(Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan share stunning mountain backdrops, powerful stone architecture and a strong code of hospitality. Georgia’s renowned winemaking traditions, Azerbaijan’s Zoroastrian and Islamic background, and Armenia’s multitude of ancient churches combine to make this distinctive journey more than the sum of its parts. The 15-day “Treasures of the South Caucasus” tour is slated for September 29-October 13, 2019 and starts at $7,495 per person double. For more info, visit https://www.mircorp.com/trip/treasures-of-the-south-caucasus/. The full itinerary is below and a short video can be viewed here.
Days 1-4: Baku, Gobustan, Shemakha, Sheki
The journey begins in Baku, capital of Azerbaijan and oil boom town, exploring the narrow stone streets of the charming medieval Old Town. Examine the ancient rock carvings at UNESCO-listed Gobustan; stop in Shemakha, former capital of the Shirvan Khanate; and visit Sheki, one of the oldest towns in Azerbaijan.
Days 5-7: Signagi, Tbilisi
In Georgia, discover Kakheti wine country, and explore the fortress town of Signagi. Stroll through the vineyards of Pheasant’s Tears Winery, tasting organic wines and learning about traditional Georgian winemaking methods. Enjoy a “Georgian Table” feast, with sumptuous food, copious wine, music and dance.
Days 8-9: Mtskheta, Ananuri, Gudauri, Kazbegi, Gori, Uplistsikhe, Tbilisi
Journey along the Georgian Military Highway to the alpine villages of Kazbegi and Gudauri, seated in the shadow of the Caucasus Mountains. Pause at UNESCO-listed Mtskheta, ancient capital of the kingdom of Iberia from the 3rd century BC until the 5th century AD. Visit Gori, Stalin’s hometown, and explore the fascinating cave town of Uplistsikhe.
Days 10-15: Yerevan, Khor Virap, Garni, Geghard, Echmiadzin, Lake Sevan
Next is Armenia, the first kingdom to formally adopt Christianity. Stop at UNESCO-listed Haghbat Monastery, hear a live a cappella concert at pagan Garni Temple, and enjoy a demonstration at a khachkar maker’s studio. Explore the monastery of Geghard, browse among some of the oldest books in the world at the Matenadaran Museum in Yerevan, and tour the 4th century cathedral at Echmiadzin. Visit high altitude Lake Sevan, and a village of Molokans (“Milk Drinkers”), who rejected Orthodox teachings in the 16th century.
About MIR Corporation: MIR Corporation, whose name means “peace” and “world” in Russian, has specialized in Russia and neighboring countries since 1986. Offering scheduled and custom journeys to Russia, along the Trans-Siberian and across the Silk Route, MIR’s Seattle-based experts design imaginative trips that take travelers far from the familiar, and work closely with local affiliates in Western Russia, Siberia, Ukraine and Uzbekistan to carry them out. MIR has twice been named one of National Geographic Adventure’s “Best Adventure Travel Companies on Earth,” and is a preferred operator for museum, alumni and special interest organizations across the country. https://www.mircorp.com
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