Day 1: Explore Yerevan / Tasting wine dating back from 1913 at “Noy Winery” in Yerevan Fortress Area
Arrival at Zvartnotz International Airport. Our tourist guide will welcome you at the airport. Transfer to the hotel in Yerevan. Rest.
Yerevan city tour. Drive through the central streets of Yerevan, and visit the gemstones of the city: Republic Square, Opera House, Cascade Monument and stairs, "Mother Armenia" Monument with a fantastic view of Yerevan, Victory Bridge, Hrazdan Stadium, Sports and Concerts Center, Presidential Palace, National Assembly Building, Academy of Sciences, Tsitsernakaberd-Armenian Genocide Memorial Complex. Lunch - traditional Armenian restaurant where you’ll taste dishes typical to Armenian cuisine like Avelouk (a herb growing only here) salad, Spas (an Armenian yogurt soup) and some other Armenian dishes.
Visit Yerevan’s “Noy” Brandy-Wine-Vodka Factory. During the tour you’ll visit the distillation department, the cooperage department, the museum, the wine-cellar. Tasting three wine varieties from 1913, 1924 and 1944 and two cognac varieties of 10 and 20 years’ maturity.
After this you’ll be taken to “Pak Shuka” (Closed Market) – a covered bazaar where you can taste the dried fruits, some stuffed with different kins of nuts, flavorsome vegetables, spices, typical Armenian desserts.
Visit Khor Virap Monastery. To this day you can visit the underground chamber where St. Gregory the Illuminator, the first Armenian Patriarch, was imprisoned for 13 years before curing King Trdat III of a disease. This caused the conversion of the king and Armenia into the first officially Christian nation in the world in the year 301A.D. Its location, near the closest point to Mount Ararat within Armenian borders, offers a spectacular view of the mountain, the national symbol of Armenia.
Visit “Areni” Winery which specializes in the production of premium dry red Vayots Dzor wines from the Areni grape. It produces 80,000 - 100,000 bottles of wine a year and also ages its wines in oak barrels for one to fifteen years. Enjoy your lunchat a nice restaurant on Arpa River bank. Try the best Armenian beef kebab here, as well as goat cheese and salads typical to this region. Continue to Noravank Monastery (13 -14th centuries), an architectural gemstone nestled among brick-red cliffs, just above a deep gorge. The breathtaking church of the monastery is St. Astvatsatsin, a two-storied building with an open-air church.
Overnight in Yerevan.
Day 3: Yerevan / Garni Pagan Temple / Home made wine tasting / Geghard Monastery / Yerevan
Drive to the Pagan Temple of Garni is the only non-Christian temple currently standing in Armenia. Gracing the hillside the pagan temple was dedicated to the God of Sun, Mithra. It was built in 77A.D. by the Armenian King Trdat I. The architectural complex of Garni was Armenia's foremost center of Hellenistic culture and the summer residence of Armenian kings. Lunch and wine tasting at a local house in Garni where you will have opportunity to watch Armenian national bread "lavash" baking and barbeque making process in the underground stove called "tonir". Meat, fresh tomatoes, eggplants and peppers take turns to become crusty, mouth-watering components of the finest barbeque you will ever have. You’ll try sweet bread known as “gata”. Home made wine tasting! Enjoy this royal lunch in the beautiful orchard furnished with pottery and decorations in medieval style!
Driving for 9 more kilometers from Garni, You'll reach the Monastery of
Geghard which is included in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Geghard is an incredible ancient Armenian monastery, partly carved out of a mountain. Though the monastery has been around since before the 4th century, the main cathedral was built in 1215.It is said that the holy lance that pierced the body of Christ was kept here. The architectural forms and the decoration of Geghard's rock premises show that Armenian builders could not only create superb works of architecture out of stone, but also hew them in solid rock.
Overnight in Yerevan.
Day 4: Yerevan / Oshakan Winery / Saghmosavank Monastery/ Karmravor Church
Visit Karmravor Church in Ashtarak town. It is a tiny, but a very beautiful cruciform church dating back from the 7th centry, in the town of Ashtarak. Its unique red tiled roofing came down to us completely unharmed. Proceed to Saghmosavank Monastery situated on the edge of a deep gorge at the foot of Mt. Ara, with Mt. Ararat and Mt. Arargats rising majestically on the western and northern horizons. It's an 11th century structure. Visit Oshakan-St. Mashtots Church where the primordial alphabet-giver, St. Mesrop Mashtots, is buried, just under the altar of the church. It's a hall-type church with frescoes. The church is surrounded by a garden with ornamented Armenian alphabet letter statues. Lunch – try some fresh Armenian salads and fruits, as well as an omelet with the best Armenian tomatoes. Have a tour and wine tasting in Oshakan village winery.
Overnight in Yerevan.
Day 5: Yerevan / Lake Sevan / Dilijan Resort / Goshavank Monastery / Ijevan Winery / White Wine Tasting / Tbilisi
Leave for Lake Sevan is the largest lake in Armenia and one of the largest high-altitude lakes in the world situated at the altitude of 1900m above sea level. A famous writer has poetically characterized Sevan, "A genuine piece of sky, dropped down on earth among mountains". Visiting the Monastery of Sevanavank (IX century) which is located on Sevan peninsula. roceed to Dilijan resort town in the north of Armenia. Words alone can't describe the natural beauty of Dilijan. Many poets used to say, "If there are woods, mountains, streams and mineral waters in paradise, it must be like Dilijan." As a climatic balneal health centre of medium- mountain zone, Dilijan is characterized by mild, moderate warm summer, sunny warm winter and dry warm weather during the whole year. Due to its forested mountains and mild climate, Dilijan is named "Armenia's little Switzerland."
