Last Modified: 06 Aug 2014
Azerbaijan, Georgia & Armenia
Trip code: CPKC
Validity: 01 Jan 2014 to 31 Dec 2014
The Caucasus region of Central Asia holds a wealth of unexplored territories. Wedged between two seas, surrounded by Europe's largest mountain range and straddling two continents, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Armenia are home to some extraordinarily beautiful scenery and incredibly hospitable people. Journey from the fascinating Old City of Baku in Azerbaijan through the quaint towns and glorious hillsides of Georgia before finishing the adventure in Armenia's laidback capital, Yerevan. Mixing isolated villages, populous capital cities, ancient castles, breathtaking vistas, abundant natural resources and a flashy nouveau riche, this region of Caucasia offers up a variety of surprising contrasts, fascinating sights and stunning landscapes.
Warning - this is a new trip for us!
While we have thoroughly researched this area to put together this trip, it still must be remembered that this is a relatively new trip for us. To be frank, we expect some things to go wrong. When we head to new destinations, we usually find there are more pleasant surprises in store than unpleasant ones, but the warning is sincere. If it concerns you then we recommend that you wait for a year until we get any bugs ironed out.
This trip is run by our experienced sister company Peregrine Adventures. Your group is therefore likely to be a mixture of Intrepid passengers and other like-minded international travellers.
Table of Contents
- Comfort is your style of travel if you want the whole grassroots experience with more inclusions, meals and creature comforts. While accommodation is predominantly tourist class (3-4 star), on some itineraries there is the opportunity to stay with a local family, spend the night on a train or camp out in exotic places (without putting up your own tent of course). Along the way, you'll really experience the destination up close. You'll mingle with locals, enjoy a taste of their way of life and gain special insights from your leader. This is not luxury travel, but real world experiences - just with a softer landing!
Days 1-3 Baku
On arrival in Baku you will be met by one of our representatives once you’ve passed through immigration, then transferred to your hotel.
In the evening you will meet your tour leader and the other group members for a pre-tour briefing. This will be followed by an optional group dinner at a local restaurant.
On Day 2 you will start a Baku city tour with a panoramic view of Baku. You will visit the Old City including Shemakha Gate, Palace of the Shirvanshahs, Maiden Tower, caravanserai, the old market square, and the Carpet Museum. You will than do a tour of the Absheron Peninsula, where you will visit Ateshgah Fire Temple, Mardakan medieval fortress and Yanar Dag Fire Mountain, before returning to Baku.
Drive to Qobustan on Day 3, stopping en route to view the amazing collection of old oil rigs. Upon arrival in Qobustan, you will visit the open-air museum, featuring UNESCO World Heritage listed rock engravings. You will also have the opportunity to see the on-site archaeological museum before returning to Baku.
- Baku - Guided city tour
- Baku - Maiden's Tower
- Baku - Shirvan Shakh Palace
- Baku - Carpet Museum
- Baku - Caravanserai
- Qobustan - Petroglyphs
Central Park Hotel or similar (3 nts)
Day 4 Sheki
You will leave Baku today, and depart for the Caucasus Mountains in the northwest of Azerbaijan. You will notice that the arid landscape gives way to a densely forested mountain area as you travel.
En route you will visit an active mud volcano site by the main highway, the Diri Baba shrine in Maraza, the Yeddi Gumbez Tomb and Juma Mosque in Shemakha.
You will arrive in Sheki and stop at a local craft workshop where the famous ‘shebeke’ (stained-glass windows with intricately carved frames) are hand-made. You will also visit the well-known Sheki Khan’s Palace, with its magnificent frescoes and stained glass. This will be a full and interesting day.
- Sheki - Khan's Palace
- Sheki - Mud volcano
Sheki Olympic Hotel or similar (1 nt)
Days 5-6 Tbilisi
In the morning you will have the opportunity to visit a traditional bazaar. From here you will drive to the border with Georgia, where you will farewell your Azeri tour leader and meet your Georgian tour leader. You will also change vehicles to start your exploration of Georgia.
