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Mount Ararat Climbing
Dates for Guaranteed Departures: August 14 - August 25
Group size 6-12 persons
12 days / 11 nights

Tour Highlights
·         Conquer the Mount Ararat (5137m), the highest peak of the Armenian Highland and modern Turkey
·         Marvel at the beauty of biblical Mount Ararat, where Noah's ark landed after the Great Flood from the Armenian side of the border before you climb it from the Turkish side
·         Reveal the secrets of Armenia, a hidden land in dramatic Caucasus Mountains, and Silk Road sites frozen in time
·         Hike to some of world’s oldest and most beautiful Christian monasteries, churches in amazing natural settings
·         Visit the Lake Sevan, world’s 2nd largest high altiitue lake, and marvel at its turquise waters
·         Experience the uncommon Armenian hospitality at its best; sample delicious and unique Armenian cuisine and Armenian cognac, the best in the world
·         Explore Yerevan, a magical European capital with thriving nightlife under the gaze of Mount Ararat  

 Day 1: Arrival – Yerevan walking tour – Echmiadzin  - Yerevan
Arrival at Zvartnots International Airport. Meet & greet. Transfer to the hotel in Yerevan. Hotel check-in.
Today we explore Yerevan, the “pink pearl” of Armenia and the most dynamic capital in the Caucasus. It's a beautiful European city built of purple and pink tufa stone. As one of the the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world Yerevan has a history that dates back 2800 years. The city is nestled under the gaze of snow-capped Mount Ararat (5137m).
In the late morning we start our walking tour of Yerevan. 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. Afterwards we embark on our journey to the lands of ancient treasures of Christian history…Vatican City of Armenia, Holy Echmiadzin with its world’s earliest Christian churches included in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Visit Echmiadzin Mother Cathedral built in 301-303A.D., when Armenia became the first officially Christian state in the world. On the way back to Yerevan visit the Ruins of Zvartnots Cathedral. The remnants of Zvartnots, even in ruins, are a majestic sight...
Overnight in Yerevan
Meal plan (B-/L-)

Day 2: Mount Ararat & Khor Virap - Areni winery - Noravank - Yerevan
Khor Virap with the Mount AraratToday 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 snow-capped Ararat. Guided by the remote majesty of holy mountain, we explore the site, its underground chambers, elegant chapels and are captivated by the ascetic atmosphere of the site. Our next stop is the Monastery of Noravank, an architectural gemstone nestled among brick-red cliffs, just above a deep gorge. In Areni village we’ll taste wine in a local winery (near the site where world’s oldest winery has been found, 6100years old). Drive back to Yerevan.
Overnight in Yerevan
Meal plan (B-/L-)

Day 3: Garni - Geghard - Lake Sevan - Dilijan

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. Later we'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).
We drive to the Lake Sevan, world’s second largest high altitude lake at 1900m above sea level and the most beautiful lake in the Caucasus taking up 4% of the territory of Armenia. 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. 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 make it a real paradise.
Overnight in Dilijan
Meal plan (B-/L-)

Day 4:
Dilijan - Haghartsin - Goshavank - Gyumri
First we visit Haghartsin Monastery in the middle of a dense oak forest. Then we continue to Goshavank, a medieval fairy-tale monastic complex in the village of Gosh. Taking the road Dilijan – Vanadzor (which is extremely beautiful with small Russian villages) we head to the north-west of Armenia arriving in Gyumri the 2nd largest city of Armenia. We’ll explore the city by walking in “Old Kumayri” reserve with its old 18-19th century 1600 houses.
Overnight in Gyumi
Meal plan (B-/L-)

Day 5: Gyumri - Bavra Georgia/Armenia border – Posof/Vale (Georgia/Turkey border) - Dogubeyazit
Start early in the morning for Transfer to Dogubeyazit (Turkey ) via Georgia.
Overnight in Dogubeyazit
Meal plan (B-)
Day 6: Climbing to the 1st camp
Transfer from Doğubayazıt to 2200m by car or by minibus at 8 am, ascent to 3200m (1st camp, 4 hours). Horses will carry the luggage. We pitch tents and hot food is served for dinner.  
Meal plan (B-/L-/D-)

