Hidden Treasures of Armenia (7 days/ 6 nights)
Hidden Treasures of Armenia -7 days/ 6 nights
Yerevan is one of the most ancient cities in the world founded in 782 B.C. The city is 29 years older than Rome, is the same age as Babylon and the Assyrian city of Ninveh. It has celebrated its 2800th anniversary in 2018. Our first stop of the day is the ''Erebuni'' Historical and Archaeological Museum-Reserve, where the history of Yerevan starts. Then we'll visit the Yerevan Railway Station with the statue of Sasuntsi Davit - the main hero of Armenian national epic ''Daredevils of Sassoun''. In 2012 the national epic was included in the UNESCO list of the intangible cultural heritage of humanity. Then we'll drive to the Victory Park to see the towering statue of Mother Armenia up close and enjoy the panoramic view of Yerevan. During the tour we'll also visit the famous Cascade Complex and Cafesjian Sculpture Garden. There you can find some of the best Yerevan coffee shops and restaurants for lunch. After lunch we'll visit The Tsiternakaberd Memorial (Swallow's Fortress), which is Armenia's official memorial dedicated to the Armenian Genocide of 1915. Our last stop of the day is Sergei Parajanov's Museum. He was one of the 20th century's greatest artists, filmmakers and film directors, who made significant contribution to Ukrainian, Armenian and Georgian cinema. The museum represents Parajanov's diverse artistic and literary heritage. Overnight at the hotel in Yerevan.
After breakfast at the hotel (09:00) we drive to the blue pearl of our mountainous country - Lake Sevan, which is one of the largest freshwater high-altitude lakes in Eurasia. The view is spectacular there and this trip is considered an unforgettable experience due to its great landscape value. First, we'll visit Sevanavank Monastery - the highlight of this fascinating area, and the most famous historical and cultural monument in Gegharkunik region. The monastery is located on the peninsula of Lake Sevan and it overlooks the lake. No tourist itinerary is complete without an unforgettable boat trip on the lake and a glass of Armenian wine on board. After this wonderful experience we'll continue our way to Hayravank Monastery, where you'll be enchanted by the country's natural beauty. The monastery is located in a picturesque area on a hill and offers stunning views of lake an its surroundings. We will then drive to an ancient Armenian village Noratus, which is famous for its medieval cemetery of khachkars (cross-stones). Khachkars are typically Armenian, these are a unique product of Armenian Christian cultural development. Since 2010 khachkars are included in the UNESCO list of intangible Cultural Heritage. Traditional lunch at a local restaurant, where we'll have an opportunity to taste fish from the lake cooked according to the special local recipe (optional*). Then proceed to the Vardenyats Mountain Pass to visit the Orbelian's Caravanserai, which was situated on the Great Silk Road, at an altitude of 2410 meters above sea level. The Caravanserai is a unique structure for 14th-century Armenia and a rare piece of medieval Armenian civil architecture. The Caravanserai is the best-preserved structure in the entire country and an impressive spot from another period of time. In 2 hours’ drive we will explore the spa town of Jermuk and the most picturesque waterfall in Armenia, which is a true miracle of Armenian Highlands. The waterfall on Arpa River is of 70 meters height and is considered the second highest waterfall in Armenia. It reminds of hair flowing freely and therefore locals call it ''Mermaid's hair.'' Dinner and overnight in Jermuk.
