Experience World Heritage of Armenia Millenia Ago and Today

Experience World Heritage of Armenia Millenia Ago and Today

11 days|

Overview

Travel to the Routes of Civilization to get in touch with great heritage and the array of culture that Armenia offers as a travel destination, experience genuine interaction with people and create amazing memories, encounter with authentic, diverse and delicious cuisine. 
During this 11-day tour you will pass through millennia long history, culture, science and culinary traditions up to nowadays modern Armenia and its “Pink City” capital Yerevan: including world oldest observatory Zorats Karer (Armenian Stonehenge) and today’s Byurakan observatory, world oldest winery in the Areni cave, middle age and antique wine making monuments and traditions and today’s wineries, history before and after the Christ on the Holy Land, where Christianity was officially adopted as a first state religion in the world and where Noah arrived once upon a time.
For a wider spectrum of emotions, spice up your adventure with paragliding over Lake Sevan, have unforgettable indoor surfing experience, feel the adrenaline rush while rafting in Armenian rivers and enjoy variety of adventure activities that Armenia has to offer.

Start  Yerevan, Armenia                                              Physical rating  (1 out of 5)

Finish  Yerevan, Armenia                                            Group size  Min 4, Max 20

Tour Theme  Cultural Historical                                 Ages  Min 18 or Family

Days  11 Days/10 Nights                                            Trip Availability  April - October

Itinerary

Welcome to Yerevan, the capital city of Armenia. Our tour leader will greet you at the airport and help you with all the ground handling services. 
After a welcome briefing meeting with the tour leader, you will check in to your hotel. You must be hungry from all that travels – dinner will be organized in one of the cozy restaurants in Yerevan for your first encounter with Armenian cuisine. Have a rest and get ready for tomorrow's adventure. 

Accommodation

  • Overnight in Yerevan at hotel 4* on BB/DBL basis. Single room supplement can be provided at extra cost. Request in advance. 

Meals Included 

  • Dinner in Yerevan

Important Notes

It’s important that you attend the welcome meeting, as we will be distributing details and next of kin information such as brochures with useful info about Yerevan and Armenia, maps, places to eat and things and activities to do around.

09:00 – Breakfast in the hotel
10:00 – Starting the tour 

The day starts with departure to the villages of Goght and Garni. Our first stop is at Geghard Monastery - an incredible medieval monastery, being partially carved out of the adjacent mountain, surrounded by cliffs. It is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site with enhanced protection status. Here you will have a chance to enjoy the performance of a fantastic choir in one of the chambers of the monastery with one of the greatest acoustics you ever saw. The choir will leave you with goose bumps and unforgettable emotions. 
Barely recovered from the musical and cultural strong impressions, we take you to Symphony of Stones (half of the road to the Symphony of Stones is hiking) where you can listen to the silent music of stones, that the virtuoso nature has created himself. 
Garni gorge is one of the most exceptional places for tourists to visit and to see amazing natural rocks known as the “Symphony of Stones” or “Basalt organ”. The rocks have a shape of long hexagonal vertical columns, which are associated with the church organ. Huge stone pillars are located at an altitude of about 50 meters above the ground. It’s hard to believe that neatly and symmetrically sculpted stones are created by nature itself and not by human.
We continue towards Garni Temple - the only standing Greco-Roman colonnaded Pagan temple in Armenia and the former Soviet Union. An Ionic pagan temple located in the village of Garni is the best-known structure and symbol of Pre-Christian Armenia. The structure was built in the 1st century AD as a temple to the God of Sun Mihr.
Lunch will be in a cozy Armenian restaurant with a panoramic view to Temple Garni.
We return back to Yerevan where we have a guided tour to Yerevan Brandy Company - commonly known for its famous brand "ARARAT" and is the leading enterprise of Armenia for the production of cognac. Here you can see the Armenian Cognac production, the museum and taste Legendary Armenian Cognac ARARAT.
Welcome Dinner will be organized at Megerian Carpet cultural center, including a visit to Armenian handmade rugs factory and museum where you will see traditional carpet making process, participate in an interactive Armenian food preparation master class with one of the most demanded and famous chefs of todays Armenia - Mr. Sedrak Mamoulian, taste the diversity of Armenian cuisine (including homemade Armenian fruit vodka and wine) and enjoy Armenian music.

