi for the evening, to dine at your leisure.

  • Today’s tour heads east to the picture book Alazani valley, overlooked by impossibly pretty hilltop town Sighnaghi, and offering spectacular views of the towering Caucasus beyond. You’ll first pay a visit to the 9th-century Bodbe Monastery, where the remains of Georgia’s Patron Saint, St Nino, are enshrined, before heading to Sighnaghi. This being the centre of the Kakheti wine-growing region, you’ll also enjoy a pleasant lunch and tasting of traditional grown organic wines at a farm cellar, and learn about life in rural Georgia through the ages.

    After a marvellous day, return to Tbilisi for the evening.

  • On a remarkably scenic day, you’ll head north towards the foothills of the mighty Caucasus, pausing first at the former capital of the Georgian kingdom, Mtskheta. The country’s cultural and spiritual home, and cradle of its Orthodox Christianity, riverside Mtskheta stood at the crossroads of the Roman, Persian and Byzantine empires, and boasts sacred Svetiskhoveli cathedral (burial place of kings) and the Jvari Monastery of the Cross among its UNESCO-listed treasures.

    Journeying further north, you’ll pass beneath striking Ananuri castle in its commanding position above the Aragvi River, to arrive in the village Gudauri for an included dinner at your hotel.

  • Continue north to the mountain resort of Stepantsminda, still more commonly known as as Kazbegi, which is surrounded by some of the most beautiful peaks of the Caucasus, including towering Mount Kazbek. Upon arrival, we switch to four-wheel-drive vehicles for the short journey to the hilltop Gergeti, ‘Trinity’ Church, which offers sensational views, on clear days, of the Terek river valley and the towering flanks of Mount Kazbegi.

    A wonderful day ends with a visit to a local artist, for the chance to admire intricate felt work and to taste teas and other delicacies. Dinner is at your hotel this evening.

  • Bidding farewell to your Gudauri hosts, return south to Tbilisi, where a highlight of the day will be lunch at a family owned vineyard en route, accompanied by wine.

  • This morning you’ll transfer to Sadakhlo on the border with Armenia, where you’ll say goodbye to your Georgian guide and hello to your new Armenian guide. Travel through the historic Lori Region, calling at the fascinating Mikoyan Brothers’ Museum and the 10th-century UNESCO­-listed Haghpat Monastery. Enjoy lunch at the mountainous Lake Sevan, known as the Pearl of Armenia, before continuing to capital Yerevan and check-in at your new hotel, followed by an evening at leisure.  

  • Join your tour manager this morning and head into the hills to Garni Temple, Armenia’s only remaining Greco-Roman structure. Originally built in the 1st century, the temple was dedicated to the Mihr, Armenia’s sun god. The temple was severely damaged by an earthquake in the 17th century, before being restored in the 1970s. Continue to the UNESCO¬-listed medieval Geghard Monastery, which is partially carved out of a mountain and dates back to the 12th century. Enjoy a traditional lunch in a local village.

    Return to Yerevan, for a fascinating walking tour of the city, which is notable for its grand Soviet-era architecture, and the Cascade, a giant limestone stairway lined with sculptures and fountains that links the downtown area of the city with the Monument neighbourhood. The tour continues to the Yerevan Brandy Company, famous for distilling Ararat brandy. An included dinner at a local restaurant completes a wonderful day.

  • Head out into the fertile Ararat Valley this morning, to the historic monastery at Khor Virap, where you can enjoy fantastic views of Mount Ararat. Armenia’s patron saint, Gregory the Illuminator, was imprisoned here, before he introduced Christianity as Armenia’s religion in 301, making it the first country on earth to do so. Continue to the Areni-1 Cave, where archaeologists discovered the remains of the world’s oldest winery, dating back to 6,000 BC. Continue to the Noravank Monastery and enjoy lunch at the family-run Old Bridge winery, before returning to Yerevan, where the rest of the day is free to spend at your leisure.

