The Other Side of Ararat 7 Days (AM-NVS-02)

7 Days

Overview

In A.D. 301, Armenia became the first Christian nation; today it is almost surrounded by Islamic nations. Mount Ararat is the highest mountain in Turkey. Ararat was a part of Armenia until the Armenian Genocide in 1915 when Turkey took over that section of Armenia. Mount Ararat is an important landmark to Armenian’s because it shows the beauty of the sister mountains that were taken away from Armenia. It is a symbol in most paintings, songs, movies and mostly anything else to do with Armenia. Khor Virap Monastery, which is located in the Ararat plain in Armenia, near the border with Turkey the closest you can get to Ararat while still in Armenia.

Itinerary

Arrival at the airport Zvartnots. Transfer to the hotel.

After breakfast we start the city tour in Yerevan. Visiting the highest point of the city to enjoy the breathtaking panorama of the city with its main places of interest: (Cascade, City Park, Abovyan Street, The Republic Square) with photo stops . Visiting Matenadaran – the museum of ancient manuscripts where the treasures of science of Armenia from the 5th century are kept(approximately 14.000 ancient manuscripts). Then visiting Cascade and Gafesjian Center of Arts – where the works of the representatives of the contemporary art are represented (Fernando Botero, Barry Flanagan, David Breuer etc.) This center represents a great variety of exhibitions most of which are the extensive works of Gafesjian. The building that now houses the Cafesjian Center of the Arts, as well as “The Cascade” was originally designed by architect Alexander Tamanyan (1878-1936) who wanted to connect the northern part and the center- the historic city center -as a large green area of cascades and gardens. Lunch in a restaurant near River Hrazdan. Continue our way by visiting Tsitsernakaberd and the Genocide Museum.

Welcome dinner in a restaurant and a performance of Master Class.
Overnight in Yerevan.

After breakfast take a tour of the Megerian Family Carpet Factory established in the United States in 1917. The Megerian Brother’s tradition and integrity in the fine craft of hand made rug making, and restoration of rugs and tapestries is world renown. Then make our way to Khor Virap Monastery from where the magnificent scenery opens to Biblical Mount Ararat. The monastery is the cradle of Christianity where the first Catholicos St. Gregory the Illuminator 13 years before converted the king and the people to Christianity. Continue our way to Noravank Monastery which is situated at the edge of the red rocks of Gnishik Gorge. Lunch in a cafe near Gnishik Canyon where you can enjoy the wild nature. Visiting Areni Wine Factory, and the tasting of different types of Armenian wines. Drive back to Yerevan – the road passes through different climate zones, mountains, gorges and through fruitful Ararat valley.

Leisure time.
Overnight in the hotel in Yerevan.

After breakfast drive to Lake Sevan – the second largest alpine lake 1900 meters above sea level, and the largest among the lakes with sweet water. Visiting the monastery on the peninsula dating back to the IX century. Lunch in a local restaurant (Near the Lake). Continue on the way to resort town Dilijan. Dilijan (known among Armenians as “Small Switzerland” for its surrounding forests). We then visit the Historical Center of the city which is considered the Old Part of the city . Here we offer to visit masters of art living in the city of Dilijan. A short walk through the minority communities of Molokans. Molokans (in Russian they are called “Milk drinkers”: are Christian sectarians, Russian peasants who refused to obey the rules of Russian Orthodox church, at the end of the 17th century. They call themselves “True spiritual Christians”. They were exiled to Armenia in the 19th century and from that time on are living here. Keeping more or less the same lifestyle they are living next to Armenians. There are 2-3 villages populated by Molokans in Armenia (and a few others in the world). Then visiting Haghpat Monastery (10-13 centuries) which is in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sights.

Check in the Hotel in Dzoraget.
Dinner in the Hotel.
Overnight in Dzoraget.

