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UNESCO heritage sites in Armenia and Georgia

11 days/ 10 nights

Open Detailed Descriptions
Day 1

Arrival in Yerevan. Transfer to the hotel.

Day 2

City tour - Yerevan on the shade of biblic Mountain Ararat

Breakfast in the hotel. Yerevan sightseeing including City center, Republic square, State University, City panorama, Parliament, President’s Palace, Opera, Matenadaran - one of the world's largest depositories of ancient manuscripts, pride of Armenian culture. Depository’s collection holds about 17,000 manuscripts and includes almost all the areas of ancient and medieval Armenian culture and sciences, as well as manuscripts in Arabic, Persian, Greek, Syrian, Latin, Ethiopian, Indian, Japanese and others. Visit to the Genocide Memorial, dedicated to the Victims of 1915 and the Genocide Museum. Walk in the Cascade complex, which is considered the modern art center of Yerevan, with art pieces displayed throughout the whole area: the boulevard and up the stairs, from top of which you can enjoy the panoramic view on the city and Mountain Ararat. Cascade is home to Cafesjan modern art museum. This place becomes even more charming in the evenings, when it is full of people, both locals and tourists from all over the world, enjoying the magic and the warmth of the capital. You will enjoy spending time in one of the cozy open-air cafes surrounded by beautiful sculptures, redolent flowers shining brightly with magic colors. It is also a popular place for open air concerts at summer season. Visit to Armenian central market. O/N in Yerevan.

Day 3

Vernissage - Echmiadzin - Zvartnots

Breakfast in the hotel. Visit to Vernissage, an open-air exhibition- national crafts/art market functioning on the weekends. Drive to Etchmiadzin city that used to be the ancient capital of Armenia. Since 4th century, it is the largest religious center, the residency of Catholicos of All Armenians. The cathedral is one of the ancient churches in the Christian world, included in the UNESCO World Heritage List (2000). It is the center of Armenian Apostolic Church. It was founded in 301 A.D. by St. Gregory the Illuminator. Drive to Zvartnots, a temple of Vigil Forces, built in 641—661 A.D. is considered one of the architectural wonders and unique example of Armenian architecture of early Christian period. It was damaged by an earthquake in the 10th century. Тhe ruins of this cathedral still speak about the rare beauty of it. Drive back to Yerevan. O/N in Yerevan.

Day 4

Garni - Geghard

Breakfast at the hotel. Drive to the only remaining pagan temple in Armenia devoted to the God of Sun – Myrth, in Garni, built in 77 AD by King Trdat (Arshakid Dynasty). Photo stop at Charentc Arc. The temple is Greco-Roman style with characteristic pillars. It stands proudly on a rocky ridge with a deep canyon presenting a beautiful view. The temple was a summer residence for Arshakid dynasty. Visit to the ruins of Royal Palace and Royal bath-house nearby. Canyon of Garni -magnificent and outstanding scene which creates the image of falling crags. It obtained the name "Symphony of Stones" due to its view. The fantastic landscape of Garni canyon shakes the human imagination. Drive to the unique caved temple St. Geghard (12th -13th cc.), the name of which means “holy spear” in the honor of the long-preserved spear, the same spear that pierced the body of crucified Christ. It is now exhibited in the museum of Etchmiadzin Cathedral. Geghard Monastery is included in the UNESCO World Heritage list (2000). The monastery complex is surrounded by a landscape of great natural beauty and by towering cliffs which looks over Azat Valley (UNESCO World Heritage list 2000). The program includes family hosted lunch in village house and watching of “Lavash” (Armenian traditional flat bread baked in stone-make oven) making process. In 2014, the preparation process of "Lavash as well as the meaning, appearance of traditional bread as an expression of culture in Armenia" was included in the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

