Price

$1757

Available: 0 space

Secure your place on this trip with $350 deposit. Final payment due 60 days before departure.

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      • Hotels: Standard Class

      • 09/21/2024 - 09/28/2024

      • Max Participants: 16

      • 8 Days / 7 Nights

      Overview

      Georgia and Armenia may sound like unconventional destinations, but trust us, they ought to top your list of places to visit. Our eight-day trip is a wonderful showcase of the cultural and natural highlights the Caucasus Region has to offer, with a huge helping of beautiful architecture and delicious cuisine to boot. Stroll the narrow streets of Tbilisi, tour ancient monasteries, stare down massive mountain ranges, visit with friendly locals, and soak up all the exotic culture of this underexplored region.

      What's Included:
      • Georgian Wine Tasting
      • Local Lunch and Traditional Cooking Demonstration, Geghard
      • Echmiadzin visit
      • Khor Virap visit
      • Garni Roman temple and gorge visit
      • Lake Sevan stop with visit to monasteries
      • Sanahin Monastery Complex visit
      • City tour of Tbilisi
      • Georgian Military Road drive
      • Mtskheta's UNESCO-listed churches visit
      • Jvari Monastery and Svetitskhoveli Cathedral visit
      • Hike to Uplistsikhe cave town
      • G Adventures Tour Leader throughout, local guides
      • 7 Breakfasts, 3 Lunches – allow $310-405 USD for meals not included
      • Standard hotels (7 nts)
      • All transport between destinations and to/from included activities by private van/bus
      What's Not Included:
      • International air travel
      • Incidentals
      • Travel health and cancellation insurance
      • Applicable visas
      • Tips or gratuities
      • Airport taxes
      • Beverages
      • Meals not mentioned in itinerary
      • Optional tours and admissions
      • Airport transfers

      Itinerary Download PDF

      Arrive in Yerevan at any time. Due to the potential for flight delays or cancellations, we recommend that you plan to arrive in Europe at least a day in advance. This will also give you time to adjust to the time difference, overcome any jetlag, and avoid any disruption to your trip due to flight delays or cancellations. We can book extra hotel nights for you in Yerevan before the trip. Please note that check-in at the hotel is usually around 2:00-3:00 p.m. There are no planned activities until an intro meeting around 6:00 or 7:00 p.m., usually in the hotel lobby. Check for a sign or ask at the reception desk about the exact time and location of the group meeting. Please make every effort to arrive in time for this meeting. If you are delayed and will arrive late, please inform us. Your tour leader will then leave you a message at the front desk informing you of where and when to meet up tomorrow. After the meeting, you might choose to get dinner at a nearby restaurant with your traveling companions and your tour leader to further get to know one another.

      Today we begin by driving to Echmiadzin, Armenia's ancient capital city. We will stop at its famous cathedral, one of the world's first Christian churches (built in AD 301). Learn about the cathedral’s history and change in architectural style after it was damaged in the late 400s. Afterward, we drive back toward Yerevan. We will visit the Armenian Genocide Memorial and Museum to better understand and reflect on the first genocide of the 20th century. Commemorating the massacre of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire from 1915 to 1922, the Museum explains the story of this horrific historical event. Over 1.5 million Armenians were systematically killed by the governing Ottoman Empire and then the Republic of Turkey after the fall of the Ottoman Empire. Even today, a century later, Armenia has a population of only 3 million people. Then take a guided wander around the lively and colorful city of Yerevan. Visit sites including the City Park, Abovyan Street, and Republic Square. Enjoy a contemporary art-walk through the Cafesjian Center of Art, before taking in ancient Armenian treasures and manuscripts at The Mesrop Mashtots Institute of Ancient Manuscripts (Matenadaran). Approximate travel time: 1 hr by private vehicle

      In the morning we get back into our vehicle and pass through villages and vineyards before arriving at Khor Virap, a 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 Mount Ararat. Next, we have 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." We then sit down to a traditional Armenian lunch with the company of a local family. Watch as your hosts demonstrate "Lavash" bread baking and traditional barbecuing using an underground oven. Get your hands messy during a lesson on how to prepare an Armenian sweet before sitting down to a delicious lunch. End the experience with a sip of local apricot vodka or grappa in the cozy garden of this rural home. We then return to Yerevan and have the rest of the afternoon for free time exploring this amazing city. Approximate travel time: 3 hrs by private vehicle

