Georgia, a country at the intersection of Europe and Asia, is a former Soviet republic that’s home to Caucasus Mountain villages and Black Sea beaches. It’s famous for Vardzia, a sprawling cave monastery dating to the 12th century, and the ancient wine-growing region Kakheti. The capital, Tbilisi, is known for the diverse architecture and mazelike, cobblestone streets of its old town.
Armenia is a nation, and former Soviet republic, in the mountainous Caucasus region between Asia and Europe. Among the earliest Christian civilizations, it’s defined by religious sites including the Greco-Roman Temple of Garni and 4th-century Etchmiadzin Cathedral, headquarters of the Armenian Church. Khor Virap Monastery is a pilgrimage site near Mount Ararat, a dormant volcano just across the border in Turkey.
Echmiadzin Visit - Visit Armenia's ancient capital city. Stop at the famous cathedral, one of the world's first Christian churches (built in 301 AD). Learn about the cathedral’s history and change in architectural style after it was damaged in the late 400s.
Khor Virap Visit - Continue on to Khor Virap through villages and vineyards. Visit the pilgrimage site and monastery built in 1662 that’s still used for services today. The structure is built around a pit, used to imprison Saint Gregory the Illuminator who was confined for 14 years by his pagan King for preaching Christianity. Explore the grounds and enjoy the fantastic views of Mt Ararat.
Garni Temple and Gorge Visit - : Enjoy an excursion to the Roman temple of Garni, dedicated to the God of the sun, Mithra. The temple is one of the last standing pagan structures left in Armenia. The Temple grounds have other standing ruins such as a bathhouse, a church, and a cemetery. An earthquake destroyed the temple in 1679, but under the guidance of the architectural historian Alexander Sahinian, the temple was rebuilt by 1974. Visit Garni Gorge to admire the formations of basalt columns known as the ‘Symphony of the Stones.’
Geghard Monastery - Visit the Gerghard Monastery, a unique building, partially carved into the surrounding mountains. The complex was constructed in the 4th century at the site of a sacred spring inside a cave, though the main chapel wasn't built until 1215. In 2000 the monastery and the nearby entrance to the Azat Valley were added to UNESCO's list of World Heritage Sites. The scenery is part of what makes this sight so special, with mountains and cliffs surrounding the place. Many of the buildings here are entirely caves within the mountain or dug out of the cliff face
City Tour - Enjoy a city tour with included visits to the Old Town, Metekhi Temple, the Abanotubani 'bath district' and the Narikala, the main fortress in Tbilisi.
Georgian National Museum - Take a tour of this museum that opened its’ doors in 2004 after combining almost a dozen smaller museums to create the Georgian National Museum. This museum is a great place to learn more about the culture and history of Georgia. Spend some time wandering a few of the many museum buildings and check out their collection of Medieval Christian art and artifacts.
Cable Car to Narikala Fortress - Hop the cable car from Rike Park to Narikala Fortress. Soak in the views of the city and surrounding landscape on the short ride to the top. One tip (if you dare)— wait for the car that has a limit of five people— that one has a glass floor. Up on top, explore the Narikala Fortress and learn about the history of the area.
Telavi Tour - Proceed for full day tour of Telavi visiting Sighnaghi, Tsinandali, Alaverdi Monastery
Return Home with Happy Memories of Your Tour!!!
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