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  • Reviewed July 2019
    Hannah M

    A nice holiday in a beautiful region

    This is an enjoyable trip to a beautiful region. There is a combination of stunning mountain scenery, church architecture, and an overview of the history of these two interesting countries. It's a comfortable trip with decent hotels, nice transport, and not too much waking (although it would not be a good option for travellers with limited mobility). The days, particularly in Georgia, are long and there isn't much 'downtime'.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    My favourite places were the monasteries of Sevanovank, Norovank and Haghpat in Armenia. The Armenian scenery in particular is really impressive.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    The trip has two leaders, one for Georgia, one for Armenia. Both were very competent and well organised and ensured the trip ran smoothly throughout.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    There are lots of long drives. These are on good roads in a comfortable bus so aren't difficult, but take something to do e.g. a book or ipod. The walk up to the Gergeti monastery is steep on rough paths and requires a small amount of scrambling. I managed it despite being unfit (but otherwise physically able), but it's not one for people with limited mobility. The walk itself doesn't really offer much in terms of things to see, it's just about the physical challenge and exercise, so don't worry about missing out if you're not sure. The penultimate day finishes mid afternoon so you get free time in Tbilisi afterwards - this is most useful if you travel when the days are longest. The last full day is very long and we didn't get back until nearly 10pm, so don't expect to do anything then. However the most common flights used don't leave until late afternoon so you do get the morning free on the day you go home.
  • Reviewed July 2019
    Stephen Gilbert

    Very interesting, and lots of churches

    A pair of countries from the deep beginnings of world Christianity. Early architecture predominantly religious based is the mainstay of the holiday. However it’s easy to look beyond this at the beautiful landscapes, friendly people, tasty food and vibrant towns & cities

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I was surprised and enjoyed thoroughly the cities of Yerevan and Tibilisi

    What did you think of your group leader?

    We had 2 group leaders. Rafik for Armenia and Nino for Georgia. Both leaders were different. Rafik was not religious and concentrated on the art and history of the buildings. He ran a tight ship and everything was like clockwork. His country was very leisurely and relaxed. The walks were very easy. The older travelers found him to be quite charming. Nino in Georgia was organised but lead the trip through the tougher stage of strict dress codes in churches and more walking with many stairs. Some travelers found this a bit tough. I think as she was religious some of the groups slack adherence to dress code and behaviour did frustrate her a bit, and frustrated some of the group too. I will mention more below.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Packing for trips is tricky and not knowing a dress code is confusing. Most churches have an English rule guide or a pictorial poster outside explains how to dress in their venues. In Armenia it was less strict. For men and ladies No shorts above knee and no vests. Ladies cover head with scarf. In Georgia men’s rules are exactly as Armenia. And sometimes there was a sarong/skirt at a rack by church door for you to wear. But not many so don’t rely on it. For ladies in Georgia churches. No shorts above knee, no vests, no trousers, jeans or leggings. But you could put a skirt or sarong over top (locals carried sarong with them to cover leg wear when they popped into pray). Behaviour in churches should be respectful. Please don’t photograph or film on your phone, people praying, having blessings, monks or priests. Take pictures of the building and frescoes and don’t interfere with locals going about their religious practice. It seems obvious but on holiday many tourists seem to forget their manners.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    In Yerevan there is a musical fountain display every night 9-11. Very popular with locals and good atmosphere. We thoroughly enjoyed it. In Tbilisi there are big queues for cable car about 1 hour before sunset. But it’s worth it. You need a travel card loaded with credit for cable car and underground. And to save 60 pence you can buy one travel card between a group and pass it back as you tap in. It’s normal, most people do that. Carry a Sarong for churches that way if it’s hot you can wear shorts. And we went in June and the meadow flowers and poppies were beautiful. Most importantly enjoy the trip.
  • Reviewed July 2019
    Margaret Clower

    Highlights of Georgia & Armenia

    An excellent introduction to both countries that left me wanting to investigate them further.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Several of the monasteries were truly breath-taking and exuded a sense of history and devotion. Listening to small choir singing in one was wonderful. The scenery could have been taken from a geography textbook.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Both the leaders were good but the knowledge of architecture and cultural history of Armenia shown by Rafik really added to the tour.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared for some long journeys and not spending as much time in some sites as you might like and be prepared for 4 seasons in 1 day. Don't bother with water purification tablets (as per trip notes) - they are not required!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The food in both countries is wonderful!
  • Reviewed June 2019
    Clare Phillips