      We leave Yerevan and drive to the largest lake in the Caucasus region, Lake Sevan, and visit charming monasteries along the way. The first is Sevanavank Monastery founded in 874 by King Ashot I, picturesquely standing on a peninsula, this site was used both for the purposes of pilgrimage and as a place of exile for disgraced Armenian noblemen. Continue your drive and stop in the forested town of Dilijan where you can take in the fresh air on a short walk around this quaint town. Then travel to the heart of the forest to discover the impressive, fairytale-like Haghartsin Monastery, or "Monastery of the Playing Eagle." The Molokan are a minority population in Armenia derived from settlers exiled from Russia for not obeying the rules of the Church. Their name derives from "Milk" due to the great amount of milk they would consume, especially during the fasting period determined by the Orthodox Clergy. Stop in a Molokan village en route to Haghpat to get a glimpse into daily life, and enjoy a traditional afternoon tea. We will overnight in Haghpat surrounded by breathtaking views of the Debet canyon. Approximate travel time: 4.5 hrs by private vehicle

      We start the day with a visit to the Haghpat Monastery. Built in the 10th through 13th centuries, the Haghpat Monastery was once one of the largest centers of science in the region with a rich collection of manuscripts. Next, we visit the Sanahin Monastery, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that dates back to the Byzantine era. The monastery is made up of several buildings including the main church, the Cathedral of the Redeemer. Admire this beautiful example of medieval Armenian architecture and the view of the surrounding hills. We then cross into Georgia (this takes 1-2 hours) to be welcomed and greeted by your Georgian tour leader before transferring to Telavi, located on the foothills of the Tsiv-Gombori Range. Approximate travel time: 3 hrs by private vehicle

      Today, we experience a full day in the Kakheti Province, which is dotted with churches and vineyards. Enjoy breathtaking views of the Kizikhi area and Sighnaghi. For lunch, join a local family for a cooking demonstration. Watch on as your hosts demonstrate how to prepare famous dishes from the area including Georgian bread, "mtsvadi" or pork barbecue and "churchkhela", a traditional Georgian sweet. We then drive to Tbilisi, Georgia's capital. Its maze-like, cobblestoned old town reflects a long, complicated history, with periods under Persian and Russian rule. Its diverse architecture encompasses Eastern Orthodox churches, art nouveau buildings with ornate balconies, and Soviet Modernist structures. Looming over it all are Narikala Fortress, a reconstructed 4th-century citadel, and Kartlis Deda, an iconic statue of Mother Georgia. 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. Approximate travel time: 2 hrs by private vehicle

      Today, we drive the famous Georgian Military Road to Mtskheta, the ancient capital of Georgia and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Here we will visit the Jvari Monastery and Svetitskhoveli Cathedral, both of which showcase examples of medieval architecture on ancient trade routes. Then we drive to Uplistsikhe, an ancient cave town dating back to the 7th century BC. The name translates to "the lord’s fortress," and the town continued to be a religious and political stronghold until the 14th century before being attacked by the Mongols. While many travelers have never heard of this ancient city before visiting, after a few hours of climbing around the rocks and caves, Uplistsikhe quickly becomes a highlight of any trip to Georgia. Afterward, we drive back to Tbilisi for another evening in this amazing city. Approximate travel time: 1.5-2 hrs by private vehicle

      There are no planned activities today, so you may depart Tbilisi at any time. If you wish to extend your stay in Tbilisi, consider booking post-tour accommodation with us. Please note that check-out time from the hotel is usually mid-morning, but luggage storage services are available at the reception desk. Want more adventure? Book two or more GEEO programs in the same school year and receive a discount! GEEO will give you 10% off of the lesser value program(s) (up to 3 programs per year). If you would like to extend your time abroad but don't see another GEEO program that interests you, let us know. We can work with you to find a trip from our tour operator’s much larger catalog. Their tours are open to the general public and not designed specifically for educators, but we can still offer you and your travel companions a discounted educator price on any additional tours that you book.

