Adventures in Armenia

9 days, 8 nights
Detailed Itinerary
Gallery
Inclusions

Day 1: Arrival (-/-/-)

Arrival at Zvartnots International Airport. Transfer to the hotel, check-in and overnight.

Day 2: Yerevan city tour – Etchmiadzin Cathedral – Zvartnots Temple – Brandy Factory (B/L/D)

The day will start with a city tour in the capital of Armenia, Yerevan, one of the world’s ancient cities dating back to 782 BC. Yerevan is often called “The Pink City” since most of the buildings are designed with a pink volcanic stone called tuff. We will walk around the center of the city and visit the Republic Square, Opera House, Swan Lake, walk down the Northern Avenue-the coolest street of the city, climb the stairs of Cascade – a giant stairway with works of art exhibited at all levels of the complex and admire the enchanting panorama of Yerevan and the biblical Mount Ararat from the top of the monument. Thereafter, we will drive to Etchmiadzin, the mother church of the Armenian Apostolic Church, built in 303AD after the adoption of Christianity. The monastery complex of Etchmiadzin is included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. After an excursion here, we will enjoy a local lunch and head back to Yerevan. On our way back, we will visit the ruins of Zvartnots, another UNESCO listed monument. Zvartnots is one of the magnificent landmarks of medieval Armenian architecture, constructed in the 7th century. Today even the ruins of this unique architectural structure give us the idea of its rare and majestic beauty. Today’s last destination will be Ararat Brandy Factory where we will taste some excellent Armenian brandy, well-known all over the world. Welcome dinner will be held in a local traditional restaurant. Overnight.

Day 3: Yerevan – Khor Virap Monastery – Arpa Protected Landscape – Noravank Monastery – Goris (B/L/-)

After breakfast at the hotel, we will have a one-hour drive to Khor Virap Monastery, the closest point to Mount Ararat. The name Khor Virap means “deep pit” which symbolizes its history. The monastery was built over an underground dungeon, where Saint Gregory the Illuminator was imprisoned for about 14 years by the Armenian king Trdat for spreading Christianity in Armenia. From the beautiful monastery opens one of the most impressive views to the biblical Mount Ararat. Then we will drive to the village of Amaghu to start our hike in Arpa Protected Landsape. The canyon area is famous for its rich flora and fauna and for the numerous caves, where ancient shoes and traditional wine making facilities from the Chalcolithic period have been found. This area has been recognized as an Important Bird Area (IBA) for hosting some globally endangered bird species. Moreover, it hosts one of the country’s most treasured animals, the Caucasian Leopard. During our hike we will be enchanted by the spectacular rock formations made by volcanic activity which change their colors according to the time of the day. Finally, we will reach Noravank Monastery, a true treasure of Armenian religious art. This monastic complex belonging to the 13th century is considered an architectural masterpiece created by the eminent sculptor and architect Momik. What makes it especially unique is that Noravank is one of the few monasteries in the world consisting of two floors. Head to Goris, one of the oldest towns of the country. Overnight. Walking: 2 hrs; 3.5 kms. Highest:1558 m Lowest: 1390 m

Day 4: Goris – Khndzoresk Cave town – Tatev Monastery – Devils’ bridge – Zorats Karer Observatory – Yeghegis (B/L/-)

Today we begin our journey with a visit to Khndzoresk. 13 kilometers from Goris, a swinging bridge weighing 14 tons connects Old Khndzoresk with New Khndzoresk. This bridge spans 160 meters across the scenic gorge of breathtaking beauty. The Old Khndzoresk was one of the largest villages of Eastern Armenia consisting of manmade caves where people used to live until 1950s. According to the sources the population living here grew to 15,000 people who lived in 3000 houses most of which were dug into the rock. Then we will head to Tatev Monastery, one of the most amazing sights of Armenia. It is built right on the edge of a cliff surrounded by stunning nature. The best way to get to this jewel of medieval Armenian architecture is to take the cableway called “The Wings of Tatev”. This cableway stretching over the picturesque gorge of the river Vorotan is recorded in the Guinness Book of Records as the longest reversible aerial tramway in the world (5752 m). During this 12-minute impressive flight we will admire the breathtaking views of Armenian nature. After an excursion at the monastery, we will start our hike and walk down the lush valley to Devils’ Bridge well-known for its natural hot springs. Afterwards, we will continue to the Armenian Stonehenge called Zorats Karer or Karahunj. According to archaeologists this is one of the world’s most ancient observatories – used for astronomical purposes in prehistoric times. Continue to the village of Yeghegis. Overnight.                                         Walking: 3.5hrs; 6.7 kms. Highest:1546 m Lowest: 969 m

Day 5: Yeghegis – Smbataberd Fortress – Tsakhats Kar Monastery – Sevan Lake – Dilijan (B/L/-)