Accommodation

  • Overnight in Yerevan at hotel 4* on BB/DBL basis 

Included Activities

  • Geghard Monastery and performance of a Choir
  • Symphony of Stones
  • Garni Pagan Temple
  • Yerevan Brandy Company
  • Megerian Carpet

Meals Included 

  • Breakfast at the hotel
  • Lunch in Garni
  • Complimentary welcome dinner at Megerian Carpet

09:00 - Breakfast in the hotel
10:00 – Starting the tour 

Today’s program starts with a visit to Matenadaran – research institute, a museum and repository of Ancient Manuscripts. Matenadaran contains a total of some 23,000 Armenian and foreign manuscripts and scrolls, including fragments.
Next stop is the spiritual and religious center of Armenia Ejmiatsin - the 5th-largest city in Armenia. The city is best known as the location of Ejmiatsin Holy Mother Cathedral, the center of the Armenian Apostolic Church. It is unofficially known in Western sources as a “Holy City” and in Armenia as the country's "Spiritual Capital". Along with several important early medieval churches located nearby (St. Gayane, St. Hripsime), Ejmiatsin Cathedral was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2000. The Holy Lance that pierced Jesus’s side (also known as the Spear of Destiny and Lance of Longinus) is kept in Ejmiatsin.  
Another amazing monument worth visiting is Zvartnots Cathedral (literally “celestial angels cathedral”) is a 7th-century centrally planned aisled tetra conch type Armenian cathedral. Now in ruins, it is located at the edge of the city of Ejmiatsin, on the background of mesmerizing view to Biblical Mount Ararat. Zvartnots was added to the UNESCO World Heritage list in 2000.
Full of spiritual emotions we had back to the modern and busy Yerevan where we will have a nice stroll and guided tour in the heart of the city after lunch. 
Time to explore the Armenian capital Yerevan – a 2800 year old and modern city, located in the shadow of the biblical Mount Ararat. It is one of the oldest cities in the world. You will explore The Republic Square with its dancing and singing fountains, Cascade, Opera House, North Avenue, parks devoted to 2700th and 2800th anniversaries of the city. From the impressive Cascade you have a panoramic view of the whole capital. 

Accommodation

  • Overnight in Yerevan at hotel 4* on BB/DBL basis 

Included Activities

  • Matenadaran repository and museum of manuscripts
  • Holy City Ejmiatsin
  • Zvartnots Cathedral
  • Yerevan city tour

Meals Included 

  • Breakfast at the hotel
  • Lunch in Yerevan
  • Dinner in Yerevan

08:00 - Breakfast in the hotel
09:00 – Starting the tour 

The morning starts by heading to the Southern part of Armenia. From Yerevan we move towards Khor Virap Monastery (in Armenian stands for “deep dungeon”). Khor Virap's notability as a monastery and pilgrimage site is attributed to the fact that Gregory the Illuminator was initially imprisoned here for about 14 years by King Tiridates III of Armenia. Saint Gregory subsequently became the king's religious mentor, and they led the proselytizing activity in the country. In the year 301 Armenia was the first country in the world to be declared a Christian nation.
The walled religious complex also stands before the snowcapped flanks of Mount Ararat, offering a spectacular view of the mountain and cutting a striking silhouette in and of itself.
Our next highlight is wine tasting in Areni - The Areni 1 cave complex is a multicomponent site, and late Chalcolithic / Early Bronze Age ritual settlement, located near the Areni village. In 2010, archeologists discovered the earliest known shoe (5500 years old) at the site. In January 2011 the earliest known winery (about 6100 years old) in the world was uncovered in the cave. Later, in 2011 the discovery of a straw skirt dating to 3,900 years BC was reported. In 2009, the oldest humanoid brain was discovered in the cave.
Lunch will be at Triniti Canyon Vineyards accompanied by tasting of delicious Armenian wines.
To finalize this beautiful day we visit Tatev Monastery - a 9th century historical monument. It is one of the oldest and most famous monastery complexes in Armenia. During medieval times Tatev Monastery was a vital scholastic, enlightenment and spiritual center and played a singular role in the country’s history. You will reach the Tatev Monastery by the shortest, most picturesque and impressive route, by “Wings of Tatev” - the longest reversible cableway in the world (5752 m), recorded in the Guinness Book of Records: twelve minutes of unforgettable flight above the gorge of the fierce Vorotan River, through a celestial highway at the altitude of 320m.