      Details

      Frequently Asked Questions
      Please read our general FAQs, where you can find essential information that applies to all of our programs.
      Resources to Learn & Teach about Armenia and Georgia
      Visit our recommended reading page to see the list of books GEEO recommends reading before your program (this is not required reading). We also have lesson plans and Pinterest boards that may be useful for you as you learn about your destination and prepare to bring lessons back to your classroom.
      Terms and Conditions
      It is very important to review our Terms and Conditions before signing up for a GEEO program.
      GEEO Program Confirmation Process
      We require a minimum of 6 participants for most GEEO programs. We officially confirm that a program will run once at least 8 people have signed up, which provides a margin for individual cancellations. Nearly all GEEO programs ultimately meet this enrollment quota, and in the rare event that a program does not meet the minimum requirement and GEEO cancels the program, we will work with you to find a suitable alternative or provide a refund of your deposit if you prefer. We encourage you to sign up for any program that interests you, and we will notify the entire group once 6 people are booked and again once 8 people are booked. We always emphasize the importance of exercising caution when making non-refundable travel arrangements, especially given the unpredictable nature of travel. For example, we typically recommend booking flights with flexible change/cancellation policies.
      Cancellation Policy
      All cancellations must be submitted to GEEO in writing by emailing your request for cancellation to travel@geeo.org. If you do not receive a confirmation that we have received your cancellation request, please call us at 1-877-600-0105.
      • If you cancel 60 days or more prior to the start of your program, all your program fee payments will be refunded excluding your $350 deposit, which is kept on file for future use and never expires.
      • If you cancel between 30 and 59 days prior to the start of your program, you will receive a 50% refund and your deposit will be kept on file for future use and will never expire.
      • If you cancel within 30 days prior to the start of your program, you will receive no refund, but your deposit will be kept on file for future use and will never expire.
      Trip Notes
      1. YEREVAN MUSEUMS: Most museums in Yerevan are closed on Mondays. Plan your free time/pre-nights in Yerevan accordingly.
      2. PACE: This trip has a rapid pace, and the heat of the summer can make it quite exhausting. Please know in advance that you will see a lot, but this isn't a relaxing vacation.
      Group Leader Description
      All GEEO/G Adventures group trips are accompanied by one of G Adventure’s group leaders, which they refer to as Chief Experience Officers (CEOs). The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. They will provide information on the places you are traveling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues, and introduce you to our local friends. Our itineraries often have plenty of free time to explore on your own. While not being guides in the traditional sense, you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the countries visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious, and social aspects. We also use local guides where we think more specific knowledge will add to the enjoyment of the places we are visiting – we think it’s the best of both worlds.
      Fitness Level
      This trip includes light walking and hiking that is suitable for most fitness levels. In the cities, you can split apart from the group to go your own pace. It is very hot, so make sure you stay hydrated and don't push yourself too hard.
      Single Travelers
      Half of GEEO’s participants travel by themselves, so please don’t worry if you do not have a travel companion for your trip. Our program fee is for one traveler in double-occupancy accommodation, and GEEO can find you a roommate of the same gender if you do not have a travel companion. Most of our programs have a “My Own Room” option, also known as a “Single Supplement,” which is an extra fee that you can pay to have a room to yourself. You will only incur an additional charge if you specifically request a single room. To see the price for the “My Own Room” option, please find your program on our extra services page. If you want to room alone, please email travel@geeo.org to request a single room.
      Joining Instructions
      Day 1 is an arrival day, and no activities have been planned. Upon arrival to the city on Day 1, or earlier if you have booked pre-accommodation with us, please make your way to the joining hotel. Please note: Check-in time will be in the afternoon. Once you arrive at the hotel, look for a note at reception from your tour leader. This note will give the details of your Welcome Meeting on Day 1, usually between 6:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m., during which you will get a chance to meet your tour leader and other travelers, as well as learn more about how the tour will run. If you don’t see a note, please ask reception for details. If you miss the Welcome Meeting, your tour leader will leave a note at reception for you with any information you may need and with instructions for the next morning. From the airport, you can take a taxi to the hotel. We recommend the taxi company Aerotaxi, which should cost about $10-12 USD. You can also download the Bolt app, which is a service much like Uber/Lyft that is used in both Armenia and Georgia. We would recommend downloading Bolt and setting up your profile before departing for this trip. You will need a data plan in order to use the app.
      Emergency Contacts
