Armenia & Georgia: Past and Present9 days & 8 nights, Private Journey
Handcrafted itineraries for one or more travelers with on-the-ground support, a private guide, and a private vehicle. Private Journeys represent the best of the custom programs we've designed over the years. Our insider knowledge and destination expertise make these innovative journeys truly unique experiences.Private Journey
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Day 1Arrive Yerevan, Armenia
Upon arrival in Yerevan, you will be welcomed by your Cox & Kings representative and receive a private transfer to your centrally-located hotel.Marriott Yerevan - 4 Nights
Yerevan, the capital city of Armenia, is one of the world's most ancient cities, founded under the name Erebuni in 782 BC. In 301 AD, Armenia's King Trdates III converted to Christianity and adopted it as the state religion, making Armenia the world's first Christian country. Later, centuries of conflict between Arabs, Mongols, Turks and Persians led to Yerevan changing hands 14 times between 1513 and 1735. A major earthquake destroyed the city in 1679.Marriott Yerevan (B)
After Russia's 1917 revolution and a short period of Armenian independence, Yerevan became the capital of one of the fifteen Soviet republics and a modern metropolis with over a million people. In 1991, Armenia gained independence with the dissolution of the Soviet Union.
Today, enjoy private sightseeing tours, including downtown Yerevan's vibrant Northern Avenue, a pedestrian-only area filled with high-end boutiques and elegant shops, luxurious residential buildings and hotels, as well as popular restaurants, bars, and nightclubs. Begin either at Freedom Square at one end or Republic Square at the other, and along the way perhaps relax with a cup of cappuccino at a sidewalk cafe, listen to buskers, or people-watch as locals stroll with their friends and families.
Visit the somber and historically significant Armenian Genocide Memorial, which stands in a park at the top of Tsitsernakeberd, or "Swallow Castle." According to scholarly estimates, over one million Armenians perished as a result of policies of the last Ottoman government between 1914 and 1918.
Today, visit Khor Virap - a small monastery set on a ridge above the flat Ararat Valley. Gregory the Illuminator is said to have been imprisoned here for 13 years before converting King Trdat I to Christianity. Continue to the Garni Temple, which was once the summer palace of King Trdat I, who built it in the first century AD. Destroyed by an earthquake in 1679, the monument has been restored by Armenian architects in recent years. Finish your day at the Geghard Monastery - a UNESCO World Heritage site. Beside the river at the foot of an enormous rockface, the church dates from 1215. Explore the convent in a cave adjoining this building, including monastic cells, churches, tombs and kachkars all hewn from solid rock.Marriott Yerevan (B)
Day 4Yerevan and surroundings
Begin your day at Echmiadzin, founded as Vargarsapat in AD 117, and once the capital of Armenia. Today, Echmiadzin is the center of an agricultural area renowned for its fruit and wine. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, it is also an important place of pilgrimage for Christian Armenians from the world over. Marvel at features including a piece of wood from Mt. Ararat said to be from Noah's Ark. This region also includes yet another UNESECO site - the ruins of the 7th century Zvartnots Cathedral. In its day, Zvartnots was the largest round church in the world until it was sacked in the 10th century by Arab invaders. Finish your day with a nip of brandy at the Ararat Brandy Factory. From 1953 until 1991, it was the sole brandy distillery in all of Armenia. Though that has changed, the factory still produces brandy to the rigid national standards that so impressed luminaries such as Winston Churchill.Marriott Yerevan (B)
Day 5Yerevan - Lake Sevan - Sadakhlo, Georgia - Tbilisi
Following breakfast and check-out, meet your driver for a private transfer to the Georgian border at Sadakhlo with touring enroute, starting with the Haghbat Monastery. Founded in the 10th century, this fortified monastery was a literary, artistic and educational center as well as a monastic compound. Experience Armenia's fantastic natural wonders with a visit to Lake Sevan, one of the largest alpine lakes in the world. Cross the border into Georgia and meet your Georgian guide and driver for transfer to Tbilsi. Check-in to your hotel for the evening.Biltmore Hotel Tbilisi - 4 Nights (B)
This morning, meet your guide and driver for a full-day, comprehensive tour of Georgia's capital city. Tbilisi, set at the mouth of the Mtkvari River valley, has changed hands many times. Most notably, the city was ruled by the Arabs for 400 years before King David the Builder defeated them in 1121 and moved his capital here from Kutaisi. Visit the 13th-century Metekhi Church of the Virgin, "The Great Synagogue," and Sioni Cathedral, named for Mt Zion in Jerusalem and located in the Old Town. Continue onwards to 6th-century Anchiskhati Basilica and the 4th century Narikala Fortress. The citadel overlooks the Central Botanical Gardens and offers excellent views of the Old Town. Relax with a soak in the Sulfur Baths of Tbilisi. Most of the baths in use today were built in the 17th century.Biltmore Hotel Tbilisi (B)
