Discover the biggest mysteries of Georgia and Armenia – the gems of the Southern Caucasus!
Discover the biggest mysteries of Georgia and Armenia – the gems of the Southern Caucasus! Visit fairy-tale Tbilisi recognized as the most beautiful capital in the Caucasus. Take a look at the most interesting nooks to enjoy bustling feasts, delicious food, museums, monumental fortresses, impressive churches and palaces. Take jeep and explore the picturesque Georgian Military Road to see the peak of the Mount Kazbek – mountains over twice as high as Polish Rysy in the Tatra Mountains. Follow Jason and Argonauts and take Kutaisi – maybe you’ll be lucky to find the Golden Fleece? Visit the city excavated in rocks and taste the best Kakhetian wine in the ‘City of Love’. Learn about brandy production in Armenia and discover the genuine treasures of nature: Sevan Lake and the Mount Ararat which can be seen from the neighboring monastery. Feel adventure and visit the rocky monastery where the Holy Lance is waiting for you!
care of the English-speaking tour guide and owner of the Tamada Tour
Comfortable hotels *** in the city center
Georgian feast - supra
local color and culture
meals (breakfast and hearty dinners with wine)
shopping at local bazaars
tasting of local drinks and products
transfers by air-conditioned minibus from / to the airport, to / from the hotel and on the route
Transport to selected attractions by off-road vehicles
you will see places inaccessible to ordinary tourists
Welcome to an exciting trip to two countries in the Southern Caucasus! Everything is included in the price, including: comfortable *** hotels in the city center (TBILISI, KUTAISI, AKHALTSIKHE, YEREVAN), breakfast in hotels and generous dinners in local restaurants EVERY DAY, the best pilots-enthusiasts-specialists from Georgia and Armenia, daily wine with meals, numerous tastings and attractions, admission tickets, real everyday life, great Georgian culture and the most beautiful views, all in an INTIMATE group of max. 20 participants and a great atmosphere. Despite the round character of the tour, there is a time to rest, we change hotels in Georgia only, in Armenia all accommodation is in one hotel in Yerevan.
In the heart of Georgia we’ll see a city from dreams. The legend says that Tbilisi was founded by King Vakhtang I of Iberia who was captivated by hot springs and picturesque mountains in the valley. To see famous Tbilisi Sulphur baths (and most recognizable Orbeliani Sulphur bath) we’ll go to the oldest, 1,500-year-old district of the city. We’ll explore the gems of the Caucasus in impressively green parks, sightseeing Tbilisi monuments, and by a gondola lift we’ll go to Kartlis Deda. Other attractions include: Narikala fortress, Anchiskhati Basilica, Tbilisi Sioni Cathedral, Metekhi Orthodox church and Tsminda Sameba, shopping on Dry Bridge, a colorful flea market where tourists can buy souvenirs and antiques, we’ll admire exhibit of art pieces of Niko Pirosmani, and on illuminated Rustaveli Avenue, we’ll see an oriental building of opera, theater, philharmonic hall, Kashveti Church and a former governor’s palace. In the evening we’ll go to one of restaurants with wine, delicious food, music and live dance.
In the capital city of Armenia, we will experience the historical and cultural legacy of Armenians. The Matenadaran will provide us with manuscripts from 5th century! In a rock-hewn repository one can find manuscripts, incunabulum and Etchmiadzin Code considered as Georgian treasure. In Khor Wirap monastery we will learn why Gregory the Illuminator was imprisoned in a well and we will admire the majestic Armenian Mount Ararat a resting place of Noah's Ark. In order to get more acquainted with local people we go to Tsitsernakaberd – the Armenian Genocide memorial complex dedicated to Armenian Genocide which took place in 1915-1918. The evening walk across city center will take us into green, old and modern architecture from beautiful palaces, avenues, cafes to observation tower overlooking the city and snow-capped Ararat peak.
We’ll sit at the table to enjoy supra, a traditional Georgian feast with a great ritual. Georgians don’t need any reason to prepare a festive dinner and eating a meal a perfect occasion for long conversations which can be compared to oratorical art. We will celebrate over exquisite meals, wine and chacha and enjoy Tamada’s toasts. We will listen to laudation of God, peace and country. We will be taken aback by the fact that Georgians know almost 150 different toasts and each of them can be elaborated for couple of minutes which often happen to be the longest stories about life, art, culture, religion, history, politics, family concluded with moral or wishes.