Breakfast in the Hotel. Drive back to Yerevan visiting Yazidis and Kurdish minorities living in Armenia near Ashtarak city. We stop for lunch in Proshyan Museum. After lunch we’ll participate in a performance of rituals in the museum and have the opportunity to learn about Armenian dances. A group of local actors will try to be the real part of this event. Then visiting Echmiadzin – the mother cathedral of all Armenians and the first Christian church. Visiting the ruins of Zvartnots Cathedral which is also in the List of UNESCO World Heritage sights. Drive back to Yerevan.

Leisure time.
Overnight in Yerevan.

Breakfast in the Hotel. Drive to Geghard Monastery (VII-XIIc. ) UNESCO World Heritage sight. Vocal Concert in Geghard Monastery which is hewn in the rock and has incredible acoustics (duration 15-20 minutes). Continue visiting Garni Pagan Temple (the only pagan temple that remained after the adoption of Christianity) (1st century AD –UNESCO World Heritage sight) with Roman bath mosaics dedicated to the God of sun Mithra. Here in Garni Temple we’ll have the opportunity to listen to Armenian Duduk made of apricot stone. Garni Temple is situated in the gorge formed by Azat River and has stunning views of the surrounding mountains, canyons and spectacular scenery of the area that make up a part of the State Khosrov Reserve. Taking 4X4 cars to descend into the gorge. Here you can enjoy the “Symphony of the Stones” (these are bazalt formations along the cliffs). Then we’ll see the medieval bridge of XI century. Drive back to the village. Lunch in a local family house and participate in the process of making Armenian bread -Lavash in a traditional underground oven – Tonir. Traditional barbeque (fresh marinated lamb or pork, chicken or rabbit), potatoes and seasonal vegetables (peppers, eggplant, tomatoes) prepared in Tonir. The group can participate in the preparation / cooking of delicious / traditional Armenian food. There will be a cooking demonstration. Guided by the host – a local family in the village, the group can learn the secrets of preparing the traditional barbeque the taste of which will be kept in your mind for a long time. The group can enjoy local apricot /fig vodka in the garden of this typical Armenian cottage (Master Class). After lunch, return to Yerevan. Visiting the Brandy Factory and tasting different types of famous Armenian Brandy.

Dinner at one of the best restaurants in Yerevan tasting Western Armenian food.
Overnight in Yerevan.

Transfer to the airport for your return flight home.

Optional Extension to Nagorno Kharabakh & Tatev:  

Day 8: Yerevan  / Tatev / Stepanakert (L/D) 

This morning check out from Hotel and continue to Nagorno Kharabakh Republic.  We driving along the mount Ararat on the way visiting Karahundz Observatory (4th century).  Visit Tatev Monastery.  Continue through several valleys and Kharabakh. Evening arrival to Stepanakert.  Check in the Hotel.  Dinner and overnight in the Hotel in Stepanakert.

Day 9:  Stepanakert / Gandzasar (B/L/D)

Breakfast at the Hotel. Morning city tour and explore the area around Stepanakert, an area rarely visited by foreigners. Visit the ancient fortress of Mairaberd.  The party will spend some time at Gandzasar Monastery.  Lunch in Museum of Nicol Duman in typical  style of the area of Kharabakh. On arrival in Stepanakert transfer to 4* Hotel.

Day 10:  Stepanakert / Shushi / Yerevan  (B/L/D)

Depart from Stepanakert to Shushi.  En route visit the picturesque Karintak village and town of Shushi where there will be a chance to explore the town including the  Ghazanchelots church and the 19th century gymnasium and mosque.  Drive to Yerevan.  Late evening arrival to Yerevan and check into the Hotel.  Dinner and overnight at the Hotel.

Day 11:  (B)

This morning depart from Yerevan International Airport.

