Welcome to Tbilisi! You will be transferred to your hotel and the remainder of the day is yours free to explore at your own pace.
After breakfast depart towards the Kakheti region of Georgia, the cradle of Georgian winemaking. Our first stop will be in Bodbe Convent, which according to the legend is a burial place of St. Nino, who converted Georgia to Christianity in the 4th century. Continue Sighnaghi, the city of love and the Royal Town, one of the crossroads of the Great Silk Road surrounded by defensive walls with 23 towers. Drive to unique wine cellar “Khareba” located in the tunnel carved out of the rock. Originally built for military purposes, today the tunnel is used to store Khareba's finest wines, which you will be offered during the tour. Excellent round-up to Kakheti tour will be visiting Gremi architectural complex, 16th century royal residence and the capital of Kakheti Kingdom.
Today we will explore Tbilisi, start at Holy Trinity Cathedral, one of the largest orthodox cathedrals in the world. Continue to Metekhi church and the King Vakhtang Gorgasali Statue, the legendary founder of Tbilisi. Stroll through the Sharden area full of narrow streets with cozy cafés, wine tasting bars, souvenir shops, and breathe in the living past. Visit Sioni Cathedral, Anchiskhati Basilica, and the clock tower of famous Rezo Gabriadze Theatre. Cross the Bridge of Peace to Rike Park and head to Open Air Museum of Ethnography, a miniature model of Georgia.
Today's route will take along the Georgian Military Highway up North towards the border with Russia. First stop will be at Jvari Church, a true architectural masterpiece of the early Medieval Period overlooking the confluence of Aragvi and Mtkvari rivers from the top of the hill. Continue to Ananuri complex, a former residence of Argveti Dukes. Drive further North to see the conjunction of two small mountain rivers famous for the fact that being different in color they still keep their own colors even after merge. We will then drive over the Cross pass and make a short stop at Soviet time “People's Friendship” mountain view point overlooking a deep gorge of Caucasus mountain range. In Kazbegi, we will change our vehicle to a four-wheel drive car to reach Gergeti Holy Trinity Church located on altitude of 2170 m, and enjoy breathtaking views of Mt Kazbegi.
After breakfast, drive to Gori and visit Stalin Museum. The museum includes more than 60,000 artifacts, the tiny house where Stalin was born, and impressive bulletproof train Stalin used to travel to Yalta and Potsdam. Explore cave town Uplistsikhe dating back to Hellenistic Period and notable for unique combination of various styles of rock-cut cultures and the co-existence of pagan and Christian architecture. Continue to Mtskheta, one of the oldest towns and the cultural and religious centre of Georgia. Mtskheta was the capital of the Eastern Georgian Kingdom of Iberia from the third century BC. Visit Svetitskhoveli Cathedral which may be translated as "The Life-giving pillar". Svetitskhoveli is the main cathedral of Mtskheta and a sacred place where the robe of Christ is being kept.
Today we will head to Georgian-Armenian border point. After crossing the border, we will start the journey to the land of ancient traditions and oldest temples. Drive to Lori region and visit UNESCO World Heritage Site Haghpat monastery. Stunning example of Armenian traditional architecture erected in 10th - 13th centuries. Drive through Dilijan to Lake Sevan, “The Jewel of Armenia” and one of the largest high-mountainous fresh water lakes in the world. Stop at Sevanavank to visit the remnants of the monastery that include two temples - Surb Arakelots and Surb Astvatsatsin standing among numerous khachkars. The view from there is simply magnificent: the mountains surround lake from all sides and snow tops are seen almost on the entire perimeter and disappear behind horizon.
Time to explore Garni, one of the major villages in Armenia famous for its fortress. The fortress and temple is the only pagan sacred place from the 1st century that survived aggressive introduction of Christianity in the 4th century. Next stop is at the monastery complex Geghard (“spear”). A beautiful landscape of Geghard is framed with towering cliffs. Visit Vernissage, the biggest souvenir market in Yerevan. Continue to the Holy See of Armenia, Etchmiadzin. Visit Etchmiadzin Cathedral which is the residence of the head of Armenian Apostolic Church the Catholicos of All Armenians.
Yerevan is famous as a pink city and calls visitors with its humble and at the same time splendid landscapes. Start city tour visiting Cascade Monument which was the main symbol of the cities 2780th anniversary with the equivalent number of stairs. A panoramic view from the monument opens up breathtaking city view with Opera House, Mount Ararat, Swan Lake, Republic Square, and Abovyan Avenue, which you will also walk by during the tour. Continue to the Armenian Genocide memorial complex on the hill of Tsitsernakaberd. An excellent round-up of the tour will be a visit to the Megeryan carpet factory where you can observe a process of creating famous Armenian rugs. You will see carpets from different regions of Armenia and find out about hidden meanings of elements used in their design.
Our tour concludes and your time is free until you are transferred to the airport.