Armenia, Georgia - 14 days
Georgia and Armenia – Caucasus Discoverer
Prices from £1,925

Europe’s wild frontier, the Caucasus region occupies an unusual position both geographically and culturally, intertwining elements of Russia, Persia, the Ottoman Empire and Central Asia. This two week tour visits Georgia and Armenia, formerly tucked away within the Soviet Union but now easily accessible to the curious traveller. The highlights here are diverse; we head into the High Caucasus Mountains, visiting the mythical Mount Kazbek, reputedly the site of the Greek fable to Prometheus, then move on to Mtskhehta, the spiritual heart of the country with some stunning UNESCO listed monuments. Heading west we stop at Kutaisi with its striking religious buildings, then return once again to the mountains and the wild and untamed land of Svaneti, one of Europe’s most isolated and traditional areas with unique villages and towering summits. Here we meet the Svan people to learn about their unique way of life, and enjoy some of Europe’s finest scenery.

Armenia offers ancient monasteries that date back to the emergence of Christendom, and in Dilijan we wander around the old centre and meet the Molokan people, one of Europe’s smallest, but most traditional ethnic groups. We discover the stunning churches of Echmiadzin and visit Kurdish and Yazidi villages where lifestyles have changed little for centuries, uncovering the rich cultural heritage of this complex but fascinating part of the world. At the dramatically located monastery of Geghard we see ancient religious treasures, and in the area around Garni we spend time in a local village as guests of a family, where we are treated to a typical Armenian meal in a traditional setting. The adventurous can extend their trip with a visit to the independent republic of Nagorno Karabakh, a country unrecognised by most of the world. Uncover the secrets of a truly enchanting corner of Europe.