Arrival: Kutaisi International Airport Departure: Kutaisi International Airport
Arrival to Kutaisi International Airport. Departure to Tbilisi. Transfer to the hotel. Early check in in Tbilisi hotel. Resting time at the hotel. Sightseeing tour around the capital, which includes visits to the following sites: Old & New Tbilisi streets, Narikala Fortress and Metekhi church with panoramic views on Old Tbilisi, ancient churches of Anchiskhati and Sioni, Sulphur Baths district “Abanotubani”, famous Chardin street name after a French Missioner, Piece Bridge, Holy Trinity Cathedral, Freedom Square, and many other places of interest... Departure to Mtskheta city: ancient town of extraordinary importance to the Georgian nation. It was the capital of the eastern Georgian kingdom of Iberia from the 3rd century BC to the 5th century AD. Transfer back to the hotel. Dinner at one of the traditional Georgian restaurant with folk and international songs and dances. (optionlal) Overnight in Tbilisi.
Breakfast at the hotel. Departure to Kazbegi. On the way you will have posibility to visit: Ananuri Architectural Complex and Jinvali Water Reservoir via Georgian Military Highway – only an hour non-stop drive from Tbilisi is needed to dive into harmony of this beauty. We make a stop to see Ananuri Architectural Complex - fortified ensemble, dating from the XVII century, is located on the left bank of river Aragvi, in a magnificent setting at the very shore of Jinvali Water Reservoir. This architectural complex has witnessed several serious battles throughout its history. Arrival to Kazbegi. Visiting Gergeti Trinity Church. Mount Kazbegi It is the third highest mountain in Georgia and the seventh highest peak in the Caucasus Mountains. The summit lies directly to the west of the town of Stepantsminda and is the most prominent geographic feature of the area. Mt. Kazbek is the highest peak of Eastern Georgia. Back to Tbilisi. Dinner at the hotel. Overnight in Tbilisi.
Breakfast at the hotel. Departure to Georgia-Azerbaijan Lagodekhi boarder (with the bus change). Arrival to Sheki, sightseeing tour around the place, which includes visits to the folowing sites: Palace of the Sheki Khans, Karavan –Sarais Ashagi and Ukhari; Gileili and Juma Mosques; Local Museum; Souvenir shops. Departure to Kish village - visits to Church of St. Elesey in Kish village (Albanian Christian Church). Dinner and overnight in Sheki.
Breakfast at the hotel. Departure for the tour around Lahich. Lahich is a notable place in Azerbaijan, with its authentic handicrafts traditions, particularly related to copper. The village's carpet and rug crafts are also well known in Azerbaijan and the South Caucasus. Lahij has an old sewage system (some experts claim that it was built 1000 – 1500 years ago). Due to frequent earthquakes local people have developed sophisticated and authentic construction techniques. Visiting Shamakhi Mosque in Shamakhi village. Construction date of the mosque- 743-744 – relies on research of a geological commission coming from Tiflis, which was led by prince Shahgulu Qajar. This date was defined with Arabic ligature on the facade of the Friday Mosque, stating the year 126 according to Islamic calendar as the establishment year. Arrival to Baku. Overnight in Baku.
Breakfast at the hotel. Departure to Baku for the sightseeing tour, which includes visits to its Old & Modern parts: Atasqah & Icheri Shekher: Azneft Square, Javanshir Bridge (formerly Gagarin Bridge), the National Academy of Sciences, Fizuli Square, the Free Woman statue and the new bus station, Izmir Park, A walk in the Avenue of Honour, where eminent people are buried, a walk in Martyrs' Avenue Start, "Heydar Aliyev Cultural Center", Old Town, Inner City, Maiden Tower (XII century), Palace of Shirvanshahs (XV century), Castle Synyk Gala, Caravan Saray, Juma Mosque and other places of interest… ”Icheri Sheher” is the live organism having the infrastructure and inhabited files where 1300 families live. It is an ancient city in a modern city. Absheron peninsula. Ateshgah, the Fire Worshippers' Temple is located in the village of Surakhany. It was built on the land where natural gas burned eternally and worshipped by Zoroastrian believers who travelled from the province of Multan in India to visit this sacred place. These ancient fires are believed to have given Azerbaijan its name, which is thought by some researchers to mean the “Land of Fires”. Overnight in Baku.
