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Churches & Monasteries of Armenia & Georgia

9 Sep — 22 Sep 2017 | Tour Director: Alex Koller

ACE Aquileia tour: Basilica of Aquileia

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Tour Director

Andrew Wilson portrait

Alex Koller, PhD

lecturer in art history and architecture

full biography and other tours

Itinerary

Day

1

Depart from London to Yerevan (indirect), details TBC. Transfer to hotel in Yerevan for five nights.

Day

2

Panoramic coach tour of Yerevan including Republic Square, St Grigor Lusarovich Cathedral, Zoravor Church and Cascade complex. Afternoon: History Museum and National Gallery of Armenia.

Day

3

Excursion to Mt Aragats: Karmravor church in Ashtarak town, Monasteries of Hovhannavank and Saghmosavank. Family-hosted lunch in Oshakan. Afternoon drive up Mt Aragats to see Amberd castle and church.

Day

4

Vagharshapat: Etchmiadzin Cathedral (UNESCO World Heritage site), churches of St Hripsime and St Gayane, ruined 7th century cathedral of Zvartnots, Holy Mother of God Cathedral and St Shoghakat Church. Return to Yerevan for Genocide Memorial and Blue Mosque.

Day

5

Matenadaran Institute of Ancient Manuscripts (superb collection of 17,000 5th-15th century manuscripts), Garni (fortress and temple), medieval monastery of Geghard (architectural treasure carved into cliff-face). Afternoon: Urartuan fortress of Erebuni. Free evening.

Day

6

Excursion to Khor Virap Monastery (prison for early Christians, impressive views of Mt Ararat), 13th century Noravank Monastery (surrounded by spectacular limestone cliffs). Continue via field of khachkars (stone crosses) at Noratus and Hayravank Monastery. Overnight stay in Tsaghkadzor.

Day

7

Depart via Sevanavank peninsula (views of Lake Sevan) to Dilijan for monasteries of Goshavank and Haghartsin. Overnight stay near Armenia-Georgia border.

Day

8

Debed Gorge: UNESCO World Heritage sites of Haghpat and Sanahin. Continue to Georgian border via Akhtala fortress and monastery (13th century frescoes). Cross border and transfer to Tbilisi for four nights.

Day

9

Tbilisi (capital of Georgia): old town, medieval churches of Metekhi and Sioni, State Museum of Georgia (icons and metalwork), bath-houses, 4th century Narikala Fortress, Anchiskhati (basilica and bell tower), Holy Trinity Cathedral (built in 2004 as symbol of united Georgia).

Day

10

Whole-day excursion to Mtskheta (ancient capital of Georgia): 7th century Jvari Church, 11th century Svetitskhoveli Cathedral (fine example of Georgian Renaissance architecture), Samtavro Monastery followed by Gori town (birthplace of Stalin), Ateni Sioni (7th century church modelled on Jvari). Free evening.

Day

11

Transfer by 4X4s and on foot to Betania, an exquisite medieval monastery with 13th century frescoes (please note this visit requires a 40 minute walk each way). Continue to Dmanisi (medieval town with Hominid archaeological site), Bolnisi (5th century cathedral with Georgian inscriptions).

Day

12

Depart Tbilisi through Georgia’s mountainous northern borderlands to Ananuri (16th century fortress and church). Continue to Kazbegi for Gergeti Trinity Church (on slopes of Mt Kazbek). Overnight stay in Kazbegi.

Day

13

Return to Tbilisi via 9th century Sioni Church (9th century). Afternoon: optional walking tour of Tbilisi old streets. Overnight stay in Tbilisi.

Day

14

Tbilisi Museum of Fine Arts (featuring icons and metalwork) followed by free time. Depart from Tbilisi to London (indirect), details TBC.

Tour Dates

9 Sep — 22 Sep 2017

Days

14

Cost

Tour Code

CAUC-17

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