Armenia and Georgia: Christian Heritage Tour – September 2024

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Early Bird Discount!
From$2,380
Early Bird Discount!
From$2,380
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September 1, 2024
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12 days
Tour Dates: September 1- 13, 2024
Tour Details

Join me on a captivating 11-day journey through the enchanting towns and picturesque mountain valleys of Armenia and Georgia. These countries, boasting a rich Christian heritage spanning nearly two millennia, promise an extraordinary array of unparalleled sights and experiences.

Our adventure commences in the lively streets and bustling markets of Yerevan, the vibrant capital of Armenia. Stroll through the iconic Republic Square and delight in the vibrant hues of the Vernissage Market, a treasure trove of local crafts and shops.

Venturing beyond Yerevan, we’ll immerse ourselves in the spiritual legacy etched in medieval stone churches and rock-cut monasteries. Explore UNESCO World Heritage sites like Haghpat and Geghard, where tales of enduring faith intertwine with breathtaking landscapes. Relax in the serene setting of Lake Sevan, hailed as the “Pearl of Armenia,” and for the adventurous, soar above the 320-meter-deep Vorotan River Canyon aboard the world’s longest cable car.

Transitioning to Georgia’s mesmerizing landscapes, experience the thrill of gliding through the sky on a cable car to Narikala Fortress, an iconic monument offering panoramic views of Tbilisi and its surroundings. Explore the ancient rock-cut city of Uplistsikhe, a testament to a bygone era’s ingenuity, and elevate your spirits at the awe-inspiring Trinity Church, perched over 6,000 feet at the foot of Mount Kazbek. Marvel at the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Mtskheta, where echoes of sacred rituals transcend time.

Don’t miss this extraordinary journey in September 2024, where the Christian roots of Armenia and Georgia unfold against the majestic backdrop of Mount Ararat and the Caucasus Mountain range.

Meeting Point Airport

Zvartnots International Airport  (EVN)

Price Includes

  • Teaching and presentations by Dr. Carl Cosaert
  • First class hotels
  • All transportation within Armenia and Georgia, as per itinerary
  • Breakfast and lunch, as per itinerary
  • Entrance fees to all sites listed in the itinerary
  • Expert English-speaking guide

Price Excludes

  • International airfare
  • Any required visas (none required for US Citizens)
  • The cost of drinks at meals
  • Personal expenses
  • Guide and Driver tips - $125
  • General tips for maids and others, as desired
  • Travel Insurance, (highly encouraged)
Itinerary
Click or tap the date to read each day's itinerary

Day 1September 1 – Depart from the US

Depart from the airport of your choice. The final destination airport will be the Zvartnots International Airport (EVN).

Flights from the United States typically arrive in Yerevan, Armenia TWO days after departure. So expected to land in Yerevan just after midnight on September 3.

Day 2September 3 - Arrive in Yerevan, Armenia - Yerevan City Tour

Welcome to Yerevan. A representative of Advent Tours will meet our group at the Zvartnots International Airport (EVN) and transfer them to Opera Suite Hotel (or similar) in downtown Yerevan for an early check-in.

After catching up on some much needed sleep, we will have a guided afternoon tour of Yerevan featuring the Cascade Stairway and Museum, Republic Freedom Square, Mother Armenia Monument, Vernissage Market, and the Erebuni Museum.

Breakfast and Lunch is included.

Dinner and overnight in Yerevan at the Opera Suite Hotel (or similar)

Day 3September 4 – Saint Sargis Church - Matenadaran - Etchmiadzin

Our day begins with a visit to Saint Sargis Church. Nestled on the left bank of the Hrazdan River Canyon, it offers a picturesque view of the 16th-century Yerevan fortress. From her we will explore the Matenadaran, home to one of the world’s three largest manuscript collections, and then uncover the symbolic Saint Gregory the Illuminator Cathedral, which represents Armenia’s 1700th anniversary of proclaiming Christianity as the state religion. This vast complex, spanning 3,822 square meters, consists of three churches.

After a delightful lunch, we head off to the Holy See of Etchmiadzin, the spiritual hub for Armenians globally, housing the residence of the Catholicos Supreme Patriarch. Explore the historic Echmiadzin Cathedral, one of the earliest Christian cathedrals globally.

Our day concludes with a visit to Saint Hripsime Church, founded in 618, before returning to Yerevan for a serene evening in this vibrant city.

Breakfast and Lunch is included.

