|Operator:||Wendy Wu Tours|
23 Day Eurasia Explorer Tour Itinerary
Due to local conditions, each of our itineraries vary subtley with minor differences between each departure. To ensure that you are fully informed as to what itinerary applies to each date we’ve put together the following list:
Days 1-2: Fly to Azerbaijan
Fly overnight to Baku, Azerbaijan. On arrival, transfer to your hotel. Later, visit Martyrs Lane, known as Shehidler Khiyabany among locals. Walk through the Alley of the Martyrs to find a beautiful view overlooking Bakus coastline. Move to Icheri Sheher, the old part of the city and Shemakha Gate where youll have dinner.
Day 3: Baku City Tour
Continue touring this grand city. Visit the Shirvanshah’s Palace, Caravanserai, Maiden Tower, the Carpet Museum and main market square, which has numerous art studios and souvenir stalls. Finish the sightseeing tour with Nizami Street and Fountain Square in the new part of Baku.
Day 4: Yanardag Fire Mountain
Travel to the Absheron Peninsular and visit Yanardag Fire Mountain, also known as Burning Hill, where natural gas has been ablaze for hundreds of years and visit the Ateshgah Fire Temple. Visit Mardakan medieval fortress and after lunch, drive to Gobustan National Park to visit the Petroglyph Museum and explore rock carvings dating back to 10,000 BC.
Day 5: Journey through the Caucasus Mountians
Travel through the Caucasus Mountains in the northwest of Azerbaijan through a dry landscape that gives way to a densely forested mountain area. Visit the historical Juma Mosque and take part in yoghurt-making in a local home in Shamakhi. Arrive in the city of Gabala where you will spend the night
Day 6: Sheki
Explore Gabala , visiting the Historical Museum of Gabala, and the renowned ruins of the ancient walled city, Chukhur Gabala, which dates back to the 4th century BC. Continue on to Nidj village and meet the native Udin people. Later arrive in Sheki and visit the colourful Sheki Bazaar. Here you can find virtually everything you may want to eat: local fruits and berries, spices, freshly-baked bread, honey, cheeses, and Sheki sweets. You will also visit Sheki Palace and the village of Kis.
Day 7: Georgia Wine Tour
Leave Sheki and head towards the border with Georgia. First explore a traditional market in the Georgian border town of Lagodekhi. Visit a local family, explore the gardens and vineyards and then enjoy a lunch of delicious homemade food, wine and Georgian ‘Chacha’. Enjoy the picturesque landscapes of vineyards and wine-producing villages en route to Khareba and vist the Chavchavadze Estate Palace in Tsinandali, a restored in 19th-century style mansion. Enjoy a wine tour and a tasting session this afternoon.
Day 8: Sighnaghi Old Town
Continue to the beautiful 18th-century town of Sighnaghi, known for its quaint stone walls, small houses with terracotta roofs and decorated balconies. Admire the picturesque views of the Alazani Valley and Great Caucasus mountains. Continue to Bodbe Convent. According to legend, this is the burial place of St. Nino, who converted Georgia to Christianity in the 4th century. Arrive in Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia, in the late afternoon and have dinner in the atmospheric old town.
Day 9: Tbilisi City Tour
Take a morning sightseeing tour of Tbilisi. Start at the 13th century Metekhi hurch and the monument to Vakhtang Gorgasali, the legendary founder of Tbilisi. Visit Narikala Fortress, walk down to the district of sulphur bath houses and pass by the only mosque in Tbilisi. Stroll through the Sharden area, full of narrow streets with cosy cafs, wine tasting bars, and souvenir shops, and breathe in the history of Old Tbilisi. Also visit Sioni Cathedral, Tsminda Sameba Cathedral, Anchiskhati Basilica, and the famous Rezo Gabriadze Theatres clock tower, before crossing the Bridge of Peace to Rike Park. Tonight, you will sample delicious Georgian cuisine.
Day 10: Mount Kazbegi
This morning visit the 3000 year-old ancient capital and religious centre of Georgia Mtskheta. Spend time visiting the citys historical sights including Jvari church and Svetitskhoveli Cathedral where the Robe of Christ is buried. Continue to the Ananuri Complex, a former residence of Argveti Dukes, which features churches and towers dating back to the 16th and 17th centuries and beautifully overlooks Jinvali Reservoir. Next, drive over the Cross Pass and reach Gergeti Holy Trinity Church to enjoy breathtaking views of Mount Kazbegi. Later we will visit a local master who will tell us more about Georgian icon painting and Teka (felt) making.
Day 11: Uplistsikhe Cave Town
Travel back along the scenic Tergi river to Stalins hometown of Gori. Visit the Stalin Museum, the tiny house where Stalin was born, and an impressive bulletproof train that Stalin used to travel to Yalta and Potsdam. Next visit the historical Uplistsikhe Cave Town, dating from the 1st millennium BC. The Great Silk Road used to pass here and this fascinating complex has ancient dwelling quarters, wine-cellars, bakeries, a three-nave basilica church hewn out in rock and even an antique theatre to explore.
