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Neil Davis

Platinum Travel Consultant

020 7808 6785

020 7808 6785

Lead Price
From £3595pp
Duration
11 days & 10 nights
Itinerary Type
Group Tour
Holiday Type
Specialist-led
Tour Highlights

Armenia & Georgia: Treasures of the Caucasus

Explore the spectacular highland countries of Armenia and Georgia, the world’s oldest Christian nations, with experts Dr William Taylor and Rowena Loverance. Both countries contain a treasure trove of ancient ruins, churches and monasteries together with centuries-old folk traditions. Europe meets Asia in this spectacular and historic region of the Caucasus, where visitors will find a friendly welcome, excellent food and wine, and varied landscapes.
Dates and prices

Your expert lecturers

Rowena Loverance

Rowena Loverance is a Byzantine art historian, specialising in sculpture, mosaics and icons. She worked for more than 20 years at the British Museum and is a visiting research fellow at King’s College, London. Rowena also accompanies groups on the following tours:

Dr William Taylor

Dr William Taylor is an Anglican priest, chairman of the Anglican and Eastern Churches Association, a writer, and broadcaster on the Islamic world and the Orthodox churches. He has worked and lived in Jordan, Cairo, and Turkey and travelled and lectured in the Middle East and Central Asia. William also accompanies groups on the following tours:

Itinerary

YEAR:
DAY 1: Fly to Yerevan, via Brussels
- +

Fly to Yerevan, via Brussels

Fly from London (regional connections available) to Yerevan, via Brussels, with Brussels Airlines. Arrive and transfer to the Metropol Hotel (or similar) for 4 nights. (N)

Meal basis: As per itinerary - B: Breakfast, L: Lunch, D: Dinner, N: No meals.

 

Accommodation: Metropol Hotel
DAY 2: Yerevan
- +

Yerevan

Take a full-day tour of Yerevan with visits including the Matenadaran – the repository of ancient Armenian manuscripts – and Erebuni Fortress, where you meet a local expert (subject to confirmation). Continue to Tsitsernakaberd, a memorial and museum dedicated to the Armenian genocide of 1915, with its picturesque views over the city. Next, visit the National Art Gallery, which contains some excellent examples of medieval frescoes and Armenian and European art. (B, L, D)

Accommodation: Metropol Hotel
DAY 3: Etchmiadzin
- +

Etchmiadzin

Drive west to visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Etchmiadzin (now called Vagharshapat), the spiritual centre of the Armenian-Gregorian Church, and take a private behind-the-scenes tour of the monastic complex. Visit a fine example of Armenian architecture at the St Hripsime Church before visiting Etchmiadzin Cathedral, the oldest state-built cathedral in the world, dating back to the early fourth century. Inside the cathedral is the reputed Holy Lance that pierced Christ’s side during his crucifixion. End the day at the seventh-century ruins of Zvartnots Cathedral. (B, L, D)

Accommodation: Hotel Metropol
DAY 4: Garni • Geghard
- +

Garni • Geghard

Drive east of Yerevan to visit the temple of Garni, a classical Hellenistic temple that is the best-known structure and symbol of pre-Christian Armenia. Nearby is the medieval monastery of Geghard, partially carved out of the adjacent mountain and surrounded by cliffs. (B, L, D)

Accommodation: Hotel Metropol
DAY 5: Lake Sevan & monasteries • Tbilisi
- +

Lake Sevan & monasteries • Tbilisi

Cross the border to Georgia, stopping en route to see Lake Sevan and the UNESCO-protected monasteries of Haghpat and Sanahin, unique for their 10th-century architectural styles. Proceed to Tbilisi and stay 2 nights at the Museum Hotel (or similar). (B, L, D)

Accommodation: Museum Hotel Orbeliani
DAY 6: Tbilisi
- +

Tbilisi

Today's full-day tour of Tbilisi includes a cable car ride to fourth-century Narikala Fortress, which occupies a scenic spot overlooking the city; and the fifth-century Metekhi Church, an unusual cross-cupola church which became an infamous prison during the Soviet era. Visit the State Museum, home to hundreds of Caucasian icons and metalwork dating from the Bronze Age to the 20th century. Spend the remainder of the afternoon at the Georgia Museum of Art on a private guided visit, led by a senior curator. (B, L, D)

Accommodation: Museum Hotel Orbeliani
DAY 7: Mtskheta - Gori - Kutaisi
- +

Mtskheta - Gori - Kutaisi

Drive north-west to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Mtskheta. Lying at the confluence of the Mtkvari and Aragvi rivers, the city was the place where Christianity was proclaimed as the official religion of Georgia in 337 AD. Continue to the nearby church of Jvari, then to Gori, birthplace of Joseph Stalin. Visit the intriguing Stalin Museum, which features numerous personal artefacts, including Stalin’s notorious armour-plated railway carriage. Drive to Kutaisi and spend one night at the Bagrati Hotel (or similar). (B, L, D)