      Should you need to contact G Adventures during a situation of dire need, it is best to first call their local G Adventures office. If for any reason you do not receive an immediate answer, please leave a detailed message and contact information so they may return your call and assist you as soon as possible. EMERGENCY CONTACT NUMBERS Ms. Astghik Hakobyan (Armenia) Tel: +374 10 541463 Mob: +374 95/96 419312 For absolute emergencies after office hours, please contact +44 7817 262559 If for any reason you do not receive an immediate answer, please leave a detailed message and contact information, and your call will be returned as soon as possible. If you are unable for any reason to contact the local office, please call the numbers listed below, which will connect you directly with the 24-hour Sales team, who will happily assist you. Toll-free, North America only: 1 888 800 4100 Calls from UK: 0344 272 0000 Calls from Germany: 0800 365 1000 Calls from Australia: 1300 796 618 Calls from New Zealand: 0800 333 307 Outside North America, Australia, New Zealand, Germany and the UK: +1 416 260 0999
      Packing List
      Please read this article on GEEO’s blog for our staff’s suggestions on the best gear to pack for your upcoming travels. You must be prepared to carry your own bags and be comfortable carrying them up and down stairs, on and off transportation, and to hotels. As a rule, we try not to have to walk more than 15-20 minutes with your bags, which is why we recommend keeping the weight of your bags between 22-30 lb. Most travelers carry a backpack or rolling bag of small to medium size. No XXL bags please! A daypack is also essential for carrying everyday items. Space is limited on transportation, so there is a limit of one main piece of luggage per person plus a daypack per person. Suggested Checklist
      • Clothes for churches – shorts that go below the knees; shirts that cover shoulders
      • Raincoat and/or umbrella
      • Personal clothing for warm to hot weather – we recommend packing 8 days of outfits so you only have to do laundry once; covering shoulders is advisable
      • Sturdy walking shoes – running shoes are fine too
      • Sport sandals or flip-flops
      • Daypack
      • Sunblock
      • Sunglasses
      • Sun hat
      • Water bottle
      • Watch or alarm clock
      • Toiletries – important: some hotels do not give you soap and shampoo
      • Camera
      • First-aid kit, including lip salve, Aspirin, bandaids, anti-histamine, Dramamine, Imodium or similar tablets for mild cases of diarrhea, electrolyte powder, insect repellent, extra prescription drugs you may be taking
      Optional Checklist
      • Travel pillow
      • Money belt
      • Phone/tablet for internet – most hotels have WiFi
      • Chargers for electronics as well converters/adapters, if needed
      • AirTags or Tile trackers
      • Packing cubes
      • Earplugs
      • Snacks – packing a few granola bars is a good idea; you can buy snacks when you get there too, so don't go crazy here
      • Ziplock bags
      • Reading/writing material
      • Hand sanitizer/baby wipes
      Document Checklist
      • Passport (with photocopies)
      • Travel insurance (with photocopies)
      • Airline tickets (with photocopies)
      • EUR/USD cash
      • Credit or debit card (see personal spending money)
      • G Adventures vouchers, pre-departure information, and dossier
      • Any entry visas or vaccination certificates required
      • GEEO Classroom action plans for your group – this is sent 10-30 days before departure
      Laundry
      Laundry facilities are offered by some of our hotels for a charge, or you can ask your tour leader where the nearest laundromat is located.
      Passports and Visas
      All GEEO programs require the participant to have a valid passport. Please see our general FAQ for information on obtaining a passport. As with all of our trips, we try to provide the most accurate information we can, but governments sometimes change visa rules. It is your responsibility to double check the information we provide below by searching here. U.S. citizens do not need a visa to travel to either of the countries we visit during this program. Non-American participants should check with their government and local embassies to find out if they need visas.
      Money Exchange
      The local currencies on this trip are the Armenian dram (ARD) and the Georgian lari (GEL). As currency exchange rates fluctuate, we ask that you refer to the following website for daily exchange rates: www.xe.com. We recommend that you obtain cash from ATMs while traveling; they will dispense the local currency. We do, however, recommend that you bring at least $200 USD in cash for emergency use or in case you have trouble with the ATMs. Major credit cards are accepted in most shops, but you may be charged an international transaction fee; ask your financial institution about their international fees. Please note that if you are carrying U.S. dollars, the bills should be in good condition (i.e., not torn, wrinkled, or marked on in any way) and dated recently.
      Tipping
      It is customary in Europe to leave a small tip for service providers, such as waiters, if you are pleased with the service (€1-2 EUR for snacks or 10% of a meal bill). Tipping is an expected, though not compulsory, component of this program and an expression of satisfaction with the people who assist you on your trip. Although it may not be customary to you, it is of considerable significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels. There will be opportunities during the trip to tip your local guides or drivers. You may do this individually, or your tour leader may offer to collect the money and give a tip on behalf of the group. Recommendations for tipping local guides and drivers range from €3-5 EUR per person per day, depending on the quality and length of the service. Ask your tour leader for specific recommendations based on the circumstances and expectations. Also, at the end of your program, if you felt your G Adventures tour leader did an outstanding job, a tip would be appreciated. The amount is entirely your personal preference, but as a guideline, €20-25 EUR per person per week would be appropriate.
