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Caucasus Cultural Tour

Azerbaijan - Georgia - Armenia

10 Days / 9 Nights

Day 1: Arrival - Baku

Arrive at Baku International Airport and meet with your tour guide, transfer to hotel.

Overnight: Baku

Day 2: Baku – Gobustan – Baku

After breakfast, drive to Gobustan National Park: Mud Volcanoes - The mud volcanoes near Gobustan are the largest geological phenomenon of their kind in the world. The mud crater is calm most of the time, and visitors can even dip their hands into the cold mud of the crater. But sometimes there is volcanic activity, and the surface of the mud in the quagmire is constantly bubbling and gurgling, like the earth is boiling. Then visit the prehistoric petroglyphs - the mountains of Gobustan are home to the remains of ancient Azerbaijanis from the Stone Age and beyond - petroglyphs, village ruins, tombstones, etc. It is rich in archaeological significance, including many The rock paintings from years ago, including descriptions of prehistoric humans, animal wars, religious dances, bullfighting, rowing, spear warriors, camel caravans, sun and stars, fully reflect the colorful activities of clans and tribes; There are graffiti by a Roman centurion in the 1st century AD, and it is also the easternmost known Latin inscription in the world.

In the afternoon we will visit the Heydar Aliyev Cultural Center, built by world famous architect – Zaha Hadid. With its original exterior design, the Heydar Aliyev Cultural Center has become the most evocative location of modern Baku. The center expands to eight floors, and the building can be seen: an auditorium with a capacity of 1,000 seats; a temporary event venue; a conference center/convening center; workshops; a museum, etc. Then visit the Shirvansa Palace, which is called the shining pearl of Azerbaijan architecture by UNESCO, which shows its status and extraordinary historical significance. In 2000, the palace was included in the World Cultural Heritage List along with the old city. Then we will visit the Maiden`s Tower in the ancient city and the Flame Tower in Baku. The three flaming towers can be seen from any corner of Baku.

Overnight: Baku

Day 3: Baku – Shamakhi – Sheki

After breakfast, drive to Shamakhi. Shamakhi was the capital of the Shirvanshah until it was destroyed by an earthquake in the 19th century. The Shorvanshah royal family built a series of mausoleums here, because seven of them have vaulted tombs. Known as the "Seven Domes"; after many earthquakes, there are still three domes that have survived damage. Then visit Yeddi Gembez tomb and Diri Baba Temple, which was built in 1402 as the Shirvanshah family cemetery. In the afternoon, drive to the Sheki Khan Palace, which was built in the 18th century and inlaid with countless exquisite stained glass. Tourists will then visit popular Sheki baklava workshops throughout Azerbaijan. Then we will visit the Albanian Domed Church in the small village of Kish. The church has been turned into a well-preserved and trilingual museum. This is the best place to learn about the mysterious Caucasus and Albania, (the Christian country (Albania) once existed in the north of Azerbaijan. Some bones of Bronze Age archeology can be seen under the glass part of the church.

Accommodation: Sheki

Day 4: Sheki – Sighnaghi – Tbilisi

After breakfast, drive to Azerbaijan-Georgia border. After entering and exiting, meet with local tour guide in Georgia. Transfer to Kahheti, the cradle of wine. The tour guide leads us to visit the most famous winery in Georgia - Kharleba Tunnel Winery. The winery was dug in the Caucasus mountains. It has a total of 13 roads with a total length of 7,7 km. Tunnel Winery maintains a natural temperature of 12-14° throughout the year, and maintains a natural humidity of 70%. After tasting traditional Georgian wine, we will drive to the romantic town of love – Sighnaghi. Due to its geographical location, Sighnaghi became one of the most important towns in Georgian history. So in the 18th century, by King`s command, a city wall was built around Sighnaghi. The current total length of the city wall is 4,4 kilometers with 6 entrance gates. There are 23 towers built on city wall as well. After enjoying the magnificent scenery, environment and architectural style in Sighnaghi, drive to the capital of Georgia - Tbilisi. Arrive in Tbilisi to taste and enjoy best local cuisine.

