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South Caucasus: Batumi to Baku

11- or 14-Day Journey from Georgia to Azerbaijan with Armenia Pre-Tour

South Caucasus: Batumi to BakuIn the South Caucasus, from the sunny plains of the Caspian Sea to the
subtropical Black Sea coast—a historic adventure awaits. It’s where the
snow-covered peaks of the Caucasus mountains touch the vast blue skies of the
Transcaucasian steppes and where Eastern and Western traditions mingle to create
a unique culture.

from3,880 $per person

What Makes Your Journey Unique

  • Journey on exclusively chartered special train
  • A unique route from Baku on the Caspian Sea, through the Caucasus mountains, to Batumi on the Black Sea (or vice versa)
  • First-class service from English-speaking tour manager and local guides throughout journey
  • Spectacular train route filled with cultural and scenic diversity
  • 1 night in a hotel in the Caucasus mountains with view of 16,000-foot/5,000-meter Mount Kazbek
  • Vardzia, a gigantic cave city that once housed up to 50,000 people
  • Historic city of Goygol, a former German settlement in Azerbaijan
  • Tbilisi and Baku, two colorful and complementary metropolises
  • Insight into local life with visits to a Georgian religious service, vineyard, bazaar and artisanal handicraft center
  • Doctor on board (Batumi–Baku)

Armenia Extension Highlights

  • Highlights of Armenia are the perfect complement to special train journey
  • UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Vagharshapat and Zvartnots
  • Visit to children’s art center
  • Bread making demonstration and brandy tasting

Dates

  • 14 Oct 20 - 24 Oct 20 (11 days)
  • 13 Oct 21 - 23 Oct 21 (11 days)

Info & Booking

Magda Zhghenti
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(Armenia Pre-Tour)

(Day 1.) Yerevan: The Armenian Church

You arrive in Yerevan in the early morning. Your hotel room will be ready when you arrive. After a late breakfast you see the Cathedral of Yerevan, the Radio Yerevan building, and Cascade with beautiful panoramas. In the afternoon, you travel to the heart of the Armenian Church in Vagharshapat—the Etchmiadzin Cathedral, thought to be the oldest Christian cathedral in the world. Later you visit a children’s art center. On the way back to Yerevan, you see the impressive ruins of the seventh-century Zvartnots Cathedral. Overnight: Hotel Imperial (or similar) (BL)

(Day 2.) Yerevan: Temple of Garni and Cave Monastery

After a guided tour of the impressive manuscript repository, Matenadaran, you visit Garni Gorge, the Greco-Roman Temple of Garni, and the medieval Geghard cave monastery, one of the most beautiful monasteries in the Caucasus. Before lunch you view a bread-making demonstration of traditional unleavened Armenian flatbread Lavash. Overnight: Hotel Imperial (or similar) (BL)

(Day 3.) Yerevan: Lake Sevan and Gyumri

Today you travel to 2,000-meter-high Lake Sevan, known as the Pearl of Armenia, a highlight of your journey. After a visit to the Sevan Monastery, you head to the idyllic spa town Dilijan. Later you are off to Gyumri, Armenia’s second largest city. Overnight: Hotel Villa Kars (or similar) (BLD)

Day 1/(Day 4.) Batumi: The Black Sea Coast

You cross the Armenia–Georgia border through the mountainscapes of the Lesser Caucasus until you reach Batumi on the spectacular Black Sea coast. (BL)

Main Route

If you would like to start your journey in Georgia, your first day is here in Batumi, Georgia’s second largest city.

This port city and seaside resort is quaintly situated on a bay against the backdrop of green mountains. The sparkling skyline of the palm-lined promenade is astounding—thanks to recent developments by international investors. Overnight: Hotel World Palace (or similar) (D)

Day 2/(Day 5.) Batumi: On the Black Sea

Today you enjoy a city tour of Batumi’s historic center, where merchants from all over the world have left their footprints. Orthodox churches, synagogues, and mosques—the city’s stunning architecture is a testament to its diversity. In the afternoon you have free time for individual activities. Overnight: Hotel World Palace (BLD)

Day 3/(Day 6.) Welcome on Board!

