(En) Taste of Armenia

(En) 7 days / 6 nights

(En) June - October

1

(En) Day 1: Arrival in Yerevan – Transfer to hotel - City tour – Ararat Cognac Factory B/-/D

(En) Arrival at the Yerevan airport. Meeting with guide and driver.
Transfer to the hotel. Accommodation. Free time.
You are going to have unforgettable overall city tour in Yerevan. Yerevan is the capital and largest city of Armenia, and one of the world’s oldest continuously inhabited cities. Situated along the Hrazdan River, Yerevan is the administrative, cultural, and industrial centre of the country. It has been the capital of Republic of Armenia (1st Armenian Republic) since 1918, the thirteenth in the history of Armenia, and the seventh located in or around the Ararat plain. The history of Yerevan dates back to the 8th century BC, with the founding of the fortress of Erebuni in 782 BC by king Argishti I at the western extreme of the Ararat plain. Erebuni was “designed as a great administrative and religious centre, a fully royal capital. In 2018 Yerevan celebrated its 2800th anniversary.
Yerevan was named the 2012 World Book Capital by UNESCO. Yerevan is an associate member of Euro cities.

(En) After the city tour you will visit Ararat Cognac factory. You will participate in the tour to Yerevan Brandy Company, producer of the brand ARARAT, where you will
• visit the museum of the factory, get acquainted with the legends of ARARAT brandies, learn the 120 years old history of Armenian brandy production, know who have drunk Armenian brandy, see the oldest Armenian barrels and the medals which decorate the ARARAT legend.
• walk around the ageing cellar and see how the brandy spirits are preserved, know who have nominal barrels and enjoy the delicate aroma of the cellar.
• have pleasant and memorable time in the tasting hall enjoying the delicious brandies.

(En) Welcome dinner in typical Armenian restaurant with Armenian folk music and dance.

(En) This evening you will taste the unique Armenian dish “Khurjin”. Translated from Armenian, this word means “knapsack” (pouch). This dish has got its name due to its appearance: khurdzhin is lamb meat stuffed with onions, bell peppers, tomatoes and baked inside lavash in the form of a bag.

(En) You will also taste the salad from the local green “Aveluk” (mountain sorrel), which is loved among all Armenians. And if there is at least one Armenian living anywhere on the planet, he will certainly cultivate veluk.
Overnight in the hotel in Yerevan.

2

(En) Yerevan. Breakfast in the hotel.
Drive to Ararat region.
Visit to Khor Virap monastery. Khor Virap (meaning “deep pit” or “deep well”) is an Armenian Apostolic Church monastery located in the Ararat valley in Armenia. The monastery was host to a theological seminary and was the residence of Armenian Catholicos. Khor Virap’s notability as a monastery and pilgrimage site is attributed to the fact that Saint Gregory the Illuminator, was initially imprisoned here for 13 years. A chapel was initially built in 642 AD at the site of Kirat Virap by Nerses III the Builder as a mark of veneration to Saint Gregory. Over the centuries, it was repeatedly rebuilt. In 1662, the larger chapel known as the “St. Astvatsatsin” (Holy Mother of God) was built around the ruins of the old chapel, the monastery. Now, regular Church services are held in this church. It is the most visited pilgrimage site in Armenia.
Heading to Armavir region.

(En) Visit to Echmiadzin – the spiritual centre of the Armenian Apostolic Church and the residence of the Catholicos of All Armenians. Visit the Mother Cathedral of Holy Echmiadzin – one of the most ancient and most beautiful examples of Christian architecture. It was founded to commemorate the proclamation of Christianity as the national religion of Armenia. The original building was completed in 303 AD. The Echmiatsin Cathedral is the seat of the throne of the Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians. Since 2000, it is a UNESCO world heritage site.

(En) In the city of Vagharshapat (where Echmiadzin Cathedral is located) there is a cultural and gastronomic centre with a national restaurant in a homely style, located in a marvelous garden. Lunch will be organised here, during which tourists will taste the famous “Echmiadzin kyufta” – clear balls of steam beef which is traditionally served with pilaf.

(En) Visit to Zvartnots – 7th century centrally planned aisled tetraconch type Armenian cathedral built by the order of Catholicos Nerses the Builder from 643-652. Now in ruins, it is located at the edge of the city of Echmiadzin in Armavir Province of Armenia. Zvartnots remained standing until the end of the 10th century, but historical sources are silent as to the cause of its collapse. A close copy of the cathedral was erected in Ani by Tiridates the Architect under the reign of Gagik I Bagratuni during the final decade of the 10th century. Zvartnots is added to the list of World Heritage Sites of UNESCO.
Drive back to Yerevan.

