A week in Armenia

7 days / 6 nights

1

Day 1: Arrival in Yerevan – Transfer to the hotel – Yerevan (-/-/-)

Arrival at the Yerevan airport. Meeting with guide and driver.
Transfer to the hotel. Accommodation. Free time.
Overnight in the hotel in Yerevan.

2

Day 2: Yerevan city tour / Echmiadzin / Zvartnots / Yerevan (B/-/D)

Yerevan. Breakfast in the hotel.
After breakfast 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.

Heading to Armavir province.
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 Echmiadzin 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.

On the way back to Yerevan you will visit Zvartnots temple (means “celestial angels”) 7th century wonderful architectural masterpiece. The remnants of Zvartnots, even in ruins, are a majestic sight. These sights are listed among the UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The site has been the focus of worship from pre-Christian times. Excavations also uncovered Urartian temple foundations, a sacrificial alter and a large cuneiform stone celebrating the construction of a large canal system during the reign of King Russa II. The canal system, connecting to the Hrazdan River, is still in use.

Arrival in Yerevan.

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

Overnight in the hotel in Yerevan.

 

  • Optional

 – Befor heading to Armavir province you can visit History museum of Armenia (or National Gallery). Here you will get interesting information about the antiquity and features of Armenia. Price – 18 EUR – local guide, 2 EUR p/p.

3

Day 3: Yerevan / Matenadaran / Garni / Geghard / Yerevan (B/L/-)

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

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.
After exploring sights you will have lunch in local peasant’s house in Garni village.

 

  • 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.
The price for the event is 130 EUR per group.

– Visit to 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.
Price – 10EUR p/p.

4

Day 4: Yerevan / Khor Virap / Areni / Noravank Yerevan (B/L/-)

Yerevan. Breakfast in the hotel.

Today’s excursion will take you to Ararat region. Here Khor Virap monastery (meaning “deep pit” or “deep well”) is located. 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 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.

Drive to village Areni. Here the most ancient winery in the world Areni-1 is located. This winery had been discovered as a result of excavations done in 2007-2008.

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.

After exploring the sight you will drive to Vayots Dzor province. Have lunch in national restaurant near Noravank monastery. Here 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).

Drive back to Yerevan. Overnight in the hotel.

5

Day 5: Yerevan / Sevan (Sevanavank) / Tsaghkunk / Dilijan (Haghartsin) /Dilijan (B/L/-)

After breakfast you will head to Gegharkunik region.
Here you will visit Sevan Lake, 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.

Moving to the neighboring village of Tsaghkunk, where an authentic and colorful home restaurant is located you will have lunch in the restaurant, during which you will taste dishes from local fish.

Drive to Tavush region, Dilijan town – a spa-town with favorable oxygen regimen, unique landscape features and curative mineral water.

Visit to Haghartsin Monastery. It was built between the 10th and 13th centuries (in the 12th under Khachatur of Taron); much of it under the patronage of the Bagratuni Dynasty. St. Astvatsatsin Church in Haghartsin (1281) is the largest building and the dominant artistic feature. The sixteen-faced dome is decorated with arches, the bases of whose columns are connected by triangular ledges and spheres, with a band around the drum’s bottom. This adds to the optical height of the dome and creates the impression that its drum is weightless. The platband of the southern portal’s architrave is framed with rows of trefoils.
Drive to Dilijan. Overnight in the hotel in Dilijan.

 

  • Optional

 – In Tsaghkunk village before having lunch you may participate in a master class for cooking veal. Yummy! By the way, the chef of the restaurant is a member of an association for the preservation of Armenian culinary traditions.

The price for the event is 50 EUR per group.

6

Day 6: Dilijan / Fioletovo / Amberd / Ushi / Hovhannavank / Yerevan (B/L/-)

Dilijan. 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.

Your last day in Armenia 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 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.

On your way to Yerevan you will have a lunch in Ushi village, where you have the opportunity to taste Armenian traditional dishes.

Hovhannavank Monastery majestically rises above a steep cliff. It is a unique historical monument built in the Middle Ages due to its size and complex architectural structure. The monastery was founded by the first Catholicos of Armenia Gregory the Illuminator who buried in this place the relics of John (Hovhannes) the Baptist and “Hovhannavank” is derived from his name. The oldest part of the monastery complex is the church of St. Karapet. Distinctive feature of Hovhannavank is the compact arrangement of structures around the dominant building. The walls of the monastery are decorated with relief ornaments and inscriptions.

Drive to Yerevan. Overnight in the hotel.

7

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

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

8 pax

DBL / TWNSGL
Yerevan - Silachi hotel 3* / Dilijan - Haghartsin 3*636 EUR762 EUR
Yerevan - Imperial Palace 4* / Dilijan - Dilijan resort 4*720 EUR902 EUR
Yerevan - Radisson Blu 5* / Dilijan - Dilijan resort911 EUR1233 EUR

10 pax

DBL / TWNSGL
Yerevan - Silachi hotel 3* / Dilijan - Haghartsin 3*601 EUR727 EUR
Yerevan - Imperial Palace 4* / Dilijan - Dilijan resort 4*683 EUR865 EUR
Yerevan - Radisson Blu 5* / Dilijan - Dilijan resort876 EUR1198 EUR

12 pax

DBL / TWNSGL
Yerevan - Silachi hotel 3* / Dilijan - Haghartsin 3*577 EUR704 EUR
Yerevan - Imperial Palace 4* / Dilijan - Dilijan resort 4*661 EUR843 EUR
Yerevan - Radisson Blu 5* / Dilijan - Dilijan resort853 EUR1175 EUR

14 pax

DBL / TWNSGL
Yerevan - Silachi hotel 3* / Dilijan - Haghartsin 3*560 EUR687 EUR
Yerevan - Imperial Palace 4* / Dilijan - Dilijan resort 4*644 EUR826 EUR
Yerevan - Radisson Blu 5* / Dilijan - Dilijan resort836 EUR1158 EUR

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;
  • Welcome dinner with folk show;
  • Wine tasting in Areni winery;
  • Lavash baking master-class (Day 4);
  • Tea drinking with Russian pies in Fioletovo village (Day 6);
  • Entrance fees as per program;
  • Water 0,5l p/p for excursion days.

 

Price excludes:

  • Air ticket;
  • Medical insurance;
  • Personal expenses;
  • Alcohol drinks;
  • Activities specified in footnotes;
  • Activities not mentioned above.

 

Please note:

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

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