    A trip of 2 halves

    Loved Armenia, Georgia itinerary needs improvement

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Everything in Armenia was beautiful.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Rafik in Armenia was amazing. The group leader in Georgia did not give enough information about timings, did not organise vegetarian main courses for the vegetarian as the starters which are plentiful are mainly vegetarian.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Make sure you book in on line and print your boarding pass to avoid a fee on checking in at Gatwick. Be prepared for your check in luggage to be broken in to. 3 out of 11 of our group had their bags opened and rifled through. Get a customs lock so they don’t cut the lock. Consider getting your bag wrapped. You do not need water purification tablets. Bottled water is supplied and easily available. Day 13 is a at least 12 hours so have your last dinner together the day before. Get the jeep as the alpine walk is hard work.
  • Reviewed June 2019
    Gill Stratton

    Armenia Georgia and Azerbaijan

    The whole trip was really interesting and the timetable excellent and well organised. Breakfast at 8am and off at 9am The transport was very comfortable with excellent drivers and guides It was nice to have a trip where very many of the meals were included, unlike the usual breakfast only I felt that I had a very good overlook of the country I was disappointed on the overnight train to Azerbaijan. It was old and continually stopped all the time. The distance from Tblisi is just over 450 miles and took over 13 hours. Why could we not have gone on the modern Stadler trains which we saw all the time. I would happily have paid more to have done this

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I found the whole trip inspirational I didn’t know what to expect and felt that I know much more now Glad I added on the extension to Azerbaijan as it was totally unexpected with wonderful buildings and not Just the old town

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Guides were superb. Rafik in Armenia was excellent with unsurpassed knowledge. We all loved his humor and sense of fun Nino in Georgia was very knowledgeable and gave us a really good insight to the country Aida in Azerbaijan was also excellent with knowledge and even if she didn’t eat with us came to the restaurants to help us select Can honestly say three of the best guides ever

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    A really good trip and super I sight into the three countries. Do add on Azerbaijan as well worth the visit

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Most of the hotels were very good except for the two in the mountains. Very much ski hotels and a bit faded and needing refurbishment It would be good to remind the guides that when traveling on the coaches the clients should be reminded to swap around the coach. We did have two people for the whole trip who hogged the two front seats every time and country and nothing was said. It can be awkward for the others on the coach to bring it up I did find this unusual as have always been used to swapping around on other trips
  • Reviewed October 2018
    Roselle Beard