The Batumi Botanical Garden is a subtropical paradise whose terraces on the steep coast provide an amazing view of the seashore. Later that day, the friendly crew of your special train gives you a hearty welcome at the station, where your train sets off towards Kutaisi. From the top of the Bagrati Cathedral, you enjoy the view over the historic city of Kutaisi, just a stone’s throw away from the picturesque Gelati monastery, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Overnight: On board (BLD)

Day 4/(Day 7.) Akhaltsikhe and Vardzia: Land of Castles

The train route from Kutaisi through the lesser Caucasus mountains puts everyday Georgia right outside your window—vineyards, idyllic towns, imposing castle towers. Borjomi is a famous deep valley resort town that once provided the entire Russian Empire with mineral water. Its beautiful villas, boutique hotels and its curative health spas draw visitors from near and far. From the small city of Akhaltsikhe, over which the Rabati Castle looms, you go on a unforgettable excursion and guided tour of Vardzia, a twelfth-century cave monastery. Reminiscient of a honeycomb, there are more than 3,000 cave dwellings for up to 50,000 people built into the rockface. The brilliance of the frescoes of legendary Queen Tamar in the cave cathedral has not lost its intensity. Overnight: On board (BLD)

Day 5/(Day 8.) Gori: In Vino Veritas, a Taste of Georgia’s Wine Regions

Today your train takes you from Akhaltsikhe through the country’s fertile lowlands. You soon arrive In Gori, birthplace of Joseph Stalin, the once General Secretary of the Soviet Union, whose personal railroad car is displayed in a museum. In nearby Uplistsikhe, once a Silk Road trading post, you discover a sixth-century town built into a cave complex. Later a historic wine house opens its cellar just for you. Kartli, Imereti, Kakheti—Georgia’s wine regions are more than 7,000 years old, placing then among the world’s oldest. In the afternoon, your train reaches Tbilisi. Overnight: Hotel Builtmore (or similar) (BLD)

Day 6/(Day 9.) Tbilisi: From the Capital to Stepantsminda

Sturdy churches, colorful wooden houses on the banks of the Kura River, classical villas—this is Tbilisi, capital of Georgia and straight out of a fairy tale. From here, you take a ride along the historic Georgian Military Road, which reaches an altitude of approximately 7,800 feet/2,300 meters. The view of the Ananuri Castle complex from such heights just takes your breath away. In the horizon, snow-capped mountain peaks come into view, each one higher than the last. However, the view of the 16,000-foot/5,000-meter Mount Kazbek from your hotel terrace in Stepantsminda tops them all! On a green ridge just in front of this immense peak sits the comparatively small Gergeti Trinity Church, which you can visit via Jeep excursion. Overnight: Hotel Porta Caucaisa (or similar) (BLD)

Day 7/(Day 10.) The Jvari Monastery and Mount Mtatsminda

On the way back to Tbilisi, you stop at the Jvari monastery high above the Aragvi River and marvel at the former capital of Georgia, Mzcheta, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In Tbilisi you board your train and head to the Georgia-Azerbaijan border, where green hills bradually transform into ochre, earthy steppes. Overnight: on board (BLD)

Day 8/(Day 11.) Shaki and Goygol

In the morning, you reach the city of Ganja, from which you travel to the nearby city of Goygol, known for its nineteeth-century German settlements. Here you see carefully restored villas, the Lutheran church of St. John and the home of the last German settler, Viktor Klein, who passed away in 2007. On the train route towards Shaki, the Azerbaijani landscape begins to turn green. The city of Shaki lies at foot of the forest-covered Caucasus Mountains and doubles as a unique open-air museum. You see the city’s many caravanserai, trading posts that served as stops along historic trade routes, like the Silk Road. Later, you visit the Khan’s Palace, where brilliant decorative carvings, stained glass and frescoes take you back to a fantastic medieval world. Look for bargains at an artisanal handicrafts center and at a local bazaar. In the evening, you head towards the Caspian Sea. Overnight: On board (BLD)

Day 9/(Day 12.) Baku: Skyline on the Caspian Sea

In Baku, it’s a bittersweet goodbye to your special train and its crew. From Martyrs’ Lane, formerly known as Kirov Park, you enjoy the spectacular view of the city’s breathtaking skyline, which includes the Flame Towers, a trio of modern skyscrapers. Later you set out to explore the historical center of Baku, where you see gorgeous mosques, the Maiden Tower, and the Palace of the Shirvanshahs, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You marvel at the city’s ornate Art Nouveau buildings and its futuristic architecture. That afternoon, you are free to do as you wish. You can enjoy a swim in the Caspian Sea, or a shopping spree in Baku’s gorgeous pedestrian zone. Overnight: Hotel Sapphire Inn (or similar) (BL)

Day 10/(Day 13.) Rock Art, Mud Volcanos and Fire

In the morning, you head toward Gobustan, a UNESCO World Heritage Site where you can admire the thousand-year-old rock carvings situated near the country’s famous mud volcanos. In the afternoon, you can enjoy free time in Baku, or join an excursion to the Absheron Peninsula, where you see a Zoroastrian fire temple and Yanar Dag, a flame that burns continuously due to a seepage of natural gas. In the evening, you enjoy a farewell dinner amid Baku’s glittering nightscape. Overnight: Hotel Sapphire Inn (or similar) (BD)

Day 11/(Day 14.) Goodbye, South Caucasus!

