Georgia, Armenia and Iran tour

“A fascinating cultural journey through the Caucasus and Iran, focusing on religious history. Fully guided small group travel with hotel accommodation and transport by train and private mini bus.”

Highlights

Tbilisi walking tour | David Gareji cave city | Mtskheta UNESCO World Heritage Site | Gori | monasteries of Sanahin and Haghpat | Yerevan city tour | Gari and its Pagan Temple | Geghard monastery | Khor Virap monastery and views of Mount Ararat | prehistoric archaeological site of Karahunj | Goris | rarely visited East Azerbaijan province | Tabiz | sleeper train to Tehran | Tajrish Bazaar | Kashan | Isfahan

Description of Georgia, Armenia and Iran tour

This is a unique two-week journey taking in the very best of Georgia, Armenia and Iran. This combination gives the opportunity to explore three distinctly different cultures with their own religions, authentic traditions and ancient history. Georgia boasts untouched nature, the Caucasus Mountains, hundreds of monasteries and a long history of wine making. Armenia is home to ancient churches and has a proud cultural identity, while Iran offers an exotic taste of Persia with stunning mosques, teahouses, bazaars, deserts and oases.

This small group guided tour is mainly focused on religious history, with many visits to churches, monasteries and mosques. You’ll also visit ancient gardens, Persian palaces and bazaars in Iran, a winery and a cognac factory in Armenia and the famous sulphur baths in Tbilisi. Spend 13 nights in hotels with ensuite facilities and one night on a sleeper train from Tabriz to Tehran, with all other travel by private mini bus.

Hello. If you'd like to chat about this holiday or need help finding one we're very happy to help. Rosy & team.

01273 823 700

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Price
Basis
31 Mar 2018
£ 2499
including UK flights
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12 May 2018
£ 2499
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16 Jun 2018
£ 2499
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01 Sep 2018
£ 2499
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08 Sep 2018
£ 2499
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06 Oct 2018
£ 2449
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30 Mar 2019
£ 2669
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11 May 2019
£ 2669
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15 Jun 2019
£ 2669
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07 Sep 2019
£ 2669
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21 Sep 2019
£ 2669
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05 Oct 2019
£ 2669
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Vouchers
Accepted
Holiday type

Small group holiday

Small group travel is not large group travel scaled down. It is modelled on independent travel – but with the advantage of a group leader to take care of the itinerary, accommodation and tickets, and dealing with the language. It’s easy to tick off the big sights independently – but finding those one-off experiences, local festivals, travelling markets and secret viewpoints is almost impossible for someone without the insider knowledge gained from years in the field. If you’re heading off on a gap year your, perhaps – but for those with a two-week holiday, a small group tour will save valuable planning time.

The leaders are not guides – they’re not there to shepherd you around. Instead, they’ll let you know which local restaurant serves great value food – without running the risk of travellers’ tummy. They’ll allow you to avoid hour-long queues at train stations and attractions.

We like to think of small group travel as the Goldilocks option. It is independent travel without the fuss, worry and bunk beds – and organised travel without the coaches. And it’s cheaper than a tailor made tour. It’s sits somewhere in the middle – and we think it’s just about right.

What are the main benefits?
Big experiences
Have big, life-enriching experiences that would be impossible to organise without lots of time and insider knowledge.

Simplicity
Make the most of your holiday time by letting someone else do the hard work and boring logistics!

Peace of mind
Small group tours take care of the security aspects – and provide a safety net should anything unexpected happen.
Who is it ideal for?
Travellers who are short of time
If you don’t have three months to spend exploring, small groups trips let you cover more ground in less time. Your days are not spent queuing for tickets or finding hotels – so you can squeeze more into your holiday.

Solo travellers who’d like company
Likeminded travel companions plus peace of mind for those travelling alone. Single supplements are usually available – providing privacy if you want it.

Less confident travellers
Stray from the tourist trail without worrying about getting lost, and meet local people without dealing with the language barrier.
Mythbuster
“I won’t get any privacy!”
Couples and friends have private rooms, and you can choose to eat alone or not. Single supplements give solo travellers their own room.

“There won’t be any free time”
Free mornings or afternoons let you explore on your own, or just relax.

“The accommodation will be basic”
Trips are as high or low end as you like. Though off the beaten track destinations won’t have luxury hotels, this is all part of the adventure.

“I won’t like the other travellers!”
Tour operators try to create groups with a similar demographic – age, families, activity levels... Chances are, you’ll even make new friends.

“Will we be following an umbrella?”
No.
Valerie Parkinson
Meet a group Leader
Name: Valerie Parkinson

Story: The first British woman to climb Manaslu, Valerie climbed Everest for her 50th birthday. She’s spent fourteen Christmas Days trekking to Everest Base Camp, and is involved insetting up Responsible Tourism initiatives in the Himalayas.
Roshan Fernando
Meet a local guide
Name: Roshan Fernando

Story: Roshan has led over 130 trips – he adores showing travellers around Sri Lanka. He won the company Leader Award in 2010, but his career highlight was working on their Tsunami Project – which earned him a responsible tourism award.

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Georgia, Armenia and Iran tour

Local Craft and Culture:
We explore the many museums, churches, mosques, mausoleums, archaeological sites, markets and bazaars across Armenia, Georgia and Iran. By visiting these cultural and historical sites, we are supporting maintenance, restoration and research. Traditional craftsmanship is evident everywhere we go - from intricate tilework, wooden carvings, enamelling, carpets and patterned textiles, to locally produced delicacies. At the bazaars in Iran we visit, embroidered products, handmade carpets, painted ceramics, embossed boxes, scarves and jewellery are all for sale. Not only does buying from market vendors benefit local people and celebrate traditional crafts, but it is a cultural experience in itself (Expect to haggle!). Please note that although Georgia and Armenia are famous for their wine and brandy production, no alcohol can be brought into Iran, so buying such products should be avoided.

Accommodation & Meals:
All of the hotels we stay at in Armenia, Georgia and Iran are locally owned, some of which are family run properties. We always eat in local restaurants and will have ample opportunity to sample local products.Iran especially is known for producing delicious biscuits hand made in bakeries across the country and we have numerous opportunities to sample some of these. We can sample other home-made treats from ice-cream to rosewater and can purchase locally produced pistachios from Kerman in various shops and bazaars around the country. While in Georgia and Armenia we will get to try locally produced bread, jams, honey and sweets, which are usually sold outside monasteries and churches by elderly locals looking to top up their modest pensions. A snack not to miss in Georgia is churchkhela, a long sweet that looks a bit like a candle, but is in fact grapes, or nuts threaded onto string and dipped in a thickened grape juice and dried.

A Fair Deal:
We work closely with our local partner to run this trip in a way that aims to reduce impacts and to give as much back as possible to the local communities. Part of this is employing local leaders, who are committed to responsible tourism and helping to preserve the way of life in their area. The leaders will give a briefing on responsible tourism issues to help you understand how you can help reduce your impact and maximise the benefits to the local community from your visit.

Group Size:
This small group tour has a maximum of 16 participants, meaning that we have a low impact on the communities we visit and are able to ensure that we do not disrupt or lead to the displacement of local people.

UK office:
It all starts at home so we have first worked at reducing our carbon footprint in our UK offices. Through energy conservation measures and recycling policies, we are proud to be actively reducing the waste produced and our impact on the environment. We support various projects all over the world to try and give something back to the places we visit.

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