Day 1: Arrival in Yerevan and Yerevan City Tour.
Arrival and transfer after lunch, we’ll take afternoon walking tour of the Yerevan’s shopping district where we’ll visit the National Museum and the Yerevan Opera House on our way to the Matenadaran – one of the oldest and richest book depositories in the world. Overnight in Yerevan. (B/-/- )
DAY 2: Yerevan – Khor Virap – Areni – Noravank – Yerevan.
After breakfast we’ll drive Khor Virap Monastery (4-17th c.) whose name means deep dungeon. This complex is the place where the founder of the Armenian church, St. Gregory the Illuminator, was imprisoned for being a Christian evangelist. He was freed when Armenia became Christian state in 301 A.D. Its location, near the closest point to Mt. Ararat within Armenian borders, offers a spectacular view of the mountain, the national symbol of Armenia.From there we’ll drive to the Vayots Dzor region, which is Armenia’s most storied wine growing region. It is here that Areni-1, the world’s oldest winery (over 6000 years old) was discovered recently in a local cave. The Areni-1 winery is a 6,100-year-old winery that was discovered in 2007 in the Areni-1 cave complex in the village of Areni in the Vayots Dzor province of the Republic of Armenia by a team of Armenian and Irish archaeologists. From there, we’ll travel to Noravank Monastery. Built in the 13th-14th centuries and surrounded by dramatic red and grey limestone cliffs. The Noravank canyon area is famous for its numerous caves (Bird, Mageli, Archeri and Mozrov Caverns), its Flora (Wild Yellow Rose, pistachio, wild pear, herbs and berries) and fauna. This area has been recognized as an Important Bird Area (IBA) hosting some globally threatened bird species. Driving back to Yerevan. Overnight in Yerevan. (B/-/- )
DAY 3: Yerevan -Maran Winery – Zvartnots – Echmiadzin – Yerevan.
After breakfast visiting the Maran Winery which is near Echmiadizin.Maran Winery was founded in 1991. Maran is a boutique winery. They produce wines from grapes, apricot, pomegranate. There we will have opportunity to taste fruits wines, grape wines. Maran special is their Bagratouniand Bagratouni Reserve wines. These delicious white wines competitive with the better chardonnays from California. Driving to Zvartnots Cathedral. Zvartnots Cathedral is a 7th-century centrally planned aisled tetraconch type Armenian cathedral built by the order of Catholicos Nerses the Builder from 643-652. Now in ruins, it is located at the edge of the city of Etchmiadzin in Armavir Province of Armenia. Visiting Echmiadzin Cathedral which was constructed in 303 A.D. and is the first church built in the world. It continues to be the oldest church in Christianity. We’ll also visit other famous churches including the Church of St. Hripsime (618 A.D.) and The Church of St. Gayane (630 AD). Etchmiadzin is the residence of the Catholicos, the head of the Armenian apostolic Church. Back to Yerevan. Overnight in Yerevan. (B/-/- )
DAY 4: Yerevan- Garni – Geghard – Ararat Brandy, Wine , Vodka Factory – Ararat Brandy Factory – In Vino wine club.
Breakfast in the hotel. After breakfast drive to Charents Ark. Charents was an Armenian poet, writer and public activist. Higher up the gorge of the Azat river, there is a magnificent monument of medieval Armenian architecture Geghard monastery inscribed in UNESCO World Heritage list. Geghard is another incredible ancient Armenian monastery, partly carved out of a mountain. Departure to Garni Temple. It was built in the first century A.D. by the Armenian King Tiridates and it is dedicated to a heathen god, probably to Mithra, the god of the sun whose figure stood in the depth of the sanctuary. Back to Yerevan. Visiting “Noy” Brandy-Wine-Vodka Factory. During the tour you’ll visit the distillation department, the cooperage department, the museum, the wine-cellar. Tasting wine from 1924 and two cognac varieties of 10 and 20 years’ maturity. Visiting famous Ararat Brandy Factory. Ararat Brandy Factory is the leading enterprise of Armenia for the production of alcoholic beverages. Its main brand name is Ararat. Walk around the ageing cellar and see how the brandy spirits are preserved, know who have nominal barrels and enjoy the delicate aroma of the cellar. Pass a pleasant and memorable time in the tasting hall enjoying the delicious “THREE STARS”, “AKHTAMAR”. For those having a passion for wine, here is the place, there are different types if wine from different part of world, from Armenia to Chile and. Overnight in Yerevan.