After breakfast at the hotel we drive to Syunik region, where we are given a unique opportunity to explore the cultural heritage, the local traditions and historical attractions of the region. Here we visit one of the beautiful landmarks of Syunik region - Shaki Waterfall. The 18-meter waterfall is formed on the Shaki River and perfectly harmonizes with the view of the nearby Paleolithic caves. Then we will drive to Aghitu, which was one of the first settlements of Syunik region in the Middle Ages and here we will stop for a unique 6th century funerary monument. Aghitu memorial is one of the rarely mentioned tombs in Armenia. The surrounding area is rich with archeological monuments. According to one of the versions, this is a mausoleum of martyrs for Christian faith. Our next stop is Vortnavank. This monastic complex is a medieval architectural monument. It is also one of the well-known religious and cultural centers of the 10th-15th centuries. The monastery has served as a pilgrimage place and has been renowned for its magical ability to heal snakebites. We will then stop to experience the longest reversible cableway in the world, the ''Wings of Tatev'' (5.7km), which is recorded in the Guiness Book of Records. Then traditional lunch at a local restaurant or at one of rural houses in Tatev village, where you will have chance to try tasty local food. After lunch we will visit a craftsman's house who makes traditional Armenian old leather shoes, called ''trekh''. Afterwards we visit Tatev Monastery. Tatev Monastery was one of the religious, cultural and enlightenment centers of Armenia in the 9th century. In the 14th and 15th centuries, the monastery hosted one of the most important medieval universities of Armenia, the University of Tatev, which played an important role in the development of religious and cultural life in Armenia. Our next stop the miracle of Vorotan canyon- Devil's Bridge. This is a natural bridge, formed from the sediments of mineral waters known as travertines. This natural wonder, formed over the millennia, is about 30 meters long and 60 meters wide. Then we stop at Harsnadzor for the watchtower, which used to forewarn of enemy invasions. Dinner and overnight in Goris.
The city of red roofs – Goris, is considered one of the most important historical and cultural sites in Armenia. It is often regarded as the cultural center of Syunik region. The humankind has settled here since the Stone Age. We start our morning with a walking tour. The city's surrounding nature, the friendly and hospitable people and the unique architecture will make your day more enjoyable and memorable. Walking towards the center of city, we will see the stone buildings built in a style unique to Goris, called ''barkash'', the beautiful wooden balconies and the semi- arched windows. We will then visit the city Art Gallery to admire the artworks of local artists and to asorb some local colors. Afterwards we visit the stone-pyramids of Old Goris, which is situated on the left bank of Goris River. Travelers are surprised to learn that the residents of Goris had been living in cave-dwellings until the 18th century. In Old Goris we will visit the dwellings cut into the rock, the natural caves and St. Hripsime church, which was first built in the 4th century. There are also ruins of chapels, a destroyed butter churner, water mills and numerous cave houses that have been preserved. Then we have lunch and a cooking masterclass of a local dish (''tan'' or ''khashil''). After lunch we visit one of the interesting sights of Goris - the House-Museum of Aksel Bakunts. Aksel Bakunts was a great prose writer, who was born and lived in Goris. Goris was his inspiration. In his works he always described the nature of his home town and the beauty of Goris. Our next stop is Khndoresk, which is famous for its antique cave dwellings. From ancient times people lived in these rocky hills, constructing artificial shelters and places for food storage. A mysterious ''swinging bridge'' connects the two banks of old Khndzoresk and offers breathtaking views of the caves below. Dinner and overnight in Goris.
After breakfast we head to Yerevan. On the way back from Goris we will stop to visit Portakar (''Navel stone''). Portakar is a traditional ritual stone in Syunik Region. It was considered as the symbol of fertility and motherhood. In preChristian times, infertile women, who wanted to become pregnant held certain ceremonies here. Candle lighting was part of the cult. Afterwards, we visit Zorats Karer (Armenian Stonehenge). Zorats Karer or Carahunge is a prehistoric archaeological site and one of the world's oldest astronomical observatories which is at least 3500 years older than British Stonehenge. Our next stop is the Birds' Cave or Areni-1, where the oldest leather shoe of the World was found: it is more than 5500 years old. We will then have lunch and wine tasting in Areni village, which is considered to be the “cradle” of Armenian winemaking. Then we drive to Ararat valley – a great place to admire the most picturesque views of the Holy Mount Ararat. We pay a visit to the Monastery of Khor Virap. It is the most visited pilgrimage site in Armenia, where the first Catholicos Gregory the Illuminator was imprisoned for 13 years for spreading the light of Christianity in Armenia. Dinner and overnight in Yerevan.
Free for leisure. Farewell Dinner with live Armenian music and folkloric dance. Overnight in Yerevan.
- Accommodation at the hotel on a DBL basis
- Meals BB
- Transfer to/from Zvartnots International Airport
- Transfers during the tours
- English speaking guide services on tour days
- All entrance fees
- Boat trip
- A bottle of water per person per day
- Maps of Armenia and Yerevan
- 24-hour service
- Visa and visa documents’ related fees (if any)
- All other services not mentioned above