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. Check into hotel Mirhav in Goris. Dinner at the hotel. Overnight in Goris.
Day 4: Breakfast at the Hotel. Visit the majestic Tatev monastery, a former center for the sciences and arts, where many famous Armenians lived and worked centuries ago. The Tatev complex consists of three churches, a refectory, a library, a vault, and several residence. Magnificent canyons surround the monastery. About 8 km. from Goris is the cave village of Khndzoresk, a picture-perfect valley with a stream running through it, where many caves and rock formations are waiting to be explored. Drive to the city of Meghri at te border of Armenia and Iran. Dinner at Meghri. Overnight in Arevik Guesthouse in Meghri.
Day 5: City Tour of Meghri: Old district with it’s church (19th cc), New district with it’s church. Fortress (X cc) also Visit Yura Arakelyan’s garden - the most beautiful one in Meghri abundant with its fruit trees and so on. Visit villages of Arax valley of Meghri area-Shvanidzor, Karchevan. Other villages of the area Vanq, Lichq and Kaler, located in Alpean zone app 2,000-3,600m above sea level. Beautiful sceneries will always accompany you, the villages are famous for waterfalls and natural springs. You will have a chance to visit villagers’ houses, to taste some home made wine, pastries, try the most delicious pomegranates and figs (in season). Dinner at the Guesthouse. Overnight in Arevik Guesthouse in Meghri.
Day 6: Check out from the Guesthouse. Take a short drive to Karahundje, where you will see a formation believed to have been used as an astrological device. Wander upon Armenia’s ancient enigma and visit the complex grouping of stones, which date back to 7500 BC, making it older than England’s famous Stonehendge! Drive to Yeghegnadzor. Check into a Guesthouse in Yeghegnadzor. Dinner at the Guesthouse. Overnight in Yeghegnadzor.
Day 7: Check out from your Guesthouse. 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. In medieval Armenia numerous structures were built along commercial routes and the Silk Road with the purpose of providing accommodation for travelers. Prince Chesar Orbelian built one of those, the Caravanserai of Selim, in 1332, as inscribed on site in Armenian and Arabic.
The lakeshore community of Noraduz, located northeast of Gavar, is famous for the biggest cemetery of khachkars (stone crosses) in Armenia, dating back to the 9th-10th centuries. 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. Check into Daravand Guesthouse in Dilijan. Dinner at Guesthouse. Overnight in Dilijan.
Day 8: 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. Sharambeyan street has been preserved as an “Old Town Dilijan” complete with craftsmen’s workshops, small shops with traditional Armenian products and crafts, museum, showing a typical 19th century home with all its locally made furnishings.
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 9: 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. Rejecting the Orthodox orthopraxy. Like Lent whereby they ate milk, the Molokans were persecuted in their homeland and were forced to emigrate to the remote areas of Siberia, the Crimea and Central Asia. Most Molokans, being sectarians, retain their communal mentality. 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 10: 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 11: Transfer to Airport. Departure Bon Voyage.
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