Join YPT into a complete foray of the Caucasus. This tour will take you from the centres of Shia culture and progressively into Soviet memorabilia.
The tour starts in Azerbaijan, in the capital of Baku before going on by chartered flight to the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic! Whilst Nakhchivan is an exclave of Azerbaijan, this bizarre republic is geographically separated from the rest of Azerbaijan by its mortal enemy, Armenia, with whom they have been at war with since the 1990s.
Nakhchivan was one of the first regions of the former USSR to claim independence, shortly after this the Nagorno-Karabakh War between Azerbaijan and Armenia erupted and killed tens of thousands of people. During this war, Nakhchivan was blockaded and in order to survive, this isolated exclave was forced to become very self-reliant. Inside this little known, landlocked republic are many incredible sights from ancient mosques, Madrassas and Soviet relics to awe-inspiring natural scenery and the tomb of Noah.
From Nakhchivan, we’ll be taking a very seldom done road-trip from the exclave to the neighbouring country of Iran, going all the way to its capital – Tehran.
Arriving in the thriving capital of Tehran, you will visit the mausoleum of Ayatollah Khomeini and revolutionary martyrs cemetery before you see the famous anti-US propaganda adjoining the facades of buildings and the former US embassy. You then hit the road for Esfahan and see royal palaces and mosques, local bazaars and hang out with locals at the gym watching ancient Persian workouts. In Yazd you will see ancient Zoroastrian temples and the famed towers of silence before we stroll around the UNESCO site of Persepolis outside of Shiraz.
We will then cross the border overland as we head into Armenia to begin exploring the unrecognised countries. This part of the tour takes you to Armenia, Nagorno-Karabakh and the place they call “Europe’s Hiroshima” before finishing in Tbilisi, Georgia. The extended group moves on to Stalin’s hometown of Gori, before entering the war-torn republic of Abkhazia, formerly the pearl in the Soviet summer calendar.
YPT has truly pioneered travel to the Caucasus and the “other NK”; the frozen conflict zone that is Nagorno-Karabakh. This region suffered a horrific war after the fall of the Soviet Union, and despite being de jure part of Azerbaijan, is in fact a de facto unrecognised independent nation state (1 of 4 in post-Soviet Europe).
As always, return Pioneer discounts apply, book your place now!
Please note that since Iran will be entered overland, visas must be acquired in advance to partake in this combo as visa on arrival for Iran cannot be obtained at land borders. YPT provides full visa support to get the Iranian visa.
Thursday 1st April – Baku
Friday 2nd April – Baku
Saturday 3rd April – Baku-Nakhchivan
Sunday 4th April – Nakhchivan-Ordubad
Monday 5th April – Nakhchivan
Tuesday 6th April – Nakhchivan/Tehran
Wednesday 7th April – Tehran
Thursday 8th April – Tehran-Esfahan
Friday 9th April – Esfahan
Saturday 10th April – Esfahan-Yazd
Sunday 11th April – Yazd-Shiraz
Monday 12th April – Persepolis-Shiraz
Tuesday 13th April – Shiraz
Wednesday 14th April – Goris
Thursday 15th April – Goris/Stepanakert
Friday 16th April– Stepanakert surroundings
Saturday 17th April – Stepanakert-Yerevan
Sunday 18th April – Yerevan
Monday 19th April – Yerevan
Tuesday 20th April – Tbilisi
Wednesday 21st April – Gori-Tbilisi
Thursday 22nd April– Stepansminda-Tbilisi
Friday 23rd April – Zugdidi-Sukhum
Saturday 24th April – Sukhum surroundings
Sunday 25th April – Sukhum
Monday 26th April – Tbilisi
Want to extend your YPT adventure? Join one of our great tour extensions
• Nagorno-Karabakh & Abkhazia visas/permits
• Letters of invitation for Iran
• Accommodation in twin-share / dorm rooms as per itinerary
• All transport to complete the tour
• YPT tour leader throughout and local guides in each place
• Entrance fees unless specified
•Visa fees for Iran (and Armenia, Georgia, Azerbaijan if need)
• Single supplement (€580)
We have expert guides ready to help answer any questions you may have.