Cycle and Explore

11 days / 10 nights

1

Day 1: Arrival in Yerevan – Transfer to the hotel – City tour – Matenadaran – Genocide Memorial and Museum (-/L/D)

Arrival at the Yerevan airport. Meeting with guide and driver. Transfer to the hotel.Transfer to the hotel. Accommodation.

Yerevan is the capital and largest city of Armenia, and one of the world’s oldest continuously inhabited cities. Yerevan is older than Rome for 29 years. Situated on the left-bank (along the river Araks) part of the Ararat valley Yerevan offers breathtaking views of holy mountain Ararat. The history of Yerevan dates back to the 8th century BC. In 2018 Yerevan celebrated its 2800th anniversary.

After city tour you will visit Matenadaran – the rarest manuscript museum. Here about 18,000 manuscripts are kept, which are included in UNESCO World Heritage list.

It is then followed by the visit to the Genocide Memorial and Museum (Tsitsernakaberd. The Armenian Genocide Museum & Institute (AGMI), located on the hills of the Tsitsernakaberd Park, makes up part of the Armenian Genocide Victims’ Memorial Complex. This sacred site embraces and reflects the memories and values for Armenians worldwide. The Memorial and the Museum function as a source of understanding and acknowledgement of this monumental tragedy in the history of Armenia.

Overnight in Yerevan.

2

Day 2: Yerevan – Byurakan – Amberd – Bjni (B/L/D)

Yerevan. Breakfast in the hotel.

Today you are going to 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 you will start about 2 hours hike to the fortress Amberd (8th c). Amberd is one of the rare witnesses of Armenian military architecture of the Middle Ages. During the walk you can enjoy the scenery of colorful alpine meadows and mountain.

Biking to Saghmosavanq Monastery. 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.

Continue biking to Kotayk region via Eghvard road.
The tour participants will start biking to Bjni. Passing by the wooded slopes of the mountain chain of Tsaghkunyats we’ll reach Bjni in the evening, and continuing the tour to the castle and the church the participants will be hosted in the summer camp.

Dinner and overnight at the camp or in a guest house.

Biking distance: 50 km
Biking off road: 10 km
Altitude change:
Amberd fortress-2300m
Saghmosavank monastery- 1600m
Bjni-1500m

Elevation gain/loss: 1362m/-2051m
Maximum slope: 19.6%/ -27.3%
Average slope: 4%/ -4.8%

Pick up is always possible.

3

Day 3: Bjni – Sevan – Dilijan (B/L/D)

Bjni. Breakfast in the hotel.
Early in the morning the group will continue biking to Lake Sevan, the “blue-eyed beauty” of Armenia. Being one of the biggest highland freshwater lakes in the world it is 1900 m above sea level. The tour will continue along the coast of Lake Sevan to the peninsula. After rising to the peninsula, you will see the monastery of Sevanavank (IX cent.). An amazing view to the lake and surrounding beauties opens from the hill. The monastery of Sevan (Sevanavank), which stands on what was once an island of the same name, can be dated to the 9th-10th centuries. For several hundred years, as an important spiritual centre, housing many monks, it has been visited by thousands of pilgrims from all parts of Armenia.
Transfer to Dilijan old town.

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.

Dinner and overnight in Dilijan.

Biking distance: 60 km
Biking off road: 0 km
Altitude change:
Bjni-1500m
Lake Sevan 1900m.

Elevation gain/loss: 869m/-1570m
Maximum slope: 33.2%/ -42.5%
Average slope: 3%/ -4.1%

Pick up is always possible.

4

Day 4: Dilijan (Goshavank) –Aghavnavank - Chambarak – Shorja - Tsapatagh (B/L/D)

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.

The group continue biking to the village Aghavnavanq. Aghavnavank Monastery is a 12th–13th century monastic complex at Dilijan National Park on the outskirts of Aghavnavank village of the Tavush Province of Armenia.

Then we bike to Chambarak village and by passing the mountain gap reach to Lake Sevan. Biking road ends in Sharja. If the participants want we will bike to Tsapatagh hotel (20km) or we can go there by bus.

Overnight in Tsapatagh hotel.

Biking distance: 70 km
Biking off road: 0 km
Altitude change:
Dilijan 1300m
Gosh village-1350
Highest point on the road 2200m
Shorja village- 1900m.

Elevation gain/loss: 3980m/-3292m
Maximum slope: 43.6%/ -37.4%
Average slope: 7.8%/ -7.9%

Pick up is always possible.

