Armenia and Georgia - Ancient Lands of Transcaucasia
- Exceptional Christian art, sculpture and archaeology
- Unspoilt mountain and desert scenery
- Good food, interesting wine and renowned hospitality
From the shadow of Mount Ararat travel through Armenia’s dramatic
mountain scenery to the vineyards of Georgia, the land of Jason and
the Argonauts. Follow the rich trail of Christian traditions and art,
evident in the superb architectural heritage of the region’s churches.
En route, sample fine local food and wine, whilst enjoying the genuine
hospitality of the local people.
Day 1 London/ Yerevan - Fly to Yerevan.
Day 2 Yerevan – Visit the State Historical Museum and
the National Library, the Matenadaran, which holds
one of the world’s richest depositories of medieval
manuscripts and books.
Day 3 Erebuni, Echmiadzin, Khor Virap – Travel to
the Urartian fortress of Erebuni and Echmiadzin, seat
of the Armenian Patriarch and a place of pilgrimage.
Continue to Khor Virap with excellent views of
Day 4 Garni, Geghard – Visit Garni with its restored 1st century AD Roman temple and the rock-cut medieval spiritual centre at Geghard, a UNESCO heritage site.
Day 5 Saghmosavank, Hovhannavank – Set in dramatic mountain scenery, visit the 13th century complexes of Saghmosavank and Hovhannavank.
Day 6 Lake Sevan – Time to enjoy the scenery and Sevan Monastery at Lake Sevan before continuing to the popular Hagardzin and Goshavank.
Day 7 Sanahin, Haghpat, Tbilisi – Visit the monastic complexes of Sanahin and Haghpat, Armenia’s best preserved religious architecture of the 10th - 13th
centuries. Cross into Georgia to its capital, Tbilisi.
Day 8 Tbilisi - Explore the Georgian capital, including Metekhi, the 18th century royal baths, the mosque, the Islamic quarter and the Fine Arts Museum.
Day 9 Gareja, Signagi - East to the wild, dramatic landscapes of Gareja and the rock-cut monasteries founded in the 6th century by David Gareja and the
Syrian Fathers, including Udabno and Bodbe Nunnery. On to the fortified walled town of Signagi.
Day 10 Gremi, Nekresi, Signagi – Visit the renovated 16th - 17th century monastery at Gremi and that at Nekresi, followed by the Tsinandaly Family Estate with its extensive parkland and famed wine cellar. Return to
Signagi for the night.
Day 11 Tbilisi – Drive back to Tbilisi and explore Alaverdi Cathedral, Ikalto Monastery and Shuamta Nunnery. For lunch, sample delicious local cuisine at
Gurjaani Wine House.
Day 12 Mtskheta, Gori, Kutaisi - Travel to Georgia’s ancient capital, Mtskheta, enjoying dramatic views from the Church of Djvari, 11th century Svetitskhoveli Cathedral and Samtavro. Visit Gori, birthplace of Stalin,
and Uplistsikhe, an ancient cave town from the 1st millennium BC. On to Kutaisi for a walk through the old town.
Day 13 Bagrati, Tbilisi – Visit the splendid Bagrati Cathedral, the Gelati Academy complex and 12th century Ubisa Basilica en route back to Tbilisi.
Day 14 Tbilisi/ London - Return flight to London.
EXTENSION IDEA: Add-on Azerbaijan at the end, arranged on a tailor-made basis. Please call for details.
Dr William Taylor
Dr William Taylor is Chairman of the Anglican and Eastern Churches Association, an Anglican priest and a writer and broadcaster on the Islamic world and Orthodox Churches.
William is one of The Traveller’s most experienced tour lecturers and has travelled extensively throughout the Balkans, Middle East and Central Asia and speaks Syriac, Arabic and Turkish. His publications include Light from the East, Christians in the Holy Land, Christianity in Iraq, Antioch & Canterbury, and Narratives of Identity, a comparative study of provisions for minorities under Islam. His PhD was on Orthodox Churches in the late Ottoman period, which drew on archival material from the monasteries of the Tur Abdin, in Eastern Turkey, where he lived while carrying out research in the monastery archives.
'William Taylor was splendid! Thanks to his huge knowledge of Ethiopia and his expertise on the Orthodox Church I now feel I have learned such a lot. Unfailingly good tempered, and with a very GSOH, he nevertheless had the gravitas to impart his knowledge. He was much respected'
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1 – 13 February 2015