Armenia, Azerbaijan, Caucasus, Georgia
11 Days
all Seasons, Autumn, Spring, Summer, Winter

Caucasus Astronomy Tour 11 Days

Astronomy tour

Join Sky & Telescopes in Caucasus Astronomy Tour

In this astronomy tour, we’ll visit the world’s oldest observatories founded in early 30-40-ies (Shemakhy Astrophysical Observatory, Azerbaijan; Abastumani Astrophysical Observatory, Georgia; Byurakan Observatory, Armenia), see breathtaking landscapes, and observe the crystal-clear night sky. During this tour you will enter a totally different world and you will get unique and unforgettable emotions.

Caucasus Astronomy Tour inclusions & exclusions


Comfortable A/C bus or other transport of your choice.

Accommodation in TWIN rooms:

9 nights twin room accommodation at the four star Hotels in Baku, Shemakha, Sheki, Tbilisi and 1 night twin room accommodation at three star hotel in Akhaltsikhe.

Catering service:

Full board catering service (breakfast, lunch and dinner served in the best restaurants)(Exclude for solo travelers)

Guide service:

English speaking guide service for whole the trip (Exclude for solo travelers)


Entrance fees and local guides, and 1 bottles of mineral water without gas per person per day

Any international flights are not included in the tour price. You can organize your flights separately at any point, or book your flight with us, or simply contact us.
Travel insurance is not include in the tour price. You can organize travel insurance with your preferred insurance company. We offer World Nomads, a company recommended by “Lonely Planet”, “Intrepid Travel” and many other travel specialists. You can check out the details here.
Single room supplement
Alcoholic beverages
Service except described

Additional information

Choose the group size2, 3, 4, 5, 6


DAY 1.Arrival at Baku. Airport pickup and transfer to the hotel. Overnight in Baku.


DAY 2.Baku – Shemakha.

Start exploring Baku with visiting of “Old Town” or “Inner City”. The 22-ha territory of Inner City is a small fraction of the total area of Baku (44,000 ha). However, the concentration of architectural and historical monuments dictates the need for this excursion into a separate and make this part of Baku perhaps the most interesting to explore. The Maiden Tower (XII century), Palace of Shirvanshakhs (XV century), Castle Synyk Gala, Caravan Saray, Juma Mosque – this is not a complete list of attractions of the old Baku.

Arrival in Shemakha. Check-in at hotel.

Dinner at hotel.

Tour of the observatory including visit to telescope towers, short lecture and a night telescope viewing session if the weather conditions will give us this opportunity. Overnight in Shemakha.


DAY 3.Shemakha - Sheki.

Visit to Diri Baba Tomb and Yeddi Gumbez in Shemakha. Shemakha was the capital of Shirvan Kingdom for several centuries. Yeddi Gumbez (The Seven Cupolas) Mausoleum is the burial place for members of the royal families of the Shirvan shahs.

Drive to Sheki. Sheki is one of the most famous and ancient places of Azerbaijan. Situated 700 m (2297 ft.) above sea level like an amphitheater surrounded by the mountains and forests of oak trees, this ancient city was long famed as a silk center and an important stop on the Great Silk Route. There is an assumption that the name of the town goes back to the ethnonym of the Saks, who reached the territory of Azerbaijan in the 7th century BC. We’ll start our Sheki tour from visiting the 18th century Khan’s summer palace with magnificent frescos and exquisite stained glass work. The Sheki History museum is famous with artifacts from several periods. Overnight in Sheki.


DAY 4.Sheki - Lagodekhi.

Visit to Bazaar and drive to the Azerbaijan – Georgia border in Lagodekhi.

The border formalities, transport and guide change.

Lunch at a local farmhouse where you will taste home-cooked dishes and drink Georgian wine being stored in clay jugs buried in the ground.

Drive to the beautiful city of Signagi that is city fortress with amazing views of the Caucasus Mountains. Visit to the Signagi Ethnographic Museum and the Bodbe monastery complex that was founded in the 4th century. Taste delicious Georgian cuisine and local wines. In the evening, arrival at Tbilisi and overnight stay at hotel.


DAY 5. Tbilisi sightseeing tour / overnight Tbilisi.

You will explore Tbilisi during a half-day city tour with your guide. With historic highlights, culinary delights and local interaction, this tour offers a unique insight into Georgia’s capital. You will be able to take a glance to the history of the city from early centuries to nowadays by walking in narrow streets and explore its religious and secular architecture- churches, synagogues, mosques as well as famous 19th century wooden multicolored balconies and 4th century Narikala castle. Lunch and dinner will be provided at café and restaurant located in the old part of Tbilisi where you will be able to taste delicious Georgian cuisine and wines. The rest of day will be at leisure.


DAY 6. Mtskheta – Gori – Borjomi - Akhaltsikhe.

