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Land of the Golden Fleece + Azerbaijan Extension GFA

Trip Duration 19 Days
 

Reviews for Land of the Golden Fleece + Azerbaijan Extension

Travellers were asked to provide a review of the trip, including highlights and tips.

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We have the following different versions of the Land of the Golden Fleece + Azerbaijan Extension trip available at present.

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Land of the Golden Fleece + Azerbaijan Extension reviews verified by reevooReevoo

25 reviews

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Land of the Golden Fleece + Azerbaijan ExtensionScores 8.1 out of 10 based on 25 reviews
(8 out of 10)

Jane

London
Interesting variety and beautiful scenery. Women should remember to take scarves for the visits to churches and monasteries. Enjoyed the Stalin museum a great deal. Learned a lot about the area and the concept of 'current borders'. Would have preferred less time in the bus.
Confirmed traveller: 02 August 2017
Published on: 04 August 2017
(8 out of 10)

Claudia

Milan Italy
Our guide in Armenia, Armenie, was fantastic, perfect. Accommodations were great, arranged meals were good, variety and history very well done. Only negative: the last day in Armenia we were asked if we wanted a "picnic" lunch or lunch in a restaurant. We opted for a picnic, but what we got were two tables outside of a restaurant by the road. Not anyone's idea of a picnic.

Our guide in Georgia, Maka, was extremely competent and professional. She was more aloof than Armenie but just as knowledgeable, and her English was excellent. A well-done, complete itinerary with a variety of experiences walking, riding, sightseeing.

Our guide and itinerary in Azerbaijan were the weak points of the trip. Samaia was warm and friendly but her English was poor so she had a hard time understanding questions. The microphone on the bus didn't work so we couldn't hear her commentary at all. The country is fascinating but the itinerary was poorly planned. Sheki was a great introduction to the country, but we had barely half a day's worth of tour, then we were on our own. An enterprising tour organisation would have taken us behind the scenes for the sweets shop, to a saffron producer, to the production (rather than simply the sale) of silk textiles, etc. We should have had two full days in Baku, not just one. We should have been taken to the fields of fire, to the mud volcanoes, to the natural phenomena that make Azerbaijan unique. The guide should have explained about the nine climates (out of 11 worldwide) that are present in the country, and which ones we passed through.
Confirmed traveller: 02 August 2017
Published on: 04 August 2017
(7 out of 10)

David

Solihull
The only thing that knocked the overall score down to 7 was the flight experiences with Ukraine Int airlines. Simply the worst airline I've ever flown with. Some clients flew with Aeroflot via Moscow whom they rated good. Suggest you use them in future for group flight.
Confirmed traveller: 02 August 2017
Published on: 04 August 2017
(9 out of 10)

Amanda

London
Excellent, incredibly varied and very informative trip, our guides Armine and Alex were superb ensuring that we really got the most out of our time in their countries. Each day was filled with a range of excursions giving us a real flavour of each country. The weather in late May/early June was varied (if travelling at this time of year you need to be prepared), we experienced glorious sunshine, very cold and wet conditions at Amberd Fortress (but very atmospheric) and torrential rain at Uplistsikhe cave town, thank goodness for the caves to shelter in! Our guide Alex was absolutely soaked but still gave us an amazing tour round the site - the sun did eventually come out. The Armenia genocide museum was particularly thought provoking and sobering, the cave city at Vardzia stunning and Baku was amazingly cosmopolitan. Be prepared for long days, lots of travelling, great food and bring along a sense of adventure and humour.
1 of 2 people found this review helpful
Confirmed traveller: 07 June 2017
Published on: 21 June 2017
(10 out of 10)

Radhika

Las Vegas, USA
It was a great tour and I would highly recommend it to most seasoned travelers. I loved all 3 countries in different ways. My only frustration came from being unable to shop in Armenia for fear of it being thrown away at the Azerbaijan border crossing. I know that there are other companies that do it in reverse but Explore has always done it like this so maybe that's just too hard to change.
Other than that I still think that 18 is too large a group even though this was a really good group of people.
Highlights were the churches in Armenia, baths in Tbilisi, the greater caucuses mountain region and the city of Baku. Armine, our guide in Armenia and Alex, the rest of the way were both excellent! I had a very enjoyable time and would definitely want to return to that part of the world.
1 of 2 people found this review helpful
Confirmed traveller: 07 June 2017
Published on: 15 June 2017
(10 out of 10)

