Below you can find the itinerary of our first ever trip to Armenia, Nagorno-Karabakh and Georgia.
8th May 2017: Yereven, Armenia
Arrival in Yerevan.
9th May: Yerevan, Armenia
Today is Victory day! We will kick off the trip with a tour around Yerevan. We'll visit the giant Cascade Monument giving us a grand view over the city and towards the biblical Mt. Ararat where some believe Noah's Ark was beached after the floods. We'll then go on a short walking tour around the cities main avenues and squares before heading to the Tomb of Unknown soldier where hundreds of veterans of World War II will be paying their respects. We will have a welcome dinner in a traditional restaurant before when Victory day then continues with concerts and festivites.
10th May: Goris, Armenia
In the morning we will first head to the Khor Virap monastery which will provide us our closest view of Mt. Ararat. It is from here that many locals enjoy releasing doves in the hope that they will travel to the mountain which now lies across the border in Turkey. This monastery is most noted as being the location of Saint Gregory the Illuminator's 13 year long imprisoment for preaching Christianity in Armenia. We will have the chance to decend the 60m ladder down into the pit where he was imprisoned; sturdy shoes are strongly recommended!
Next we will then drive to the famous "Wings of Tatev" cable car which will carry us across a gorge to the impressive Tatev monastery. This is the most famous of all Armenia's monasteries and originally served as a univeristy featuring such facilities as an early earthquake detection system.
We will overnight in the nearby city of Goris which is surrounded by ancient cave dwellings carved into the rock.
May: Stepanakert, Nagorno-Karabakh
Today we will cross into Nagorno-Karabakh, locally known as Artsakh. The self declared republic of Nagorno-Karabakh consists of the traditionally Armenian parts of Azerbaijan that are currently locked in a struggle to break-away. The territory has been fought over by Azeri and Armenian backed local forces but now benefits from a long standing period of peace.
After passing through the Berzor Corridor we will arrive in Shoushi the historic capital of Karabakh and visit the sights before heading on to the modern captial, Stepanakert, for an evening tour. Overnight in Stepanakert.
12th May: Nagorno-Karabakh
In the morning we will depart Stepanakert after visiting the famous "Grandma and Grandpa" statues. We will now make our way back to Yerevan stopping in the town of Areni along the way to try the famous local wines.
13th May: Tblisi, Georgia
Today we will drive to Tblisi crossing the border from Georgia to Armenia before spending the afternoon and evening at leisure.
14th May: Tblisi, Georgia
Walking tour in famous Sulfuric Baths district visiting the 12th century Metekhi church, Narikala fortress and then take in a panoramic view of the city from the hill where the huge Mother of Georgia statue is located.
15th May: Gori, Georgia
Today we visit the birthplace of Stalin, Gori. We will head to the Stalin Museum where we will have the chance to see the house Stalin was born in, his personal train, as well as a collection of gifts that bear his image. We will have lunch of traditional Georgian Khinkali dumplings with local wine before we head on to the ancient cave city of Uplistsikhe. Transfer back to Tblisi and overnight there.
16th May: Tblisi, Georgia
Today the main tour ends in Tblisi
If you would like to extend your trip into Azerbaijan our Lupine tour leader will be heading on to Baku this afternoon and you are more than welcome to join. We'll be operating this research-extension purely on a cost sharing basis with the following itinerary. You can come along for as little or as long as you like...
Catch a shared bus across the border into Azerbaijan before heading to Sheki where we will stay in an old Caravanserai that has been converted into a hotel.
17th May: Baku, Azerbaijan
We will spend the day exploring the sights and surroudning scenery of Sheki before catching a late transfer to Baku where we will overnight.
18th May: Baku, Azerbaijan
Spend the day exploring Baku as well as having an afternoon excursion to the mud volcanoes.
19th May: Nakchivan, Azerbaijan
Today we will take a rapid day trip out to the Azeri exclave of Nakchivan located on the farside of Armenia bordering Turkey. This will be an intense day flying from Baku in the early morning, spending the day in Nakchivan with a guide before catching an evening flight back to Baku. We will see the sights of Nakchivan as well as learn about the struggles of how this isolated exclave sustains itself.
20th May: Baku, Azerbaijan
The extension ends here.