DISCOVER ARMENIA

11 DAYS/10 NIGHTS

DAY 1

Arrival to Zvartnots airport, transfer to hotel in Yerevan. The view to the magical panorama of Mount Ararat - the biblical mount where Noah`s Ark stopped and mankind was reborn. A walk through Yerevan including the center of the capital, the Republic Square, the Cascade, the Parliament, the President's Palace, Opera, Matenadaran, the Concert and Sports complex. The art center of Cafesjian. The majority of the exhibition is the works of the private collection of the main benefactor, Mr. Gerard L. Cafesjian. This collection counts more than 5,000 works of the most complete glass collection in the world. The garden of the sculptures of Cafesjian is located near the Cascade and is one of the best collections in the world. Welcome dinner at a traditional Armenian restaurant. Walking through the center of Yerevan and enjoying the view of the singing Fountains of the Republic Square. Overnight.

DAY 2

Breakfast at the hotel. Visit to Matenadaran - the institute (museum) of the ancient manuscripts. Continue to the Garni village. Visit to the pagan temple of Garni (1st c. A.D.). The Azat River canyon. Lunch in a local house in the Garni village. The excursion continues to the Geghard monastery, the UNESCO World Heritage site, an ancient and at the same time incredible monastery, with a part carved into the rocks. Drive back to Yerevan. Visit to the Erevan brandy factory "Ararat" with the tasting of 3 varieties of cognac: 3 * (3 years), Akhtamar (10 years) and Nairi (20 years). Free time in Yerevan.

DAY 3

Breakfast at the hotel. Excursion to St. Echmiadzin - the center of the Apostolic Church of Armenia. Visit to the church of St. Hripsime, 618 A.D. and the Cathedral - the oldest temple in Armenia, the first Christian church in the world. They are on the list of UNESCO World Heritage sites. Excursion to the Sardarapat village, visit to the monument and museum of Sardarapat, which became a symbol of pride and survival. The monument of Sardarapat marks the place of the efforts of the Armenians to save their town and defend it from the Turks during the Battle of Sardarapat from May 22-26, 1918. Drive back to Yerevan. On the way a visit to the Zvartnots temple, the ruins of the cathedral of the 7th c. (641-653) - UNESCO World Heritage Site. The place was discovered in the 20th c. (1901-1907). Lunch in Yerevan. Visit to the Museum of Armenian History. Free time in Yerevan.

DAY 4

Breakfast at the hotel, "checkout". Excursion to the Aragatsotn region. The Saghmosavank Monastery, located in the north of the Ashtarak city, the Kasakh canyon. Visit to the Amberd Fortress, 10th c., which is located at the altitude of 2300 m above sea level, following the road to Mount Aragats. Amberd is an example of medieval Armenian architecture and is one of the rare feudal fortresses of Armenia. Aragats is the highest mountain in Armenia (4090 m). Lunch. Excursion to the Lori region through the city of Spitak. "Check-in" at the Avan Dzoraget hotel, an incredible place on the river bank, near a large canyon. Dinner at the hotel restaurant Avan Dzoraget.

DAY 5

Breakfast at the hotel. "Check out" the hotel Avan Dzoraget. Prepare your cameras, if you are lucky, you can see the flight of eagles above the canyon. Visit to the monasteries Sanahin and Haghpat, the places of the World Heritage of UNESCO. The architectural complexes of Sanahin and Haghpat are examples of medieval Armenian architecture. The complexes of Sanahin and Haghpat have many khachkars (cross-stones). Both monasteries represent the flourishing period of Armenian religious architecture. This unique style of Armenian architecture was developing using elements of Byzantine art and those of the traditional national art of the Caucasian region. Excursion to Tavush region, to the mountain resort Dilijan. "Check in" at the pension "Old Dilijan". Lunch. Visit to Old Dilijan Complex, wooden houses of two floors with the carved terraces. They are the examples of the typical architecture of Dilijan. Some houses are located in the historic Sharambeyan street rebuilt by Tufenkian. Sharambeyan Street is preserved as "Old Town Dilijan" (the ancient city of Dilijan) with workshops, small shops that present Armenian works and crafts, museums, and a typical 19th c. house with furniture made in this region. Visit to the Goshavank monastery (12-13th cc). Visit to Lake Parz. Lake Parz is located in the forest, 9 km northeast of Dilijan. The beauty of nature and that of the lake make it an impressive place during all seasons of the year without exception. Departure to Dilijan.

