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Big trip 2: North Caucasus, Azerbaijan, Georgia

Big trip: North Caucasus, Azerbaijan, Georgia

12 days - 11 nights

Day 1

Arrival to Vladikavkaz. Hotel accommodation.

Dinner and ossetian master-class

Ossetian pies serve as a culinary landmark of Ossetia. You will wonder why you didn’t bake them before, as it’s so exciting and delicious too! The traditional lunch is followed by a culinary interactive session.

Day 2

North Caucasus. North Ossetia-Alania, Ingushetia, Chechnya

Breakfast at the hotel.

9:00 Vladikavkaz city tour. On the left bank of the turbulent Terek River you can find a Sunni Mosque (Mukhtarov Mosque), built 109 years ago.

You will see the beautiful Alexandrovsky Avenue. One part of the avenue was built before the beginning of the twentieth century. The architecture resembles the architecture of St. Petersburg. The second part of the avenue was built after the Bolsheviks came to power. The architecture of this part is characteristic of the Soviet period.

Guests will also see a bridge with sculptures of leopards. Leopards are a symbol of Ossetians.
A visit to the souvenir shop is planned.

11:30 Transfer (25 km) to Nazran (Ingushetia) for touring Memorial of Memory and Glory, with one stopover.

Memorial of Memory and Glory. The memorial complex was built in 1997. Each object of the memorial is filled with deep meaning. The heated freight car used to deport the Ingush from their motherland, as well as the memorial plates listing the names of the residents of Ingushetia, who participated in the Great Patriotic War. 9 towers braided with barbed wire. The towers symbolize the number of deported peoples. The Monument to the last defender of the Brest Fortress lieutenant Umatgirei Artangovich Barkhanoev. Equestrian Monument dedicated to the legendary Wild Division.

Transfer to the Grozny 135 km (2,5-3 h).

Lunch in the local restaurant.

Arrival in Grozny, evening city tour. In the evening, the city is nicely illuminated and doesn’t look less exciting than in the daytime.

Grozny is a city-phoenix revived from ashes after so long-run war.

The Grozny Tower was erected in the beginning of the 19th century, the Church named after Michael the Archangel was built by means of public donations, which was destroyed during the war and restored again. There is a sky-scrapers complex of “Grozny-City” opposite the church, and the observation deck of one of them provides a bird’s eye panorama of the city. You can also see the spiritual heart of the city- the Heart of Chechnya Mosque.

Dinner.
Hotel accommodation.

Day 3

North Caucasus. Chechnya

Breakfast at the hotel.

Transfer to the Argun Gorge (40 km, about 30 min).

It’s a beautiful gorge, through which a road has been hacked out by the generations of Chechens. A mountain river, ancient towers- all that you will be able to see on the way.

Stopover at Nikhaloy waterfalls for lunch. Walk to the waterfalls.

Itum-Kali is a Chechen village. Quick excursion to the museum, you can take photos in national costumes.

Evening tour to Shali

Not far from the city of Grozny (40 km) there is a mosque of extraordinary beauty. This is the largest mosque in Europe (up to 30 thousand people)

These places are especially beautiful in the evening. We will also see a mosque in Argun, decorated in a modern style.

The evening tour is organized at the request of tourists.

Dinner.

Hotel accommodation.

Day 4

North Caucasus. Dagestan

Breakfast at the hotel.

Transfer to Sulak Canyon. 130 км

You will see an unforgettable view of the deepest canyon. Its depth is almost two kilometers. And the waters of the Sulak River have an incredible turquoise color.

Lunch. Transfer to Machachkala.

A walk along the seafront of the Caspian Sea, a tour of the city center and a farewell dinner at the national style.
Hotel accommodation.

Day 5

North Caucasus. Derbent

Breakfast at the hotel

Transfer for Derbent. About 2 hours’ travel.

Derbent is the most ancient city in Russia. It is 5,000 yeas old. Its main attraction is Naryn-Kala citadel.

Lunch of national cuisine at the Great Silk Road restaurant with shashlik and tasting Derbent wines and cognac.

Excursion to Naryn-Kala citadel.

After lunch you can take a walk along old streets-magals, visit the Juma Mosque and feast your eyes on the combination of ancient and later buildings.

You can also pop in the local grocery market and buy cheese, dried fruits, urbech, honey and jam.

You can enjoy your time for unaccompanied walks and farewell with Derbent.

Hotel accommodation.

Day 6

Dagestan. Azerbaijan

Breakfast in the hotel. Free time for a walk along the beach, swimming in the pool.

10:00 Transfer (55 km) to the border with Azerbaijan.

International automobile checkpoint Samur. Crossing the border.

Transfer (210 km, about 3 hours) to the Baku.

Hotel accommodation. Lunch in a local restaurant.

After lunch depart for tour excursionto 2 historic ancient places ‘

The Temple of Fire Worshippers’ - is one of the most interesting and peculiar historical monuments located near Baku and ‘Burning Mountain’ Yanar Dag Tour, located not too far from Ateshgah Temple.

It is not the most famous and popular tourist site of the ‘eternal flame’ in Azerbaijan. Actually, it is rather a hill than a mountain, with natural gas burning on its slope from ancient times.

Transfer back to Baku – Approx. 35 mins
Check in hotel & rest dinner – at local restaurant

Day 7

Azerbaijan. Baku

Breakfast at hotel

Proceed to Baku Sightseeing Tour Old Town

Today, the city view greatly differs from what it was at the Soviet period. Baku modern city consists of the Old Town, the downtown, two residential zones, industrial and oil-processing zones.