Dinner and overnight in Yerevan at the Opera Suite Hotel (or similar)

Day 4September 5 – Geghard - Garni - Genocide Museum

After enjoying a leisurely breakfast at the hotel,  we begin the day with a scenic drive to the breathtaking canyon of the Azat River. Delve into the depths of the canyon to discover the 7th-century Geghard Cave Monastery, a UNESCO-listed World Heritage Site perched at the canyon’s bottom.

Following the monastery exploration, we continue the journey by bus to Garni village, home to the Hellenistic Garni temple. The Garni complex unfolds, revealing a royal bath featuring a captivating hypocaust and remarkably preserved original mosaic tiling. The tour progresses to the Armenian Genocide Museum-Institute, dedicated to commemorating the innocent victims of one of the 20th century’s gravest crimes.

Cap off the day with an evening stroll in the city center, allowing you to absorb the cultural heartbeat of the surroundings. Immerse yourself in the history, architecture, and vibrant atmosphere that Yerevan has to offer.

Breakfast and Lunch is included.

Dinner and overnight in Yerevan at the Opera Suite Hotel (or similar)

Day 5September 6 – Mughni - Aparan - Saghmosavank Monastery - Amberd Fortress

After a delightful breakfast, our journey starts with a visit to Saint Gevorg Church in the charming Village of Mughni. From there, we explore the well-preserved triple-nave basilica-type church dating back to the 4th century in the town of Aparan. Our next stop is the Saghmosavank Monastery, perched atop a breathtaking gorge carved by the Kasakh River.

Continuing our exploration, we venture into the Aragatsotn region, where the historic Amberd Fortress awaits. Here, we delve into the fortress’s rich cultural and architectural significance, absorbing the tales of its storied past. As nightfall approaches, we make our way to your hotel in Yerevan, providing a well-deserved rest and an evening at your leisure to reflect on the day’s discoveries.

Breakfast and Lunch is included.

Dinner and overnight in Yerevan at the Opera Suite Hotel (or similar)

Day 6September 7 – Khor Virap - Noravank - Areni - Karahunj - Goris

Embark on a fascinating journey after breakfast as we head south from Yerevan, venturing about 40 km to the historic site of Khor Virap nestled in the Ararat Valley. Discover the poignant story of Gregory the Illuminator, who endured 13 years of imprisonment here for spreading Christianity in Armenia. On clear days, the biblical Mount Ararat feels remarkably close.

Next on our itinerary is Noravank Monastery, accessed through a scenic drive along a narrow canyon that leads to a valley adorned with striking red rocks. Our exploration continues to the town of Areni, where the renowned Areni Cave reveals traces of human habitation dating back to the Chalcolithic period (around 4000 BC).

Venturing southeast, our journey unfolds at Karahunj, an ancient 7500-year-old observatory often referred to as the “Armenian Stonehenge.” Marvel at the historical significance and celestial alignments of this intriguing site. As the day concludes, we make our way to the town of Goris, nestled among rocky caves and mountains, providing a picturesque backdrop to the end of a captivating day’s tour.

Breakfast and Lunch is included.

Dinner and overnight in Goris at the Mirhav Hotel (or similar)

Day 7September 8 – Goris - Tatev - Selim Caravanserai - Sevan

Today is dedicated to exploring the exquisite gem of Armenian Medieval Architecture – the Tatev Monastery. Perched strategically, Tatev remained impervious to adversaries for centuries, preserving its historical allure. Experience the thrill of riding the world’s longest cable car, soaring over the 320-meter-deep Vorotan River Canyon (optional). Our next destination is the 14th-century Selim Caravanserai, an exceptionally preserved inn along the ancient Great Silk Road. Revel in the breathtaking panorama overlooking the vast valley and surrounding mountains. A short distance away, witness a dramatic landscape transformation as we delve into the serene surroundings of Lake Sevan, Armenia’s azure jewel, nestled at over 6,200 feet above sea level.

Breakfast and Lunch is included.

Dinner and overnight in Seven at the Tufenkian Hotel (or similar)

 

Day 8September 9 – Sevan - Dilijan - Haghartsin - Sanahin

Today our journey unfolds as we venture to the enchanting Sevan Peninsula. The panoramic hilltop view of the azure lake, embraced by majestic mountains, evokes a sense of inspiration and awe. Atop this natural marvel lies the Sevanavank Monastery, founded in 874 by an Armenian Princess—a testament to the region’s rich history.