DAY 6

Breakfast. Excursion to the city of Ijevan, visit to Makaravank. The monastery is located on the top of a hill, in a forest. It was built in the 11-13th cc. Makaravank is one of the prominent constructions of medieval Armenian architecture and is one of the unique examples of Armenian culture that has its delicate decorations and ornaments. From there you can see the beautiful panorama of the river Aghstev with its valley. Visit to the Haghartsin Monastery (10-13th cc), which is located in a forest valley of the Ijevan mountains. During the silver age the monastery served as a main center for the architecture of the Armenian church and was one of the works of medieval Armenia. For 3 centuries the masters added buildings, decorative elements and ornaments to the overall architectural ensemble. To feel the idyllic tranquility of such an exceptional place you need to visit the Haghartsin monastery. Return to the pension in Dilijan. Lunch. Excursion to Lake Sevan, visit to Lake Sevan, the peninsula and the Sevanavank monastery. It had three churches that formed a complex, a monastery built on the island. In the 20th c., when the lake level dropped, the peninsula was formed. Until the end of the 8th c., no one lived there, on the island, then the monks built a chapel and some cells. The monastery was founded by King Ashot I in 874. The boat trip. Dinner at a restaurant on the bank of Lake Sevan. Return to the pension in Dilijan.

DAY 7

Breakfast at the hotel and "checkout". Excursion to the region of Vayots Dzor through the pass of Selim and Caravanserai. The visit to Noraduz, to the medieval cemetery with many khachqars (cross-stones). The cemetery has the largest group of khachqars in the Armenian Republic. The oldest khachqar in the cemetery is from the 10th c. A stopover in Selim caravanserai. In medieval Armenia many constructions were built near trade routes and served for accommodation of travelers. One of them is the caravanserai of Selim, which was built in 1332. Lunch at a restaurant near the Yeghegis River. We continue to Jermuk, which is located on the upper course of the Arpa River. The city is surrounded with magnificent mountains and forests. "Check-in" at the hotel in Jermuk. Dinner.

DAY 8

Breakfast at the hotel. Rest and sightseeing in Jermuk and around (the waterfall, the Arpa river canyon, etc.). Lunch and dinner at the hotel.

DAY 9

Breakfast at the hotel and "check-out". Trip to the Syunik region. A stopover at Zorats Qarer (Qarahunj) - an ancient astrological observatory, which is 6000 years old. Qarahunj sounds like "Stonehenge". Trip to the Tatev monastery, the most famous spiritual center of Armenia in that period. You will reach Tatev by the world's longest ropeway (Guinness Book of Records). It is called Wings of Tatev and connects two villages in the mountains. The length of this road is 5 km and 752 m. And the way to one side in the booth takes 11 minutes, the maximum height is 320 m., the capacity is 25 passengers. The Tatev Monastery is an architectural masterpiece. It is in perfect harmony with the majestic mountains. On the way we passed "Devil`s bridge", an extraordinary natural masterpiece of the Vorotan Canyon. This natural bridge is 30 meters long and 50-60 meters wide. It is a short, but important part of the road that goes from Goris to the Tatev monastery. Lunch. Trip to the city of Goris. "Check-in" at the hotel of Goris. Visit to Old Khndzoresk, famous for its canyon with picturesque rock formations and ancient cave settlement. The artificial caves, some of which are currently used as stables and warehouses, used to be inhabited till the 1950s. Return to the hotel. Dinner.

DAY 10

Breakfast at the hotel and "check-out". Excursion to Noravank, monastery of the 13th c. Nature, mountains, caves, the river and fabulous birds. Visit to ARENI-1, the oldest wine production. It is a special archaeological site in southern Armenia. It is located near the Noravank monastery. The excavations of the Palaeolithic ruins began in the cave Areni-1 in 2007. The cave is divided into 3 different zones, each one has remains of human activities from 6200-4200 to 3500 B.C. Lunch at the restaurant in the natural cave or on the bank of the Arpa river. Wine tasting at the local winery. Excursion to Khor Virap. The Armenian King Trdat III imprisoned Saint Gregory Illuminator in Khor Virap for 13 years. St Gregory cured the king. Trdat III embraced Christianity as a state religion in 301. Officially Armenia was the first Christian nation. It is the closest place to Mount Ararat. Return to Yerevan. "Check in" at the hotel in Yerevan. Free time. In the evening farewell dinner in a good restaurant, which shows the Armenian culture: the style of the furniture, books, diaries, instruments and traditions of old Yerevan. Enjoy traditional music, dances, traditional Armenian toasts and a superior atmosphere.

DAY 11

Breakfast. "Check-out". Transfer to the airport.