Arrival to Tbilisi, Lunch, Mtskheta, Jvari Monastery, Tbilisi observing city tour (overnight), Borjomi, Rabati Castle, Lunch, Vardzia (carved monastery and cave town), Gyumri, Yerevan

Hotel & lunches included

Arrival to Tbilisi, Lunch, Mtskheta, Jvari Monastery, Tbilisi (overnight)

1. Mtskheta
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Mtskheta
Mtskheta, the first capital of Christian Georgia, is located at the mix-point of Kura and Aragvi rivers. Historical Monuments of Mtskheta are included in UNESCO World Cultural Heritage List. According to the legend, the city was founded by Mtskhetos – the son of Kartlos, who was the eponymous ancestor of the Georgians. One of the Hripsimean nuns – Nune (Nino), who got miraculously released in times of the massacre, fled to Mtskheta to preach Christianity there. First she cured King Mirian's sick son, then Queen Nana. In the 4th century, following the advise of Nune, King Mirian built the first wooden church, in the place of which Vakhtang I Gorgasali built a basilica in the 5th century. At the beginning of the 11th century in the place of the damaged basilica the temple of Svetitskhoveli (translated as a living pillar) was built. Another church – Samtavro monastic complex, was also built by King Mirian, however, it gained its modern look during the reign of Georgi I (11th century).
2. Jvari Monastery
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Jvari Monastery
As a part of Mtskheta city, Jvari (Holy Cross) monastery is as well included in the List of UNESCO's monuments. It was built in the first half of the 7th century in the very same place, where the preacher of Christianity Saint Virgin Nune (Nino) erected a cross. The scenery is described in Lermontov's poem "Mtsyri". The monastery is located on a steep cliff of 150 m high above the surrounding area. A wonderful view opens from here to Mtskheta city – to the mix-point of Kura and Aragvi rivers. Jvari monastery is a building with a square-formed cross plan, its edges are decorated with semicircular absids. The monastery ends up with a drum, having 8 round altars. The building was restored in 2007.
Lunch
Lunch
3. Tbilisi
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Tbilisi
The capital of Georgia – Tbilisi, is located at the distance of 290 km north from Yerevan. The abundant vein of the layout of this city is Kura river, which, together with its flow, perfectly merges with the rhythm of the city. Tbilisi is always filled with vivid colors and happy mood. The city is rich with numerous historical-cultural monuments.
The tour starts with narrow streets, preserved from the early medieval region of Narikala, and ends with spacious Rustaveli Avenue. The modern shape of Tbilisi is a bright mixture of majestic cathedrals and ancient ruined castles, old neighborhoods and picturesque courtyards with openwork balconies, soviet buildings and ultramodern business centers, the contrast of which can be better seen from bird’s-eye view by taking a cable car.
Overnight stay

Borjomi, Rabati Castle, Vardzia (carved monastery and cave town), Gyumri, Yerevan, Lunch

1. Borjomi
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Borjomi
Borjomi is a resort town in South-Central Georgia famous for its mineral water production. During archaeological excavations it was revealed that there, across the area, had existed stone baths, thus proving that people have used to utilize those mineral waters for centuries. Borjomi mineral springs, having restorative and healing powers, are one of the most frequently visited places of Georgia. The best way to experience the striking nature of the town is visiting mineral water park of Borjomi, which dates back to the 1850-s. Taking the cable car, that leaves from the park and heads up to the hill, will serve as a great opportunity to admire the charming views of this resort town.
2. Rabati Castle
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Rabati Castle
Rabati castle (9th century), located on the bank of Potskhovi River, is the main landmark of Akhaltsikhe, the capital of Samtskhe-Javakheti, Southern Georgia. The name of the town is translated as "new fortress", it was founded in Middle Ages (first mentionings in the chronicles were in the 12th century). Rabati used to serve as a defensive object of the region, it was built on a high hill thus being visible from any point of the city. Not far from the castle there are Samtskhe-Javakheti history museum, an orthodox church, a citadel, a mosque, also there stand touristic objects, such as restaurants, cafes, hotels and a marriage hall. In 12-13 centuries Rabati castle was expanded, becoming the residence of Jaqeli dynasty. In the years of 2011-2012 it underwent large-scale renovations.
Lunch
Lunch
3. Vardzia (carved monastery and cave town)
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Vardzia (carved monastery and cave town)
Founded in the 12th century, Vardzia cave town is one of the most important and impressive historic monuments of Georgia, located at an altitude of 1300 m above sea level, at the height of 100 m from the foothills of the Erusheti Mountain. The complex used to have as many as 13 floors connected to one another by a complex system of tunnels. There were living quarters, refectories, barns, wine storing facilities (marani) as well as libraries in Vardzia complex. The town had potable water supply and a sewerage system. Vardzia carved monastery is part of the Vardzia Historical Architectural Museum Reserve. It is an incredible site to explore for those interested in history and culture.
4. Gyumri
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Gyumri
Gyumri is located in the north-western part of Armenia, in the middle of Shirak valley, 126 km far from Yerevan. From the ethnical point of view, it is the most colorful city in Armenia. The local traditions are deeply rooted here, national spirit is reflected in everything. Walking along the streets of old Gyumri one still seems to hear the voice of the smiths' hammers, it seems that a cart will appear from the street corner and the carter will call to show around the city. The old houses, a part of which, fortunately, resisted the devastating earthquake in 1988, speak of the high architectural achievements of the city. These buildings are notable with their architectural solutions, combination of colorful stone and masterfully elaborated bas-reliefs. Gyumri has always been in the center of cultural events.
5. Yerevan
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Yerevan
Yerevan is the capital city of Armenia, a city, which is 29 years older than Rome! It dates back to 782 BC, when the fortress of Erebuni was built by king Argishti The First. Yerevan is often referred to as "The Pink City" for many buildings are made of pink tuff stone. The capital city is a major tourist destination thanks to its numerous landmarks, extensive nightlife, great museums and lovely parks.

Inclusions

  • Professional guide: ENG + RUS + ARM consecutively
  • Hotel accommodation
  • Half board (breakfasts & lunches)
  • Air-conditioned vehicles
  • Bottled water
  • Admission tickets
  • WiFi in the vehicles
  • Vehicle & passengers insurance

Exclusions

  • Dinner
  • Hotel drop-off after return to Yerevan
  • See the most popular sites of the capital of Georgia
  • Stroll along the cozy streets of the old town
  • Feel the incomparable Georgian flavor
  • Discover the healing power of mineral springs
  • Explore incredible UNESCO World Cultural Heritage sites
  • Marvel at the 7-12th centuries' architecture

*Uphill walking and great deal of uneven stairs to take in Vardzia

*Residents of some countries (please, check the details at the office) may need to apply for the visa in advance to enter Georgia or/and to obtain one more entry visa to come back to Armenia
*Entry visa to Georgia or/and entry visa to come back to Armenia is NOT included
*Kindly have your Valid Passport with you for crossing the border & hotel check-in