Georgia and Armenia
Encompassed Tour

Georgia and Armenia Encompassed Tour – a 16 day Small Group Tour.

On this Georgia and Armenia group tour, you will venture into some of Europe’s most remote and intriguing villages in the mystical region of Svaneti, a fiercely traditional land with incredible architecture, hidden away in the high mountains of the Caucasus.

We stay in local homes to experience the best of Georgian and Armenian hospitality, explore stunning religious monuments and ancient cave cities and spend time in the fascinating cities of Tbilisi and Yerevan.



Armenia and Georgia are distinct but complementary destinations sharing a legacy of Soviet rule and to different degrees a strong Orthodox Christian heritage.

Visiting the capitals of Yerevan and Tbilisi in general highlights more recent influences, while in the countryside Armenia’s historic monasteries and Georgia’s fortified villages hark back to ancient times. Both countries have uneasy relations with neighbouring states and problematic autonomous regions that have in the past fomented violent conflict. Mountains are a constant.

In Yerevan memorable views of Mt Ararat characterise the city, even though the peak lies across the border in Turkey. In Georgia’s wild Svaneti region the immense 5,000m summits of the Caucasus mark the frontier with a belligerent Russian Federation.  However, great cuisines and fine wines underline an Armenian and Georgians propensity to appreciate friends and family, and to enjoy life in the here and now.

Maybe we can all learn something?

Tour ratings.

  • Fitness
  • Off the beaten track
  • Culture 
  • History 
  • Wildlife 

Tour pace


Tour style


Relaxed Pace

Relaxed tours are easy paced with plenty of leisure time built in. The tour will in all probability still be off the beaten track, with the occasional early start and there may still be occasional long drives. In general on a relaxed pace tour you can enjoy easy-going activities and experiences with opportunities to absorb the sights and immerse yourself in the local surroundings.

Moderate Pace

Moderate pace tours are ideal if you want a tour experience that combines activities and experiences with some time to relax. Typically you will be active and busy for part of the day but then also have time to rest and recharge your batteries. In general on a moderate paced tour there may be some long journeys involved but the tour is not an expedition or a road trip. On a moderate paced tour it will be necessary to have some early starts.

Busy Pace

A busy paced tour means that you can expect to be doing, seeing or experiencing something new almost every day, and moving on from place to place to pack in as much as possible. There may be early starts, long journeys and tiring days along the way, but you’ll return home feeling you’ve really experienced as much as you possibly could.

Pioneer Class Tours

On our Pioneer tours, you will be amongst an elite group of intrepid travellers and some of the first to explore a country that few have been privileged enough to discover. Of course, exploring such areas of the world will come with its challenges; it may mean several nights camping, long journeys by 4WD and the need to maintain a degree of flexibility for when carefully laid plans change. These are challenging tours in countries and areas that may have poor infrastructure, high levels of poverty and illiteracy. This can translate in to low standards in hotels, bad roads and poor driving standards among other issues. We try and smooth out as much of these issues as we can but you should be prepared to experience the bad with the good.

Traveller Class Tours

Our Traveller itineraries are at the core of our programme. These journeys are designed for travellers who still want to discover a land away from the tourist crowds but expect minimum standards. Accommodation will be primarily hotel based, although you could still find yourself camping, or the guest of a local family. Depending on the destination and itinerary, you’ll likely be travelling in a private vehicle, with occasional use of public transport. This is adventure travel with some of the rough edges smoothed out.


Arrive in Tbilisi and transfer to the hotel (this should take around 45 minutes). The rest of the day is at leisure. We will stay in a central location near the old town where you can explore delightful Old Tbilisi. Overnight Hotel Old Metekhi or similar. No meals are included today.

