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15 August 2017, 01:00

NEW: Caucasus Calling!

Saga adds GEORGIA AND ARMENIA to Central Asia programme following success of tours to Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan & Kyrgyzstan

Saga Holidays have introduced a brand new ‘Caucasus Calling!’ tour exploring the former soviet republics of Georgia and Armenia, expanding its programmes in Central Asia following the popularity of its holidays to Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan.

Saga guests, looking for their next big adventure, can contrast Georgia’s wine-producing areas and buzzing capital Tbilisi with UNESCO-listed churches and monasteries in Armenia, the world’s first Christian country.

The former Soviet republics of Georgia and Armenia have blossomed into cosmopolitan visitor-friendly destinations just waiting to be discovered – and with 26 excursions packed into 13 nights this tour offers guests the perfect opportunity.

As well as the chance to enjoy the fascinating scenery from dense forests, serene lakes and waterfalls to the slopes of Mount Ararat, the tour also offers guests unique experiences including an acapella holy music concert in the Geghard Monastery, partly built in caves and partly hewn from the cliffs of the Azat River gorge and stops at family homes for lunch and cooking lessons.

Here is just a taste of the comprehensive itinerary:

The tour starts Tbilisi, in eastern Georgia, and highlights include the wine-growing region of Kakheti and the Tsinandali estate, home to Georgia’s first European winery.

After a drive along the Georgian Military Road, an ancient route into the Caucasus Mountains connecting the south Caucasus countries with Russia, a 90-minute hike to 14th-century Gergeti Trinity Church on a 2,180-metre peak is rewarded with views of Mount Kazbek.

On descent to Gergeti, guests visit a family home for a cookery demonstration of Mokhevian recipes, before driving to the Dariali Canyon to view the Gweleti waterfalls.

The history of Tbilisi is revealed during a tour of the city, which has endured turbulent times, to see 13th century Metekhi church and the Sulphur Baths, and take the cable car to a reconstruction of the 4th-century Narikala fortress. The tour also passes 18th century Caravanserai, roadside rest stops used by traders, the Sioni cathedral and Anchiskhati Basilica.

The tour continues into Armenia, travelling to the UNESCO-listed Haghpat Monastery before exploring ‘Armenian Switzerland’ and the Dilijan spa and resort, in the Tavoush region.

After driving on the Silk Road in Selim PassDepart, Southern Armenia, there’s a call to the mountain spa town of Jermuk, plus a visit to Karahunge, where the 7,500-year-old stone circle is believed to be an ancient astronomical observatory.

In Areni, there’s a call to a winery believed to be the world’s oldest at 6,100 years old, and en route to Armenia’s capital, Yerevan, guests pause at the Khor Virap Monastery, on the slopes of Mount Ararat, where Noah's Ark was said to have beached after the great flood.

Guests can discover the spiritual centre for Armenians in Echmiadzin, and see the cathedral that is considered the oldest in the world.

As the tour nears an end, 4X4 vehicles are the mode of transport to the Pagan Temple of Garni and the Garni Gorg where basalt columns carved by the river are known as the ‘Symphony of the Stones’.

The holiday closes with a visit to the Ararat Brandy Factory for tastings of the Armenian brandy, the favourite of Winston Churchill, and dinner at one of the best restaurants in Yerevan.


For details call free on 0800 056 0464 or visit

13 nights from £1,999 departing London Gatwick on April 8, May 6, June 10, July 8, August 26, September 9, September 23 and October 7, 2018. Departures exclusively for solo travellers also available on March 25 and October 28, 2018. Price includes return flights and transfers, VIP travel service, Saga tour manager, welcome drink reception, 13 nights in 3Q and 4Q hotels, 33 meals: 13 breakfasts, 11 lunches and 9 dinners, porterage, optional travel insurance and additional cancellation rights or a reduction if not required.

Saga has created four new ‘Time to’ holiday styles: Go for it, Stay & Explore, Discover and Unwind. Each style helps guests decide on a holiday that feels right for them. Caucasus Calling is Discover (Pace 2).

Editors notes:

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