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ARMENIA - GEORGIA 15 DAYS PILGRIMAGE

Tailored comfortable and leisurely, tour covers from the south to the north of Armenia and from the west to the central and east part of the Georgia where mostly Catholic communities are concentrated in both countries. The Itinerary includes UNESCO World Heritage sites like: Cathedral of  St. Echmiatsin, St. Hripsime, Zvartnots temple and Geghard and Haghpat monastery in Armenia and Cathedral of St.Svetitskhoveli, Monastery of Jvari and Ancient Capital of Georgia Mtskheta in Georgia and more. Meetings with the local pastors and bishops, cultural performances and the local hospitality fully immerse the traveler in Armenia’s and Georgia unique cultures and rich history.

Short Itinerary:

Day 1: Zvartnots Airport – Arrival - Transfer-Hotel

Day 2: Yerevan- Matenadaran – Garni – Geghard- Yerevan

Day 3: Yerevan - Echmiatsin Cathedral  - St.Hripsime – St.Gayane – Zvartnots – Yerevan city tour

Day 4: Yerevan- Khor Virap- Noravanq – Khndzoresk - Goris

Day 5: Goris – Tatev – Karahunj - Caravan Sarai – Noraduz - Hayrivanq – Sevan

Day 6: Sevanavanq – Dilijan – Goshavanq – Haghartsin - Stepanavan

Day 7: Stepanavan - Lori Berd - Tashir – Odzun – Haghpat

Day 8: Haghpat – Akhtala – Sanahin – Spitak – Gyumi

Day 9: Gyumri - Arevik- Panik – Harich – Marmashen – Gyumri- city tour

Day 10: Gyumri – Armenian- Georgian border – Ninotsminda – Akhalkalaki – Vardzia – Akhaltsikhe

Day 11: Akhaltsikhe - Borjomi – Gori – Uplistsikhe - Tbilisi

Day12: Tbilisi – Mtskheta – Jvari – Ananuri – Tbilisi

Day 13: Tbilisi – Bodbe – Sighnaghi – Alaverdi – Ikalto – Tbilisi

Day 14: Tbilisi city tour

Day 15: Tbilisi – airport


Day 1

Zvartnots Airport - Yerevan

Yerevan Arrival

Transfer to the hotel, accommodation.


Day 2

Yerevan - Matenadaran – Garni – Geghard - Yerevan – 100km

Matenadaran: Also known as The Institute of Ancient Manuscripts, the Matenadaran contains over 16,000 manuscripts documenting the centuries-old history of the Armenian nation, art, literature, and natural sciences. Manuscript art is one of the most unique examples of Armenia’s medieval culture.

Geghardavank: Constructed from the 12 th to 13 th centuries, Geghard means “Monastery of the Lance”. Its name was connected with a lance that, according to the Holy Bible, was used to pierce the side of the crucified Christ. What is believed to be a remnant of the lance is preserved in the museum at Holy Echmiadzin.

Garni: Dating from the 3 rd century BC to the 13 th century AD, this area not only housed the summer residence of Armenian kings but was also the site of a pre-Christian temple honoring Mithra, god of the sun.

Cultural events on the day:

Performance of a choir of spiritual songs in the Geghard monastery.


Day 3

Yerevan - Echmiatsin Cathedral – St.Hripsime – St.Gayane – Zvartnots – Yerevan city tour – 90km

Echmiadzin: Officially known as Vagharshapat, and once the capital of Armenia, Echmiadzin is the spiritual center of Armenia. In addition to the Echmiadzin Cathedral, constructed in the 4 th century, the churches of Saint Hripsime, Saint Gayane and Shoghakat are also located here.

Morning mess and a meeting with a representative of the Armenian Apostolic Church.

Zvartnots: The ruins of this circular 7 th century cathedral have led to much speculation regarding not only its original appearance and size but also the cause of its collapse. In addition to massive

columns with carved capitals, the remains of a palace and winery can also be seen.

