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Itinerary in brief:
Day 1: Arrival
Day 2: Yerevan – Khor Virap – Noravank – Goris
Day 3: Goris – Khndzorask – Tatev – Jermuk
Day 4: Jermuk
Day 5: Jermuk - Smbataberd Fortress - Sevan
Day 6: Sevan – Jukhtakvank - Matosavank – Dilijan
Day 7: Dilijan – Parz lich – Goshavank – Haghartsin – Alaverdi
Day 8: Alaverdi – Haghpat – Sanahin – Kobayr – Alaverdi
Day 9: Alaverdi – Saghmosavank – Amberd – Ohanavank – Yerevan
Day 10: Free day
Day 11: Yerevan - Garni – Geghard –Yerevan
Day 12: Yerevan – Echmiadzin – Yerevan
Day 13: Yerevan city tour
Day 14: Departure
Itinerary in details
Day 1
Arrival. Meet & greet at the airport. Transfer to hotel. Check-in. Rest. Hiking in downtown Yerevan. Explore Abovyan Street with its old buildings, climb up the stairs of Cascade, walk to Hrazdan River Gorge. Dinner at a traditional Armenian restaurant where the Chief Cook of the restaurant will tell you about the peculiarities of the Armenian cuisine. Overnight in Yerevan.
*Trekking distance during the day:  3-4 km    
*Trekking grade: easy 

Day 2

Breakfast served. We start our exploration of the southern Armenia with a visit to Khor Virap Monastery, the most sacred pilgrimage destination in Armenia not only because it’s the only place in Armenia where you’ll get the best view of the biblical Mount Ararat (the highest mountain in the world from its base, about 17,000feet high), but this is where St. Gregory the Illuminator was imprisoned for 13 years by the King Tiridates III for preaching Christianity. Climb down the pit where he lived. Continue to Areni Winery and wine tasting. Areni village is the cradle of wine-making. During the excavations of a cave in Areni 6000 year old wine jars were discovered with some wine remains. Then we start hiking in Noravank Canyon. Lunch at Noravank Monastery’s refectory under willow trees. We continue to Sisian. Hiking to Qarahunge known as “Armenian Stonehenge”.  Arrival in Goris, one of the most beautiful towns in Armenia. It has a unique architecture. The houses here have red roofs and it’s called “a town in orchards”. Hotel check-in. Class of cooking! Participate in our dinner cooking with the Chief Cook! We’ll taste dishes typical to Goris! Overnight in Goris.
*Trekking distance during the day:  5-6 km 
*Trekking grade: easy 

Day 3

After a hearty breakfast visit Old Khndzoresk village. We start the trek to the heart of the abandoned Cave Habitat kingdom. The people of the village used to live in the caves till 1950’s. In 1913 it used to be the biggest village of Eastern Armenia. Imagine how big the village was. Explore the caves!  Lunch. Drive to Tatev village and take the world’s longest aerial tramway to reach the fairy tale monastery of Tatev! It’s the biggest Armenian monastery which reminds of a formidable fortress. Drive to Jermuk spa town famous for being Armenia’s major climatic resort with its thermal mineral water springs.  Hotel check-in. Evening stroll in the fascinating “Park of Statues”.  Dinner. Overnight in Jermuk.
*Trekking distance during the day:  6 km 
*Trekking grade: a bit strenuous
 
Day 4
Breakfast. We’ll drive to Gndevaz village and start our hike to Gndevank Monastery located in the picturesque Arpa River Gorge full of huge organ-shaped rock formations. Lunch. Visit the famous waterfall of Jermuk called “Mermaid’s Hair”. Dinner. Overnight in Jermuk.
*Trekking distance during the day:  8 km
*Trekking grade: strenuous
 
Day 5
Breakfast. Early morning drive to the village of Shatin in Yeghegnadzor and hiking to Smbataberd Fortress which used to be the residence of the princes of Orbelian dynasty, the rulers if Syouniq Province. Lunch. Drive to Selim Mountain Pass which offers a fascinating landscape with its colorful mountains, old bridges and roads of the Silk Route and innumerable water springs. Stop at an ancient inn, Selim caravanserai (a hotel of antiquity built in 1332 by Prince Chesar Orbelian), the best preserved caravanserai in Armenia, located on the Silk Route. This is where the traders, travellers and explorers of the old would come with camels and horses and would stay overnight. Continue to the Lake Sevan, one of the biggest and most beautiful alpine lakes in the world at 1900meters above sea level. Dinner. Overnight in Sevan.
*Trekking distance during the day:  9 km 
*Trekking grade: very strenuous

