Yerevan city tour, Garni, Geghard, Amberd Fortress, Khor Virap, Noravank, Zorats Karer, Goris, Tatev, Old Khndzoresk, Sisian, Jermuk, Yeghegis, Lake Sevan, Dilijan.
Transfer from Airport to Yerevan. Overnight in Yerevan
After breakfast at the hotel we will take our way to the North to the highest mountain of Armenia, Aragats (4090 m). Here we will head towards Lake Kari located on 3207m above sea level, surface area 0,12 sq. km., and depth 9m. The lake is formed from ice deposits and mostly is surrounded by snow and its water is quite cool. We will stop here to enjoy the lake and surrounding mountainous landscape. Aragats has 4 summits. The highest of them is the Northern (4090m), in the second place is the North-Western (4080m), then the Eastern (3916m) comes and the last one is the Southern (3879m). Then we will walk towards Amberd Fortress, which is a midcentury fort-city built during the 10th century. We will enjoy the landscape surrounding the fortress and alpine flowers near the fortress and on the wings of Aragats. Lunch in Byurakan. After lunch we will take our way back to Yerevan, where we will have short city tour visiting the Cafesjian Center for the Arts located in the Cascade and dedicated to bringing the best of contemporary art to Armenia and presenting the best of Armenian culture to the world. Inspired by the vision of its founder, Gerard L. Cafesjian, the Center offers a wide variety of exhibitions, derived from the Gerard L. Cafesjian Collection of contemporary art. This collection of more than 5,000 works includes one of the most comprehensive glass collections in the world. Then we will walk in the center visiting the monument to famous architect A. Tamanyan, Opera House, etc. After city tour we will have dinner in one of the nice restaurants in the center of Yerevan, tasting Armenian kitchen and enjoying Armenian music. After dinner we will embark on an evening tour of Yerevan city that includes walking through nice Northern prospect towards the Republic Square, where we can enjoy the Large Dancing Water Fountains.
After breakfast at the hotel we will take our way to the north up to the magnificent monument of medieval Armenian architecture Geghard Monastery founded in IV century A.D. (at that time called Ayrivank or a “Cave Monastery”) and rebuilt in 1215, when as a legend says the name Geghard was given as the legendary spear - Geghard - (that pierced Christ) was brought there. Leaving Geghard Monastery we will drive to the Garni Temple built in the second half of the 1st century B.C. and dedicated to a heathen god, probably to Mitra, the god of the sun. After Christianity the temple was used as a summer residence of Armenian Kings and was named as ‘‘A House of Coolness‘‘. Then we will have lunch in Garni village. After lunch we will hike to the Garni Gorge enjoying magnificent, seemingly artificial slopes from the foot to the top of the gorge named "Symphony of Stones", Then we will board on 4WD vehicles and taking off road way through the Canyon of Garni we will drive back to Yerevan stretching along the river Azat and Goght. In Yerevan we will visit Parajanov Museum. Then we will have dinner and stay for overnight in Yerevan.
After short briefing on the tour we will take our way to the South-East to Vayots Dzor region on the way enjoying the panoramic view of Ararat. We will stop on the way to photo Khor Virap Monastery, which before Christianity was Ancient Deep Prison located in the Citadel of historical Artashat (Ancient Capital City of historical Armenia built in 161 B.C). Here the future first patriarch of Armenian Apostolic Church, Grigor Enlightener, was imprisoned for 13 years. Leaving Khor Virap and passing through grand canyon surrounded by the famous caves we will reach the Noravank Monastery built during the 13th – 14th centuries and situated on a ledge of a deep winding gorge of a tributary of the Arpa River. Leaving Noravank we will have lunch near Yeghegnadzor and after lunch will continue our way to the South to visit one of the most ancient megalithic constructions of the world called Zorats Karer (Stonehenge) located near Sisian town. The two-meter pointed blocks last precisely from the south to the north, fencing large territory, in the center they form a correct circle. It is proved, that Zorats Karer is an observatory built in VI mil. B.C. Scientists have found similar constructions in many areas of Europe. The most known of them is the Stonehenge (II mil. B.C.). Reaching Goris city, we will have dinner and stay for overnight.
