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Treasures of the South Caucasus

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Departure Dates

  • Sep 03, 2017 - Sep 17, 2017
  • Sep 17, 2017 - Oct 01, 2017




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Treasures of the South Caucasus

Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan share stunning mountain backdrops, powerful stone architecture and a strong code of hospitality. Georgia’s renowned winemaking traditions, Azerbaijan’s Zoroastrian and Islamic background, and Armenia’s multitude of ancient churches combine to make this distinctive journey more than the sum of its parts.

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Days 1-4: Baku, Sheki
The journey begins in Baku, capital of Azerbaijan and black gold boomtown, exploring the narrow stone streets of the charming medieval Old Town. Traveling overland, visit Sheki, a 14th century architectural preserve and one of the oldest towns in Azerbaijan.

Days 5-7: Sheki, Signagi, Tbilisi, day trip to David Gareja
Crossing the Georgian border, trace the ancient Silk Road stopping to explore the fortress town of Signagi. Enjoy a traditional “Georgian Table,” laden with fine examples of the country’s rich culinary and winemaking legacy. Georgia is where the wine grape was first cultivated and the flowers and fruits of the Mediterranean flourish. In Tbilisi, view a windfall of eastern artifacts at the State Museum of Fine Arts. Take a day trip to the fascinating David Gareja monastery complex.

Days 8-9: Mtskheta, Ananuri, Kazbegi, Gudauri, Gori, Uplistsikhe, Tbilisi
Journey along the Georgian Military Highway to the alpine villages of Kazbegi and Gudauri, seated in the shadow of the Caucasus Mountains. Pause at UNESCO-listed Mtskheta, capital of the kingdom of Iberia from the 3rd century BC until the 5th century AD. Visit Gori, Stalin’s hometown, and explore the fascinating cave town of Uplistsikhe.

Days 10-15: Yerevan, Khor Virap, Garni, Geghard, Echmiadzin, Lake Sevan
Next is Armenia, the first kingdom to formally adopt Christianity. Stop at UNESCO-listed Haghbat Monastery, take a day trip to the shores of Lake Sevan, and visit Khor Virap, where the view of Mt. Ararat is superb. Browse among some of the oldest books in the world at the 5th century Matenadaran Museum in Yerevan. Explore the monastery of Geghard, carved from solid rock, and the impressive cathedral at Echmiadzin, dating back to 303 AD.