If you want to explore the city older than Rome
Feel the mystery of the Biblical Mount Ararat...
Experience the freshness of the second highest alpine lake in the world…
Explore the last pagan temple in the whole Caucasus …
Feel the authentic Christianity in the first state Christian church in the cradle of Christianity …
See Armenian Karahouj that is older than the Stonehenge in England
Make your dream come true ….
Day 1: Departure from home country
Day 2: Arrival / Yerevan City Tour / (~60km)
Arrival in Zvartnots Airport. Meet and greet transfer. Check in. Accommodation at the hotel. Rest.
Breakfast in hotel. City tour in Yerevan, the capital city of Armenia, with tipical buildings of rose tuff overlooking the Republic Square. Continuation of the tour and visit of the main points of interest of the city. Visit of the Tsitsernakaberd Memorial (the Park and the Museum dedicated to the victims of the Armenian genocide). Visit famous Armenian Brandy Factory. Welcome dinner in a traditional restaurant. Overnight Yerevan. (B/--/D)
Day 3: Yerevan - Khor Virap - Areni village - Noravank - Karahounj - Goris (~ 250 km/ 4-5 h. driving)
Sightseeing tour to Khor-Virap monastery 4-17th cc. 45 km. from Yerevan the monastery of Khor-Virap has a very rich history, both religious and secular. Khor Virap was built in Artashat during the reign of the Arshakids dynasty. At that time it was used as a pit- dungeon for convicts. In the 60s of the 4th century Artashat was ruined by Persian invaders. It is situated in the Ararat valley against the biblical Ararat Mountain, were Noah's Ark cast anchor. The importance of it is related to Gregory the Illuminator, who introduced Christianity to Armenia and is considered to be the first Armenian catholicos. Here you will also have an opportunity to take a lit candle from the pit like His holiness Paul II did during his visit to Khor Virap. Continue tour to Noravank monastery - a great religious and cultural centre of 12th c. On the way visit Areni wine factory to taste local wine made from special sorts of vines. Noravank ("New Monasterey") is 122 km away from Yerevan and is located in an inaccessible location throughout the stunning nature. Visit the local winery of Areni to learn more about wine making industry in Armenia. Drive to Syunik region to the town of Goris. On the way visit Karahunge (Stonehenge), ancient observatory 6000 B.C. It is located at 1770 m. above sea level and occupies 7 hectares of territory. The monument consists of about 223 basalt slabs of which 84 have 4-5cm long openings in them (which, for Stone Age, have been rendered with incredible smoothness). Dinner and overnight at the hotel in Goris. (B/--/D)
Day 4: Goris - Khndzoresk - Tatev monastery - Yeghegnadzor (~160 km/ 3-4 h. driving)
Start the tour from Goris to explore the city, visiting the exciting Dig Dig stones - natural monument. Nestled in a bowl of green hills and mountains, with interesting formations and many previously inhabited caves in them, Goris has some of the nicest overall Armenian architecture in Armenia. Excursion tour to Khndzoresk which is a cave village and there are many signs of past settlement throughout the valley which are just waiting for discovery. You will see that many of the caves have been carved out by man and they served as houses for people. Continue to explore a monastic complex of Tatev which is an architectural masterpiece dating from the 10th century and is often called a monastery built on the edge of nothing. On the way to this monastery there is a strange natural bridge called the Devil's Bridge. The journey takes about 7 hours and is a totally absorbing and unique experience. Drive to the nearby city of Yegheghnadzor. Dinner and overnight at the hotel in Yeghegnadzor. (B/--/D).
Day 5: Yegheghnadzor - Selim Carvansarai - Noraduz - Lake Sevan - Dilijan (~ 160 km/ 3-3.5h driving)
After breakfast start Drive to Lake Sevan through Selim Pass visiting the caravanserai (XIV c.). The Selim caravanseray was built in 1332 by Prince Chesar Orbelian, according to an inscription in Armenian and Arabic, this used to be an important trade point in the famous Silk Road. Visit also to Noraduz, ancient cemetery with medieval khachkars (cross-stones) dating back to 6th c. About 70 miles north of Yerevan sits lake Sevan. This huge mountain lake which takes up to 5% of Armenia's surface area and is about 2,000 meters above sea level is one of the highest among the freshwater lakes in the world. Drive to the resort town of Dilijan. Dinner and overnight at the hotel Dilijan. (B/--/D).
Day 6: Dilijan - Lermontovo - Haghpat - Sanahin Monasteries - Lori (~155 km/ ~ 2-3 h. driving)
Start tour from Dilijan to the North of Armenia. Visit the village of Lermontovo in the Lori Province of Armenia. Like its neighbor, Fioletovo village, it is the location of one of the Russian Molokan settlements in Armenia. The town is named after Russian poet Mikhail Lermontov, often called "the poet of the Caucasus". Here you will have the opportunity to meet the locals and communicate with them. You will get to know their everyday life-style and the means of living. Molokans are members of a Christian sect who evolved from "Spiritual Christian" Russian peasants that refused to obey the Russian Orthodox Church. Continue tour to the architectural complexes of Sanahin (966 AD) and Haghpat (976 AD) which are among the outstanding works of medieval Armenian architecture and are inscribed in UNESCO World Heritage list. The architectural details and decoration of the monuments, which belong to the same epoch, have much in common and are even exactly alike in some cases, which gives us ground to presume that they were created by craftsmen of the same school. Dinner and overnight at the hotel in Lori. (B/--/D).
