Show Trip | ZAR

Caucasus: Georgia, Armenia & Azerbaijan

A breathtakingly scenic mountainous region separating the Black and Caspian Seas

Trip CodeZAR
Duration14 Days
ActivityCulture
Group Size7-14
Minimum Age17
Leisurely / Moderate
Leisurely / Moderate
Prices (excl. flights & transfers) from

R175,999

To book   call us on 074 340 4587 or email info@earthwanderer.co.za

A breathtakingly scenic mountainous region separating the Black and Caspian Seas

The Caucasas or Caucasia is a breathtakingly scenic mountainous region that separates the Black Sea to the west and the Caspian Sea to the east. This region is mainly divided between four countries: Russia, Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan. Visit three out of the four main countries that occupy this region, six amazing UNESCO World Heritage sites, including the Haghpat Monastery and Echmaidzin, as well as Georgia's famous cave city on a comprehensive tour through these lesser-travelled lands.  

Highlights

  • Discover the cultural treasures of these lesser-travelled countries.
  • Visit six amazing UNESCO World Heritage Sites—Haghpat Monastery, Echmaidzin Cathedral, Geghard, Monastery, Baku, Gobustan, and Mtskheta—on this comprehensive tour.
  • Explore Georgia’s famous cave city, Uplistsikhe, continuously inhabited from the 6th century BC until the 13th century, and wander through a labyrinth of cavernous halls and narrow passages.
  • Savour a variety of Georgian vintages during   several wine tastings.
  • Enjoy stays at some of the region’s finest hotels.

Key Information

What's Included

  • Daily activity options including nature walks and cultural tours
  • All gratuities
  • All accommodations
  • World-class expedition leader
  • All meals, including selected beverages with lunch and dinner
  • All entrance fees and taxes
  • Arrival and departure transfers on group dates
  • Gift certificates for recommended expedition gear
  • Medical expense coverage and emergency evacuation insurance

What's Not Included

  • Airfare from your home city/Yerevan and Baku/home city
  • Excess baggage charges
  • Airport arrival and departure taxes
  • Transfers for independent arrivals and departures
  • Passport and/or visa fees
  • Travel insurance
  • Items of a personal nature such as laundry, alcoholic beverages (other than listed), entrance fees for any extra sightseeing or optional activities, and other incidentals
  • Email/Internet/fax/telephone charges

Day 1

Arrive in Armenia

Upon arrival, transfer to the Grand Hotel Yerevanfor overnight.
  • Accommodation
  • : Grand Hotel Yerevan

Meals included: dinner

Day 2-3

The capital of Armenia, Yerevan has been continuously occupied since 6,000 BC.

The capital of Armenia, Yerevan has been continuously occupied since 6,000 BC. After an orientation tour of the city center, continue to the 1st-century Temple of Garni, the only pagan temple to survive in Armenia. The remains include an ancient fortress, palace, and baths. After lunch at a local home, visit the medieval Geghard Monastery; set at the head of the Azat Valley, many of its numerous churches and tombs are cut into the surrounding cliffs. This evening, gather at the hotel for a welcome cocktails reception and dinner.  The next day, visit the 4th-century Echmiadzin Cathedral, Armenia’s first and oldest cathedral. Continue to the ruins of Zvartnots Temple, a splendid example of 7th-century architecture. Enjoy fantastic views of Mt. Ararat and the surrounding pastures and vineyards from Khor Virap Monastery. Return to Yerevan for a tasting at the Ararat Brandy Factory.
  • Accommodation
  • : Grand Hotel Yerevan

Meals included: breakfast,lunch,dinner

Day 4

En route to Georgia, make a stop at stunning Lake Sevan, one of three “seas of Armenia.”

En route to Georgia, make a stop at stunning Lake Sevan, one of three “seas of Armenia.” Continue to the Monastery of Haghpat, built between the 10th and 14th centuries. The monastery’s beautiful location, set on a verdant promontory above the Debed River, creates an atmospheric backdrop for its important St. Astvatsatsin Church. Arrive in Tbilisi, and check in to your Club Deluxe room at /The Biltmore Hotel Tbilisi/. This evening, enjoy a Georgian folk show and dinner at a local restaurant.
  • Accommodation
  • : The Biltmore Hotel Tbilisi

Meals included: breakfast,lunch,dinner

Day 5

Tour Georgia’s capital city, once an important stop on the Silk Road.

