Tours in Yerevan and Gyumri. Visits to the natural sights, pre-Christian and post-Christian historical archeological places and monuments of Armenia and Artsakh, as well as famous Areni or Birds Cave, rock carvings of more than 5000 years showing the ancient civilization of historical Syunik. Participation in the Tondir Barbeque Festival and other events devoted to Armenian Navasard.
Arrival To Yerevan. Transfer from the Zvartnots International Airport. Check in Ani Hotel. Free time in the city. Overnight in Yerevan.
After breakfast at the hotel we will visit to the Victory Park-Statue of Mother Armenia, from where we can enjoy the amazing morning view of Yerevan. Then 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 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. 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. 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 South on the way enjoying the panoramic view of Ararat. 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, continuing our way via Urtsadzor (near Khosrov State Reserve), we will get 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 entering the famous Areni cave canyon we will visit 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. After excursion in the monastery we will visit Areni Cave (Birds Cave), where the oldest shoes and winery (4500 B.C.) in the world have been founded by local and foreign archeologists. The excavations are still in the process, which according to archeological group will discover the culture, traditions, habits and lifestyle of ancient civilization in this region. After excursion in the cave we will take our way to Jermuk, which is the most beautiful health resorts in Armenia and famous with its mineral water. After accommodation in Nairi hotel we will have city tour in Jermuk including drinking mineral water in Gallery, visiting the Gorge of Jermuk and enjoying the beautiful waterfall. Overnight in Jermuk.
After breakfast at the hotel we will take our way towards Syunik region to 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. Leaving Tatev Monastery we will have lunch in the restaurant of Tatev Wings. After lunch we will take our way to Old Khndzoresk village, where we can visit the canyon of ancient cave residences of the people. 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. After excursion in the cave we will take our way to Goris city, which has amazing architecture designed and constructed at the beginning of XX century. After accommodation in newly built and comfortable Diana hotel, we will have dinner and stay for overnight.
After breakfast at the hotel we'll take our way to Karabakh (historical Artsakh state of Armenia). Getting to Artsakh we will take our way to the South of 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 have lunch and then will continue our way to the capital city of Karabakh 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.
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. After visiting the fortress, we will take our way to the North to Vank village, where we will have 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 take our way back to Stepanakert, where we will have short city tour. Dinner and overnight in Stepanakert.
After breakfast at the hotel we will go to 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. Then we will continue our way towards Syunik region on the way having lunch. As soon as we get to Sisian, we will stop at 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 visiting the Stonehenge we will check in Basen 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 take 4x4 vehicles to drive up to Ukhtasar Mountain. This trip is optional depending on the season. Driving closely to the top of the mountain (3300 meters above sea level) we will hike up to the lake called “Ukhtasar”, enjoy sightseeing and 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 be back to our hotel in Sisian. Dinner and overnight in Sisian.
After breakfast at the hotel we will take our way to the North through Vardenyants Pass. Gradually climbing up over 2,410m and following the historical Silk Road, we will stop at the place to see the medieval Caravanserai built in the XIV century by Prince Orbelyan. Then 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. We will have lunch in the nice tavern on the shore of the lake. After lunch we will visit Lchashen village. There is the settlement of Lchashen village, which is one of the most important monuments in Armenia. After visiting this pre-historic area we will spend our time on the shore of the lake and stay for overnight in Tufenkian hotel. In the evening we will have dinner and will enjoy a beautiful evening view of the lake and the sunset.
After breakfast at the hotel 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 IX century became the royal citadel of the Armenian Kings. Then we will go to Tsakhkunk village, where we will celebrate Navasard (Armenian New Year) holiday. We will participate in the Tondir Barbeque Festival, which is organized every year during Navasard. The famous cookers of Armenia will represent their made barbeques and the holiday in somehow becomes very funny and nice competition. We will have lunch in Tsakhkunk tasting barbeque made in tondirs. After lunch we will take our way to Kotayk region and boarding 4x4 vehicles we will enter 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 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‘‘. Here we will participate in the other event devoted to Navasard. In the evening we will be back to Yerevan, where we after accommodation in Ani hotel, will have dinner and stay for overnight.
After breakfast at the hotel 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 have lunch. After lunch 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 time till dinner. Overnight in Yerevan.
After breakfast at the hotel we will take our way to Echmiadzin town (ancient Vagharshapat city), which was a capital city during Armenian Arshakuni Kings in II – IV centuries A.C. and after Christianity was proclaimed the state religion in 301, became the country’s religious centre as well. We will visit St. Echmiadzin Cathedral built in 303 and rebuilt in 480 A.C. and located in a walled compound with gardens and various architectural structures. We will visit the museum of Cathedral, where religious relics, rich gifts in a variety of church utensils and valuable works of applied art are stored. Our next stop will be in History Museum in Metsamor village, where we will be introduced unique findings showing the way of ancient Armenians dated XVII –III centuries B.C. Then we will have lunch in Artashar village, where we will be hosted by the local family. Here we will taste food made from buffalo (meat, Matsun, Butter, etc), homemade vodka. We will also visit pasture of buffalos. After spending very interesting time with this family we will take our way to the North to Ani Pemza, where we will visit ruins of fantastic Ereruik Monastery built in IV century. Continuing our trip towards Gyumri we will on the way visit medieval Karavanserai on the ancient Silk Road. In the evening we will get Gyumri, which is the second city in Armenia and famous for its historical-cultural traditions, strong art and crafts, education and also by film making industry (a lot of films were produced in Gyumri). After checking in Nane hotel we will have dinner in Cherkezi Dzor restaurant, tasting fresh trout and other meal specific to Gyumri’ famous kitchen. Overnight in Gyumri.
After breakfast at the hotel we will have short city tour, visiting 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 drive to the South visiting on the way Artik town rich with the monuments of Armenian culture. Here we will visit Harichavank Monastery built in 1201 and situated in the village of the same name in the Shirak district, on a cape formed by shallow ravines and the rivers flowing in them. Then we will continue our way around the highest mountain of Armenia - Aragats (4090 m). Getting Aparan city we will have lunch. After lunch we will continue our way towards the west wings of Aragats mountain on the e way visiting the monument of Armenian Alphabet. Reaching the wings of Aragats we will visit Amberd fortress, which was a midcentury fort-city built during the X century. Enjoying the landscape surrounding the fortress we will take our way to Yerevan, where after checking in Ani hotel we will have dinner and stay for overnight.
After breakfast at the hotel we will visit Memorial and Museum of Armenian Genocide. After lunch 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 and for a group of 20 tourists. 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.