5

Day 5: Tsapatagh-Vardenis – Martuni - Hermon (B/L/D)

Tsapatagh. Breakfast in the hotel.
The road continues to Sevan lake, passes Vardenis town and we reach Martuni town (65km). As the road after Martuni starts going down to Vardenyanc mountain gap, we will continue our way by bike and reach Shatin village. From Shatin the group will be transferred to Hermoni hotel. The other option is that the participants will be transferred from Martuni to the hotel by bus and will visit a medieval caravanserai.
Overnight in Hermon.

Biking distance: 65km
Biking off road: 25 km
Altitude change:
Sevan lake area- 1900
Martuni city-2000

Elevation gain/loss: 803m/-777m
Maximum slope: 24.9%/ -10.9%
Average slope: 1.7%/ -2.3%

Pick up is always possible.

6

Day 6: Hermon - Gokhtanik - Herher - Sisian (B/L/D)

Hermon. Breakfast in the hotel.

The road goes along mountains of Vayoc Dzor and Vardenis. On the way you can see Vayoc Sar volcano and Herher water reservoir.

Transfer to Sisian. Overnight in Basen hotel.

Biking distance: 40 km
Biking off road: 10 km
Altitude change:
Hermon -1700 m
highest point on the road 2200m
Pickup point – 1300 m

Elevation gain/loss: 960m/-1332m
Maximum slope: 21.5%/ -38.8%
Average slope: 5.8%/ -5%

Pick up is always possible.

7

Day 7: Sisian – Selim Caravanserai - Harjis – Tatev – Halidzor (B/L/D)

Sisian. Breakfast in the hotel.

Biking to Harjis. Village located 25 km from Sisian. On the way visit Caravansary (13-th century).
Drive to Selim Caravanserai. In medieval Armenia many buildings were built along commercial routes for the accommodation of travelers. One of those, the caravanserai of Selim, was built in 1332 by Prince Chesar Orbelian, according to an inscription in Armenian and Arabic. This caravanserai offered hospitality to travelers along the highway crossing the Selim (Sulema) mountains. Being the best preserved of all medieval caravanserais in Armenia, it comprises a vaulted antechamber and a large hall partitioned into three sections lighted through openings in the ceiling. This building is an excellent example of Armenian secular architecture in the Middle Ages.

From Harjis biking to Halidzor village. Biking will end in Halidzor Ropeway station. After participants will visit Tatev monastery using the longest Ropeway in the world.

Continue to Tatev monastery – 9th century monastery located on a large basalt plateau near the Tatev village in Syunik Province in southeastern Armenia. The monastic ensemble stands on the edge of a deep gorge of the Vorotan River. Tatev is known as the bishopric seat of Syunik and played a significant role in the history of the region as a centre of economic, political, spiritual and cultural activity. In the 14th and 15th centuries Tatev Monastery hosted one of the most important Armenian medieval universities, the University of Tatev, which contributed to the advancement of science, religion and philosophy, reproduction of books and development of miniature painting. The monastery is the “best-known site” in Syunik. In 1995, the monasteries of Tatev, Tatevi Anapat and their adjacent areas of the Vorotan Valley were added to the list of World Heritage Sites of United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

Visiting Tatev you can take the world’s longest ropeway called “Wings of Tatev”. A cableway connects Tatev village to Halidzor village. It was included in the Guinness World records as the world’s “longest non-stop double track cable car”.

Overnight in Halidzor village.

Biking distance: 35 km
Biking off road: 10 km
Altitude change:
Sisian -1600 m
highest point on the road 1850
Halidzor – 1400 m

Elevation gain/loss: 945m/-1013m
Maximum slope: 28.4%/ -25.1%
Average slope: 5.4%/ -4.7%

Pick up is always possible.

8

Day 8: Halidzor – Devil’s bridge – Shinuhayr – Goris (B/L/D)

Halidzor. Breakfast in the hotel.
From Tatev the road will contine to Devil’s bridge in Vorotan canion.
Devil’s Bridge, located 150m above the Vorotan river, is considered one of the natural wonders of Armenia. It is a natural “roof” that overhangs the frantic waters beneath. The Gorge, with two steep yellow-red slopes, stretches down to meet the edges of the bridge. The cliffs are so close to each other that they create just a narrow corridor, 180-200 meters in width.
There are mineral springs on and around the Bridge, which exert 500-600 thousand liters of water per day, at a temperature of 25°C. The travertine pillars accumulated under the bridge are created by soluble calcium and other salt types that fall into the mineral waters in the depth of the bridge. For centuries, people used this water for various purposes, especially for the treatment of rheumatic diseases. Formerly, at a loss for an explanation of its geological processes, locals simply considered it the devil’s deed, giving this formation its name.
After visiting the site bike to old village of Shinuhayr. After visiting monastery and medieval seminary bike to Goris by Qoli Jamba old road.
Optional – Visit Khndzoresk cave village in the end of the day.
Overnight stay in Goris.

