Georgia and Azerbaijan Tour | Individual Travel to Georgia | Pyala Travel - Travel Program
Travel to Azerbaijan and Georgia. Tailormade Tour, completely customized for you with Pyala Travel.
Georgia and Azerbaijan Tour
From the Caspian to the Black Sea
This Azerbaijan and Georgia tour brings you from the glittering city Baku to the Georgian black sea coast. Inbetween you will see the famous wineyard and monasteries of Georgia, ancient caravanserais and the great peaks of the Caucasus.
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Day 2 BakuAfter breakfast you will leave Baku for Gobustan Historical Reserve (65 km far). The reserve is well known with its perfectly preserved rock paintings - petroglyphs - a kind of artistic "archive" of human evolution on the Earth. Before the start of the tour around Gobustan we will visit the interactive museum with the same name, where with the help of special programs and multimedia touch screens we will get information about the nature, the flora of Gobustan. In 2007 Gobustan was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. After, your walking tour of Baku includes the medieval walled city "Icheri Sheher" with it is narrow alleyways, historic caravanserais, mosques and you have a visit of the Palace of the Shirvan Shahs, UNESCO Heritage site. You will see Maiden`s Tower (exterior view), UNESCO Heritage site the imposing mansions of the oil barons, built in the oil boom of 1870-1914 and Martyr`s with its superb views over the Bay of Baku.
Day 3 Baku - Lahic via ShemakiAfter breakfast you leave Baku and drive to the Caucaus mountains in northwestern Azerbaijan. At first, you will drive through a dry and barren landscape where you will see various 'mud vulcanoes'. You visit the Diri Baba mausoleum, dedicated to a 15th century Sufi saint. You will also visit the city Shemaki, the ancient capital of the Shirvan kingdom. You can visit the Friday Mosque and the Seven Mausoleums of Mazara. The city is also a nice place to have lunch. Next, the dry landscape changes into a wooded mountain area. You drive to the picturesque village Lahic, beautifully located in the Caucasus. For centuries, this village has been a center of azerbaijani handicrafts, especially coppersmiths who once came here from Persia. The inhabitants still speak Tat, an old Persian dialect. It is a lovely village to wander through and enjoy the beautiful surroundings.
Day 4 Lahic - ShekiAfter breakfast you will leave Lahic for Sheki. Arrival to Sheki, one of the most ancient cities of Azerbaijan, Sheki is rightly called the architectural reserve of the country. You will visit the Palace of Sheki Khans (1762) – a rare example of combining the national and palace architecture traditions. Visit Upper Caravansarai of 18th century.
Also you will drive to Kish village located near Sheki. Kish, one of the oldest villages in the territory of the present Azerbaijan is well-known with its unique architectural monument, a temple from the period of the Caucasian Albania.
Day 5 Sheki - Sighnagi via Lagodekhi and KvareliIn the morning you may proceed with the exploration of Sheki, before you drive to the border with Georgia in two hours. After the border formalities, you can continue the trip in Georgia. You are then in the wine region Kakheti and drive to the village Gavazi. Here no known sights, but an introduction to the Georgian rural life. You are offered an abundant lunch here; Not for nothing was the Georgian cuisine known as the best in the Soviet Union. Lots of fresh herbs, salads, fresh breads and Kachapuri (a kind of cheese bread), eggplant stuffed with walnuts and of course delicious shashliks. All washed down with homemade wine. A walk through the village will let you back in time and stroll through the fields to see everything on the table is coming from the garden.
Afterwards you drive to Sighnagi, located on a hill and therefore a beautiful view of the countryside and the Caucasus mountains in the background. In Sighnagi you can clearly see the development of the country. Several years ago, a rundown town with only one homestay, now a busy town with many guesthouses and hotels. Tourism in Georgia is clearly evolving and the government has done much to putthe region on the map. All sites are clearly marked throughout Kakheti. It is possible even to follow a real wine trail and many historic churches, monasteries, castles and other buildings have been renovated.
Sighnagi is a beautiful picturesque town, with its old city wall and bumpy cobblestone-streets. Over part of the city wall, you can walk and enjoy the views of the Caucasus Mountains.
Day 6 Sighnagi - TelaviToday you make an excursion through the wine region Kakheti. Not only will you see vineyards and wine farms everywhere, but Kakheti is also known for its many monasteries, churches and castles. You will visit the monastery complex of Ikalto, founded by the "Syrian Fathers" and for centuries one of the leading academies of the country. You will also visit the impressive castle of Gremi and the monastery of Nekresi.You overnight in a cozy guesthouse in Telavi, overlooking the vineyards and the Caucasus Mountains.
Day 7 Telavi - OmaloIn Telavi you exchange the car for a 4WD van or jeep to drive to Tusheti. This remote mountain region is situated high in the Caucasus, on the border with Dagestan and Chechnya. Many months per year the area is sealed off from the outside world and the Abano Pass is also just two weeks open. In the winter months the 2,000 families living in the villages in Tusheti mostly move to villages like Pshaveli around the Alazani river. Only 10 families remain all winter living in Tusheti. A hard life in the only region of Georgia where there is no electricity.
