Iran - Armenia - Georgia

duration 03 May - 25 May 2018
duration 03 May - 25 May 2018

From Ancient Persia to The Picturesque Caucasus

Dive into this historical and cultural adventure, set in front of the unique backdrop. Islamic culture, mosques, caravanserais and the witnesses of the Persian Empire, as well as vast deserts, magically attract everyone. Witnesses of a turbulent history, Christian monasteries, churches and archeological treasures run like a red thread through the countries. They cordially invite you to enjoy vivacious experiences.

 

 

Feel the difference!

ITINERARY

Day 1 Shiraz (Iran)
Arrival in Shiraz. Welcome and transfer to the hotel.

Day 2 Shiraz (Iran), City Tour

In the afternoon we invite you to an interesting stroll through the poetic capital of Persia, the city of great poets like Saadi, and through the Hafez Hafez- Mausoleum with its magnificent rose garden, the Bagh-e Narenjestan with its orangery, the legendary Eram Garden with its numerous watercourses, Karim Khan Zand Boulevard with the city fortification of Karim-Khan-Zand. We can also visit the Bazar-e Vakil which offers you a wide variety of fabrics, towels, spices, carpets and colorful clothes.

Day 3 Shiraz – Persepolis-Naqsh-e-Rostam-Pasargadae-Yazd
We embark on a journey to discover Persepolis, where the splendor and spirit of the ancient culture is still felt. We will explore here the ruins of the royal residence. Afterwards we will pay a visit to archeological sites of an ancient necropolis, Naqsh-e-Rostam. Four tombs of Achaemenid kings are located here. The tour continues to the the Achaemenian ruins of Pasargadae. We will also pay a visit to the tomb of Cyrus the Great. Late in the evening we will arrive in Yazd.

Day 4 Tour in Yazd
Strolling in the driest city of Yazd, built almost entirely out of adobe, we will visit the Amir Chakhmaq complex, the Dowlatabad garden, the fire temple, the Friday mosque, the bazaar and the Zoroastrian Towers of Silence. Later we will visit the water museum. We will have lunch in a former caravanserai, which resembles an oasis in the desert, and at the moment it is a restaurant. In the evening, we take a walk on the illuminated streets of the city.

Day 5 Yazd-Kharanaq-Chak Chak-Nain-Isfahan
At the beginning of the day, we will drive to the village of Kharanaq. Its old center has been abandoned. However, it has become a popular tourist destination. In order to reach Chak Chak and Kharanaq we will climb the majestic mountains. It is an indescribable feeling to admire the beauty of the most important and spectacular Zoroastrian pilgrimage site in Iran, with the impressive Pir-e Sabz fire temple from the mountain top. In Nain, we will visit the early Islamic Friday mosque. Afterwards we will head to Isfahan.

Day 6 City Tour in Isfahan
A comprehensive tour in Isfahan, the former Safavid capital. We will wander along the Chahar Bagh, the main boulevard in Isfahan, and afterwards, visit the Imam and Sheikh Lotfollah Mosques, with their domes, arcades and courtyards; then the Armenian Catholic Vank Cathedral from the 17th century. In the evening we will walk to the brightly lit bridge of 33 Arches. Free time at your disposal.

Day 7 Isfahan-Abyaneh-Kashan
The early morning begins with a drive to Abyaneh, a traditional village. Abyaneh is famous for its terrace like houses built with mud bricks and for its brightly dressed inhabitants. Later we’ll arrive in the city of Kashan, famous for its valuable carpets and ceramics. After resting, we’ll visit the Boroujerdi historical house and the old city wall. The paradise-like Fin Garden is one of the highlights of the tour.

Day 8 Departure Teheran-Yerevan (Armenia)
Today we say goodbye to Iran. Departure to the airport of Tehran. Flight to Yerevan ,the capital of Armenia. Welcome by our German speaking guide. Transfer to the hotel. Leisure time.

Day 9 Yerevan: Matenadaran – Megerian Carpets – Tsitsernakaberd –City Tour
Yerevan – one of the oldest cities in the world welcomes you and invites you for a nice city stroll. First, we visit Matenadaran Museum- the largest storage of spiritual and cultural heritage, and ancient manuscripts about the traditions and centuries-old history of Armenia. The building is located at the end of Mesrop Mashtots Boulevard and overlooks the whole city. Next, we visit the Megerian Carpet factory where we admire a wide range of diverse hand-knotted carpets. After a traditional lunch, we explore Tsitsernakaberd, the Armenian Genocide Museum and Memorial. After resting, we invite you to take another walk through the city.

