Day 1: Matenadaran - the Research Institute of Armenia which houses beautiful illuminated manuscripts created centuries ago by scribes. Over 10,000 manuscripts detailing history, philosophy, medicine and geography written in Armenian, Greek, Arabic and other languages are preserved here. History Museum. Take a peek into Armenia through the ages. The History museum boasts the largest collection of artifacts dating back to the Stone Age in the entire world! Overnight in Yerevan.
Day 2: Garni is the only pagan temple currently standing in Armenia. This 1st century pre-Christian structure, with its classical Hellenistic lines, is situated in a picturesque mountain locale offering a breathtaking panorama of the surrounding valley. In Garni, you will be greeted by the local villagers and will visit a typical Armenian home. Here you will have a chance to taste homemade yogurt and lavash - bread baked in a traditional pit called tonir.
Next stop: Geghart- This ancient monastery was carved out of solid rock. Geghartavank is the monastery of the spear that was said to have wounded the chest of Christ on the cross. The latter designation is derived from the relics, which were conserved for many years in the monastery and are currently found in the Edjmiatsin museum. A visit to Geghart is truly a spiritual experience. Overnight in Yerevan.
Day 3: Check out from your hotel in Yerevan. Khor Virab - Khor Virab is the site where St. Gregory, the Illuminator, was imprisoned by an Armenian king for preaching Christianity. You can climb down into the dark pit yourself and then treat yourself to the most spectacular view of the glorious Mt. Ararat. Continue the tour to the Areni Winery and taste the bounty of Armenia’s sun kissed grapes. Visit Trchunneri Cavern-it is one of the rarest and best- preserved late Copper Age monuments in the South Caucasus.
Visit the monastery of Noravank, a 13th century structure with beautiful stone crosses. Two console stairs on both sides of the entrance take you inside the church. Jewish cemetery in Yeghegis -about 40tombstone survived in the cemetery and 30 were found nearby. 10 tombstone bear inscriptions in Hebrew or Aramaic.The cemetery belonged to Jewish community, which lived I Yeghegis in the 13-14cc. Overnight in Yerevan.
Day 4; St. Karapet and St. Arakelots monasteries. No trip to Armenia is ever complete without a visit to Lake Sevan, one of the largest of the highest lakes in Eurasia at about 1,900 meters above sea level. At Lake Sevan you will visit these monasteries. Dilijan- Located in the northern part of Armenia, this region is famous for its forests and health resorts, its spectacular scenery and cultural centers. Two-storied tiled wooden homes with detailed carved balconies had become quite common as Dilijan’s typical architecture; some of which can still be seen on the historic Sharambeyan street, which has been restored.
You will drive through a plush forest to reach the Haghartsin Monastery, an 11th-13th century church situated deep in the woods, about 18 km from the town of Dilijan. You will also visit the beautifully landscaped 12th century monastery of Goshavank. Check into Daravand guesthouse in Dilijan. Dinner at the guesthouse. Overnight in Dilijan.
Day 5: Check out from the guesthouse in Dilijan. Drive to Lori region through villages Fialetovo and Margahovit with Russian Molokan population. Molokans - A confessional group, descendants of Russian sectarians, exiled from Russia to Transcaucasia in the early 19th century. That had allowed them for nearly two centuries to retain their cultural and religious customs and traditions.
Drive through one of the most picturesque mountains of Armenia in the northern region of Lori and enjoy its rich forests and rivers. Then visit one of the largest medieval monasteries of Armenia, the Haghbad monastery complex, founded in 976. The oldest structure of the monastery is the church of the Holy Sign. Next you will visit the monastery of Sanahin. This monastery was a major religious and cultural center in medieval times. Lunch on the road. The last stop on this trip is the picturesque setting of the monastery of Odzune. The specialists date it back to the 6th century. This monastery has been rebuilt and has reached our days in a relatively good condition. Check into Avan Dzoraget hotel. Overnight in Avan Dzoraget hotel.
Day 6: Check out from Avan Dzoraget hotel. Visit the village of Rya Taza - It is a village of ethnic minority of Armenia -Yezidis. It is an ethno confessional group, whose main identity is religion - Yezidizm or Sharfadin. Yezidism was shaped during 11th -13th cc in Northern Iraq(Sinjar). The old culture of Yezidis, the greatest wealth of folklore, the social structure of the Yezidi society, as well as customs and norms of behavior - all is stipulated by the unique religious outlook of this people.
Visit the village of Saghmosavan famous for it is monastery of Saghmosavank. Lunch in Armen Kolozyan’s house. Armen Kolozyan’s house-In this big-big world in a small village artist Armen Kolozyan has designed and built this small once-to-see-never-to-forget house, where he has been able to create a world of his own. Armen Kolozyan is professional in several artistic trends, such as design, graphic art, silver jewelry, and ceramics. The sets for wine, coffee, or tea; the figurines of Noah and sons in the Ark; the decorative dishes, vases, jugs and mugs; the fancy ceramic crosses - whatever the artist creates is marked with three ‘T’s: Talent, Taste and, very often, Touch of humor. It is hard to resist the wish to hold these pieces in the hands, to feel the warmth of clay - smooth and shiny, or rough - depending on the subject. You are very welcome to this hospitable home to enjoy the spirit of an Armenian family. Overnight in Yerevan.
Day 7: The Sardarabad Memorial and Museum ensemble was built in 1968 to mark the victory of the Battle of Sardarabad in 1918, which led to the first independent Republic of Armenia in 1918. Here you will visit the largest ethnographic museum in Armenia, rich with artifacts and memorabilia. Edjmiatsin Monastery - Visit the Edjmiatsin Cathedral, the most ancient Christian temple in Armenia and the Holy See of the Armenian Apostolic Church. The Cathedral is surrounded by beautiful gardens bejeweled by stone crosses, better known as khachkars. Overnight in Yerevan.
Day 8: Transfer to Airport. Departure Bon Voyage.
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