24 DAYS ●
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Go Beyond Tour
This 3-country journey travels via the spectacular High Caucasus Mountains and the lowlands of Azerbaijan, Georgia and Armenia on an unforgettable 24-day cultural experience. Start on the Caspian Sea in the exciting Baku and travel through the wine fields in Georgia, see impressive churches and monasteries, ancient cave towns, remote villages to meet fascinating locals. Follow in the footsteps of Silk Road merchants and medieval Crusader Knights on your Eurasia adventure.
visit Yanardag Fire Mountain, also known as Burning Hill, where natural gas has been ablaze for hundreds of years
Travel through the picturesque Caucasus Mountains in the northwest of Azerbaijan through a dry landscape that gives way to a densely forested mountain area.
Explore Borjomi Spa Resort, famous for its mineral water ‘Borjomi’
Our Eurasia Explorer: Georgia, Armenia & Azerbaijan itinerary has been intricately designed for those who wish to see iconic sites and magnificent treasures. You'll travel with the assurance that all your arrangements are taken care of, with international flights, accommodation and all the touring listed below. You will be accompanied by our industry-leading National Escorts whose unparalleled knowledge and talent will turn your tour into an unforgettable experience.
Fly to Azerbaijan arriving the following morning
Upon arrival early this morning, you will be met in the arrival hall by your local Azerbaijan National Escort from Wendy Wu tours. Together with all other group members, transfer to your hotel. Your room will be ready for check in at this early hour. The remainder of the day is at your leisure to rest before your 5pm meal and welcome meeting at a local restaurant.
Visit Martyrs’ Lane, known as ‘Shehidler Khiyabany’ among locals. Walk through the Alley of the Martyrs to find a beautiful view overlooking Baku’s coastline. Move to Icheri Sheher, the old part of the city and Shemakha gate where you’ll have dinner.
In the morning continue touring this grand city. Visit the Shirvanshah's Palace, Caravanserai, Maiden Tower, the Carpet Museum and main market square, which has numerous art studios and souvenir stalls. Finish the sightseeing tour with Nizami Street and Fountain Square in the new part of Baku.
Travel to the Absheron Peninsular and visit Yanardag Fire Mountain, also known as Burning Hill, where natural gas has been ablaze for hundreds of years and visit the Ateshgah Fire Temple.
Zoroastrians from India travel thousands of kilometers to Ateshgah to worship the fire coming out of the earth. Visit Mardakan medieval fortress and after lunch, drive to Gobustan National Park to visit the Petroglyph Museum and explore rock carvings dating back to 10,000 BC.
Drive to the mud volcanoes in Qobustan Reserve, a UNESCO World Heritage Site which is home to almost half of the world’s mud volcanoes.
Travel through the Caucasus Mountains in the northwest of Azerbaijan through a dry landscape that gives way to a densely forested mountain area. Visit the historical Juma Mosque and take part in yoghurt-making in a local home in Shamakhi. On the way, stop at Diri Baba Mausoleum in the village of Maraza. Enjoy a scenic drive through Girdimanchay River Canyon to visit Lahich, an ancient village with charming cobbled sidewalks, famous for its medieval water supply and sewage systems, as well as its traditional jewelry, handicrafts, copperware, carpets, pottery, daggers, and iron tools workshops. Arrive in city of Galaba where you will spend the night.
This morning you will explore Galaba which is a beautiful part of Azerbaijan with a rich and ancient history. Besides visiting the Historical Museum of Galaba which house many historic artefacts from the area, you also see the renowned ruins of the ancient walled city, Chukhur Galaba, which dates back to the 4th century BC. Later you will arrive in Sheki and visit the colorful Sheki Bazaar. Here, you can find virtually everything you may want to eat: local fruits and berries, spices, freshly-baked bread, honey, cheeses, and Sheki sweets. You will also visit Sheki Palace and the village of Kis.
Leave Sheki and head towards the border with Georgia via Ganja Lake. Cross the border and transfer via Eastern part of Georgia, which is famous for its viticulture and winemaking traditions. First explore a traditional market in Georgian border town of Lagodekhi. Visit a local family, explore the gardens and vineyards and then enjoy a lunch of delicious homemade food, wine and Georgian 'Chacha' Enjoy the picturesque landscapes of vineyards and wine-producing villages en route to Khareba and vist the Chavchavadze Estate Palace in Tsinandali, a restored in 19th-century style mansion. Enjoy a wine tour and a tasting session, and then drive to our overnight point, the Akhasheni Wine Resort.
Continue to the beautiful 18th-century town of Sighnaghi, known for its quaint stone walls, small houses with terracotta roofs and decorated balconies. Admire the picturesque views of the Alazani Valley and Great Caucasus mountains.
Continue to Bodbe Convent – according to legend, this is the burial place of St. Nino, who converted Georgia to Christianity in the 4th century.
Arrive in Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia, in the late afternoon and have dinner in the atmospheric old town.
