15 DAYS

 

FROM: $7916

DAY 1

Arrive in Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan, meet and greet at the airport and private transfer to the hotel. Accommodation at the hotel.

DAY 2

Start exploring Azerbaijan with a city tour of Baku, including major architectural monuments, Muslim pilgrimage places and proceed to the Old Town ‘Iceri Sehir,’ which is also a fortress. See highlights of Iceri Sehir including the Palace of the Shirvans (the Medieval palace structures -15th century), the Maiden’s Tower (ancient fortress originally built as a fire beacon) and the Carpet Museum. The afternoon is free to further explore the city on your own. Tonight’s dinner is enjoyed at your hotel - a relaxing end to the day.

DAY 3

Your morning starts with a departure by coach for the historic town of Sheki (350km from Baku). On the way, enjoy fascinating views of the Caucasian Mountains and explore the ancient mausoleums of Diri Baba (8th century) and Yeddy Gumbez. Arrive in Sheki and transfer to the hotel. Accommodation at the hotel. The evening is free to wander through this beautiful town or to relax in your room.

DAY 4

You will have a morning sightseeing tour of Sheki, including a visit to the Palace of the Sheki Khans who ruled over the region in the 18th century. Note the typical Azeri windows and frescoes of the palace and that it was built without a single nail. Continue your drive by coach to Georgia, where, after crossing the border, you will explore the medieval monuments of the Kakheti Province. Kakheti is a major vine-growing region in Georgia, and you will observe endless stretches of wineries along the highway. Arrive in Tbilisi and transfer to the hotel. Accommodation at the hotel. Dinner at the hotel tonight ends the day on a relaxing note.

DAY 5

Enjoy a sightseeing tour of Tbilisi, a city with a long and fascinating history founded in the 5th century AD by Georgian King Vakhtang Gorgasali. Explore the most famous sights of the city including the basilica style Anchiskhati Church, Metekhi Temple (12th century) and the Abanotubani, the area famous for the sulfur baths with Asian style buildings. Your day continues with a tour of Georgia’s ancient capital - Mtskheta. You visit some of the most significant monuments of Georgian architecture and history - the Jvari Monastery (6th century), the Svetitskhoveli Cathedral (11th century) and the Samtavro Church (11th century). The evening is free to relax or explore more of Tbilisi on your own.

DAY 6

Today you will visit the town of Gori, a historical place known for its huge fortress and as a birthplace of Joseph Stalin. Enjoy a short sightseeing tour of the town including Central Square, where a big monument of Stalin still commands the area. You continue to the ancient Uplistsikhe cave town (7th century) and Borjomi, the most famous resort in Georgia, known for its mineral water. Your final destination today is Bakuriani ski resort. Upon arrival transfer and accommodation at the hotel. Tonight you’ll enjoy a traditional barbeque dinner with famous Georgian shish kebabs.

DAY 7

This morning’s drive takes you to another cave town - Vardzia, a unique example of Georgian Renaissance. The town is associated with Georgian legendary Queen Tamara, who often personally led her soldiers in battles back in the 12th-13th centuries. Continue to the town of Kutaisi in Western Georgia, which dates back to the Argonauts times (13th-12th centuries BC). Arrive in Kutaisi and transfer to the hotel. Accommodation at the hotel. Use your free time in the evening to stroll along the city streets or relax at your hotel room.

DAY 8

Start your morning with a city tour of Kutaisi, the second largest city of Georgia. It is reputed to be the Bronze Age capital of King Aeetes who possessed the Golden Fleece. You’ll visit the ruins of Bagrat’s 11th century cathedral, on a hilltop in the old town and Gelati Monastery. Continue your day with a transfer by coach to the city of Batumi - an exotic-looking subtropical city on the Black Sea coast. Arrive in Batumi and transfer to the hotel. Accommodation at the hotel. The evening is free.

DAY 9

The morning is free with many optional excursions available. In the afternoon, you take a tour to the Gonio Fortress (2nd century) to explore the sights and go for a walking tour of Batumi’s Old Town with it’s historical boulevards and buildings. Tonight’s dinner at the local restaurant will introduce you to the traditional cuisine of Georgia - a relaxing end to the day.

DAY 10

Today you leave Batumi and travel by coach back to Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia. En route to Tbilisi, you will stop for lunch at a local restaurant and visit the Samtavisi Church (built in the 11th century).  Arrive in Tbilisi and transfer to the hotel. Accommodation at the hotel. You will have time to relax in your hotel room, and get ready for a trip to the last country on your itinerary - Armenia.

DAY 11

This morning you cross the Armenian border and travel by coach to Yerevan, Armenia’s capital city. Upon arrival you’ll be taken for a sightseeing tour of the city, including the Tsitsernagaberd Monument and Museum that commemorates the 1915 Genocide. Take a stroll through the Central “Shuga”, a huge local market where row upon row of fresh fruit, dried fruit and vegetable vendors offer their sun-ripened wares. The evening is free to relax or explore more of Yerevan on your own.

DAY 12

You begin your day with a visit to Garni - the Pagan Temple of the 1st century, which was also the residence of Armenian Kings in the 3rd century. You will also visit the Geghard Cave Monastery, a fantastic sample of Armenian medieval architecture. An afternoon is free to relax. Complete your day with a dinner of traditional local cuisine and a folklore show at a restaurant in downtown Yerevan.

DAY 13

Today you will have an excursion to Echmiadzin, the center of Armenian Apostolic Church, and see St. Echmiadzin Cathedral founded in 301 - one of the oldest and most beautiful churches in Armenia. Continue to Hripsime Martyria Church and Zvartnots Temple, both of the 7th century, and see the depository of ancient manuscripts at Matanadaran. The rest of the day is free, and you can use it to explore Yerevan on your own or do some souvenir shopping.

DAY 14

Today you will take a full day trip to Lake Sevan, the much-treasured gem of Armenia. The lake’s water is a deep turquoise color on sunny days, and combined with sand beaches and warm water temperatures, this makes it a perfect place for a one-day getaway from the city. Have a picnic lunch at the lakeshore and visit the 12th century Hagartsin monastery before returning to Yerevan.

DAY 15

Your journey ends with a transfer to the airport for flight home.

Kavkaz Quest:

Azerbaijan, Georgia and Armenia

123 Queen Anne Avenue N, Suite 102

Seattle, WA 98109 USA

Tel: 206-522-5995

Toll-free: 800-215-4378

Fax: 206-522-6295

© 2017 Red Star Travel RIGHTS RESERVED