      Vaccinations
      GEEO cannot provide any medical advice, so it is very important to consult your doctor or a travel clinic about which vaccinations you will need for your trip. We recommend contacting Passport Health (http://www.passporthealthusa.com/), which has travel clinics located throughout the United States. You can also check the CDC's recommended vaccinations for your destination. Please take this seriously!
      Flights
      We find the best prices for flights are often available around 90 days before departure, but of course this varies greatly from route to route and year to year. You should wait until this trip is confirmed before you book non-refundable flights. GEEO and G Adventures bear no responsibility for any flights purchased before the trip is confirmed. This program begins in Yerevan and ends in Tbilisi. Please double-check our itinerary for the date by which you must arrive in Yerevan, which usually means departing the U.S. one days prior. You may want to arrive in Europe one or more days early in case you have flight disruptions. You can arrive at any time you choose, but try to make it in time for our 6:00 p.m. Welcome Meeting on Day 1. You can depart from Tbilisi at any time on the final day of the trip, or stay longer to see more of the city.
      Plugs and Converters
      There are two components to provide external power to your device: adapters and transformers (also called electrical converters). The adapter is for your device's plug, adapting the prongs on a standard U.S. two- to three-pronged power cord to fit the local outlets. The transformer/converter changes the local voltage to the voltage used in the U.S. Georgia and Armenia primarily use a type C outlet for two circular prongs, and the voltage is 220-230V. (Standard U.S. electrical outlets are 120V.) Most new devices, including phones and laptops, are made to work with the different voltage rates, but some devices, like hair dryers, may only work on the U.S. standard of 120V. Check your device's plug or manual to see what voltage range it requires. Most transformer blocks will have an “Input” line that defines its voltage capacity; for example, “Input: 100-240V” means that it will work with voltages between 100V to 240V. If your device can’t handle the higher voltage, you’ll need to purchase a transformer/converter. You can find world transformers/converters online or at many retail stores in the travel section.
      Expectations
      Before you decide to travel with GEEO, it is important that you read all of the information about the program you are considering. Remember, our programs are quite adventurous.
      • The purpose of the accommodation is to provide a safe, well-located place for you to sleep. Sometimes you will be pleasantly surprised, but do not expect luxury as we are trying to keep these trips as inexpensive as possible.
      • You must be able to easily carry or roll your luggage, so do not over-pack.
      • Many of our programs occur in locations where it is very hot during the day. Please make sure you have thoroughly read the itinerary and can handle the group activities, which sometimes include day hikes with your daypacks.
      • We recommend always carrying snacks with you. Meals can sometimes be far apart.
      • Please make sure you understand the role of your tour leader on this trip as they are not the traditional “guide” you may be expecting. While our trips are educational, they aren’t study/lecture trips. We want you to learn through exploring, and much of your experience will be based on how active you choose to be in acquiring knowledge and interacting with locals.
      Hopefully this is the kind of adventure you are interested in!
      Itinerary Disclaimer
      While it is our intention to adhere to the routes described on our website, there is a certain amount of flexibility built into the itinerary and on occasion it may be necessary, or desirable, to make alterations. The itinerary is brief, as we never know exactly where our journey will take us. Due to our style of travel and the regions we visit, travel can be unpredictable. The information on our website is a general guide to the tour and region, and any mention of specific destinations or wildlife is by no means a guarantee that they will be visited or encountered. Additionally, any travel times listed are approximations only and subject to vary due to local circumstances.
      Advice From Past Participants
      "If you want to also travel to Azerbaijan while in the Caucuses, make sure you schedule that for after the trip, not before, as it is difficult to go between Azerbaijan and Armenia due to their political/military disputes. It is easy to fly to Baku from Tbilisi at the end of the trip. Anything you bring into Azerbaijan with Armenian writing might possibly be confiscated. It is easy to find day tours out Baku once you arrive in the city. I would recommend spending at least three days there." "I'd really stress the need to take extra days in both Yerevan and Tbilisi. Would not have gotten as much out of trip without the extra time. The itinerary mentions time at the end of the tour days to see city highlights but we got back at 6 pm tired and sweaty." "Bolt works great in both Armenia and Georgia. It is like Uber/Lyft."
      Weather
      The weather in both Armenia and Georgia is similar. It is very hot in Yerevan and Tbilisi, but it is pleasantly mild in the mountains.