This morning there will be a short tour briefing with your Georgian guide at 08:30am in the hotel lobby. We begin our day by travelling from Tbilisi to the border with Armenia. This journey should take around 1.5 hours to the border. After completing border formalities and meeting your Armenian guide, we drive to Haghpat monastery, a journey of around 2 hours from the border through beautiful scenery. Haghpat, (10th century UNESCO Heritage site) which used to be a spiritual, cultural and educational centre of the region. The monastery is one of the masterpieces of Armenian medieval architecture. We also visit Sanahin monastery a further masterpiece and UNESCO side dating to the same century. For those that wish, it is possible to walk between the two monasteries (see information below). Later we can take a walk in the village and then transfer to your accommodation for the night which is blessed with fantastic views over Dedbed gorge. Overnight Tufenkian Avan Dzoraget or similar. (BLD)

Optional walk between Sanahin and Haghpat

A drive of approximately one hour takes us to the UNESCO World Heritage site of Sanahin, and from here we’ll be walking to another UNESCO World Heritage site at Haghpat. We’ll take the route linking these two important monastic masterpieces of Armenian architecture. During the walk we’ll pass through rural villages typical of the Lori region and meet the locals and observe their way of life observing the typical Armenian rural houses and gardens with orchards along the way. We then head through the woodland that brings us to the edge of the Dedbed gorge. The views across the gorge are incredible with beautiful forested hills and meadows. The descent to the valley floor is relatively short, but steep on a sometimes-muddy trail. Its then up to Haghpat and this is a mostly gradual ascent. The anticipated walking time is approximately 3-4 hours with 300m of ascent and 400m descent. It is essential that you feel fit and well to do the walk and that you are wearing robust footwear with good ankle support. Please note that the walk can be cancelled if the trekking guide feels that the weather conditions are not suitable.

We begin our day driving through wonderful scenery to Dilijan known as the little Switzerland of Armenia. We have a short stop to have a look around the old part of the town. En route to Dilijan we can visit a village home to the minority Molokan (milk drinkers) people who were exiled to Armenia from Russia in the 19th Century. Visit Haghartsin monastery beautifully nestled in the heart of the forest. We then travel on to the picturesque Lake Sevan and the Sevanavank monastery which is a 9th century monastery founded on the peninsula that used to be an island. The monastery affords a panoramic view of the alpine lake. We then continue to Yerevan. Tonight, we will enjoy some traditional food in a local restaurant in Yerevan. The journey time in the vehicle today is around 3.5 hours. Overnight Tufenkian Historic Hotel or similar. (BLD)

We start at around 08:30am this morning and enjoy a city tour of Yerevan including visits to a high-scale view point over the city, City Park, Abovyan Street, and Republic Square. Visit the Genocide Memorial and also the museum dedicated to the victims of the Great Genocide that took place in 1915 and the memorial with eternal fire. Then we visit the interesting cascade and the Gafeschian Centre of Art, dedicated to bringing the best of contemporary art from all over the world to Armenia and presenting the best of Armenian culture to the world. Inspired by the vision of its founder, Mr. Gerard L. Cafesjian, this establishment offers a wide variety of exhibitions, the majority of which are derived from Mr. Cafesjian’s own extensive collection of contemporary art. We also have short visit of Matenadaran – a Museum and Scientific Institute of ancient manuscripts, hosting the treasures of Armenian science and around 20.000 ancient manuscripts – the largest collection in the world. The short tour in Matenadaran will be exclusively guided by the most prominent specialists of the Institute. Visit the Yerevan Brandy Factory for a guided excursion to the cellars and a degustation of 2 types of local brandy. Lunch will be at your own leisure and this afternoon is yours to further explore Yerevan. Overnight Tufenkian Historic Hotel or similar. (B)

An early start today at around 08:00am travelling south to the spectacular Khor Virap Monastery which affords excellent views to impressive Mt Ararat. This monastery has long been an important place of pilgrimage for Armenians. After the tour of the monastery we return to Yerevan and discover Echmiadzin home of the mother cathedral and the spiritual centre of the Armenian Church. The driving time today is around 3 hours. Later we enjoy a gastronomic master class of Armenian food followed by lunch on your way from Echmiadzin to Yerevan. We will be back in Yerevan by approximately 2pm and you will have the rest of the afternoon at leisure in Yerevan. Overnight Tufenkian Historic Hotel or similar. (BL)

Please contact us if there is anything specific we can help to organise for your leisure time on Days 5 and 6 in Yerevan.   

