Armenia to Georgia by Bike


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    Explore the South Caucasus at handlebar height

    Highlights

    • Uncover the historic regional capitals of Yerevan and Tbilisi
    • Cycle through the verdant Sno Valley & visit the majestic Gergeti Trinity Church
    • Ride to the dramatically sited Khor Virap monastery in the shadow of Mount Ararat
    • Marvel at the natural beauty of the expansive, high altitude Lake Sevan
    • Explore endless UNESCO listed ancient sites & monuments
    • Cherish the deep-rooted hospitality of the peoples who inhabit these continental borderlands
    • Discover towering mountains, lush river valleys & quaint, remote villages


    Itinerary

    Day 1 – Join in Yerevan
    On arrival you will be met by your local tour guide and transferred to your hotel for check-in. A group welcome dinner has been arranged this evening (D).

    Day 2 – Yerevan sightseeing
    Today we get acquainted with the Armenian capital visiting the major sights of interest, including: the Republic Square, the Opera House, the Cascade with its Modern Arts Centre, and enjoy a panoramic view to Yerevan city. Pass via Baghramyan Avenue, where you will see the Parliament, the Palace of President, and the National Academy of Sciences. The excursion also includes a stop at the Food Market with its variety of fresh and dried fruits. We visit the Genocide Memorial Complex and the Manuscript museum of Matenadaran, which has an amazing collection of beautifully illuminated medieval Armenian manuscripts, including medieval Bibles. (B, D)

    Day 3 – To Geghard Monastery, cycle to Garni and Khor Virap
    In the morning transfer by bus to Kotayk province and visit an outstanding monument of medieval Armenian architecture – Geghard monastery (4-12th cc.), a UNESCO World Heritage Site. From Garni cycle to the Ararat Valley located at the foot of biblical Mount Ararat. Here, we visit the Khor Virap monastery; this complex embodies the adoption of Christianity in Armenia in 301 AD. From Khor Virap the bus will transfer us to Yerevan. Cycle distance: approx. 60km (mostly downhill) (B, D)

    Day 4 – To Hayrivank Monastery, cycle to Martuni
    A morning bus ride take us to the Gegharkunik Region, and Lake Sevan – the “Pearl of Armenia”, one of the largest high-altitude lakes in the world located at 1900m. Visit a 9th-12th century Hayrivank monastery, perched on a cliff above the lake. Then cycle from Hayrivank monastery in the direction of the city Martuni which is the second large city. The route leads through the main highway along the beach of Lake Sevan. Cars cross these roads very seldom as you will mainly cycle on dirt road. Cycle distance: approx. 45km (mostly flat) (B, D)

    Day 5 – Cycle to Tsapatagh via Vanevan Monastery
    Cycle from Martuni to Tsapatagh village, enjoying the beauty of Lake Sevan. Take a  stop at the Vanevan monastery, located along a gorge in the southern part of the village of Artsvanist. Vanevan monastery is an important piece of Armenian architecture dating back to the 10th century. Cycle distance: approx. 65km (mostly flat) (B, D)

    Day 6 – Cycle to Dilijan
    After breakfast, cycle to Dilijan – the Armenian Switzerland. Explore the resort town of Dilijan located in the midst of the forests of Dilijan National Park. The healthy air, breathtaking nature and hospitable locals look forward to welcoming you in this picturesque corner of hospitable Armenia. Take a walk in the old town, which still preserves 19-century housing, stopping at a ceramicist’s woodcarver’s studios. Cycle distance: approx. 85km (55km flat, 30km downhill) (B, D)

    Day 7 – Cyle to Vanadzor, transfer to Tbilisi
    After breakfast cycle to Vanadzor, an urban municipal community and the third-largest city in Armenia, serving as the capital of Lori Province. In Vanadzor, leave the bicycles and take a bus to the Georgian border, visiting the Haghpat monastery on the way, The monastery was placed on the UNESCO’s World Heritage List in 1996. After border formalities, transfer to Tbilisi by an Armenian vehicle. Cycle distance: approx. 40km (15km uphill, 25km downhill) (B, L)