Overnight: Tbilisi

Day 5: Tbilisi – Mtskheta – Tbilisi

After breakfast, drive to Mtskheta, the ancient capital of Georgia from the 3rd century BC to the 5th century AD, a UNESCO heritage site. According to the itinerary, visit the sixth-century heritage "Cross Monastery" and the "Svetitskhoveli" cathedral. It has become the cradle of Christianity in Georgia since the construction of the "Svetitskhoveli" cathedral in the eleventh century. The sacred robe of Jesus Christ is burried under "Svetitskhoveli" cathedral. Through centuries Mtskheta is represented as religious center of Georgia.

After lunch, drive back to Tbilisi and visit the old town. In the sixth century Tbilisi became the capital of the Iberian Kingdom in eastern Georgia. In the old city we will visit the Metekhi Cathedral built in the 6th century. The original meaning of Metekhi means "Back Garden of the King`s Palace". During the rule of Russia and the Soviet Union, the "Government" changed the purpose of the church. Appearance of the church shows signs of destruction. Then we will take the cable car up to Narikala Castle, the most famous attraction in Tbilisi. The fortress was built in the 4th century, and locals have since called it the Mother Fortress. From Narikala Castle, we will have panoramic view over Tbilisi New and Old Towns. Then continue to visit the sulfur bath area. We can enter the sulfur baths and enjoy the hot spring water that has many benefits for blood pressure and skin. Finally, we hike to Shardeni Street, the busiest pedestrian street in Tbilisi, and visited Tbilisi Peace Bridge. The Peace Bridge is a glass bridge designed by an Italian designer after the Georgia-Russia War in 2008 and has become a symbol of peace.

Overnight: Tbilisi

Day 6: Tbilisi – Kazbegi

After breakfast, drive to the amazing and magnificent Kazbegi. On the way, visit the Ananuri Castle built in the 16th-17th century, located on the bank of the Jinvali Reservoire. After that, we will visit the Georgia-Russia Friendship Monument, where paragliding activities can be arranged in the beautiful Gudauri Valley. Pass through the pass of Gudauri Ski Resort and you will arrive at Kazbegi. Then we will take 4x4 jeep to drive to Gergeti Holy Trinity Cathedral (2,200 meters above sea level), built in the 14th-15th century, overlooking the panoramic view of Kazbegi. Behind the cathedral, you can see the second highest glacier in Georgi - Kazbegi Glacier (5,054 meters above sea level).

Overnight: Kazbegi

Day 7: Kazbegi – Gori – Tbilisi

After breakfast, drive to Gori. Gori was founded by one of Georgia`s greatest kings, David The Builder; (1089-1125). Gori is the hometown of Stalin, General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. We will visit Stalin`s former residence and museum. There are currently more than 60,000 supplies related to Stalin in the museum, and then take a bus to Uplistsikhe Rock City (God`s Fortress). The Rock City is built on the rocks on the left bank of the Kura River. It has various styles of architectural art, religion and trade history. At last we return to Tbilisi.

Overnight: Tbilisi

Day 8: Tbilisi – Lake Sevan – Yerevan

After breakfast, drive to Georgia-Armenia border. After going through the border formalities, meet the Armenian Chinese-speaking guide. Transfer to Yerevan. On the way, we will visit two world heritage monasteries: first, Haghpat Monastery, built in 991, and second, Haghatsin Monastery, built in the 13th century. Then head to one of the highest lakes in the world – Lake Sevan (1900 meters above sea level). Then take a walk in the natural town and enjoy the scenery of the ancient Armenian city.

Overnight: Yerevan


Day 9: Yerevan – Geghard – Yerevan

After breakfast, drive to the ruins of Garni, which was built in the 2nd century BC. Garni is an ancient Armenian castle and settlement. You will visit the Hellenistic Temple and then go to Geghard Monastery, the best preserved overall architecture and decoration of the medieval era, known as the Abbey of the Holy Spear. The complete monastery was included in the United Nations World Heritage List in 2000. In the afternoon, return to Yerevan to visit the Metedaran Ancient Manuscript Museum, where many Christian-related manuscripts are preserved. Afterwards, head to the center of Yerevan and visit the main buildings: Republic Square, National Ballet Theatre, Kaskad and others. Finally we visit Ararat Brandy in Armenia to taste one of the most famous brandy in the world.

Overnight: Yerevan

Day 10: Yerevan – departure

Enjoy breakfast, depart from the hotel, Transfer to Yerevan International Airport, take the flight back, the end to the happy trip

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