2013 Small Group Tours
July 23-August 1, 2013
Route: Yerevan - Etchmiadzin - Ancient Siunik - Lake Sevan - Tsakhadzor - Dilijan - Yenokavan - Lori - Yerevan
Duration: 10 days/9 nights
Land Tour Price: $2899-$3600
Day 1. Yerevan
Arrival in Yerevan, the capital of Armenia. You will be met by our representatives at the airport and will be transferred to the hotel. Accommodation. Today we shall our Armenia Tour with discovering Yerevan which was founded in 782 BC. Its ancient and modern sights attract travelers from all over the world. We shall visit the State History Museum of Armenia which has 400000 exhibits and over 5000 of them are on a permanent display to present Armenia’s historical past. We shall also visit the Matenadaran - the depositary of 17000 pieces of ancient manuscripts including many hand-written bibles and evangels. At the Yerevan Brandy Company you can learn about Armenia’s rich traditions of brandy-making . We finish our sightseeing tour at the Carpet factory where you can see the process of weaving the carpets from wool. Welcome dinner.
Day 2. Etchmiadzin - Azat River Valley
Sightseeing drive to Etchmiadzin – the spiritual center of Armenia and the seat of the All Armenian Patriarch. Sightseeing tour at the UNESCO heritage sites, Church St. Hripsime (7th century AD), Mother Cathedral of Holy Etchmiadzin ( 303 AD), Zvartnots Cathedral (7th century AD) and Monastery of Geghard. This afternoon we will visit an ancient Fortress of Garni from the 3rd century BC. This evening you will enjoy watching and participating in the process of making Armenian bread. Dinner.
Day 3. Khor Virap Monastery, Magnificent Noravank and Tatev
Today we visit three important and picturesque monasteries of Armenia, Khor Viap Monastery, one of the cradles of Armenian Christianity, Noravank Monastery (4-14th centuries) standing in full harmony with the mysterious and steep gorge carved by the Heavenly Hand and magnificent Tatev Monastery located on a promontory more than 100 meters above the Vorotan River in Southern Armenia which was an important medieval educational, theological and administrative center. In the 13th century it controlled over 680 villages and hosted more than 1000 monks. While driving up to the monastery we pass through nature-built Devil’s bridge – beautiful and amazing natural miracle of Vorotan gorge. Photo opportunities. Accommodation in Goris.
Day 4. Karahunj –Selim Noratus
Armenia was one of the important centers of Great Silk Road. Many ancient sites and caravansaries have been preserved up to present days. Discover ancient Karahunj-Armenia’s Stonehenge, Caravansary of Selim , located high on the picturesque mountain pass Selim, see numerous khachkars (cross-stones) at a medieval cemetery of Noratus. Khachkars, one of the most characteristic symbols of Armenian identity, are uniquely Armenian form of Christian art and worship. With their marvelous carvings and savior symbolism of the Holy Cross, Khachkars were beloved by pilgrims from the very beginning of the tradition to craft them. We will finish our tour with the 9th century Hayravank Monastery standing on a rock by Lake Sevan. Overnight at the lakeshore hotel.
Day 5. Tsakhkadzor- Dilijan
Scenic drive to Tsakhkadzor. It is located on the foot of Mount Teghenis. Today we visit the Monastery of Kecharis (11th century) which has been an important Christian Center in Armenia till nowadays. Next we drive to the 9th century Monastery of Sevanavank located on the hill of the Sevan Peninsula. A fish lunch right at the restaurant beneath the hill and looking to the lake Sevan will be served. We continue our sightseeing tour by visiting to another resort town – Dilijan. Here we shall see Ethnographical museum of Old Dilijan. You meet with local handicraftmen and visit their workshops. Our next stop will be at the newly renovated Monastery of Haghartsin. It is an architectural jewel of the 10-14th centuries located deep in the forest of Dilijan. A breathtaking road will lead us to Yenokavan Resort where we will be accommodated at comfortable and high-standard apartments.
Day 6. Yenokavan resort
Yenokavan resort has a breathtaking view of forested mountains, homey atmosphere and various opportunities for unforgettable hiking, trekking and horse back riding. We start the day with hiking along the path which goes on the edge of a canyon and opens the unique panorama with caves hidden behind the velvet of trees and pointed rock juts. Fantastic world is revealed there: the Devil’s bridge - a product of nature architecture, connecting solitary stone juts leading to the very bottom of the gorge. There we see the mediaeval “workshop” of nameless genius, who bequeathed to descendants excellent works on the stone walls of a unique cave complex, located on the shore of rapid river with many waterfalls. Afternoon we enjoy hiking and horseback riding. Overnight.
Day 7. Lori (Northern Armenia)- Dzoraget
Explore the jewels of Northern Armenia. Our first destination will be the Monastery of Haghpat (10-13th centuries) nestled on a promontory in the Lori region. It is an internationally recognized gem of medieval architecture (World Heritage Site). It was a thriving intellectual, cultural, and scholarly center in the 11-13th centuries. Then we will visit the Monastery of Sanahin and 6th century Church Odzun. Overnight in Dzoraget.
Day 8. Yerevan
Drive to Yerevan (3 hours) stopping by at 4th century Holy Cross Church in Aparan. It is one of the earliest Christian constructions in the world. Arrival and accommodation. Enjoy your afternoon. Overnight is in Yerevan.
Day 9. Around Mount Aragats
We enjoy our last day the slopes and foot of mount Aragats – the highest mountain of Armenia. Visit Fortress of Amberd (9-11th centuries) which was built at 7550 ft / 2300 m above sea level and has played an important role for protection of local lords. We drive up closer to the peak of the mountain to see spectacular view of the region. At 10650 ft / 3250 m above sea level we reach the Lake Kari. Be aware that snow never melts on northern sides of the rocks there, so even at summer time we can witness white snow and green grass to coexist there. Lake Kari is an excellent place to taste Khash - a national Armenian dish. We drive down to see Saghmosavank Monastery, founded by St. Gregory. Farewell dinner in a unique tavern with Armenian cuisine and folklore performance.
Day 10. Yerevan
Departure from Yerevan International Airport
This tour program includes:
- Visa support
- Ground Transportation (Land and mountain)
- Experienced English-speaking guides/escort
- Hotel accommodation
- Meals: Breakfast and Dinner
- Entrance fees for the sights,mountains and parks
- Brandy factory tour and winery tour in Areni
- Solo performance at Geghard Monastery
- Folklore Show in Bukhara
The tour program doesn’t include:
- International Flights
- Charges in hotels for additional services
- Consular fees