After breakfast at the hotel we will take our way to Tatev Monastery Complex built in 895-906, which is one of the most important Education and Religion Centers situated in medieval Syunik region and is under UNESCO World Heritage Site. On the way we will take Tatev Wings ropeway, which is the longest two-way ropeway of the world and flies above deep Vorotan gorge opening breath-taking views of the Vorotan Canyon. Before taking ropeway we will have small coffee break near the ropeway station. Visiting Tatev Monastery we will enjoy Tatev ensemble fitting in perfectly with the mountainous landscape around it. This gives the ensemble an original and majestic appearance. During the XIV and XV centuries it was famous for its university. Leaving the Monastery we will hike to the Tatev Big Hermitage, which was a religious and educational center, located in Vorotan ravine, to the south-eastern part of the Tatev village. It was built after the destruction of «Harants», which was located further to the south in the same ravine, after that in 1660, the brotherhood decided to relocate it to a new place and call it - «The Big Hermitage of Tatev». Then we will visit the “Devil Bridge” located on Vorotan River to the east from Tatev village. The bridge consists of travertine and has natural origin. Its length is about 30m, width 50-60m, along the bridge passes the road Goris-Tatev (village). There are many mineral springs around, from which have formed wonderful stalactites. Some springs are under the bridge and fall into Vorotan River making it more full-flowing. At first sight it looks like a little river flows under the bridge and a big one outflows from the other side. It is assumed that this might be the reason of a strange name of the bridge. Lunch in a restaurant near Devil Bridge. After lunch we will take our bus and continue our way to Old Khndzoresk village, where we can walk down to the gorge visiting the canyon of ancient cave residences of the people. Leaving these amazing cave residences we will drive back to Goris, where we will have dinner and stay for overnight.
After breakfast at the hotel we will take our way to Sisian town. Then we will take 4WD vehicles to drive to Ukhtasar mountain (3300 meters above sea level). Here we will enjoy natural sightseeing like small lakes and also will visit one of the unique wonders of the world, rock carvings of Ukhtasar Mountain from pre-historic era. After interesting mountainous excursion and picnic lunch in the nature we will cme down to the highway, take our bus and drive to the Jermuk town, which is the most beautiful health resorts and famous with its mineral water. Reaching Jermuk we will have dinner and stay for overnight.
After breakfast at the hotel we will have city tour including drinking mineral water in Gallery and visiting the Gorge of Jermuk enjoying the beautiful waterfall. After the city tour we will take our way to Yeghegis state sanctuary, where we will visit Medieval Jewish Cemetery. Then we will have lunch in Hermon village and will continue our way through Selim pass gradually climbing up over 2,410m, following the historic Silk Road and visiting on the way Selim Caravanserai built in 1331. Going out from Selim pass we will reach Lake Sevan, which is the largest lake in Caucasus as well as one of the largest and highest freshwater lakes of the world located on 1897m above sea level. After reaching Lake Sevan we will visit Sevanavank Monastery located at the top of Sevan peninsula and built in 305 A.C. by the daughter of King Ashot Bagratuni - Mariam and during the 9th century became the royal citadel of the Armenian Kings. Continuing our way we will reach Dilijan National Park located on the upstream pool of Aghstev river, and surrounded by the Lesser Caucasus mountains. After accommodation in a hotel in Dilijan town we will have dinner and stay for overnight.
After breakfast we will have a short hiking in forests, enjoying cool and fresh air and beautiful landscape of Northern Armenia. After getting back to the hotel we will prepare for checking out and will take our way to Yerevan, where we will have lunch. After lunch we will visit the Institute of Ancient Manuscripts, known as Matenadaran, containing over 16,000 manuscripts that document the centuries-old history of the Armenian nation, art, literature, and sciences. Manuscript art is one of the most unique examples of Armenia’s medieval culture. Then we will visit Armenian Genocide Memorial in the Park of Tsitseranakaberd. Before we go back to the city center we will have free time in Dalma Garden Mall, a new and nice shopping center. In the evening we will have farewell dinner accompanied with Armenian music and dancing. After the dinner we will walk through Norther Avenue to the Republic Square to enjoy the Dancing Fountains, from where the bus will take us to the Airport for the direct flight back to Israel.
Price is calculated per person for a double accommodation and for a group of 20 tourists. Price includes entrance fees for cable car Tatev, Garni temple, rent of local jeeps for Garni canyon and Ukhtasar off-roads as well as museums in Yerevan. Our prices also include one bottle of water for each tourist every day. All breakfasts and dinners are included in the price, welcome and farewell dinners in Yerevan will be accompanied with live music and dance shows. Our local guide will accompany the groups during the whole duration of the tour.
Air tickets, Armenia visa fee (USD 7.5 per person), all lunches (except for 2 lunches: in Aghavnadzor village (with wine and vodka tasting, lavash baking and picnic lunch in Ukhtasar), as well as airfare, personal expenses, insurance and other costs not mentioned above.