Day 5

Sevan - Dilijan - Haghpat - Sanahin - border - Tbilisi

Breakfast in the hotel. Drive to Lake Sevan, one of the wonders in Armenia. This blue lake is one of the greatest high mountainous freshwater lakes of Eurasia. On a clear and sunny day, the water is often of a deep turquoise colour. Total surface of the lake is 940 km2. Akhtamar peninsula is most popular destination to enjoy the breath-taking view on Sevan Lake, make pics for sweet memories and visit with the ancient Sevanavank Monastery (IX century), which stands in its greatness on the peninsula overlooking the lake for centuries. Passing by mountainous resort Dilijan, called “Armenian Switzerland”, which is well-known for its forests as well as for its mysterious flora and fauna. During the drive one can enjoy the unbelievable change of the surrounding environment and landshaft from the mountainous lake to the green and rich forest mountains. Drive to the northern part of Armenia, the magical place of forested mountains and deep canyons. Visit to the masterpieces of Armenian medieval architecture – Haghpat and Sanahin Monastery. Sanahin Monastery ranks amongst the most celebrated monasteries of medieval Armenia. It is a complex with St. Mother of God Church, St. Amenaprkich Church, St. Gregory chapel (X c.), an Academy building (XI c.), a depository (XI c.), a Gallery building (X c.), a vestibule (XII c.) and bells (XIII c.). All these buildings are around St. Blessed Virgin old Church. Haghpat monastery is located in the north-eastern part of Sanahin, was built with its resemblance. The clock-tower was erected in 1210 and is one of the most beautiful examples of its kind from the medieval period in Armenia. The monastery’s bell tower, built in 1245, stands apart from the main ensemble of monuments, and is architecturally noteworthy. The complex was once home to libraries, scriptoriums, schools and refectories. Arts and humanities, theology, painting were taught here. The most interesting feature about Haghpat is the refectory (XIII c.). Haghpat and Sanahin Monasteries are included in the UNESCO World Heritage List (2000). Drive to the Georgian - Armenian border – Sadakhlo. Passing the border formalities. Drive to Tbilisi. Overnight in Tbilisi.

Day 6

Tbilisi City tour

Day 6: Tbilisi City tour Breakfast at the hotel. Tbilisi (literally "Warm Spring") is the capital and the largest city of Georgia, lying on the banks of the Mt'k'vari River, founded in the 5th century by Vakhtang Gorgasali. Tbilisi is a significant industrial, social and cultural centre of Georgia. Located strategically at the crossroads between Europe and Asia and lying along the historic Silk Road routes, Tbilisi has often been a point of contention between various rival powers and empires. The history of the city can be seen by its architecture. Tbilisi sightseeing tour includes: Old town: Metechi church and the statue of king Vakhtang Gorgasali (founder of Tbilisi -5th century); Abanotubani, the ancient district of Tbilisi, known for its sulfuric baths; Narikala fortress; Sharden street, Synagogue, Sioni Cathedral, The Holy Trinity Cathedral, known as Sameba, which is the main Georgian Orthodox Cathedral listed among the largest Orthodox churches in the world; Shota Rustaveli Avenue; Open Air Museum of Ethnography – it is essentially a historic village populated by buildings moved there from all main territorial subdivisions of Georgia. Overnight in Tbilisi.

Day 7

Mtskheta - Kutaisi

Breakfast in the hotel. Drive to the ancient capital and religious centre of Georgia – Mtskheta included in the UNESCO World Heritage list and visit its historical places: Jvari Monastery and Svetitskhoveli Cathedral, where the Robe of Christ is buried. Drive to Kutaisi: the second largest city of Georgia. Visit Gelati Academy and Monastery included in the list of UNESCO World Heritage in Danger. It was founded by King David IV the founder in XII century. During the 12-13th centuries Gelati was one of the biggest religious, educational, scientific and philosophy centers of Georgia. The founding of Gelati is tied to the cultural renaissance of Georgia. Overnight in Kutaisi.

Day 8

Kutaisi - Mestia

Breakfast in the hotel. Drive to Mestia, the main regional center of Upper Svaneti included in the UNESCO World Heritage list (1996). Svaneti is a historic province of Georgia, in the north-western part of the country. Surrounded by 3,000–5,000 meter peaks, Svaneti is the highest inhabited area in the Caucasus. The place is famous for its unique towers, used to protect their inhabitants in case of attacks and used as residential houses. Overnight in Mestia.

Day 9

Mestia - Zugdidi - Kutaisi

Breakfast at the hotel. Drive to Zugdidi, the city in the Western Georgian historical province of Samegrelo. Visit Dadiani Palace, belonging to the former dukes of Samegrelo. Currently more than 50 000 rare exhibits are displayed at the museum. Among its collection are relics of European monarchs and imperial families, a death mask of Napoleon Bonaparte, the relics of Christian saints. Drive to Bagrati Cathedral (included in the UNESCO World Heritage list (1994)) built in early 11th century, during the reign of King Bagrat III. The cathedral got its name after king Bagrat. Overnight in Kutaisi.

Day 10

Kutaisi - Gori - Uplistsikhe - Tbilisi

Breakfast at the hotel. Drive to Gori. Visit Joseph Stalin State Museum. Drive to Uplistsikhe (literally, “the lord's fortress”), an ancient rock-hewn in eastern Georgia. Built on a high rocky left bank of the Mtkvari River, it contains various structures dating from the Early Iron Ages to the Late Middle Ages, and is notable for the unique combination of various styles of rock-cut cultures from Anatolia and Iran as well as the co-existence of pagan and Christian architecture. Drive to Tbilisi. Overnight in Tbilisi.

Day 11

Transfer to airport. Departure.