Breakfast at the hotel. Departure to Qobustan, visiting Open air museum and mud Volcanos. Open air museum is known for hosting thousands of rock engravings spread over 100 square km depicting hunting scenes, people, ships, constellations and animals. Its oldest petroglyphs date from the 12th century BC. There are inscriptions inscriptions left by Alexander the Great's cohorts in the 4th century BC. Mud volcanos - A really bizarre sight that is almost unique to Azerbaijan: bubbling, spitting, leaking, oozing, grey mud volcanoes. One set of these, near Qobustan, is even on the tourist trail and should definitely not be missed. In the evening departure from Baku to Gardabani by train. Overnight in train.
Breakfast in lunch-boxes. The bus will meet the guests in Gardabani train station. Transfer to georgian-armenian boarder - Sadakhlo. Crossing the boarder without changing the bus. Akhpat monastery. It is an exceptional example of ecclesiastical architecture that developed in Armenia in the 10th to 13th centuries which is unique by virtue of its blending of elements of both Byzantine church architecture and the traditional vernacular building style of this region. Visit to Sevan lake. This huge mountain lake which takes up 5% of Armenia's surface area and is about 2,000 meters above sea level. On a clear and sunny day, the water is often a deep turquoise color. Sevanavank monastery. Monastery of Sevan, which stands on what was once an island of the same name, can be dated to the 9th-10th centuries. For several hundred years, as an important spiritual centre, housing many monks, it was visited by thousands of pilgrims from all parts of Armenia. Departure to Yerevan for dinner and overnight.
Day eight After breakfast sightseeing tour around Yerevan and surroundings: Ararat Brandy Factory. Conyak degustation (optional). Republic square, Northern avenue, Opera house, Cascade complex, Park of victory, Tsitsernakaberd memorial, Erebuni fortress, Statue David of Sasun, Church of St. Gregory the Illuminator and many other places of interst. Departure to Garni temple - it is a first century Hellenic temple near Garni, Armenia. It is the only pagan temple in Armenia that survived the Christianization of the country in 301 AD. The structures of Garni combine elements of Hellenistic and national culture, which is an evidence of antique influences and the distinctive building traditions of the Armenian people. Visit to Geghard monastery - another incredible ancient Armenian monastery, partly carved out of a mountain. Though the monastery has been around since before the 4th century, the main cathedral was built in 1215. The specific character of this monument reflects, no doubt, the peculiarities of the austere and majestic scenery around it. Dinner in traditional armenian restaurant. Transfer to the hotel. Overnight in Yerevan
Day nine Early breakfast at the hotel. Visit to Echmiadzin Cathedral - is the Mother Church of the Armenian Apostolic Church and the main building of the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin. The Cathedral of Etchmiadzin is the first church building in Armenia, and considered the oldest cathedral in the world. The original church is believed to have been built between 301 and 303 by Gregory the Illuminator, following Armenia's adoption of Christianity as a state religion by King Tiridates III. Departure to Georgian boarder - Bavra. After boarder visiting Vardzia caves - The underground halls of the "mountain queen," dug out of the solid rock, Vardzia looks like it was taken directly from the pages of Lord of the Rings. In reality it is a cave-palace-monastery built not by dwarfs, but by Georgians in the Caucasus for their fabled queen Tamar. Departure for dinner and overnight to Bakuriani hotel.
Breakfast at the hotel. Program of this day includes visits to the following sites: Borjomi national park - sightseeing tour around the place, drinking mineral water. It is the first National Park in Caucasus that corresponds to the international standards. This is wild, mountainous, forested land, and holds most of the large wildlife found anywhere in Europe; Departure to Imereti region: Prometheus cave in Tskaltubo - The cave’s history goes back to the Greek myth of Promethus chained inthe Caucasus and the Argonauts’ voyage to Colchis for the Golden Fleece. Consequently, this cave expresses the most mysterious and wonderful world of the Argonauts and Prometheus, after whom the cave was named. Upon finishing the journey, the management provides a boat for leaving the cave. You float and move slowly for 300 meters with accompanied music and beautifully illuminated stalagmites in the background. Gelaty monastery in Kutaisi - is of special importance for its architecture, its mosaics, its wall paintings and its enamel and metal work. Gelati Academy, established in the monastery, was one of the most important education centres of Georgia. Dinner at the local restaurant. Overnight in Kutaisi.
Breakfast at the hotel. Transfer to Kutaisi International Airport. See you soon in Georgia!
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