You'll see the most beautiful part of the town, Old Dilijan. Visit Parz Lake. The Parz Lich (Clear Lake) is situated 9km South-East from the town of Dilijan on the altitude of 1350m. It is fed by mountainous springs. Also visit Haghartsin Monastery. Lunch with an Armenian family in Dilijan town. It’s the high time to taste the most delicious Armenian dish – “Dolma” - vine leaves, cabbage and other vegetables or fruits stuffed with meat or rice !!! Wine tour and white wine tasting at Ijevan Winery.
Crossing the border in the evening, you arrive in Georgia and continue to the capital, Tbilisi. Time permitting, there may be the opportunity to take a stroll up to the Narikala Citadel for fine views over the city or perhaps take a relaxing sulphur bath for which Tbilisi is famous. Overnight in Tbilisi.
Day 6: Tbilisi
The capital of Georgia is an ancient and cosmopolitan city; there is a synagogue, a mosque, a Georgian basilica, an Armenian church and a Zoroastrian Fire-Worshipper’s temple all within a 15 minutes walk. One of Europe’s most fascinating capitals, we include a half day orientation tour on foot which takes in the important Church of Metecki, Sioni Cathedral and the State Museum of Georgia, allowing plenty of time free to wander the boulevards and back streets of the city, absorbing its unique ambience. Overnight in Tbilisi
Day 7: Tbilisi / Gurjaani / Telavi
Drive to Kakheti, famous for its ancient winegrowing traditions and hospitality. You’ll visit the Wine House Gurjaani, which produces its own vintage wine, decorated with appropriate etiquette and production history. A professional sommelier will lead the wine tasting for us. You attend the brewing of Georgian Vodka ("zavodoba"), which is very interesting process. You will also see how the traditional Georgian bread is baked and Churchkhela is made. Visit the double cupola Church Kvelatsminda. After visiting the Nekresi Monastery Complex, you’ll drive to a small, beautiful Kakhetian town Kvareli. Tasting of a dry red wine Kindzmarauli.
Your next host in Kakheti is the wine factory of Badagoni, in the village of Khodasheni. The company, previously known as Knight of Winemaking, is a Georgian wine producer. The company was founded in the Kakhetian village of Zemo Khodasheni in 2002. Currently it owns more than 3 km of vineyards of selected local grape varieties. Its products include such brands as Tsinandali, Mukuzani, Kindzmarauli, Gurjaani, Saperavi, Akhasheni and more. Next place for your visit is the wine cellar of Alaverdi Monastery. It was built in the 15th century, during the period of political and economic development of Kakheti Kingdom; Alaverdi Cathedral (11th c.).
Overnight in Telavi.
Day 8: Telavi Sightseeing / Wine Companies
After sightseeing of Telavi, you will visit Old and New Shuamta Monastery Complex (5th-17th c.c.). Wine tasting at the following wine factories: Telavi Wine Cellar, founded in 1915. This company that combines the art of ancient traditions with sophisticated modern practices in Georgian wine making. New technological factory – Teliani Valley, founded in 1997. It is a successor of the traditional Georgian wine production using the modern technologies and the knowledge of motivated young professionals.
Overnight in Telavi.
Day 9: Telavi / Tsinandali / Tbilisi
Leaving for the beautiful village of Tsinandali. You’ll visit the amazing botanical garden and the Museum of the notable Georgian poet Prince Alexandre Chavchavadze, Tsinandali Wine Factory and the enoteca with the Collection of the oldest wines. Visit Ikalto Monastery, founded in the 5th century. The next place, where you’ll have the wine tasting, is the Twins’ Cellar inNapareuli. Visit Gremi, a 16th century architectural monument – a royal citadel and the Church of the Archangels – in Kakheti. The next monument is the Nekresi Monastery, which represents a complex of ecclesiastical buildings. It is one of the most important cultural centers of Georgia. Back to Tbilisi.
Overnight in Tbilisi.
Day 10: Tbilisi / Mtskheta / departure
Visit Mtskheta, one of oldest cities of the country of Georgia (in Kartli province of Eastern Georgia), near Tbilisi. Mtskheta was the capital of the Georgian Kingdom of Iberia from the 3rd century B.C. to the 5th century A.D. Here Georgians accepted Christianity in 317 and Mtskheta still remains the headquarters of the Georgian Orthodox and Apostolic Church.
Visit Jvari Monastery, a 6th century Georgian Orthodox monastery near Mtskheta (a UNESCO World Heritage site), Mtskheta-Mtianeti region, eastern Georgia. The name is translated as “the Monastery of the Cross”.
Continue toSvetitskhoveli Cathedral,built in the 11th century. Though the site itself is even older dating back to the early 4th century and is surrounded by a number of legends associated primarily with the early Christian traditions. Svetitskhoveli, known as the burial site of Christ's mantle, has long been the principal Georgian church and remains one of the most venerated places of worship to this day. The church is in UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Visit Samtavro, an11th century monastery complex. The first Christian king Miriani and his wife Nana are buried in the church.
Dinner and transfer to the Airport for departure.
*Itinerary is subject to change at any time upon your request.