You will have the rare and intimate opportunity to stop at a local’s house for a lunch of traditional homemade food and wine before travelling on to another local village. At this local village you will visit a farmer’s house and see a unique old wine cellar. You will become acquainted with the Georgian way of wine making, quite different from the European way, and drink typical Georgian wine straight from the clay jars.
You will then continue on your journey to reach the capital, Tbilisi.
On Day 6 you will take in a sightseeing tour of Tbilisi this morning, including a wander through the fascinating Old Town. You will take a journey back through the history of the city from the earliest centuries to present-day, by walking the narrow streets and taking in the religious and secular architecture. Here you will find a myriad of different religious buildings – churches, synagogues, mosques, as well as famous 19th century houses with wooden multi-coloured balconies. You will also visit the famous sulfur baths, which made an unforgettable impression on famous writers such as Alexander Pushkin, Mikhail Lermontov and Alexandre Dumas.
Enjoy a superb panoramic view of the Old Town before viewing the stunning treasures of the Georgian National Museum (closed on Mondays) and take a stroll along Rustaveli Avenue – the main street in Tbilisi.
- Tbilisi - Wine cellar tour
- Tbilisi - Guided Old Town tour
- Tbilisi - National Museum
Rustaveli Palace Hotel or similar (2 nts)
Days 7-8 Gudauri
You will visit the ancient capital and religious centre of Georgia today – the 3000-year-old city of Mtskheta. Here you will see historical places such as 6th century Jvari Church and the 11th century Svetitskhoveli Cathedral, where the robe of Christ is reportedly buried. Both Jvari and Svetitskhoveli are UNESCO World Heritage sites.
You will continue up the famous Georgian Military Highway from Mtskheta (leading to the Georgian-Russian border). On the way you will visit the 17th century Ananuri architectural complex, two historic churches and the fortress that overlooks the Zhinvali water reservoir. The scenic drive will take you into the heart of the high Caucasus Mountains.
On Day 8 you will embark on a stunning drive from Gudauri along the Tergi River, to Kazbegi – the main town in the region. At Kazbegi you will enjoy a leisurely two-hour walk up through beautiful valleys and woodlands to the Gergeti Trinity Church, located 2170 metres above sea level. Please note that a 4WD vehicle can be hired (optional and at extra cost) to transport those who opt not to, or who are unable to join in this walk. Weather permitting, you may catch a glimpse of one of the highest glaciers in the Caucasus – Mt Kazbegi (5047m) from here. You will walk back to the town before driving back to Gudauri.
- Kazbegi - Hike to Gergeti Trinity Church
Carpe Diem Hotel or similar (2 nts)
Day 9 Kutaisi
Your journey will continue today to the town of Gori, located in the heart of Kartli region. You will have the opportunity to stop at the Stalin Museum (Gori being the birthplace of Joseph Stalin).
Next you will explore Uplistsikhe cave city (1000 BC), a place where the Great Silk Road used to pass. There are now remnants of an old and interesting complex with dwelling quarters, wine-cellars, bakeries, a three-nave basilica church hewn out of rock, and even an ancient theatre.
You will then drive on to Imereti province (West Georgia), which is very different from Kartli province (East Georgia), with its cool springs, green fields and beautiful gardens. You will visit the pretty and historic town of Kutaisi, the second largest town in the country that dates back 3000 years.
- Gori - Stalin Museum
- Uplistsikhe - Cave complex
Kutaisi Homestay or similar (1 nt)
Day 10 Akhaltsikhe
You will visit historical sites of Kutaisi this morning, such as the 12th century Gelati Cathedral (12th century) – one of the earliest academies in Europe, and the splendid 11th century Bagrati Cathedral. Both cathedrals are UNESCO World heritage listed sites.
From here you will drive to Akhaltsikhe to visit multicultural complex of Rabat Castle.