Today, tour Georgia’s capital city, once an important stop on the Silk Road. Despite a number of wars and fires, the old part of the city still retains much of its original layout. Its spider’s web of winding streets and narrow back lanes leads you to the Abanotubani, or “bath district,” the 13th-century Metekhi Temple, the 5th-century Sioni Cathedral, and the 6th-century Anchiskhati Basilica. Walk along central Rustaveli Avenue to Freedom Square, then browse the treasures housed in the National Museum of Georgia. 
  • Accommodation
  • : Biltmore Hotel Tbilisi

Meals included: breakfast,lunch,dinner

Day 6

Visit Mtskheta, the capital of Georgia from 500 BC - 500 AD. a UNESCO World Heritage Site is a treasure-trove of ancient monuments.

This morning, visit Mtskheta, the capital of Georgia from 500 BC - 500 AD. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is a treasure-trove of ancient monuments. Nearby, Gori was founded in the 7th century AD, and is the birthplace of Joseph Stalin. Visit the small house where he lived as well as the huge, palace-like Stalin Museum. Continue on to the famous cave city of Uplistsikhe; carved into a rocky plateau, it dates from the 6th century BC. Explore the huge echoing halls, meandering corridor-streets, theater, and 9th-century church. Then take a drive into the Caucasus Mountains along the historic Georgian Military Highway, enjoying dramatic views of the Aragvi River and Jvari Pass. Arrive in Kazbegi and check in to your Front View room at the /Hotel Kazbegi /for dinner and overnight.
  • Accommodation
  • : Hotel Kazbegi

Meals included: breakfast,lunch,dinner

Day 7

Hike up to Gergeti Trinity Church, located on an isolated hilltop with gorgeous views of the valley and Mount Kazbek.

After breakfast, take a hike up to Gergeti Trinity Church, located on an isolated hilltop with gorgeous views of the valley and Mount Kazbek. After lunch with a local family, take 4x4 vehicles through the beautiful Sno Valley to the tiny village of Juta. A short hike reveals stunning vistas of the Chaukhi Mountains. Return to Kazbegi with the afternoon at leisure.
  • Accommodation
  • : Hotel Kazbegi

Meals included: breakfast,lunch,dinner

Day 8

Return to Tbilisi, with a stop en route at the spectacular Ananuri Fortress.

Today, return to Tbilisi, with a stop en route at the spectacular Ananuri Fortress. Continue to the historic estate of a Georgian prince, Chateau Mukhrani. Take a tour of the castle and wine cellar before joining our chef for a demonstration of how to prepare several Georgian delicacies. Enjoy your lunch accompanied by Georgian wines that are produced on site. Upon arrival in Tblisi, ride the funicular to the stunning Mtatsminda Plateau overlooking the city. Enjoy dinner at the Restaurant Funicular before checking in to /The //Bitlmore Hotel Tbilisi /for overnight.
  • Accommodation
  • : Biltmore Hotel Tbilisi

Meals included: breakfast,lunch,dinner

Day 9

Discover some of the splendid churches set in the lush vineyards just outside of Tbilisi.

After breakfast, set out to discover some of the splendid churches set in the lush vineyards just outside of Tbilisi. First, visit the St. Nina Monastery, then continue to Sighnaghi, a beautiful hill-town with panoramic views of the Alazani Valley and Eastern Caucasus Mountains. Enjoy a delicious lunch in town, before heading to a wine cellar to sample local vintages. Then take a tour of Alaverdi Cathedral and embark on a short walking tour of the tiny town of Telavi. Check in to your view room at the /Radisson Collection Hotel Tsinandali Estate Georgia/for dinner and overnight.
  • Accommodation
  • : Radisson Collection Hotel Tsinandali Estate Georgia

Meals included: breakfast,lunch,dinner

Day 10

Arrive in Sheki, an important stop on the Silk Road and a center for silk production.

This morning, depart overland for the Azerbaijan border. Make a stop en route at the Gremi architectural complex, a church and castle dating from the 16th century. Cross the border and enjoy your first meal in Azerbaijan. Arrive in Sheki, an important stop on the Silk Road and a center for silk production. Visit the 18th-century summer palace of the Sheki Khans, the Museum of History, and a local handicrafts workshop, ending at a panoramic viewpoint overlooking the town. Check in to the /Marxal Hotel //& Resort /for dinner and overnight.
  • Accommodation
  • : Marxal Hotel & Resort

Meals included: breakfast,lunch,dinner

Day 11

Today’s drive takes you over the Muganly Pass where you will make several photo stops for stunning mountain vistas.