      Costs

      Please keep in mind that this trip offers some free time to pursue activities that interest you. Make sure you look over all of the optional activities and note these additional costs when deciding whether you can afford this program. The prices below are rough estimates for budgeting your trip.
      Tour Company Fee
      See price in the top right corner
      Optional Activities
      $100 USD
      International Airfare from the USA
      Roughly $1,200-2,000 USD If you require assistance in booking your international airfare, we would be happy to help you.
      Airport Transfers
      $20-60 USD
      Insurance
      $79-200 USD Please note: It is mandatory for all of our travelers to have Emergency Medical insurance that covers both emergency evacuation and repatriation to the sum of $200,000 USD. We also strongly recommend purchasing cancellation insurance as an add-on.
      Tipping
      We recommend $30-40 USD total for your G Adventures tour leaders. Budget another $30 for tipping local guides and drivers.
      Meals Not Listed in the Itinerary
      $310-405 USD
      Laundry, Drinks, Phone Calls, etc.
      Make sure you budget for these types of expenses
      Souvenirs
      Variable. At your personal discretion.
      Non-Educator Donation
      $100 USD (suggested donation) This is only for non-educator guests traveling with an educator on a GEEO trip. Educators and retired educators should not make this donation.

      Optional Activities

      Most optional activities are booked and paid for locally, sometimes in the local currency, and you do not have to decide in advance which ones you would like to sign up for. The prices listed are based on the latest information we have received from our participants and G Adventures. They are not guaranteed to be accurate. Please use them as a rough guide for budgeting your trip. Yerevan Brandy Factory: $10 USD per person Visit the Yerevan Brandy Factory for an intimate look at the legendary ARARAT brandy-making process. Learn more about the spirit that has been an attribute of Armenian social and culinary life since 1887. Take a guided tour and sample various types of Armenian brandy. Genatzt! Megerian Carpet Factory Visit: Free Take a guided visit of the Megerian Carpet factory to learn about the ancient tradition of Armenian carpet-making. Observe traditional carpet weavers at their craft, and marvel at the colorful and diverse rugs on a wander through the gallery of Armenian carpets.