Backroads of the Caucasus
A journey through Azerbaijan, Georgia & Armenia
Amidst the rugged terrain and swirling mists of the Caucasus, where the winds whisper secrets and the rocks hold ancient memories, lies a land of both strife and beauty, where towering mountains guard hidden valleys and diverse cultures collide in a dance of enigmatic complexity.
On this Caucasus tour, experience a land of mud-volcanoes, mountain vistas and cave villages. Wander the spectacular mountain village of Khinaliq in Azerbaijan, ride the ‘Wings of Tatev’ the world longest aerial tramway in Armenia and savour long lunches and taste traditional wines in Georgia.
Explore the enigmatic sight of Karahunge, a group of standing stones 3500 years older than England’s Stonehenge. Journey to Khor Virap, a monastery built on the site of the imprisonment of St Gregory the Illuminator in the shadow of Mt Ararat. Clamber around the cave village of Vardzia and explore the Black Sea Coast in the city of Batumi.
From the Caspian to the Black Sea on this Caucasus tour, know where you are from the moment you wake up by staying in locally run hotels, chalets and even a castle as well as unique and off-the-beaten path experiences in the backroads of this amazing region.
CAUCASUS TOUR HIGHLIGHTS
- Cruise the Caspian Sea, wander ancient mountain villages and experience the phenomenon of mud-volcanoes in Azerbaijan
- Learn about traditional ‘kvevri’ wine making (and taste it of course!), explore cave villages, view spectacular vistas and explore the Black Sea Coast in Georgia
- Ride the world’s longest reversable aerial tramway, marvel at standing stones older than Stonehenge, view Mt Ararat from picturesque Khor Virap and explore the deserted village of Ani in Armenia
- Stay in local family run hotels, chalets and even a castle and enjoy unique and immersive experiences found nowhere else in the world.
Trip style: Signature
Max group size: 15
Reasons you’ll love this tour
- You want to visit the three countries in the Caucasus region with out feeling rushed
- You enjoy learning about local crafts and industry
- You have an interest in the Cold War and former Soviet Union
- You’re happy to visit places that are different from home but don’t sit too far outside your comfort zone
- You like trying new foods and enjoy a glass of wine
- You’re looking forward to spectacular mountain vistas, despite the twists and turns of the roads enroute
- Authenticity is important to you when travelling
Details – Caucasus tour
Duration: 22 Days
Trip style: Signature
Group size: Minimum 6 / Maximum 15
Trip code: BCBY
Cost: $9528.00 AUD twin share
Single supplement: $1445.00 AUD
- 21-nights accommodation in locally owned hotels, castle, chalet & guest houses
- Transport by airconditioned coach
- Services of your Inverted Atlas trip leader and local guides
- Meals as specified in itinerary (B = Breakfast / L = Lunch / D = Dinner)
- Entrance fees to sites mentioned in itinerary
Trip price does not include
- International or domestic airfares
- Arrival or departure transfers
- Visa for Azerbaijan, Georgia or Armenia (if required)
- Meals not included as per trip itinerary including drinks and mini bar
- Additional accommodation before or after the trip
- Items of a personal nature including but not limited to laundry, souvenirs, porterage etc.
- Travel insurance – please note comprehensive travel insurance is a condition of travel with Inverted Atlas
Journey Rating – Quest
This Caucasus tour travels through Azerbaijan, Georgia & Armenia. These countries are somewhat accustomed to tourism and our presence here should go unnoticed by the locals. Armenia can be somewhat rural in areas and some areas visited in Azerbaijan are remote in nature and you should be prepared for the occasional eastern style squat toilet. Georgia is heavily westernised, and you can expect the same kind of infrastructure as you would at home.
Azerbaijan is an Islamic country and modesty may be required at some locations and when entering mosques. Armenia is a Christian country and modesty should be observed in rural areas. In both Armenia and Georgia women should bring a scarf for church visits.
