Welcome to Armenia! Journey through more than five millennia of history on the Armenian Plateau, the legendary landing place of Noah’s Ark, and learn about one of the earliest civilizations in the world, referred to by many as one of the cradles of civilization. Visit monasteries precariously perched on mountains; ruins of once imposing castles and fortresses; the largest collection of khachkars or stone crosses, and vishaps, ancient megaliths dating from 1500 BC unique to the Armenian Plateau. Traverse part of the ancient Silk Road and see the only surviving intact caravanserai in Armenia. Explore archaeological excavation sites and watch as the past, undisturbed for thousands of years, emerges before your eyes.
Day 1: Arrival at Zvartnots International airport, pass through immigration formalities. Meet our representative upon exit from customs zone. Transfer from the airport to the hotel of choice and rest. Free time to independently explore Yerevan.
Day 2: Breakfast at the hotel of stay. Leave for a guided bus tour of Yerevan to include the Republic Square, the Opera House, Victory Park, Panorama Ground, the Genocide Memorial in Tsitsernakaberd, other landmarks of the capital as well as a visit to one of the largest repositories of ancient manuscripts in the world – Matenadaran, one of the numerous USECO World Heritage Sites in the country. Optional visit to Ararat brandy factory for a tour and tasting. Dinner at one of the local restaurants. B/D
Day 3: Tour to Etchmiatsin the spiritual center of the Armenian Apostolic Church and the residence of the Catholicos of all Armenians. Visit the ruins of Zvartnots – majestic cathedral dating to early meddle ages. Lunch at a local restaurant. Return to Yerevan and visit the History Museum of Armenia or the National Art Gallery of Armenia. B/L
Day 4: We leave Yerevan today to explore the South of Armenia. Our journey goes along the Great Silk Route with several stops en route. The first visit on the tour today is Khor Virap Monastery. Enjoy the best views of the Biblical Mount Ararat on a clear day! Continue along the main road to the south of Armenia and visit Noravank Monastery – a UNESCO World Heritage Sight. We can also have a wine tasting in the cellar of Areni if so wished. Onto Sissian after lunch to visit Zorats Karer (Karahunge) prehistoric megalithic monument which is believed to be an observatory. Resume the day with dinner and overnight at one of the local hotels in Goris. B/L
Day 5: Spend full day exploring the environs of Goris: the longest in the world, 5.7 km aerial tram shall take us to the fascinating medieval Tatev Monastery from the settlement called Halidzor. After lunch nearby the monastery we shall head to Khndzoresk cave settlement, see the hanging bridge, other landmarks. Return to our hotel for rest at the hotel and independent dinner. B/L
Day 6: Check out after breakfast and head to the North of Armenia via Vardenyats Pass – one of the main junctions on the Silk Route. Visit the oldest best preserved Caravanserai, continue to visit Noratouz medieval cemetery of ‘khachkars’ / stone crosses, brief photo stop by Ayrivank Monastery and onto Tsakhkadzor spa town. Overnight in Tsakhkadzor. B/L
Day 7: Continue our journey around Armenia. Head to Lake Sevan peninsula. Visit 9th c Sevnavank Monastery. Onto the resort town of Dilijan, Armenia’s Switzerland, which is located within the territory of Dilijan Reserve – one of the richest in the whole Caucasus region. Visit the “old Dilijan” historic part of the town, continue to Haghartsin Monastery, 18 km from here. Family hosted lunch in Vanadzor. Check in at one of the local hotels for overnight. B/L/D
Day 8: From Lori region back to the capital. After breakfast at the hotel we check out and drive to visit the early medieval monastic complexes of Haghpat and Sanahin, both listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Lunch at a local restaurant. Return to Yerevan, check back to your hotel here. Free evening and time at leisure. B/L
Day 9: To the North-east of Yerevan to visit Garni Temple – the only remaining monument, referring to the era of paganism and Hellenism in Armenia. Cave Monastery Gueghard – UNESCO World Heritage Site. Lunch at one of the ethno-villages in Garni. Return to Yerevan and visit the museum of painter Kochar or composer Aram Khachaturyan. Farewell dinner at one of the local restaurants. B/L/FD
Day 10: Departure transfer to the airport.
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