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.
Arrive at any time today, but we highly recommend coming in a day early as there is a lot to see in Yerevan. Our program will begin tonight in Yerevan, and we typically have a group meeting at the hotel around 6:00 p.m. Upon arrival at the hotel, please check the notice board for information about the group meeting. During the group meeting, the leader will outline the trip itinerary and answer questions.
Yerevan, the capital of Armenia, is marked by grand Soviet-era architecture. The basalt Matenadaran library, housing thousands of ancient Greek and Armenian manuscripts, dominates its main avenue. Republic Square is the city’s core, with musical water fountains and colonnaded government buildings. The 1920’s History Museum of Armenia on the square’s eastern side contains archaeological objects such as a circa-3500 BC leather shoe.
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 301 AD). Learn about the cathedral’s history and change in architectural style after it was damaged in the late 400’s.
Afterwards 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 colourful 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 hrs by private vehicle
In the morning we get back into our vehicle and pass through villages and vineyards before arriving at Khor Virap. Built in 1662 and once a pilgrimage destination, this monastery is 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 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 meal.
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 UNESCO World Heritage Site, Sanahin Monastery 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.
A trip to the wine region of Georgia wouldn’t be complete without a taste off the local vine. Join a local family for a cooking demonstration, and a local wine tasting. Look 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 the drive to Tbilisi, Georgia’s capital. Its mazelike, 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 into ‘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 travellers have never heard of this ancient city before visiting, after a few hours climbing around the rocks and caves Uplistsikhe quickly becomes a highlight of any trip to Georgia.
Afterwards we drive back to Tbilisi for another evening in this amazing city.
Approximate travel time: 2 hrs by private vehicle
Depart Tbilisi at any time. We highly recommend staying at least one extra day and we would be happy to book you an extra night at the hotel we use for this trip.
Want more adventure? Book two or more GEEO trips in the same year and receive a discount! GEEO will give you 10% off of the lesser value program(s) (up to 3 programs).
If you don’t see a program that interests you that pairs with this trip, but still would like to extend your time abroad, let us know. We will work with you to find a non-teacher trip from our tour operator’s much larger catalog. Even better, if you are an educator, we can offer still offer you a discounted price on the trip you choose!
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.
It is very important for you to visit our Terms and Conditions page before signing up for this program.
All cancellations must be submitted to GEEO in written form by emailing your request for cancellation to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you do not receive a confirmation that we have received your written cancellation request, please call us at 1-877-600-0105. Verbal cancellation requests will not be honored.
All GEEO/G Adventures group trips are accompanied by one of G Adventure’s group leaders, which they refer to as Chief Experience Officers (CEO). 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.
For this program we typically have a different tour leader in each country. Your Georgian tour leader will meet you at the border between Armenia and Georgia. This way you have native guides throughout.
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.
Half of the people that travel with GEEO are traveling by themselves, so please don’t worry if you have no one who can join you on your trip. Our pricing is based on double occupancy or, in other words, two people to a room. You never have to pay for a single room unless you want one. GEEO can find you a roommate of the same gender. Most of our trips have a “My Own Room” option, also known as a “Single Supplement,” which is an extra fee that will allow you to have a room to yourself. If you want to room alone, please email email@example.com. To see the price for the “My Own Room” option, please click here where you can look up your trip in the extra services spreadsheet.
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. Pleae 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., at 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.
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.
Ms. Astghik Hakobyan (Armenia)
Tel: +374 10 541463
Mob: +374 95/96 419312
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, from calls within North America only: 1 888 800 4100
Calls from within UK: 0844 272 0000
Outside North America and the UK: +1 416 260 0999
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.
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.
Laundry service is offered by most of the hotels.
All GEEO trips require that the participant 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.
Americans do not need a visa for Armenia and Georgia. Non-American participants should check with their government or nearest Armenian and Georgian Embassies to find out if they need a visa.
A mix of cash (USD or EUR to exchange), credit cards, and debit cards are the best way to ensure you have enough money at all times. The currency in Armenia is the Armenian Dram (ARD) and in Georgia you’ll use the Georgian Lari (GEL).
