FRIDAY, FLIGHT TO YEREVAN
SATURDAY, YEREVAN – CAPITAL OF ARMENIA
SUNDAY, ARMENIAN VATICAN
Drive to the Zvartnots Church, a monumental round church from the 7th century to visit the partially restored ruins. Continue to Etchmiadzin, the center of the Armenian Apostolic Church and the seat of the Armenian Catholicos. Visit the Church of St. Hripsime from 618, which is considered the most characteristic of all Armenian churches, and the main cathedral. Opportunity to partially participate in a service. Typical lunch in a restaurant (in the garden under the apricot trees). Return to Yerevan and visit the Tsitsernakaberd Genocide Memorial. Overnight in Yerevan.
MONDAY, AROUND THE MOUNTAIN ARAGATS
Drive to Ashtarak and visit the small church Karmravor from the 7th century. Continue to the beautiful mountain landscape at the foot of the Aragats (4,090 m) to the fortress Ambert, a castle ruin and church from the 7th century, which is picturesquely situated on a rocky plateau is. After the visit, continue to the small town of Aparan, where we can visit one of the oldest basilicas in Armenia (4th century) and experience traditional bread baking at a typical bakery. Drive on over the 2160 m high Pambak Pass to the northern province of Lori. Hotel occupancy for 2 nights in the cozy family-run hotel in Haghpat near Alaverdi. Having dinner and stay overnight.
TUESDAY, UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE IN THE NORTH
WEDNESDAY, NATURE IMPRESSIONS
Drive to an area with lush deciduous forests and a short visit to the restored old town of the spa town of Dilijan. Continue to Lake Sevan, the “blue pearl of Armenia” and located at 1950 m, one of the largest high mountain lakes in Europe. First visit to the Sevan Church from the 9th century, picturesquely situated on a peninsula and accessible via 230 basalt steps. Afterward visit the cemetery in Noradus with countless cross-stones, which has been used for centuries. Continue to the famous Vayots Dzor wine region via the Selim Pass (2410m). Dinner and overnight in the beautifully situated resort LUCY at the end of the Yeghegis gorge in the village of Hermon.
THURSDAY, TO THE MYSTERIOUS MONASTERY TATEV
Drive south over the Sisian Pass and take the longest cable car in the world to Tatev Monastery (UNESCO World Heritage Site): a religious and spiritual center located on a steep rocky outcrop above the Vorotan Gorge. On the way back, visit the Armenian Stonehenge-Zorats Kar, a prehistoric cult site in Armenia with many menhirs and dolmens from the 2nd millennium BC. Welcome to a hospitable farming family in the village of Gladzor: The delicacies cooked by a local housewife are accompanied with the homemade wine, schnapps, and brandy made by the landlord. Overnight like the day before.
FRIDAY, IN THE SHADOW OF THE HOLY MOUNTAIN ARARAT
Drive to the Areni-1 cave and visit the oldest scientifically dated finds of wine production. Onward journey to one of the most beautiful monasteries in Armenia, Noravank Monastery, located in complete solitude and seat of the Bishops of Syunik in the 12th to 14th centuries. Lunch at Noravank. Continue to the Ararat plain to Armenia’s most important pilgrimage site, the restored Khor Virap monastery from the 4th to 17th centuries. According to tradition, Gregory the Illuminator was held in a deep pit for 15 years due to his commitment to the Christian faith before becoming an Armenian missionary. From there you have a unique view of the sacred mountain of the Armenians, the Ararat (5165 m). Return to Yerevan and free time for shopping or doing your own things. Overnight in Yerevan.
SATURDAY, CULTURAL LANDSCAPE OF ARMENIA
Drive to Geghard (UNESCO World Heritage Site) to visit the 12th / 13th-century cave monastery at the end of a gorge, which is one of the most beautiful monasteries in the Caucasus. Excursion to Garni, the former summer residence of the Armenian kings and famous for the only Hellenistic temple from the 1st century that has been preserved in the Caucasus and was built on the edge of a basalt canyon. Return to Yerevan and visit the Matenadaran scientific library, which exhibits a valuable collection of ancient Armenian manuscripts, the oldest of which dates from the 5th century. Farewell dinner in Yerevan. Overnight in Yerevan.
SUNDAY, GOODBYE ARMENIA
Transfer to Yerevan airport. Help with exit formalities and return flight.
Overnight stays in clean and cozy hotels in 3 to 5-star hotels in the national category:
– 5 nights in a centrally located hotel in Yerevan EREBUNI or similar
– 2 nights in the family-run hotel QEFELYAN in Haghpat or similar.
– 2 nights in the Hotel Resort LUCY in Hermon near Yeghegnadzor or similar.
– Meals (lunch or dinner 8 times, partly in hotels, in traditional restaurants or at farmers)
– Transfers and day trips as described in a car, minivan, minibus or bus (according to group size)
– Qualified tour guide
All entrance fees according to the program
Extra services from the organizer
– Visit the famous ARARAT cognac factory with a museum visit and tasting
– Visit a Duduk master who introduces us to the secrets and sounds of the Armenian flute.
– Lavash baking process in the tandoor and tasting – combined with cheese and greens
– Help with choosing a cheap flight ticket
– Program update according to your special wishes and focus
Services not included