Continuing our exploration, we’ll make our way to Dilijan, a verdant town renowned as a spa resort. A leisurely stroll through the historical district offers a glimpse into the 19th-century ambiance, with imaginatively carved balconies showcasing the area’s historical affinity for exquisite woodwork.

Our journey then leads us to the captivating Hagartsin Monastery, perched dramatically amidst picturesque mountains adorned with dense forests. The tour unfolds with a visit to the Sanahin Medieval University, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Marvel at intricate reliefs depicting biblical scenes, and immerse yourself in the captivating old auditorium of Sanahin University, steeped in historical charm.

As the day concludes, we settle in for an overnight stay in Haghpat, allowing you to bask in the tranquility and historical richness of this remarkable destination.

Breakfast and Lunch is included.

Dinner and overnight in Haghpat at the Qefo Hotel (or similar)

Day 9September 10 – Haghpat - Armenia - Georgia (Sadakhlo border) - Tbilisi city tour

Embark on a delightful day filled with cultural wonders and panoramic views. After breakfast, we’ll journey to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Haghpat Monastery, a testament to Armenia’s rich history.

Our adventure continues as we drive to the Armenia-Georgia (Sadakhlo) border, where we will meet our Georgian representatives. From there, we’ll make our way to Tbilisi, the vibrant capital of Georgia, for an immersive city tour.

Our first stop is Tsminda Sameba, the main church of the Georgian Orthodox Church and the highest temple in Georgia. We’ll then explore the historic district of Metekhi, where the Assumption Church graces the picturesque hill. Ascend to the Narikala Fortress via a cable car for a breathtaking view of the city, followed by a leisurely descent on foot.

Our journey takes us to the sulfuric baths, a renowned royal bath complex from the XVII-XIX centuries, standing proudly on warm natural sulfur springs. Explore the historic Juma Mosque on Botanical Street and visit Sioni Church, where, according to tradition, one of Georgia’s greatest relics—the cross of St. Patriarchate—is kept.

As evening descends, we’ll head to a traditional restaurant for a delectable dinner accompanied by a captivating Georgian traditional show. 

Breakfast and Lunch is included.

Overnight in Tbilisi at the British House Hotel (or similar)

Day 10September 11 – Ananuri - Gudauri - Tbilisi

Our day begins with a delicious breakfast at the hotel before embarking on a journey to Ananuri Fortress—a meticulously preserved castle situated on the picturesque shores of the Zhinvali Reservoir. This fortress stands as a testament to the feudal era’s defensive prowess.

As you drive through the stunning landscapes, make a captivating stop at Gudauri, a renowned ski resort that exudes beauty throughout the seasons. Take a moment to explore the Balcony, a site dedicated to the treaty of Georgievsk, offering breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding mountains.

Continuing the adventure with a short 5-minute drive, immerse yourself in the serene ambiance of the Sour Waters of Vedza. Capture the picturesque scenes that unfold in this idyllic location.

Next on the itinerary is the Trinity Church (Gergeti), gracefully perched at an altitude of over 6,200 feet at the base of Mount Kazbek. Built in the XIV century, this church is a unique cross-domed structure within the historic Georgian province of Khevi. Ascend to the hilltop and be enchanted by the incredibly beautiful scenery that unfolds before your eyes. A day of exploration, history, and breathtaking vistas awaits!

Breakfast and Lunch is included.

Overnight in Tbilisi at the British House Hotel (or similar)

Day 11September 12 – Mtskheta - Jvari Monastery - Uplistsikhe - Tbilisi

For our final day of touring, we set out for Mtskheta, the inaugural capital of Georgia from the 3rd century BC to the 5th century AD. Our first stop in Mtskheta is the 11th-century marvel, Svetitskhoveli Cathedral. Next on our agenda is the awe-inspiring Jvari Temple, perched atop a hill, offering stunning panoramic views of the confluence of the Kura and Aragvi rivers. 

Our adventure continues as we explore the ancient cave town of Uplistsikhe. Carved into the volcanic rock of the Kvernaki ridge, this extraordinary site boasts a three-thousand-year history, making it one of Georgia’s earliest cave settlements. Uncover the secrets hidden within its labyrinthine chambers, and witness the testament to the ancient civilizations that once thrived in this remarkable location.

Breakfast and Lunch is included.

