Natural Treasures of Armenia and Georgia (12 days / 11 nights)
After breakfast at the hotel, we will have a morning walk in the pink city of Yerevan. This ancient city is 29 years older than Rome. We will start walking in the most pleasant Republic Square with Government buildings, History Museum and Marriott Hotel surrounding it. In the evening, we can enjoy the colorful singing and dancing fountains. In case of desire we can visit a jewelry gallery, where we can buy exclusive jewelry. The jewels presented are executed in a single copy and are unique. Walking up one of the oldest streets in Yerevan – Abovyan Street – we will appear in the richest avenue in Yerevan – the Northern Avenue with many brand shops, luxurious cafes and restaurants. Our next stop – the Opera and Ballet House and the Swan Lake – face the Northern Avenue. We will enjoy our time in the fascinating weather of the sunny Yerevan while walking around Cascade Monument. If we walk up the “huge staircase” of 500 meters’ height and 50 meters’ width, we can enjoy the wonderful panorama of the city with the spectacular Opera House, Mount Ararat as well as the view to the whole city. We will then walk up the huge stairs to the Park of Freedom. Here the whole city seems to be at our hand. Magnificent view. Visit Matenadaran Manuscript Depository – a unique institution around the world. Pay a visit to Tsitsernakaberd Memorial and Genocide Museum, devoted to the Armenian Genocide by Ottoman Empire in 1915. During these mass killings more than 1.5 million people were massacred and even more spread around the world forming a huge Armenian Diaspora. Excursion at Megerian Carpet. Overnight at the hotel in Yerevan.
After breakfast at the hotel, we will then explore the top tourist attractions of Armenia and make the first stop at Garni Temple, where we will enjoy the astonishing view to the gorges all around. Garni is a pagan temple built in 1st century, the only survival of the Hellenic epoch in the whole territory of the Caucasus. Upon desire the guide will accompany us to the place called “Symphony of stones” in the gorge. Continue on to the Monastery of Geghard (UNESCO). The monastery was first recorded in a document of 1250. Geghard is famous due to the relics, among which the most important one is the spear which had wounded Christ on the Cross presumably brought there by the Apostle Thaddeus. Here in Geghard, we can also watch the process of “lavash” baking in the traditional underground oven “tonir”, and (optional*) enjoy the medieval vocal concert. Return to Yerevan. Overnight at the hotel in Yerevan.
After breakfast at the hotel we will have a short walk along the azure Lake Sevan. Lake Sevan has a unique combination of great size, high mountain location, and comparatively “soft water”. Lake Sevan is one of the greatest freshwater high-mountain lakes of Eurasia. It is located at about 2000 meters above the sea level. (Optional* lunch tasting barbeque from Sevan trout). We will then explore the summer residence of the Favorite Armenian King Ashot the Iron (Ashot Erkat) – Sevanavank Monastery (9th century). Drive to Dilijan to enjoy the 19th century appearance of the town. This wonderfully forested region is rich in mineral waters. Some of them are compared with Wichi in France and Davos in Switzerland.Dilijan is “the Switzerland of Armenia.” Transfer to Tbilisi. Overnight at the hotel in Tbilisi.
After breakfast at the hotel we will explore the capital city of Georgia, Tbilisi, wonder in the old districts of the city which are structured like terraces, as well as take a walk in the narrow streets to enjoy colorful houses, patterned balconies and wonderful samples of modern architecture. We will start the tour form Metekhi church (13th century) facing the magnificent views over old Tbilisi. A stroll along winding little streets takes us to the main sights of the city. Here in Tbilisi we can see the interesting coexistence of different religions: Armenian Church, Jewish Synagogue, and Muslim Mosque. Afterwards we enjoy the panoramic views of the whole town and through the ancient Narikala fortress (4th century), find ourselves in the historical domed sulphur bath area - connected with the name of our city. Overnight in Tbilisi in a hotel.
After breakfast at the hotel we will drive to the ancient capital of Georgia – Mtskheta and visit its historical places: Jvari Monastery (6th century) and Svetitskhoveli Cathedral (11th century) – both UNESCO World Heritage sites. Then we continue to the ski resort of Gudauri with a stop at the Ananuri Castle Complex on the Aragvi River. Return to Tbilisi. Overnight at the hotel in Tbilisi.
After breakfast at the hotel, transfer to Armenia - Georgia Sadakhlo border. Proceed to monastic complexes of Sanahin (966 AD) and Haghpat (976 AD). The monasteries are among the outstanding works of medieval Armenian architecture and are inscribed in UNESCO World Heritage list. The architectural details and decoration of the monuments, which belong to the same epoch, have much in common and are even exactly alike in some cases and give us ground to presume that they were created by craftsmen of the same school. Continue to Yerevan. Overnight at the hotel in Yerevan.
After breakfast at the hotel we will start a most panoramic tour of the Northern part of Armenia, changing views that cannot be admired anywhere else in the world. Drive to Ararat valley and pay a visit to the Monastery of Khor Virap. This is the very place where Armenia was proclaimed as the first country to accept Christianity as a state religion in 301 AD. The monastery offers the closest and the best view to biblical Mount Ararat. Continue driving to a most unusual and peaceful spot – Noravank Monastery. The whole magic of Noravank (13th century) trip attracts a traveler just at the point of turning the road to the Monastery. The narrow road leading to the monastery is blocked by beautiful rocks on both sides. And after a few minutes’ drive we will appear on the rock where the complex is situated. Once there high above the main road we have the impression as if we are in heaven, and if we stretch our hand we will touch the sky. Continue driving to Goris town. Overnight at a hotel in Goris.
After breakfast at the hotel we will start the tour in the captivating nature of Syunik Province, 8 km away from the town of Goris. Here we can find ourselves in the past and see the cave dwellings that the primeval people lived in. Surprisingly though, people still lived there some 60 years ago, notwithstanding the development of science and life in general. The sight is called Khndzoresk, a place where a visitor can feel as if the time stopped at some point in the past just for us to admire all the beauty of the wildness. Continue the tour to the 9th century Tatev Monastery. Perched atop the Vorotan River Gorge, this monastic complex was an important political stronghold and one of Armenia’s most advanced medieval universities hosting students in humanitarian sciences. Because of its forbidding location, it was once hard to access, but now a 5.7-kilometer-long cableway (Wings of Tatev) has been built to take visitors to the monastery, offering an exciting journey with breathtaking views over the river gorge bellow. In about an hour drive, we will explore the oldest in the world Stonehenge (Karahunj or Zorats Karer), which is no longer in England. This archaeological site,which dates back to the second millennium BC, is spread on a rocky promontory near the city of Sisian in the province of Syunik 1770 meters high above the sea level. Thus, we can boast of having the oldest astronomical observatory ever found in the history even older than the British Stonehenge and even the pyramids in Egypt. This is another evidence of primeval civilization in Armenia existing from times immemorial, when neither Mesopotamia, nor Egypt, nor any other civilization on earth existed. Continue driving to Yerevan. Overnight at a hotel in Yerevan.
- Accommodation at the hotel on a DBL basis
- Meals BB
- All indicated transfers
- English speaking guide services throughout the tour
- All entrance fees
- Wings of Tatev
- A bottle of mineral 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