- Kutaisi - Bagrati Cathedral and Gelati Monastery
Lomsia Hotel or similar (1 nt)
Days 11-12 Gyumri/Yerevan
You will travel to Vardzia today, stopping en route at the 11th century Khertvisi Fortress. Stretching over half a kilometre along the Mtkvari River and consisting of 19 tiers, the magnificent 12th century cave town of Vardzia will be one of the highlights of your trip. There were once about 3000 caves, as well as a church hewn out in rock with amazing 12th century frescos here. The complex also includes dwelling quarters, small hall-type churches, refectories, wine cellars, a pharmacy, etc.
From here you will continue on to Gyumri to start your exploration of Armenia.
Start the next day with a city tour around Gyumri with a visit to the church of Mastara, which dates from the 5th century and features a variation of the cruciform plan and central cupola church. In the accordance with its square plan, the four projecting apses, inward-facing circular, and outward facing polygonal, offer the requisite supports to hold up the imposing polygonal cupola. You will continue on to another excellent early church called Talin, which contains the impressive remains of an important 7th century cathedral church.
From here you will drive on to the capital of Armenia – Yerevan.
- Vardzia - Cave complex
- Gyumri - Guided city tour
Yerevan Hotel or similar (2 nts)
Day 13 Yerevan
Today we remain in Yerevan and do some sightseeing of this fascinating city. Museums and Monuments could keep you busy for days however the best part about this city is its people! Enjoy the sights, smells and faces of the locals while we do a walking tour of the monument of 50th anniversary of Soviet Armenia, Republic Square, see the Statue of Mother Armenia and perhaps visit the Military Museum, Matendaran and Tsitsernakaberd memorials.
- Yerevan - Ancient Manuscript Museum
- Yerevan - Armenian Genocide Memorial Complex
Mina Hotel or similar (1 nt)
Days 14-15 Goris
Today we will journey to the medieval town of Goris. (Approx a 4-5 hour drive from Yerevan) whilst breaking the trip with a stop in the town of Ararat.
Goris is located along a river in a valley surrounded by mountains, and is a popular place to visit in the south of Armenia. We will spend the next 2 nights here exploring Goris and the surrounding region of Tatev. Immerse yourself in the local culture, take the worlds longest rope-way (the wings of Tatev) to the Tatev Monastery or go for a hike and soak in the amazing scenery of the stone pyramids.
- Tatev - Ropeway round trip
Mina Hotel or similar (1 nt), Yerevan Hotel or similar (1 nt)
Days 16-17 Yerevan
Today we will start our journey back to Yerevan. On the way we will stop in on magnificent monument of medieval Armenian architecture – the UNESCO World Heritage listed Geghard Monastery. Geghard is another incredible ancient Armenian monastery that is partially carved out of a mountain. Your next stop is the citadel and pagan temple of Garni, a picturesque monument of the Hellenistic period and an impressive piece of ancient Armenian architecture. It was built in the 1st century A.D.
Your trip finishes after breakfast on Day 17. There are no activities included on this day and you are free to leave at any time.
- Geghard - UNESCO World Heritage site
Yerevan Hotel or similar (1 nt)
Also available to purchase
For many of our trips we have other services or experiences that are also available to purchase to extend your trip or to make your holiday a little easier. Below is a list of other travel products you can purchase in conjunction with this trip.
- CPKC Azerbaijan, Georgia & Armenia - Single Supplement (CPKC)
We also recommend
If this trip is not quite right for you, cast your eye over these alternatives:
- Classic Uzbekistan (CPKU)
We've allowed plenty of room for freedom and flexibility in our trips. In fact, flexibility is one of the ingredients that makes each of our trips so exciting. This style of travel offers us some unexpected circumstances at times, for example, bad weather and road conditions, technical defects of transportation, inconveniences caused by local operators and authorities, and other circumstances beyond our control. Changes in the program may be required to make the best of the unique situations that we encounter.
Overnight stops and driving distances each day may vary to best suit the needs of the group. Our described itineraries are to be used as a general guide only.