Day 6

Breakfast. Visit Sevanavank Monastery built in the 9th century. Swim and relax on one of the beautiful white-sand beaches of the Lake Sevan (possible if you come here end of August). Continue to Dilijan spa town. Many poets used to say, "If there are woods, mountains, streams and mineral waters in paradise, it must be like Dilijan."  Take a stroll in the oldest part of the town.  Lunch. Hiking in Dilijan National Park to spot Jukhtakvank and Matosavank monasteries in the middle of the wood. Hotel check-in. Dinner. Overnight in Dilijan.
*Trekking distance during the day:  3 – 4 km 
*Trekking grade: a bit strenuous

Day 7
Breakfast. Visit Lake Parz (“Crystal Lake”). It is fed by mountainous springs. Start hiking toward Goshavank Monastery. Coffee break at Gosh village, at a nice house with a wooden balcony overlooking the monastery. Then visit Haghartsin Monastery. Lunch. Drive to Alaverdi. Hotel check-in. Dinner. Overnight in Alaverdi.
*Trekking distance during the day:  5 – 6 km 
*Trekking grade: very strenuous

Day 8
Breakfast. Hiking from Haghpat to Sanahin Monasteries, both are UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The both monasteries are outstanding masterpieces of Armenian architecture in which artistic merits transcended the limits of the national culture. Lunch. Hiking to Kobayr Monastery with amazing frescoes. . It used to be a Georgian Monastery. The Monastery offers incredible views to Debed River Canyon.  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. Coffee break at a local house in Kobayr village. Lunch. Hotel check-in. Dinner. Overnight in Alaverdi.
*Trekking distance during the day:  7 km 
*Trekking grade: very strenuous

Day 9:
Breakfast. Explore the jewels of Aragatsotn region. Visit a bakery in Aparan town to see how the local bread is baked in a huge clay pot which looks like a “ tonir”, an underground pit which serves as an oven for baking lavash (traditional Armenian fine bread). Visit Amberd Fortress on the slopes of Mount Aragats, the highest peak of Armenia (4090meters) located at 2300meters. Visit Saghmosavank and Ohanavank Monasteries located near Kasagh River Canyon. Travel by car to Oshakan village to see the St. Mashtots Church, where our primordial alphabet giver is buried. Lunch. Hotel check-in. Dinner. Overnight in Yerevan. 
*No trekking. 
 
Day 10
Breakfast. Visit Erebuni fortress and museum, the birthplace of Yerevan. The fortress was built in 782B.C. by the Urartian king Argisgti I. Lunch.  Evening free. Explore Yerevan on your own. Overnight in Yerevan.
*No trekking. 
 
Day 11
Breakfast. Visit Garni Pagan Temple, the only Hellenistic temple in the Caucasus region.  It was built in the 1st century in Garni fortress, the summer residence of the Armenian kings of Arshakounid dynasty. Hiking to Havuts Tar Monastery, an enigmatic monastery located on a mountainous peak dominating the area in Khosrov Forest Reserve. The view is awesome with superb panoramas of surrounding mountains. Lunch at a local village house in Garni. We’ll participate in lavash baking (traditional Armenian fine bread). Here we’ll try very delicious barbeque cooked in a “tonir”, an underground pit which serves as an oven for baking lavash. Continue to Geghard Monastery carved out of a solid rock. This is where the Holy Spear was kept for many centuries used to pierce Christ by a Roman soldier. Dinner. Overnight in Yerevan.
*Trekking distance during the day:  7 – 8 km 
*Trekking grade: strenuous

Day 12
Breakfast. Visit Echmiadzin town, the Holy See of the Armenian Apostolic Church. Tour to Echmiadzin Mother Cathedral (built in 301A.D. after Armenia converted to Christianity. It’s the oldest cathedral in the world, also a UNESCO World Heritage Site) and its museum where we’ll find the most priceless treasures of Armenia such as the Holy Spear, a true piece from the Noah’s Ark, etc. Hiking to St. Gayane and St. Hripsime Churches, both built in the 7th century. Lunch. Rest. Dinner. Overnight in Yerevan.
*Trekking distance during the day:  2 km 
*Trekking grade: easy

Day 13:
Breakfast. Hiking in the biggest park of Yerevan – Tsitsernakaberd, pilgrimage to the Armenian Genocide Memorial and museum.  Lunch. Visit Matenadaran Manuscript Museum and film-maker Sergey Parajanov house - museum. Wine and brandy tasting at Noy” Brandy-Wine-Vodka Factory. During the tour we’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. Dinner. Overnight in Yerevan.
*Trekking distance during the day:  3 – 4 km 
*Trekking grade: easy 

Day 14

Transfer to the airport. Departure.

To book this tour, please contact us by info@exoticarmeniatours.com


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