It's a long road to Omalo, Tusheti’s largest settlement, to drive; a route that will bring the world one of the "most dangerous roads," said a BBC documentary. That seems a bit exaggerated, it is above all a beautiful mountain road that takes you higher and higher from the plain by a lush gorge, you are only at the 2900 meter high Alano. In clear weather you have a wonderful view of the snowy peaks of the Caucasus. These peaks are the border with notorious but beautiful republics like Dagestan and Chechnya.
After the descent of the pass you drive through Tusheti and look out of your eyes; What an amazingly beautiful mountain region. You can see the ancient villages of Tusheti with their characteristic stone houses and imposing watchtowers. Overnight in the old (upper part) of Omalo, there to spend the night in a simple, but very cozy guesthouse in an old watchtower.
Day 8 Omalo / excursion TushetiTwo full days to explore the beautiful surroundings of Tusheti. You can go by car, but also visits to various villages on foot. There are many walking tours in Tusheti. Not far from Omalo are the beautiful villages Shenako and Diklo. For example you can visit these villages by car and then then walk back to Omalo.
Day 9 Omalo / excursion Tusheti
Another day to explore Tusheti. For example, visit the villages and Dartlo Cheshoand make the tough climb from Dartlo to Chesho and enjoy the view. In Dartlostanding at the edge of the village a few stones in a circle, the old council of the village! Then you can continue driving along a desolate swirling river, and continue walking to Parsma with its many towers.
Day 10 Omalo - TelaviToday you drive back from the mountains and return the same way back to Telavi. The road is so beautiful that it is not annoying to drive it again and as you descend the travel time should be shorter than the way up. Once in Kakheti you visit the cathedral of Alaverdi, one of the most important ones of the country. You stay in a nice guesthouse in Telavi. From the porch, while enjoying a lavish Georgian meal, you have a beautiful view of Telavi and rear vineyards and Caucasus mountains.
Day 11 Telavi - Tbilisi via David GarejaAlong the wat to Tiblisi you visit the imposing monastery of David Gareja. This monastery, founded by the "Syrian Fathers", lies in a steppe-like area on the border with Azerbaijan. Shepherds on horseback let their herds and give you the idea to be in the Wild West. The landscape is completely different from the rest of Kakheti. There is only one village, Ubadno, inhabited by people from Svaneti who have moved here. Previously there was no village, but the Georgian government wanted to have a settlement at this disputed area and so they did. Now it's a typical Soviet desolate village with dilapidated vacant concrete apartment buildings. A contrast with the beautiful surroundings. Visit the Lavra monastery and then start to climb uo the hill. Once upstairs walk along the ridge and visit the many cave monasteries with beautiful frescoes and views on Azerbaijan.
In the afternoon you arrive in the capital Tbilisi.
Day 12 TbilisiThe ancient city of Tbilisi has several attractions within walking distance. You can visit the 13th century Metekhi Church. From Metekhi walk to the old sulfur baths, located in an old caravanserai and mosque. From here you walk on to the Narikala fortress from the 4th century. Then visit the Jewish synagogue, the 6th century Sioni Cathedral and Anchiskhati 6th century church. In one hike you can see Christian, Jewish Islamic influences.
For example, visit the National Art Museum with its beautiful collection of jewelry. Continue to enjoy the fantastic views and choose to stroll at the end of the day on the impressive Rustaveli avenue, the main street of the city. In the old center there are plenty of restaurants and other entertainment venues where you can enjoy yoyrself whole evening.
Day 13 Tbilisi - Kutaisi via GoriYou travel to Gori, the center of the Kartli region. The city has the infamous reputation of being the birthplace of Stalin. You can visit the Stalin Museum full of Soviet attributes and even the birth house of Stalin. Then we visit the cave city Uplistsikhe. This cave city dates back to the first millennium BC. In an extensive system of caves are homes, churches, bakeries and even a theater.
Next stop is Kutaisi, where you will sleep.
Day 14 KutaisiToday an exploration of Kutaisi and its surroundings. You will visit the 12th century Gelati Monastery, also one of the oldest educational institutions of the country. This monastery is on the UNESCO World Herritage list and is famous for its frescoes and mosaics. You will also visit the cathedral of Bagrati, along with those of MtShketa and Alaverdi the most important ones of the country. Afterwards visit Prometheus grotto (closed on Mondays) with stalactites and stalagmites and drive back to Kutaisi where you can visit the market of Kutaisi.
Day 15 Kutaisi - BatumiIn the morning you will travel, in a half day, back to Batumi, located at the Black Sea. You have one and a half day in this rapidly developing city. Along the boulevard are several restaurants, hotels and a thema park. The center of the city is built up in a nice traditional style. The city has, because of its beautiful location at the Black sea, a pleasant climate and a Mediterranean ambience. Of course you can also simply take a refreshing swim in the Black Sea.
Day 16 BatumiA free day in Batumi to explore the city or relax at the beach.
Day 17 depart Batumi
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