ARMENIA – Haghpat Monastery, Lake Sevan – Sevanavank Monastery, Yeravan sightseeing tour – Garni Monastic Complex, Geghard Monastery – Local food market, Etchmiadzin Cathedral – Zvartnots Temple
DAY 01 SINGAPORE – LARNACA (CYPRUS)
Your vacation begins with a pleasant flight to the Larnaca, Cyprus
DAY 02 LARNACA – LIMASSOL
Welcome to Cyprus. Upon arrival, we shall transfer to the delightful city of Limassol. Discover the city of Limassol on our sightseeing today. Our tour will begin with a visit to the medieval Castle of Kolossi and the ancient Kingdom of Kourion. Thereafter, retire for the day.
DAY 03 LIMASSOL – LARNACA – PYLA – PARALIMNI
In the morning, continue our journey to Larnaca. Arrive and visit St. Lazarus Church, Pierides Museum and Kition. Lunch at the Palm Tree Promenade. Thereafter, continue to Paralimni via Pyla. Just inland from the coastal tourism bustle, Paralimni has a more local, lived-in feel than the seaside resorts and is the unofficial capital of the Ammochostos (Famagusta) district. The town sprawls beside a seasonal lake – from which it derives its name – while its core is centred on a large main square home to two fine churches.
Day tour to the Karpass Peninsula. The drive to the far eastern end of North Cyprus will traverse some exquisitely tranquil scenery where only sheep, goats and a solitary shepherd move in the landscape. During the tour, visits will be made to Iskele to visit the church and icon museum of the Panayia Theotokos, a beautifully decorated church with wall paintings dating from the 13th and 15th centuries. In the village of Sipahi, close to Yeni Erenkoy is the site of a Byzantine basilica where there is a beautifully preserved mosaic floor. Further on below the village of Dipkarpaz on the northern coastline is the site of Ayios Philon, here there is an opus sectile floor dating from the 5th C and the ruins of the later church erected in the 12th C. Built close to the old Roman harbour, it is only a short walk to investigate the remaining harbour moles and see where the iron ties clamped the cut stones together.
DAY 05 NICOSIA – ISTANBUL
After breakfast at the hotel, begin your tour by visiting the Venetian Walls, the Cathedral of St. John, the Byzantine Museum at the Archbishop’s Palace, and the Cyprus Archaeological Museum, with a fascinating collection of Cypriot antiquities and art treasures from the Neolithic Age to the Byzantine Period. Next, transfer to the airport for our flight to Istanbul.
DAY 06 ISTANBUL – YEREVAN (ARMENIA)
After breakfast, we shall transfer to the airport for our flight to Yerevan. Upon arrival, become familiar with the streets of Yerevan on a guided city tour. Established in 782 BC, Armenia’s capital is one of the oldest cities in the world. Nowadays it’s a lively city, where ancient culture is mixed with a modern lifestyle.
DAY 07 YERAVAN – MATENADARAN ECHMIADZIN – ZVARTNOTS – YEVERAN
Visit the Matenadaran, a depository of ancient manuscripts that contains historical documents from all over Europe and Asia. The building also holds the first copy of the Bible in Armenian. In the afternoon, depart for Echmiadzin, the spiritual center for all Armenians. The legend goes that the Echmiadzin Cathedral was designated in a vision where Christ came to Earth and struck the plains with a golden hammer. Return to Yerevan with a stop at the ruins of Zvartnots Temple, a stunning example of 7th century Armenian architecture. Return to the capital.
DAY 08 YERAVAN – GEGHARD – GARNI LAKE SEVAN – DILIJAN
After breakfast, move on to the village of Garni to visit the 1st century Garni Temple, built by the Armenian King Tiridates and dedicated to Mithra, the God of the Sun. Travel northeast of Garni, higher up the gorge of the Azat River, where there is a magnificent Geghard monastery. The UNESCO World Heritage Site is partly carved out of a mountain and surrounded by cliffs. Next, continue to drive to the reflective waters of Lake Sevan, nicknamed “The Pearl of Armenia”. Sevan is one of the largest fresh-water high-altitude lakes in the world. Visit the romantic Sevanavank Monastery, which overlooks the water on the Peninsula. Thereafter, drive to Dilijan.