Accommodation

  • Overnight in hotel in Sisian on BB/DBL basis 

Included Activities

  • Khor Virap Monastery
  • Areni Cave 1
  • Trinity Canon and wine tasting
  • Tatev Monastery
  • “Wings of Tatev” longest reversible cableway 

Meals Included 

  • Breakfast at the hotel
  • Lunch in Trinity Canon
  • Dinner at the hotel

08:00 - Breakfast in the hotel
09:00 - Starting the tour 

The morning starts with a small hiking to the beautiful Shaki Waterfall, one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Armenia. On the left side of the river Vorotan's gorge, basalt lava flows have solidified to form a 18 meters high ledge from which the waterfall cascades down. Get closer to the refreshing splashes and enjoy the calming sound of the water. One could stay hours in this magnificent location.
After your refreshing morning hike time to visit the mysterious prehistoric complex of Karahunj (Zorats Karer) (walking). This famous megalithic structure consists of hundreds of vertically arranged stones that are stretched from the south to the north. In the middle, there are about 40 stones that are formed into an ellipse. The size of the stones ranges from 0.5 to 3 meters and can weigh up to 10 tons. It is also called "Armenian Stonehenge". According to researchers, Karahunj could be among the world's oldest astronomical observatories and is at least 3,500 years older than British Stonehenge.
Exploring Armenia’s marvelous hidden corners continues by small hiking to Smbataberd - Fortress of Smbat the Prince of Syunik. It was built in a very advantageous position on the southern end of a ridge, guarded by steep cliffs on three of its sides. It is likely that Smbataberd was founded during the 5th century, but was better established and heavily fortified during the 9th to 10th centuries.
After active hiking and walking, lunch will be in the cozy village Artabuynk where you can have genuine interaction with the locals and enjoy your delicious lunch of local food.
On our way to next destination we will pass by Vardenyats (Selim) Caravanserai - an ancient caravanserai located along Vardenyats pass that was part of the Great Silk Road. The building served as a place where caravans, moved from Europe to the East, stopped for an overnight stay. Historical sources indicate that the construction located on the Vardenyats Pass was erected in 1332, by the order of Duke Chesar Orbelyan. It is known that Marco Polo crossed this area and described how the Armenians lived in impenetrable mountains.
We reach Sevan in Kotayk region, where we are going to spend the overnight.

Accommodation

  • Overnight in hotel in Sevan on BB/DBL basis 

Included Activities

  • Shaki waterfall
  • Karahunj (Armenian Stonehenge)
  • Smbataberd fortress
  • Selim Pass, Caravanserai (The Great Silk Road)
  • Lake Sevan

Meals Included 

  • Breakfast at the hotel
  • Lunch in Artabuynk village
  • Dinner at the hotel

Important Notes

Today we will be having a small hiking and walking in Shaki Waterfall, Karahunj and Smbataberd. No special physical readiness is required, being moderately fit is enough. It is recommended to wear comfortable shoes and clothes and have sun protection (caps, sunglasses, sun cream).