Today we will start our hike from the village of Yeghegis and hike up to Smbataberd Fortress. Smbataberd is an impregnable fortress, located to the southeast of the village of Artabuink. It was built in the 5th century on a narrow mountain top protected by canyons on three sides. During our hike we will be amazed by the stunning view of Vayots Dzor region. Reaching the fortress, the magnificent view of Teksar Mountains will take our breath away. Thereafter, we will continue our hike to the medieval Tsakhats Kar Monastery. Although it has been practically destroyed, even its ruins are very unique and picturesque. There are two groups of structures here. The western, which includes the churches of St. Godmother and St. Hovannes is much older than the eastern with churches of St. Karapet and Holy Sign. Numerous khachkars may be seen around the monastery as well. Today’s hike will end in Yeghegis. Then we will drive to Sevan and climb the stairs to Sevanavank Monastery, one of the most outstanding historical and cultural sites of Armenia, located on the peninsula of the lake Sevan. The blue-eyed beauty of Armenia lake Sevan, also called the “Blue Pearl of Armenia”, is one of the largest freshwater high-altitude lakes in the world, situated at an altitude of 1,900 meters above sea level. Sometimes it seems that the water surface is about to touch the sky. The beauty of Sevan landscapes is especially marvelous from the peninsula, thus Sevanavank monastery has become one of the most famous tourist destinations of the country. Continue to Dilijan, often referred to as “Armenian Switzerland” due to its rich nature with lush green forested areas. Overnight.                                                                                                                                                                             Walking: 6-7 hrs.; 6.7 kms. Highest: 2080 m Lowest: 1565 m

Day 6: Dilijan – Parz Lake – Gosh Lake – Goshavank Monastery – Yenokavan (B/L/-)

This day will start with the discovery of the green town Dilijan. After a short tour in the historical part of the town we will head to Parz (Crystal) Lake and start hiking along the stunning trails of Dilijan National Park heading to Goshavank Monastery. Occupying 33 000 hectares, the Dilijan National Park is one of the coziest corners of Armenian nature, famous for its crystal-clear air, rich flora and fauna. Walking about 10 kilometers we will reach the enchanting lake Gosh and from here continue to Goshavank Monastery. The medieval monastic complex of Goshavank, built in the 12th century, is named in honor of the great Armenian scientist, historian and politician Mkhitar Gosh. The monastery used to be not only a religious, but also an important educational and cultural center. The view of the monastery is majestic because of its location in one of the most picturesque places of Armenia. Continue to the village of Yenokavan standing on the top of a high mountain. Overnight. Walking: 4 – 5 hrs; 14 kms Highest: 1430 m Lowest: 1225 m

Day 7: Day at leisure in Yenokavan (B/-/-)

We will pass our seventh day at Apaga Resort, situated high on top of a mountain in Tavush region. The resort has an extreme park, which offers a wide range of outdoor activities. You can take the opportunity to join a zipline adventure which will boost your adrenaline and make you admire the magnificent scenery of the mountainous landscapes, to do horse-riding, to hike to Lastiver exploring the hidden corners of Tavush region, or just relax, breath fresh air and enjoy the stunning nature around.

Day 8: Yenokavan – Garni Temple – Geghard Monastery – Yerevan (B/L/D)

After breakfast we will drive to the pagan temple of Garni, one of the most famous and important tourist attractions of the country. The temple was constructed in the 1st century AD, by the Armenian king Trdat I. It was dedicated to God Mihr, the Armenian pagan god of the Sun. After an excursion here we will hike to the breathtaking Garni Canyon, a composition of gorgeous vertical cliffs and natural rocks of amazing beauty. Consisting of huge paradoxically symmetric hexagon and pentagon basalt columns (nearly 50 meters high) it is really hard to believe that these neatly and symmetrically carved stones could have been created by nature and not by human hands. Afterwards, we will enjoy a local lunch accompanied with lavash-baking masterclass, a pure Armenian traditional bread inscribed on UNESCO’s List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. Our next destination will be Geghard Monastery, one of the most stunning monasteries of medieval Armenian architecture. This unique monastic complex, part of which is carved in the rock is included in the UNESCO’s World Heritage list. The monastery has unbelievable acoustics- in some places, the sound can be heard even up to 40 seconds, the mystery of which has not yet been revealed. Continue to Yerevan. Farewell dinner and overnight. Walking: 1.5 hrs; 3.5 kms Highest:1400 m Lowest: 1180 m

Day 9: Departure (B/-/-)

Check-out formalities. Transfer to the airport. Departure.

what's included

  • Accommodation according to the program
  • Meals according to the program
  • Transfers and transportation according to the program
  • Professional English-Speaking guide during the program
  • Local hiking guides according to the program
  • Entrance tickets
  • Ropeway in Tatev
  • Master Class of baking “Lavash”
  • Wine and Brandy Degustation

what's extra

  • Flight tickets
  • Tips and portage
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Meals not mentioned in the inclusions
  • Insurance and visa fee
  • Services not mentioned in the program

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