    Three wonderful countries not to be missed

    Don't wait to visit Armenia, Georgia and Azerbaijan. Now is the time. This very interesting and thorough tour covering a large geographical area gives an in-depth experience into each of these three former Soviet republics. In Armenia, one travels from Yerevan in the centre, then south, back to Lake Sevan and on to the north to the cross the border. In Georgia, from Tbilisi, one radiates out from the capital to the North, West, East and South. In Azerbaijan, which is only for two days only Baku and a small area around can be covered. The only downside was a lot of coach travel albeit extremely comfortable as we had a 51 seater for 14 of us! I loved Armenia the best with Yerevan and its lovely Republic square, the brown dry barren scenic hills to the south, the vast expanse of Lake Sevan and the complete change of scenery to the north where it was green trees and UK type countryside. For me this trip, semi-completed a journey started three years ago. As in 2016, I visited the Baltic countries, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. Then in 2017, three of the five Stans - Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan. And finally this trip. It is so interesting being able to look back and reflect on the difference between these countries, each one of which appears to be at a different developmental stage. What I notice the most having visited all nine, is the effect of their geographical location, the West to East/Europe to Asia influence on their individual progress, along with their proximity to their friendly or not-so-friendly neighbours. I would definitely recommend visiting these three and some of the other former Soviet republics as the more you see the more one starts to understand their history.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    In Armenia, the food and wine was amazing and tasted as food should. Each day we stopped for lunch at a small out of the way restaurant in a picturesque location and were experted dined to wonderful fresh salads, BBQ trout or meat along with freshly cooked lavash (flatbread). In Georgia, taking the cable car in Tbilisi just before sunset up to the fort and then having a beer in a small café overlooking the city all lit up.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    All three group leaders were amazing. In Armenia, we had Rafik whose command of English was outstanding. As was his ability to impart in-depth knowledge about his beloved country. In Georgia, we had Nino who was equally good at imparting knowledge about her country and its numerous churches along with their saints. Then in Azerbaijan, Rizwan. We only had him for a short time, two days but he also excelled in his knowledge delivery.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    For ladies, do take dresses and skirts. In Armenia and Georgia in late September/early October, it was warm, in the late 20C or early 30C with beautiful warm sunny days. I realise that most Exodus travellers wear trousers, but if you like wearing summer frocks, this would be your opportunity. You may be concerned about the churches but as long as your dress/skirt is at least below the knee you will be fine. For quite a few churches in Georgia, ladies without skirts had to don one from a basket at the church door! In fact this statement goes for all nine of the former Soviet republics, where you can wear exactly the same clothes as the UK. I made a big mistake when travelling to the Stans, as I thought ladies would have to cover up, long sleeves, long dresses but it’s not true. Also do think about taking sandals both for ladies and men. Some of the men on the trip were very envious that I had my walking sandals as they mentioned they wished they had brought theirs. If you want some presents, look out for the lovely pale blue moonstone jewellery. You can find these both in Armenia and Georgia. They make lovely presents. Also when visiting Signagi in Georgia, do venture up the main street and over the top, through an arch towards the city walls where there are a couple of shops selling cotton rugs (very similar to kilims) in beautiful colours and designs and ever so cheap. I bought two, one 4’ x 2 1/2’ for £5 and the other 3’ x 2’ for £3. I wish I’d bought more as they make great bedside rugs. Do seriously consider the Azerbaijan extension, which although being very expensive for what turned out to be only two full days touring, was certainly extremely worthwhile as it did complete the story between the three countries.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Go now before things change too much. Georgia is on the waiting list to join the EU; Armenia elected a new prime minister in May 2018 who they hope will provide them with a brighter future; Azerbaijan has a massive building programme to increase tourism. They have been advised that oil will run out by the end of the century, and they need to provide the country with an alternative source of income.
  • Reviewed October 2018
    Nadine Harrison

    Hope you like churches and monasteries but skip the extension!

    Fortunately, the multitude of ancient churches and monasteries were sited in spectacular scenery so even if they began to merge in your memory, it was worth it for the view! Armenia and Georgia are poor developing countries still coming to terms with their history and feeling like they are still not settled because of their neighbours. Both guides were excellent for their ability to give knowledgeable information about the countries and in their attention to detail and caring approach to the group. Lovely people! I was very disappointed in the extension to Azerbaijan which was relatively expensive and, despite being billed as a 4 day extension, was really 2 days- day 1 was day 14 of the main trip with an overnight sleeper from Tbilisi which was uncomfortable, noisy and rattly stopping any chance of an adequate sleep. The land crossing took 2-3 hours in 2 parts in the middle of the night- a flight would have been better so that we could have arrived on 'day 1', had a nights sleep in a hotel and arisen refreshed for an intensive 2 day tour. Day 4 began at 1am when we had to leave for flights back to the UK. The hotel was very basic, only just adequate, and the guide was mediocre being more interested in decrying Armenia and Russia than in talking about Baku and the country. I would advise against taking this extension in its present form.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Spectacular scenery and views of the snow capped Causcasus mountains at Gergeti Monastery after a hard slog up 480 metres to the site.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Georgia and Armenia guides were both great. Azerbaijan guide was not.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Don't bother with the Azerbaijan extension in its current form- see above.
  • Reviewed October 2018
    Tracy White

    Armenia nd Georgia are excellent destinations

    I was pleasantly surprised by Armenia and Georgia. Bot countries far exceeded my expectations for them. People are friendly. Prices are cheap by western European and American standards. The scenery is beautiful. Our hotels were nice.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I'm not a religious person, but I actually very much enjoyed visiting the numerous churches and monasteries.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    The leaders in both countries were excellent. It was Nona in Armenia and Sophia in Georgia. Both ladies were intelligent and friendly, and everything flowed smoothly which made the trip a nice experience.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared for some long days in the bus and be prepared to see many churches and monasteries along the way. The scenery is nice, and I never grew tired of looking at it.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I'd skip the Azerbaijan extension at the end of the trip as it's VERY overpriced for such a short amount of time. The destination itself is fine, but the advertising is a bit misleading. It's not a 4 day extension as we were in Baku for under 48 hours. We only arrived at 9:30am on Day 2. Most of us had flights around 4am on Day 4.
  • Reviewed June 2018
    Keiko Tanioka-Man