Shirvanshah’s Palace (inclusive admission fee) – the medieval part of Baku, ancient quarter mosques (Mohammad’s mosque), bath fragments of residential buildings, ‘Market Square’, ‘Bukhara’ caravanserai, ‘Multani’, ‘Gyz Galasi’ (Maiden Tower)- the oldest construction of Baku under UNESCO protection.

Enjoy the free time shopping at Aziz Aliyev Street

Lunch at local restaurant
Transfer to hotel
Dinner – local restaurant
Check in hotel & rest

Day 8

Azerbaijan. Baku, Gobustan

Breakfast at hotel. Check out hotel

Transfer to Gobustan

Gobustan-an ancient human settlement - is the place where the first people on earth live. Archaeologists have found there ancient places of primitive people who left numerous rock paintings-petroglyphs.

They were made in the X-XIII centuries BC to the middle ages.

Lunch at local restaurant

Bibi-eibat mosque (Azerbaijan. Bibiheybət məscidi) is a Shiite mosque located on the shore of the Baku Bay

Transfer to the railway station.

Train Baku - Tbilisi

Night on the train

Day 9

Georgia. Tbilisi, Jinvali, Pasanauri, Gudauri, Gergiti, Tbilisi

Breakfast in the train. Arrival to Tbilisi to the rayilway station from Baku

Transfer to the hotel

Departure to Kazbegithrough Georgian Military Road en-route stop at Jinvali Water Reservoir (photo stop) – Approx. 1.5hrs.

Follow by visit Ananuri Castle and The Church of the Assumption of The Virgin – is impressive and powerful complex, it is a historical fortress-citadel, which used to be the residence of the Eristavis (dukes) of Aragvi.

Than continue cross pass to Pasanauri & Gudauri en-route stop for lunch – Approx. 2 hrs

Lunch in the local restaurant.

Upon arrival at Stepantsminda – the center of the Kazbegi Municipality, change the transportation to 4x4 vehicles (3-4 person per vehicle), short off-road adventure to Gergeti Holy Trinity Church- is the most important altar of 14th century, located on the slope of Mount Kazbegi at an altitude of 2170 meters, under the glacier Kazbegi (5047 m) on the right bank of Chkheri River.

Transfer back to Tbilisi – Approx 3.5hrs

Dinner in the Chinese restaurant and transfer back to hotel.

Day 10

Georgia. Tbilisi, Jvari, Mtskheta, Chateu Mukhrani, Tbilisi

Breakfast at the hotel

Тransfer to Jvari – Approx. 1hrs

Tour around Jvari Monastery – represents an iconic heritage, which was built at the dawn of Georgian Christianity (VI century). Jvari is one of the masterpieces of architecture in its perfection of architectural forms and first Georgian UNESCO World Heritage Site. Moreover ir was perpetuated in literature by Mikhail Lermontov (poem ‘Mtsiri’)

Then transfer to Mtskheta - Approx 30 mnts

Enjoy walking tour around Mtskheta & visit Svetitskhoveli Cathedral – is an ancient capital of Georgia, important religious center and city-museum which is inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

This is the reason why Miskheta is considered to be one of the holliest Chriatian cities.

Continue transfer to Sinery Chateau Mukhrani (Approx.30 mins) – is based on the historical tradition of wine-making in Mukhrani region.

Lunch – “Chateau Mukhrani” restaurant

After lunch – enjoy Chateau Mukhrani Tour & Wine Testing (includes admission fee, excursion to Ivane Mukhranbatoni Residence & degustation of 4 typesof premium wine with light snacks (Georgian bread,churchkhela, cheese assortment & spring water)

Return back to Tbilisi – Approx 1hrs 15 mins

Visit ‘Sameba’- Cathedral Church of Holy Trinity, which is also called the ‘Symbol of New Georgia’ – the breathtaking size and beauty of this cathedral, majestically rises up the hill of Holly Elia.

Dinner – local restaurant

Transfer back to hotel.

Day 11

Gori. Uplistsikhe Tour

Breakfast at the hotel

City of Gori

Gori was an important military stronghold in the Middle Ages and maintains a strategic importance due to its location on the principal highway connecting eastern and western parts of Georgia.

In the course of its history, Gori has been invaded by the armies of regional powers several times.

Gori is also known as the birthplace of the Soviet leader Joseph Stalin. (entrance fees for Stalin Museum is not included)

Uplistsikhe is an ancient rock-hewn town in eastern Georgia, some 10 kilometers east of the town of Gori, Shida Kartli.

Built on a high rocky left bank of the Mtkvari River, it contains various structures dating from the Early Iron Age to the Late Middle Ages.

And is notable for the unique combination of various styles of rock-cut cultures from Anatolia and Iran, as well as the co-existence of pagan and Christian architecture.

Uplistsikhe is identified by archaeologists as one of the oldest urban settlements in Georgia.

Strategically located in the heartland of ancient kingdom of Kartli (or Iberia as it was known to the Classical authors), it emerged as a major political and religious center of the country.

After the tour transfer to the hotel

Day 12

Check out hotel

Airport transfer.

TOURISTS DEPARTURE.

The tour package includes: accommodation, route transfers, excursion program, tour tickets, sights admission fees, full board or B&b, 24/7 administrative support

The tour packages doesn't include: flight to Russia, other services are not included
in the program.

For booking contact:
elgastour@gmail.com

On request, you can include concert programes, master-classes and other entertainment at extra charge.
Also, the price can vary downwards depending on the selection of hotels and room categories.
The cost does not include the agency fees.

The program is preliminary. The organizers reserve the right to replace the excursion blocks with similar ones, without changing main waypoints.