Azerbaijan to Istanbul - 30 Days

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  • Overview
  • Itinerary
  • What's Included
  • Dates
  • On The Go Tours

Travel from the Azerbaijani capital of Baku to the Turkish city of Istanbul on this 30-day overland group tour which also takes in the highlights of the Caucasus. Stay in an ancient caravanserai in Sheki, see the bubbling mud volcanoes of Gobustan and marvel at the Vardzia Caves in Georgia. Explore ancient Yerevan in Armenia and take in the highlights of Turkey including Cappadocia, the Sumela Monastery and the ruins of Ephesus.

Highlights
  • Baku - see the sights of Baku independently and visit the bubbling mud volcanoes and ancient petroglyphs at Gobustan
  • Vardzia - venture into the incredible subterranean cave city and visit the Vardzia Monastery where a handful of monks still reside
  • Cappadocia - discover the enchanting and unique landscape of subterranean churches and cities then opt for a hot air balloon ride over the magical region
  • Sumela Monastery - gaze out over the green forests and swirling mists of the valley from this ancient monastery which clings to the rock face
  • Ephesus - explore the ancient marble ruins including the Library of Celsus and the Temple of Serapis
  • Stepantsminda - hike into the hills and visit the tiny Tsminda Sameba Church surrounded by the towering Caucasus Mountains
  • Yerevan - relax for two days and independently explore one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities on Earth
  • Gori - enjoy a guided tour of the birthplace of Josef Stalin and visit the Stalin Museum to learn more about the dictator
  • Sheki - stay in an ancient Silk Road caravanserai which has been converted into a comfortable hotel
  • Istanbul - conclude your adventure with a taste of culture captivating Turkish city and discover highlights including the Blue Mosque independently
Age Policy
18 and over. No upper age limit but anyone over 70 needs to complete a tour suitability form.
Destinations
  • Armenia
  • Azerbaijan
  • Georgia
  • Turkey
  • Europe
Tour Types
  • Small Group
Day 1: Welcome to Baku!
( overnight in Baku )
Arrive in Baku and join a Welcome Meeting at 18:00. The rest of the day is free to explore the Azerbaijani capital.

Day 2: Free time in Baku
( overnight in Baku )
Today is free to explore Baku at leisure.

Day 3: Gobustan & Lahij village
( overnight in Lahij)
Leaving Baku, we head to Gobustan to see the petroglyphs and mud volcanoes that the area is famous for. We then arrive at the mountain village of Lahij, where we camp.

Day 4: Sheki & caravanserai stay
( overnight in Sheki (caravanserai))
We drive to Sheki today, and viist the Khan's Palalce. We spend the night in a hote that has been built in an old Silk Road caravanserai.

Day 5: Lagodekhi National Park
( overnight in Lagodekhi NP)
Cross into Georgia and overland to Lagodekhi National Park, where we spend the night camping.

Day 6: Telavi
( overnight in Telavi )
Head into the wine region of the Alazani Valley today, arriving in Telavi where we'll be spending the next few days.

Day 7: Telavi & wine tasting
( overnight in Telavi)
Get out and about in Telavi today as we visit some local vineyards and enjoy lunch and wine tasting at a local winery.

Day 8: Stepantsminda
( overnight in Stepantsminda )
Arrive in Stepantsminda today and join a hike up to the tiny Tsminda Sameba Church. There's also an optional Georgian cooking class.

Day 9: Mtskheta
( overnight in Mtskheta )
Enjoy a relaxing morning before we travel to Mtskheta and visit the exquisite 11th century Svetitskhoveli Cathedral.

Day 10: Borjomi National Park & Vardzia
( overnight in Vardzia)
Enjoy a hike in the ancient forest of Borjomi National Park and opt to ride the cable car up a mountain. We then drive to Vardzia where we explore the famous Cave Monastery.

Day 11: Armenian Highlands
( overnight in Armenian Highlands)
Today we cross into Armenia and find a suitable spot to camp in the Armenian Highlands.

Day 12-13: Khor Virap Monastery & Yerevan
( overnight in Yerevan )
Visit the Khor Virap Monastery near the Turkish border, nestled under the shadow of Mt Ararat. We then arrive in Yerevan where the rest of day 12 and the following day is free to explore.

Day 14: Geghard Monastery, Garni Temple & Lake Sevan
( overnight in Lake Sevan)
Visit Geghard Monastery and Garni Temple en route to the shores of shimmering Lake Sevan, home to Armenia's only beaches. We camp near the lake tonight.

Day 15: Terrific Tbilisi
( overnight in Tbilisi )
Today we arrive in the charming Georgian capital of Tbilisi, where the rest of the day is free to explore.

Day 16: Gori & Kutaisi
( overnight in Kutaisi )
Today we explore the city of Gori - birthplace of Josef Stalin. We also take in the Bagrati cathedral and Gelati Monastery in Kutaisi.

Day 17: Batumi
( overnight in Batumi )
Today we drive to the port city of Batumi, known as the "Las Vegas of the Black Sea". There's free time to explore the city at leisure.

