Between Two Capitals: A Journey to Cave Towns & Mountain Villages

The warm, green countries of Georgia and Armenia are full of fruitful valleys and saw-toothed mountains.  Walk through river-cut canyons, explore magnificent cave towns, enter medieval fortress towers of stacked stone and visit the mountain homes of the Svan people.

13 Day Trip

13 Day Trip

Overview Itinerary

MIR Signature Experiences on this Tour
  • Refresh yourself with Borjomi’s world-famous mineral spring water
    Refresh yourself with a bottle of Borjomi’s world-famous mineral spring water – fresh at the source....
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  • Meet local villagers and breathe in the alpine air of Europe’s highest village
    Meet local villagers and breathe in the alpine air of Ushguli, the highest village in Europe, whose stacked stone medieval watchtowers are included in the...
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  • Marvel at the manuscripts at one of the world’s oldest book depositories
    Marvel at the reverence for the written word at one of the world’s oldest book depositories ...
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  • See all the way to Turkey from Khor Virap
    Admire the incredible panorama of snow-capped Mt. Ararat looming over the vineyards and the little stone monastery of Khor Virap....
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Why Travel with MIR on this Tour
  • Over 30 years of South Georgia travel experience
  • MIR’s small group tours Eastern Turkey and Georgia: Legacy of Empire and Georgia & Armenia: Mountains & Monasteries were honored as “Tours of a Lifetime,” by National Geographic Traveler
  • Travel programs such as Tufts and Harvard have chosen MIR to guide them to Georgia
  • Twice named one of National Geographic Adventure’s “Best Adventure Travel Companies on Earth”
  • On-the-ground support and quality you can trust
  • Personalized travel planning from start to finish
  • Guides and tour managers that clients rave about
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Itinerary & Highlights at a Glance

Days 1-4: Yerevan, Garni, Geghard, Echmiadzin, Khor Virap, Bavra

From Armenia’s capital, Yerevan, visit the pagan Temple of Garni and the UNESCO-listed monastery of Geghard. Explore Khor Virap in the shadow of dramatic Mt. Ararat, and Echmiadzin, the country’s religious center. Pay a visit to 10th century Khertvisi Fortress at Bavra with its secret tunnels.


  • Armenia’s capital city, Yerevan, older than Rome
  • The Matenadaran, one of the world’s oldest book depositories
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Days 5-6: Vardzia, Akhaltsikhe, Borjomi

Explore the imposing cave town of Vardzia with its frescoes and surviving monastic chambers. Wander Akhaltsikhe's Old Town and imagine life in Silk Road days. Visit the spa town of Borjomi and sample its famous waters.


  • Vardzia, ancient cave town transformed into a monastery
  • 9th century Silk Road town of Akhaltsikhe
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Days 7-9: Svaneti Region

Venture to remote Svaneti, known for its massive tower architecture and proud mountain people, with their white and black wool hats dense enough to drink from. Hike and enjoy the hospitality of villagers in Ushguli.


  • UNESCO-listed Svaneti region with medieval stone watchtowers
  • Spectacular views in Enguri River Canyon
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Days 10-13: Kutaisi, Tbilisi

Enjoy views of the Imereti region with its spicy foods, crisp wines, and friendly inhabitants. Dine with locals in Kutaisi, home to the UNESCO-listed Gelati Monastery. Explore Georgia's vibrant capital, Tbilisi, and its well-preserved Old Town, architecture, and sulfur baths.


  • Kutaisi, capital of Georgia from 978 until 1122, and site of Jason’s mythical quest for the Golden Fleece
  • Lunch with artists at Art Villa Garikula
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See Dates & Prices for more details or to see suggested extensions.

