Yerevan - Garni - Geghard - Sevan - Dilijan - Ijevan - Haghpat - Sanahin - Kurtan - Vanadzor - Amberd Castle - Yerevan
After short briefing on the tour we will board Toyota land cruisers and will drive to the north to Kotayk region taking off road way through the Canyon of Garni stretching along the river 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 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 described as ‘‘A House of Coolness‘‘. Leaving the temple 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. Leaving Geghard Monastery and having lunch near Geghard village we will take off-road way towards Lake Vishapakar, located onGeghama Mountain chain on the North-East of Lake Sevan, where we can visit one of the unique wonders of the world, rock carvings of Geghama mountains. Enjoying the lake and surrounded beautiful nature we will continue 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 58billion cubic meters. In summer, the middle temperature of lake surface is 18-23 degrees above zero, which is very convenient for swimming. After reaching the shore of Lake Sevan we will walk to the top of Sevan peninsula to visit Sevanavank monastery 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 check in the hotel and have dinner with famous fish barbeque and will enjoy a beautiful evening view of the lake and the sunset.
After the breakfast at the hotel we will drive to Dilijan National Park located on the upstream pool of Aghstev river, and surrounded by the Lesser Caucasus mountains. Here we will visit Goshavank Monastery built in XII century. Continuing our way to the North we will take off-road way through mountainous landscapes from Ijevane towards Haghpat village having picnic lunch on the way and enjoying the fascinating natural sites. After lunch we will continue our way towards Haghpat village and reaching the local hotel, which is surrounded by the rich flora, we will have dinner specific to the northern Armenian kitchen.
After Breakfast at the hotel we will drive to Haghpat Monastery built in X century and standing against the background of steep forest-grown slopes of Bazum ridge. Leaving Haghpat Monastery we will continue our way to Sanahin Village to visit 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. Leaving Sanahin monastery we will continue our driving along Debed River canyon to the connection of Dzoraget river, from where we will drive up to the mountains surrounded by beautiful natural and historical sites. Having lunch in the Kurtan Village we will drive to Vanadzor passing beautiful mountainous off-roads. We will stay for overnight in the hotel in Vanadzor.
After breakfast at the hotel we will drive to the south west up to Aragats Mountain to visit Amberd Fortress built during the 10th century. Enjoying the landscape surrounding the fortress and alpine flowers near the fortress and on the wings of Aragats, we will drive to Byurakan village, where we will have lunch, experiencing the hospitality of the local family. After lunch we will drive to Yerevan, where we will have city tour visiting Armenian Genocide Memorial in the Park of Tsitseranakaberd, and then Yerevan famous Brandy factory established in XIX century. After accommodation in the hotel and dinner in one of nice restaurants, we will embark on an evening tour of Yerevan city that includes visiting the monument to famous architect A. Tamanyan, Opera House and through nice Northern prospect walking towards the Republic Square, where we can enjoy the Large Dancing Water Fountains
Costs of transportation, airport transfer, Yerevan city tour, museum entrance fees, overnight, full board, as well the driver/guide. Price is per passenger and calculated for the case of 4 passengers and 1 driver in a vehicle.
Airfare, personal expenses, visa fees, insurance, and other costs not mentioned above.