Day 10 Yerevan-Amberd-Aragats –Yerevan
Aragats (4090m), the highest mountain in Armenia is our destination for today. On the way, we will explore a partially destroyed fortress of Amberd (2300 m above sea level) dating back to the 11th century. The complex of Amberd includes a rich variety of buildings: the tower, the bathhouse, the defensive walls and the Vahramashen Church. There is also a pleasant picnic spot next to the ruins and we will have a nice picnic there. Afterwards we will head to the Qari Lich. “Stone Lake’’ is a magnificent high mountain lake located on the top of Aragats. It is a popular destination for climbers. We will have the opportunity to admire the beauty of the alpine landscapes, with their beautiful variety of colors and natural resources, and we will breathe the fresh mountain air. Depending on your wishes, we can also go hike up to the East Summit. Afterwards, we return to Yerevan. Leisure time.

Day 11 Yerevan – Geghard – Basalt Organs– Garni – Yerevan
At the beginning of the day we travel to Kotayk, the western province of Armenia. At the entrance to the Upper Azat Valley you will visit the Monastery of Geghard which dates back to the 13th century. In 2000, it was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The trip continues onwards to Garni. We admire the symphony of stones, the wonderful ensemble of organ pipes made of basalt. We will climb up to the pagan temple of Garni dating back to the 1st century AD. Return to Yerevan. Leisure time.

Day 12 Yerevan-Khor Virap-Zangakatun-Areni-Naravank- Karahundsch-Goris
The picturesque South of Armenia awaits us with its fertile valleys and magnificent landscapes. We explore Khor Virap Monastery, a famous pilgrimage dating back to the 4th century AD. Armenia has an ancient winemaking tradition. Next, in Zangakatun, we visit the house-museum of the most eminent Armenian writer, Paruyr Sevak. Armenia has an ancient winemaking tradition. You will have the opportunity to taste Armenian wine and have a traditional lunch at a family vineyard in Areni, in the “Armenian Bordeaux’’. To the South of Areni, in the Amaghu Gorge, we will admire the beauty of Noravank, one of the most beautiful monasteries in Armenia. On the way to Goris, we will visit Karahunj - one of the most ancient megalithic constructions of the world. It is referred to as “the Armenian Stonehenge’’ (5000-5500 BC). Arriva in Goris. Leisure time.

Day 13 Goris – Khndzoresk-Tatev-Goris
Morning drive to the old village Khndzoresk. Exploration of numerous cave dwellings, and drive to the Monastery of Tatev. It is an important spiritual center of Armenia where a number of manuscripts were produced. From the ropeway "Wings of Tatev” you enjoy breathtaking panoramic views and stunning scenery of the steep gorge of the Vorotan river.

Day 14 Goris-Selim-Noratus-Hayravank-Sevanavank-Dilijan
Exploratory trip to the caravanserai of Selim. Selim Pass also offers you picturesque views into the valley below. The trip continues to Noratus, famous for its medieval cemetery of cross-stones. After we drive to the majestic Lake Sevan, the “Blue Pearl of Armenia’’. Near the village Hayravank , on the western shore of Lake Sevan we will explore the monastery of Hayravank from the 9th century.
We will visit the church of Sevanavank with its five holy cross-stones located at the top of the Sevanavank Peninsula. In the evening we head to Dilijan. Time for rest.

Day 15 Dilijan-Haghartsin-Goshavank-Tbilisi (Georgia)
Today we’ll experience the picturesque city of ilijan, also known as Armenian Switzerland. The city is surrounded by dense forests, pristine landscapes and gently sloping hills, forming a type of green wall around the city. We will visit the monasteries of Haghartsin (11th C.) and Goshavank (12-13th C.) located very close to Dilijan. These monasteries are a testament to the old culture and history of Armenia.Afterwards, we drive to the Georgian border. After the border control, there is a one hour drive to Tbilisi. Time for rest.

Day 16 Excursion in Tbilisi
The old town, the historical center of Tbilisi, is located on the slope of Holy Mount Mtatsminda. You are cordially invited to explore this wonderful city. Almost all of the buildings of the Old Town are historical and cultural monuments: Metekhi Church (5th -8th C.) which was once the residence of Georgian kings, has brick-domed Sulphur Baths and Orbeliani Baths with the façade of a Persian Madrasah. Lunch. Ascent to Narikala fortress (4th C.), as well as visit to the local synagogue, Sioni Cathedral and the Anchiskhati Basilica (6th C.), one of the oldest churches in Tbilisi.

Day 17 Tbilisi - Davit Gareja- Jvari-Mtskheta-Tbilisi
Early in the morning we drive to the 3000 year old cave monastery of Davit Gareja located in a desert area. The monastery complex was founded in the 6th century by David, one of the thirteen Assyrian monks who spread Christianity in Georgia. We will walk in the area. Lunch in a splendid local restaurant. Visit to Mtskheta, the ancient royal capital of Georgia and Svetitskhoveli Cathedral, the most venerable Church in Georgia. Close to Mtskheta we will visit the Jvari Monastery situated overlooking the top of the Sarugani Mountain ridge. Along with other monuments of Mtskheta , this monastery is listed as a World Heritage site by UNESCO. Return to Tbilisi. Time for rest.