Day 7: Lori - Akhtala - Marmashen- Gyumri (~160 km/ ~ 2-3 h. driving)
Drive to Akhtala fortress and monastery of 13th century which is one of the rarest complexes which is decorated by frescos. It's situated close to the copper miniseries and old factories of Aktala which make the trip more interesting. Leave Lori for Shirak region. Visit Marmashen village on the Akhuryan river bank, divided by two monumental groups known as Big and Small. During 1954-1956 at the south-western entry, the fourth church was excavated from the outside. On the eastern and southern parts of the many monuments there is a cemetery. The monastery had its very own water-supply, which was discovered in the western portion of the entry. Marmashen was an important religious and cultural center. Drive to the second largest city of Armenia the ethno city of Gyumri. Dinner and overnight in Gyumri. (B/--/D).
Day 8: Gyumri - Talin - Aruch - Yerevan (~130 km/ ~ 2-3 h. driving)
After breakfast start tour in Gyumri - the second largest city of Armenia. Drive back to Yerevan. The road leads toward an excellent early church called Talin village in which ther are the impressive remains of an important cathedral church of 7th century. The village of Aruch is one of the oldest settlements of Armenia. Aruch and its environs are rich with historical- architectural monuments; burial-vaults from Bronze Age, temples, palaces, fortresses, khachkars, etc The temple of Aruch (7 c A.D) is one of the most important medieval Armenian architectural constructions. The walls of the temple are plastered and decorated with frescos (now seriously damaged). The half-destroyed caravansary is preserved on the northern side of the village, on the Ashtarak-Talin highway. It belongs to the three-nave caravansaries type with one hall, that were built in Armenia in XIII-XIV cc. These two architectural highlights are unique as they are works of the same century but they have quite different architectural conceptions. Drive to Yerevan. Overnight at the hotel in Yerevan. (B/--/--)
Day 9 Yerevan/ Etchmiadzin/ Amberd / Ashtarak / Yerevan (~210 km/ ~ 3-4 h. driving)
Breakfast at the hotel. Departure to Echmiadzin which is mere 20 km from Yerevan. Etchmiadzin Cathedral is known as the center of the Armenian - Gregorian Church and appears to be one of the world's first Christian churches. Legend has it that it was here that Jesus Christ descended from heaven to show were he wanted a church to be built. So Echmiadzin means "The only-begotten descended". Extension to Fortress of Amberd, 9th century, stands halfway up Mt. Aragats, at the height of 2300m. The fortress stands on a rocky cape formed by the rivers Amberd and Arkhashen. There are also vestiges of a fortified three-storied palace, a church built in 1026, a palace bathhouse with two domes, a central heating system, water tanks, a water-supply system, and a secret passage to a nearby cleft, and other buildings. Proceed to Ashtarak - one of the most ancient Armenian cities, to visit the church of Karmravour. It's one of the smallest pan-Armenian churches but in spite of its size you can still feel authentic Christianity. Dinner in the house museum of an Armenian writer. Participation in folk Theatre in Ashtarak. Drive back to Yerevan. Overnight in Yerevan. (B/--/--)
Day 10: Garni - Geghard - Matenadaran (~ 80 km/~ 1.5-2 h. driving)
Departure to Garni Temple. The citadel and pagan temple of Garni is a picturesque monument of the Hellenistic period and an impressive piece of ancient Armenian architecture. It was built in the first century A.D. Lunch at a local house in Garni where you will have opportunity to watch Armenian national bread "lavash" baking and barbeque making process in the underground stove called "tonir". Northeast of Garni, higher up the gorge of the Azat river, there is a magnificent monument of medieval Armenian architecture - Geghard monastery inscribed in UNESCO World Heritage list. Geghard is another incredible ancient Armenian monastery, partly carved out of a solid rock. The meaning "the Monastery of the Spear", originates from the spear which had wounded Jesus during his crucifixion, allegedly brought to Armenia by Apostle Thaddeus, and stored amongst many other relics. Return back. Visit to the depositary of ancient manuscripts the Matenadaran which contains historical documents from all over Europe and Asia throughout many centuries. There is also the first copy of the Bible in Armenian and the Gospels that fascinate with their beautiful miniatures. Farewell dinner and overnight at the hotel in Yerevan. (B/L/D)
Day 11: Departure
Transfer to the airport and departure home.
|Pax N||Rates in Euro per person in DBL/TWN occupancy|
|3* hotel||4* hotel||5* hotel|
|Rates include:||Rates do not include:|
- 5 x overnight at the hotel in Yerevan
- 1 x overnight at the hotel in Goris
- 1 x overnight at the hotel in Yeghegnadzor
- 1 x overnight at the hotel in Dilijan
- 1 x overnight at the hotel in Haghpat
- 1 x overnight at the hotel in Gyumri
- Transportation as mentioned in the program in comfortable sedan
car with A/C or a big bus
- English speaking professional guide throughout the program
- Entrance fees to the sites according to the itinerary and
folk theatre participation
- Catering HB: breakfast at the hotel, 1 x lunch, 9 x dinners
- 1 bottle of mineral water per day/per person
|- Alcoholic beverages
- Meals except described and farewell dinner
- Optional excursions
- Travel insurance