During this tour we will take an off-road way to one of nice waterfalls in Armenia called Trchkan, will climb up to Geghama mountains towards Lake Sevan, will enjoy from the top of the mountain the fantastic view of the lake, will drive towards the hot natural springs (geysers) , will drive towards Ukhtasar Mountain, will do off-road through Vorotan gorge, will take the longest two-way ropeway of the world, will visit Areni Cave (Birds Cave), where the oldest shoes and winery (4500 B.C.) in the world have been found, will enjoy panoramic view of Biblical Mountain Ararat.
Arrival To Yerevan. Transfer from the Zvartnots International Airport. Check in.
After breakfast at the hotel we will go to the Victory Park, from where we can enjoy the Statue of Mother Armenia and amazing morning view of Yerevan. Then we will visit the Institute of Ancient Manuscripts known as Matenadaran, containing over 16,000 manuscripts documenting the centuries-old history of the Armenian nation, art, literature, and natural sciences. Manuscript art is one of the most unique examples of Armenia’s medieval culture. After excursion in Matenadaran we will visit Mergeryan Carpet Factory, which brings together time-honored traditions and a range of exquisite aesthetics to create objects of art for modern living. We will have lunch in the Carpet Factory tasting unique Armenian kitchen. After lunch we will visit Memorial and Museum of Armenian Genocide. Then we will have free time to walk in the center of the city visiting Cafesjian Center for the Arts located in the Cascade. Inspired by the vision of its founder, 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. 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 board 4x4 vehicles and will drive to the north to Kotayk region taking off road way through the Canyon of Garni stretching along the rivers Azat and Goght. Enjoying magnificent, seemingly artificial slopes from the foot to the top of the gorge named "Symphony of Stones", we will continue our way to Garni Temple built in the second half of the 1st century A.D. and dedicated to the God Mitra, the God of the Sun. After Christianity the temple was used as a summer residence of Armenian Kings described as ‘‘A House of Coolness‘‘. Then we will have lunch in the nice tavern in Garni. After lunch we will drive 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. After excursion in the monastery we will be back to Yerevan, and the participants will have free time till dinner. In the evening we will have Welcome Dinner in one of the nice restaurants in the center of Yerevan, tasting Armenian kitchen and enjoying Armenian music. Overnight in Yerevan.
After breakfast at the hotel we will take our direction to the North to the highest mountain of Armenia Aragats (4090 m) and taking off-road way through the nice gorge we will climb up to Amberd Fortress, which is a midcentury fort-city built during the X century. We will enjoy the landscape surrounding the fortress and alpine flowers on the wings of Aragats. Then we will drive to Byurakan village where we will have lunch in ethnographic center participating in lavash baking, dancing and singing. Enjoying the lunch and hospitality we will leave this fascinating place to continue our way around Aragats mountain towards Gyumri, which is the second city in Armenia. After checking in a hotel, we will have short city tour visiting the most interesting places and sights in one of the oldest cities in Armenia, which is also famous place for its historical-cultural traditions, strong art and crafts, education and also by film making industry (a lot of films were produced in Gyumri). We will visit Yot Verk Church in the Central Square of Gyumri built in 1859, also we will walk in the famous Gyumri’s craftsmen street and other streets of old Gyumri, where a lot of Armenian films have been produced. After city tour we will have dinner in the nice place tasting the food specific to Gyumri’s famous kitchen. Overnight in Gyumri.
After breakfast at the hotel we will drive to the North-East towards Lori Region and taking off-road way we will get to one of nice waterfalls in Armenia called Trchkan. Having coffee break near the waterfall and enjoying the beautiful natural sites we will continue our way towards historical Pushkin Pass. From there we will drive to Kurtan village, where we will stop at the local family for lunch. Being introduced to the local food, traditions and culture we will drive along Dzoraget river to the connection of Debed River canyon, surrounded by the mountainous beautiful natural and historical sites. Taking our way to the East along Debed river we will get to Sanahin village visiting one of the most beautiful places in northern Armenia called Sanahin Monastery Complex included in UNESCO Heritage Site. The complex was built in 966 A.C. After excursion in the complex we will drive to Haghpat village. Here we will check in the local hotel surrounded by the rich flora and having fantastic view of nature. In the hotel we will have dinner specific to the northern Armenian kitchen. Overnight in Haghpat village.
After breakfast at the hotel we will visit Haghpat Monastery built in X century and standing against the background of steep forest-grown slopes of Bazum ridge. After excursion in this monastery with amazing architecture, we will drive to Koghb village located in Zikatar State Sanctuary represented by species, various types of relief and corresponding rich plant diversity characteristic for the Caucasus broad-leave forests. Here we will visit Mshkavank monastery complex built in XIII century and located in the forest landscape rich with cross-stones and inscriptions. After visiting the monastery we will continue our driving through forest route to the gorge of Koghb River on the way having natural mineral water called “TTU Water”. Reaching “Zikatar” hotel we will have lunch with barbeque. After lunch we will continue our way towards 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. Leaving the monastery we will continue our way to Dilijan. Accommodation, dinner and overnight in Dilijan.
After breakfast at the hotel we will drive to the village Gosh, where we will visit Monastery Complex Goshavank, built in XII century and during many centuries was one of the most important religious and educational centers of Armenia. After visiting the monastery we will take forest route towards Gosh lake situated in the hearth of the dense forest at the altitude of 1400 meters above the sea level. Enjoying the beautiful nature we will continue our trip to Kalavan village, where we will be hosted at the local house for lunch. After lunch we will climb up to Geghama mountains towards 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 1900m above sea level. From the top of the mountain we can see the fantastic view of the lake. Driving down to the shore of the lake we will check in a hotel, have dinner and stay for overnight.