DAY 5: Yerevan – Saghmosavank Monastery – Oshakan Winery – Yerevan.
After breakfast driving to Saghmosavank Monastery. It is a tiny, but a very beautiful cruciform church dating back from the 7th century, in the town of Ashtarak. Its unique red tiled roofing came down to us completely unharmed. Proceed to Saghmosavank Monastery situated on the edge of a deep gorge at the foot of Mt. Ara, with Mt. Ararat and Mt. Arargats rising majestically on the western and northern horizons. It’s an 11th century structure. Visit Oshakan-St. Mashtots Church where the primordial alphabet-giver, St. Mesrop Mashtots, is buried, just under the altar of the church. It’s a hall-type church with frescoes. The church is surrounded by a garden with ornamented Armenian alphabet letter statues.
Wine tasting tour in Oshakan village ‘’Armenia wines ‘’winery. Here you will have another opportunity to get acquainted with the stories of the wine and cognac producing. Today, the company offers the assortment of high-quality “Armenia” wines to the most demanding local and foreign buyers. “Armenia Wine” is the largest Armenian winery. It’s involved in winemaking as well as producing cognac and vodka, and has own vineyards. Armenia has been famous for the best traditions of winemaking in the whole world for many centuries. Another striking demonstration of is discovery of the oldest winery dating back more than 6 000 years during 2011 excavations in Areni. Overnight in Yerevan. (B/-/- )
DAY 6: Yerevan – Sanahin – Haghtpat – Bagratashen Border – Tbilisi.
After breakfast driving to Tbilisi border via Sanahin, Haghpat. Sanahin Monastery is an Armenian monastery founded in the 10th century in the Lori Province of Armenia. The name Sanahin literally translates from Armenian as “this one is older than that one”, presumably representing a claim to having an older monastery than the neighbouring Haghpat Monastery. Haghpat is a village in the Lori Province of Armenia, located near the city of Alaverdi and the state border with Georgia. It is notable for Haghpat Monastery, a religious complex founded in the 10th century and included in the UNESCO World Heritage List along with monasteries in nearby Sanahin. The monastery is an outstanding and magnificent example of medieval Armenian architecture that has been attracting increasing numbers of tourists. Drive to border. Changing the transport and guide.
Sadakhlo – Tbilisi. Meeting at Sadakhlo border. Pass border formalities and continue to the tour with Georgian guide. Arrive in Tbilisi, capital of Georgia, register at the hotel. After having a rest, excursion in the evening Tbilisi. visiting old district and following sights: Metekhi Church, erected on the cliff, overlooking the Mtkvari River; the colorful Darejani Palace, also situated on the cliff, like the nest of a swallow; The Famous Sulfur Baths, located in Old Tbilisi, in “abanotubani” where several hot springs of sulfur water is concentrated, on the other side of the river. Lift by cableway on city defensiveNarikala fortress. Also called the mother fortress of Tbilisi, Narikala is an ancient symbol of Tbilisi’s defence. The fortress was established in the 4th century, around the period when the city itself was founded. At Leselidze Street, we come across the 13th century Armenian St. George Church and Jewish synagogue with an elegant facade. Here you discover Shardeni Street with its fashionable cozy cafes and art galleries. Overnight in Tbilisi. (B/-/- )
Day 7: Tbilisi – Sighnaghi – Velistsikhe – Kvareli.
