Solo - Armenia and Georgia
the crossroads of Europe and Asia12 days from £2,799 per person
Armenia and Georgia have been forging their own identities following the era of the Soviet Union, making this a fascinating time to explore these countries as they transition. Armenia was the first country to adopt Christianity as a state religion back in AD 301, and has some of the earliest churches and art depicting Jesus and the Virgin Mary. Georgia was one of the first wine-producing countries, and still makes wine the traditional way today. Spend time with local families, try wines, cook traditional meals, and journey into the beautiful wilderness of the Caucasus Mountains.
Your holiday includes:
19 excursions and visits
- Yerevan city tour with cooking masterclass
- Khor Virap Monastery, Echmiadzin Treasury Museum and Zvartnots Cathedral
- Amberd fortress and Perch Proshyan House-Museum
- Geghard and Sevanavank monasteries and the Temple of Garni
- Haghartsin and Haghpat monasteries and a Molokan village
- Tbilisi city tour
- Stalin’s childhood home, Gori
- Gergeti Sameba Church
- Ananuri castle complex
- Funicular ride to Mtatsminda plateau
- Kakheti including wine tasting and cooking masterclass
- 11 nights in hotels (accommodation as specified or similar)
- International flights. Prices are based on return flights with Ukraine International Airlines from London Gatwick via Kiev. Supplements may apply from other airports
- 26 meals: 11 breakfasts (days 2-12) 8 lunches (days 2-7, 9 and 11) 7 dinners (days 2-3, 5 and 7-10)
- Wine with dinner and lunch whilst in Tbilisi
- Titan’s VIP door-to-door travel service
- Local Titan tour manager
- Travel in destination by coach
UK - Yerevan
Titan’s VIP door-to-door travel service collects you from home, for your flight to Yerevan.
Grand Hotel Yerevan (4.5-star)
After a leisurely morning, a guided tour of Yerevan offers a glimpse of the Soviet past. We take a look at Armenian culture at the Cafesjian Centre for the Arts, and at Matenadaran, one of the world’s oldest and richest book-depositories, holding over 17,000 ancient manuscripts of culture and sciences. We also visit the Genocide Memorial and the museum dedicated to the victims of the horrific events. We continue to the Megerian Carpet Factory to learn about years-old traditions of Armenian carpet making and enjoy an Armenian lunch with a special culinary masterclass. We then visit the Sergei Parajanov Museum and History Museum.
Monastery was constructed over the dungeon where patron saint Gregory the Illuminator was imprisoned. From here, you can admire the beauty of Mount Ararat. The mountain’s snow-capped peak is said to be the resting place of Noah’s Ark. You may also be able to see the closed border between Turkey and Armenia, 20km away. Then in Echmiadzin, our tour includes the cathedral reputed to be the first official Christian church in the world, and is the spiritual centre of the Armenian people. It also includes the Cross of Armenian Unity, a charity founded to provide humanitarian assistance to orphans, and the chance to participate in carpet weaving or make Armenian dishes. We then drive to Zvartnots Cathedral, another impressive UNESCO World Heritage Site which, even in ruins, is of unique architectural value.
Visit the ruined 7th century fortress of Amberd. This ‘fortress in the clouds’ is in a spectacular, rural location on the slope of Mount Aragats. Next is the Perch Proshyan House-Museum, birthplace of the Armenian writer and teacher. In the Ararat valley grows a unique variety of grapes used to make much loved Ararat brandy, a brand favoured by the court of His Imperial Majesty Nicholas II and Sir Winston Churchill. Before we taste this national spirit, we take a tour of the factory, with cellars full of barrels dating back to the 19th century, and the Peace Barrel, filled with the brandy spirit of 1994, the year when the ceasefire agreement was signed.
Yerevan - Dilijan
Geghard Monastery is a UNESCO World Heritage Site hewn into rock, and has incredibly haunting acoustics demonstrated during a short recital exclusive to Titan. The UNESCO-listed pagan Temple of Garni is next, with Roman bath mosaics. Lunch is in a family home, where we participate in making Armenian bread, before our host shows us around the village - a great opportunity to learn about life here. Later, we visit the medieval Sevanavank Monastery, before heading to Dilijan.
Best Western Paradise Hotel Dilijan (3.5 star) or Tsaghkadzor Marriott Hotel (3.5 star)
Dilijan - Tbilisi
Visit a pottery and the medieval Haghartsin Monastery. Meet Molokans, a Russian sect who settled in Armenia after being exiled from Russia several centuries ago for rejecting some tenets of the Orthodox faith. Their lifestyle hasn’t changed for 200 years - many are farmers, and all have strong community values. Visit UNESCO-protected Haghpat Monastery, a masterpiece of religious architecture and a major centre of learning in the Middle Ages. We then cross the border into Georgia, where we stay in Tbilisi.
Mercure Tbilisi Old Town (4-star)
Founded in the 4th century on the site of warm mineral springs, Tbilisi developed into the main city of the Caucasus. By the 12th century it was one of the most important political, economic and cultural centres of Eurasia. It stood as a key stop on the Silk Road - right on the border between Europe and Asia, creating a harmonious mix of cultures. Our city tour includes the Old Town, Metekhi Temple, the Mosque and Narikala, the main fortress of Tbilisi.
Mtskheta - Gori - Kazbegi
Mtskheta was the capital of the Georgian Kingdom of Iberia between 500 BC - AD 500. See Svetitskhoveli Cathedral, built on the spot where a piece of Christ’s Robe is thought to be buried. Many Georgian monarchs are also entombed here. We visit Gori, a town mainly known for its huge fortress and as the birthplace of Joseph Stalin. We visit the dictator’s family home, and then take the Georgian Military Highway into the Caucasus Mountains.
Rooms Hotel Kazbegi (4-star) or Porta Caucasia Kazbegi Hotel (4-star)
Kazbegi is a picturesque settlement overlooked by the biggest peak of the Caucasus - Mount Kazbek. In Greek mythology, Prometheus taught man how to make fire. Various versions say his punishment was to be chained to Mount Kazbek for eternity, and have his liver pecked out every day by an eagle. After many years, Hercules killed the bird and broke the chains to free Prometheus. We ascend to Gergeti Sameba Church in an incomparably photogenic mountaintop setting. Returning early this afternoon, the rest of the day is at leisure, with an optional excursion available to beautiful Sno Valley and the village of Juta.
Ananuri - Tbilisi
Visit Ananuri castle complex, the scene of many battles including peasant uprisings. We take the funicular railway to the top of the Mtatsminda plateau for spectacular panoramic views of the city.
Mercure Tbilisi Old Town (4-star)
Kakheti, Georgia’s famous wine district, is filled with acres of vineyards. We pause in Sighnaghi en route to Kvareli, where we visit a wine cellar and taste some Georgian wines and have a masterclass in how to make Churchhela sweets. We then explore Gremi, a medieval capital with a monumental castle; and Tsinandali, a beautiful ancestral estate once owned by Garsevan Chavchavadze, who participated in the annexation of Georgia to Russia.
Day 12 Tbilisi - UK
Transfer to the airport for your return flight to the UK. Upon arrival, your Titan vehicle will be waiting for the journey home.