Overnight in Tbilisi at the British House Hotel (or similar)

Day 12September 13 - Return Home

Transfer to the Shota Rustaveli Tbilisi International Airport (TBS), as we fly home with memories to last a lifetime!

Tour Map

Registration Information

You  register for the tour here through the Advent Tours website or by mail (see below). Please note that all payments will need to be sent separately by check or Zelle payment. Payment by credit card is not available.

The cost is $2,380 per person in a double room. A single room is an extra $475. These prices are subject to change if the group size is smaller than 20 and/or in case of any increase of governmental taxes, sales taxes, entrance fees or fuel charges.

Early Bird Discount: Applicants who submit their deposit before March 1, 2024 will receive an early bird discount of $75.

CANCELLATION POLICY: All cancellations must be submitted in writing and are subject to the following terms and conditions. Cancellation requests received before April 15, 2024 are entitled to a full-refund. Cancellations after April 15 will forfeit all payments.

 

Required deposit
A deposit of $600 (per person) is required to confirm your spot on the tour.
Prefer to register using a hard copy form?
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Terms and Conditions
PLEASE READ: Download the tour terms & conditions.
Preparing for the Tour
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Photos
An Invitation from Dr. Cosaert

I invite you to join me on an incredible cultural tour through the enchanting landscapes of Armenia and Georgia, where we’ll traverse ancient cities, serene countryside, and centuries-old traditions.

Our journey will lead us to explore the fascinating churches and monasteries, and some of the most ancient sites in the world under the shadow of Mount Ararat. We will visit the cave town of Uplistsikhe in Georgia, where we’ll wander through the rock-cut passages and learn about its historical significance. We’ll glide through the sky on a cable car to Narikala Fortress, an iconic monument offering panoramic views of Tbilisi in Georgia, and the surrounding region.

But that’s not all – we’ll marvel at the beauty of Armenian architecture with visits to the Tatev Monastery and Geghard Monastery, each carrying tales of centuries past. And of course, we’ll immerse ourselves in the lively atmosphere of Tbilisi’s Rustaveli Avenue, where you can pick up local crafts and indulge in delicious Georgian cuisine.

Yet, the true highlight of this journey lies in connecting with other tour participants, local people, and learning about their customs and traditions. 

So, prepare your bags and gear up for an adventure that promises a deeper understanding of Armenia and Georgia’s cultural treasures—a journey of a lifetime awaits!

Testimonials

My husband and I just got back from Egypt with Dr. Cosaert in December 2019 and once again we had an AWESOME TIME! That was our third trip with him. Dr. Cosaert’s trips are well organized, infused with local customs, safe, informative, and make the Bible come alive!

Jasmine Jackson

My wife and I went on a tour of lsrael and Jordan with Dr. Cosaert in 2018. It was hands down one of the highlights of our lives. We will never read the Bible the same after seeing the biblical sites in person with Carl’s thoughtful devotional thoughts and the insights of amazing local guides. Highly recommend going on one of these trips!

Jeffrey Colburn

I have been on Dr. Cosaert’s Turkey and Greece (Footsteps of Paul) trip in 2009, Jordan and Israel trip in 2014, and most recently, this past December 2019, his Egypt tour. Every single experience has been incredible. The sites are amazing, the food delicious, the hotels comfortable, the local guides knowledgeable, our safety a constant priority, and best of all the entire experience spiritually uplifting. This is a true life “mountain top experience” with each part of the trip carefully constructed to not only be historical but also connect the travelers to the Living God, personally interested in a relationship with them. Meeting other travelers from all over the world also broadened my horizons and I keep in touch with many of them years later, considering them each dear friends. If you are considering going on any of these trips, you absolutely must decide to do it. Your life will be changed for the better.

Julie Alvarez

We visited Eygpt in 2017. Learned so much and saw some amazing sights. Very well organized. Accommodations were excellent. Local tour guide very knowledgeable. Call and his wife were great hosts. Looking forward to Steps of Peter and Paul in Turkey and Greece in a couple of months.

Donna Street

My daughter and I have done all three Advent Tours …. Carl is a great tour guide who pays close attention to all the details of the trip while at the same time providing a deeply enjoyable and spiritual experience. Loved holding a book in the Alexandria library, riding camels at the great pyramid of Egypt, boating on Galilee, and swimming in the Dead Sea! His trips provide a great mix of history, adventure, opportunities to make the Bible come alive and for spiritual growth! Just do it!

Jaimy Hill
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