City tour in Yerevan: Tsitsernakaberd: Armenian-Genocide monument and the museum, Cascade - the contemporary art museum, Republic Square, Opera house, Cultural events on the day: Sunday Morning mess in St Echmiadzin

Ararat Cognac tasting (optional)*


Day 4

Yerevan- Khor Virap- Noravanq – Areni-1 (Bird’s cave) - Khndzoresk – Goris – 310km

Khor Virap Monastery «deep pit». According to Armenian historian Agatangeghos (5th c.) the future first patriarch of the Armenian Apostolic Church, Grigor Lusavorich was imprisoned in this dungeon for 13 years. The monastery is several hundred meters away from the border between Armenia and Turkey, on the higher, left bank of Arax River. From here, there is a panoramic view of Mount Ararat.

Noravanq monastery is one of the masterpieces of medieval Armenian architecture and is the religious centre of Syunik province. It was built in 13-14 century by architects Siranes and Momik and is known for its laced stone ornaments.

T’rchunneri (Bird) Caves: Known for their stalactites and stalagmites, these caves are an example of Armenia’s unique geological formations. Here is a packed clay platform dated to between 3700-4200 cal BC and discovered in the cave of Areni-1 in southwestern Armenia appears to represent the earliest wine production installation yet discovered.
http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2011/01/110111-oldest-wine-press-making-winery-armenia-science-ucla/
Khndzoresk: The panoramic landscape of “Old Khndzoresk” is a historic place first inhabited during the Bronze Age. The steep and rocky hillsides are filled with interesting caves that were used as homes until the mid-20 th century.

Cultural events on the day:

Lavash -Armenian bread making

Wine tasting in the cave and fourchette/buffet (optional)*


Day 5

Goris – Tatev – Karahunj - Caravan Sarai – Noraduz - Hayrivanq – Sevan – 250km

Tatevavank: This monastery, dating to the 9 th -17 th centuries, was the spiritual and cultural center of medieval Armenia. During the 14 th and 15th centuries it was famous for its university. It was also said to inspire Syunik Armenians during their conquest of Iranians and Osmanli Turk invaders during the 18th century.

Karahunj: Also known as the “Armenian Stonehenge” these standing stones date to the 2 nd millennium B.C. According to scientific investigations, it is believed the stones were arranged for astronomical observation.

Selim Caravanserai: Built by Prince Chesar Orbelian in 1331, this inn accommodated travelers and their animals as they traversed the Silk Road through the Selim Pass. Restored in the 1950s, this caravanserai has unique decorations and stone carvings.

Hayravank: This monastery, dating to the 9 th - 11 th centuries, is located on a rocky promontory in a village on the western shore of Lake Sevan. Fortification and settlement remains dating from the Bronze Age to the Middle Ages are found here.

Noraduz. The old cemetery is spread over a seven hectare field containing almost a thousand khachkars (cross stones) each of them depicting unique ornamentation. The majority of the khachkars are covered by moss and lichen. Several tombstones in the cemetery depict carved scenes of weddings and farm life.

Lake Sevan - the blue pearl of Armenia. It is the largest lake in the region, situated at about 1900 m above sea level.

Cultural events on the day:

Visit to rural carpet making factory(optional)*


Day 6

Sevanavanq – Dilijan – Goshavanq – Haghartsin - Stepanavan – 190km

Sevanavank: Located on Sevan peninsula, this 11th century monastery was originally founded by Princess Mariam Bagratuni. Its two churches were reconstructed and restored in the mid-20th century.

Goshavank: Founded by Armenian cleric Mkhitar Gosh in the 12 th century and known for being a prominent religious, cultural, and educational center during the Middle Ages. Also located here is

the famous khachkar by Varpet (Master) Poghos. Monastery of Haghartsin (X-XIII cc.). It is a living example of harmony between nature and architecture. Religious and secular edifices, the royal graveyard, inscriptions on the walls, and stone crosses reflect the history, religious life, architecture and culture of Medieval Armenia.

