Attractions and Sacred Places:

Classic, 5 days, 850 km (531 miles)

Five-day radial tour to the central part of Armenia. Visitors will see an ancient but eternally young capital - the city of Yerevan and the religious center of Armenia - the First Cathedral of Saint Echmiadzin, the unique landscapes of the river gorges of Azat and Kasakh, the mountains Ararat and Aragats, the flat landscape of Ararat valley as well as Armenia's «pearl» Lake Sevan, the pagan temple of Garni, the evocative Oshakan, monasteries of Khor Virap, Noravank and the Geghard monastery complex carved in rock.

Day 1

Yerevan
After a brief rest at the hotel, guests will embark on a tour of Yerevan city that includes stops at Republic Square, Victory Park, Mother Armenia, Cafesjian Center for the Arts, The Cascade, a carpet factory, the monument to A.Tamanyan, Opera House, and Tsitsernakaberd Armenian Genocide Memorial.

(Note: Arrival day activities will be adjusted as needed according to the itinerary of the traveler.)
Meals: Lunch Dinner
Hotel Accommodations: Regineh
Travel Distance: 70 km (44 miles)

Day 2

Yerevan – Zvartnots – Ejmiadzin – Oshakan – Amberd – Yerevan
A trip to Zvartnots Temple («Celestial Angels» 7th c). This majestic temple was built in 652 and its ruins remain as reminder of a masterpiece of medieval Armenian architecture.

Visiting one of 12 old capitals of Armenia – Ejmiadzin (Vagharshapat) and the First Cathedral of Saint Ejmiadzin, church of Saint Hripsime. (7c).

Proceeding to Oshakan in Aragatsotn Province. Oshakan is most famous as the last resting place of Mesrop Mashtots, founder of the Armenian Alphabet. Above his grave (19th c. gravestone) is a church rebuilt by Catholicos George IV in 1875.

A trip to the southern slope of Mount Aragats. Visiting Amberd, which means «a fortress in the clouds» a fitting name given its elevation (2300 m.).

On the way to Yerevan a stop at the Alphabet Square – a Monument to the letters of Armenian Alphabet.

Back to Yerevan. Leisure time. Overnight.

 

Meals: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
Hotel Accommodations: Regineh
Travel Distance: 170 km (106 miles)

Day 3

Yerevan – Garni - Geghard – Lake Sevan – Yerevan
Trip to Geghardavank, Armenia's 12-13cc «Monastery of the Lance» (about 45 minutes outside Yerevan city center). The name of Geghard is connected with a lance which, according to the Holy Bible, was used to pierce the side of the crucified Christ. (What is believed to be a remnant of the lance is preserved in the museum at Holy Echmiadzin).

Excursion to Garni Temple and Garni Castle (3c. BC-13c. AD) – the summer residence of Armenian kings and the site of a pre-Christian temple honoring Mithra, god of the sun.

Visiting the «blue pearl of Armenia» – Lake Sevan is situated at an altitude of about 2000 meters above sea level. A famous writer has poetically characterized Sevan as: «A genuine piece of sky, dropped down on earth among mountains».

Visiting the monastery of Sevanavank (XI c.) which is located on Sevan peninsula. Back to Yerevan.
Meals: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
Hotel Accommodations: Regineh
Travel Distance: 240 km (150 miles)

Day 4

Yerevan – Khor Virap – Noravank – bird's caves - Areni – Yerevan
Ararat valley – home of Khor Virap («Deep Dungeon») Monastery, from which Grigor Lusavorich rose from imprisonment to become the first patriarch of Armenian Apostolic Church. The monastery is very near the Turkish border and offers Armenia's most splendid view of Mount Ararat, from which, according to the Holy Bible, Noah's ark landed following the «Great Flood».

The tour continues to Vayots Dzor marz, along the picturesque gorge of the Gnishik River and comes to the monastery of Noravank («New Monastery») (12-15cc.) the religious center of principality of the Orbelyan dynasty, home to prominent Armenian figures of the medieval culture.

The excursion also includes a trip to Areni village which is famous for its various factory and home-made wines. Visitors will see wine as it is being processed, followed by a degustation.

Viewing the stalactites and stalagmites in Bird's cave.

Back to Yerevan. Overnight.
Meals: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
Hotel Accommodations: Regineh
Travel Distance: 320 km (200 miles)

Day 5

Yerevan – Matenadaran – Vernissage – Yerevan Brandy Company «Ararat» – airport Zvartnots
Before departing from Armenia, this eight-day tour concludes with visits to the Matenadaran where ancient Armenian manuscripts are stored and exhibited, Vernissage crafts and flea market, and the Yerevan Brandy Company for a tour and brandy tasting.

(Note: Departure day activities will be adjusted as needed according to the itinerary of the traveler.)
Meals: Lunch
Travel Distance: 50 km (31 miles)

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