Length: 9 days/ 8 nights
Start and end point: Yerevan
Accommodation: Hotels in Yerevan, Sevan, Alaverdi
Best season: April - the end of October
Yerevan / “Ararat”/ 2 nights
Alaverdi / Avan Dzoraget / 1 nights
Sevan / Harsnakar / 1 nights
Yerevan / “Araratp”/ 4 nights
Day 1: Arrival. Arrive Yerevan at Zvartnots Airport. Passport control, issuing of visas. Check in to “Golden Tulip” Hotel.
Day 2: Yerevan Sightseeing Tour – Ashtarak - Amberd - Yerevan. Excursion around Yerevan city. Matenadaran - The Research Institute of Armenia which houses beautiful centuries old illuminated manuscripts created by scribes. Tour of Ashtarak. Discover Saghmosavank Monastery (1215). Tour the family castle of the Pahlavouni Princes at Amberd, one of the few castles in Armenia that has been preserved. Tour the Church and fortress of Amberd, built on a rocky promontoryin the Middle Ages and situated near Mt. Aragats (4091 m above the sea level) and the Byurakan Astrophysical Observatory. The domed Church was built in 1026 and is one of the most unique churches of its type in Armenia. Dinner at Teghaer Village. After dinner, visit the unique Saint Mary’s Church (1213), where you can see the amazing panorama of the Holy Ararat Mountain an Valley. Return to Yerevan. Includes: (B), (D).
Day 3: Yerevan - Alaverdi. Trip to the medieval Sanahin Monastery (10-13cc.) (A UNESCO World Heritage site), which is comprised to several churches and chapel. Visit Haghpat Monastery (10-13cc). The construction of this monastery is associated with the glory of the Bagratuni Royal Family. The oldest structure of the monastery, the holy Cross Church was built in 977 -911. Lunch at a local restaurant in Alaverdi. Visit Odzun Monastery. Odzun Cathedral was built in the 6th century by the Catholicos Hovhan. The building, constructed of red and white local stone with a domed basilica, is in remarkable condition. Accommodation at the hotel in “Avan Dzoraget”. Includes: (B), (L).
Day 4: Alaverdi - Goshavank Monastery – Haghartsin Monastery - Lake Sevan. Trip to the Monastery of Goshavank (12-13cc). The Monastery was established by Mkhitar Gosh, the famous scientist and author of medieval Armenia. The oldest structure in the Monastery is the Blessed Virgin Church, built in 1196. Walk to the medieval Haghartsin Monastery. The refectory of Hagahrtsin is very unique. There are a number of very interesting khachkars (cross stones) in the Monastery. Lake Sevan, one of the world’s largest high-altitude lakes (2000 meters above the sea level). Lake Sevan has become a well-know vacation spot. Lunch at the “Harsnakar” hotel restaurant. Visit the Hayrivank Monastery, with a late 9th century Church, a 12th century gavit and khachkars. Explore Shorzha beach. Visit beautiful chapel (17 c.). Driving or surfing tours can also be arranged. Accommodation at the hotel in “Harsnakar”. Includes: (B), (L).
Day 5: Sevan – Areni Winery – Noravank Monastery – Khor Virap - Yerevan. Tour Selim Pass in medieval Armenia, numerous structures were built along commercial routes with the to provide accommodation for travelers. Prince Chesar Orbelyan built one of these, the caravanserai of Selim, in 1332. This caravanserai offered hospitality to travelers who used the highway for crossing the Selim (Seluma mountains) to visit Areni Winery, where you observe the manufacturing of wines, and be treated to a tasked-test. Explore the medieval Monastery of Noravank, a 13th century structure with beautiful stone crosses. This monastery is considered to be the pulpit of Syunik bishops. The main church, St. Karapet, was built in 1227. Trip to Khor Virap (4-17 cc), one of Armenia’s most popular tourist destinations, Armenia’s from all over the world come to Khor Virap on pilgrimages tradition, in the 3rd century AD, the Armenian pagan king Trdat imprisoned St. Gregory the Illuminator in a pit which became known as Khor Virap. Later he became the first Catholicons of all Armenians. From here, one can enjoy the majestic view of Mount Ararat, not too far from the Arax River. Khor Virap is the closest point to Mount Ararat in Armenia, the most convenient place for observing and taking pictures of the biblical mountain. Accommodation at the hotel in Yerevan “Golden Tulip". Includes: (B), (L).
Day 6: Excursion around Yerevan City. Explore the State Museum of Armenian History and the National Gallery of Armenia. The State Museum of Armenian History and the National Gallery of Armenia are situated together at Republic Square, in the center of the city. With their extensive collections of artwork and historical artifacts, the Museum and Gallery can give you a good general understanding of the history and culture of Armenian’s people. Tsitsernakaberd Monument and Museum - Built in 1965, this monument commemorates the 1915 Armenian Genocide. Dinner at “Our Village” Restaurant, where you can taste National Armenian cuisine and enjoy Armenian folklore. Includes: (B), (D).
Day 7: Yerevan – Gegahrd Monastery - Garni Pagan Temple – Yerevan. Explore the the Geghard Monastery (Whose name came from the legendary lance, that was used to pierce the body of Christ, which was kept here for centuries. Though the exact foundation of the monastery is unknown, the present complex was built in the mid – 13th century). Here, you will have the chance to listen to a beautiful choir. Will walk along the canyon, by the beautiful columnar basalt 9th century stone bridge over the Azat River to Garni the Pagan Temple, built in the 1 Century AD. In 1679 it, was destroyed by earthquake. In the 1975 the Temple was restored. Lunch at the local restaurant, where you will have the unique opportunity to bake the national Armenian bread, lavash. Lavash is the special bread, which can be stored for a very long time. Explore to the man-made underground labyrinth of Master Levon. This is unique construction, was created by him alone, during 23 years hard manual labor. Includes: (B), (L).
Day 8: Yerevan – Echmiadzin Town – Zvartnots – Yerevan. Visit the Mother See of Holy Echmiadzin, the spiritual and admin of the Armenian Church. En route, your guide will tell you the story of Armenia’s conversion to Christianity. Upon entering the city of Echmiadzin, you will see a 7th century church, where the shrine of St. Hripsime (3rd Century) and the relics of the other 40 martyred Hripsimian nuns lie. Next, visit the Main Cathedral and its museum, where you can see the Holy Relics of many saints, a piece from Noah’s Ark, the Holy Lance ( from Geghard) that piersed Christ’s side, and many more. The name Echmiadzin (descent of the only begotten) comes from a legend, according to which St. Gregory Illuminator saw Christ in a dream descending with a golden hammer indicating the location where the cathedral should be built. Now Echmiadzin is the residence of the Catholicos, the head of Armenian Apostolic Church. Tour will continue to the ruins of the glorious 7th century Zvartnots Cathedral. Return to Yerevan. Includes: (B), (D).
Day 9: Departure.
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