On your final day in the South Caucasus, you head to the airport for your flight home, reflecting on the fulfilling, unforgettable adventure you just completed. (B)

(B) = Breakfast, (L) = Lunch, (D) = Dinner

In the South Caucasus, from the sunny plains of the Caspian Sea to the subtropical Black Sea coast—a historic adventure awaits. It’s where the snow-covered peaks of the Caucasus mountains touch the vast blue skies of the Transcaucasian steppes and where Eastern and Western traditions mingle to create a unique culture.

And the food! Almost nothing compares to Khachapuri and Khinkali dumplings; stuffed pomegranates; chicken with green walnuts; and of course—Georgian wine! Experience it all on this unforgettable journey.

Complement your South Caucasus private train journey with a visit to Armenia, the oldest Christian country in the world. On a pre-tour between Yerevan and Batumi, you can relive the varied history of a nation that has been shaped by distinct cultures and great powers.

Rates Include

  • 4 nights on board your special train in booked category
  • 6 nights/9 nights (Armenia extension) in high-end hotels with double bed, and bath or shower
  • All meals as per itinerary (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
  • All transport and excursions in modern tour buses with air-conditioning as per itinerary
  • Airport transfers on the first and last day of the itinerary
  • Entrance fees for all sights as per itinerary
  • English-speaking tour manager and guides during train journey between Batumi and Baku

Hotels Planned

Batumi: 2 nights, Hotel World Palace (or similar)
Tbilisi: 1 night, Hotel Builtmore (or similar)
Stephansminda: 1 night, Hotel Porta Caucasia (or similar)
Baku: 2 nights, Hotel Sapphire Inn (or similar)

Armenia Hotels Planned

Yerevan: 2 nights, Hotel Imperial (or similar)
Gyumri: 1 night, Hotel Villa Kars (or similar)

Not Included

  • International flights
  • Visa invitation letters (if required)
  • Visa fees (if required)
  • Gratuities
  • Personal expenses

Entry Requirements

  • Passport and visas required
  • No vaccinations are required

Important Notes

  • We regret that due to the intricate logistics of this tour, itinerary changes are sometimes unavoidable
  • Minimum number of guests to operate the journey: 45
  • This journey is generally not for guests with limited mobility or who depend on CPAP machines. Please contact us for more information about your specific requirements before booking

Cat. IV - Bolshoi

Number and Size of Beds

  • Sleeps up to 2 guests
  • 1 large lower bed
    (43.3 × 72.4 in/110 × 184 cm)
  • 1 large upper bed
    (31.5 × 68.5 in/80 × 174 cm)

Features

  • Large compartment
    60 sq ft/5.57 sq m
  • Large window
  • Small sofa
  • Table
  • Small closet
  • Private bathroom with sink, toilet and integrated shower
  • 6 compartments per car

Cat. II - Superior

Number and Size of Beds

  • Sleeps up to 2 guests
  • 2 lower beds
  • 26.7 × 73.6 in/68 × 185 cm

Features

  • Large window
  • Table
  • 2 shared bathrooms with sink and toilet per car
  • 9 compartments per car
  • Shower shared between 1 to 3 cars

Cat. I - Standard

Number and Size of Beds

  • Sleeps up to 4 guests
  • 2 lower beds
  • 2 upper beds
  • 26.7 × 73.6 in/68 × 187 cm

Features

  • Large window
  • Table
  • 2 shared bathrooms with sink and toilet per car
  • 9 compartments per car
  • 3-person occupancy is available for a supplemental charge

  • Guaranteed
  • Available
  • Limited
  • Waiting List
  • Excursions and lectures conducted in: EN=English, FR=French

Dates

Dates StandardSuperiorBolshoi
Price $
14 Oct 20 - 24 Oct 20EN,Excursions and lectures conducted in: English FRExcursions and lectures conducted in: French
Single supplement hotel
Supplement for use of the compartment by 3 persons
Single use supplement in compartment + hotel
13 Oct 21 - 23 Oct 21EN,Excursions and lectures conducted in: English FRExcursions and lectures conducted in: French | Prelim. Dates
Single supplement hotel
Single use supplement in compartment + hotel

Additional Services

DescriptionPrice per Person
Price0 $
(2020) Yerevan to Batumi pre-tour 11 Oct 20 - 14 Oct 20 (4 days)
Single supplement hotel (in double room)
(2021) Yerevan to Batumi pre-tour 10 Oct 21 - 13 Oct 21 (4 days)
Single supplement hotel (in double room)
Total price $