This morning we drive around 1 hour to Kotayk province to explore Geghard Monastery and Garni Pagan temple. Admire the outstanding views of the Armenian Highlands stretched out before you. From Garni, enjoy breathtaking views down into the canyon and to the strategically located Geghard Monastery below. Garni dates back to the 1st century AD and is the only pagan temple that remained after the adoption of Christianity. Attend a lavash-baking master class in the village of Garni. The master-class is held in the yard of a local house where you’ll also have lunch. After exploring these magnificent sites we return to Yerevan and the rest of the day will be at leisure for you to further familiarise yourself with the city of Yerevan.  Overnight Tufenkian Historic Hotel or similar. (BL)

An early start around 08:00am and our first stop today is Amberd fortress. The fortress is situated at an altitude of 2300m above sea level which once again affords fine views of Mt Aragats. We may also get the opportunity to meet some of the minority Yazidis who inhabit this area. Continue to Gyumri with its excellent 19th century Tsarist architecture which suffered greatly in the 1988 earthquake. If time allows we will have a short stop in Gyumri before crossing the border into Georgia at Bavra and travelling on to Vardzia. The overall driving time from Yerevan to the Georgia border is approximately 4 hours. The journey time from the border to Vardzia in Georgia is around 2 hours and we aim to arrive by sundown. Overnight Valodia Cottages or similar. (BLD)

Our first stop today is Khertvisi Fortress built in the Middle Ages before exploring the fascinating cave town of Vardzia dating back to the 12th century. We then travel for 1 hour to visit the recently restored Rabati Castle dating from the 13th century before continuing to Kutaisi. The journey to Kutaisi will be around 3 hours. Overnight in a family run guesthouse with private bathrooms. (BLD)

This morning we drive to Zugdidi (journey time 2 hours) passing through the Colkhida lowlands and some typical local villages. We visit Dadiani palace and its museum housing some fine natural exhibits of Georgian culture. From Zugdidi we start climbing through the Enguri river valley and the Enguri reservoir up to Mestia situated at 1400 metres above sea level. Mestia is the provincial centre of Svaneti. On arrival we will visit the iconic Svanetian towers. The journey time from Zugdidi to Mestia is around 4 hours with time for photo stops of the wonderful scenery. Overnight at a family run guest house with private bathrooms. (BLD)

A morning drive to Ushguli village, the highest permanently inhabited village in Europe at 2400 metres. On the way we visit Nakipari church. On arrival in Ushguli we explore on foot, visiting the stunning medieval towers as well as Lamaria Church. Those who wish can take an easy hike (subject to weather conditions) along the valley leading to the foot of Mount Shkhara (5201m). We return to Mestia in the afternoon. Please note that the road today is of a very poor quality and as such it is necessary to drive very slowly to avoid damage to the vehicle. However, the scenery is worth the effort! The overall travelling time should be around 4 hours but the distance is only 90km in total. Overnight in Mestia at a family run guesthouse with private bathroom. (BLD)

A morning drive of around 3.5 hours to Zugdidi passing the Colkhida lowlands with some picturesque villages. From Zugdidi we journey to Kutaisi (around 2 hours) along the Enguri River valley. Enjoy some photo stops and great views of the mountain summits. Continue the journey to Kutaisi. Kutaisi, dated back to the Argonauts time, was the capital of old Colchida and later of Western Georgia. We visit the Gelati monastery (UNESCO), founded in the 12th century by Georgian King David the Builder (1073 – 1125). It was here that he founded an academy and monastery, which became the foremost centre of education in Georgia. Unique murals of saints and Georgian monarchs can be found inside the main Cathedral. Overnight at Kutaisi Inn Hotel or similar (BLD)