    Day 8 Cycle to Bakuriani from Tsalka via Tabatskuri Lake
    Following a hearty breakfast we’ll check out from our hotel and make the drive to Tsalka, before the start of a fairly long day in the saddle. We start our ride toward the stunning Tabatskuri Lake, reaching the shores of the beautiful lake in time to enjoy a late picnic lunch in a spot where the forest meets the lake. After some time to relax and refresh, we’ll jump back in the saddle for the ride to Bakuriani, a small ski resort in nestled on the northern slopes of the Trialeti Mountain range. By early evening we’ll have made our ascent to the top of the impressive Tskhratskharo pass (2,500m). After taking some time to soak in the panoramic views, we’ll begin our long and beautiful downhill ride into Bakuriani, arriving at around 19:30. Cycling: ~60km Uphill (middle difficulty) (B, L, D)

    Day 9 – Scenic ride through Mitarbi, Borjomi & Sadgeri
    A full day cycling from Mitarbi-Borjomi, finishing in Sadgeri in the afternoon to enjoy a well-earned coffee and tea break with snacks, and a visit to Borjomi Children’s park to drink warm soda water.  The transfer by bus to Bakuriani. Cycling distance: 30km Uphill (easy) (B, L, D)

    Day 10 – Cycle to Gudauri via Bazaleti Lake & Ananuri
    After breakfast this morning we visit Bazaleti Lake before a day of cycling.  Enjoy a coffee break in Ananuri, and then continue cycling until you arrive at your hotel in Gudauri. Cycling distance: approx 40km Uphill (moderate) (B, L, D)

    Day 11 – Cycle to Sioni Village, Kazbegi through the Truso Valley
    A full day of cycling through the Truso Valley, arriving at your hotel in  Sioni Village in the evening. Cycling distance: approx. 40 km (B, L, D)

    Day 12 – Visit Sno Valley, Stefantsminda & Gergeti Trinity Church
    After breakfast we go to Sno by minibus. After coffee begin cycling from Sno Lake to Stefantsminda – Gergeti. Our transport is waiting in the Stefantsminda forest, where we will have some snacks and fruit before starting the ride uphill to the Gergeti church. It is a late lunch in the local guesthouse, with homemade delicious food and Khinkali -a national dish made from bread cooked with a special mountain cheese. Continuing cycling in Dariali gorge, and cycle up to the Gveleti waterfalls. We finish cycling today near the border of Russia. Cycling distance: approx 30km Uphill (hard) (B, L, D)

    Day 13Transfer to Tbilisi, explore the Old Town

    This morning we will have a transfer to Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia, where we will return our bikes and enjoy the sights by foot. We set off on a walking tour of Old Tbilisi, a blend of Asian eeriness and European charm. In this classic tour of Tbilisi you’ll see the highlights of the Old Town with beautiful Orthodox Christian Churches, Mosque, Synagogue, famous and refreshing Sulphur Baths, narrow cobbled streets with hanging wooden carved multi-colored balconies and the 19th century houses following the architectural styles of the 19th century Europe, Narikala Fortress, the glass Bridge of Peace, Freedom Square and Rustaveli Avenue. We will finish our tour on Rustaveli Avenue and transfer to our hotel. (B, D)

    Day 14 – In Tbilisi, trip concludes
    After breakfast, the trip concludes with a group transfer to the airport. (B)

    Inclusions

    • 13 breakfasts, 6 lunches and 12 dinners
    • accommodation in comfortable hotels on a twin share basis, or best available hotels in remote towns
    • all internal transport by private vehicle (minibus on days 8-14)
    • English speaking guide days 8-14
    • group arrival and departure airport transfers (day 1 and day 14)
    • assistance on arranging visas
    • support jeep and truck services on days 8-12
    • local sightseeing & entrance fees to monuments

    WEP-BGA

    Images courtesy of WorldExpedions