Download Detailed Itinerary
Tour Dates & Prices
Trip Length: 13 Days

Land Tour Price, Per Person
based on double occupancy

  • 2 Traveler Minimum $5,395
  • Single Supplement $875

2020 Dates

Your Choice of Dates
Start on a Thursday

Recommended months of travel:

  • July,  
  • August,  
  • September,  
  • October,  
  • FROM
  • $5,395
  • Min 2 Travelers
Trip Length: 13 Days

Land Tour Price, Per Person
based on double occupancy

  • Traveler Minimum $5,495
  • Single Supplement $895

2021 Dates

Your Choice of Dates
Start on a Thursday

Recommended months of travel:

  • April,  
  • May,  
  • June,  
  • July,  
  • August,  
  • September,  
  • October,  
  • FROM
  • $5,495
  • Min Travelers

Group Size

Pricing is based on a minimum of 2 travelers on this trip.  Call for solo trip pricing.

Private trip prices vary by season and are subject to hotel availability for your travel dates.  Hotel upgrades, additional nights and solo traveler prices are available on request.

What’s Included

On Your Tour

  • Shared accommodations in well-located four star hotels in Yerevan, Borjomi and Tbilisi, and guesthouses in Kutaisi and Mestia.
  • 12 breakfasts, 10 lunches, and 9 dinners.  A few lunches or dinners are not included so that you may enjoy a chance to dine on your own.
  • Restaurant tips for included meals.
  • Services of experienced, English-speaking local guides, drivers and other staff.
  • One arrival and one departure transfer. (Additional arrival and departure transfers available at additional cost.)  MIR will arrange for travelers to be met upon arrival and seen off on departure, whether we make your air arrangements or not.
  • Ground transportation throughout itinerary by private vehicle (size of vehicle depends on group size).
  • Guided sightseeing tours and entrance fees as outlined in itinerary.

Before Your Tour

  • Personalized pre-departure support from one of our knowledgeable Tour Specialists.
  • Complete pre-departure information including detailed packing list, reading list, insurance information.
  • Touring with MIR handbook with country-specific information, maps, and travel tips.
  • Assistance booking your custom flight arrangements (on request; please note that international airfare is not included in the land tour cost).
  • Final document packet including a travel journal, luggage tags, final updates, and more.
Download Detailed Itinerary
Prepare for Your Trip

International Airfare

MIR's in-house, full-service air department will gladly assist with your air travel needs.

More Info

Reading List

MIR recommends reading up before you leave home. So settle back in your armchair with some of our favorite books about our favorite places.

More Info


Most MIR programs require one or more visas, and each visa requires a completely blank page in your passport. Visa information for this particular tour is listed in the Detailed Descriptive Itinerary.

More Info

Travel Insurance

Stay a Little Longer…

You may wish to extend your travels by adding another program before or after this tour. MIR can arrange for a pre-tour extension to Shoushi, Armenia, or a post-tour extension to Baku in Azerbaijan, Moscow or St. Petersburg in Russia, or elsewhere in Europe at the conclusion of your tour. All of MIR’s destinations are open to you, and all can be attached to this program. Please contact MIR for more details about exciting options for extended travel.

Or, choose from one of these suggested itineraries:

Is this Trip Right for You?

This Flexible Essential program is designed to be adventurous, but also comfortable for travel in this region. Accommodations will vary from four star hotels to basic guesthouses. Services are improving in the region; however, you may encounter problems with plumbing, bureaucratic service, road conditions, unpaved sidewalks, uneven surfaces and steps, and availability of public restrooms.

A full list of details about the rigors of this tour are explained in the Detailed Descriptive Itinerary.

Read our Travel Journals

MIR's Travel Journals offer first hand accounts of MIR's fascinating destinations.

  • Treasures of the South Caucasus: Through Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan

    Treasures of the South Caucasus: Through Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan

    Follow along with MIR Corporation Tour Manager Devin Mitchell as she accompanies MIR clients on MIR's Treasures of the South-Caucasus small group tour.... Read More

  • Essential Uzbekistan Travel Journal

    Essential Uzbekistan Travel Journal

    A MIR traveler set out with her traveling companion on our Essential Uzbekistan program, where they enjoyed the sites and crafts of Tashkent, Samarkand, Bukhara and Khiva as well as the many fabulous fabrics, carpets, tilework and adornments she found there. Take the journey along with her as you read her fascinating comments on this adventure.... Read More

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