After a breakfast at hotel, you will drive to Akhaltsikhe (approximately 3 hrs.) that was founded at least 800 years ago, and was a regional administrative center for the Ottomans from the 16th century up to the Russian-Turkish War. On the way to Akhaltsikhe, we may stop at the ancient capital and religious center of Georgia – Mtskheta (3000 years old) and see its historical sites: Jvari monastery (6th century) and Svetitskhoveli cathedral (11th century) where it is said that Christ’s shroud is buried. Both Jvari and Svetitskhoveli are UNESCO World Heritage sites. We may also visit Uplistsikhe Cave Town-Fortress which history begins in the I-II millennium B.C. or Stalin’s museum in Gori. Lunch will be provided in Gori or Borjomi.

Check-in at Akhaltsikhe’s hotel. Afterwards, a tour to the 13th century Rabat Fortress that is a mix of different religions and architecture. In the evening, a dinner will be provided at the hotel.


DAY 7. Akhaltsikhe – Abastumani Observatory - Akhaltsikhe.

This full day tour will take you to Abastumani (approximately 30 min. from Akhaltsikhe) and give you a deeper insight into the astronomy in Georgia at the Georgian National Astrophysical Observatory. At observatory, you will learn about its history and scientific achievements at the observatory museum and visit its professional telescopes such as 125-cm Reflector, 70-cm Meniscus Telescope, 40-cm Double Astrograph, 44-cm Schmidt Telescope, and 48-cm Reflector. Afterwards, before a dinner, you will have an opportunity to wander around the observatory territory with your guide to take photos and enjoy its picturesque landscape. Later, in the evening, a resident astronomer will  share with you basic concepts of the universe, the Milky Way, important stars, and solar system and explain what you will  able to observe with the naked eye and through the telescope on that night. Later, at night, a transfer to Akhaltsikhe.


DAY 8. Akhaltsikhe – Khertvisi – Vardzia - Yerevan.

After a breakfast at the hotel, a tour to the 2nd century B.C. Khertvisi Fortress, once destroyed by Alexander the Great and a cave monastery Vardzia, the caves of which stretch along the cliff for some five hundred meters and in up to nineteen tiers and which area is believed to be first inhabited during the Bronze Age. Lunch will be provided at one of Vardzia’s guesthouses. Depart for Yerevan.

After meeting with the Armenian guide, you move forward to Yerevan – the hospitable capital of Armenia. Brief city tour in Yerevan with visiting world-famous Yerevan Brandy Factory and tasting Armenian Brandy.

Welcome dinner at a local restaurant with tasting Armenian dishes and drinks.


DAY 9. Yerevan – Geghard (UNESCO) – Garni – Byurakan Observatory – Yerevan.

In the morning the coach takes you to Geghard Monastic Complex located on the mountainside of the almost closed amphitheater of harsh cliffs. It is famous for its rock-cut architecture. Thanks to its hard-to-reach area, the Holy Lance which pierced the side of Christ has been kept here for 500 years. St. Thaddeus Apostle brought it to Armenia in 33 AD. In honor of the Holy Lance, Ayrivank Monastery (meaning “Cave Monastery”) was renamed Geghart (the Armenian translation of “the Holy Lance”).

On the way you stop at Charents Arch to enjoy the majestic view of the Biblical Mount Ararat. The next highlight is the only standing pagan temle in Armenia – Garni, devoted to Mihr, who, in accordance with the Armenian Mythology, was the God of the Sun. From here you will enjoy the impressive view of breathtaking high cliffs called “Symphony in the stone”.

An unforgettable experience is waiting for you in Garni village – you can take part in a real ritual of baking national “lavash” bread with local villagers. Enjoy the open-air lunch.

In the afternoon there will be organized a special excursion and a course on the territory of Byurakan observatory. You can visit 260 sm. Reflector, 100 sm. Schmidt telescope and other small telescopes.  If the weather permits you can observe the most interesting and beautiful space objects on the night sky.

Dinner on the Observatory territory.


DAY 10. Yerevan – Etchmiadzin (UNESCO) – Lake Sevan – Tbilisi.

In the morning you move forward to the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin – the spiritual        center of   the Armenian Apostolic Church and the seat of the Supreme Patriarch and the Catholicos of all Armenians. Numerous kings and Catholicoses have been crowned and consecrated here. When Noah emerged from the Ark in the Ararat Valley, he built an altar of sacrifice in the place where the Mother Cathedral is now standing and offered a sacrifice. St. Gregory the Illuminator chose the location of the 4th C Mother Cathedral in accordance with the vision he had. In his dream, he saw the Miatsin (meaning “the Only Begotten Son of God”) with glittering light on his face descending from the Heaven and with a golden hammer striking the ground where the Mother Cathedral of Holy Etchmiadzin was to be located. Hence, Etchmiadzin means “the place, where the Only Begotten Son of God descended”. It’s time to drive to one of the highest fresh-water lakes in the world – the Sevan (1 900m).  From the top of Sevan Peninsula you can admire the full view of the lake of volcano-tectonic origin and the adjacent mountain chains.  Taste delicious fish just at a shore side restaurant. Drive through the wooded mountains of the Dilijan National Park and deep gorges of Northern regions.

Say goodbye to Armenia and continue your route to travel within Georgia.

You will drive to Tbilisi. Check-in at a hotel, Tbilisi sightseeing tour, dinner at a restaurant in Tbilisi, transfer to a hotel.


DAY 11. Departure from Tbilisi..

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