Arrival to Yerevan, meeting at Zvartnots International airport. Transfer to the hotel. Leisure time. The guide will meet you at the hotel lobby. We will visit Matenadaran – Institute of ancient manuscripts. Here are kept more than 17,000 manuscripts and the collection is constantly updated with new discoveries, acquisitions and gifts. Visit of the Tsitsernakaberd Memorial Complex dedicated to the memory of the victims of the genocide of 1915 and Armenian Genocide Museum. After lunch a panoramic tour of the capital of Armenia, which is one of the oldest cities in the world. We’ll see the Republic Square, Northern Avenue the National Opera and Ballet Theatre, cultural – architectural complex Cascade, the monument “Mother Armenia”. It is possible to arrange welcome dinner at the traditional restaurant, where each can taste delicious national dishes. Overnight in the hotel.
Yerevan, Geghard, Garni, Yerevan
Breakfast at the hotel. A trip to the cave Monastery Geghard (4-13th cc), which consists of three churches and a huge mausoleum carved into the mountain. Continuation of the tour will bring us to the pagan temple of Garni (1st century) – only Hellenistic temple extant in the region. Inspection of “Temple of the Sun” and the ancient royal baths, situated on the edge of the picturesque valley. Lunch in a private house. Return to Yerevan. Visit “Ararat” Brandy Factory with excursion and brandy tasting.
Yerevan, Echmiadzin, Zvartnots, Yerevan
Breakfast at the hotel. Visit the famous open air market “Vernissage” – a large open air market of Armenian folk art, handmade masterpieces and jewelries. A trip to Echmiadzin, the spiritual and administrative center of the Armenian Apostolic Church. We will visit the pearls of Armenian architecture – the Church of St. Hripsime (7th century) and the world’s first Christian Cathedral (1st century). Excursion to the unique museum of Echmiadzin Cathedral. Visit the Church of St. Gayane (7th century). On the way back stop at the ruins of one of the most famous temples in Armenia – Zvartnots Cathedral (7th century). Return to Yerevan. Lunch in a traditional restaurant. Visit of Gum market to buy and taste fresh, dried and marinated fruits and vegetables of your choice. Leisure time.
Yerevan, Khor Virap, Areni, Noravank, Goris
Breakfast at the hotel. The road from Yerevan leads through the plains of Ararat, where all of a sudden an attractive picture of Khor-Virap Monastery appears, where first Catholicos of the Armenian Apostolic Church was imprisoned for 13 years for promoting Christianity. The monastery is located 200 meters away from the Turkish border. It is the nearest spot to Ararat Mountain from Armenia. Then we visit Areni wine factory in Areni village. After wine tasting we will drive to visit Noravank Monastery which is built in an inaccessible location among an amazing nature. Lunch in a local restaurant. Transfer to Goris, which is known for its beautiful nature, great climate and wonderful architectural beauty. Overnight in Goris.
Goris, Tatev, Shushi, Stepanakert
After breakfast we’ll visit the Medieval Monastery of Tatev (9th century) – one of the most famous spiritual and educational centers of the Middle Ages. Located 1600 high in the mountains it is surrounded by a magnificent canyon. Here we will take the world’s longest ropeway with a length of 5,752 meters. On the way back we will stop near Devil’s bridge, a natural bridge composed of secular sediments saturated with calcium hot springs. Lunch time (upon request). Our tour continues to Stepanakert – the largest city and capital of Nagorno Karabakh Republic, a Caucasian region located between Armenia and Azerbaijan. Overnight in Stepanakert.
Stepanakert, Gandzasar, Stepanakert
Breakfast. We will visit the famous statue of Tatik – Papik, known as “Menq enq mer sarery” which means “We are Our Mountains”. It is a large monument of an old Armenian man and woman from tufa stone and is recognised as a national symbol of Karabakh. Then our tour continues to Gandzasar, which is a monastery of 10-13th century situated in Martakert region. Later we continue to Shushi. In the middle of the 18th century Shushi became a city-fortress and is known by its historical monuments. We will admire the Ghazanchetsots St. Amenaprkich Church and the monument of the Liberation of Shushi – “Tank”. Lunch time. Return to Stepanakert. Dinner and overnight in Stepanakert.
Stepanakert, Askeran, Tigranakert, Stepanakert
Breakfast at the hotel. Then our tour will let us to discover the beautiful sites of Askeran. Continue to Tigranakert which is founded in the 1st century B.C. by the Armenian king Tigran the Great and is one of the four ancient cities that bears his name. Return to Stepanakert. Overnight in Stepanakert.
Stepanakert, Khndzoeresk, Selim Pass, Noratus, Sevan, Dilijan
Breakfast at the hotel. Our trip continues to the cave village of Khndzoresk, which is famous for its caves and located at 1580 meters above sea level. Drive to Selim Pass for visiting Orbelian’s caravanserai (14th century), which is situated at 2410 meters above the sea level. Passing the Selim Pass, we will reach the village Noratus, an ancient cemetery of Middle Ages. This is the biggest cemetery of khachkars (cross-stones) in Armenia and the oldest one dating back to the late 10th century. Drive to Lake Sevan which is situated at an altitude of 1900m. Its crystal-clear transparent water changes color several times during the day leaving unforgettable expressions. The continuation of the trip will bring us to the forested resort town of Dilijan, which is also called “Armenian Little Switzerland” for its nature. Dinner and overnight in Dilijan.
Dilijan, Haghpat, Sanahin, Dilijan
After breakfast visit one of the highlights of the region – the medieval Monastery Haghartsin. Walk along one of the most beautiful and oldest streets of the Old Dilijan – Sharambeyan where we will find small art schools and souvenir shops. After we start to the Northern region of Armenia. Inspection of the medieval Sanahin bridge over the river Debed. Excursion to the Monasteries of Sanahin and Haghpat (10 -13th cc), which are among the outstanding works of medieval Armenian architecture. In their artistic merits they transcend the limits of national culture and they are now listed in the UNESCO World Heritage Property. Lunch in a local restaurant. Overnight in Dzoraget.
Dilijan, Haghartsin, Gyumri, Yerevan
Breakfast. Transfer to Gyumri – the second-largest city in Armenia, which was an important center of Armenian culture in 18-20th centuries. Arrival to Gyumri, lunch in a local restaurant and leisure time. A walk through the historical center (Alexandropol), where you can find traditional houses and buildings of 19th century. This walking tour will help to discover more of the historic flavor of the city and the lifestyle of Gyumri people. Get to know the significant religious structures of the city, visit a renowned blacksmith’s house to see his family’s personal collection of traditional iron work and much more. Free time and overnight in Gyumri.
Yerevan, Ashtarak, Amberd, Yerevan
Breakfast at the hotel. Today we will visit the Armenian Alphabet Monument at the foot of Mount Aragats. A visit to Karmravor Church (7th century), which is the only one in Armenia preserved with its original roofing. Visiting also the Monasteries Saghmosavank and Hovannavank (13th century) situated at the edge of one of the most beautiful canyons in Armenia. Lunch time. Visiting the 7th century fortress-castle Amberd on Mount Aragats at the height of 2,300 meters above sea level. Return to Yerevan, free time. Overnight in Yerevan.