Duration-10 days, 9 nights|Classic; Excursion| Meal Plan-BB + 1 Lunch + Farewell Dinner|
Classic Excursion Tour 10 Days from 442 EUR
Day 1. Arrival to the Zvartnots International Airport.
Transfer to the hotel. Check-in assistance. Overnight in Yerevan.
Day 2. Yerevan city tour
After Breakfast meet your guide at the hotel and start the city tour in Yerevan which is situated in the Ararat Valley, with most of the buildings having a view to the majestic Mount Ararat. As one of the oldested inhabited cities in the world and founded in 782 BC (Yerevan is 24 years older than Rome) Yerevan is home to museums covering items of world heritage. Visit the Matenadaran - Museum and Institute of Ancient Manuscripts, one of the richest depositories of books and ancient manuscripts in the world. Next, you will visit the History Museum of Armenia situated in the Republic square in the very heart of Yerevan. The national collection of the museum covers 400,000 items of Archaeology, Numismatics, Ethnography, Modern History and Restoration. Return to the hotel (overnight in Yerevan).
Day 3. Yerevan-Khor Virap-Noravank-Areni-Tatev (cable car)-Karahunj -Goris
Breakfast at the hotel after which we start our tour to the Region of Ararat to visit the Khor Virap Monastery (4th-18th centuries), meaning Deep Dungeon, which is significant for Armenian Pilgrims as a sight were the first Catholicos of the Armenians spent in torture for 13 years. It's the closest spot from where you can admire the majestic view of the Ararat Mount. Continue the tour to the picturesque Region of Vayots Dzor where you will visit Noravank Monastery, the pearl of Armenian medieval architecture (10th-14th centuries). To enjoy the spirit of antiquity and the sheer rocks of the region, we will have a stop at the Chalcolithic cave of Areni where a six thousand-year-old winery has been found. Archeologists have unearthed the oldest wine-making facility, using biochemical techniques to identify a dry red vintage of the winery. An international group of archeologists have discovered the world's oldest leather shoe in this very cave. The 5500 years-old shoe was perfectly preserved in a cool and dry condition (see in the State History Museum). After a wine degustation at local wine factory, we continue the tour to the Region of Syunik to visit one of the spiritual, educational, cultural centers of the medieval Armenia, Tatev Monastery (9th century). To enjoy the beauty of the deep gorge, forests and mediaeval abandoned monastery, you will take the Tatev Wings cable car, the longest in the world, to the Monastery of Tatev. In the 14th century the Armenian scholar Grigor Tatevatsi founded here the University of Tatev, which had more than one thousand students living and studying there. Before driving to the city of Goris stop at the Armenian Stonehenge that locals call Karahunj or Zorats Qarer. As of being an observatory site the significance of the monuments is still disputed but the fact goes with that it dates back to the sixth millennium BCE. Drive to the city of Goris, check-in the hotel (overnight in Goris).
Day 4.Goris-Vardenyats(Selim) Pass-Orbelian Caravansarai-Noratus-Lake Sevan-Sevanavak-Dilijan
After the breakfast at the hotel check-out and drive to the Region of Gegharkunik by crossing Vartenyats (Selim) Mountain Pass that joins the Basin of Lake Sevan with the sothern Armenia. As a commercial route in 1332 they built a Caravanserai on the place, which is the best preserved on in the territory of Armenia. Orbelian's (Selim) Caravanserai is a bright example of Armenian medieval secular architecture. Continue to drive to the village of Noratus where the largest existing Armenian medieval cemetery is situated. Noratus cemetery (10th-17th centuries) is the largest cluster of khachkars in the territory of Armenia that has its legends and tales passing generation to generation. Drive to Sevan Lake (one of the highest sweet water lakes in the world) where on the former island, nowadays a peninsula, the monastery of Sevanavank (9th century) is situated. Once as considered only for monks it has still an active seminary living on the peninsula. Continue the tour to Dilijan in the Region of Tavush that sometimes is called 'Armenian Switzerland'. Check-in in the hotel (overnight in Dilijan).
