AZ1 The Mighty Caucasus TOURSEARCH TOUR
Azerbaijan, Georgia & Armenia
Cosmopolitan Yerevan: City tour; Major Armenian Christian sites; Spectacular views of Mt Ararat (weather permitting); Tbilisi: City Tour & Mtskhetai, ancient capital; Travelling the Georgian Military Highway to the high Caucasus; Legacies: Russian, Arab, Mongol, early Christian and many more!
- DATES & PRICES
- FULL ITINERARY
- MAP & HOTELS
- TRIP INFORMATION
Dates & Prices
Prices are in US Dollars (USD), before taxes (if applicable) - All pricing reflects per-person Land Only expenses, however, we can book flights from virtually every city. Please call us for an air quote.
|Start Date||End Date||Price||More Info|
|Mon 09 May 2016||Sun 22 May 2016||$3230|
|Sun 25 Sep 2016||Sat 08 Oct 2016||$3230|
Optional Single Supplement: $1030 (number of singles limited).
Baku, the capital city of Azerbaijan, is the entry point on this tour through the Caucasus and we take a couple of days to explore the fascinating historic sites in this remarkable destination. Mediaeval palaces, beautiful mausoleums, grand mosques and glorious vineyards are but a few of the notable sights as we start our tour in Baku, 'the city of the winds'. Following the ancient Silk Road trade route, we travel through Azerbaijan and head for the most ancient settlements and architectural centres of the country at Sheki, a town founded over 2,700 years ago. As we travel from Azerbaijan to Georgia, we visit cathedrals, churches, monasteries, fortresses and secular sites that detail the countries' long, and at times tumultuous, histories, as well as taking time to stop by some UNESCO World Heritage Sites and checking out original cave frescoes dating from the eighth century AD. We learn about the ancient world, its kings and its peoples and marvel at the great cultural and ethnic diversity of the modern-day region; in Georgia alone, mosques and synagogues stand alongside Armenian, Roman Catholic and Georgian churches and the multi-ethnic city marketplaces have a distinctly Eastern, cosmopolitan feel. Departing from Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia, we head north into the lofty Caucasus Mountains, with quaint early churches, friendly villages set against soaring peaks, and history dating from ancient times. We then enter Armenia, the first nation in the world to adopt Christianity as a state religion. Yerevan, its capital, mixes a plethora of intricately crafted religious sites with buildings primarily constructed from the pink-hued 'tuff' stone unique to the area.
Barri R. (Seattle, WA, US)
Peter was a very attentive tour leader who is kind, nice and knowledgeable. He knows these countries and their culture quite well. He was organized, charming and always available to explain, loan money, fix a computer or a camera, get restaurants that would appeal to most people. He was flexible and very detail oriented with making sure everyone is comfortable and welcomed. He was very responsible and always made sure everyone is on the bus.
Ed L. (OCEANSIDE, CA, US)
The museums in Georgia were exceptional. Lorna was always cheerful,considerate and exuded self assurance, as well as attention to detail.
Greg F. (Arlington, VA, US)
This trip exceeded my expectations! From the sophisticated elegance of Baku, to the beautiful countryside around Sheki, to the amazing journey into the Causasus via Kasbegi, the jeep ride to Juta, quaint Tbilisi, the Georgian countryside, and the uniqueness of Armenia, it had it all. Having perfect weather the entire trip helped. What was the best surprise was the food. Night after night of delicious meals, the most wonderful fruits and vegetables, great beer and wine... The trip really helped me to understand the political difficulties of this region. Talking to the locals, hitting some of the more isolated areas, seeing first hand the daunting geography really hit home the challenges each country faces going forward. Each country was very unique, very proud, very determined.... This trip satisfied all my travel needs. Great scenery, great food, and a lot of learning. Very satisfying
James M. (Kennesaw, GA, US)
VERY FEW GUIDES EVER HELPED ME OUT THE WAY HE (PETER) DID: ALWAYS AVAILABLE, ALWAYS WILLING TO LISTEN AND ADVISE
Joyce H. (Toronto, ON, CA)
Local guides were all very good. Buses were large and comfortable, so we could all have our own window seat if we wanted. Peter, our tour leader, was great - really caring about people on the tour - would love to travel with him again.
Pamelia L. (Toronto, ON, CA)
Lorna has a great personality for leading groups. She showed common sense, affability at all times (even when she had a cold), a sense of humour, and subtle herding skills.
Richard W. (La Jolla, CA, US)
AA has an excellent travel philosophy, great trips, and reasonable prices. Would enjoy taking more trips with you.