This morning we drive to Gori (journey around 3 hours) a town almost entirely known as the birthplace of Joseph Stalin. Visit the museum where you can explore Stalin’s personal train carriage and also see the small house where he spent his early years. Gori train station is also worth a stop for its imposing waiting room. Then we drive a short distance to Uplistsikhe, a cave town dated to 7th Century BC. It is then time to turn on to the Georgian Military Highway and snake our way up into the Caucasus Mountains. Visit the castle complex of Ananauri attractively situated on the Aragvi River. We continue to climb through dramatic scenery until our destination for the evening which is Gudauri. The driving time from Uplistsikhe to Gudauri is approximately 3 hours. Overnight Hotel Gudauri Inn or similar. (BLD)

This morning we cross the Jvari Pass at 2395 metres above sea level and into Kazbegi (journey time around 1 hour) situated at 1700 metres above sea level and surrounded by 5000 metre peaks. You will have the opportunity to take the walk up to the Sameba Church (subject to weather conditions) with its stunning setting below Mt Kazbek. For those that do not want to walk it is possible to hire jeeps for an extra charge to go by up via a track. Later we drive to Mtskheta (journey time around 2 hours), the ancient capital of Georgia. Mtskheta is packed full of historical monuments and is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. We explore the 11th century Svetitskhoveli Cathedral and the 6th century Jvari Monastery before taking the short trip back to Tbilisi (journey time 0.5 hours). Overnight Hotel Old Metekhi or similar. (BL)

The cost for the optional jeep to Sameba Church is USD 30 per vehicle (max. 4 persons per vehicle)

A guided walking tour around old Tbilisi, taking in the fascinating history of this long overlooked region. We spend the day discovering sites such as the National Museum, home to many of the treasures that inspired the legend of the Golden Fleece, as well as the Narikala citadel, Metekhi Temple and the Sioni Cathedral, among other sites. A walk across the modern Bridge of Hope (pedestrian only) gives a great perspective of the mix of old and new and fine views. Tonight, enjoy traditional Georgian food at a local restaurant. Overnight Hotel Kalasi or similar. (BLD)

After lunch the group will depart back to Tbilisi. Those on the extension will travel to Alaverdi and visit the beautiful cathedral of St George, built in the 11th century with an idyllic setting amongst vineyards overlooking the lower slopes of the Caucasus mountain range. If time allows we can visit a winery before continuing the short distance to Telavi. Overnight Old Telavi or similar. (BL)

Pick up from the hotel and transfer to the airport on due time for your flight. (B)

Tusheti 5 Day 4 night Optional Extension (post tour itinerary for June and early September) – contact us for pre tour option for the late season departure)

Important Information 

Tusheti is a wild and remote destination. Weather conditions are unpredictable even in summer. The itinerary below is our goal but it may be necessary to change the itinerary at little or no notice due road conditions and/or adverse weather.

After lunch the group will depart back to Tbilisi. Those on the extension will travel to Alaverdi and visit the beautiful cathedral of St George, built in the 11th century with an idyllic setting amongst vineyards overlooking the lower slopes of the Caucasus mountain range. If time allows we can visit a winery before continuing the short distance to Telavi. Overnight Old Telavi or similar. (BL) 

(driving time approximately 6 hours)

We depart early at around 8am and journey into the spectacular Greater Caucasus range. The journey is incredibly scenic and we will stop at various points to stretch our legs and soak up the views and also to enjoy a picnic lunch. The journey into Tusheti is a real adventure passing first through lush forests, then gorges and canyons carved by raging torrents. There are also numerous waterfalls to admire and in Spring many different wildflowers. After crossing the spectacular Abano Pass (2927m), continue down into Tusheti. Approaching Omalo the sheer beauty of this wild region is immediately apparent. After checking into our guesthouse we will visit the villages of Diklo and Shenako before returning to Upper Omalo for an evening meal of traditional Georgian fare prepared by your local hosts. Overnight guesthouse. (BLD)

Kindly note that the guesthouse in Omalo is comfortable but phone reception is patchy and at the time of inspection in 2018 there is no WiFi.