Then take a morning sightseeing tour of Tbilisi. Start at the 13th century Metekhi Сhurch and the monument to Vakhtang Gorgasali, the legendary founder of Tbilisi. Visit Narikala Fortress to enjoy a breathtaking panoramic view of the city. Walk down to the district of sulphur bath houses and pass by the only mosque in Tbilisi. Stroll through the Sharden area, full of narrow streets with cozy cafés, wine tasting bars, and souvenir shops, and breathe in the history of Old Tbilisi. Also visit Sioni Cathedral, Tsminda Sameba Cathedral, Anchiskhati Basilica, and the famous Rezo Gabriadze Theatre’s clock tower, before crossing the Bridge of Peace to Rike Park.
This morning you will be driven to visit the ancient capital and religious centre of Georgia – Mtskheta (3,000 years old). Spend time visiting the cities historical sights including Jvari church (6th century) and Svetitskhoveli Cathedral (11th century) where the Robe of Christ is buried. Both Jvari and Svetitskhoveli are UNESCO World Heritage sites.Continue to the Ananuri Complex, a former residence of Argveti Dukes, which features churches and towers dating back to the 16th and 17th centuries and beautifully overlooks Jinvali Reservoir.
Travel back along the scenic Tergi river to Stalin’s hometown of Gori. Visit the Stalin Museum, which includes more than 60,000 artifacts, the tiny house where Stalin was born, and an impressive bulletproof train that Stalin used to travel to Yalta and Potsdam. Visit the historical place of Uplistsikhe Cave Town (1st millennium BC). Uplistsikhe is the place where the Great Silk Road used to pass. This is an old and interesting complex with dwelling quarters, wine-cellars, bakeries, a three-nave basilica church hewn out in rock and even an antique theatre. Continue to the pretty city of Kutaisi, the second largest in the country.
Visit the local Kutaisi farmers market and then continue to Okatse Canyon, which involves a 2 hour pedestrian route passing through Dadiani historical forest, 780 m length hanging trail and finishes with panoramic view. Here, you can explore 3 cascade Okatse waterfall, the Dadiani forest and river Satsiskvilo valley. Afterwards, get ready for the most exciting part of your trip – a journey to Svaneti – the region of the highest mountains and glaciers and the most abiding ancient traditions. Arrive in Mestia, in the Upper Svaneti region which is your base for the next 2 nights. Explore the famous watchtowers that sit in the valley looking out to the stunning mountains in the distance.
This morning you will visit Lakhiri village and take part in a short hike through a picturesque valley to view the Chalati Glacier. Today’s hike requires a good level of fitness and appropriate footwear and clothing. There is the option to remain in Lakhiri until the group return. Enjoy the spectacular scenery and return to Lakhiri to take part in a class that produces khachapuri, a famous Georgian dish of cheese-filled bread.
This morning you will drive on to a village called Mulakhi. All the villages around here are dotted with stone watchtowers built during the middle ages to defend against invaders. Twenty metres high, with openings at the top for firing on enemies, they looked like clusters of giants.
Continue on and reach Ushguli, which is declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. In the town you will visit the 12th century Lamaria church, vist the Queen Tamar’s tower and the Ushguli museum. In the evening, you can walk around the village and get familiar with the daily life of the local people.
This morning, you’ll travel to visit Gelati Monastery near Kutaisi. Georgians have always had a talent for choosing beautiful locations for their churches and this famous monastery complex, on a wooded hillside 8km northeast of Kutaisi, is an outstanding example.
Later we visit Prometheus grotto, one of Georgia’s natural wonders rich in petrified waterfalls, stalactites, stalagmites, underground rivers and lakes.
Drive to Borjomi Spa resort, famous for its mineral water ‘Borjomi’. Visit the small park and taste the fresh mineral water.
Continue to Akhaltsikhe, where you will visit the multi-cultural complex of ‘Rabath’. Wander the Rabat Fortress (Old Town) with its rare examples of darbazebi (traditional Georgian houses), castle, mosque and synagogue.
This morning you will visit Vardzia. Vardzia is a magnificent cave town from the 12th century and is one of the highlights of the trip. Cross the border and transfer to the northern region of Armenia around the town of Gyumri. Drive to the Lori region and visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Haghpat Monastery. Continue to Dzoraget along the Debed River. Dzoraget, alternatively known as the Kingdom of Lori or Kiurikian Kingdom, was a medieval Armenian kingdom formed in 979 by the Kiurikian dynasty.Arrive in Dilijan, one of the most important resorts in Armenia, often referred to as the ‘Little Switzerland’ of Armenia, with magnificent views to the forested surroundings.
Following breakfast at your hotel, explore the beautiful town of Dilijan.
Later, you will drive to 13th century Haghartsin Monastery, a stunning example of the medieval Armenian architecture nestled in lush woods. You will then enjoy lunch with a local Armenian family and visit the 12th century Goshavank Monastery located in picturesque surroundings.
After lunch, drive to Lake Sevan, the second largest alpine lake in the world and known as the ‘Emerald of Armenia’. You will visit Sevanavank, a beautiful monastery on the peninsula, once a strategic shelter for Armenian Kings. Return to Dilijan in the late afternoon where you’ll have time to relax in the old town.
