#80. Caucasus Region
Azerbaijan, Georgia, Armenia
The ancient, proud and traditional Caucasus region combines breathtaking natural beauty, remarkable religious monuments, and charming cosmopolitan cities.
The cobblestoned streets of the old city are well deserving their UNESCO listing, with a medieval feeling combining Persian carpets with Turkish architecture.
The Caucasus range is nothing if not its snow-capped mountain peaks and picturesque alpine meadows and valleys, proud as the people living in their shadows.
Some of the first countries to adopt Christianity, the religious tradition is evident in rock-hewn remote monasteries and the precious relics they are guarding.
Proud ragged peaks
The Caucasus region is a patchwork of valleys and high peaks, where several ancient kingdoms flourished, some of the first in the world to adopt Christianity. Slowly emerging from their Soviet past and recent bitter warfare, the people of the three (or maybe four, with Nagorno-Karabagh) republics are building their future based on their cultural values of tradition, pride, and hospitality. Here you will find snow-capped peaks offering excellent hiking opportunities, beautiful architecture both medieval and modern, amazing rock-hewn churches and monasteries, plus an often underestimated cuisine, that combines Turkish, Persian, Russian and unique local elements with sweet brandy, vodka and wine. The region is rich in UNESCO monuments, with 9 total listings, including several Armenian and Georgian religious sites, the remote valleys of Upper Svaneti, the stone age petroglyphs of Gobustan, the remarkable architecture of Baku old city, and the massive Fortress of Derbent in Dagestan.
AZERBAIJAN/DAGESTAN (2-6 days)
- Baku: Wander the cobblestone streets of the Old City but also marvel at Flame Towers and enjoy the seafront promenade
- Gobustan: See Stone Age petroglyphs, explore unique mud volcanoes, discover ancient Zoroastrian flame worship sites
- Khinalug (optional): Considered as the highest village in Europe, as eerie beautiful as it is remote
- Derbent (optional): Visit the massive historical fortress that guarded the traditional gate to the Caucasus
- Lahic (optional): Brave the treacherous road to reach the isolated cobblestone village, renowned for its coppersmiths
- Sheki (optional): Explore mysterious Albanian churches, lavish mountain palaces, taste traditional tea and halva
GEORGIA (4-10 days)
- Tbilisi, old city: Stretch your legs after the long train journey in the alleys and relax at the famous sulphur baths
- Tbilisi, new city: Marvel at the architecture on the wide avenues and visit some of the many museums of the city
- Khaketi (optional): Visit the remote Davit Gareja monastery and afterwards taste the sweet Georgian wine
- Kazbegi (optional): See the iconic Gergeti church and take a peek at the mountain where Prometheus was chained
- Mtskheta/Gori: Visit the ancient capital of the Iberian kingdom and enter a place where Stalin is still worshipped
- Kutaisi: See the legendary home of the Golden Fleece, the sacred Bagrati Cathedral and the beautiful Prometheus caves
- Upper Svaneti (optional): Explore UNESCO listed remote valleys of unique beauty, full of hiking opportunities
- Batumi (optional): Relax in the Black Sea resort town, and enjoy a stroll by the long waterfront promenade
- Akhaltsikhe (optional): Visit the rock-hewn Vardzia monastery and the restored medieval Rabati Castle
- Borjomi (optional): Visit the source of the mineral water and the ski resort of Bakuriani, before returning to Tbilisi
ARMENIA/NAGORNO KARABAGH (4-6 days)
- Yerevan: Marvel at the Soviet and Modern architecture of Kentron, which earned for Yerevan the label of Pink City
- Yerevan (optional): Stay an extra day to visit the Genocide Memorial, Brandy Factory, and Vernissage flea market
- Echmiadzin/Khor Virap/Gargherd: Visit UNESCO-listed iconic monasteries guarding the Holy Lance
- Northern Armenia (optional): Relax on Lake Sevan and visit the UNESCO monasteries of Sanahin and Haghpat
- Southern Armenia (optional): Taste unique Areni wine and visit Tatev monastey by the world’s longest ropeway
- Nagorno-Karabagh (optional): Step into the unrecognised republic and see how people are rebuilding their lives
Estimated Combo Prices
*per person, assuming double/twin rooms, 4 people per rental car, exchange rate 1€=1.08$
These trips are not fixed group departures, but suggested itineraries which can run at any time, for any number of people. Travellers are free to join only on specific destinations or parts of the trip instead of the whole duration. Every component is flexible and customisable, therefore additional cheaper or more expensive alternatives may also be available. The exact programme details, such as dates, length, accommodation, transportation, activities and final cost, will be discussed and decided with the travellers involved, and any such information listed here is for reference purpose only. All prices are rounded average estimates, per person, inclusive of all respective taxes or fees, based on past experience, and subject to availability and currency fluctuations. Indie Horizons is not a travel agency or tour operator, and is limited to the creation of a suggested itinerary and the provision of information about the destination. Please contact us for trip arrangements or for additional details.