Traveling to Azerbaijan is always a wonderful experience, and its even better when combined with a tour to Georgia. Our 9-day tour of these two countries is an excellent travel deal for all those interested in the area. The tour program combines Baku, Absheron peninsula, Gobustan with its mud volcanoes, as well as beautiful landscapes of Azerbaijan-Georgia border area: Sheki from one side and Lagodekhi (Kakheti region of Georgia) on the other. Georgian historical sites visits are followed by traditional wine tours and tastings at small private wineries. And tour of Georgia capital city Tbilisi is complimented by a next day travel to magnificent Kazbegi mountain, following the road within the Caucasus mountains gorge.
Our representative will meet you in the airport and arrange for hotel transfer.
Spend the first day in the region by exploring Baku, Azerbaijan capital city. Your guide will first take you to the “Shehidler Hiyabani” (memory alley) with a picturesque view opening from the site. Keep on wandering the new part of Baku and learn about XIX- XX centuries architecture: Nizami Ganjavi monument, Rasul-Zade Street, Nizami and Fountain square. Continue the tour by entering “Icheri Sheher” (inner town in old Baku) – famous Maiden Tower, Sheikh Shirvan Palace, “Caravanserai”, market. This day will finish with welcome dinner in local restaurant. Transfer to the hotel after dinner.
This day of the Caucasus tour will be dedicated to the travel to Greater Baku area and Absheron peninsula. Depart your Hotel and drive to Gobustan National Park, where you will see the petroglyphs from 10 thousand BC. You will continue the tour by visiting one of the most exciting sites in the area – mud volcanoes in Gobustan. It is believed that almost half of world’s mud volcanoes are in Gobustan. Next stop is an ancient temple of fire worshippers called Ateshgah. Known fact that centuries ago zoroastrians from India passed thousands of kilometers coming to Ateshgah to worship fire literally coming from underground. Azerbaijan is labeled as a “Land of fire” for a reason. “Yanardag” (burning mountain), your next destination, is a place where burning natural gas amazes visitors and wandering strangers for thousands of years. Transfer back to Baku.
Depart Baku towards Sheki region of Azerbaijan. Make en route stops at the Sheikh Diri Baba mausoleum and then keep on traveling to Shamakha, visit historical “Juma” (Friday) Mosque, “Yeddi Gumbez” (seven domes) mausoleum, as well as Sheikh Shirvan family graveyard. Breathtaking views offers you the road to Lagich passing Girdimanchay rivers’ canyon. The mountain village itself is a settlement established in the 5th century AD, and allows travelers to dive deep into the regions history and medieval atmosphere with narrow stone walkways. Arrive in the town called Kish, visit the Church of Saint Elishe, also known as 12th century Caucasian Albanian Church (currently inactive). Later in the evening arrival to Sheki, check-in to hotel.
In the morning before driving towards border with Georgia, you will have a brief tour of Sheki. The town is rich on historical, cultural and architectural heritage, with medieval fortress, Palace of Khans, Museum of history, mosque and madrassah, and local handicraft bazar being part of it.
Border with Georgia is about 2-hour drive away from Sheki. You will be met by local guide and vehicle on the other side to continue your exciting Caucasus journey with yet another fascinating country – Georgia.
Your Georgia tour will start with the region of Kakheti famous for its ancient winemaking traditions. Numerous vineyards as well as both big and small wine producing facilities are biggest landmarks of the region. Major highlight of the day is a wine tour and wine tasting at unique wine cellar “Gvirabi” (tunnel) by winemaking company “Khareba”, set inside the tunnel excavated in the XX century deep into the Caucasus mountain range. Next stop before driving to capital city Tbilisi will be the town called Sighnaghi, labeled recently as a “city of love”, mostly for the fact that one can register there their marriage 24/7. Previously a royal residence, Sighnaghi still surrounded by ancient city walls and currently one of the most popular travel destinations in Georgia. Drive to Tbilisi, check-in to hotel.
Georgian capital city for many centuries of its existence was a place where people of all faiths, cultural and national backgrounds used to live together, making Tbilisi a contemporary metropolis filled with history and atmosphere of the rich and great past. Your South Caucasus travel will continue this day with the tour of old Tbilisi: at the Metekhi church and King Vakhtang monument you will listen to the Tbilisi founding legend, continue by cable car to ancient Narikala fortress, walk down to the “Legvtakhevi” (fig) gorge and Tbilisi waterfall, passing by the church and mosque. Tbilisi flea market experience will be followed by stroll through the renovated pedestrian alley and part of the “New Tiflis” major renovation project of Georgian capital. And to make this day special – traditional Georgian welcome dinner will be attended. Transfer to hotel.
Tour to Georgia would not be complete without a journey to Kazbegi, a small town close to the border with Russia. The tour itinerary for this day will start with the Jvari monastery, architectural gem of the Caucasus, located on top of the hill overlooking major Georgian highlights – its old capital town Mtskheta; famous two rivers merging point where Mtkvari river meets river Aragvi; and transport highway entering Tbilisi. Another site worth making a stop on the way is Ananuri fortress – established in XVI century as a residence for local Dukes of Aragvi the complex is still a place that impresses all those passing by with its nobility and greatness. Other attractions en route include exciting view of two small mountain rivers making one, and flowing side by side without mixing their colors for quite a distance; also a picturesque mountain landscape viewpoint followed by the “Cross” pass. Arrive in Kazbegi, change a vehicle for 4-wheel-drive cars to get to Gergeti Holy Trinity church, nestled on top of one of the highest hills at 2170 meters above sea level. Drive to mountain resort Gudauri for overnight. Transfer to hotel.
After breakfast in the hotel start driving back towards Tbilisi with the stops in Uplistsikhe and Mtskheta on the way. From Gudauri in about 2-hour drive the group will arrive to the cave town Uplistsikhe – the magnificent remains of an ancient pagan settlement where all the houses used to be carved inside the rocks. Continue your Caucasus tours’ Georgian part by visiting a local family’s private wine cellar for house wine tasting and homemade lunch. After lunch arrive to Mtskheta, old capital town of ancient Georgia and one of the most important historical cities of the country. Visit the old town and its principal sight – Svetitskhoveli monastery. The name of the monastery means “living pillar” and it is widely believed that the place is a burial site of Jesus Christ’s mantle. Being one of the principal churches in Georgia, the monastery is also one of the most revered places in Caucasus. Transfer to Tbilisi.
Check-out from your hotel before 12 pm. Airport transfer.
|City / Town (number of nights)||Option A (Comfort)||Option B (Budget)|
|BAKU (3 nights)||Park Inn Hotel, Baku Intourist Hotel||Central Park Hotel, Azcot Hotel|
|SHEKI (1 night)||Sheki Saray Hotel, Sheki Palace Hotel||Issam Hotel|
|TBILISI (3 nights)||Ambassadori Hotel, Tiflis Palace Hotel||Grand Hotel Mimino, Kopala Hotel|
|GUDAURI (1 night)||Marco Polo Hotel||GoodAura Hotel|
* Please note that the above accommodation options are our first choice, and subject of availability for your exact dates of travel