Day 12: Okatse Canyon
Make your way to Okatse Canyon. Take a trek passing through Dadiani forest and finishing with panoramic views over the canyon. Here, you can explore the Okatse waterfall, the Dadiani forest and the Satsiskvilo valley. Afterwards, travel to Svaneti the region of the highest mountains and glaciers and the most abiding ancient traditions. Arrive in Mestia, in the Upper Svaneti region and explore the famous watchtowers that sit in the valley looking out to the stunning mountains in the distance.
Day 13: Lakhiri Village
This morning you will visit Lakhiri village and take part in a short hike through a picturesque valley to view the Chalati Glacier. Enjoy the spectacular scenery and return to Lakhiri to take part in a class that produces khachapuri, a famous Georgian dish of cheese-filled bread.
Day 14: Ushguli
This morning you will drive on to a village called Mulakhi. All the villages around here are dotted with twenty metre high stone watchtowers built during the middle ages to defend against invaders. Continue on and reach Ushguli, which is declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. In the town you will visit the 12th century Lamaria church, vist the Queen Tamars tower and the Ushguli museum. In the evening, you can walk around the village and get familiar with the daily life of the local people.
Day 15: Kutaisi
This morning, youll travel to Kutaisi. You’ll have some free time to explore the cobbled streets of the town before dinner this evening.
Day 16: Borjomi Spa
Make your way up to the ruins of Bagrati Palace, followed by a trip to the stunning Gelati Monastery. Afterwards, you will visit Prometheus Grotto, one of Georgias natural wonders. Your morning will finish with a drive to Borjomi Spa resort, famous for its mineral water Borjomi. In the late afternoon, you will continue to Akhaltsikhe. Wander the Rabat Fortress (Old Town) with its rare examples of darbazebi (traditional Georgian houses), castle, mosque and synagogue.
Day 17: Into Armenia
Visit Vardzia, a magnificent cave town from the 12th century. Afterwards, your local Georgian National Escort from Wendy Wu tours will take you to the Armenian border. Following your change of National Escort, you will drive to the city of Gyumri. Here you will enjoy a walking tour through the streets and admire the 19th century buildings. After, arrive in Dilijan, the Little Switzerland of Armenia.
Day 18: Dilijan Monasteries
This morning visit Haghartsin Monastery, a stunning example of medieval Armenian architecture nestled in lush woods. You will then enjoy lunch with a local Armenian family before visiting the 12th century Goshavank Monastery located in equally picturesque surroundings. After lunch, drive to Lake Sevan, the second largest alpine lake in the world and known as the Emerald of Armenia. You will visit Sevanavank, a beautiful monastery on the peninsula, once a strategic shelter for Armenian Kings. Spend the night in Sevan and enjoy stunning sunset views of Lake Sevan.
Day 19: Journey to Goris
This morning visit Noratus Medieval Khachkar Field, a fascinating medieval cemetery, known as Forest of Khachkars. Continue to the southern town of Goris via Selim Caravanserai, an important trading post on the Great Silk Road which has welcomed travellers along the highway through the mountains of Selim (Sulema). Visit the mysterious Karahunge Observatory, ksu;ema nown as the Armenian Stonehenge. The scenery and mountain setting provide the perfect canvas and backdrop to such a unique and impressive array of history, carved in stone.
Day 20: Wine and Cheese Making
Travel to the complex of Tatev Monastery, an architectural masterpiece dating from the 10th century and often referred to as a monastery built on the edge of nothing’. later, visit Areni Winery for a wine degustation. Lunch today is in a local home, where you will have the opportunity to see how to distil vodka, enjoy homemade wine, and learn how to make Armenian cheese bu burying in the ground. Finally, visit Noravank Monastery a great religious and cultural centre located in a seemingly inaccessible location amidst impressive red cliffs and stunning mountains. Continue to the capital city of Yerevan.
Day 21: Explore Yerevan
Originally established in 782 BC, Yerevan is a thriving city with the excitement, hustle and bustle of a modern capital. Start your exploration from Republic Square, the masterpiece of the architect Alexander Tamanian, and then continue to the Opera House. Next visit Cafesjian Centre for the Arts and depart for Echmiadzin, the spiritual centre of all Armenians and the seat of the Armenian Catholicos. This afternoon, stop at the ruins of Zvartnots the pearl of 7th century architecture, inscribed in UNESCOs World Heritage list. Later, return to Yerevan and visit the History Museum of Armenia.
Day 22: Garni Village
Visit Garni Village to see its ancient temple dating back to the 1st century and have lunch at a local family house where you will learn about Armenian flatbread making techniques. After lunch, visit Geghard Monastery and the Armenian Genocide Memorial Complex and Museum on Tsitsernakaberd Hill. Next, visit the Cascade Monument, from the top of which a breathtaking city view can be enjoyed, that includes the Opera House, Mount Ararat, Swan Lake, Republic Square, and Abovyan Avenue. Join the group for a farewell dinner tonight.
Day 23: Fly Yerevan to the UK
Transfer to the airport according to your flight time for your return flight to the UK, arriving later the same day.