Day 18 Tbilisi-Ananuri-Stepantsminda(Kazbegi)
Our journey continues along the famous Georgian Military Road. On the way to it, we overlook the picturesque views of magnificent panoramas. We will visit Ananuri fortress, from the 16th century, located on the northwestern bank of the Schinwali reservoir. We’ll also admire the stunning views of the Aragvi valley. In the afternoon, we will arrive in Stepantsminda. Time for rest.

Day 19 Another day in Stepanzminda (Kasbegi)
We will take a walk in Stepanzminda. Ascent to the village of Gergeti, where the Gergeti Trinity Church (Gergetis Sameba) is perched on the mountain. Up until today, it has served as a place of
pilgrimage. It is one of the significant highlights situated on the way along the Georgian Military Road. When the weather is fair, the stunning viewpoint on the mountain Kazbeg (5147 m), one of the highest peaks in Georgia, opens. In the afternoon, we will explore the village Sno and its medieval tower from the 16th century. Many hiking routes give you a wonderful opportunity for new discoveries in the area, as well as to admire breathtaking mountainous landscapes. It is easy to relax when you are in harmony with nature.

Day 20 Stepantsminda(Kazbegi) –Akhaltsikhe
Today we head to the south of Georgia. In 5 hours we will reach Akhaltsikhe. The city is situated on the banks of the Potskhovi River. After a short break, we will explore the old town called Rabati. Here you can find the so-called Darbasebi, classic traditional houses, of particular Georgian-style architecture. We will also visit the fortress where a mosque and the ruins of a madrasa (Koranic school) are situated.

Day 21 Akhaltsikhe-Vardzia
Departure to Vardzia. Visit to the cave monastery complex of Vardzia (12th-13th C.). It is the site of the era of Golden Age. For 900m along the left bank of the river Kura, in the wall of the mountain, around 600 buildings are cut out – churches, chapels, storerooms, baths, canteens, libraries and treasury chambers. Thousands of monks lived in the monastic fortress and, when attacked, thousands of people sought shelter here.

Day 22 Vardzia-Tbilisi
Today we return to the capital. On the way, we explore the Chertwisi fortress from the 10th century. On the way to Tbilisi, we will enjoy the stunning view of scenic Paravani Lake. In the afternoon, return to Tbilisi. Free time at your disposal. Preparation for journey back home.

Day 23 Return flight
Transfer to the airport. End of our services.



Recommended trip extension.

Day 23 Vardzia Mestia
Travel to the historic mountainous region of Svaneti. The mountain villages of the region are included in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Arrival to Mestia, the legendary capital of the mountainous Svaneti. Dinner. Overnight in a hotel.

Day 24 Mestia – Ushguli – Mestia
In the morning we will drive to the village of Ushguli (2200m), which is considered the highest permanently inhabited village in Europe. From here, the peak of Schschara Mountain (5200m) can be seen. Visit to the Lamaria Church from the 12th c. Rambling. Return to Mestia in the evening. Dinner. Time for rest.

Day 25 Another day in Mestia
Walking tour through the city, a UNESCO World heritage site. Visit to the historic-ethnographic museum, exploration of Mestia towers. Leisure time.

Day 26 Mestia-Tbilisi
On the way back to Tbilisi, we will visit Gelati Monastery and restored Church of the Dormition of the Mother of God, also known as Bagrati Cathedral. The monastery and cathedral belong to the list of UNESCO World heritage sites. Arrival in Tbilisi. Time for rest. Preparation for the journey home.

Day 27 Return flight 
Transfer to the airport. End of our services.

PRICES & SERVICES

 

Price per Person: 3990 €
Single room surcharge: 650 €
Small group: 4-12 people

Services offered
Transport
• All transfers and transportation
• Departure: Tehran-Yerevan

Supervision
• Local German speaking guide
• Geologist (1 day)

Accommodation, Food, Drinks
• 22/26 nights in comportable hotels (double room)
• Full Board
• Drinking Water

Entrance
• All entrance tickets

Travel preparation
• Travel documentation
• Maps

Visa
• Visa support


*International flight is not included in the price.

DATES

 

STATUSFROMUNTILPRICE PPSGL SUPPL.NOTES
Available 03.05.18 25.05.18 € 4380 € 670  
Available 18.09.18 10.10.18 € 4380 € 670  

 

Aren't the dates of this trip convenient for you? Inform us about your preference and we will get back to you during the next 24 hours.

NOTES

The tour route may be modified due to reasons of security, climate conditions, unexpected environmental damages, problems with road access, strikes, or local festivities.  In such cases, we will strive to find the best possible solution.

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ITINERARY: «From ancient Persia to the picturesque Caucasus»

 

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