Arrival at Zvartnotz International Airport. Our tourist guide will welcome you at the airport. Transfer to the hotel in Yerevan.
YEREVAN CITY TOUR - Drive through the central streets of Yerevan: Republic Square, Opera House, “Cascade” Monument and Stairs, "Mother Armenia" Monument with a breathtaking view of Yerevan, Victory Bridge, Hrazdan Stadium, Sports and Concerts Center, Presidential Palace, National Assembly Building, Academy of Sciences, Tsitsernakaberd-Armenian Genocide Memorial Complex and Museum.
Visit Matenadaran, a unique Research Institute of Ancient Manuscripts and a Museum, the largest center of study and safekeeping of Armenian manuscripts in the world.
Lunch in a traditional Armenian restaurant, where you’ll enjoy the best dishes of the rich Armenian cuisine. Overnight in Yerevan.
Leave for Echmiadzin town, the Holy See of the Armenian Apostolic Church.
Visit St. Hripsime Church built in the 7th century and is considered a masterpiece of early medieval Armenian architecture.
Continue to Echmiadzin Mother Cathedral. Historically, it is the focal point of the town of Echmiadzin, and it’s the oldest church in the world. It was originally built by Saint Gregory the Illuminator as a vaulted basilica in 301-303A.D., when Armenia was the only country in the world the state religion of which was Christianity.
On the way back to Yerevan visit the Ruins of Zvartnots Cathedral. Zvartnots, built as Armenia's main cathedral in 641-661A.D. was to suppress the Echmiadzin Cathedral by its grandeur. The remnants of Zvartnots, even in ruins, are a majestic sight. The Ruins of Zvartnots are listed among the UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Lunch in a traditional Armenian restaurant. Overnight in Yerevan.
Tour to Garni Pagan Temple and Geghard Monastery. The Pagan Temple of Garni is the only pagan 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.
Driving for 9 more kilometers from Garni, you'll reach the Monastery ofGeghard,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.Lunch in an Armenian peasant house in Garni village. Overnight in Yerevan.
Leave for Lake Sevan, the largest lake in Armenia and one of the largest high-altitude lakes in the world, situated at 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 (9th century) which is located on Sevan peninsula. Proceed to Dilijan town.
Dilijan is a 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. Lunch in an Armenian family in Dilijan town.
The next route will lead to Goshavank, which was founded by famous Armenian cleric and law – codifier, Mkhitar Gosh, in 12-13th centuries. Overnight in Yerevan.
Tours in Yerevan.Visit Sergey Parajanov house-museum, an exceptional Armenian film director. In this museum you’ll marvel at Parajanov’s fabulous works-his graphics, dolls, collages, 23 screenplays and librettos of unrealized productions of cinema, theater and ballet.
Then you’ll be taken to "Ararat" BrandyFactory of Yerevan. Here a guide will tell you the history of brandy-making in Armenia. After tour you’ll taste the best Armenian brandies with chocolate: Nairi (maturity of 20 years), Akhtamar (maturity of 10 years) and 3* (maturity of 3 years).
Visit Erebuni Museum and Fortress, the birthplace of Yerevan. Erebuni is an Urartian fortress in the south-eastern part of modern Yerevan founded in 782B.C. by King Argishti I. Lunch in an Arabic restaurant. Overnight in Yerevan.
DAY 7 *LEAVE FOR KARABAGH*
Visit Khor Virap Monastery. To this day you can visit the underground chamber where St. Gregory the Illuminator, the first Armenia’s 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 301. Its location, near the closest point to Mount Ararat within Armenian borders, offers a spectacular view of the mountain, the national symbol of Armenia.
Proceed to Noravank Monastery (13-14th centuries), an architectural gemstone nestled among brick-red cliffs, just above a deep gorge. Lunch in a lovely restaurant.
Near the town of Sisian visit Karahundj-Armenia’s Stonehenge.This stone circle, now shown to be a prehistoric observatory, long predates Stonehenge in England. Ancient inscriptions found here may mark the birthplace of the Zodiac – and of Western Civilization itself. Possibly it was the world's first astronomical observatory founded 7500 years ago. Its history is really very impressive.
Stop on the road to admire the beauty of Goris town which is in a deep gorge having houses with red roofs. It’s a town of orchards having a rather interesting architecture of civil structures. Overnight in Stepanakert, the capital city of Mountainous Karabagh Republic.
Stepanakert City Tour. Visit the Museum of History and Country Study of Artsakh (Karabagh). Have a stroll in the city’s main food market. Shoushi City tour. This is the 2nd city of Karabagh and historically, it used to be the capital of Artsakh. Visit Ghazanchetsots Ghurch, Jldrdyuz gorge, the Persian Mosque and Shoushi’s liberation monument-tank. Drive to Gandzasar Monastery, perhaps the most important architectural monument of Artsakh (13th century). According to renowned Russian scholar A. L. Yakobson of St. Petersburg's Hermitage, Gandzasar Monastery is "the encyclopedia of Armenian architecture." Stop in the village of Vank where you can socialize with the locals. Lunch in a nice restaurant. Back to Stepanakert town. Rest. A walking tour in Stepanakert’s park in the evening. Overnight in Stepanakert.
Visit the village of Kndzoresk, a small cave city that was only recently abandoned (1960's). Old Khdzoresk is located in a beautiful, lush canyon below New Khndzoresk. The rock formations, ruins, and of course many caves, which have be carved out by people over the centuries are fun to explore. Enjoy the blackberries and avoid the stinging nettle!
Visit Armenia’s major climatic and hydrotherapic resort, Jermuk spa town, where much of the country's mineral water comes from. The town is full of hotels and sanatoriums.In Jermuk you can see the waterfall Tsolk, mineralwater-drinking gallery and thePark of “Statues”. Lunch in Jermuk. Back to Yerevan. Overnight in Yerevan.
DAY 10 Free day.
Drive to Aragatsotn region at the foothills of Mount Aragats (4090m), the highest peak of Armenia.
Oshakan - St. Mashtots Church is 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.
Visit Saghmosavank Monastery. It is 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. Lunch. Visit Karmravor, a tiny, but a very beautiful cruciform church dating from the 7th century, in the town of Ashtarak. Its unique red tiled roofing came down to us completely unharmed.
Drive to Mughni’s St. Gevorg(St. George) Church, founded in the 13th century. It houses some relics of St. George. Especially striking is the black and orange striped dome of this church. It's surrounded by a beautiful garden of fruit trees and roses. Lunch in Ashtarak. Overnight in Yerevan.
Drive to the city of Gyumri, the second largest city of Armenia. Gyumri city tour. In the village of Marmashen 10km away from Gyumri is a well-preserved Monastery ofMarmashen (10-13th centuries). The principal church of the monastery is the domed hall type Katoghike church, built by prince Vahram Pahlavouni in 988-1029. According to the opinion of specialists the Katoghike church is one of the best structures of the Bagratunis period.
Transfer to airport. Departure.
*Itinerary is subject to change at any time upon your request.