(En) On the way, check in to the village Musaler, where the wine cellar Maran is located. Tasting of 6 types of Armenian wine with lavash (Armenian traditional bread) and different types of Armenian cheese.

Overnight in the hotel in Yerevan.

(En)

  • Optional

– In Echmiadzin dolma making master-class may be organized. Dolma is ground meat, beef, lamb or whatever you like, mixed with rice and herbs of your choice and wrapped in grape leaves. You may even cook it in vegetables, like in peppers or tomatoes.

3

День 3 (24.09.2018): Ереван – Гегард - Гарни – Севан – Севанаванк – Дилижан З/О/-

(En) Yerevan. Breakfast in the hotel.
Drive to Kotayk region.
Monastery Geghard is one of the most famous medieval monasteries in Armenia. The complex of medieval buildings is set into a landscape of great natural beauty, surrounded by towering cliffs at the entrance to the Azat river valley. According to the legend the monastery housed the spear which had wounded Christ on the Cross and from which comes its present name Geghardavank (the Monastery of the Spear). It was allegedly brought there by the Apostle Thaddeus, first recorded in a document of 1250. The church with its surrounding structures is included in the UNESCO World Cultural heritage List.

(En) Open-air museum of Garni pagan temple is dedicated to the God of the sun Mithra. It is the only surviving monument of the Hellenistic period in Armenia. The temple was built in the 2nd half of the 1st c AD during the reign of king Tiridates I. The temple was completely destroyed during the earthquake of 1679. It was restored in the 1970s, using the surviving fragments and carving the missing ones renewed. The territory of the fortress, that was used as a summer residence of Armenian royalty, included the palace, the royal bath – house, the garrison barracks and other structures that did not survive. Garni pagan temple has unique design and is the only type of temple across the Caucasus and the former Soviet Union.

(En) In the village of Garni not far from the temple, lunch will be held in the house of the local peasant, during which you will taste the famous local “garni yara”: these are stuffed eggplants cooked in the oven.
And for dessert, you will find a real “gata” from Garni. Despite the fact that Garni is the birthplace of the gata cake, they love and bake it all over the country. However, in Garni, it is still the most delicious.

(En) For desert you will have famous national cake – gata. Gata of Garni is known for its flavour all over Armenia.

(En) In the courtyard of the house you will also have an opportunity to watch the process of baking Armenian bread – lavash (inscribed in UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity).

(En) The tour will continue to Gegharqunik region where lake Sevan is located. Lake Sevan, known in the ancient times as the Geghama Sea, is the “blue-eyed beauty” of Armenia. Being one of the biggest highland freshwater lakes in the world it is 1900 m above sea level. It was formed as a result of volcanic activity in the Geghama mountain range: the erupted lava blocked the riverbed; and melted ice from ice-houses and river water began to accumulate in the formed hollow. Later the flow of water cut through the reservoir wall in the direction of river Hrazdan. Now Sevan Peninsula, with its two 9th century churches adding a romantic touch to it, is the best place to admire the beauty of the lake.

(En) The monastery of Sevan that stands on what was once an island of the same name can be dated back to the 9th-10th centuries. For several hundred years, as an important spiritual centre, housing many monks, it was visited by thousands of pilgrims from all parts of Armenia. As it stands today, the monastic complex consists of two churches, one dedicated to St. Arakelots (the Holy Apostles), the other to St. Astvatzatzin (the Holy Mother of God).

(En) Start short city tour on foot in Dilijan old town. Dilijan is a resort town with mild climate, fresh air in the northeast of Yerevan. It is famous for its amazing surroundings, called the “Armenian Switzerland” by the locals, due to the densely forested valleys and mountains with alpine meadows around. It is an excellent centre for walking.

Overnight in the hotel in Dilijan.

(En) Khachkars are a uniquely Armenian form of art, which evolved into incredibly ornate form which reached its peak in the 12-13th centuries. They are recognized by UNESCO as part of Armenia’s intangible cultural heritage.

(En)

  • Optional
    – In the porch of the monastery Geghard may be organized chorus singing of spiritual songs. The porch has a unique acoustic under which the sounds of choral singing vibrate in the ears.
4

(En) Day 4: Dilijan – Goshavank – Ijevan – Yenokavan B/L/-

(En) Dilijan. Breakfast in the hotel.
Visit to Goshavank – 12th or 13th century Armenian monastery located in the village of Gosh in Tavush region. Goshavank was erected in the place of an older monastery once known as Nor Getik, which had been destroyed by an earthquake in 1188. Mkhitar Gosh, a statesman, scientist and author of numerous fables and parables as well as the first criminal code, took part in the rebuilding of the monastery. The impressive monastery which has remained in relatively good condition also houses one of the world’s finest examples of a khachkar.