Day 7Tbilisi - Mtskheta - Ananuri - Kazbegi - Tbilisi
Following breakfast, meet your guide and driver to set off for a full day of excursions outside of Tbilisi. Embark on an exploration of the hidden treasures along the Georgian Military Highway, completed by Czar Alexander I in 1817. Highlights include Jvari Monastery of the Holy Cross, 11th-century Svetitskhoveli Cathedral, and the quaint alpine village of Kazbegi. At over 6,000 feet, Kazbegi is a small alpine village set in a monumental bowl of mountain peaks, including one of the Caucasus' highest, Mt. Kazbek. Visit with locals here and get insights into their lives as farmers and cattle breeders.Biltmore Hotel Tbilisi (B)
Day 8Tbilisi - Signagi - Tsinandali - Telavi - Tbilisi
Meet your guide and driver to once again head out of the city to explore the Kakheti region of Georgia. Lunch and a wine tasting will be provided today at a local winery. The Kakheti region is the most important wine-growing area of the country and home to one of the most significant sites in Georgia, the David Gareja Monastery. Visit Telavi, the administrative and cultural center of Georgia's wine-growing region, Kakheti. The town has been in existence from at least the 1st century, when it was a stop on one of the trade routes from the Middle East to Europe. Telavi is home to the only well-preserved palace in Georgia, the 17th century castle of Herekle II, and is sister city to California's Napa Valley. Return to Tbilisi for overnight.Biltmore Hotel Tbilisi (B, L)
Day 9Depart Tbilisi
Following breakfast and check-out, meet your guide and driver for a private transfer to the airport for your onward flight.(B)
At Cox & Kings we believe that a good travel experience is not luck but judgment. We have compiled the following advice to outline the nature of travel in Europe and to help you prepare for your trip. Even with the most meticulous planning, however, minor problems can occur and, while our local representatives are always on hand to rectify such occurrences, we do request that you have a patient and broadminded approach to traveling in Europe.
Cruises & Train Tours
The river cruises and train tours in this brochure are offered subject to the conditions of carriage of the individual Train Company. PLEASE NOTE that in exceptional circumstances they may vary their itineraries with little or no notice, if water levels become unsafe, train lines become blocked or to avoid areas of dense traffic. Such changes are rare, but you should check the final itinerary at reception when you embark.
A number of flights within Europe arrive / depart early in the morning, and while we will endeavour to schedule your tour with a flight which arrives / departs at a reasonable time, sometimes there is little or no alternative and early check-in / check-out times may be required.
Accommodation standards vary dramatically throughout Europe, and hotels in Eastern Europe, Albania, Macedonia and regional Turkey, should not generally be compared to Western European standards. For our tours we have chosen hotels primarily for their location and the facilities available. We will endeavour to supply any extra information that you may require on these hotels. The hotels listed in the tour itineraries may occasionally be unavailable for the required dates. In this event, we will advise you of alternative hotels, which will, where possible, be of the same or of a higher standard than those featured in the itineraries. There are many new hotels being built in Europe and we may upgrade those featured in the brochure if better options in the same category become available. Please note all rooms reserved on your tour are standard; however, if you wish to upgrade your room (e.g. to a lake view or suite etc.), please speak to your tour consultant, who will be able to advise you about the options and the applicable supplements.
Check-in & Check-out Times: For all group and individual tours, hotel check-in/out time is normally 12 noon, but this does vary between hotels. Early check-ins and late check-outs cannot be pre-booked, but can sometimes be negotiated on site.
Many of the sites in Europe are quite spread out, and our tours consequently involve a reasonable amount of walking. Whilst the walking is normally easy going, a full-day’s sightseeing can be quite tiring and sometimes strenuous.
Although tourism is not a new concept in most parts of Europe, many of the areas visited are still extremely traditional. Therefore kindly respect local customs and dress codes.
Many countries require passports, visas to be presented before entry is permitted. Please ensure that all traveling members, including infants and children, are in possession of a passport, valid for at least 6 months, prior to departure. It is convenient and safe to have the visa process facilitated by Cox & Kings Limited from the concerned Consulates / Authorities on your behalf. Please note that it is totally at the discretion of the concerned Consulates / Authorities to grant / reject your visas. The consulate may require further documentation and / or personal appearance.
Armenia & Georgia: Past And Present
Please select an option before proceeding to Booking Request.