Jennifer

Durham, NC
I absolutely loved this tour! Alex, the main guide, was wonderful. She was organized, knowledgeable, friendly, and all around awesome! The information she provided about the various sites and cities was always interesting without being too. I had some trouble with my ATM card and she was very helpful in sorting it out, making it less stressful for me.

The itinerary was pretty good. There were a few things I would have liked added (Batumi, Davit Gareja, more of Azerbaijan) and some things I could have done without (Sighnaghi), but overall I thought it covered a lot of territory and hit most of the major sights.

The accommodation was much nicer than I'd expected! I especially liked the many guesthouses which felt so much more homey than hotels would. One suggestion: stay in Borjomi rather than in Bakuriani. The half an hour it took to get there from Borjomi seemed like a waste and Borjomi is such a cute town with much more to do. There wasn't anywhere to go in Bakuriani outside of the hotel.

I appreciated the many included meals which, when you're a group of 18, makes things go so much smoother. Less time wasted trying to order, make food to order, a pay. And all of the meals were really good!
1 of 2 people found this review helpful
Confirmed traveller: 24 May 2017
Published on: 13 June 2017
(9 out of 10)

John

Nottingham
We were a large group(18) for the Armenia/Georgia leg of the trip but the transport provided allowed everyone a window seat. The standard of accommodation was generally very good and much better than we were expecting. The included meals were plentiful and vegetarian options were always available. However, it is rather repetitive with bread, eggs,cheese, cucumber and tomato appearing regularly.
Alex was very organised. Her wide, in-depth knowledge of both Georgia and Azerbaijan, together with her language skills, made her the ideal tour leader.
Highlights include the spectacular scenery in all three countries, the sound and light show in Yerevan's Republic Square, the architecture in Batumi and the remarkable transformation of Baku from a polluted area dominated by nodding donkeys to a vibrant, modern capital - an incredible achievement in the 25 years since the Soviets left.
We would suggest that the trip to Batumi is included and not an optional extra.
1 of 2 people found this review helpful
Confirmed traveller: 24 May 2017
Published on: 09 June 2017
(9 out of 10)

Russell

Stockton-on-Tees
This is a very comprehensive trip to an interesting and under explored part of the world. Overall it is good value for money, although it does feel a bit drawn out at times and can probably be covered in 15 - 16 days. Armenia was interesting although it can feel a bit tedious after a while due to the large number of monasteries and churches that are visited. Georgia is much more varied, although 2 nights in Kutaisi is too much unless it is possible to include a visit to the Black Sea. Baku is a wonderful city and the icing on the cake at the end of the trip - it would be better to allow 2 full days (3 nights) to look around the city, which could be achieved by staying only 1 night in Sheki, which doesn't have a great deal to offer. All the tour leaders and drivers were fine, but I need to make special mention of Leven who was an excellent, friendly, helpful and knowledgeable tour guide in Georgia and Azerbaijan, and also the excellent Georgian driver.
1 of 2 people found this review helpful
Confirmed traveller: 11 November 2016
Published on: 13 November 2016
(8 out of 10)

William

Parbold, Lancs.
A very interesting part of the world where East and West meet and it would be very difficult to better the scenery, history, food and drink of the area. Certainly the tour was good value whilst local prices put Aldi to shame. A lot of ground was covered but the pace was easy going.
2 of 3 people found this review helpful
Confirmed traveller: 15 June 2016
Published on: 22 June 2016
(8 out of 10)

Ronald

London
Highlights were cities of Yerevan Tbilisi & Baku and Geghard Monastery in Armenia and Church of Holy Trinity in Gergeti Village.
1 of 2 people found this review helpful
Confirmed traveller: 08 June 2016
Published on: 15 June 2016