DAY 1 YEREVAN ARRIVAL - FREE EVENING IN YEREVAN
Arrival to Zvartnots International Airport early in the afternoon. Meet your Phoenix Tour representative. Transfer to the hotel. Check in. Free evening in Yerevan.
There is plenty to keep you occupied in the city with its shopping malls, film screenings, concerts and performances. There are numerous cafés and wine shops line the main streets and side alleys around the city’s downtown. The city fills up with people at night, and you’ll find a number of trendy clubs, pubs and bars, where you can party till dawn Yerevan style! Overnight in Yerevan.
DAY 2 YEREVAN CITY TOUR
Breakfast. Start exploring Yerevan, the Armenia’s capital city and one of the oldest cities in the world. Stop at the Victory Park and Mother Armenia monument to get a spectacular view of the Biblical Mt. Ararat with a panorama of central Yerevan.
Take a walking tour of the Cascade Complex, with its Sculpture Park and Cafesjian Center for the Arts. The Cascade is a massive white stairway up a hillside in central Yerevan, decorated with green stretches, fountains and waterfalls, that run uphill and crowned with the obelisk of the "Revived Armenia".
Visit the magnificent building of the Opera House, the postmodern Northern Avenue and the city's main Republic Square. Be sure to return to Republic Square after dark to see the "Dancing Fountains", a choreographed water show synched with lights and music (the fountains are on from May until the end of October).
Continue to the Armenian Genocide Memorial Complex on the hills of Tsitsernakaberd. The Armenian Genocide Memorial Complex houses both the Armenian Genocide Museum, and the Tsitsernakaberd Genocide Memorial.
Take a tour of an open air “Vernissage” market, where you can buy some gifts, souvenirs, jewelry and other handicrafts made of wood, semi-precious stones, silver and other materials.
Stop at the popular farmers market “Gumi Shuka” to buy traditional sweets and dried fruits. The aromas and colors of the local produce will add up to a wonderful and unique experience. Overnight in Yerevan.
DAY 3 YEREVAN – GEGHARD – GARNI – SYMPHONY OF STONES – YEREVAN
Breakfast. Drive to one of the most beautiful monasteries in Armenia, the 13th century cave monastery of Geghard (UNESCO World Heritage Site). The name of the monastery originates from the spear, which had wounded Jesus at the Crucifixion, allegedly brought to Armenia by Apostle Jude, and currently stored amongst many other relics in the Echmiadzin's Cathedral Museum.
Drive to the masterpiece of Hellenistic architecture in Armenia, the pagan temple of the Sun in Garni. Garni Temple was built in the 1st century AD by the Armenian King Trdat with the money he received after visiting the emperor Nero in Rome, and was dedicated to the Sun God Mithra. The temple was destroyed in 1679 in an earthquake, but was reconstructed in Soviet times.
Take a local 4x4 jeep down to the bottom of the Garni gorge, where the unique natural monument the “Symphony of Stones” is located. Usually, visitors must walk or take a local transfer, as our buses do not make trips down there. This landmark consists of huge basalt pillars hanging above the ground at a height of about 50 meters. Their special shape in the form of hexagons and their vertical arrangement are very reminiscent of organ pipes, in connection with which the monument is known as the “Symphony of Stones”. Return to Yerevan. Overnight in Yerevan.
DAY 4 YEREVAN – TSAGHKADZOR – LAKE SEVAN – DILIJAN – BAGRATASHEN – TBILISI
Breakfast. Check out from hotel. Drive to the popular Tsaghkadzor spa town and a ski resort, which is located on the verdant slopes of Mount Teghenis at 1,841m above sea level. Take a thrilling ropeway ride to the top of the Mount Teghenis.
Return to the Tsaghkadzor town. The architectural complex of Kecharis is the highlight of the town, comprising three churches and three chapels dating back to the 11th century. Do not miss out to see the beautiful khachkars (cross-stones) around the monastery.
Continue to Lake Sevan. Sevan is one of the largest high-mountain freshwater lakes in the world. The lake's proximity to Yerevan, combined with cooler summer temperatures, picturesque coastline and historical sights, make it one of the key places to visit in Armenia. Walk up to the 8th century monastery of Sevanavank on Sevan peninsula, one of Armenia’s iconic landmarks.
Continue to Dilijan, a resort town renowned for its charming nature and some traditional Armenian architecture. Stroll through the cobbled Sharambeyan Street, with its collection of stone and wooden traditional buildings, restaurants, souvenir stalls and workshops.
Drive to the Armenia-Georgia border and arrive at the Bagratashen-Sadakhlo border crossing. After short border formalities, start the Georgian part of the tour and continue to Tbilisi. Check into a hotel. Overnight in Tbilisi.
DAY 5 TBILISI CITY TOUR – MTSKHETA – TBILISI
Breakfast. Start exploring Tbilisi, the capital and the largest city of Georgia. Stop by one of the city’s iconic spots, the Abanotubani District, renowned for its sulfur baths. These subterranean bathhouses date back to the 17th century and have been a favorite for travelers to the city.
Take a cable car to the 4th century Narikala Fortress, and get a superb panoramic view of Tbilisi, with its hanging houses, the historic 13th century Metekhi Church and the gold-topped modern Sameba Cathedral. Views also sweep down to the glass Bridge of Peace, the gorge of the Mtkvari River (Kura River) and the picturesque spurs of the Trialeti Range. Take a walk along the fortress, and you’ll pass by the feet of the Mother Georgia monument, the celebrated symbol of Tbilisi.
Drive to Mtskheta and Jvari Complex. Mtskheta is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world, and has been Georgia’s spiritual heart since Christianity was established here in about 327 AD, and holds a near-mystical significance in Georgian culture.
Visit the 17th century Jvari Monastery, visible for miles around on its hilltop, overlooking Mtskheta from the east (UNESCO World Heritage Site). The Jvari stands on the spot, where the King Mirian erected a sacred wooden cross, soon after his conversion by St. Nino in the 4th century.
Visit the splendid 11th century Svetitskhoveli Cathedral, where the Robe of Jesus Christ is believed to be buried (UNESCO World Heritage Site). Return to Tbilisi. Overnight in Tbilisi.
DAY 6 TBILISI – ANANURI – GUDAURI – JVARI PASS – KAZBEGI – GERGETI – TBILISI
Breakfast. Take the historic Georgian Military Road across the Caucasus Mountains to Kazbegi - a major route through the Caucasus from Georgia to Russia. Visit the 17th century Ananuri Castle, the seat of power of medieval Georgian dukes of Aragvi, and one of the most scenic fortresses of Georgia. You may climb up to the tallest of the fortress towers for fine views.
Continue to the ski resort of Gudauri, whose bare hillsides make for Georgia’s best downhill ski runs. Stop at the Jvari Pass (Pass of the Cross), the highest point of the Georgia Military Road, where it reaches its maximum altitude of 2,379m above the sea level. The views are magnificent, and the air is of a purity that will make city dwellers weep!
Drive to Kazbegi, a valley town at about 1,750m above sea level, and just a few miles short of the Russian border. Near the village of Gergeti, take a local 4x4 jeep to make it up the hill to visit the 14th century Gergeti Trinity Church. During the dark times, the precious relics from Mtskheta, including the St. Nino's Cross were taken here for safekeeping. Enjoy the views of the snowy peak of Mt. Kazbek. Return to Tbilisi. Overnight in Tbilisi.
DAY 7 TBILISI DEPARTURE
Breakfast. Check out from hotel. Transfer to Tbilisi International Airport. Departure from Tbilisi.