Cultural events on the day:

Wood carving, or a khachkar- cross stone (optional)*


Day 7

Stepanavan - Lori Berd- Tashir – Odzun – Haghpat – 100km

Lori Berd: Originally settled during the Bronze Age, the ruins of a large medieval city and fortress are found in Lori Berd. Currently archeological excavations revealed different layers of the residential place.

Tashir: Regional town in the north where Catholic Armenian community is concentrated, Visiting the Catholic Church, Meeting with the priest.

Odzun: St. Hovhannes: Constructed from the 5 th to 7 th centuries, this basilica-style church has cloisters, wall carvings, and a funerary monument. Haghpat: A medieval Armenian monastery from the 10 th to 14 th centuries. Once called the Holy Cross church, it is believed to contain holy water that has curative qualities for people with heart conditions.

Cultural events on the day:

Lunch at the local family

Fruit alcohol making (optional)*


Day 8

Haghpat – Akhtala – Sanahin – Spitak – Gyumri – 140km

Akhtala is also known as Pghindzavank is a 10th-century fortified monastery located in the town of Akhtala in Lori region. The monastery is currently inactive. The fortress played a major role in protecting the northwestern regions of Armenia and is among the most well preserved of all in modern Armenia. Proceeding to Lori province through the city of Spitak, then to Vanadzor, which is the administrative centre of Lori province. Vanadzor is the third largest city of Armenia. Although devastated by the 1988 earthquake, the city has preserved its specific identity and magnetism. The road goes through the deep gorge of Debet River (500m) and is surrounded with wonderful rocky banks.

Sanahin: An outstanding example of medieval Armenian architecture, this monastery dates from the 10th to 14th centuries. Its churches and library helped make it a religious and cultural center during the Kiurikid kingdom of the 10th – 12th centuries.

Gyumri is the center of Shirak province and the second largest and economically important city of the republic. A trip through Gyumri, site of a devastating earthquake in 1988, still rebuilding. Tourists will see the restored city, and new churches, a new residential area «Ani» and the Monument of the outstanding French singer-songwriter Charles Aznavour.

Cultural events on the day:

Visit to local art & craft master


Day 9

Gyumri – Arevik - Panick – Harich – Marmashen – Gyumri - city tour – 70km

Giumry city tour: Yot Verq, St Astvatstsin, Catholich Chrch St Khach(The Holly Cross), meeting with the priest, Continue to Arevik Village, Panick Village where Catholic communities of the North west are.

Monastery Harichavank (VII-XIXcc.) – the largest religious and cultural center of Shirak province, which is famous for its monastery school. 
Located in the Akhurian Valley, Marmashen is a 10th century monastery and has four churches: two rebuilt and two in ruins. Standing in the complex, one can imagine the enormous wealth that poured into this monastery when it was a center of learning, manuscript production, and prayer.

Cultural events on the day:

Visiting to the local artist(optional)*

Day 10

Gyumri – Armenian- Georgian border – Ninotsminda – Akhalkalaki – Vardzia – Akhaltsikhe – 250km

Ninotsminda is a town located in Georgia’s southern district of Samtskhe-Javakheti. Ninotsminda Cathedral is highly significant to the development of Georgian architecture, as it is served as a model for the development of the later tetraconch (four-apse) form.

Akhalkalaki is a town in Georgia’s southern region of Samtskhe-Javakheti.  In 2002 over 90 percent of the  city’s population were ethnic Armenians. The visit of an Armenian Catholic Church.

Vardzia is a cave monastery site in southern Georgia, excavated from the slopes of the Erusheti Mountain on the left bank of the Mtkvari River. The main period of construction was the second half of the twelfth century. The caves stretch along the cliff for some five hundred metres.

Akhaltsikhe (literally &quote “new castle”, formerly known as Lomsia) is a small city in Georgia’s southwestern region of Samtskhe-Javakheti. It is situated on the both banks of a small river Potskhovi, which separates the city to the old city in the north and new in the south.


Day 11

Akhaltsikhe - Borzhomi – Gori – Uplistsike – Tbilisi – 260km

The Rabat fortress is the main sight of the Akhaltsikhe town. It is located on the western suburbs and can be seen practically from anywhere in the city. This military building erected in the 13th century.

