|Wine tour caucasus|
10 days/ 9 nights
If one day you hear Armenia, Cradle of Wine, don't be surprised as it is really so. Noah planted the first vineyards in the Valley of Ararat after his ark descended on the biblical Mt. Ararat.This tour program aims to give you Armenian and Georgian wine tasting experience and to introduce the traditions, history and the attitude of these two nations to the wine they produce.Meet local wine producers and learn about ancient wine making skills first mentioned in pre-Christian Greek and Roman historical annals. Local wine-makers will share their experience in wine nursing.
Day 1/Day 2: Arrival in Yerevan / Echmiadzin / Zvartnots / Local Wine & Brandy Tasting
Arrival at Zvartnots International airport. Meet and greet transfer, accommodation at the hotel.Short rest.
Excursion to the famous Yerevan Brandy Factory founded in 1887. During the International Exhibition in Paris in 1900, the brandy received the Grand-Prix and the legal right to be called 'cognac', not 'brandy'. While the tours the visitors are offered to visit the museum of the factory. The bar offers tasting of various old and chateau sort of cognacs, which have mellow-velvety flavor endowed with a rich bouquet of chocolaty-vanilla accents. Screen -tour in the world of legendary Armenian Brandy is in the video hall. Continue tour to the town of Echmiadzin. Visiting of St. Echmiadzin Cathedral 4th c., Hripsime temple 7th c.,ruins of Zvartnots 7th c. Drive to the village of Lenughi visiting wine factory MAP with tasting of different kinds of local wines. Welcome dinner at a national restaurant. Overnight at the hotel in Yerevan.
Day 3: Yerevan (city tour) / Armenian Wine Tasting / Garni / Geghard
Tour around Yerevan, including visit to the depository of ancient manuscripts Matenadaran. Continue tour to the famous wine factory Noy /wine tasting. Continue tour to the Hellenic - Pagan temple of Garni 1st A.D and the cave monastery of Geghard 13th c Lunch at a local house in Garni where you will have opportunity to watch Armenian national bread "lavash" baking and barbeque making process in the underground stove called "tonir". Northeast of Garni, higher up the gorge of the Azat River, there is a magnificent monument of medieval Armenian architecture - Geghard monastery inscribed in UNESCO World Heritage list (inscribed in UNESCO World Heritage list). Return to Yerevan. Dinner at a public restaurant. Overnight at the hotel in Yerevan.
Day 4: Yerevan / Khor Virap / Noravank / Red Wine Tasting
Breakfast at the hotel. Tour to Armenian Carpet Factory. Sightseeing tour to Khor-Virap monastery 4- 17th cc. 45 km. from Yerevan the monastery of Khor-Virap has a very rich history and was built in Artashat during the reign of the Arshakids dynasty. At that time it was used as a pit- dungeon for convicts. In the 60s of the 4th century Artashat was ruined by Persian invaders. It is situated in the Ararat valley against the biblical Mt Ararat, where Noah's arch cast an anchor. On the way visit to the village of Taperakan where the tourists will have an opportunity to taste not only wines and brandies (3-8 years old) but also will get acquainted with ancient technologies of Armenian wine making process, as well as tools. Drive to Areni village for local Red wine tasting. Continue tour to Noravank canyon vith Noravank monastery - a great religious and cultural centre 12th c. Lunch in a cave café. Drive back to Yerevan. Dinner at a local Armenian family/ home made wine tasting. Overnight at the hotel in Yerevan.
Day 5: Yerevan / Lake Sevan / Goshavank /Ijevan Wine Tasting / Armenian Georgian border
In the morning drive to Lake Sevan - the pearl of Armenian nature. About 70 miles north of Yerevan sits lake Sevan. This huge mountain lake which takes up to 5% of Armenia's surface area and is about 2,000 meters above sea level is one of the highest among the freshwater lakes in the world. Visit also Sevan monasteries on the peninsula.The tour will continue to the beautiful mountainous and forested region of Dilijan where you can have a pleasant walk through a museum street with the ceramics workshop and woodcarvers' studio Lunch in Dilijan local restaurant. Visit to the magnificent complex of Goshavank Monastery 11th c. Drive to Ijevan: the place famous for its White & Red Wines, tour in the wine factory including wine tasting. Drive to Armenian Georgian border.
Day 6: Sadakhlo/Tbilisi
Arrival in Tbilisi. Tbilisi sightseeing tour with visits of Metekhi Cathedral 12-13th century, Narikhala Fortress, Old town. Check in at Hotel. Welcome Dinner at a local restaurant. Overnight in Tbilisi.
Day 7: Tbilisi / Telavi
Drive along the "Wine Route", trough the beautiful landscape of vineyards and wine-producing villages. In afternoon arrive in Kakheti region of Georgia (which is synonymous with wine) as a fitting place to begin our introduction to the world-renowned Georgian hospitality and delicious food and wine.
Lunch en rout. Sites to visit: Tsinandali Family Estate - an ancient princely residence of the poet and public figure, Kakhetian prince of the 18th c Alexandre Chavchavadze; Shuamta - monastery complex, typical example of the early Christian architecture of Georgia; Have wine tasting at one of large Vineries. Continue to Alaverdi Cathedral (11th c) a symbol of blossoming of the Georgian culture. Built in a period of great cultural and political development of the country, it was one of the biggest Georgian structures and the tallest church of its time. In the village Ikalto visit local wine cellar where wine is made as centuries ago. Lunch and tasting of home made wine. The evening will be spent in warm family atmosphere, where welcome dinner will be served. Dinner and overnight at guesthouse.
Day 8: Telavi / Tbilisi
Kakheti Sightseeing tour. Today we will explore Telavi and its surroundings by visiting the most important historical, religious and architectural sites. Visit Nadkora - Cemetery of wine pitchers.
Visit Gremi - architectural complex of 16th-17th cc, Gremi was the capital of Kakheti Kingdom, but all that remains of the former town are some ruins of a market, baths, caravanserai and a palace. The complex used to be a citadel and consists of a tower, king's chambers, defensive walls and a central-dome Archangel's church built of square bricks. The interior of the church is decorated by frescoes of 17th century. Continue to Napareuli vine cellar and have a lunch with local dishes. In the afternoon have a walk in Signagi Royal Town. In the evening arrive in Tbilisi. Dinner and overnight in Tbilisi.
Day 9: Tbilisi / Mtskheta / Gori / Tbilisi
We will drive to the heart of Kartli province. Our first stop of the day will be in sacred Mtskheta, the ancient capital of eastern Georgia, at the southern end of the highway. Georgia's conversion to Christianity occurred in Mtskheta in 337 AD and it is considered one of Georgia's most important religious centers. We will visit Church of Jvari perched on a cliff overlooking the city and Sveti-Tskhoveli Cathedral. We will stop in Gori, a town whose place in infamy is linked to being the birthplace of Joseph Stalin. The town will also provide a convenient jumping off point for our explorations of nearby Uplis
Tsikhe, an ancient cave town dating from the first half of the 1st millennium BC. The entire town is a complex of rock-cut streets, residences, churches, secret tunnels, water passages, markets and the oldest wine press cut in stone and theatres in Georgia. Of the 700 existing caves, visitors have access to a mere 150. The area around Uplistsikhe is famous with its vineyards. We will drive to Atenis Sioni cathedral through the village Ateni, where "Atenuri" wine is made in every family. In the evening drive back to Tbilisi. Farewell Dinner. Overnight in Tbilisi.
Day 10: Departure
Transfer to the airport.Departure.