Today we will drive from Tbilisi to Kakheti region to the east part of the country and the cradle of Georgian wine. First we will visitSighanghi, “city of love”. Excursion in this beautiful city, visit city fortress walls overlooking Alazany valley with stunning views. Wine degustation at local wine cellar “Pheasant’s Tears” with Georgian cheese and bread. Then drive to Velistsikhe and stop at Nunu’s small wine cellar, who will meet you with pleasure. Here you’ll have master classes in preparing famous Georgian dishes: “Churchkhela”-with grape juice and nuts, “Mtsvadi”- like BBQ, “Shoti” – Georgian bread and taste wine just from the Georgian wine vessel “kvevri” in local cellar. Afterwards, we drive to Kvareli. Here we’ll visit “Gvirabi” – tunnel. This unique wine cave represents the tunnel that is cut off in eth stone massif of Caucasian mountain range, where yearlong natural temperature is 10-12ºC. The length of this construction is 7,7 Km. Excursion thereinformation about wine factory “Winery Khareba” and the wine technology. Transfer to the hotel. Overnight in Kvareli. (B/-/- )
Day 8: Kvareli – Alaverdi – Tsinandali – Telavi – Tbilisi.
After breakfast at the hotel, we will drive to Alaverdi. Visit Alaverdi Cathedral (11th century), the monastery was founded by the Assyrian monk Joseph (Yoseb, Amba) Alaverdeli, who came from Antioch and settled in Alaverdi, in a small village at the beginning of the 11th century also visit old Enotheque (17-18th cc.). Then drive to Tsinandali and visit house museum of Prince Aleksandre Chavchavadze, with beautiful garden and wine cellar, where we will taste 5 sorts of wine. Alexander Chavchavadze inherited this village, lying in the Alazany River valley, from his father, Prince Garsevan. He refurbished the estate, constructed a new Italianate palace and built a decorative garden in 1835. It was the place where Chavchavadze frequently entertained foreign guests with music, wit, and – most especially – the fine vintages made at his estate winery (marani). Familiar with European ways, Chavchavadze built Georgia’s oldest and largest winery where he combined European and centuries-long Georgian winemaking traditions. The highly regarded dry white Tsinandali is still produced there. Then visit Telavi, excursion in the city. First archaeological findings from Telavi date back to Bronze Age. Telavi wasan important and large political and administrative center in the 8th century AD. Visit one of the most famous wine factories in Georgia “Teliany valley”. Make Excursion, tasting of 2 sorts of wine, Georgian bread and Imeretian cheese. In the evening, drive to Tbilisi and overnight in the capital. (B/-/- )
Day 9: Tbilisi – Mukhrani – Mtskheta – Tbilisi.
In the morning drive to visitChateau Mukhrani. Here you will discover history of Georgian royal family, explore legends, feel smell of old and delicious wines. We will visit castle of Prince Ivane Mukhranbatoni, beautiful garden and old cellars, discover the art of castle winemaking, walk in vineyard and visit wine factory. Taste delicious Georgian wine, cheese and snacks, also taste famous „chacha”. Then drive to Chardakhi and visit Iago’s wine cellar. Taste unique sorts of wine, discover wine making history and tradition from the host. Also taste famous Georgian „khinkali”. Then visit Mtskheta (UNESCO Heritage Site), the ancient capital of Georgia – early kingdom of Iberia. Inhabited since before 1000 BC it was religious centre of the country, where St. Nino converted the country to Christianity in around 337 AD. Excursion in Svetitskhoveli Cathedral, a life-giving pillar – Cathedral of 11th century –Magnificent, both inside and outside, the Cathedral is an important piece of Christian history, as it is a place where Christ’s robe was buried. We can taste Georgian traditional dishes in the restaurant with nice overview. Overnight in Tbilisi. (B/-/- )
Day 10: Departure day. Transfer to Tbilisi international airport. Farewell.
Transportation as per programThe Price Includes:
- Entrance fees
- 3 * Hotel with BB (only breakfast)
- One bottle of water per person per day
- Wine degustation fees
- Master classes
- Flight tickets
- Alcoholic beverages (except given above)
- Lunch and dinner
- Travel insurance
- Sulfur baths