Day 1: Yerevan, City Tour
Arrival at “Zvartnots” International Airport, meeting and transfer to the hotel. Accommodation and rest. Then you will have an unforgettable tour around our amazing city. You will see the main attractions in Yerevan –the Opera and Ballet House, the Cascade, which is a walking square with modern sculptures by Bottero, the statue of “Mother Armenia”, where from a stunningly panoramic view over the capital opens. You will visit the Matenadaran, the research institute and depository of ancient manuscripts. The next sightseeing worth visiting is Tsitsernakaberd, the memorial complex dedicated to the victims of the Armenian Genocide in 1915. The tour day will be ended with an excursion to the “Ararat” brandy factory, where you will taste some sorts of famous Armenian brandy. Return to the hotel.
Day 2. Echmiadzin – Zvartnots –Yerevan
Breakfast at the hotel. You will have a great opportunity to see the administrative and spiritual center of the Armenian Apostolic Church – Echmiadzin. We will visit the Cathedral, one of the oldest Christian churches in the world. The word “Echmiadzin” is translated from Armenian “Only Begotten fell”. The etymology of the word is linked to the vision of St. Gregory Illuminator, according to which Jesus came down from heavens with a golden hammer and showed him the place where the first Christian church should be built. In Echmiadzin you will also see St. Hripsime church (VII century). The church is considered an example of religious perfection of Armenian architecture .
On the way back you visit the ruins of the Zvartnots cathedral (The temple of angels ), built in the seventh century. Return to Yerevan. Evening is free to relax in a good atmosphere of jazz clubs, pubs and cafes.
Overnight in Yerevan.
Day 3. Khor Virap –Noravank –Tatev- Goris
Breakfast at the hotel.
Our tour day we start proceeding to monastery Khor Virap (XVII century), where from a magnificent view to the biblical Mount Ararat opens, where according to the Bible, Noah’s ark came down. Next point of our tour is Noravank (XIII-XIV centuries) situated among a picturesque gorge with caves and red rocks.
The next destination of our tour will be the Tatev monastery. We will drive to Syunik region where to reach the Tatev monastery you will take “Wings of Tatev”, the longest reversible ropeway in the world (5752 m), recorded in the Guinness Book of Records. Twelve minutes of unforgettable flight above the ravine of the fierce Vorotan River! It is the most picturesque and impressive route to the Tatev monastery.
The Tatev monastery is a 9th-century Armenian Apostolic monastery located on a large basalt plateau near the Tatev village. The monastery complex consists of three churches (St. Paul and Peter, St. Gregory the Illuminator and St. Mary), a library, dining hall, belfry, mausoleum as well as other administrative and auxiliary buildings.
In the 14th and 15th centuries the 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.
After the excursion in Tatev we will drive to Goris for overnight.
Day 4. Goris – Stepanakert (Kharabakh ) – Gandzasar
After breakfast at the hotel we will proceed to Stepanakert (Kharabakh). In 3 – hour drive along picturesque landscape we will arrive in Stepanakert where you will have a city tour attractions and then we will go to Gandzasar.
Gandzasar monastery is a 10th to 13th century Armenian monastery situated in the Mardakert district of Nagorno-Karabakh Republic. “Gandzasar” means a treasure mountain or hilltop treasure in Armenian. It is a unique cultural example of medieval architecture and monumental sculpture, which by right ought to be regarded as an encyclopedia of 13th-century Armenian art.
Gandzasar is now the seat of the Archbishop of Artsakh appointed by the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin of the Armenian Apostolic Church.
In this tour you will also visit Askeran fortress, also called Mayraberd , located on the banks of the Qarqar River and was built by the Karabakh khanate ruler Panah Ali Khan and consists of two sections.
Return to Stepanakert. Overnight in Stepanakert.
Day 5. Stepanakert – Shushi – Stepanakert
After breakfast we will have a wonderful excursion to Shushi. Shusha is a city situated among picturesque Karabakh mountains. According to some sources the town of Shusha was founded in 1752. From the mid-18th century to 1822 Shusha was the capital of the Karabakh Khanate. It had religious and strategic importance to the Armenians, Shushi houses the Ghazanchetsots Cathedral, the church of Kanach Zham, and two other churches.
Return to Stepanakert. Overnight in Stepanakert.
Day 6. Stepanakert – Selim’s Caravansaray – Hayravanq – Yerevan
Breakfast at the hotel. This day we will return to Yerevan through Selim’s Caravansaray which was built in 1332 by Prince Chesar Orbelian, according to an inscription in Armenian and Arabic. This caravansaray offered hospitality to travelers along the highway crossing the Selim mountains. This building is an excellent example of Armenian secular architecture in the Middle Ages.
Selim Caravansaray lies below the road just before the summit on the south side of Selim Pass (2410 m). On the way we also will see Hayravank, a 9th to 12th century Armenian monastery located just northeast of the village of Hayravank along the southwest shores of Lake Sevan. The monastic complex consists of a church, a chapel, and a gavit. Surrounding the monastery there are numerous khachkars and gravestones that are part of a small cemetery. Return to Yerevan. Overnight in Yerevan.
Day 7. Yerevan
Free day to enjoy and relax in Yerevan. You can go to the Play city or Aquatek to entertain yourselves ,or go to jazz clubs or pubs. Overnight in Yerevan.
Day 8. Yerevan – Amberd – Yerevan
Breakfast at the hotel. We will visit Amberd, a fortified town in the Middle Ages (X-XII centuries), 2300m above the sea level. Return to Yerevan. We would like you to go to the national fruit and vegetable market in Yerevan where you will taste delicious fruits. Evening is free and you can enjoy it just walking in bright peaceful streets of our beautiful city.
Overnight in Yerevan.
Day 9.Yerevan – Goshavank – Haghartsin – Sevanavank – Yerevan
Breakfast at the hotel. We will proceed to Tavush region and visit Goshavank monastery (XII-XIII centuries ), located on the banks of the river Aghstev. The monastery is directly connected to the name of Mkhitar Gosh, the author of numerous parables and the first Armenian Criminal Code, which was used for centuries not only in the courts of Armenia, but also in Georgia. The next spot is Haghartsin, a 13th-century monastery located near the town of Dilijan. It was built between the 10th and 14th centuries.
St. Astvatsatsin Church in Haghartsin (1281) is the largest building and the dominant artistic feature.
The Blue pearl of Armenia Lake Sevan will be seen and amazed by you. You will go up the peninsula and see the churches St.Astvatsatsin and Sevanavank (9 century). Return to Yerevan.
Day 10. Yerevan – Garni – Geghard – Yerevan
Breakfast at the hotel . This day you will see two pearls of Armenian architecture -monastery complex of Geghard (XII-XIII centuries) and the pagan temple of Garni, dedicated to the God of Sun. Garni was a summer residence of Armenian Kings. It is the only building preserved in Armenia after the Christianity adoption as the state religion.
According to a legend the spear that pierced Jesus Christ’s body was hidden for a long time among the rocks of the Geghard monastery. That’s why it was called “Geghardavanq” which is translated from Armenian as “Monastery of spear”.
Return to Yerevan. Transfer to the airport for your flight late at night.
The price includes:
- Excursions according to the program
- Guide service (9 days)
- Accommodation in hotels (in Yerevan, Goris, Stepanakert)
- Entrance fees in Matenadaran, Garni, Zvartnots
- Visa for Karabakh
- Ticket for ropeway “Wings of Tatev”
- Brandy tasting in “Ararat” brandy factory
- A bottle of water.
The price does not include:
- International flight
- Entrance fees to clubs.