Today’s drive takes you over the Muganly Pass where you will make several photo stops for stunning mountain vistas. Visit the Diri Baba mausoleum, historic Juma mosque, and Yeddi Gumbez, or Mausoleum of Seven Domes. Arrive in Azerbaijan’s capital, Baku, this evening and check in to your Deluxe Caspian room at the Four Seasons Hotelfor dinner and overnight.
  • Accommodation
  • : Four Seasons Hotel

Meals included: breakfast,lunch,dinner

Day 12-13

Visit the fortress of Icheri-Shekher and the 90-foot tower of Kyz-Kalasy, dating from the 12th century.

Baku lies on the western shore of the Caspian Sea. Visit the fortress of Icheri-Shekher and the 90-foot tower of Kyz-Kalasy, dating from the 12th century. Stroll the old town’s maze of narrow alleys to view the 11th-century Palace of the Shirvan-Shahs, now a museum. Other notable historic architecture includes the Law Court (Divan-Khan), the Dzhuma-Mechet Minaret, and the mausoleum of the astronomer Seida Bakuvi. Close to Baku is the Gobustan Rock Art Cultural Landscape, where 4,000 rock drawings of people and animals were found. In the afternoon, take a cruise on the Caspian Sea, with free time to explore Baku on your own. The next day, visit the Apsheron Peninsula, including the Temple of the Fire Worshippers—Ateshgah. Continue to the Yanardag Mud Volcaonos and Gala Village. Return to Baku with time at leisure before a farewell cocktail party and dinner.
  • Accommodation
  • : Four Seasons Hotel

Meals included: breakfast,lunch,dinner

Day 14

Transfer to the airport.

Transfer to the airport this morning for your independent flight, arriving home the same day.

Meals included: breakfast

Trip for You

This tour is operated in partnership with our sister company Zegrahm Expeditions. As such the departures are not exclusive to Exodus and groups may be a mixture of Exodus, Zegrahm Expeditions, and other clients. This trip is booked through Exodus and you will receive the same award winning customer service that you would expect. Zegrahm Expeditions operate with the same core principles used by Exodus and champion the benefits of small group travel. For most activities, a relatively moderate level of exertion is required. You must be able to walk distances of one to three miles, sometimes over uneven surfaces, such as cobblestones and climb stone steps that may not have handrails. Opportunities will also be available for optional hikes requiring more exertion. Average daily temperatures will range from the low-50sºF to the high-60sºF. Travel to this part of the world requires sensitivity to local cultures and customs; at times, you may need to remove your shoes and women may be expected to cover their heads.

Group Description

Gary Wintz
/Expedition Leader/ Gary Wintz graduated cum laude from Duns Scotus College in Michigan with a degree in philosophy. He has spent most of the past 40 years outside the US researching, writing, photographing, and lecturing about distant lands and cultures, and has traveled to over 220 countries and territories. Gary has worked on humanitarian projects throughout Asia and has contributed his expertise to development projects in Ethiopia for UNICEF. In 1981 he taught as a foreign expert at Chengdu University of Science and Technology in Sichuan Province in China. In 1982 he was employed by Tibet University in Lhasa, thus becoming one of the first Westerners to actually reside in Tibet since the communist Chinese occupation. Gary has met with His Holiness the Dalai Lama many times. Since 1987 Gary has worked as a consultant with development organizations and for media projects throughout Southeast Asia and has lectured on contemporary issues at various institutions, including Harvard, Yale, and the World Affairs Council. He is a longtime member of the Central Eurasian Studies Society, and the American Institute of Afghanistan Studies. Gary has been traveling to SE Asia, including Burma, since 1977,  and is a member of the Burma Studies Group and Thailand Laos Cambodia Studies Group of the Association for Asian Studies.  

Transportation

You will need to purchase air fare from your home city/Yerevan and Baku/home city. Please contact our in-house Air Department for fare quotes, reservations, or other air-related questions.

(Please note, visa information cannot be guaranteed and should be checked with the relevant country's embassy prior to departure.)

Azerbaijan

Delay

Jan: 01

Health Requirements

Jan: 01

Premium Lodges & Hotels

It is Zegrahm's policy to always use premium quality accommodations, when available, in the regions we visit. Since each destination is different, lodging can range from elegant hotels in cities to rustic inns in more remote areas. You will receive specific accommodation details closer to the time of departure.


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Sun 16 May 2021 to Sat 29 May 2021

Available

R 175,999

Thu 16 Sep 2021 to Wed 29 Sep 2021

Available

R 175,999