08:00 - Breakfast in the hotel
09:00 - Starting the tour 

Today’s program starts with Lake Sevan. Not a single visit to Armenia is complete without visiting her majesty Lake Sevan - the highest freshwater mountain lake in Europe, and surrounded by the Lesser Caucasus mountain range. Set 1900m above sea level, Sevan is the largest lake in the Caucasus, it's also one of the largest freshwater high-altitude lakes in the world. Its colors and shades change with the weather and by its own mysterious processes, from a dazzling azure to dark blue and a thousand shades in between. The lake supports a healthy fish population, including the endangered Ishkhan (prince trout), named for a row of spots like a crown on its head.
On the Sevan Peninsula, we visit Sevanavank Monastic complex, which dates back to the 9th century. Almost no visit to Armenia is complete without visiting one of the highest mountainous lakes in the world. Get ready to tick off another bucket list location in Armenia.
For the lovers of high sky we offer in Sevan an amazing Paragliding adventure as an optional activity at extra cost. A must do when visiting Armenia, with Armenia`s leading experts in tandem paragliding flights. The team of highly qualified and professional pilots will make sure to give you the experience of a lifetime.

***Paragliding is offered as an optional activity at extra cost.
After lunch in Sevan our day continues to beautiful city of Dilijan that is sometimes referred to as the forest kingdom of Armenia. In this cozy town, you can find vivid examples of traditional wooden house architecture. The mountains and gorges are covered with rich forests changing to alpine meadows and dotted with small farms, hiking tracks, lakes and rivers. The mountainous landscape is highly diverse, with different terrains, climates, soils and water resources. Many natural and man-made features enrich the national park: monasteries, lakes, archeological sites, forests, rivers and farmland create an endlessly-changing environment.
The day wouldn’t be complete without visiting Haghartsin Monastery that rises among the majestic mountains where eagles fly. The name of the monastery is associated with them: Haghartsin in Armenian means “game of eagles”. The most ancient building of Haghartsin is the Church of St. Grigor built in the 11th century by monks who fled from Western Armenia fleeing persecution. Haghartsin used to be a major center of culture and spirituality in Armenia since the 13th century.
After a day full of impressions we reach Yenokavan for overnight in the picturesque mountains.

Accommodation

  • Overnight in hotel in Yenokavan on BB/DBL basis 

Included Activities

  • Lake Sevan
  • Sevanavank Monastic Complex
  • Dilijan
  • Haghartsin Monastery

Optional Activity at extra cost

  • Tandem Paragliding (full description and pricing will be provided separately)
  •  o   Tandem Flight 10 min

     o   Tandem Flight 20 min

*Included. The pilot will make photos and videos during the flight with GoPro camera.

Meals Included

  • Breakfast at the Hotel
  • Lunch 
  • Dinner in Yenokavan

Important Notes

Depending on weather conditions, Paragliding may be canceled if the weather is not suitable for flying on that specific day of the tour.

08:00 - Breakfast in the hotel
09:00 - Starting the tour 

The day starts with heartbeat of emotions and unforgettable extreme at Yell Extreme Park - being in the heart of astonishing Yenokavan mountains Yell Extreme Park is real paradise for those who want to combine adrenaline with eco environment. Park offers about 10 unusual and creative activities (zipline, via ferrata, rock climbing, horseback riding, zorbing and more) and is recognized as one of the most unique amusements in the region. We are pretty sure that here each one will find an activity that is close to his heart. 
*** Here we offer an amazing horseback riding experience right in the heart of lush nature. Other activities are offered as optional activities at extra cost.
Meanwhile you catch up on your breath after the adrenaline dose in the flow, we depart towards Lastiver (includes jeeping and small hiking). Lastiver is located in the North-east of Armenia in outskirts of Yenokavan. It is a perfect hidden gem in the woods where you can be close to the nature and find your inner peace. Here you can also see some caves where the hermits used to live. There is a place called “Lastiver Anapat” where you can see a lot of small huts and houses on the trees. The small waterfalls cascading one into another with their magical soothing sounds make this place look like a fairy tale.
Participate in the master class preparation of traditional and mouthwatering Armenian barbeque right in the heart of nature before we move to Lori Province for overnight. 

