Gold Autumn in Armenian Highland

Off-road Tours
$1,750.00
October4, 2017 - October18, 2017
14 Days

Tour in Armenia and Artsakh visiting beautiful Trchkan waterfall, the forests of Stepanavan and Kurtan, the Gorges of Dzoraget and Debed rivers, forest landscapes of Zikatar aand Dilijan National Parks and located in Armenian Lesser Caucasus and rich with lakes, Blue Sevan lake, Goris city and Old Khndzoresk cave city surrounded by beautiful rocks, rock carvings of more than 5000 years showing the ancient civilization of historical Syunik, famous Areni Cave and gold Ararat valley, as well as famousthe natural and historical sights of Artsakh including hot spring waters, famous Dadivank and Gandzasar monasteries, powerful Tigranakert, Amaras, Ancient tree of Skhtorashen, historical Shushi standing on the high plato of Qarqar valley.

Days

Arrival To Yerevan. Transfer from the Zvartnots International Airport. Check in the Hotel. Free time in the city. Overnight in Yerevan.

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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.

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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.

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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 visit Saghmosavank Monastery located in village Saghmosavan at the top the precipitous gorge carved by the Kasagh river and built at the beginning of the XIII by Prince Vache Vachutian. After visiting the monastery we will be hosted in the local house the owner of which is a famous painter. His name is Armen. The house has very beautiful garden from where there is a fantastic view of Ararat valley. We will also have chance to be introduced with Armen’s art. He also will suggest us food prepared with unique recipe. Enjoying the lunch and hospitality we will leave this fascinating place to continue our way around Aragats mountain towards Artik town rich with historical monuments and culture. 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. Here we will visit Harichavank Monastery built in the XIII century and situated in the village of the same name, on a cape formed by shallow ravines and the rivers flowing in them. Leaving the monastery we continue our way to Gyumri, which is the second city in Armenia.  After checking in Nane 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 shot. After city tour we will have dinner in the nice place tasting the food specific to Gyumri’s famous kitchen. Overnight in Gyumri.

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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. 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 drive to Haghpat village. Here we will check in the nice 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.

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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 Best Western Paradise hotel of Dilijan.

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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 1897m 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 Tufenkian hotel, have dinner and stay for overnight.

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After breakfast at the hotel we will continue our way around the lake towards Karabakh (historical Artsakh state of Armenia).  First stop in Artsakh will be at the Monastery Complex Dadivank founded by St. Dadi the disciple of Thaddeus the Apostle, who spread Christianity in Eastern Armenia during the first century A.D. In 2007, the grave of St. Dadi was discovered under the holy altar of the main church. The monastery complex was built between IX – XIII centuries. After visiting the monastery we will continue our way to Vank village, where we will stop in the nice restaurant for lunch. After lunch we will visit Gandzasar monastery, built in 1238 and located on the left bank of the river Khachen, on the front hill of Vank village. The head of John the Baptist, brought by Armenian merchants from Venice, was buried under the altar of Gandzasar. After excursion in Gandzasar we will drive to the Capital of Artsakh Stepanakert. Dinner and overnight in Park Hotel Artsakh, located in the center of Stepanakert, in a building of the mid-19th century and combining modern comfort and historic interiors.

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After breakfast at the hotel we will take our  way to the South to visit the monastery complex in Amaras village, founded by Grigor Lusavorich in the 4th century and was finished by his grandson Grigoris in the 5th century. Amaras was not only spiritual, but also an important cultural and economic center of the 5th century in historical Artsakh. Here, in Amaras, Mesrop Mashtots (the founder of Armenian Alphabet) founded one of the first schools in historical Armenia. After excursion in Amaras we will continue our way to Skhtorashen village, where we will see a huge tree, more than 2000 years old. Leaving Skhtorashen we will be back to Stepanakert. Free time in the city. Dinner and overnight in Stepanakert.

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After breakfast at the hotel, we will take our way to the East to the ruins of the fortress Tigranakert, which was one of the 4 typical cities, built by Tigran the Great in the Historical Armenia in the 1st century B.C. Our next stop will be at the city Shushi, which was the capital of historical Artsakh. Here we will visit the fortress Shushi and Monastery Ghazanchetsots built in 1886, and considered to be the pride of Shushi. The church is standing on the high plateau of Qarqar valley. We will have lunch in Shushi. After lunch we will take our way to Old Khndzoresk village in Syunik Region, 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 to Goris. After accommodation in newly built and comfortable Diana hotel, we will have dinner and stay for overnight.

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After breakfast at the hotel we will drive to Tatev village, where we will visit 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. After excursion in the Monastery we will visit Devil Bridge in Vorotan Canyon. Then we will continue our way to Sisian stopping for the lunch in the restaurant of Tatev Wings. In Sisian we will visit one of the most ancient megalithic constructions of the world called Zorats Karer (Stonehenge). 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.). After accommodation in Basen hotel we will have dinner accompanied with performance of young dancers’ ensemble of Sisian. Overnight in Sisian.

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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 Jermuk, which is the most beautiful health resorts in Armenia and famous with its mineral water. Dinner and overnight in Nairi hotel in Jermuk.

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After breakfast at the hotel we will we will have city tour in Jermuk including drinking mineral water in Gallery, visiting the Gorge of Jermuk and enjoying the beautiful waterfall. Leaving Jermuk we will drive 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. Then we will continue our way to Yerevan. Accommodation in Ani hotel. Dinner and overnight in Yerevan.

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 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.

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Breakfast. Check out. Transfer to the Zvartnots International Airport.

Adventure tours in Armenia

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Price Includes

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.

Price does not Include

Airfare, personal expenses, visa fees, driver’s and guide’s tips, insurance and other expenses not mentioned above.

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