Borjomi is a resort town in south-central Georgia. The town is famous for its mineral water industry.

Gori is a city in eastern Georgia, which serves as the regional capital of Shida Kartli.  Gori was an important military stronghold in the Middle Ages and maintains a strategic importance due to its location on the principal highway connecting eastern and western parts of Georgia. Gori is also known as the birthplace of the Soviet leader Joseph Stalin.

Uplistsikhe “The Lord’s fortress” is an ancient rock-hewn town in eastern Georgia, some 10 kilometers east of the town of Gori, Shida Kartli. Built on a high rocky left bank of the Mtkvari River, it contains various structures dating from the Early Iron Age to the Late Middle Ages, and is notable for the unique combination of various styles of rock-cut cultures from Anatolia and Iran, as well as the co-existence of pagan and Christian architecture.

Tbilisi is the capital and the largest city of Georgia, lying on the banks of the Mtkvari River.


Day 12

Tbilisi – Mtskheta – Jvari – Ananuri – Tbilisi – 150km

Mtskheta: One of the oldest cities of Georgia, it is located approximately 20 kilometers (12 miles) north of Tbilisi at the confluence of the Aragvi river. Due to its historical significance and several cultural monuments, the Historical Monuments of Mtskheta became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994. As the birthplace and one of the most vibrant centers of Christianity in Georgia, Mtskheta was declared as the “Holy City” by the Georgian Orthodox Church in 2014.

Jvari Monastery stands on the rocky mountaintop at the confluence of the Mtkvari and Aragvi rivers, overlooking the town of Mtskheta. Along with other historic structures of Mtskheta, it is listed as a World Heritage site by UNESCO.

Ananuri is a castle complex on the Aragvi River in Georgia.  In 2007, the complex has been on the tentative list for inclusion into the UNESCO World Heritage Site program.


Day 13

Tbilisi – Bodbe – Sighnakhi – Alaverdi – Ikalto – Tbilisi – 300km

Bodbe Convent is where the relics of St. Nino are buried – the enlightener of Georgia. The convent has a miraculous view of the Alazani Valley opening onto the snow-capped mountains of Caucasus.

Short city tour in Sighnaghi – the town of lovers.

Cultural events on the day:

Wine tasting (optional) *

Sighnaghi (Signagi) is a town in Georgia’s easternmost region of Kakheti and the administrative center of the Sighnaghi Municipality. It is one of the country’s smallest towns. Sighnaghi’s economy is dominated by the production of wine, traditional carpets.

Alaverdi is a town in the Lori Province at the northeastern part of Armenia near the border with Georgia. It is located at the only direct rail link between Armenia and Georgia. Monastery of Alaverdi one of the greatest cultural centers of Georgia.

The Ikalto monastery was founded by Saint Zenon, one of the 13 Syrian Fathers in the late 6th century. It was known as one of the most significant cultural-scholastic centers of Georgia. An academy was founded at the monastery during king David the Builder by Arsen Ikaltoeli in the early 12th century.


Day 14

Tbilisi city tour – 50km

The city tour includes the main landmarks of the city: Metekhi, Abanotubani - the sulfur bath district, the Cathedral of St. Trinity, Freedom Square, Rustaveli avenue.

We can arrange a dinner with a national music, songs and dances. Also we can offer a wine tasting.


Day 15

Tbilisi – airport – Departure – 50km

Farewell coffee/sweets in the local restaurant


The price includes:

- Transfer airport - hotel – airport

- Accommodation in 4*/3* hotels

- Full board - breakfast, lunch, dinner

- Entrance fees to the museums and historical-cultural places along the route

- A good a/c coach

- English speaking guide

- Free radio-guiding individual system

- One bottle of still water per day pp.

- Local taxes


The price excludes:

- Air-ticket

- Medical insurance

- Alcoholic beverages

- Extras

- Tips

Please send your request to info@atb.am.
You will be contacted within twenty-four hours.