<strong>Includes:</strong>
<ul id="include-result">
<li>5 Nights accommodation in a 4* or 5* hotel located in the center of Yerevan.</li>
<li>1 Night hotel accommodation at the hotel Avan Dzoraget or Hotel Dilijan Resort (depends on hotel availability)</li>
<li>RT transfers airport-hotel-airport</li>
<li>Transportation as mentioned in the itinerary by car, minibus, or deluxe buses with AC</li>
<li>English speaking guides (if needed)</li>
<li>Entrance fees to all museums and notable places</li>
<li>Duduk Concert in Garni</li>
<li>Vocal Concert in Geghard</li>
<li>Transfers by 4×4 cars to Garni Gorge</li>
<li>Performance of Armenian rituals, ceremonies and dancing</li>
<li>Visiting the Brandy Factory (Ararat) and tasting of different types of brandy</li>
<li>Meals based on HB (breakfast, 5 lunches, 3 dinners)</li>
<li>Mineral water in the car every day / person (free)</li>
<li>Map of Armenia and the city</li>
</ul>
<strong>Excludes:</strong>
<ul id="exclude-result">
<li>Visa fees for Armenia – 10 USD</li>
<li>Telephone / Personal Expenses / mini bar</li>
<li>Alcoholic drinks during meals</li>
<li>Cost of arranging leisure time</li>
<li>Other unmentioned tours or services</li>
<li>Portage in the hotel</li>
</ul>
<span class="fnt12"><u>A visa and valid US Passport</u> with 7 months validity from the date of entry is required to travel to Armenia.</span>

<span class="fnt12"><a href="http://cibtvisas.com/travel-visa-search-results.php"><b><u>Visa Application</u></b> </a>
</span>
It is very easy to get an Armenian visa, fill in the attached application form and bring it along with a valid passport. Several different visas are available at Armenian ports of entry; though the most commonly issued type is a single-entry visa valid for 21 days for a fee of 3,000 Armenian Drams (about 8 USD) which may be obtained on arrival at Zvartnots International Airport or when crossing land borders into Armenia. No letter of invitation is required.

<strong>Optional Nagorno Extension:</strong>

<strong>Includes:</strong>
<ul id="include-result">
<li>Meals as mentioned in the itinerary (All days B/ 3 lunches/ 3 dinners)</li>
<li>Accommodation – Full 1 nights in Yerevan at 4* centrally located, 2 nights
in Stepanakert at Park Artsakh Hotel</li>
<li>In-country transportation.</li>
<li>Experienced Guide / Tour manager in English</li>
<li>All sightseeing entrance fees</li>
<li>Mineral water during the tour program</li>
</ul>
<strong>Excludes:</strong>
<ul id="exclude-result">
<li>Telephone/Personal Expenses/mini bar</li>
<li>Visa fees to NKR and Armenia (10 USD each)</li>
<li>Tatev ropeway fee (10 EURO)</li>
<li>Alcoholic drinks during meals</li>
<li>Cost of arranging leisure time</li>
</ul>

<span style="color: #632423;"><b>HOTELS USED OR SIMILAR:</b></span>

<span style="color: #632423;"><b>Yerevan:</b></span>
<a href="http://www.metropol.am/">
First Class – Hotel Metropol 4*</a>
<a href="http://www.goldentulip.com/EN/hotels/Armenia/armenia-hotel-booking.aspx">Deluxe – Hotel Golden Tulip 5*</a>

<span style="color: #632423;"><b>Dzoraget:</b></span>

<a href="http://www.tufenkianheritage.com/en/accommodation/avan-dzoraget-hotel/">Avan Dzoraget 4.5*</a>
<a href="http://www.hoteldilijan.am/">Hotel Dilijan Resort 4*</a>

<strong><span style="color: #632423;">Nagorno Extension:</span>

</strong>Stepanakert – <a href="http://www.armhotels.am/EN/Hotels/Details/park_hotel_artsakh__125">Park Artsakh Hotel 4*</a>

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The Other Side of Ararat 7 Days (AM-NVS-02)
From $2,199.00
/ Adult
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