Accommodation: Bagrati 1003
DAY 8: Bagrati - Gelati - Ubisa - Tbilisi
- +

Bagrati - Gelati - Ubisa - Tbilisi

This morning, visit Bagrati Cathedral, which occupies a prominent position over Kutaisi. Continue to the Gelati monastery complex, built by the former king of Georgia, David IV the Builder. This UNESCO World Heritage Site features a number of 12th- and 13th-century churches and houses numerous murals, mosaics and manuscripts. Drive eastwards to Tbilisi, stopping at Ubisa for a short visit. Overnight at the Museum Hotel (or similar), Tbilisi. (B, L, D)

Accommodation: Museum Hotel Orbeliani
DAY 9: Gremi - Ikalto - Bodbe - Signagi
- +

Gremi - Ikalto - Bodbe - Signagi

Travel east through the hills and winelands of Kakheti to the town of Gremi, which was destroyed by Shah Abbas's army in the 16th century, leaving the architectural monument of the royal citadel and the Church of the Archangels. Continue to the Ikalto academy, together with Gelati, one of the great medieval academies of Georgia. Drive to Signagi via the monastery of St Nino at Bodbe, a Georgian Orthodox monastic complex and one of the major pilgrimage sites in Georgia, with views of the Greater Caucasus Mountains. Overnight at Kabadoni Hotel (or similar). (B, L, D)

Accommodation: Kabadoni
DAY 10: Signagi - Tsinandali - Telavi - Alaverdi - Tbilisi
- +

Signagi - Tsinandali - Telavi - Alaverdi - Tbilisi

After a walking tour of Signagi, visit Tsinandali, the palace and vineyard of a Georgian noble family. Nearby is Telavi, capital of the Kakheti region and home to the best vineyards in the country. After lunch in a wine house, visit Alaverdi, a functioning Georgian monastery dating from the sixth century with its stunning masterpiece – the 11th-century cathedral. Return to Tbilisi for a farewell dinner and stay overnight at the Museum Hotel (or similar). (B, L, D)

Accommodation: Museum Hotel Orbeliani
DAY 11: Fly to London, via Vienna
- +

Fly to London, via Vienna

Transfer to Tbilisi airport. Fly to London, via Vienna with Austrian Airlines. (B)

Meal basis: As per itinerary – B: Breakfast, L: Lunch, D: Dinner, N: No meals.

DAY 1: Fly to Yerevan, via Brussels
- +

Fly to Yerevan, via Brussels

Fly from London (regional connections available) to Yerevan, via Brussels, with Brussels Airlines. Arrive and transfer to the Metropol Hotel (or similar) for 4 nights. (N)

Meal basis: As per itinerary - B: Breakfast, L: Lunch, D: Dinner, N: No meals.

 

Accommodation: Metropol Hotel
DAY 2: Yerevan
- +

Yerevan

Take a full-day tour of Yerevan with visits including the Matenadaran – the repository of ancient Armenian manuscripts – and Erebuni Fortress, where you meet a local expert (subject to confirmation). Continue to Tsitsernakaberd, a memorial and museum dedicated to the Armenian genocide of 1915, with its picturesque views over the city. Next, visit the National Art Gallery, which contains some excellent examples of medieval frescoes and Armenian and European art. (B, L, D)

Accommodation: Metropol Hotel
DAY 3: Etchmiadzin
- +

Etchmiadzin

Drive west to visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Etchmiadzin (now called Vagharshapat), the spiritual centre of the Armenian-Gregorian Church, and take a private behind-the-scenes tour of the monastic complex. Visit a fine example of Armenian architecture at the St Hripsime Church before visiting Etchmiadzin Cathedral, the oldest state-built cathedral in the world, dating back to the early fourth century. Inside the cathedral is the reputed Holy Lance that pierced Christ’s side during his crucifixion. End the day at the seventh-century ruins of Zvartnots Cathedral. (B, L, D)

Accommodation: Hotel Metropol
DAY 4: Garni • Geghard
- +

Garni • Geghard

Drive east of Yerevan to visit the temple of Garni, a classical Hellenistic temple that is the best-known structure and symbol of pre-Christian Armenia. Nearby is the medieval monastery of Geghard, partially carved out of the adjacent mountain and surrounded by cliffs. (B, L, D)

Accommodation: Hotel Metropol
DAY 5: Lake Sevan & monasteries • Tbilisi
- +

Lake Sevan & monasteries • Tbilisi

Cross the border to Georgia, stopping en route to see Lake Sevan and the UNESCO-protected monasteries of Haghpat and Sanahin, unique for their 10th-century architectural styles. Proceed to Tbilisi and stay 2 nights at the Museum Hotel (or similar). (B, L, D)

Accommodation: Museum Hotel Orbeliani
DAY 6: Tbilisi
- +

Tbilisi

Today's full-day tour of Tbilisi includes a cable car ride to fourth-century Narikala Fortress, which occupies a scenic spot overlooking the city; and the fifth-century Metekhi Church, an unusual cross-cupola church which became an infamous prison during the Soviet era. Visit the State Museum, home to hundreds of Caucasian icons and metalwork dating from the Bronze Age to the 20th century. Spend the remainder of the afternoon at the Georgia Museum of Art on a private guided visit, led by a senior curator. (B, L, D)

