Georgia/ Armenia Trip

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nikagoes
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Georgia/ Armenia Trip

Post by nikagoes »

If I only have two weeks/ 16 days is it better to just to Georgia or to hurry a bit and see Georgia and Armenia? Usually I don't like to rush but this will be my last travel for a long time and it makes sense to see the two together. What is the EASIEST way to get from Georgia to Armenia? I read about flights, train, drivers, but it's hard to figure out which is the easiest as this is a last minute trip and I don't have much time to do research and plan. I would really appreciate any suggestions
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sebhoff
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Re: Georgia/ Armenia Trip

Post by sebhoff »

Please define "easiest"... ;-)
There is plenty to see in Georgia to keep you busy for 2 weeks. In my opinion, the country has a greater variety of attractions to offer than Armenia - at least for the average tourist. Armenia has its charms, too, of course - but if you don't like to rush, I'd drop it.
About getting from Georgia to Armenia: the obvious choice seems to be the night train. However, you'll miss out on some of the attractions in the north (Haghpat and Sanahin) this way and would need to backtrack if you want to see them. So it could be night train in one direction, and a transfer-cum-sightseeing return trip. Alternatively, have a look at open-jaw flights, flying into Georgia and leaving from Armenia (or vice-versa).
It's also possible to rent a car in Georgia that you can take over the border into Armenia (at least it was pre-covid) - but it requires some paperwork and involves extra costs. So you could "do Armenia" by crossing from Ninotsminda after having visited Vardzia, concentrate on Yerevan and the northern attractions (although it is a shame to miss Tatev and Geghard) and re-enter Georgia south of Tbilisi/Rustavi. One-way rentals aren't possible - the same driver has to drive the car back to Georgia, as far as I know.
"Easiest" also depends on your budget, of course. It'll be possible to find a guide/driver with decent English for 2 weeks that'll show you most of the two countries in 14/16 days - but it'll cost you more than relying on trains (comfortable, but they don't reach some of the most important destinations) or other types of public transport (mostly marshrutkas - crammed, uncomfortable, and dangerous (because of the local driving style)).
If you want to combine both countries, I'd stick to the East of Georgia (Tbilisi (a *really* nice place!), Kakheti, Kazbegi/Stepandsminda, Gori and possibly going as far as Kutaisi) and give Svaneti and the coast a miss (the first is too far and the second isn't fantastic in winter, assuming that's when you'll be travelling). Then add 4 days in Armenia...
Just my 2 cents...
Sebastian
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nikagoes
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Re: Georgia/ Armenia Trip

Post by nikagoes »

Thank you so much for the reply. I will be definitely using this guide this upcoming week. So it seems one can travel overland from Georgia to Armenia currently? Even Americans? Thank so much. I will go to visitor center tomorrow for more info.
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