We’ll make the impossible! We’ll reach the kingdom of Neptune: Armenian sea as the Sevan lake is commonly referred as to because it’s the biggest lake in the Caucasus and highest situated in the world. In order to get to the lake, we’ll go to a beautiful hollow on 1900 m over the sea level and on our way, we’ll meet fishermen selling smoked fish from the lake that covers almost 1/6 of the whole country. The lake Sevan is surrounded by a rock and grass plateau and range of gradual but severe mountains where we can find peace and many of 210 species of birds. In blue sheet of the lake we can spot reflection of swings, wooden bridges, villages in which time went back to the 1980’s and a monumental Sevanawank from the 8th century many people still attend services in. Volunteers may follow the footsteps of Noah and set free white pigeons. Observing a freed bird we can feel its careless freedom.
We’ll go across the Mtkvari river to the southern Georgia only 12 km from the border with Turkey with Erusheti Mountain hides an impressive phenomenon of medieval constructions, namely an excavated from the slopes of the mountain stone city of Vardzia. The city seemed to be quite small, but there are 13 tiers for monastery, throne room, 3,000 chambers for 60,000 wealthy Georgians who found safety during times of Mongolian and Persian raid. We’ll get to many of 300 chambers available for sightseers through narrow and short tunnels. We’ll learn that this marvel of nature which was invisible for the enemy channeled to the safe height of 1,300 m over the sea level irretrievably collapsed and changed into a wort-seeing monument.
We’ll get across Georgian Military Road to reach the cherry on top – Stepantsminda earlier known also as Kazbegi located by the waters of Terek river and at the foot of Gergeti glacier. We take off-road car to reach Caucasian inactive volcano and the second highest mountain in Georgia – Mount Kazbek (5,033 m over the sea level). We’ll take an exciting escapade to Gergeti Trinity Church a holy monastery located on 2,170 m over the sea level erected in the 14th century (the bell tower was later built on) which was used as a safe place for national relics in time of threat and danger. Walking around this holy place for Georgians we can admire the breathtaking landscapes and snow-capped peak of monumental Mount Kazbek.
In a silent very religious resting place for Noah’s Ark there’s a paradise for the most exquisite brandy – ArArAt which is the only one brandy in the world that after Grand-prix of 1900 in Paris can be sold as cognac. We’ll visit the famous manufactory where we’ll know the secrets of its productions which is produced with white grapes. The legendary produced since 1887 cognac ArArAt is a proof of local artistry and makes an integral part of Armenian national culture. Various tastes of ArArAt fascinate with a power of ablaze phoenix and captivates with elegance just as the Mount Ararat after which the cognac was named.
Georgian hospitality is omnipresent when exploring the country. We can be sure that the popular saying: “if a Georgian invites a guest to his house, it is his guest. If a guest stops himself in front of Georgian’s house it means he was sent by God and you cannot discuss with God” is not a legend or just a saying. As a gift from God, guests are welcomed with a genuine, natural joy and respect as if they were expected. That’s why they receive everything they need before they even say it. For Georgians as hosts there is nothing more important than welcome, feed, house and to express hospitality. Georgian hospitality will be the most memorable expression of human kindness and big heart.
We’ll join a feast in cozy family restaurants where we can know the authentic Georgia. Followed by the voice of Tamada we’ll make a few toasts with exquisite chacha and we’ll taste all gems of culinary Caucasus. We’ll eat khachapuri and khinkali, badrijani (fried eggplant stuffed with spiced walnut paste), Ajapsandali, soups kharcho and chikhirtma and a lot of more famous Georgians dishes. Food will be accompanied with splendid Kakheti wine or fresh cooled lemonade. For dessert local ripe fruit and delicious churchkhela (a candle-shaped candy with nuts and grapes). In order to always remember flavors of Georgia, we’ll participate in culinary classes to learn about preparing khachapuri and khinkali.
When in 1893 monk Mesrop Ter Movsesian arrived in Zvartnots, he saw just miserable ruins instead of a great church from the 7th century. Will we see something more than just the ruins of pink sandstone church just like the monk did? We’ll have an opportunity to do so when we’ll move back in history and image the earthquake of 930 which rapidly destroyed a three-floor church. However, despite this disaster, we can still admire the beauty of this place. We’ll touch rocky walls warm from Armenian sun and richly decorated columns. We’ll admire the artistry of craftsmen visible in the column heads with eagle ornamented with wattle, bunch of grapes and monogram of Catholicos Nerses I the Great.
