Geghard Monastery | Armenia
FROM: USD $2,165

Discover the highlights of the Caucasus on this 16 day overland group tour from Baku to Tbilisi. Explore Azerbaijan's bustling capital, stay overnight in a Silk Road caravanserai and relax on the shores of Lake Sevan in Armenia. Enjoy wine tasting in Telavi, marvel at the stunning Vardzia Cave Monastery and visit ancient Yerevan.

Inclusions
Itinerary
Prices & Dates

Trip Highlights

Baku - see the mud volcanoes of Gobustan and explore bustling Baku which is an amazing contrast of the ancient and modern
Telavi - taste delicious local wines and watch aspects of the wine production process then enjoy some famous Georgian hospitality
Yerevan - enjoy two nights in one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world
Lake Sevan - relax on the shore of this Armenian lake, home to the only beaches in the landlocked country
Sheki - spend the night in a converted caravanserai, where traders on the Silk Road used to rest and resupply their caravans
Stepantsminda - hike to the Tsminda Sameba Church which is nestled in rolling hills and stunning scenery
Vardzia - marvel at the stunning subterranean cave city and the monastery which remains inhabited by a handful of dedicated monks
Tbilisi - end your overland adventure in Georgia's colourful and endearing capital city

Included

10 breakfasts, 5 lunches and 9 dinners
5 nights camping (including 1 night camping with facilities, 1 night camping without facilities and 3 nights wild camping)
Transportation in an overland expedition vehicle
Sightseeing as per itinerary
A stay in the ancient Sheki caravanserai in Azerbaijan
10 nights in hotels and guesthouses
All necessary camping equipment (excluding sleeping bags)
Services of two crew (drivers/tour leaders) and local guides along the way
Visit to Gobustan to see the petroglyphs and mud volcanoes
Visits to the Garni Temple, Geghard Monastery & Khor Virap Monastery in Armenia

Not Included

International flights and visas
Tipping - an entirely personal gesture
Local Payment: $510pp, paid in USD
Items of a personal nature, additional meals and drinks
Sleeping bag and roll mat - please bring your own for camping

Itinerary

Day 1

Welcome to Baku!

Welcome to Baku, the emerging capital of Azerbaijan! Make your own way to our joining hotel where there’s a pre-departure Welcome Meeting at 18:00. The evening is free to explore the city as you please. Perhaps check out the old part of the city, including the famous Maiden Tower.
Overnight: Baku

Day 2

Free time in Baku

Today is free to explore Baku as you please. The oil-rich city is an amazing contrast of the old and new, with glistening skyscrapers contrasting against the old architecture. The city is emerging as a global player on the world scene and recently hosted the 2019 Europa League football final. It also hosts a Formula One Grand Prix race every year.
Overnight: Baku

Day 3

Gobustan & Lahij Village

Baku - Lahij. This morning we drive to Gobustan, the region known for its bubbling mud volcanoes and ancient petroglyphs. After exploring this site, we continue to Lahij, an ancient mountain settlement which is famous for its copper and arms production. Explore the site at leisure and camp with facilities tonight.
Overnight: Lahij  |  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4

Sheki & Caravanserai stay

Lahij - Sheki. Today we drive to the old city of Sheki. Explore the exquisite Khan’s Palace before we arrive at our accommodation for the night. You’re in for a treat as we are staying in a hotel which has been built inside an ancient caravanserai, once an important stopover for weary travellers on the Silk Road.
Overnight: Sheki (Caravanserai)

Day 5

Lagodekhi National Park

Sheki - Lagodekhi National Park (Georgia). Today we say goodbye to Azerbaijan and cross into Georgia. We'll spend the night camping in the lush scenery of Lagodekhi National Park, which is located fairly close to the border.
Overnight: Lagodekhi NP  |  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6

Telavi

Lagodekhi National Park - Telavi. We head into the Alazani Valley this morning and visit the impressive Gremi Citadel en route to Telavi. We'll be basing ourselves in this famous wine region for the next couple of days.
Overnight: Telavi   |  Breakfast, Dinner

Day 7

Telavi & Wine tasting

Today we have plenty of time to explore Telavi and visit some of the local vineyards. Watch traditions such as grape harvesting in action and enjoy some Georgian hospitality with an included lunch and wine tasting at a local family-run winery.
Overnight: Telavi   |  Breakfast, Dinner

Day 8

Stepantsminda

Telavi - Stepantsminda. Leaving Telavi behind, we drive to the town of Stepantsminda, which is nestled in beautiful scenery. During our stay here we’ll enjoy a trek up to the tiny Tsminda Sameba Church, which is hidden away in the rolling hills and mountains of the Georgian Caucasus. There’s also an optional cooking class where you can learn how to make delicious Georgian kinkhalis (meatballs).
Overnight: Stepantsminda  |  Breakfast, Dinner

Day 9

Magical Mtskheta

Stepantsminda - Mtskheta. We’ll spend the morning unwinding in Stepantsminda or hiking up to the Tsminda Sameba Church if there wasn't time yesterday. Later, we drive to the charming town of Mtskheta. Here we can visit the beautiful 11th century Svetitskhoveli Cathedral.
Overnight: Mtskheta   |  Breakfast, Dinner

Day 10

Borjomi National Park & Vardzia

Mtskheta - Vardzia. We head out of Mtskheta and make our way to Borjomi National Park. Enjoy a short hike in the ancient forest and opt to ride a cable car up the mountain before we continue to the incredible Vardzia cave city.

