AN UNFORGETTABLE WEEKEND IN THE COUNTRY OF ARARAT…
Day 1. Arrival. Meet & greet at Zvartnots international Airport. Transfer to hotel in Yerevan.
We start our exploration of Armenia with a visit to 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 originally built by Saint Gregory the Illuminator in 301-303A.D., when Armenia became the first officially Christian state in the world. It’s the most luxurious Armenian cathedral covered by stunning frescoes painted in the 18th century. Continue to St. Hripsime and St. Gayane churches built in 7th century. These churches are considered masterpieces of early medieval Armenian architecture. They are named after Christan virgins martyred for the sake of Christianity. On the way back to Yerevan visit the Ruins of Zvartnots Cathedral. Zvartnots was a majestic cathedral dedicated to St. Gregory. 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... It’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Optional: Welcome dinner at a traditional Armenian restaurant in Yerevan.
Day 2. Breakfast at hotel. Get acquainted with the rich spiritual and cultural life of ancient Armenia at Matenadaran, a unique Research Institute and museum of ancient and medieval illustrated manuscripts. Marvel at the illuminated pages of some of those manuscripts within their glass cases.
Leaving the frantic pace of the city we are heading towards Garni Pagan Temple, the only Hellenistic Temple in the Caucasus. 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 Tiridates I. Proceed to Geghard Monastery carved out of a huge monolithic rock. Geghard is an incredible ancient Armenian monastery, partly carved out of a mountain. 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. It is included in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Optional: Visiting a local farmhouse for dinner in Garni. Traditional Armenian bread-lavash baking in tonir (underground earth-stove). Barbecue preparation in tonir.
Day 3. After breakfast we’ll have a tour around the Lake Sevan in Lake Sevan National Park to marvel at the fascinating Lake Sevan. It is like a small sea located right at the heart of Armenia. It’s one of the most beautiful alpine lakes in the world situated at 1900m above sea level. On a clear and sunny day, the water is often deep turquoise color. It has white-sand beaches. The Sevan basin has a unique combination of mountainous air, the big fresh water lake and woods. The Russian poet Maxim Gorky poetically described the lake, “The Lake Sevan is like a genuine piece of sky dropped down from heaven into the mountains”. Climb up to Sevanavank Monastery (9th century) which is located on Sevan peninsula in order to marvel at the sweeping panorama of the lake. Transfer to airport Departure.
Optional: Lake Sevan fish barbecue tasting at a lovely restaurant with a lake view.
The rates include:
Accommodation in DBL room at 3* hotel in Yerevan (2 nights)
Transportation with a comfortable touristic class car
Multi-lingual professional tourist guide
Breakfast at the hotel
Entrance fees to all visited places
The rates do not include:
Visa to Armenia
Single room supplement
*Itinerary is subject to change at any time upon your request.
* The first and the last days of the tour program will be adjusted based on your actual arrival and departure time. The program can also be extanded for a few more days upon your wish.