Springtime in Georgia and Armenia
- Remote mountain scenery with opportunities to explore well off the “beaten track”
- Oksate and Martvili Canyons and Garni Gorge
- Historic temples and churches in this Cradle of Civilisation
- Uplistsikhe Cave “Town”
- Historic Tbilisi and Gyumri
- Stalin Museum and railway carriage
- Many meals from locally sourced organic produce
- 12 days from £2,775pp
Sunday 5 May to Thursday 16 May 2024
Sunday 12 May to Thursday 23 May
Stunning snow-clad mountains, meadows teeming with wild flowers and a rich and interesting history are brought to you in this tour to Georgia and Armenia, fascinating and friendly countries at the extremities of Eastern Europe.
Day 1 – London to Tbilisi
Morning flight from Heathrow via Paris to Tbilisi, arriving mid-evening. Transfer to our centrally located hotel for a 3-night stay.
Day 2 – Tbilisi
Enjoy a morning guided walk in the old city including Rustavelli Avenue (Tbilisi’s main street), Parliament House, Viceroy Palace and Freedom Square. After lunch (included), we take the cable car to the Narikala Fortress for panoramic views of Tbilisi. Return to hotel by metro.
Day 3 – Georgia’s Wine Lands
Explore the small old towns of the Kakheti region where we try national dishes, homemade wine, enjoy great mountain views and even try our hand at baking the local bread.
Day 4 – Kutaisi & Prometheus Grotto
Morning train to Kutaisi, then drive to Tskaltubo to visit the underground grotto. On return to Kutaisi, visit the agricultural market and explore the city at leisure.
Day 5 – Okatse & Martvili Canyons
Walk down into the Okatse Canyon (about 1000 steps down but we return in a 4WD vehicle). After homemade lunch at a family run winery, drive to Martvili Canyon for a tour by boat, then return to Kutaisi to visit Bagrati Cathedral.
Day 6 – Gori & Uplistsikhe Cave City
We drive to Gori, Stalin’s birthplace, where his private rail carriage is on display. A further short drive takes us to Uplistsikhe, a cave city which dates from Old Silk Road days. We hope to take the train back to Tbilisi, subject to timetable, otherwise we return by road.
Day 7 – Cross the Border into Armenia
Travel by road to the Armenian border at Sadakhlo and visit Haghartsin Monastery en route to Dilijan. The old town is tastefully restored and there are several artisan workshops worth visiting. Overnight in Dilijan.
Day 8 – Lake Sevan & Garni Gorge
Lake Sevan, one of the largest in the world, is noted for its blue water and beautiful scenery. Visit Sevanavank Monastery dating from around the 10th Century. The Pagan temple at Garni is even older (77 AD though restored in 1975). Old Soviet 4WD vehicles take us into Garni Gorge before we continue to Geghard Monastery, a cave monastery dating from the 13th Century. Continue to the capital city, Yerevan, for a 2-night stay.
Day 9 – Yerevan
City tour of Yerevan to include Republic Square and the amazing Cascade complex with multiple levels linked by escalator. This was begun in the Soviet era in 1971 though not completed until 2009. We also visit the very moving Genocide Museum and Memorial in memory of the 1915 atrocities. Some free time will allow those who wish to ride the small metro system opened in 1981 with typical Soviet style decorated stations.
Day 10 – Gyumri
Gyumri is Armenia’s second city, 130km from Yerevan and the two cities are linked by express train. We take the morning train followed by a walking tour of the old city. Overnight in Gyumri.
Day 11 – Etchmiadzin Cathedral & Zvartnots Temple
Both Etchmiadzin and Zvartnots are UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The former, founded in 303 AD, is the official residence of the Armenian Catholicos whilst the latter was built in the 7th Century. Both are close to Yerevan and we return here for our final night.
Day 12 – Yerevan to London
Morning flight from Yerevan via Paris to London Heathrow, arriving late afternoon.
Tbilisi, Gyumri and the canyons and cave dwellings need to be explored on foot (including climbing and descending steps) and, whilst they don’t form an essential part of this itinerary, their omission would obviously remove some of the value and enjoyment.
Due to the limited number of rooms in guesthouse accommodation, this tour will be limited to 12 persons.
Sandali Hotel, Tbilisi
Grand Opera Boutique Hotel, Kutaisi
Old Dilijan Hotel, Dilijan
Opera Suites Hotel, Yerevan
Casa Guest House, Gyumri
Please note - hotels can be subject to change
- Flights in Economy Class by scheduled airline
- Rail travel as specified
- Other travel by private mini-coach (4WD vehicle where appropriate)
- Hotel accommodation or good quality guest houses with en-suite facilities
- All breakfasts, 3 lunches and 3 evening meals
- Entrance fees to churches and museums where applicable and to the cave dwellings
- Airport and other transfers
- Services of a tour leader from London and throughout the tour plus local professional Georgian and Armenian guides
Price per person
|Single room supplement:||£440|
|Deposit for this holiday:||£300|
Download your tour booking form here.