A note about fitness
To get the most enjoyment out of your Caucasus tour, at minimum you should be able to walk up to 2.5km during scheduled sightseeing and be able to carry your own luggage to and from the coach. You should also be able to use an eastern style ‘squat’ toilet (beware if you have knee issues). The countries in this itinerary are very mountainous and you can expect long and winding mountain roads for at least 50% of your time on the coach, so beware if you get motion sickness.
In addition, you should be in good health, with no major chronic conditions requiring frequent medical attention. This trip occasionally travels to remote areas where the ability to find a doctor or call an ambulance will be somewhat limited. While all our trip leaders are required to have a valid first aid certificate, they are far from doctors and any assistance they are able to provide will be limited to basic first aid. For more information please see our booking conditions.
Traveling by yourself? No problem, we love single travellers and don’t believe in penalising them by charging half the trip price again for our single supplement. With us you are only paying the actual cost to have a room all to yourself. If you’re up for making a new friend, you can elect to share with another single traveller of the same sex and only pay the twin-share price. The choice is yours!
Trip leader description
Accompanying you on your Caucasus tour will be your Inverted Atlas trip leader. Your trip leader is a logistics extraordinaire, keeps the trip running smoothly and ensures you have the best time possible on your trip. It is important to know that while your trip leader has the best job in the world, they aren’t actually on holidays, but rather they are there to make sure you have the best time while you are on your holiday! Your trip leader may at times need some time out so that they can complete back of house tasks that ensure everyone continues to enjoy the trip. It is also your trip leaders’ job to handle any issues (heaven forbid!) that come up while you’re on your trip like:
- If you lose your passport or other travel documents
- If there is a problem with your room at the booked accommodation – seriously please tell your trip leader don’t wait until you leave
- If you become unwell and need to find a pharmacy
- Assisting with restaurant recommendations or additional sightseeing during free time
- Questions regarding the itinerary
Your trip leader on your Caucasus tour will have some good local knowledge about the destination in which you are traveling, however they are not a ‘local guide’. You’re welcome to ask your trip leader anything about the trip and if they don’t know they will find out and get back to you. Other people you will meet along the way are ‘local guides’ who are generally available to the group in specific towns or at specific sites like national parks, temples or archaeological sites. These people are the local experts and will be able to answer any questions you may have about the history and culture of a specific site.
The itinerary for this Caucasus tour is correct at the time of upload to our website and we have composed it in good faith. From time to time we may elect to make changes before departure, if we are making a big change we will of course notify you, however if it is a small change this will be reflected in the final trip notes. So, make sure you download these prior to departure. Small changes prior to departure are usually made with the groups best interests in mind and come about due to liaising with our best resources – our past travelers and of course our trip leaders! The ability to change and evolve depending on what our travelers enjoy is what makes us such a great trip operator.
While we strive to operate our trips exactly to the letter of the itinerary, sometimes we may need to make changes on the ground while the group is on the road. This is all part of the adventure of traveling and we would ask that you come on your trip with an open mind and a good sense of humour because as much as we want it to, everything doesn’t always go to plan. In fact, these impromptu situations often make the best stories that you can have a laugh with your friends about later.
Minimum Age: 14 years
On this Caucasus tour we are happy to accept teenage children, there is no shared accommodation and the destinations visited on this Caucasus tour should provide only a small amount of ‘culture shock’ to younger travellers. If you wish to bring younger children, please give us a call.
There is no upper age limit for this trip, but you should consider the above fitness requirements prior to booking. If you are 65 years or over, you will be asked to complete our Health Check Form and have your medical practitioner sign it to confirm you are in good health and able to participate safely on this trip.
Please note that comprehensive travel insurance is a condition of travel with Inverted Atlas on this Caucasus tour. Insurance must include provision for medical situations, emergency medical repatriation to your home country and personal liability at a minimum. Proof of valid travel insurance will be requested by your trip leader on arrival at the pre-departure meeting. Please have this paperwork available for them. If you are unable to provide proof of comprehensive travel insurance, you may not be allowed to join the trip and no refund will be payable.