First inhabited during the Bronze Age, the network of caves is one of the highlights of the Caucasus. Though the site was mostly abandoned in the 16th century, a handful of monks still reside in the Vardzia Cave Monastery and they ring the bells at 07:00 every morning. We’ll either explore the site today or tomorrow, depending on how long it takes to reach Vardzia. Tonight, we wild camp nearby.
Overnight: Vardzia  |  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 11

Armenian Highlands

Vardzia - Armenian Highlands (Armenia). This morning we explore Vardzia if there wasn't time yesterday. We then set off for the Armenian border, finding a suitable spot to camp once we have crossed.
Overnight: Wild Camping (Armenian Highlands)  |  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Days 12-13

Yerevan

Armenian Highlands - Yerevan. This morning we visit the Khor Virap Monastery, near the Turkish border. This important pilgrimage site is set in the shadow of Mt Ararat and on a clear day there will be incredible views of the snow-capped peak. After our visit we continue to ancient Yerevan, capital of Armenia and one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world.

There’s free time to relax or explore Yerevan at leisure during our two night stay here. Perhaps join an optional excursion to the Ararat Brandy Museum.
Overnight: Yerevan

Day 14

Geghard Monastery, Garni Temple & Lake Sevan

Yerevan - Lake Sevan. Setting off from Yerevan, our first stop is the UNESCO-listed Geghard Monastery, which has been carved out of the rock face of the Azat River Gorge. We continue to the impressive Graeco-Roman Garni Temple and pass through picturesque scenery to shimmering Lake Sevan. Landlocked Armenia’s only beaches are found at the lake, making it a popular summer retreat for Armenians. We’ll spend the night camping on the shore of the lake.
Overnight: Lake Sevan  |  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 15

Tbilisi

Lake Sevan - Tbilisi (Georgia). Today we board our overland truck for the final time. We cross back into Georgia and pass through the amazing scenery of Dilijan National Park to reach Tbilisi, Georgia's endearing capital city. The rest of today is free to explore the quaint Old City as you please. Consider heading up to Narikala Fortress for amazing views over Tbilisi.
Overnight: Tbilisi   |  Breakfast

Day 16

Tbilisi

Today our Caucasus adventure comes to an end. If you wish to extend your stay in Tbilisi, then speak to our sales team.

Is This Trip Right For Me?

Overlanding is not a style of travel that will suit everyone so please carefully read the Trip Notes before selecting this tour and be realistic about your ability and desire to join such a trip. If you’re the adventurous type who’d rather spend a night roughing it in the wilderness than luxuriating in a boutique hotel, then overlanding is for you. You just need the right attitude, an open mind, and a desire to participate fully in the trip.

Overland travelling can be demanding and challenging. The pace of the trip can be tiring at times and facilities can be basic. On your trip you’ll travel in a purpose-built expedition vehicle on an off-the-beaten-track adventure along rugged roads, sometimes across vast distances and at altitude. You will find the drive times noted on the Trip Notes.

On an overland journey you are more than just a passenger, these are full participation trips and everyone gets involved and pitches in! You will also be expected to erect your own tent and help with camp chores including cooking meals for the group on a rota basis. Like all great adventures, the more you put in the more you'll get out!

The type, variety and standard of accommodation can vary greatly from very basic rooms without electricity or running water to comfortable hotels with good facilities. Generally in hotels most rooms will be twin-share, but some may be triple/quad-share. Hostels and yurts are nearly always multi-share and may be mixed sex. On the Trip Notes you will find more information about the accommodation each night.

The campsites we use range from basic to those with excellent facilities, including swimming pools, restaurants and a bar. On occasions we wild camp with no facilities, which means there are no toilets - just the vast expanse of the great outdoors and a shovel!

Our overland journeys are designed to offer freedom, and many of our routes have a large degree of flexibility rather than a strict hour-by-hour or even day-by-day itinerary. We intend to follow the planned route but exact night stops and inclusions cannot be guaranteed and it sometimes happens that we decide to make a change to our planned itinerary.

Prices & Dates

Departure dates noted with a 'G' are guaranteed to operate. All other departure dates are guaranteed with a minimum of 4 persons. Prices shown are per person travelling.

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Local payment - $510pp, paid in USD

Please note that this is payable locally on day 1 of your trip in the currency specified.

Guaranteed Departure
Available
Contact us to book
Sold out
2020
Price /
Person
Single
Supp.
USD $2,165
-
USD $2,165
-
USD $2,165
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2021
Price /
Person
Single
Supp.
USD $2,220
-
USD $2,220
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USD $2,220
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In Brief

Range
Trip Type
Starts
Baku
Ends
Tbilisi
Departs
July to October
Group Size
Min 4 / Max 22
Hotel Rating
Simple hotels, guesthouses & camping
Local Payment
$510pp, paid in USD
Tour Guide
Escorted by a tour leader
Meals
Breakfast: 10, Lunch: 5, Dinner: 9
Countries
OTG002264Caucasus Discovered Westbound - 16 DaysCentral AsiaEssentials2165 USDfalse0Azerbaijanhttps://www.onthegotours.com/us/Georgia/Caucasus-Discovered-Westbound-16-dayshttps://drwyjmricaxm7.cloudfront.net/repository/Caucasus-Discovered-Westbound-main-image--Geghard-Monastery--Armenia--On-The-Go-Tours-753001564666402_crop_flip_300_300_f2f2f2_center-center.jpgOverland_Adventures2165USD