Day 5. Dilijan-Parz Lake-Goshavank-Haghartsin-Yerevan
Check-out and breakfast at the hotel and drive to the Parz Lake located in Dilijan National Park. The lake is carefully hidden in the mountains of Tavush as an unpolished diamond the overall combination of which creates a timeless image. After visit the Monastery of Goshakavank (12th-13th century) that house one of the brightest example of a khachkar (cross-stone). The first Armenian criminal code was written here by the Armenian scholar and scientist Mkhitar Gosh. The place is also unique for a ruin of cyclopean wall or construction that served as a medieval school. By paving the green road continue the tour to another hidden sight where the lime stone Monastery Complex of Haghartsin (10th-14th) strikes in its all beauty. As the legend goes, the name as Haghartsin was given by a monk that was considering a place where the monastery should be constructed. After spotting the right site he saw two eagles (eagle-‘artsiv' Armenian word) playing (play – 'Khakh' Armenian word) on the place. Accordingly he named the coming monastery as Play of Eagles (Hagh 'khakh' artsin). Dining rooms were not preserved as it is with churches, but Haghartsin Monastery complex has one of the impressive examples of monastery dining rooms still existing on the place. Drive back to Yerevan. Check-in in the hotel (overnight in Yerevan).
Day 6. Free day in Yerevan
Breakfast at hotel. Free day.
Day 7. Yerevan-Garni Temple-Geghard-Yerevan-Brandy Factory
After breakfast drive to the Garni Village in Kotayk Region, where the same name, Garni Pagan Temple (77 AD) is located. Dedicated to the God of Sun, Mitra, Garni Temple is a vivid symbol of pre-Christian Armenia, the only surviving one in the territory of CIS. As the summer residence of the royal family, the construction escaped the mass destruction of the pagan temples. The location has one of the oldest Armenian fortresses (3-2 centuries BC) that was reconstructed in the 1st century AD covering other complexes like 3rd century roman baths, royal summer palace, and the seventh century church of Sion. Continue the tour to the UNESCO site Geghard Monastery (10th-13th centuries) complex also called Cave Monastery as it is half carved in the rock. Initially as a pagan site the Monastery has a natural spring rising from rocks over centuries. It was called Geghard (spear) after the spear with which Jesus Christ was wounded by the Roman soldier that was kept in the monastery for a long period of time. Before the end of the tour visit the legendary Ararat Brandy Factory in Yerevan to have a guided tour and degustation. Drive to the hotel (overnight in Yerevan).
Day 8. Yerevan-Etchmiadzin City-Zvartnots Temple-Yerevan
After breakfast drive to the holy city of Etchmiadzin, where the same name Mother Cathedral is located. Also called Vagharshapat, Etchmiadzin city is an open air museum as the whole of the city is under the protection of the UNESCO. The city is home to the most ancient Armenian Apostolic Etchmiadzin Mother Cathedral that is also considered to be the oldest cathedral in the world. They started to build it between 301 and 303 following the adoption of Christianity as state religion in 301.
Continue the tour to the Zvartnots Temple erected in the 7th century near Etchmiadzin. Zvartnot's architecture impresses with its extraordinary artistic splendor. It has distinctive differences in size, layout and arrangement as compared with the traditional architecture of the Armenian churches. It was built in the place where Trdates the Great and Gregory the Illuminator (first Catholicos of all the Armenians) first met after Gregory was set free after 13 years of imprisonment. Drive back to hotel (overnight in Yerevan).
Day 9. Yerevan shopping-Amberd-Armas (wine tasting)-Yerevan
Breakfast at hotel and drive to one of the shopping malls in Yerevan. After shopping continue the tour to the Region of Araghatsotn to visit the fortress of Amberd (7th century) located more than 2000 meters above the sea level. Excavations revealed that the interior of the fortress consisted of 3 floors with elegantly carved decorated rooms. The area has other structure of historical importance, like the bath house and Vahramashen Church dating back to 1026. Drive to the Armas Wine and Brandy Factory, where we will have a guided tour through the vineyards and orchards, get acquainted with the technology of new and traditional winemaking, wine degustation and lunch. Return to hotel (overnight in Yerevan).
Day 10. Check-out from the hotel
Breakfast at hotel. Check-out and transfer to the airport 2 hours in advance. Airport check-in assistance.
PRICES PER PERSON IN EUR (NET):
Tour package includes: All transfers by program Tour package does not include: Air ticket
Meet and greet at the airport
Comfortable bus with climate-control system
Professional friendly driver
High-qualified guide-interpreter in the preferred language
9 Breakfasts, 1 lunch, Farewell dinner
24-hours tourist support
Expenses of personal nature
Tour package includes:
All transfers by program
Tour package does not include: