On this trip to Armenia, you will be reminded that Armenia was the world’s first officially Christian country. Monasteries are among Armenia’s premier attractions. Many of these monasteries are built in places of incredible natural beauty. You will visit many of these monasteries such as Khor-Virap Monastery, Noravank, and Hayravank which are well worth a visit even without the impressive, millennia old monasteries found there.
Arrive at the airport. Meet & greet, transfer to your hotel.
The Tsitsernakaberd Monument is designed to memorialize the innocent victims of the first Genocide of the 20th century. Visit Genocide museum. Continue the excursion and visit Ararat Brandy Factory to try the exceptional taste of Armenian brandy which has preserved the traditions of the legendary brandy manufacturing since 1887. Depart for the spiritual and administrative headquarters of the worldwide Armenian Church. Visit St Hripsime church (7th c.). Hripsime was a Christian nun who refused to marry the roman emperor and left to Armenia. Visit the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin (302-303 AD) the oldest state-built church in the world and the seat of the Catholicos. Return to Yerevan and stopover for Zvartnots temple (means “celestial angels”) 7th century wonderful architectural masterpiece. The remnants of Zvartnots, even in ruins, are a majestic sight. These sights are listed among the UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Enjoy evening near singing fountains in the Republic Square.
Drive for a sightseeing tour to historical Khor-Virap Monastery (4- 17th cc.). Take the opportunity to enjoy a beautiful view to the biblical Ararat Mountain, where Noah’s arch cast anchor. Khor-Virap monastery (means «deep dungeon») rests atop a little hill; it is where Grigor Luisavorich (St. Gregory the Illuminator) was imprisoned for 13 years before adapting Christianity as a state religion in 301 AD. Proceed and visit Areni wine factory to taste local wine made from special sorts of vines. Visit Noravank 13th c. (means “New Monastery”) a masterpiece of Armenian architecture which is situated in a narrow gorge and encircled by tall, sheer, brick-red cliffs highlighting spectacular nature of Vayots Dzor province. Drive to Jermuk a spa town in the southern Armenian.
Drive and visit the monastery complex of Hovhannavank (4-13th cc.) perch on the edge of the precipitous gorge of the Kasakh river. The most ancient structure in Hovhannavank is a basilica typical of the fifth century. Drive to medieval Armenian monastery complex of Haghpat (976 AD) which is inscribed in UNESCO world heritage list. Transfer to the fabulous forested resort town of Dilijan. Passing Dilijan-Sevan tunnel we appear in the surroundings of a beautiful Lake Sevan the largest lake in Armenia and the Caucasus region. It is also one of the largest fresh-water high-altitude lakes in the world. This huge mountain lake is situated at an altitude of about 1,900 meters above sea level. Visit Sevanavank 9th c. (Sevan monastery) located in the peninsula which used to be an island before. Note that the track leading to monastery consists of 220 stairs. Drive back to Yerevan.
Visit the Institute of Ancient Manuscripts – Matenadaran the state repository that holds one of the world’s richest depositories of medieval manuscripts and books. Drive to Arinj city and visit the underground cave/museum dug by Levon. It’s interesting to realize that it’s a handmade labyrinth of a cave, with stairs, rooms, chambers, open shafts and sculpting was supposed to be a simple potato cellar. Drive to Kotayk province and visit Garni fortress (3rd-2nd cc.BC) the summer residence of the kings and Garni temple (1st c.) which is the only survived pagan temple of heathen culture in Armenia. Nowadays the ruins of the royal palace and the bathroom with a stunning mosaic work can be found near the temple. Northeast of Garni, higher up the gorge of Azat river, there is an outstanding monument of medieval Armenian architecture – Geghard monastery (4-12th cc.) listed as UNESCO World Heritage Site. Drive back to Yerevan. In the end of the day we go for shopping in Vernissage an open air museum with full of art, carpets, old collections of coins and medallions, jewelry, music, books, carved wood, lace, embroidery, ceramics, posters, tools, parts for electronics and even pets (opened only in weekends).
Transfer to the airport. Have a safe flight home.
- Accommodation in 3* hotel
- 5 overnights in Yerevan
- Transfer: Airport/Hotel/Airport
- Transportation with driver
- Guide services throughout the program
- Meals: FB (All Breakfasts, 4 x Lunches, 4 x Dinners)
- Entrance fees to the museums and sights
- 1 bottle of water per person per day in Armenia
- International Air for discounted air rates please call Sunny Land Tours at 1-800-783-7839.
- Travel insurance
- Armenian visa fee $7.50 USD
- Meals except described
- Alcoholic beverage
- Tips and extras in the hotels.
Hotels Used or Similar:
Hotel Silachi 3*
Hotel Regineh 3*