(En) The tour will continue to the city of Ijevan, where the Ijevan winery is located.
In the Tavush region, winemaking has been developed since ancient times, which is confirmed by excavations in the region, which resulted in the discovery of various winemaking tools. Today the winery “Ijevan” is one of the leaders in the export of Armenian wine and brandy. It produces more than twenty varieties of wine and about twenty varieties of cognac. Tasting of various varieties of Armenian wine and brandy will be held in the courtyard.
After the degustation the group will head to “Apaga Resort”, located in Yenokavan village, for lunch.

(En) During lunch you will taste the main dish of Tavush cuisine, the so-called “Tavush pride” – “borani”. Borani is a dish of boiled beef meat seasoned with dried prunes, chestnuts, greens and fried onions.

(En) Here you can relax in the nature. Hotel complex “Apaga Resort” is rich in various kinds of activities, such as horse riding, hiking and trekking in the mountains and forests, camping, zip-lining and many others.

Overnight in Yenokavan.

5

(En) Day 5: Yenokavan – Fioletovo – Amberd – Saghmosavank– Yerevan B/L/-

(En) Yenokavan. Breakfast in the hotel.
We start the day with a visit to Fioletovo, a village where Molokans live. There will be organized tea drinking with Russian pies in one of local houses. Then you will have a walk around the village.

(En) Drive to Aragatsotn region where Mount Aragats is located. This is the highest peak of Armenia (4090 m). Here at an altitude of 2300 m above sea level the fortress Amberd is situated (8th c). Amberd is one of the rare witnesses of Armenian military architecture of the Middle Ages. During the walk to the fortress you can enjoy the scenery of colorful alpine meadows and mountain.

(En) On your way to Yerevan you will have a lunch, where you have the opportunity to taste Armenian traditional dishes.

(En) Visit to Saghmosavank – 13th century monastic complex. Saghmosavank is situated atop the precipitous gorge carved by the Kasakh river. Its silhouettes dominate the adjacent villages and rise sharply against the background of the mountains crowned by Mount Aragats.

6

(En) Day 6: Yerevan / Free day -/-/-

(En) Yerevan. Breakfast in the hotel.
Free time at youir leisure.
Overnight in the hotel in Yerevan.

7

(En) Day 7: Yerevan / Departure B/-/-

(En) Check-out formalities. Meeting with guide.
Transfer to the Yerevan Airport.
Departure from Yerevan.

(En) Price of the tour

Hotels6 pax 6 pax 10 pax10 pax
DBL / TWNSGLDBL / TWNSGL
Yerevan- Silachi 3* / Dilijan - Art Guest House 3* / Yenokavan - Apaga Resort 3*650 USD810 USD580 USD740 USD
Yerevan - 14th Floor 3* / Dilijan - Art Guest House 3* / Yenokavan - Apaga Resort 3*670 USD890 USD610 USD820 USD
Yerevan - Royal Plaza 4*/ Dilijan - Art Guest House 3* / Yenokavan - Apaga Resort 3*695 USD910 USD630 USD850 USD
Yerevan - Ani Plaza 4* / Dilijan - Art Guest House 3* / Yenokavan - Apaga Resort 3*710 USD880 USD650 USD810 USD

(En) Price includes.

  • Transfers;
  • Transportation by comfortable bus with air conditioning system;
  • Professional English-speaking guide’s service;
  • Accommodation in DBL\TWIN rooms in hotels on BB basis;
  • Lunch* 4;
  • Dinner* 1;
  • Welcome dinner with folk show;
  • Cognac tasting in Ararat cognac factory (Day 1);
  • 6 types of wine tasting in Musaler winery (Day 2);
  • Lavash baking master-class in Garni village (Day 3);
  • Wine tasting in Ijevan winery (Day 4);
  • Tea drinking with Russian pies in Fioletovo village (Day 5);
  • Entrance fees as per program;
  • Water 0,5l p/p for excursion days.
  • Price excludes.

  • Air ticket;
  • Medical insurance;
  • Personal expenses;
  • Alcohol drinks;
  • Activities not mentioned above.
  • Note:

  • Some changes may appear in the program according to arrival/departure time and weather conditions.
  • Կապվեք մեզ հետ