Sandwiched between Turkey, Georgia and Azerbaijan, Armenia is one of the Europe's most mountainous countries. The highlands of Armenia are a veritable treasure trove for lovers of hiking and trekking.
Hiking trips on remote trails of Armenia, watching wildlife, nature and historic places is an adventure vacation you'll remember the rest of your life. You’ll explore the fascinating beauty of the Armenian landscapes, its colorful mountains and deep gorges, wild flowers and alpine lakes, forested mountains and medieval monasteries dotting the highlands of Armenia.
Day 1: Arrival
Arrival at Zvartnots International Airport. Meet & greet. Transfer to the hotel in Yerevan. Hotel check-in.
Day 2: Yerevan
In the late morning we start a 3 hour walking tour of Yerevan, a colorful modern capital, at the same time one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world the history of which goes back to 782 B.C. We start our exploration with the Republic Square with it magnificent buildings enhanced by singing fountains. Walking down the Abovyan Street, one of the oldest streets in Yerevan which was on the Great Silk Road, we continue to, Northern Avenue, Opera House, Cascade, Ring Park encircling the downtown, ending the tour with a visit to the City Bazaar.
Overnight in Yerevan
Day 3: Garni - Azat River Canyon - Geghard - Yerevan
This morning we visit the Garni Fortress in an amazing natural setting, the summer residence of the Armenian kings famous for its Hellenistic Temple of the Sun dating back to 77A.D., royal palace ruins, Roman Baths with a well preserved mosaic. We start our hike from here descending down the Azat River Canyon (UNESCO site). Walking along the river we marvel at amazing rock formations known as "symphony of stones" - an extraordinary natural phenomenon. They remind of huge organ pipes, but when viewed from below they look like bee honeycombs. Later w
e'll visit Geghard, an incredible ancient Armenian monastery, partly carved out of a mountainside. It is said that the "Holy Lance" that pierced the body of Christ was kept here.
Visiting a local house in Garni village. Traditional Armenian bread "lavash" making in tonir (earth oven).
Overnight in Yerevan
Day 4: Mount Ararat - Khor Virap - Noravank - Smbataberd - Lake Sevan
Today we head south along the endless vineyards and apricot orchards at the foothills of the biblical Mount Ararat (5165m). We stop at Khor Virap Monastery, the most important pilgrimage site for the Armenians, a place where St. Gregory the Illuminator spent 13 years in jail for preaching Christianity. The monastery is located close to the border of Turkey and actually it's the best site to marvel at the majesty of the snow-capped Ararat. Afterwards we continue to the south entering the panhandle of Zangezur. We visit Noravank Monastery, an architectural gemstone nestled among brick-red cliffs, just above a deep gorge. We drive to Artabuynk village from where we start our 3 hour hike to the 10th century Castle of King Smbat nestled on top of a mountain. Once we get there we feel as if we are on the roof of the world... Continue to the Lake Sevan, the world's second largest high altitude lake (1900m), and the most beautiful lake of Armenia taking up 4% of the territory of Armenia. We stay overnight at a hotel on the shores of the lake.
Overnight in Sevan
Day 5: Sevanavank - Dilijan - Goshavank - Lake Gosh - Jukhtakvank - Dilijan
Marvel at stunning turquise waters of the Lake Sevan and dramatic mountain scenery after climbing up the peninsula hill where we visit the 9th century Sevanavank Monastery. Later we drive to Dilijan National Park known as "Armenia's Little Switzerland". The forested mountains of the Lesser Caucasus, mineral waters, transparent air enriched with ion particles make it a real paradise. First we visit Goshavank, a medieval fairy-tale monastic complex in the village of Gosh. From here we start our hike through the forest to the Lake Gosh. It has such a pristine beauty and the setting is simply magical. In some parts it's a strenuous climb. It takes from about 1.5 hours to get here. Afterwards we'll hike to Jukhtakvank Monastery. It will take us about 20 minutes to get there. We will check into our hotel located in the spa town of Dilijan.
Overnight in Dilijan
Day 6: Haghpat - Sanahin - Kobayr - Dzoraget
Taking the road Dilijan – Vanadzor (which is extremely beautiful with small Russian villages) we head to the north-west of Armenia, Lori region, the most beautiful forested area of Armenia with its miraculous mountainous woodlands and bottomless gorges. We visit
Today we visit the Monastery of Haghpat (UNESCO), an exceptional example of Armenian ecclesiastical architecture that developed in Armenia in the 10th to 13th centuries which is unique by virtue of its blending of elements of Armenian church architecture and the traditional vernacular building style of the region. From here we start our hike to Sanahin Monastery (UNESCO), an important medieval education and spiritual center which was famous for its school of illuminators and calligraphers. Later we drive to our hotel in the small village of Dzoraget. En route you may want to climb up and visit Kobayr Monastery
perched on a shelf of the gorge, in an ancient and sacred place where springs seep out of the rock, trees and vines twine among the intricately carved blocks of the monastery.
Overnight in Dzoraget
Day 7: Saghmosavank - Echmiadzin - Yerevan
Today we'll visit the lovely "monastery of psalms" - Saghmosavank, perched on the edge of Kasakh gorge, on our way to Echmiadzin, the Holy See of the Armenian Apostolic Church. We visit Echmiadzin Cathedral built by the King Tiridates who proclaimed Christianity as the official religion of Armenia in 301A.D. thus making Armenia the world's first country to embrace Christianity. The church has beautiful frescoes and a rich museum behind the altar called "Treasury" where you can find a piece from Noah's ark brought from the Mount Ararat, the holy spear, amazing manuscripts, robes of Armenian spiritual leaders, etc. No journey to Armenia is complete without a visit to this holy site. We drive to Yerevan. Check into our hotel. Free time to enjoy Yerevan by evening.
Overnight in Yerevan
Day 8: Transfer to airport. Departure.
*Itinerary is subject to change at any time upon your request.
The rates include:
Accommodation at 3* hotels
Multi-lingual professional tourist guide
Breakfast at the hotel
The rates do not include:
Visa to Armenia
Single room supplement