Stanley G. (Buffalo Grove, IL, US)
I enjoyed this trip very much. Great tour leader, great trip highlights and excursions, very interesting history. Peter, our tour leader, obviously enjoys this kind of work and is eager to please and help. Bus facilities were excellent, as were the drivers. Good wine, good brandy, good fresh salads.
Thomas A. (Fort Lee, NJ, US)
Jonathan was exceptionally helpful. He was knowledgable and patient with the local guides and customers. I never saw him lose his cool. All [Local Guides] were good to excellent, especially Ara in Armenia. He was extremely knowledgable, articulate and skilled at handling customers.
*The red tour trail on the map does not represent the actual travel path.
The following is a list of sample hotels at some locations included on this tour. The hotels shown here are meant to provide a general sense of the standard of hotel we usually aim for; they are not necessarily confirmed for your chosen departure.
Park Inn Baku
Enviably located in the centre of the city, the Park Inn by Radisson Azerbaijan, Baku hotel looks out over the ... Sea harbour and historic Old City. This hotel in Baku sits nestled in the heart of the business and entertainment district and places guests within walking distance of the main shopping area, Park Boulevard and Fountain Square.
Click here to visit hotel website
Sheki Saray Hotel
The Sheki Saray Hotel enjoys uninterrupted views of the Caucasus Mountains. The cultural references of its architecture evoke the rich ... of Sheki and combine elements from Mediterranean, Middle East and Europe. A blend of local stone, fabric and wood, warm, muted colors and decorative features such as arches, lamps and columns reflect the aims of the designers to create a sense of place and tradition.
Click here to visit hotel website
Rcheuli Marani Hotel
Telavi is the main city and administrative center of Georgia's eastern province of Kakheti.
There are 25 comfortable rooms, ... all exclusive appointments of a high standards hotel with satellite TV and unlimited internet access at the Hotel "Rcheuli Marani". Guests can enjoy 24-hour concierge service, restaurant, conference hall, 18-hour room service. All rooms have individual climate control, mini-bar and balconies.
You can experience Georgian unique table traditions in the hotel restaurant "Old Marani" which has its wonderful 18th century Georgian wine Cellar. It offers you to introduce with rich traditional dishes as well as dishes of European cuisine and Georgian wine testing
Click here to visit hotel website
Hotel Ani Plaza
It was fully reconstructed and refurbished and operates as a 4 Star Hotel under the name Ani Plaza from 1999. ... only a few minutes walk to the National Gallery, Opera House, Matenadaran - the Museum of Ancient Manuscripts, and other cultural and historical places. Many rooms are overlooking the city with a great panorama view of Yerevan and Mount Ararat.
Click here to visit hotel website
Breakfast and dinner (at local restaurants and hotels) are included daily. All transport, accommodation, sightseeing and entrance fees for sites noted as 'visited' in the detailed itinerary. Gratuities for drivers, restaurant staff, porters, local guides. Airport transfers for land & air customers and for early arriving / late departing land & air customers who book their extra hotel nights through us.
Tour Leader gratuities, lunches, drinks, personal items (phone, laundry, etc), international (if applicable) air taxes, visa fees, and any excursions referenced as 'optional'. Airport transfers for Land Only customers. Optional trip cancellation insurance. Our post-reservation trip notes offer further guidance on shopping, not included meals, visas and locally paid departure taxes.
Seasonality and Weather
We visit the area in spring and autumn when the temperature should not fall below 5 C (40 F) at night in most locations and climb rise to between 20 and 30 C (69 - 86 F) during the day. We may experience more extreme conditions in the Caucasus (northern Georgia), and conditions in the mountains can be changeable and temperatures approaching freezing. We should have sunny weather most of the time, but showers are possible, especially in the mountains. Spring is also favourable for greener landscapes.
Transport and Travel Conditions
Ground transport will be via bus, 24-32 seater, with air conditioning, though this should not be terribly necessary at the times we run this tour. The tour is not strenuous though it is busy; you must be steady on your feet and be able to endure some long days. We have numerous walking tours and visit several sites that are LARGE with steps and uneven surfaces. Porters may be available at hotels but you must be able to manage with your baggage.
Hotels are comfortable, well-located, air-conditioned, 3-4 star properties with en suite bath / toilet. Hotel in Sheki is an unrated, heritage property. Single rooms are limited and possibly smaller than twins. In more remote locations hotels are of a simpler standard. Porters are generally available (see 'Inclusions').
Staff and Support
Tour Leader throughout, local step-on guides, local drivers.
10-21 (plus Tour Leader & guide)
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