I’m visiting Tbilisi (Georgia) for two weeks and want to travel down to Yerevan (Armenia) visiting some rural areas in both countries. I fly out of Tbilisi so have to get back there on the last day. Can you advise on which places are unmissable? Kay Buck, via email 

That sounds like an interesting trip, but do be aware there are parts of both Georgia and Armenia that are not currently safe to travel to, namely the areas bordering or within the separatist regions of South Ossetia or Abkhazia in Georgia and the areas close to the border of Armenia and Azerbaijan.

Therefore, a route which travels south from Tbilisi in Georgia, towards Yerevan in Armenia, taking in the World Heritage monasteries of Haghpat and Sanahin and going on to the Garni Temple in Armenia, would be a good option. 

The Garni is a restored Hellenic temple, which looks like a mini version of the Parthenon. The monastery at Geghard, which is an ancient, slightly spooky half-cathedral and half-cave, is definitely an unmissable spot. Also, close to Yerevan is another ancient site worth including in your trip, the ruins of Zvartnots Cathedral. It was reputedly one of the most beautiful churches in the world and a number of impressive columns remain. 

Next, continue further onto the Yeghegis Valley, which is an impressive landscape of towering peaks dotted with churches. If you have time and the weather is favourable, head north to Sevan, which is a bustling little lakeside town with a popular beach.

Lonely Planet’s Laura Lindsay will give you the benefit of her infinite wisdom if you email a question to  traveltips@tntmagazine.com. If your question is answered, you’ll win a Lonely Planet guide of your choice.


Photos: Getty