Day 7: Acclimatization Day
We start in the morning at 9 am, ascending to 4200m (2nd camp, 4 hours). After a short rest, we return to the 1st camp where hot food is served for dinner.
Meal plan (B-/L-/D-)
Day 8: Climbing to the 2nd Camp
Start in the morning at 8 am, ascending to the 2nd camp at 4200m (4 hours). The afternoon is spent with relaxation and preparing for the ascent to the summit the following day. Hot food is served for dinner.
Meal plan (B-/L-/D-)

Summit of the Mt. AraratDay 9: Summit
Start at 1 am, climb up to the summit (5137m). Depending on snow conditions, crampons may be needed for the last 200 meters. We reach the summit at about 8 am. Then return to the 2nd camp,  where hot soup and tea is served. After some rest, we pack the tents and return to the  1st camp to spend the night there. Dinner at the 1st camp.
Meal plan (B-/L-/D-)
Day 10: Dogubeyazit
Descent from the 1st camp to car pick-up point. Return to Doğubayazıt by truck.
Overnight in Dogubeyazit at a 3-star hotel.
Meal plan (B-/L-/D-)
Day 11: Van
This day we will visit Isahak Pasha Palace and then transfer to Van.
Overnight in Van
Meal plan (B-)
Day 12: Departure        
Transfer to Van airport. Departure.

Rates include:
• Transportation with good touristic vehicle with strong A/C
Transfers from/to the airport
Accommodation in DBL room at 3*:
·         3 nights in Yerevan
·         1 night in Dilijan
·         1 night in Gyumri
·         2 nights in Dogubeyazit
·         1 night in Van
English speaking professional guide
Breakfasts at the hotel
Entrance fees to all visited places
Traditional Armenian bread “Lavash” making at a local house in Garni
Half board meal supplement on days 1,2,3,4
Full board meal supplement on days 6,7,8,9,10
B&B on days 5,11
Permission for climbing Ararat Mountain (50 USD per person)
All neccessary equipments like tents,crampons,sleeping bags,horses,porters.
Local taxes

Rates do not include:
·         Visa to Armenia (The EU citizens don’t need a visa to Armenia)
·         Flights
·         Porters at the hotels
·         Travel insurance
·         Meals not mentioned in the itinerary
·         Alcoholic drinks
·         Tips for the guides and drivers
·         Mini bar at the hotels
·         Single room supplement
·         Bank transfer fees
Transportation with a good touristic Minibus or bus depending on group size.
General Information about climbing Ararat
Mt. Ararat is 5137m (16854 ft).   You will need a permit to climb the mountain which will be obtained for you by your guides. However, this will take a couple of weeks to process. The climate on Ararat can be both spectacular and changeable; this clearly has safety implications. Our guides have the advantage of having spent their lives on and around the mountain. In addition, they are fully qualified and equipped to lead expeditions on the mountain as the regulations stipulate.
This is an arduous trip and is not for everybody. Pre climb training is recommended and if you are starting from a reasonably good fitness base we can advise you on a fitness programme that would cover the period required for your permit to be approved. You can not simply throw yourself at Ararat; You need to be able to walk 10-15 miles comfortably before you take this challenge on.
We allow an acclimatisation process as altitude sickness can be a problem with some climbers. "High altitude" is defined as altitude in excess of 3000m (or approximately 10000ft). There are no specific factors such age or gender or even physical condition. Some people get it and some people don't. Most people can go up to about this level without effect but caution is important as is a steady manageable pace. This is something our guides are very familiar with and we are happy to advise you or to direct you to good sources of information
Your luggage and all camping gear is packed on horses and mules for the trek; all you need to carry will be what you require for your immediate personal need and, we recommend, a decent capacity hydration unit as dehydration can contribute to general fatigue and the onset of altitude sickness.

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