Expect some culture shock. You'll be exposed to signs of poverty and access to services may be sporadic. The food will be quite different to home and English speakers harder to find. Respecting the local culture will make it easier to fit in and really experience the location.
Some easy physical activities included in your trip. No physical preparation is required to make the most of the journey.
Included activities are listed in the day-to-day itinerary, all other activities are optional and at your own expense. If you choose not to participate in the included activities on this itinerary, the cost will not be refunded.
A selection of optional activities are listed in the day-to-day itinerary. This isn't an exhaustive list and should be used as a guide only. Prices are approximate and are for entrance only and don’t include transport to and from the sites or local guides unless indicated. All activities are subject to availability and it may not be possible to do all the activities listed in the time available at each destination.
Where activities are considered medium or high risk, we work with operators whose safety and credentials we have sighted and assessed. This means that it is possible that you may find the same activity cheaper with another operator on the ground, however we cannot vouch for the safety or quality of that operator. Activities not listed above have not been assessed by us and as such our staff and leaders are unable to assist you with booking these activities. The decision to partake in any activity not listed is at your own discretion and risk.
It is not really worth trying to buy local currencies before you travel. Do also bear in mind that many countries have strict regulations about the amount of their own local currency you are allowed to import - if you are found with amounts in excess of the allowed amounts, it may well be confiscated!
For obvious security reasons we hesitate to recommend you bring lots of cash with you, a sensible mix of cash, travellers cheques and ATM cards is best. However, most of our past passengers have said they wished they had been told to bring more cash. Apart from the convenience of being able to change money in many more places, you will sometimes get a much better exchange rate for cash. Note that for trips in Central Asia it's virtually impossible to use traveller's cheques or find ATMs. We therefore recommend that you bring cash in US$.
You should take a mixture of denomination notes. Banks and money-changers in most countries will now only accept bills with a metallic strip running top to bottom of the bill and which are dated from 2003 or later. You should not take worn or damaged notes, or any that have been written on. Cash machines are available in some areas but are not always reliable therefore we recommend that you do not rely on them as your only source of cash. Credit cards such as Visa, MasterCard and American Express are the most commonly accepted, but be prepared for very high commission charges.
Please do not rely on cards for daily use, as they are not always accepted outside of larger towns and cities. Please bring a mixture of small and large denominations as in more remote areas it can be hard to change amounts over $50.
Every traveller is different and therefore spending money requirements will vary. Some travellers may drink more than others while other travellers like to purchase more souvenirs than most. Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, shopping, participating in optional activities, and tipping. Please also remember the following specific recommendations when planning your trip.
Turkey is often misjudged as being an inexpensive destination. With tourism booming, the influx of cheap flights from Europe, prices for some items are becoming more equivalent to prices you would be used to at home. Eating in local restaurants, road side stalls and from markets can be inexpensive, but for nights out at tourist friendly restaurants you can expect to pay much more. Budgets are a personal choice but please bear in mind that you should not expect Turkey to be a budget destination.
If you are happy with the services providing a tip - though not compulsory - is appropriate. While it may not be customary to you, it is of great significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels, inspires excellent service, and is an entrenched feature of the tourism industry across many Intrepid destinations.
The following amounts are based on local considerations and feedback from our past travellers:
Restaurants: Please check the bill and if there’s an addition of 10% service charge, there’s no requirement for tipping. Otherwise, 10% of the total bill amount is appropriate.
At local markets and basic restaurants: Leave the loose change.
Local guides/Porters: Throughout your trip you may at times have a local guide in addition to your leader. We suggest US$1 per person, per day for local guides/porters.
Your crew (including the leader and driver, and perhaps cook depending on your trip): You may also consider tipping your crew for outstanding service throughout your trip. The amount is entirely a personal preference; however as a guideline US$2-3 per person, per day can be used. Of course you are free to tip more or less as you see fit, depending on your perception of service quality and the length of your trip. Remember, a tip is not compulsory and should only be given when you receive excellent service.
In total, we recommend you budget approx US$5-US$10 per day of your trip to cover tipping.
