Yerevan - Artik - Giumry - Stepanavan Dendropark - Dzoraget - Sanahin - Akhtala - Ijevan - Dilijan - Lake Sevan - Selim Pass - Yeghegnadzor - Jermuk - Tatev - Khndzoresk - Sisian - Aghavnnadzor - Noravank - Khor Virap - Yerevan
After checking in the hotel and taking a short rest we will visit Victory Park - Mother Armenia and will have a bird eye view of Yerevan, from where we will walk down to the Cascade, visiting the monument to famous architect A. Tamanyan, Opera House. We will have Welcome 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 and short briefing on the tour we will check out from the hotel and will visit Armenia History Museum where we will be introduced to the history and culture of Armenia. Our next stop will be 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. After lunch we will visit the Memorial of Armenian Genocide organized and implemented by Young Turks government in Turkey during 1915 – 1923. Then we will move North-East towards Gyumri, which is the second largest city in Armenia, visiting on the way Artik town rich with the monuments of Armenian culture. There are ancient tombs in Artik, that belong to the period of 14-13cc, 12-11cc, 10-9cc B.C. Artik's materialistic culture is important not only because it gives us a chance to explore the ways of life of the Aragats ancient population, but it also shows us the connection between the Armenian culture and that of the ancient East’s civilizations. After accommodation in the hotel in Gyumri we will have dinner tasting the food specific to Gyumri’s famous kitchen.
After breakfast at the hotel we will have city tour visiting the most interesting places and sights in Gyumri, one of the oldest cities in Armenia, which is also famous place for its historical-cultural traditions, strong art and crafts, education and also for film-making industry (a lot of films were produced in Gyumri). We will visit Yot Verk (St. Nshan) Church in the Central Square of Gyumri built in 1859, Statue of Mother Armenia, and also we will walk in the famous Gyumri’s craftsmen street, in the Park of Gorki and other streets of old Gyumri, where a lot of Armenian films have been produced. After city tour we will have lunch and will continue our way to the East to Stepanavan located in the Lori Region. Here we will visit famous Stepanavan Dendropark, which is one of the most remarkable natural zones in Armenia. We will walk in the park and will feel like in a fairy tale with its fabulous nature, fresh air, and birds’ songs. Leaving Dendropark we will stop at Dzoraget village for dinner and overnight in Tufenkyan hotel.
After breakfast at the hotel we will take our way to Alaverdi town, where we will stop in one of the most beautiful places in northern Armenia called Sanahin Monastery Complex included in UNESCO Heritage Sites. The complex was built in 966 A.C. and stands on a high plateau, amidst low structures, against the background of steep forest-grown slopes of Bazum ridge. After excursion in the complex we will visit the famous Akhtala’s fortress, built in the 10th century, by Kyurik Bagratounis. Leaving the fortress we will continue our way to the Tavush region reaching Noyemberyan city, where we will have lunch in a local house. Continuing our way to the South we will reach Dilijan National Park located on the upstream pool of Aghstev river, and surrounded by the Lesser Caucasus mountains. Here we will visit Haghartsin Monastery built in 1281 and situated in dense oak wood, in the gorge of small but turbulent mountain river. Then we will have dinner and stay in Dilijan for overnight.
After breakfast at the hotel we will take our way to 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, depth is 90m, an area-1260km square, lengh-70km, width-55km and the volume is 58 billion cubic meters. Here 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. Coming down from the top we will take a short boat tour and will continue our way around lake Sevan having lunch on the shore of the lake and visiting on the way monuments of Noraduz village famous with its Armenian Cross stones (Khachkars). Continuing our way through Selim Pass, gradually climbing up over 2,410 m and following the historic Silk Road we will visit Selim Caravanserai built in 1331. Continuing our way down to Yeghegnadzor we will take our way to Jermuk town, which is one of the most beautiful health resorts and is famous with its mineral water. Reaching Jermuk and after accommodation in the hotel we will have dinner and quick evening city tour including drinking mineral water in the Gallery of mineral water. We will stay for overnight in Jermuk.
After breakfast at the hotel we will visit the Gorge of Jermuk enjoying the beautiful waterfall. Leaving Jermuk we will continue our way to the South to Tatev village visiting 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. 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. Here we will have lunch exploring Armenian village hospitality hosted by the local family, getting acquainted with village family life, their culture and traditions. After lunch we will visit Old Khndzoresk village, where we can visit the canyon of ancient cave residences of the people. Leaving these amazing cave residences in Old Khndzoresk Canyon we will take direction to the North to Sisian town. Reaching Sisian we will stay for overnight in the hotel, where we will have dinner participating in lavash baking, accompanied with performance of young dancers’ ensemble of Sisian.
After breakfast at the hotel we will visit one of the most ancient megalithic constructions of the world called Zorats Karer (Stonehenge) in Sisian. The two-meter pointed blocks last precisely from the south to the north, fencing large territory, in the center they form a correct circle. There is a hypothesis, 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 in England (II mil. B.C.). Then we will continue our way to the East 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. Having lunch near the Monastery, we will continue our way to the North-East stopping on the way at Khor Virap (Ancient Deep Prison 160 B.C.), where the future first patriarch of Armenian Apostolic Church, Grigor Lusavorich, was imprisoned for 13 years. We will have nice excursion there, and if lucky with the weather, will enjoy the panoramic view of Ararat. We will continue our way to Yerevan, where we will have farewell dinner with music and dances and stay in the hotel for overnight, again enjoying night Yerevan.
Costs of transportation, airport transfer, Yerevan and Gyumri city tours, overnight, full board, entrance fees, as well as the local guide and driver.
Airfare, personal expenses, visa fees, driver’s and guide’s tips, insurance and other expenses not mentioned above.