In a quick pinch, some banks can arrange a cash advance off of a credit card, but you’ll lose time trying to find a bank that will do it. The other problem is that they’ll dispense cash at the official exchange rate, which is well below the black market rate – you’ll lose buying power because most merchants who calculate costs in dollars do so at the black market rate.
Travelers checks are not recommended, as only limited amount of banks work with them.
Although not compulsory, tipping is expected and is an expression of satisfaction with the people who have assisted you throughout your tour. 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 several occasions during this trip when there is the opportunity to tip the local guides or drivers that we use. You may do this individually, or your tour leader will offer to collect the money and tip as a group. Ask your tour leader for specific recommendations based on the circumstances and culture.
Also, at the end of your time in each country, if you felt your G Adventures Tour Leader did an outstanding job, tipping is also expected and appreciated. The precise amount is entirely a personal preference. The amount is entirely a personal preference, however as a guideline 20-25 USD/EUR per person, per week can be used.
We legally cannot give you any medical advice. However, we recommend protection against typhoid, tetanus, infectious hepatitis, and polio. It is very important to consult your doctor or a travel clinic about which vaccinations you will need for your trip. GEEO recommends contacting Passport Health, (http://www.passporthealthusa.com/) which has travel clinics throughout the U.S. Please take this seriously!
We often find the best prices for purchasing flights is 60 days before departure, but of course this varies greatly from route to route and year to year. You must wait until this trip is confirmed with the minimum number of required participants before you book your flights. Typically, we reach the minimum number needed at least 90 days before departure. GEEO and G Adventures bear no responsibility for any flights purchased before the trip is confirmed. You can find out whether this trip has been confirmed here.
Your trip begins in Yerevan and ends in Tbilisi. Please double check our itinerary for the date by which you must arrive in Yerevan. You can arrive at any time of the day you choose, but we strongly urge you to arrive by 6:00 p.m. on Day 1 for the group meeting. You can depart from Tbilisi any time on the final day of the trip.
There are two components to provide external power to your device: adapters and transformers. The adapter is the plug, adapting the prongs on a standard U.S. two to three-pronged power cord to match the prongs required by the local outlets. The transformer changes the local voltage to that required by your device.
Georgia and Armenia primarily use a type C plug, which is the same two circular prong plug you find in most of Europe. Their voltage is 220 Volts in Georgia and 230 Volts in Armenia. U.S. outlets are 120V. Most new devices (phones and laptops) can handle the different voltage rates, but some devices only work on the U.S. standard of 120V. Check your device to see what voltage range it handles. Most transformer blocks will have an “Input” line that defines its voltage capacity. For example, “Input: 100-240V” means that it will work on voltages from 100V to 240V. If your transformer can’t handle the different voltage, you’ll need to purchase a voltage converter. You can find world regional voltage converters power packs at various vendors.
Before you decide on traveling with GEEO, it is important that you read all of the information about the program you are considering. Remember, our programs are quite adventurous.
Hopefully this is the kind of adventure you are interested in!
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.
“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 days tours out Baku once you arrive in the city. I would recommend spending at least three days there.”
Weather in all of these countries is similar. It is very hot in Yerevan and Tbilisi, but pleasantly mild in the mountains.
Please keep in mind 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 in U.S. Dollars and are rough estimates for budgeting your trip.
See price in top right corner
$100 USD (GEEO program fee for Non-Educators)
Educators do not have to pay this fee.
Roughly $1,200-$2,000 USD
If you require assistance in booking your international airfare, we would be happy to help you.
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 well.
We recommend $30-$40 USD total for your G Adventures tour leaders. Budget another $30 for tipping local guides and drivers.
Make sure you budget for these types of expenses
Variable. At your personal discretion.
Most optional activities are booked and paid for locally in the local currency. You do not have to decide in advance for which activities you would like to sign up. 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 feel free to use them as a 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 colourful and diverse rugs on a wander through the gallery of Armenian carpets.