Accommodation

  • Overnight in hotel in Lori on BB/DBL basis 

Included Activities

  • Yell Extreme Park
  • Lastiver 
  • Master class food preparation 

Optional Activities at Yell Extreme Park at extra cost (apart from horseback riding)

  • Zip line 
  • Rope park 
  • Via ferrata 
  • Off road

Meals Included 

  • Breakfast at the hotel
  • Master class Lunch preparation in Lastiver 
  • Dinner at the hotel

Important notes

Please note that part of the road to Lastiver will be passed by 4X4 cars as a jeeping experience and some part of the trail to reach Lastiver will be done by small hiking. No special physical readiness is required, being moderately fit is enough. It is recommended to wear comfortable shoes and clothes and have sun protection (caps, sunglasses, sun cream).

09:00 - Breakfast in the hotel
10:00 - Starting the tour 

We start the day by visiting the Monasteries Sanahin and Haghpat - The two monastic complexes are included in UNESCO World Heritage list. Dating to the 10th to 13th centuries they represent the highest flowering of Armenian religious architecture of that era.  The functional role, location and stylistic characteristics were taken into consideration during the construction of each building that stand in perfect harmony with the picturesque landscape.
Lunch will be at ''Zarni-Parni'' cave castle complex with a breathtaking panoramic view to the gorge. Zarni-Parni cave castle complex is located in a picturesque forest canyon with a delightful panorama view of the Kayan fortress.
We round up the day with another highlight full of emotions and adventure – Rafting on river Debed. Enjoy almost 90 minutes and 11km of rafting through the amazing landscapes and have that adventure thrill on the river Debed. The daring travelers can also choose to jump from the bridge or slide on the raft into the river for a wider spectrum of emotions. Your Rafting guide will take amazing pictures and videos and share them with you. 
Those who are not into Rafting, will have a small hike to Kobayr Monastery as a little tour. The steep walk takes 10 to 15 minutes. Perched above the hamlet of Kobayr is the 12th-century monastery of the same name. The main church has some partially restored Georgian-style frescoes and a detached 13th-century bell tower. There are also three chapels, one with a scenic circular balcony. Behind the main church is a beautiful slow-dripping waterfall that's also worth seeing.
Full of emotions from another day full of adventure, we depart towards Gyumri for overnight. 

Accommodation

  • Overnight in hotel in Gyumri on BB/DBL basis 

Included Activities

  • Monasteries Sanahin and Haghpat (UNESCO world heritage)
  • Zarni-Parni complex
  • Kobayr Monastery hike 

Optional Activity at extra cost

  • Rafting on Debed river

 Includes

  • 90 min rafting
  • Jumping from bridge
  • Sliding from the raft
  • Transfer from end point to start point
  • Tour guide (professional rafting instructor)
  • Rafting gear (helmets, life jackets, oars)

Meals Included

  • Breakfast at the hotel
  • Lunch in Zarni Parni
  • Dinner at the hotel

Important Notes

For those who would like to do rafting as an optional activity, please make sure to have extra dry clothes with you to get changed, and a small towel to dry. It is recommended to have rubber water shoes or similar closed shoes proper for the activity.

09:00 - Breakfast in the hotel
10:00 - Starting the tour 

We start our day from the Gyumri city tour – the 2nd major city of Armenia. Being one of the most ancient settlements in Armenia with the history of 3000 years, Gyumri is a significant location to visit and admire. Its name has been changed several times. It was originally founded as Kumayri, later re-founded as Alexandropol, then as Gyumri. Each name brought a new era of history to the City.​ Have a nice stroll in the heart of the city with its authentic food, traditions, old and new buildings, feel the special spirit of the city and enjoy genuine interaction with locals.
We say our farewells to Gyumri and depart towards Amberd - a 10th-century fortress located 2,300 meters (7,500 ft) above sea level, on the slopes of Mount Aragats. The name translates to "fortress in the clouds" in Armenian.
After lunch in Amberd, we continue towards Voskevaz Winery where we will taste delicious Armenian wine. Voskevaz Winery is located in the village by the same name, “Voskevaz,” which in Armenian means "golden bunch." The wines are produced only from local grape varieties growing on the amazingly beautiful and diverse foothills of the highest mountain in Armenia-Aragats, and for wine aging rare high-quality Armenian oak barrels are used. In the production of sweet wines in Armenia "Voskevaz Winery" has pioneered the use of wine withering technology.
One cannot be around in this region and miss the opportunity to visit Byurakan Astrophysical Observatory (BAO).  It was founded in 1946 on the initiative of academician Victor Hambartsumian. It is located on the picturesque southern slope of the mountain Aragats. At the observatory five observational instruments are installed, the larger ones being 2.6m Cassegrain telescope and 1m Schmidt telescope. Enjoy the unforgettable experience of observing through telescopes the Moon, Planets and mesmerizing stars scattered in the universe.
Dinner will be in Byurakan accompanied by Armenian national folkloric performances after which we head back to busy Yerevan.