Over the years we have found that many of our travellers find the need for tipping to be both tiresome and embarrassing, especially if they don't have the correct small change. To overcome this, we have established a tipping kitty system. At your group meeting, your tour leader may discuss the idea of running a group tipping kitty, whereby everybody contributes an equal amount and then your tour leader pays the tips while keeping a running record of all monies spent (except restaurant tips). The record can be checked at any time and any money remaining at the end of the tour returned to group members.
Please don't tip with coins, very small denomination notes, or dirty and ripped notes. This is regarded culturally as an insult
All departure taxes should be included in your international flight ticket.
This trip is run by our experienced sister company Peregrine Adventures. Your group is therefore likely to be a mixture of Intrepid passengers and other like-minded international travellers.
The Azeri Ministry of Foreign Affairs requires that all travel arrangements in Azerbaijan be booked through the same provider. In order for us to process your Azerbaijan E-visa all additional accommodation must be booked through Intrepid Travel.
Maximum of 16 travellers per group.
Your fellow travellers
As you travel on a group trip you will be exposed to all the pleasures and maybe some of the frustrations of travelling in a group. Your fellow travellers will probably come from all corners of the world and likely a range of age groups too. We ask you to be understanding of the various needs and preferences of your group - patience with your fellow travellers is sometimes required for the benefit of everyone's travel experience. Remember too that you have responsibilities to the group. If you are requested to be at a place at a certain time, ensure that you don't keep the rest of the group waiting. We have found time and time again that the very best trips we operate are those where the dynamics within the group work well - this takes just a little effort on your part.
Due to privacy reasons we are unable to provide you with contact details and any personal information about your fellow travellers booked on your trip prior to departure. However you can download Intrepid's FREE Meet Up app to chat with your fellow travellers before your trip. Meet up, discuss your upcoming trip and share the excitement of planning for your adventure. For more information visit: www.intrepidtravel.com/meetup
Our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and don't involve a compulsory single supplement. Single travellers share with people of the same gender in accommodation ranging from twin to multishare. Some of our itineraries have accommodation booked on a mixed gender share basis and where applicable this will be specified in our Trip Notes. On a selection of our trips, you have the option to pay a single supplement to ensure that you have your own accommodation (where available). Please note that this only applies to accommodation during the tour - pre-trip and post-trip accommodation will be booked on a single room basis.
Yerevan Hotel or similar (4 nts), Central Park Hotel or similar (3 nts), Mina Hotel or similar (2 nts), Rustaveli Palace Hotel or similar (2 nts), Carpe Diem Hotel or similar (2 nts), Sheki Olympic Hotel or similar (1 nt), Kutaisi Homestay or similar (1 nt), Lomsia Hotel or similar (1 nt)
16 Breakfasts, 3 Lunches, 3 Dinners
Please budget for additional meals and expenses while on your trip. Our suggestion is based on past traveller feedback but you may choose to spend more or less.
There are some long travel days and some rough travelling in areas away from main tourist routes. Windy roads, rough surfaces and cramped conditions make for some challenging travel experiences. On some long travel days we depart early in the morning to ensure we optimise our time at our next destination. If you experience travel sickness we recommend you consider medication to help ease the discomfort.
All Intrepid group trips are accompanied by one of our group leaders. The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. Intrepid endeavours to provide the services of an experienced leader however, due to the seasonality of travel, rare situations may arise where your leader is new to a particular region or training other group leaders.
Your leader will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends. While not being guides in the traditional sense you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the places visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. At Intrepid we aim to support local guides who have specialised knowledge of the regions we visit. If you were interested in delving deeper into the local culture at a specific site or location then your leader can recommend a local guide service in most of the main destinations of your trip.
Central Park Hotel
Suleyman Rahimov 165
Phone: +994 125944235
Joining point instructions
An arrival transfers is included in the cost of your tour provided that you have supplied your flight information to your agent at time of booking. The driver will arrive according to arrival time indicated at time of booking and wait up to an hour after your scheduled arrival time. If your flight arrives before the scheduled arrival time please wait in the arrivals hall. If you are delayed beyond one hour after your scheduled arrival time, please make your own way to the hotel. If for some reason you cannot locate your driver please make your own way to the hotel.
