Saga Holidays has introduced a new tour exploring the former soviet republics of Georgia and Armenia, following a rise in people booking its holidays to Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan.

The addition of the new tour, called Caucasus Calling, sees the expansion of the tour operator’s Central Asia holiday programme.

Wine, churches and monasteries

Caucasus Calling will see Saga guests explore Georgia’s wine-producing areas, the capital Tbilisi, and the UNESCO-listed churches and monasteries in former Soviet republic, Armenia.

26 excursions are included in this 13-night tour. It starts in Tbilisi, in eastern Georgia, and includes visits to the wine-growing region of Kakheti and the Tsinandali estate, home to what’s said to be Georgia’s first European winery.

Groups can discover the history of Tbilisi during a tour of the city; see a 13th century Metekhi church and the Sulphur Baths; and take a cable car to a reconstruction of the fourth century Narikala fortress.

The tour also passes 18th century ‘Caravanserai’ (roadside rest stops used by traders), the Sioni cathedral and Anchiskhati Basilica.

The holiday continues into Armenia, travelling to the UNESCO-listed Haghpat Monastery before exploring ‘Armenian Switzerland’ and the Dilijan spa and resort, in the Tavoush region. Visits to the Pagan Temple of Garni and a visit to the Ararat Brandy Factory for tastings of the Armenian brandy are also to be expected.

Further highlights on the itinerary will include an acapella holy music concert in the Geghard Monastery – partly built in caves and partly hewn from the cliffs of the Azat River gorge – and stops for local cooking lessons.

Group bookings with Saga Holidays

Groups can expect a number of benefits when holidaying with Saga, including free places, optional travel insurance, and single rooms at many hotels at no extra cost.

Organisers should call 0800-300 666 to speak to a member of the group booking team.

For more information visit www.travel.saga.co.uk.