duration: 6 days / 5 nights
best season: autumn/winter
start / end point: yerevan
family friendly: yes
fitness level: easy
The representative of our company greets you at the airport and takes you to your hotel in Yerevan in a comfortable vehicle.
Your trip starts with visiting the Lake Sevan, which is one of the world's greatest high altitude fresh-water lakes. It is about 1900 m above sea level. The lake is of volcanic origin and is surrounded with mountains of 3000 m and higer. The beautiful landscape and the crystal water serve nice preconditions for excellent rest.The lake is also famous for its peninsula and medieval church complex built in 874. Then you will see the Sevanavank. A marvelous scene opens in the north-western part of Sevan Lake, where the peninsula towers over the transparent surface of the lake. Sevanavank monastery was built on the peninsula in 874 by the order of king Ashot Bagratuni's daughter princess Mariam. The silhouette of the churches against the background of the turquoise lake and blue sky casts unexplainable impression on the visitors. Next is the Dilijan. It entices people with its unforgettable beauty and mild climate. The city stretches on the banks of Aghstev river, surrounded with mountains and forests. Dilijan has the fame of a health resort. The warm sun, fresh air and natural spas have great healing influence on people. Dilijan is also rich in interesting architectural monuments. From here the ride goes on, reaching Goshavank. It was founded by the famous medieval scientist, fabulist Mkhitar Gosh. The complex consists of several religious and secular buildings. The unrivalled khachkar put in front of the one-naved basilica was created by the skillful master Poghos in 1291.Goshavank used to be one of the most famous religious and cultural centers in medieval Armenia. The last stop is Haghartsin monastery situated in the woodlands of Tavush region represents an indescribable example of blend of nature with architecture. It was founded in the 10-11th centuries, though new buildings were added in the 12-13th centuries. Now it consists of St. Grigor, St. Astvatsatsin (Holy Mother of God), St. Stepanos churches and some other buildings.
After the breakfast, the day starts with a visit to the ‘Armenian Vatican’ – the oldest state built cathedral in the world and the religious center of all Armenians – St. Etchmidzin (4th c.). You also attend the Etchmiadzin museum where many holy relics, including the Holy Lance, are kept. Next is the surrounding early medieval St. Hripsime church is the one of the famous ecclesiastical buildings in the city of Echmiadzin. This is the developed and perfect example of cross-cupola churches in Armenia. The church is notable with its architectural simplicity and loftiness. The tomb of the Christian martyr Virgin Hripsime is in the sacristy of the church. Next is the St. Gayane. Not far from the Echmiadzin Cathedral against the background of white peaks of Ararat one can see the silhouette of the cupola of St. Gayane church. The church was built in the 7th century and belongs to the domed-basilica style. According to the legend this church was constructed over the tomb of Virgin Gayane, who was martyred for preaching Christianity. The last stop is Zvartnots. This marvelous temple is a result of skillfulness and brave creativity of Armenian architects of the 7th century. Having been built on several columns it could survive only till the 10th century. When in the beginning of the 20th century this site was being excavated many specialists could hardly accept its reconstruction model designed by famous Armenian architect Toros Toramanyan as it was difficult to believe that such a huge and complicated construction could have been built those days, and amazingly at that time one of the bas-relieves of St. Chapelle church in Paris came to prove Toramanyan's version; the bas-relief depicts Zvartnots temple with Noah's Ark and it looks like the model represented by the architect.
After the breakfast at the hotel you will visit to Khor Virap. It is the most famous pilgrimage site in Armenia, as it is directly connected with the adoption of Christianity. As a state religion Christianity in Armenia was adopted in 301 due to endeavors of Saint Gregory the Illuminator, who before converting king Trdat the 3rd to Christianity, was imprisoned in the dungeon over which a church of Khor Virap monastery was built in the 17th century. From the monastery one can admire the stunning view of the Biblical Mount Ararat. Next is the Noravank. Passing a narrow road surrounded by rocks of hundred caves one discovers a scene of harmony of architecture with nature. The monastery enshrined with fine architectural solutions and luxurious embellishments is one of the brightest examples of Armenian architecture of the 13th century. Noravank consists of St. Karapet, St. Grigory the Illuminator churches and St. Astvatsatsin (Holy Mother of God) two-storey church, which is notable for its ideal constructive and sculptural work. Birds-Cave (Areni-1): The cave is situated 12 km from Yeghegnadzor, on the left bank of river Areni. The cave is consisted of 3 halls, has approximately 500 m² area, the large part of which still hasn’t been explored. As a result of studies, metal knives, fruit seeds, grain residues, rope, dishes, clothing, dried grapes and plums, dated to 4200-3500 BC, were found in the cave. The oldest leather shoe of the world was found right here. It is more than 5500 years old. Also, in the same area, there were found world’s oldest women’s skirt (3900 BC), as well as the first winery in the whole world. Nowadays the mentioned winery is considered to be the ancient one and it is referred to 4th millennium BC. No one has lived inside the cave, at the meantime, wine consumption was of ritual meaning for them. Lastly,you visit "Hin Areni" wine factory, there you will have (tour and tasting)
The day starts a visit to Garni pagan temple located not far from Yerevan. It was dedicated to the Sun God Mitra (Mihr) and was the summer residence of early medieval Armenian kings. This followed by a lavash baking master-class and a lunch with a great view of the temple and gorge. Next is a visit to the UNESCO heritage sight Monastery of Geghard, which is known for its peerless sculptures and cave church. Founded in the 3rd century its name translates as spear, dedicated to the Holy Lance, which used to be kept here.
Transfer to the airport, farewell and departure.