After breakfast at the hotel we will drive along the Lake Sevan towards Vayots Dzor Region. Getting into Vardenyats Pass, which lies along the historical Silk Road, we will see a round-shape volcano on our left. The name of the volcano is Armaghan, and there is a very nice off-road path that takes directly into the crater of the mount, with a small and beautiful lake in it and a chapel on the edge of the crater. The altitude of the volcano is 2800 meters above sea level, and the view from the top of the mount is fascinating all around 360°. We will drive into the crater, will enjoy the view and make a short break there. After we get back to the main road, we will drive to Orbelyan Carvanseray, build in 14-th century and used as overnight for Silk Road caravans. We will have a delicious lunch in a tavern and will continue our driving till Jermuk, which is the most beautiful health resorts in Armenia and is famous with its mineral water. After accommodation in a hotel in Jermuk, we will have dinner and will stay for overnight.
After breakfast at the hotel we will do tour in Jermuk and surrounding mountains. First we will visit the Gallery to drink mineral water coming from natural sources with different temperature. Then we will drive towards the hot natural springs (geysers) on surrounding mountains covered with forests and alpine meadows at a height of 2500–3000 meters. After taking bath in these natural springs we will be back to Jermuk to the ropeway station. Taking chairlift we will climb up to the mountain, from where we can see beautiful view of Jermuk. Here, in the nice tavern we will have lunch. After lunch we will visit the Gorge of Jermuk to see the beautiful waterfall. After this amazing tour we will have dinner. Overnight in Jermuk.
After breakfast at the hotel we will drive towards Ukhtasar Mountain located in Syunik region. Driving closely to the top of the mountains (3300 meters above sea level) we will see one of the youngest volcanoes called Nazeli and its Crater in Armenian Highland with 15 km Lava flow. Here we will see a lot of small and big lakes. Enjoying this amazing sightseeing we will also visit one of the unique wonders of the world, rock carvings of Ukhtasar Mountain from pre-historic era. After interesting mountainous excursion and picnic in the nature, we will continue our way to Sisian, where after accommodation in a hotel, we will have dinner and stay for overnight.
After breakfast at the hotel we will drive down to Vorotan Gorge and taking off-road mountainous way through Ltsen village will take our way to Tatev Village. Driving through the forest routes we will climb up to alpine zone covered with a lot of flowers. Then we will gradually climb down to Tatev Monastery Complex built in 895-906, which is one of the most important Education and Religion Centers situated in medieval Syunik region. 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. After excursion we will take Tatev Wings ropeway (jeeps will meet us on the other side), which is the longest two-way ropeway of the world and flies above deep Vorotan gorge opening breath-taking views of the Vorotan Canyon. After this fantastic trip by the tram we will have lunch in the restaurant of Tatev Wings. Then we will drive to Old Khndzoresk village, where we can visit the canyon of ancient cave residences. Old Khndzoresk village with its cave residencies was one of the centers in Syunik region for national liberation struggle of our people against Persian and Turkish invaders during XVII-XVIII centuries. We will walk down to the Gorge visiting these residencies and the church, where Mkhitar Sparapet (the chief commander of Armenian forces) was buried. From Old Khndzoresk we will drive back to our hotel in Sisian, where we will have dinner accompanied with performance of young dancers’ ensemble of Sisian. Overnight in Sisian.
After breakfast at the hotel we will visit one of the most ancient megalithic constructions of the world called Zorats Karer (Stonehenge) located near 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 North to Vayots Dzor Region and passing through grand canyon surrounded by the famous caves we will reach the Noravank Monastery built during the XIII – XIV centuries and situated on a ledge of a deep winding gorge of a tributary of the Arpa River. Enjoying the amazing architecture of the Monastery and Khachkars (Cross Stones), we will be introduced to the interesting stories about famous architect Momik and Orbleyan Dynasty. Our next stop will be famous Areni Cave (Birds Cave), where the oldest shoes and winery (4500 B.C.) in the world have been founded by local and foreign archeologists. Then we will go to Areni village, which is famous for its winery. Areni is a sort of grape, which is used for making wine from ancient times. We will have lunch in the local family, exploring Armenian village life typical to Vayots Dzor region culture and traditions. Introduction of old Armenian lifestyle, experiencing the hospitality and participating in Armenian Lavash (bread) baking and homemade wine tasting. After lunch we will continue our way to the North and passing Urtsadzor village (near Khosrov State Reserve), we will get to Ararat Valley. Here we will visit the monastery Khor Virap located at the foot of Ararat mountain, where there is Ancient Deep Prison and where at the end of the 3rd century the future first patriarch of Armenian Apostolic Church, Grigor Lusavorich (Grigor Enlightener), was imprisoned and suffered for 13 years. From Khor Virap we will continue our way to Yerevan, where after accommodation in a hotel, we will have dinner and stay for overnight.
After breakfast at the hotel we will visit History Museum of Armenia. Here we will be introduced to all of the historical eras of our country and people. Then we will have free day for shopping. You can visit the art market in Yerevan called Vernisage, where you can find our national art crafts. In the evening we will have Farewell Dinner in one of nice restaurants in Yerevan. Overnight in Yerevan.
Price is calculated per person for a double accommodation, for a group of 20 tourists, 3 passengers in per vehicle. The price includes 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.