A Complete Caucasus Travel Guide
Beautifully nestled between Asia and Europe, the Caucasus is truly a gem in the convergence of East and West. It stands at the crossroads of the two big continents and thus is a fascinating blend of Asian and European cultures and heritage, packed full of spectacular, natural landscapes that gives a strong competition to that of neighbouring Central Asia (the Stans). The following Caucasus travel guide will help you out to plan a wonderful Caucasus tour.
The Caucasus mainly comprises of 6 main countries: Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Turkey, Iran and Russia. In this guide, I’ll be telling you about three of my favourite country tours - Georgia tour, Armenia tour and Azerbaijan travel - based on my recent trip there.
Each country has its own charm and I highly suggest you visit these destinations before it gets overpacked by travellers. I always pick low season to avoid crowd, so when I visited these places, the entire region was pretty much less crowded (museums/ malls/ shopping centres/sights were empty and no long lines at border crossings), but then again even during peak season, these destinations doesn’t get quite as many tourists as other parts of Europe does. For those who like to explore offbeat regions (like myself), the Caucasus is a worthwhile place to travel and explore.
Most explorers who visited Caucasus like Georgia best, out of the other three countries, and I can see why. In general, Georgia is typically more like Europe. It has maintained its historical culture rather well, and the country has a bigger variety of landscapes. There are so many interesting things to do in Tbilisi, and even more beyond the capital city. If you are looking for the best night out, then be ready for amazing Nightlife in Tbilisi.
As a mountainous country, it’s got the unspoiled and rocky slopes that many adventurous lovers seek. I undeniably loved Kazbegi National Park in the north. The Great Caucasus Mountain Range are enormously dramatic there. The drive across the winding valleys and precipitous slopes is just remarkable and the country sights just makes me want to stay and explore more. If you are looking for adventure tour packages, then this is the place full of daring sights.
Georgia also has an abundance of fascinating architecture and Orthodox churches for culture buffs, and marvellous food and wineries for those who love to indulge (it’s said to have invented wine). Of all the monasteries and churches, we visited, my favourite has got to be the Ananuri Fortress. It is in front of the Aragvi River and backed by the Great Caucasus Mountain Range. I’ve also heard many interesting facts about Kutaisi and Imereti. Checkout Georgia tour package or Tbilisi tour package at Central Asia Guided Tours to make your travel diary the best one.
Armenia isn’t typically an instant hit with travellers but surprisingly, I liked Armenia instantly and it’s my favourite country of the three. Perhaps because of my inclination for unusual places or my interest in places with a terrible past. Regardless, Armenia stolen my heart despite the little time we spent there.
In comparison to all Caucasus tours, Armenia tour is truly exceptional in its culture and history. The country has its great identity with its own alphabets and language family, own ethnicity, and vibrant traditions. Sometimes I felt like I was in Asia and at times it’s very much Europe. The delightful blend of East and West is very apparent here, in this exciting country.
For me, the main draw is the past of its capital city Yerevan, but speaking to youngsters of Armenia I met, it seems that they’ve put the history behind them and moved ahead. You can very well observe this forward-thinking characteristic while on Yerevan tour, the capital city, as it’s very modern and lively.
The most distinct of the 3 is Azerbaijan, which is very much modern and excellent tourism infrastructure (you can gauge this by seeing English signs everywhere pointing to tourist attractions). Unlike in Georgia and Armenia, you can see more Muslims in Azerbaijan, which explains the transformation in terms of architecture and traditions. Their language and roots are closer to that of Turkey, so you can see many similarities between Azerbaijan and Turkey.
Because of its oil-generated wealth, the capital city of Azerbaijan i.e. Baku is very much developed and has an odd mix of old and new. The part of the city I liked the most when on Baku tour was the old town of Baku which is surprisingly well-preserved – but also falsely restored in some parts – and recaps me of ancient cities like Khiva in Uzbekistan and Urgup in Turkey with striking sandstone buildings and beautiful cobblestoned streets. Baku Nightlife is very happening, that no one should miss.
For incredible holiday experience book Caucasus tour package from Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad and other cities of India with Central Asia Guided Tours and be ready for mesmerizing holidays.