DAY 09 DILIJAN – HAGHPAT – SADAKHLO – TBILISI (GEORGIA)
After breakfast, we shall start our tour in Dilijan, often refered to as the “Little Switzerland of Armenia’’. Dilijan’s central Sharambeyan Street has been preserved and maintained as a charming “old town”, complete with craftsman`s workshops, a gallery and a museum. Continue to visit Haghpat monastery, which is listed as a World Cultural Heritage Site by UNESCO. Haghpat stands as an example of one of the most outstanding works of medieval Armenian architecture. Next, drive to Tbilisi via Sadakhlo, a village at the Georgia-Armenia border. Stay overnight at a hotel in Tbilisi, Capital city of Georgia.
DAY 10 TBILISI – MTSKHETA – CHARDAKHI – TBILISI
Today, visit Mtskheta, the ancient capital and religious center of Georgia. See UNESCO Heritage Sites such as the 6th century Jvari Monastery and the impressive Svetitskhoveli Cathedral, where the Robe of Christ is purported to be buried. Afterwards, visit a wine cellar in the village of Chardakhi and taste unique BIO wines, produced using traditional Georgian methods. After lunch, we transfer back to Tbilisi and explore the capital of Georgia. Wander the old districts of the city, which are structured like terraces, and walk through the narrow streets to appreciate the colourful houses, patterned balconies and revamped modern architecture. Get to know the city on a walk beginning from the 13th-century Metekhi church, with its magnificent views over old Tbilisi, before visiting the main sights of the city. Next, enjoy panoramic views of the whole town and through the ancient Narikala fortress, then head to the historical domed sulphur bath area. Visit the stunning treasury of the Golden Fund at the historical museum (closed on Mondays), which will prove that Georgia is truly the land of the Golden Fleece.
DAY 11 TBILISI – SIGHNAGHI – GANJA
After breakfast at the hotel, drive to the beautiful 18th-century town of Sighnaghi, known for its quaint stone walls, small houses with terracotta roofs and decorated balconies. Admire the picturesque views of the Alazani Valley and Great Caucasus mountains. Next, continue to the Kakheti region, famous for its wine making and welcoming hospitality. From here, both the snowy Caucasus mountains and bountiful green valleys are visible. Visit a local family, explore the gardens and vineyards and then enjoy a lunch of delicious homemade food, wine and Georgian ‘Chacha’. Later, visit a 300-year-old Georgian wine cellar and taste Georgian wine produced using Qvevri, large earthenware pots. This method of wine making is protected on UNESCO’s heritage list and Georgian farmers have used this method for centuries. Continue to Lagodekhi on the Azerbaijan-Georgia border. Visit a traditional bazaar. From Lagodekhi, travel to Ganja. Tonight, we shall have our overnight stay in Ganja, Azerbaijan
DAY 12 GANJA – SHAMAKHI – GOBUSTAN – BAKU
This morning, Drive to Shamakhi. In its history, eleven major earthquakes have rocked Shamakhi but through multiple reconstructions it maintained its role as the economic and administrative capital of Shirvan and one of the key towns on the Silk Road. The only building to have survived eight of the eleven earthquakes is the landmark Juma Mosque of Shamakhi, built in the 10th century. Take a visit to the Juma Mosque. Next, continue to Gobustan and visit the open-air rock paintings museum, a UNESCO heritage site with its own archaeological museum before we continue to Baku for our overnight stay.
DAY 13 BAKU – ABSHERON PENISULA – BAKU
Salam eleykim! This morning, get to know Baku with a tour of the city, taking in a visit to the Old City, including time at Shemakha gate, Shirvanshahs` Palace, Maiden Tower, Old Market Square and the Carpet Museum. Bring a camera as there will be panoramic views of Baku’s skyline to enjoy. Afterwards head out on a tour of the Absheron Peninsula, visiting the Ateshgah fire temple, Mardakan medieval fortress and the eternally burning Yanardagh fire mountain. Return to Baku in the evening.
DAY 14 BAKU – SINGAPORE
Free at leisure till transfer to airport for flight back to Singapore.
DAY 15 SINGAPORE
Arrive in Singapore with sweet and fond memories of your Europe Tour with Super-Travels.
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