Public Transport: There is a direct Express minibus route number 116 operating from the Airport to Baku City centre. Service runs every 30 minutes beginning from early in the morning until late night. The bus leaves outside the Airport building, across the parking area. The service terminates at S. Vurgun's park on the 28 May street. The journey takes approximately 30-40 minutes. The fare is 30 qapik.
Taxi: Avoid taxi touts who approach you and instead take only licensed (purple "London Cab" style cars) taxis from outside the terminal. These are metered and a regular fare to the hotel should cost around 20 AZN.
We don't expect any problems (and nor should you) but if for any reason you are unable to commence your trip as scheduled, please refer to the emergency contact section below for who to contact depending upon your starting location.
No refund is available on missed transfers or portions of your trip owing to a different flight arrival or delayed flight arrival. Any additional cost incurred in order to meet up with your group is at your own expense.
72 Dzorapi str.,
Phone: +374 10535332
Finish point instructions
Hotel Hrazdan is approx 20 mins drive to the airport. Your leader or the hotel reception can help arrange a taxi for your departure.
Aerotaxi is the official taxi service of the Zvarnots International Airport and fares are approximately 4500 AMD.
Please also make sure you have access to an additional US$400, to be used when unforeseen incidents or circumstances outside our control (eg. a natural disaster, civil unrest or an outbreak of bird flu) necessitate a change to our planned route.
Visas are the responsibility of the individual traveller. The visa requirements for your trip vary depending on where you are from and where you are going. As a general rule most countries expect that you will have at least 6 months' validity on your passport. On arrival visitors may be asked to present return tickets and evidence of means to cover your intended stay.
We keep the following information up to date as much as possible, but rules do change - it's important that you check for yourself. Residents from other countries must consult the relevant embassies or your travel agent.
Most nationalities require a visa to visit Azerbaijan.
VISA ON ARRIVAL:
It is no longer possible to get a visa on arrival at Baku Airport or at any land border into Azerbaijan. All travellers must apply for their Single Entry Tourist Visa (evisa) to Azerbaijan in advance.
APPLYING FOR AN E-VISA:
From March 2013 Azerbaijan has introduced an e-visa system. This is a process by which the visa is emailed to you as a PDF attachment that you will need to print out and present at immigration on arrival. This visa enables entry to Azerbaijan at any border point, land or air and is issued strictly for the dates your documents show only. The e-visa costs is already incorporated into the cost of the trip and takes on average between 15-21 days to be processed. To apply for an e-visa you must complete an application form which will be sent to you at time of booking and submit this along with the following documents to our Azerbaijan partners:
*Clear, colour copy of passport in JPEG format
*Clear, colour copy of applicant’s photo size 3x4 cm in JPEG format
*Flight reservation details of your arrival in the country (etickets)
In order to allow enough time for your evisa to be processed, we recommend that these documents are submitted to CentralAsia.VisaSupport@intrepidtravel.com no later than 40 days prior to your arrival in Azerbaijan.
While this is a very new service, we advise all pax to apply for the e-visa rather than applying at an embassy. We are not able to provide visa support for other visa applications.
Please note that the Azerbaijan Ministry of Foreign Affairs has a E-visa application link on their website. We have received reports that this option does not work and applications have gone missing. We recommend you use the services of our Azeri partners to obtain the e-visa.
INFO FOR EVISA APPLICATION:
Address in Baku:
Central Park Hotel
Suleyman Rahimov 165
Phone: +994 125944235
Details of our local partners in Azerbaijan:
7th floor, Sapphire Plaza
1/3, Nizami Street
Phone: +994 124974020
Please use the following answers for Q21 and Q31 on your application form:
Question 21: Your answer should be "Georgia"
Question 32: Your answer should be "Business"
The application should be signed and sent us in PDF format.