    Memorable trip

    Cathedrals, Temples, Churches, Monasteries, ruins scatter over beautiful ‘picturesque’ landscape of rolling green hills and mountain top, and a view of Mount Ararat or Mount Kazbek, ahhh… Well organized itinerary. I thoroughly enjoyed the trip with a company of like minded, well traveled and mature people from various countries.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Karahunj (Zorats Karer) - the Armenian Stonehenge (Yey)!!! and walk up to Gergeti Trinity Church in Georgia, definitely.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Well organized and knowledgeable in many respects. They love their respective countries and enthusiastic to introduce us their land with pride. They both looked after us so professionally, even though they both very young. Armenian guide (Rafik) is a young man of intelligence and made us smile with witty sense of humor. Thanks for taking us to Karahunj (was in my bucket list last few decades, accomplished!), afternoon tea at Molokan Village, Lavash bread making demo. Georgian guide (Nino) is always cordial with beautiful smile. Thanks for ‘Daily Reminder’ each night so that we can prepare for what to expect the following day. You somehow managed not to lose any of us during the walk to/from Gergeti Trinity Church!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Bring your own scarf for ladies and long pants for gents esp. in Georgia. If you forget, you may be able to borrow at the entrance of churches free of charge. Bring comfortable walking shoes. Always ask if you can take photo before you enter the religious monuments. If you like history and cultural experience, briefly research where you are going to visit beforehand so that you can enjoy and appreciate it more. Both countries were cross-road of many different cultures, religions and empires along the silk roads over the centuries, made them uniquely distinct place with beautiful scenery.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    During the border crossing (from Armenia to Georgia), the coach bus carried our luggage up to the border of Georgia so that we did not have to drag our luggage and walk. The Armenian Guide accompanied us up to the entrance of Georgia to make sure we all crossed boarder safely, which was indeed very nice. Thanks to our drivers, Artak in Armenia and Nika in Georgia for driving safely to take us to our destinations each day; especially through narrow and sometimes winding road very skillfully. People make country and leave lasting impression, after all. My gratitude also goes to local tour companies – Sabera Tours in Armenia and Caucasus Travel in Georgia for sound operation of tours. Hope Karahunj (Armenian Stone Henge) makes it into itinerary – this place is too precious to skip. I already miss Lavash with cheese and herbs, ‘Churchkhela’(Dried Candy) and ‘khachapuri’(Cheese Pie)!!
  • Reviewed June 2018
    Gillian Forbes

    Religious and religious historical highlights of Georgia and Armenia

    This trip is only really suitable for devout Christians or religious and historical architecture scholars, there is so much emphasis on ancient churches, monasteries, cathedrals etc. and the details of their contents. There are many long drives, and very little free time to enjoy the beautiful scenery and/or wildlife. Tbilisi is wonderful and certainly worth the journey

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Tbilisi

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Leader in Armenia was very organised, spoke impeccable English, seemed genuinely caring for the group Leader in Georgia was enthusiastic, clearly loved Georgia but was not quite so good at keeping to the time or keeping a check on all the group Both leaders tended to lecture for too long on the religious/ history/ architecture of every building we entered

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Don't expect too much apart from religious buildings and long journeys to access them

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Both countries offer good value for money, food, wine and beer all inexpensive

    Reply from Exodus

    Reply from Exodus

    We would like to thank Gillian for her feedback, although we regret that she did not enjoy her time in Georgia and Armenia. We appreciate that there are many religious buildings to see whilst travelling these countries, this is due to their cultural heritage and these are all detailed in the trip notes. We find most clients enjoy the balance between historical and current-day cultural experiences; however we are genuinely sorry that Gillian’s experience was not so positive. We will discuss with the local manager if we can include any further local, interactive activities.

    Marta Marinelli – Product Manager for Georgia & Armenia

Call us on 056 631 86 64