Rates does not include: flights, souvenirs, personal expenses, or extra charge for single room.
Accommodation in hotels *** located in city centers, comfortable and nicely furnished double bedrooms with own bathrooms. If you travel all by yourself, don’t worry – you’ll share a double room with a person of the same-sex which saves you extra charge for single room (up to EUR 180 per person depending on a trip and date).
Rates include 2 meals a day: hotel breakfasts and great dinners in restaurants serving local cuisine (for example Georgian, Armenian, Azerbaijan) as well as European. We’ll get familiar with the culture of the country by tasting other regional beverages and meals. One of the attraction is supra, the Georgian feast, accompanied by Tamada – the Georgian toastmaster. Each day will be an occasion to taste the best Georgian wines and chacha (grape vodka) and volunteers may learn to prepare traditional meals.
We take comfortable minibuses such as a Mercedes Sprinter from/to airport as well as for our tours. All vehicles have AC, Wi-Fi and radio. Safety is guarantee by professional and experienced drivers.
Tours and sightseeing takes place in cozy groups of 16 participants guided by English-speaking tour leader – a resident expert who is passionate about a given region and knows its culture, traditions, history and geography. We will reach the most interesting attractions, everyday life and culture, colorful bazaars and less known places which tourist hardly ever travel to.
DAY 1. DEPARTURE
Participants gather at the airport. Check-in. Flight to Georgia.
DAY 2. TBILISI (distance: 20km)
Arrival in Tbilisi where we’ll be welcomed by Tamada Tour guide, transfer from the airport to hotel. Rest. Breakfast. Sightseeing of the beautiful capital city of Georgia: Tsminda Sameba (20th cent.), fortress of Narikala (6th – 8th cent.), Anchiskhati Basilica of St. Mary (5th – 6th cent.), Metekhi church (13th cent.), Tbilisi Sioni Cathedral (11th -12th cent.), and the Tbilisi sulfur baths including the world famous Orbeliani Baths (19th cent.). Taking a gondola lift to see the monument of the Mother of a Georgian (20th cent.). Sightseeing of Tbilisi old town and monuments on Rustaveli Avenue: The Freedom Monument, the house of the former Parliament, theater, opera erected in oriental style, philharmonic hall, the Kashveti church (19th cent.), and old-time Palace of Caucasus Viceroy. Free time and dinner restaurant with live music and dancing. Accommodation in hotel.
DAY 3. TBILISI – ANANURI – GUDAURI – STEPANTSMINDA – TBILISI (distance: 306 km)
Breakfast. We go through the Georgian Military Road to Stepantsminda (Kazbegi) to see an inactive volcano Mount Kazbek (5,033 m over the sea level). On the way to our destination we’ll admire a magnificent fortress of Ananuri (16th – 17th cent.) which is located on the large water reservoir Zhinvali and by off-road cars we’ll to go to the world famous Gergeti Trinity Church (2,170 m above the sea level), from which the snow-capped peak of the Kazbek can be spotted. Return to Tbilisi. Dinner. Accommodation in hotel.
DAY 4. TBILISI-MTSKHETA-GORI- UPLISTSICHE-KUTAISI (distance: 230 km)
Breakfast. We head to Mtskheta – the former capital of the Kingdom of Iberia, where we can admire monuments enlisted in the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage List. We go up to the Jvari monastery (6th -7th cent.) with
a breathtaking view on the city and two main rivers Mtkvari and Aragvi. The next place is the Svetitskhoveli Cathedral (11th cent.) famous for religious artifacts and impressive frescoes. Free time. Another destination is nunnery Samtavro (4th cent.) in which Georgian rulers who converted to Christianity in 337 on behalf of the whole country are buried. The plan is to visit a rocky city of Uplistsikhe (5th cent.) a former home for rulers and a center of pre-Christian cult. We’ll go to Gori a city famous for being a birthplace of Joseph Stalin. We go further through the Surami Pass in order to get to one of the oldest urban complexes in the world – Kutaisi (17th -15th cent. B.C.) to recognizable for legends about Jason and Prometheus. Dinner. Free time. Volunteers can take a walk to the city center to see theater and opera house and a fountain with reproduced sculptures which were found in Georgia 5,000 years ago. Accommodation in hotel.