APPLYING AT AN EMBASSY:
Visa rules for Azerbaijan are constantly changing and embassy staff often find it hard to keep up with or know how to interpret them. We advise against attempting to apply for your Azerbaijan visa at an embassy and instead use the e-visa service. Embassy applications often require a Letter of Invitation (LOI) and other documents from a local travel agent which are expensive and time consuming to obtain. As we are able to provide the evisa service for all nationalities we are not able to provide an LOI or any other visa support for application at an embassy.
REGISTRATION: All passengers will be registered automatically on arrival at our Azerbaijan Hotel.
Most nationalities do not currently require a visa for Georgia, including Australia, New Zealand, Canada, UK, USA & all EU member states. However, all nationalities should check with the nearest embassy for the latest visa information as this may be subject to change at short notice.
Canada: : YES
New Zealand: YES
South Africa: YES
United Kingdom: NO
VISA ON ARRIVAL/ENROUTE:
It is not possible to obtain a visa on arrival or enroute for Armenia. All travellers must begin their tour with a Single Entry Tourist Visa in their passports.
APPLYING FOR AN E-VISA:
Due to limited consular representation, we recommend that nationalities that require a visa obtain an e-visa. This is a process by which the visa is emailed to you as a PDF attachment that you will need to print out and present at immigration on arrival. This visa enables entry to Armenia at land or air borders. At time of writing the e-visa costs US$10 and takes on average between 15-21 days to be processed. You should apply for your Armenian visa no more than 55 days before arriving in the country.
To apply for your e-visa, visit: http://www.mfa.am/eVisa/ and follow these instructions:
1. Select your Country of Residence
2. Choose the 21 day visa duration option
3. Select the 1st option on the list (Ա/V-1/Կ (visitor visa for visiting relatives (friends) or tourist (for a rest) v-1/sh)
4. Proceed through the next step
5. Read the Privacy Statement and click Accept
6. Complete the payment section
7. Follow the instructions for tracking the progress of your visa application
Issues on your trip
While we always endeavour to provide the best possible holiday experience, due to the nature of travel and the areas we visit sometimes things can and do go wrong. Should any issue occur while you are on your trip, it is imperative that you discuss this with your group leader or our local representative straight away so that they can do their best to rectify the problem and save any potential negative impact on the rest of your trip.
We recognise that there may be times when your group leader/local partner may not be able to resolve a situation to your satisfaction - if this is the case, please ask the leader to speak to their direct manager.
You may also choose to provide details in your online feedback, which we ask you to complete within 30 days of the end of your trip. But we do ask you to be aware that it is very difficult for us to provide any practical help after the trip is complete.
What to take
What you need to bring will vary according to the trip style you have chosen, the countries you are visiting and when you are travelling. Generally speaking you should pack as lightly as possible. On the vast majority of our trips you are expected to carry your own luggage and although you won't be required to walk long distances with your luggage (max 30 minutes), we recommend keeping the weight under 10kg / 22lb.
Most travellers carry their luggage in a backpack, although an overnight bag with a shoulder strap would suffice if you travel lightly. Smaller bags or backpacks with wheels are convenient although we recommend your bag has carry straps. You'll also need a day pack/bag to carry water and a camera etc for day trips.
You can find Intrepid's Ultimate Packing List on our website. It should be used as a guide only and isn't intended to be a complete packing list.
All Intrepid travellers need to be in good physical health in order to participate fully on this trip. When selecting your trip please make sure you have read through the itinerary carefully and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please note that if, in the opinion of our group leader or local guide, any traveller is unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group, Intrepid reserves the right to exclude them from all or part of a trip without refund.
You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information or for any necessary vaccinations and anti-malarial requirements before departure. We recommend that you carry a first aid kit as well as any personal medical requirements (including a spare pair of glasses) as they may not easily be obtained at the locations on this trip. For legal reasons our leaders and guides are prohibited from administering any type of drugs including headache tablets and antibiotics. Please ensure that you are adequately prepared.
Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure. Please refer to our website's safety page for links to major travel advisories and updates on safety issues affecting our trip.
We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe-keeping of your passport, air tickets, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Many of our hotels have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage.
Your leader will accompany you on all included activities, however during your trip you'll have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy or explore at your leisure. While your group leader will assist you with the available options in a given location, please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your Intrepid itinerary, and Intrepid makes no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgement when selecting an activity in your free time. Please also note that your group leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it's deemed necessary due to safety concerns.
For more details on the type of conditions and safety standards you can expect on your trip, please refer to Intrepid's operational safety policy on our website. We recommend that you take a moment to read through this information before travelling, and would appreciate any feedback on how well it's being implemented in the field:
PETTY THEFT AND PERSONAL SAFETY:
While travelling there is always the risk of pick-pocketing and petty theft, particularly in the more touristy cities. We recommend that you exercise caution when walking alone at night and encourage you to walk together and only on main, well-lit thoroughfares. Be particularly vigilant on public transport. Simple measures like carrying your day pack on your front, not hanging your bag over the back of your chair and wearing a money belt will reduce any chance that your valuables should go missing.
Travel insurance is compulsory for all our trips. We require that, at a minimum, you are covered for medical expenses including emergency repatriation. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects.
When travelling on a group trip, you won't be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance and the insurance company's 24 hour emergency contact number has been seen by your leader.
If you have credit card insurance your group leader will require details of the participating insurer/underwriter, the level of coverage, policy number and emergency contact number rather than the bank's name and credit card details. Please contact your bank for these details prior to arriving in-country.
Please go to our website for links to various travel insurance providers:
We believe strongly in low impact or rather positive impact tourism. Broadly speaking this means that we try to minimise the negative aspects of tourism on the local cultures and environments that we visit and highlight the positive aspects. Please visit our website for further details and suggestions on how you can be a responsible traveller:
When packing be aware that dress standards are conservative and you should dress accordingly. To respect the local culture and for your own comfort, we strongly recommend modest clothing. As a guideline, shoulders and knees at the minimum (and everything in between including midriff and cleavage) should be covered at all times. Wearing shorts and singlet tops is not appropriate and may well restrict your entry into sites of a religious nature, family homes, and will limit your local interaction opportunities in general. Loose, lightweight, long clothing is both respectful and cool in the predominantly warm climate.
A couple of rules
Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on our trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land, but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Smoking marijuana and opium is a part of local culture in some parts of the world but is not acceptable for Intrepid travellers. Intrepid's philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter and in particular, the local people who make our destinations such special places. The exploitation of prostitutes is completely contrary to this philosophy. Our group leader has the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they use prostitutes.
The Intrepid Foundation
Since Intrepid Travel commenced operating in 1989 we've been committed to giving something back to the communities we visit. One way has been through our support for local humanitarian, development and conservation projects. Many of our travellers want to contribute something too. Whilst it is often tempting to give hand-outs to those less fortunate, this has the potential to promote a culture of begging and dependency. Handouts are not a sustainable way for individuals or communities to live. That’s why we established The Intrepid Foundation – to make it easier for travellers wishing to give back to communities in an effective and meaningful way.
The Intrepid Foundation is a not-for-profit fund offering a selection of excellent grassroots organisations which you can contribute to. All donations to The Intrepid Foundation will be matched by Intrepid Travel dollar for dollar (up to AU$5,000 per donor and a total of AU$400,000 for all donors in each financial year). And every cent gets there as Intrepid Travel pays for all the administration costs. Donating is simple and secure. Please ask your group leader for information on the projects we support through The Intrepid Foundation or go to our website:
After your travels, we want to hear from you! We rely on your feedback. We read it carefully. Feedback helps us understand what we are doing well and what we could be doing better. It allows us to make improvements for future travellers.
Remember that once you’ve left your feedback you’ll automatically be entered into our monthly draw for a US$500 (or equivalent in your local currency) travel voucher.