Biking distance: 30 km
Biking off road: 10 km
Altitude change:
Sisian -1400 m
Halidzor – 1300 m

Elevation gain/loss: 647m/-716m
Maximum slope: 17.2%/ -33.8%
Average slope: 5.7%/ -6.8%

Pick up is always possible.

9

Day 9: Goris – Noravank – Khor virap – Yerevan (B/L/D)

Goris. Breakfast in the hotel.
The day begins with a visit to Noravank. Noravank (meaning “New Monastery” in Armenian) is a 13th century Armenian monastery, spiritual centre of Orbelyan princes’ dynasty. The monastery is best known for its two-storey Surp Astvatsatsin (Holy Mother of God, Burtelashen) church, which grants access to the second floor by way of a narrow stone-made staircase jutting out from the face of building.

Khor Virap 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 has been 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 “St. Astvatsatsin” (Holy Mother of God) was built around the ruins of the old chapel. Now, regular Church services are held in this church. Khor Virap Monastery continues to be a holy site of the Armenian Apostolic Church and an important pilgrimage location. The walled, religious complex also stands before the snowcapped flanks of Mount Ararat, offering a spectacular view of the mountain and cutting a striking silhouette in and of itself.

Then we are going to Cascade (Yerevan). There are located Cascade Contemporary Art Museum and Cafesjian Center for the Arts.

You will also visit Matenadaran – (a book depository) – one of the world’s most ancient libraries. Its collections comprise ancient Armenian books and miniature paintings that have gained worldwide fame. Here about 18.000 manuscripts are kept, which are included in UNESCO world Heritage list.

Overnight in the hotel.

10

Day 10: Yerevan – Geghard – Garni – Yerevan (B/L/D)

Yerevan. Breakfast in the hotel.
Drive to Kotayk region. Today you are going to visit Geghard Monastery, which is cut into the rock (13th c); and Garni – the only type of pagan temple across the Caucasus and the former Soviet Union (2nd half of 1st c AD). 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). Allegedly it was 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.

Visit to open-air museum of Garni pagan temple. It is the only surviving monument of the Hellenistic period in Armenia. The temple is dedicated to the God of the sun Mithra and 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.

Garni temple is situated on a high hill (height above sea level is 1413 m) and behind the hill you can find an unforgettable view of the canyon of the Azat river. These wonderful basalt rocks seem to be artificial – so much beautiful they are. For their beauty rocks are called «Symphony of the stones».

Drive back to Yerevan. Overnight in the hotel in Yerevan.

Biking distance: 65 km
Biking off road: 5 km
Altitude change:
Start from Yerevan -1300 m
highest point on the road 1750
Garni – 1400 m
Geghard – 1800m
Azat River Canyon – 1250 m

Elevation gain/loss: 942m/-1402m
Maximum slope: 20.9%/ -25.9%
Average slope: 5.5%/ -6.3%

11

Day 11: Departure (B/-/-)

Yerevan. Breakfast in the hotel (depending on the time of departure). Transfer to the Yerevan Airport. Departure.

6 pax8 pax10 pax12 pax
DBL / TWN1484 EUR1442 EUR1414 EUR1386 EUR

Hotels:
Yerevan: Royal Plaza 4*
Dilijan: Dilijan resort 4*
Tsapatagh: Tufenkian 4*
Hermon: LucyTour
Sisian: Basen
Halidzor: Harsnadzor
Goris: Mirhav

Price includes:
• Transfers;
• Transportation by comfortable bus with air conditioning system;
• Transportation service of bikes;
• Accommodation in DBL\TWIN rooms in the hotels on BB basis;
• Professional English-speaking guide’s service (11 days);
• Bike rental (All road bikes or MTB);
• Lunch* 10;
• Dinner*10;
• “Tatever” ropeway ticket (one-way);
• Entrance fees as per program;
• Water 0,5l p/p for excursion days.

Price excludes:
• Air ticket;
• Medical insurance;
• Personal expenses.

Please note:
• Some changes may appear in the program according to arrival/departure time and weather conditions.

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