  • Today you’ll learn more about Armenia’s fascinating and sometimes troubled history. Travel first to the nearby UNESCO¬¬-listed Echmiadzin Cathedral, one of the world’s great ancient churches, built and consecrated by Gregory the Illuminator in 303. According to legend, Gregory had a vision of Christ descending from heaven, marking the site where the church was to be built with a golden hammer. Today, Echmiadzin is the seat of the Armenian Apostolic Church, and the country’s religious and spiritual centre. The tour continues to the ruins at Zvartnots, once a 7th-century Catholic cathedral. Enjoy lunch at local restaurant, where you’ll also learn how to make traditional Armenian sweets and pasta.

    Return to Yerevan for an included visit to the sobering Genocide Memorial and Museum, which commemorates the 1.5 million victims of the Armenian Genocide. Perhaps enjoy some souvenir shopping at the flea markets at Vernissage, before spending the final evening of your trip at leisure.

  • Check out of your hotel today and transfer to the airport for your return flight to the UK at the end of a fascinating break.

Dates & Prices

To book this holiday please contact our Sales Team directly on

0330 160 7700
or
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Hotels

Georgia - where Europe meets Asia with Armenia Touring Hotels

You will be staying in three comfortable, conveniently located four-star hotels.

View Hotels

Further Information

  • The transfer time from the airport to your hotel is approximately 35 minutes on arrival in Tbilisi and approximately 30 minutes to Yerevan airport on departure.

  • We sometimes need to combine transfers to and from your hotel. We always try to keep any wait to a minimum, but you may be asked to wait at the airport for up to an hour, while other incoming flights arrive, before the transfer to your hotel. Similarly, we may need to transfer you back to the airport up to three hours before your flight home departs.

  • If you have notified us of any special requirements, please check that they have been noted and acknowledged. This is especially important with any dietary needs you may have.

  • The majority of our tours involve a certain amount of walking, including a short walk from the coach stop to the town, attraction or venue you're visiting. If you are bringing a wheelchair, please let us know at the time of booking so that appropriate arrangements can be made.

  • Occasionally, for operational reasons, we may have to change the order of the excursions on your holiday. The final day-by-day itinerary will be confirmed on your Final Travel Documents, which you will receive approximately three weeks prior to your departure.

  • Should circumstances require, we reserve the right to accommodate you in alternative hotels, of a similar standard, nearby. Full details of your hotels will be sent with your Final Travel Documents.

  • Visit www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice to find out the latest Foreign And Commonwealth Office travel advice for your holiday destination, as well as information about passports and visas.

  • From 1 January 2021, new rules apply on travel within Europe.

    Note that these new rules do NOT apply when travelling within the United Kingdom or to the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man or the Republic of Ireland. You do require government issued ID when travelling by air.

    New rules apply when travelling to European Union countries and Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland. The following are useful guidelines which will help you prepare for your next adventure:

    Passport
    British passport holders need to have at least six months left on their passport and it needs to be less than ten years old.
    These rules do not apply to travel to Ireland where you can continue to use your passport as long as it’s valid for the length of your stay.
    Visa
    If you’re a tourist, you do not need a visa for short trips to most EU countries, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland. You’ll be able to stay for up to 90 days in any rolling 180-day period. Different rules will apply to Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus and Romania; if you visit these countries, visits to other EU countries will not count towards the 90-day total. Travel to Ireland will not change and stays there will not count towards the 90-day total.
    Border Control
    At border control, you may need to show proof of your return journey - your travel documentation issued by us will be sufficient for this. You may also need to use separate lanes from EU, EEA and Swiss citizens when queueing.
    Healthcare Cover
    You should always get appropriate travel insurance with healthcare cover before you go abroad. Your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) will no longer be valid. It’s particularly important you have travel insurance with the right cover if you have a pre-existing medical condition. This is because the EHIC scheme covers pre-existing conditions, while many travel insurance policies do not. You should understand the terms and conditions of your travel insurance and be happy with its cover for healthcare and travel disruption. Newmarket sell a comprehensive travel insurance policy. Ask our travel consultants for more information.
    Mobile Roaming
    From 1 January 2021, the guarantee of free mobile phone roaming throughout the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway will end.
    Check with your phone operator to find out about any roaming charges you might get from 1 January 2021.
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