Small Group Tour to Armenia & Georgia with Ralph Velasco
Join award-winning travel photographer and veteran tour organizer Ralph Velasco for this highly unique and once-in-a-lifetime trip to the Republics of Georgia and Armenia, located in the Caucasus region of western Asia.
Keeping our travel schedule in mind, the goal is to put participants in the right place, at the right time, to explore the best of the Republics of Georgia and Armenia. This includes its wonderful people, incredible food, historic churches and monasteries, amazing markets, as well as other cultural wonders and off-the-beaten-path locations.
Tbilisi – the capital of Georgia and a truly cosmopolitan city with a European feel and a delightful mix of incredibly old and very modern architecture. Great restaurants bars and other sites, too.
Mtskheta – a short drive from Tbilisi including visits to Jvari and Svetiskhoveli (both UNESCO World Heritage sites).
Sighnaghi – a fortified city famous for its magnificent views of the Greater Caucasus Mountains where you’ll have a cooking demonstration and also visit a local winery that makes wine according to the ancient Georgian tradition of using the clay jars called qvevri.
Stepantsminda (during optional pre-trip extension) – spectacular drive via the military highway to the Kazbegi Region of northern Georgia. Along the way stop in Gudauri for incredible views, visit the Ananuri fortified complex and Zhinvali reservoir.
Click here to watch a video overview of the extension.
Yerevan – capital of Armenia with wonderful museums and sites, the Cascade with views of Mt. Ararat (conditions permitting), visit to the central market and more.
Garni – visit to the amazing Garni gorge and Garni temple, as well as Geghard monastery, Khor Virap and Noravank.
Dilijan – Drive up the mountain pass to Orbelian’s caravanserai and on to Noratus to see a centuries-old cross-stone field. Also, visit to a woodcarver’s studio and nearby Molokan village with time spent in a local family’s home complete with traditional snacks and tea from a Russian samovar.
Gyumri – sightseeing with market walk, visit to a blacksmith’s studio and an old-world barbershop.
Jermuk – peaceful spa town in the mountains with free time to enjoy some optional spa treatments, as well as have a wonderful and easy walk through a canyon to an impressive local waterfall and to learn about the very interesting Gallery.
Sevan – drive along Lake Sevan and have an optional walk to hilltop monasteries and a spectacular overlook.
“The trip to Georgia and Armenia was really fantastic overall! I did not know what to expect but was very pleasantly surprised. I love travel with deep, rich culture and this was exactly that. Tbilisi is such a diverse city with Old Tbilisi in one part and then modern fast paced in other areas. It had some of the most beautiful views I have ever seen. In Armenia, my personal highlight was visiting the village of my ancestry with the Molokan family. I loved how welcoming they were and I am sure they enjoyed having us visit. Overall, driving all over Armenia was so interesting to see the changing terrains and all the beautiful fall colors, the little villages, and the very friendly people. This trip was a great education, as well, for this part of the world and I am so glad I went and would highly recommend this trip to others who want a unique and cultural experience!” ~ Carole R.
“The trip was everything we had hoped for and so much more we didn’t expect. …the luxury of someone who has taken the time to plan an itinerary focusing on the very best of each destination was so wonderful. The sights, sounds, smells, tastes, and memories of Armenia and Georgia are endless and magical. Ralph is a wonderful, caring host…we can’t wait to plan our next trip with him!” ~ Gavin & Nicky B.
“I decided to go on Ralph’s Tbilisi and Armenia trip almost as soon as he announced it…just because I’d never been there. Then I saw/imagined really how close Baku, Azerbaijan is, so why not? How about an extension, Ralph? Like so many things Ralph does well, he arranged 4 days and 3 nights there. The planning was impeccable as usual and every bump in the road was dealt with in an efficient and seamless manner. I’ve now been on four trips with Ralph, every one of them well-planned, but not over-structured, with plenty of time to make photographs. Can’t wait to see what Ralph comes up with next.” ~ Candice J.
ALL ACTIVITIES, LOCATIONS, DAYS, AND TIMING ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE
Most meals are included and B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, and D = Dinner
The program leader, tour operator and tour coordinator reserve the right to make adjustments to the published itinerary whenever, in their sole discretion, conditions warrant, or if they deem it necessary for the comfort or safety of the group. Rest assured that all efforts will be made to provide a comparable alternative should an activity on the itinerary need to be changed or cancelled.
You can save the Single Supplement by sharing a room in Double Occupancy.
If you'd like your own room throughout this experience please add $699 for Single Supplement.
Arrive at Tbilisi International Airport (TBS).
After moving through passport control and collecting your luggage you’ll be TRANSFERRED to your hotel in a private vehicle with a professional driver (on exiting look for the driver to the left, by the car rental companies. He should have a Continental DRIFTER sign). Depending on traffic it takes around 20 - 30 minutes to drive from the airport to the city center where your hotel is located, but on the way, you’ll already begin to see some interesting parts of the city.
Check-in and settle in at Museum Hotel (or similar).
~6:00 pm Based on everyone’s flight arrival times, we’ll plan to have a Meet & Greet in order for you to get to know your fellow tour participants and to go over the details of the trip ahead.
Exact time and location are to be announced as the trip approaches, but most likely we’ll meet in the breakfast room of our hotel, which is located on the main floor.
7:30 pm Walk to WELCOME DINNER at a wonderful local restaurant called ‘Bread House’ where you can begin to sample the amazing Georgian cuisine.