Accommodation

  • Overnight in Yerevan at hotel 4* on BB/DBL basis 

Included Activities

  • Gyumri city tour
  • Amberd fortress
  • Voskevaz winery and wine tasting
  • Byurakan observatory

Meals Included 

  • Breakfast at the hotel
  • Lunch in Amberd
  • Dinner in Byurakan

09:00 - Breakfast in the hotel
10:00 – PCR Test

***You are required to do the mandatory PCR test before your departure from Armenia. Test will be organized at Yerevan hotel early in the morning before you can continue your day in Yerevan. We will bring the Lab specialist to the hotel for the PCR test, just to take special care of you and save you the hustle of travels and give you more time to enjoy the last day in Armenia. The COVID 19 cases are very low in Armenia and it is safer than in many other countries, however if the results of your PCR test will be positive and you have to extend your stay in Armenia, we will guide you and assist you in all the necessary processes, offer affordable accommodation at extra cost. We take extra care of our customers and we are there for you in any situation.
The rest of the day is free until dinner. Explore it on your own, get some souvenirs to remind you of your amazing adventure in Armenia, enjoy the night city in local pubs with live music, try the delicious food in restaurants and pin these moments in your memory.
The Farewell dinner will be in “Pandok” Tavern Yerevan for another delicious encounter with Armenian cuisine accompanied by traditional Armenian music, dance and culture. 

OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES AT EXTRA COST

You have an entire free day in Yerevan! Use the opportunity to spice up your adventure in Armenia with optional activities at extra cost. You can manage the level of your own daring experiences and the spectrum of emotions during this tour. Please let us know in your application form which Optional Activities you prefer. The detailed description and prices of Optional Activities will be provided in a separate brochure.  

Accommodation

  • Overnight in Yerevan at hotel 4* on BB/DBL basis

Included Activities

  • Farewell dinner with Armenian folk dance and music

Meals Included

  • Breakfast at the hotel
  • Farewell dinner at “Pandok” Tavern Yerevan

Breakfast at the hotel. Departure. 
Travel Enjoy Respect…

Want to make this trip more than just another cultural tour, you can choose to spice it up with these optional activities at extra cost.
The price and detailed description of Optional Activities will be provided in separate brochure.

  • Paragliding in Sevan
  • “Yell” Extreme Adventure theme park (apart from horseback riding)
  • Rafting on the river Debed
  • Optional activities in Yerevan

Let us know and our flexible system and professional team will help you put together an itinerary that suits you the best and will customize your travel experience.

Included

Accommodation on BB/DBL room basis
Meals on FB basis
Transportation and all transfers
Tour Guide
Water during the trips
Welcome package, maps and other important information
Souvenirs
PCR test (at extra cost upon request)
Optional activities (at extra cost upon request)
All museum and entrance tickets according to the program
Cultural Events
Wine, vodka and cognac tasting according to itinerary
Horseback riding in Yell Extreme Park

Not Included

Air tickets
Visa
Travel insurance

Tour Essentials

Tour Essentials provide additional information about the tours, some general guidelines, safety and travel guidelines. Tour Essentials may vary for each tour. The detailed package will be provided at the time of booking.
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