This morning visit Noratus Medieval Khachkar Field, a fascinating medieval cemetery, known as ‘Forest of Khachkars’. ‘Khachkar’ (cross stone) is a typical monument of Armenian sculpture representing an ornamented stone with a cross in the centre. Continue to the southern town of Goris via Selim Caravanserai, an important trading post on the Great Silk Road which has welcomed travellers along the highway through the mountains of Selim (Sulema). Visit the mysterious Karahunge Observatory, known as the Armenian Stonehenge.The scenery and mountain setting provide the perfect canvas and backdrop to such a unique and impressive array of history, carved in stone. Arrive in Goris in the late afternoon
Travelling northwards from Goris to Tsaghkadzor we visit the breathtaking Khndzoresk Village. Continue to the complex of Tatev Monastery which is an architectural masterpiece dating from the 10th century and is often referred to as a ‘monastery built on the edge of nothing’. You will visit Areni Winery for a wine degustation with Armenia’s best wines coming from this region. Lunch today is in a local home, where you will have opportunity to see how to distil vodka, enjoy homemade vodka and wine, and also see how to bury Armenian cheese. Finally, you will visit Noravank Monastery – a great religious and cultural centre of 12th century which is located in a seemingly inaccessible location amidst impressive red cliffs and stunning mountains.
Your day will begin exploring the vibrant city of Yerevan with your guide. Originally established in 782 BC, Yerevan is a thriving city with the excitement, hustle and bustle of a modern capital. You will start your exploration from the Republic Square, the masterpiece of the architect Alexander Tamanian, and then continue to the Opera House, a stunning architectural piece and the hub of Yerevan. You will then visit Cafesjian Center for the Arts and depart for Echmiadzin, the spiritual centre of all Armenians and the seat of the Armenian Catholicos. As you return to Yerevan, you will stop at the ruins of Zvartnots – the pearl of 7th century architecture, inscribed in UNESCO’s World Heritage list. You will then return to Yerevan and visit the History Museum of Armenia.
You will depart for Garni Village to visit Garni Temple dating back to the 1st century and have lunch at a local family house where you will learn about Armenian flatbread making techniques. After lunch, you will visit Geghard Monastery and visit the Armenian Genocide Memorial Complex and Museum on Tsitsernakaberd Hill. Next, visit the Cascade Monument, which was the main symbol of the city’s 2,780th anniversary and has the equivalent number of stairs – this enormous staircase is 500 meters high and 50 meters wide. From the top of the monument, enjoy a breathtaking city view that includes the Opera House, Mount Ararat, Swan Lake, Republic Square, and Abovyan Avenue, all of which we’ll see as we walk the streets of Yerevan.
You will be met and transferred to Yerevan airport to board your flight to New Zealand, arriving home the following day
Arrive home today
All of our tour departures include international flights and taxes in the price. Our tour prices are from prices based on per person, twin share and are subject to the availability of specific economy class fare levels. If the dates we have available for this tour don't suit your needs, or you are not sure travelling as part of a group is for you, maybe a Private Tour would be more ideal.
Most nationalities require a visa when travelling to the Eurasia region. Travellers should arrange visas well in advance of departure. Unlike many other tour operators, we include your visa in the price of your tour. We handle the entire application process – all you need to do is complete the paperwork and send your passport to us eight weeks prior to departure. We are always on hand to help you with any queries you may have while completing the application form.
While travelling overseas, the Wendy Wu Tours contact number during business hours is +64 9 975 8117. Emergency Assistance (24-hours) is 0044 1888 288 288. You will find mobile phone coverage to be quite high throughout Asia. We recommend contacting your mobile carrier if you intend to use international roaming during your holiday and ensure you investigate all associated call and data costs before you leave New Zealand. Some hotels may have Wi-Fi, which usually comes at a cost.
Tipping is an expected element in the tourism industry today and Eurasia is no exception. We have established a tipping system whereby every passenger gives a set amount to the National Escort who will distribute the amount appropriately. On multi-country tips, this amount will be paid in stages on arrival in each country. If there is no National Escort, you will need to give your money to your Local Guides and tipping amounts for each city will be shown in your final itinerary. The amount is calculated for each tour. We will indicate the tipping amounts in your final documents for guidance.
Shopping is a fun and entertaining component to any travel adventure. In keeping with most people’s interests while on holiday, your tour includes a reasonable number of opportunities to shop for local goods and souvenirs. Included are visits to establishments that provide locally produced goods, unique to your destination. Witness the creation of these products, and see first-hand how their production supports the local economy. As most travellers like to take home souvenirs, we ensure the shops you visit have a reputation for quality, honesty, and authenticity.
At Wendy Wu Tours we are all avid adventurers, constantly seeking out the best ways for you to experience Asia. That's why we are Asia experts and New Zealand's leading Asia tour operator - our customer reviews and numerous awards say it all. This website is all about showcasing both Asia's top sights and its magnificent hidden gems; about the plethora of different types of authentic and exciting experiences that we can offer you; and about giving you the very best holiday, whether it's your first visit or your 10th.
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