The Secret of Caucasus7 days, 6 nights
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 – Yerevan (B/-/-)
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. On our way back to Yerevan, 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. Drive back to Yerevan. Overnight.
Day 3: Yerevan – Sevan Lake – Goshavank Monastery – Fruit Market Yerevan (B/-/-)
After breakfast 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. Then we will continue to Dilijan, often referred to as “Armenian Switzerland” due to its rich nature with lush green forested areas. Here we will visit Goshavank Monastery, built in the 12th century. 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. Drive back to Yerevan and visit the famous Fruit Market to get the real taste of Armenian fruits and take with you the tastiest pieces of Armenian dried fruits, aromatic herbs and food-seasonings. Overnight.
Day 4: Yerevan – Khor Virap Monastery – Noravank Monastery – Areni Winery – Yerevan (B/-/-)
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. Our next stop will be 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. Noravank is a must-see place not only for its cultural importance but also for its magnificent location. The stunning architecture of the monastery contrasts amazingly with the red rock cliffs surrounding it. Moving on, we will visit Areni Wine Factory, the oldest winery in the world dating back to 6100 BC. Here we will taste Armenian delicious wine, made from unique grape sort Areni and return to Yerevan. Overnight.
Day 5: Yerevan – Geghard Monastery – Garni – Vernissage – Yerevan (B/L/-)
Our fifth day in Armenia will start with a visit to 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 was named Geghardavank – the Monastery of Spear. Legend has it that St. Thaddaeus the Apostle brought here the spear with which the Roman soldier had pierced the heart of crucified Christ, the so-called Spear of Destiny. The spear had been kept in the monastery for about 500 years (now it is kept in the Etchmiadzin Museum). 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. Our next destination will be 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 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. Then we will drive back to Yerevan and visit Vernissage, an open-air market and an exhibition displaying different Armenian artworks and handmade items. It offers various kinds of national souvenirs, rugs, bags, paintings, jewelry and other traditional items. Overnight.
Day 6: Day at Leisure (B/-/-)
Free day for leisure and individual activities. Take the opportunity to visit Ararat Brandy Factory to taste some excellent Armenian brandy; to visit Matenadaran, one of the world’s largest repositories of ancient manuscripts, to discover a selection of museums and churches or just wander around Yerevan before your departure.
Day 7: Departure (B/-/-)
Check-out formalities. Transfer to the airport. Departure.
- Accommodation according to the program
- Meals according to the program
- Transfers and transportation according to the program
- Professional English-Speaking guide during the program
- Entrance tickets
- Master Class of baking Lavash
- Wine Degustation
- Flight tickets
- Tips and portage
- Alcoholic beverages
- Meals not mentioned in the inclusions
- Insurance and visa fee
- Services not mentioned in the program