Day 18: The incredible Sumela Monastery
( overnight in Sumela)
We cross into Turkey today and make our way to the breathtaking Sumela Monastery, which clings to a cliff top 1,200m up. We get to visit this amazing site.

Day 19: Zara village
( overnight in Zara)
Today we have a full day's drive towards Cappadocia, finding a suitable spot to camp near the village of Zara en route.

Day 20-21: Magical Cappadocia
( overnight in Goreme )
Arrive in Cappadocia on day 20 and enjoy two days of guided exploring in this enchanting valley. Visit the underground city of Kaymakli and the valley of Ihlara. Opt for a hot air balloon ride over the unique landscape.

Day 22: Egirdir
( overnight in Egirdir)
Today we have a full day's drive towards Egirdir, wild camping along the route.

Day 23-24: Termessos, Olympos & Chimera Fire Mountain
( overnight in Olympos )
On day 23 we visit the Pisidian ruins of Termessos and arrive at the beach town of Olympos. There's free time to relax on the beach over the next two days and optional sea kayaking is offered. We also enjoy a hike up to the mystical Chimera Fire Mountain, where we can toast marshmallows on the flames.

Day 25: Pamukkale
( overnight in Pamukkale)
Today we drive to Pamukkale where you can enjoy a dip in the thermal hot springs or walk along the white calcium terraces.

Day 26-27: Selcuk & Ephesus
( overnight in Selcuk )
We drive to Selcuk on day 26 and enjoy a free evening to relax. The next day we explore the legendary ruins of Ephesus.

Day 28: Troy
( overnight in Eceabat )
Today we explore the ruins of Troy, including the giant replica Trojan Horse. We then take the ferry across the Dardenelles to Eceabat.

Day 29: Battlefields of Gallipoli & Istanbul
( overnight in Istanbul )
Take a guided tour of Gallipoli to pay your respects at the WW1 memorial sites. We then complete our journey to Istanbul, where your final night in Turkey is at leisure.

Day 30: Istanbul

Today our adventure comes to an end.

  • 17 breakfasts, 9 lunches and 14 dinners
  • 20 nights in hotels and guesthouses
  • 9 nights camping (including 3 nights on campsites, 5 nights wild camping & 1 night camping without facilities)
  • Transportation in an overland expedition vehicle
  • All necessary camping equipment (excluding sleeping bags)
  • Services of two crew (drivers/tour leaders) and local guides along the way
  • Sightseeing as per itinerary
  • Visit to Gobustan to see the petroglyphs and mud volcanoes
  • A stay in the ancient Sheki caravanserai in Azerbaijan
  • Visits to the Garni Temple, Geghard Monastery & Khor Virap Monastery in Armenia
  • Guided tour of Gallipoli, Troy, Ephesus & Cappadocia in Turkey


NB - the following are not included:

-International flights and visas
-Items of a personal nature, additional meals and drinks
-Tipping - an entirely personal gesture
-Sleeping bag and roll mat - please bring your own for camping
-Local payment - $940pp, paid in USD

Dates Price Single Availability
31-Jul-2021 for 29 Nights Visit Website
25-Sep-2021 for 29 Nights Visit Website
16-Oct-2021 for 29 Nights Visit Website

Touring with On The Go Tours

From a first foray into Egypt in 1998, On The Go Tours have expanded their operations to more than 60 countries, offering award-winning small group tours to destinations around the world. Their Middle East and North Africa portfolio now includes Jordan, Israel and Morocco, whilst other regions include Asia, Africa, Europe, Latin America and the Indian Subcontinent. From Machu Picchu in Peru to the extravagant Taj Mahal in India, On The Go Tours get you to the main sights of whichever destination you choose to visit. There’s also a range of special festival tours, Christmas and New Year adventures and much more, from overland adventures to luxury cruises. They always uncover some hidden gems too, be it canoeing to a local home for lunch in Sri Lanka or riding a rickshaw around the maze of Hutongs in Beijing, China.

With three different ranges of trips to choose from, there’s sure to be something for everyone. Signature tours are everything that makes On The Go Tours special, with local tour guides, small groups and a great quality of accommodationEssentials tours keep the costs down whilst still delivering true adventure, with a mixture of public transport in Japan and overland trucks in Central Asia, Africa and Latin America.  Whilst on their Handpicked tours, On The Go Tours work with local partners to deliver authentic experiences in amazing destinations, from Iceland to the Galapagos archipelago.

Sustainability and environmental awareness are also at the heart of On The Go Tours’ operations. Whether it’s planting trees in Cambodia, donating stationary to a school in India or funding the conservation of endangered Bengal tigers, protecting the regions they visit is at the forefront of the way they do business. Signature tours with On The Go Tours also make use of locally-run hotels and eateries wherever possible, and tour guides are mostly English-speaking locals. Overall, around 70% of travellers holiday funds remain in the destination visited.

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tour details

This tour is operated by On The Go Tours

29 nights from pp exc.flights; per Night
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