Accommodation: Museum Hotel Orbeliani
DAY 7: Mtskheta - Gori - Kutaisi
- +

Mtskheta - Gori - Kutaisi

Drive north-west to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Mtskheta. Lying at the confluence of the Mtkvari and Aragvi rivers, the city was the place where Christianity was proclaimed as the official religion of Georgia in 337 AD. Continue to the nearby church of Jvari, then to Gori, birthplace of Joseph Stalin. Visit the intriguing Stalin Museum, which features numerous personal artefacts, including Stalin’s notorious armour-plated railway carriage. Drive to Kutaisi and spend one night at the Bagrati Hotel (or similar). (B, L, D)

Accommodation: Bagrati 1003
DAY 8: Bagrati - Gelati - Ubisa - Tbilisi
- +

Bagrati - Gelati - Ubisa - Tbilisi

This morning, visit Bagrati Cathedral, which occupies a prominent position over Kutaisi. Continue to the Gelati monastery complex, built by the former king of Georgia, David IV the Builder. This UNESCO World Heritage Site features a number of 12th- and 13th-century churches and houses numerous murals, mosaics and manuscripts. Drive eastwards to Tbilisi, stopping at Ubisa for a short visit. Overnight at the Museum Hotel (or similar), Tbilisi. (B, L, D)

Accommodation: Museum Hotel Orbeliani
DAY 9: Gremi - Ikalto - Bodbe - Signagi
- +

Gremi - Ikalto - Bodbe - Signagi

Travel east through the hills and winelands of Kakheti to the town of Gremi, which was destroyed by Shah Abbas's army in the 16th century, leaving the architectural monument of the royal citadel and the Church of the Archangels. Continue to the Ikalto academy, together with Gelati, one of the great medieval academies of Georgia. Drive to Signagi via the monastery of St Nino at Bodbe, a Georgian Orthodox monastic complex and one of the major pilgrimage sites in Georgia, with views of the Greater Caucasus Mountains. Overnight at Kabadoni Hotel (or similar). (B, L, D)

Accommodation: Kabadoni
DAY 10: Signagi - Tsinandali - Telavi - Alaverdi - Tbilisi
- +

Signagi - Tsinandali - Telavi - Alaverdi - Tbilisi

After a walking tour of Signagi, visit Tsinandali, the palace and vineyard of a Georgian noble family. Nearby is Telavi, capital of the Kakheti region and home to the best vineyards in the country. After lunch in a wine house, visit Alaverdi, a functioning Georgian monastery dating from the sixth century with its stunning masterpiece – the 11th-century cathedral. Return to Tbilisi for a farewell dinner and stay overnight at the Museum Hotel (or similar). (B, L, D)

Accommodation: Museum Hotel Orbeliani
DAY 11: Fly to London, via Vienna
- +

Fly to London, via Vienna

Transfer to Tbilisi airport. Fly to London, via Vienna with Austrian Airlines. (B)

Meal basis: As per itinerary – B: Breakfast, L: Lunch, D: Dinner, N: No meals.

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The Cox & Kings signature experiences

  • Specialist-led group tour, accompanied by an expert in art, history, and religious heritage
  • Visit awe-inspiring medieval monasteries
  • Private guided visit by a senior curator at the Georgia Museum of Art
  • Exclusive visits to monasteries and meetings with local religious leaders
  • All meals included

Important information

Expert-led tour
This tour is fully escorted throughout by a lecturer who has specialist knowledge of the destination and its culture, as well as an experienced local guide where necessary.
Standard tour
This tour is based in 3- and 4-star accommodation. Please visit this tour on our website to see details of the hotels included.
Accessibility
This tour involves some long walks over uneven ground and therefore requires a good level of fitness.
Private visits
Please note that the exclusive and individual nature of private visits means that they are subject to confirmation nearer the time of departure. Also, churches, private houses and other buildings often have fluid opening times. If any visits have to be re-arranged, please be assured that we will seek alternatives of equal interest.
Guaranteed departures
Where a tour date shows ‘Guaranteed departure’, this tour is guaranteed to run. For all other departure dates, once the minimum number of people booked has been reached, this tour is also guaranteed to run. Our sales consultants will be able to advise how many people are booked for your chosen date at the time of enquiry, giving you the confidence to book safe in the knowledge your tour will go ahead.
Dates and prices
Unless otherwise stated, the tour prices and upgrade supplements are all per person in pound sterling, based on two people sharing a twin/double room. The online price is a guideline price; your final quote may differ due to flight availability, and you may be asked to pay a flight supplement.

What's included

  • International flights (and domestic flights if applicable)
  • UK departure and overseas airport taxes
  • Accommodation, Itinerary & meal basis as described
  • Local Transfers in an air-conditioned vehicle
  • Fully escorted by an English-speaking guide throughout
  • Entrance fees unless otherwise stated

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