From the Anatolian Plateau to the Caucasus Mountains

Discover the meeting places of the ancient world in eastern Turkey and Georgia, on this back-road exploration of out-of-the-way towns and villages. Begin in Turkey’s capital, Ankara, and follow traces of the old Silk Road east through arid valleys and rocky hills redolent of empires and kingdoms – Hittite, Seljuk, Byzantine, Roman, Armenian, Ottoman, Iberian and Georgian. Why end might five breathtaking UNESCO Sites, including the exuberant 13th century Great Mosque and Hospital Complex of Divrigi, and the mountain redoubts of Georgia’s remote Svaneti region.

18 Day Trip

See
Overview Itinerary

MIR Signature Why end mights on this Tour
  • Search for the past at UNESCO-listed Hittite and Bronze Age sites
    Search for the past at the UNESCO-listed Hittite and Bronze Age sites of Hattusa, Yazilikaya and Alacahoyuk....
    Read More
  • 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...
    Read More
  • Savor an authentic “Georgian Table” meal
    Savor an authentic "Georgian Table," featuring an abundance of local specialties and an official Georgian toastmaster....
    Read More
  • Dodge herds of sheep along the Georgian Military Highway
    Dodge herds of sheep along the spectacular Georgian Military Highway, stopping to explore treasures like the small alpine village of Kazbegi, set in a...
    Read More
Why Travel with MIR on this Tour
  • 30 years of Caucasus travel experience
  • Travel programs such Harvard, World Affairs Council of Philadelphia and Stanford have chosen MIR to guide them to the South Caucasus and Turkey
  • 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
Download Detailed Itinerary
Itinerary & Highlights at a Glance

Days 1-3: Ankara, Amasya

Arriving in Ankara, discover the wonderful Museum of Anatolian Civilizations, with artifacts from the Paleolithic Age. Admire the UNESCO-listed Hittite sites of Hattusa, capital of the powerful Hittite Empire, and wander the lanes of Amasya’s old Ottoman quarter.

Highlights

  • Ankara, capital of Turkey
  • The Museum of Anatolian Civilizations, situated in two 15th century Ottoman buildings
Read More

Days 4-7: Sivas, Erzincan, Bayraktar, Erzurum

See the remote and rarely-visited Great Mosque and Hospital Complex of Divrigi, a gorgeous UNESCO Site unlike any other in Turkey. Explore some of Sivas’ Seljuk monuments, and tour the astonishing Baksi Museum on market day in the tiny village of Bayraktar. Explore the outstanding Seljuk and Mongol monuments in Erzurum, Turkey’s highest city.

Highlights

  • Remote UNESCO Site, the Great Mosque and Hospital Complex of Divrigi
  • The Seljuk ruins of Sivas, Ulu Camii Mosque and Gok Medresesi
Read More

Days 8-11: Kars, Ani, Akhaltsikhe, Vardzia

Admire the old Citadel of Kars, and the atmospheric remains of the rich medieval Armenian capital, Ani, with its left-over Soviet guard towers on the old NATO-USSR border. Cross into Georgia, exploring the mosque and bathhouses of Akhaltsikhe’s old center, and peeking into the frescoed caves dug into the bluff at 12th century Vardzia cave monastery.

Highlights

  • The old Citadel of Kars, on an outcropping above town, with Turkish, Armenian, Caucasian, Kurdish and Russian aspects, and the 10th Century Church of the Apostles
  • The ruins of Ani, medieval Armenian capital, and its 20th century guard towers
Read More

Days 12-18: Kutaisi, Mestia, Tbilisi

Explore the soaring Caucasus mountain region of Svaneti, known for its UNESCO-listed medieval watchtowers. Visit Ushguli, the highest continuously inhabited village in Europe. In Kutaisi, admire 12th century Gelati Monastery, with frescoes from Georgia’s “Golden Age,” and visit a master potter in his private workshop. In the sophisticated capital, Tbilisi, stroll the red-roofed Old Town, and savor an authentic “Georgian Table” feast with traditional singers.

Highlights

  • UNESCO-listed Svaneti region with medieval stone watchtowers
  • Ethnographic Museum in Mestia
Read More

See Dates & Prices for more details or to see suggested extensions.

Download Detailed Itinerary
Tour Dates & Prices

There are no departures available at this time.

Please contact us for more information and a MIR Destination Specialist will contact you shortly. Thank you!

Group Size

Small Groups – Never More than 16 Travelers. Guaranteed!

What’s Included

On Your Tour

  • Shared accommodations in superior tourist class hotels in central locations.
  • 17 breakfasts, 15 lunches and 16 dinners per the itinerary. A few lunches and dinners are not included so that you may enjoy a chance to experiment on your own.
  • Restaurant tips for included meals.
  • Services of an experienced, English-speaking MIR Tour Manager with local guides at specific sites.
  • Arrival/departure transfers, provided you arrive and depart on the tour start/end dates and in the tour start/end cities.
  • Transportation throughout itinerary by private coach or van (size of vehicle depends on group size).
  • Guided sightseeing tours and entrance fees as outlined in itinerary.
  • Special events, excursions and cultural performances per the itinerary.
  • Baggage handling where available.
  • Gratuities to local guides and drivers.

Before Your Tour

  • Personalized pre-departure support from one of our knowledgeable Tour Specialists.
  • Complete pre-departure information including detailed packing list and reading list.
  • Touring with MIR handbook with country-specific information, maps, and travel tips.
  • Customized visa application instruction kit (if applicable to your itinerary; please note, visa fees are not included in the tour price).
  • Final document packet including luggage tags, final updates, and more.
  • Assistance booking your custom flight arrangements (on request; please note that international and internal airfares are not included in the land tour cost).
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

Visas

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…

MIR can arrange for an extended program in Istanbul or in the South Caucasus countries of Azerbaijan or Armenia; or Iran, Western Russia or Eastern Europe. All of MIR’s destinations are open to you. 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 trip is moderately active, and rated moderate to rigorous touring due to the daily walking involved and the overall shortcomings of the tourism infrastructure. To reap the full rewards of this adventure, travelers must be able to walk at least a mile a day, keeping up with fellow travelers.

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.

See All Journals
MIR in the News
See All Remember & children
From the Blog
See All Blog Posts