(driving time approximately 2.5 hours)

This morning journey into a different valley to the village of Dartlo situated at 1900 metres. Admire the interesting architecture of the local houses and the watchtower. There is a cafe next to a picturesque stream where we can take so tea and coffee. Continue by car to the next village of Chesho and start a beautifully scenic walk to the village of Parsma through the valley. The walk follows a stunning river and also affords views of many medieval watchtowers that were built to warn of invaders from the Northern Caucasus. At Parsma enjoy a picnic lunch before returning on foot to Dartlo. Back in Dartlo, it is possible to visit an abandoned village clinging to the mountainside above Dartlo with an eerie watchtower precariously teetering over the abyss. The views from here are mesmerising. Return to Omalo. Overnight guesthouse. (BLD)

Walking information

The walk to the village of Parsma is an easy grade following a dirt road through the valley. The return journey time on foot is approximately 3 hours and of course there will be plenty of time for stops to admire the wonderful scenery. The last 5-10 minutes involves a moderate ascent into the village of Parsma.

The optional walk from Dartlo to the abandoned village is a constant steep incline and takes around 40 minutes up and around 25 minutes down. Only those with good fitness and go footwear should attempt it. It is also not suitable for those with vertigo issues. Those that do not wish to do this walk can relax in Dartlo.

(driving time approximately 7-8 hours)

Depart early at around 8am for the journey back to Tbilisi. Depending on the road conditions expect to arrive back in the Alazani Valley by approximately 1pm. Lunch will be taken in a local restaurant overlooking the valley before continuing through fine scenery and over the Gorombori Pass back to Tbilisi. Overnight Hotel Old Metekhi or similar. (BL)

Transfer to the airport for your onward flight or perhaps choose to spend some extra time in delightful Tbilisi. (B)

Dates & Price.

Tour Notes

Did you know that our Azerbaijan – Land of Fire tour can be added on to this tour for most departures to combine all three countries! If you are interested in combining Azerbaijan with Georgia and Armenia please let us know.

Main Tour Single Supplement from £365.

Return flights from London to Tbilisi start at £350. Contact us for a quotation.

How about an extra adventure and travel to the outstanding Tusheti region of Georgia priced from £825 per person , based on 2 people travelling, sharing twin/double accommodation.

The single supplement for the extension is priced from £95.

Please note for some departures the extension cannot be done due to the weather conditions and snowfall on the High Caucasus pass. In June and August the extension is done post tour.  The first tour in September the extension is done pre tour. Please contact us for more details.

Mapped itinerary.

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Download the full tour dossier for this trip here.

Georgia and Armenia - Caucasus Discovery Tour Map

For expert advice get in touch now with our passionate,
well-travelled team.

+44(0) 191 296 2674 from THE UK
1-800-614-2967 from THE US & CANADA
1-300-956-415 from AUSTRALIA

Tour inclusions.

  • Arrival and departure transfers
  • All accommodation
  • Transportation throughout
  • Services of English-speaking guide / tour leader
  • Meals as listed (B – Breakfast, L – Lunch, D – Dinner)
  • Entrance fees for sites listed as part of the itinerary

Tour exclusions.

  • International flights
  • Travel Insurance
  • Visas if applicable
  • Drinks
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Tips (Discretionary)

The tour was wonderful, the guides and drivers were excellent and the people
I travelled with were great as well. I have a great interest in seeing unknown or
relatively unknown places and I know the people who go on Undiscovered Destinations Holidays of course share this interest, and is a great way to break the ice when you meet them for the first time, on the first day of a tour. The guides In both Georgia and Armenia certainly went out of their way to ensure that the trips were enjoyed by all. The only bad thing is at the end of the tours, when we all have to leave and say goodbye! I certainly look forward to further travels with Undiscovered Destinations – a travel company that suits me very well indeed.



Oliver Grumitt, UK