Georgia, Azerbaijan and Armenia holiday

“Discover a little-explored crossroads of Europe and Asia, tracing the path of Silk Road traders, Crusaders and Ottoman princes from the Caspian Sea to the Caucasus mountains.”

Highlights

Baku | Qobustan | Seki | Georgian wine region | Gori | Tblisi | High Caucasus | Lake Sevan | Yerevan

Description of Georgia, Azerbaijan and Armenia holiday

This cultural adventure takes in the best of Azerbaijan, Georgia and Armenia – a still relatively unexplored region at the crossroads of Europe and Asia, where reminders of legends like the Golden Fleece complement stunning scenery and hospitable locals. Following in the footsteps of Silk Road traders, Crusader knights and Ottoman princes, travel from the Caspian shores through the vineyards of Kakheti to the spectacular High Caucasus mountains.

After exploring Baku and nearby spots like the UNESCO site at Qobustan, head into the Caucusus foothills to mingle with villagers and explore the former trading town of Seki – home to the Khan's Palace and bustling market – as well as neighbouring Kis.

Crossing into Georgia, traverse an ancient vineyard-strewn landscape – Georgia battles with Greece for the title of the birthplace of wine – to visit the Nekresi Monastery and Alaverdi Cathedral, as well as a historic wine cellar. You'll also have time in Gori, birthplace of Joseph Stalin.

Diving into glorious mountain scenery, enjoy a two hour beautiful valley walk to the iconic Gergeti Church as well as the alleged burial spot of the Robe of Christ en route to Tblisi. Exploring the old town of Georgia's capital, visit Metekhi Church, Narikala Fortress and the Sulphur Baths.

Your entry into Armenia sweeps through the Debed Canyon as you travel towards the capital Yerevan, taking in the Haghartsin and Noravank monasteries plus Lake Sevan. In Yerevan, after a visit to the 11th century Amberd fortress, you are free to explore a cityscape whose grand Soviet-era architecture is also home to the Matenadaran library (home to thousands of ancient Greek and Armenian manuscripts), the musical water fountains of Republic Square plus a fine History Museum with objects dating back to 3500BC.

**Price includes all activities/equipment, tour leaders, local guides and drivers, meals, mineral water, transport (excluding international flights), accommodation and entrance fees as outlined in the itinerary.

Travel Team

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Responsible tourism

Georgia, Azerbaijan and Armenia holiday

Carbon reduction

Your holiday will help support local people and conservation. We must also reduce CO2. Learn about the CO2 emissions of this holiday and how to reduce them.

Environment

By keeping the group size to a maximum of 12, we can also minimise the human impact on the fragile sites and ecosystems we visit.
We attempt to reduce plastic bottle use wherever possible by promoting use of reusable and filtered water bottles. Our partnership with Water-To-Go provides a discount on filtered water bottles to our clients. We do not provide water from plastic bottles to our clients in country but always ensure there is regular access to drinking water on our tours.
We are promoting the natural beauty and ancient heritage of Azerbaijan and Georgia through visiting the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Qobustan, Maiden Tower, Shirvanshahs and Mtskheta. UNESCO Sites are chosen by the UNESCO committee and must "bear a unique or at least exceptional testimony to a cultural tradition or to civilisation", "an important interchange of human values" or be outstanding examples of major stages of Earth's history or ecological and biological processes in evolution. Visiting such sites helps sustain the traditions and natural ecosystems of Azerbaijan and Georgia through tourism.
Using no carbon transport such as cycling or walking not only gives you a slower paced experience, but also cuts environmental damage and tourist carbon footprint. We are committed to low-level tourism impact and we keep group sizes to a maximum of 12 to avoid huge tour bus loads of tourists, which increases environmental damage but also is less likely to be welcomed by locals. Slower travel also allows for more chances to interact with people from another culture.
Throughout most of the trip we will be travelling in minibuses. Travelling as a group in a small bus contributes less pollution than a multitude of vehicles. We will also be exploring many areas on foot to not only soak up the amazing sights at a slower pace, but to reduce our environmental impact and footprint along our journey.

Community

In the Caucasus - and in particular in Georgia - we have developed unique relationships with many of the mountain peoples of the region and through our form of interactive tourism with a social conscience we have helped them by providing an important additional income. On this trip we travel through regions where conditions are harsh and there is limited opportunity for earning an income. By visiting local families, we are able to put much needed funds directly into the local communities. In addition, all foods are produced locally so several members of the village benefit financially, which improves several families’ standard of living. The great thing about this kind of interactive tourism is that everyone gains – the locals financially and us from the fuss they make of us!
The best way to share stories and meet new people is over a plate of great food and a glass of wine in hand. On Day 6 in Kakheti wine region, we will be eating with a local family in their home. On Day 7 we will experience a wine tasting in Telavi at a wine cellar to learn the ancient art of wine making in Goergia. Georgia has a unique food history and wine production dates back over 8,000 years. Supporting the local food industry in Georgia not only maintains the cultural identity of the country but connects cultures through the most ancient of pastimes, eating and drinking!
On each Group tour we use local ground handlers. This means that all operational costs go directly into the local economy and help improve employment opportunities in remote regions. Such support can also be seen in our incorporation of homestays, locally owned hotels, family run restaurants and the services of local guides and drivers into our itineraries, which ensures that the money you spend with us goes directly into the local economy and local community.

2 Reviews of Georgia, Azerbaijan and Armenia holiday

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Reviewed on 05 Jun 2018 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


The spectacular mountain scenery and the plentiful (wholesome) food.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


It is an ambitious program. Be prepared to travel long distances, but the rewards are worth it.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Every effort was made to benefit locals, from staying in family run Guest Houses to meals at family homes

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Extremely highly. There were amazing sights to see, the hospitality was outstanding and we were well looked after.

Reviewed on 13 Aug 2017 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


We started walking through the fortified town of Sighnaghi in Georgia and were sidetracked by the sound of music coming from the main square. It turned out that it was a national holiday, and a series of youth groups in splendid costumes were doing traditional dances on a stage in the square, cheered on by friends waving the national flag from the balcony of the city hall and about 1000 relatives with cell phone cameras. We didn't see much else of Sighnaghi, but we didn't mind!

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


It's an action-packed 2 weeks, but you'll see everything from grim Soviet-era relics to incredibly beautiful ancient monasteries on remote mountaintops. Be flexible, wear good walking shoes, and come prepared for all sorts of weather.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


All of the above, but especially the first: We patronized local guesthouses, restaurants, and other businesses, and I found it far more authentic than going from one lookalike hotel to another. One environmental impact I wish we could have reduced was the use of bottled water, but in that part of the world it's an unfortunate necessity.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


I felt that the holiday was well organized, our trip leader (Dario) was a kind person as well as an expert, and all in all I had a great time. This was my second trip with our holiday provider, and I just booked a third for next year!

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