DAY 5. KUTAISI-GELATI-BORJOMI- AKHALTSIKHE (distance: 176 km)
Breakfast. We go to Kutaisi attractions: a present-day headquarters of the Georgian Parliament (since 2012) and the Bagrati Cathedral (6th cent., reconstructed in the 20th cent.) overlooking city and mountains, the Gelati Monastery (12th – 13th cent.) with its three churches and Gelati Academy in which studied prolific Georgian and Greek philosophers. Moreover, the king David IV of Georgia (known as David the Builder) was also buried in that place. The last attraction is the Cave of Prometheus and Borjomi Park (19th cent.). We’ll go to Akhaltsikhe. Dinner. Accommodation.
DAY 6. AKHALTSIKHE -VARDZIA-TBILISI (distance: 329 km)
Breakfast. The first destination is the medieval architectural phenomenon: the excavated in mountains town of Vardzia (12th – 13th cent.) and a great Khertvisi fortress (2nd – 12th cent.) which was said to be destroyed by Alexander the Great. A small coffee break and return to Tbilisi. Dinner. Accommodation.
DAY 7. TBILISI-BODBE-SIGHNAGHI-TBILISI (distance: 220 km)
Breakfast. We’ll go to Kakheti – the oldest region in Georgia and the cradle of wine. Attractions include: Sighnaghi (18th cent.) – known as Georgian Carcassonne, nunnery Bodbe Monastery (9th – 17th cent.) connected to Saint Nino who introduced Christianity in Georgia, and an impressive exhibit of the most renowned Georgian primitivist painter Niko Pirosmani and a collection of sculptures which date back even to 5,000 years ago. Wine tasting in a traditional winery. Return to Tbilisi. Dinner. Accommodation.
DAY 8. ARMENIA: DILIJAN-SEVAN-YEREVAN (distance: 291 km)
Breakfast. We go to Armenia through a border crossing in Sadakhlo. Attractions include: monastery complex of Haghartsin (10th cent.), the town of Dilijan known as an Armenian Switzerland, Lake Sevan to take a walk on the peninsula and the Sevanavank Monastery (9th cent.). Volunteers may take a bath. Dinner. Yerevan. Accommodation in hotel.
DAY 9. YEREVAN CITY TOUR-KHOR WIRAP (distance: 85 km)
Breakfast. Yerevan city tour and exploring the capital city: Republic Square, Achtanak Park, observation tower overlooking a charming city skyline, Cascade, Mashtots Avenue, sports and concert complex Sportvino, the Palace of the President, Parliament and Theater Square. Free time. Then we go to the Sergei Paradjanov Museum (Paradjanov was the great and eminent Armenian director). The next attraction is Khor Wirap monastery (7th cent.), which is a destination for numerous pilgrimages. The monastery overlooks a breathtaking view on the Mount Ararat (5,165 m above the sea level). Dinner. Accommodation.
DAY 10. YEREVAN-VAGHARSHAPAT-ZVARTNOTS-YEREVAN (distance: 54 km)
Breakfast. The first destination is the town of Vagarshapat (the Armenian Vatican) which captives with sacred and secular architectural monuments such as: Catholicos (residence of the head bishops of the Armenian Apostolic Church), Saint Hripsime Church as well as Etchmiadzin Cathedral (303 A.D.) and Zvartnots Cathedral (7th cent.) enlisted on the Intangible Cultural Heritage List of UNESCO. The last attraction is the world-famous Yerevan Brandy Company which produces Ararat brandy. We will learn about the process of production and know the taste and smell of this golden liquor.
Day 11. YEREVAN-GARNI-GEGHARD-YEREVAN (distance: 80 km)
Breakfast. Attractions include: Matenadaran Museum where the manuscripts (5th – 15th cent.) in various languages are kept. go to the fortress of Garni (1st cent. B.C.), the Temple of Garni dedicated to the sun god Mihr and excavated in rocks monastery of Geghard with relicts of Saint Andrew and John the Evangelist and the Holy Lance. Dinner and folkloric evening attractions. Accommodation in Yerevan.
DAY 12. DEPARTURE
Preparation for return. Dry provisions for breakfast. transfer to airport. Departure.
Booking is available
The following personal data must be provided in order to book a trip, conclude tour participation agreement and buy insurance and flight tickets:
The following files will be enclosed and sent to your e-mail:
Payment for tour shall be made in accordance with the payment schedule.