Attractions and Sacred Places:

Ethno-7Days (Sevan-Karabakh)

Circular tour round the central part of Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh (Artsakh). The perfect tour for those who wish to see Armenia and Artsakh in the frame of a single tour. Tourists will travel along Armenia's «pearl» Lake Sevan, and reach Jermuk resort passing through the beautiful caravanserai of the Selim pass. Further, through the symbolic gates of Syunik region they will enter the Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh, where they will visit the town of Shushi, Stepanakert and the monastery of Gandzasar. On the way back tourists will explore «Birds' Cave» and have a degustation of genuine Armenian wine in Areni village.

Day 1

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
Hotel Accommodations: Regineh
Travel Distance: 70 km (44 miles)

Day 2

Yerevan – Geghard – Garni – Goshavank –Sevan
A trip to the Monastery of Geghardavank. (Monastery of the Lance, XII-XIIIcc). The name of Geghard is connected with the biblical lance which is preserved here. As it is mentioned in the Bible, by this lance a roman warrior pierced the body of the crucifixed Christ. What is believed to be the tip of that lance is preserved in the museum of the Cathedral of Saint Echmiadzin.

Visiting Garni castle (III c BC-XIIIc. AD) – the summer residence of Armenian kings, seeing the pagan temple of Sun built by Armenian king Trdat Arshakuni (Arshakid) in 77.

The next route will lead to Goshavank, which was founded by famous Armenian cleric and law codifier Mkhitar Gosh in XII-XIII centuries. The monastery played a prominent role in Armenia's religious, cultural and educational life through the Middle Ages. Here stands the famous work of sculpture of Varpet (Master) Poghos, a masterpiece of the Armenian craft of carving stone crosses – called «khachkars».

Visiting the «blue pearl of Armenia» – Lake Sevan which is situated at an altitude of about 2000 meters above sea level. Visiting the Monastery of Sevanavank (11c) which is located on Sevan peninsula. Supper and lodging in hotel near the Lake.
Meals: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
Hotel Accommodations: Kaputak Sevan
Travel Distance: 400 km (250 miles)

Day 3

Sevan – Hayravank – Selim caravanserai – Jermuk
Hayravank: This monastery, dating to the 9th - 11th centuries, is located on a rocky promontory in a village on the western shore of Lake Sevan. Fortification and settlement remains dating from the Bronze Age to the Middle Ages are found here.

Selim Caravanserai: Built by Prince Chesar Orbelian in 1331, this inn accommodated travelers and their animals as they traversed the Silk Road through the Selim Pass. Restored in the 1950s, this caravanserai has unique decorations and stone carvings.

Jermuk: Known as a health resort with healing mineral waters Jermuk is surrounded on three sides by mountains covered with alpine forests. There is also a scenic panorama of the Arpa River gorge.

Lodging in hotel in Jermuk.
Meals: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
Hotel Accommodations: Verona
Travel Distance: 220 km (138 miles)

Day 4

Jermuk – Karahunj – Tatev – Khndzoresk – Goris
Visiting the territory of the stunning Bronze Age «Armenian Stonehenge» – Karahunj – which dates to the second millennium B.C. According to scientific consensus today, the arrangement of stones was most probably meant for astronomical observation. Karahunj is situated 3 km north of Sisian. The site consists of hundreds of vertically constructed boulders situated in a deliberate arrangement covering over 3 hectares. At first glance they appear to be randomly scattered but aerial views reveal a surprisingly precise arrangement of these giant stones.

Panorama of the Syunik Mountains and Vorotan river gorge (500 meters deep) takes your breath away. A stop on the bridge called Satani Kamurj («devil's bridge»), and site of mineral waters.

A trip to the Monastery of Tatevavank (9-17c) – the spiritual and cultural center of medieval Armenia, which is famous for its university (14-15c), an inspirer of the conquer of national-liberation of Syunik Armenians against Iranians and Osmanli Turk invaders (18c).

Visiting Khndzoresk village, the panorama of cave town «Old Khndzoresk». Khndzoresk is a historic place, with very interesting caves and mysterious rocks. Since the Bronze Age and almost till the 20th century, these caves were used as homes.
Lodging in Goris.
Meals: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
Hotel Accommodations: Mirhav
Travel Distance: 220 km (138 miles)

Day 5

Goris – Shushi – Gandzasar – Stepanakert
The main route to Nagorno-Karabakh Republic (NKR) is a scenic drive from Goris through the Lachin Corridor where visitors will begin to understand why the area is also known as Mountainous Karabakh. Within this range of rugged mountains, deep canyons, limestone rock formations, and lush forests a wide of array of flora and fauna can be found.

Prominently sited on stone cliffs above the Karintak River valley, Shushi is an 18th century fortress city. Recognized as the commercial, cultural, and religious center of the region, the city was nearly destroyed during the Karabakh War but in recent years has been undergoing reconstruction and restoration.

Before arriving in Stepanakert, a stop will be made at Gandzasar Monastery, one of the most important architectural monuments of NKR. Literally translated, it means Treasure (gandz) Mountain (sar). Located near the town of Vank in the Mardakert district, on a hill overlooking the Khachen River, this monastery has long been a symbol of Karabakh Armenian statehood. Recently restored, the monastery is known for the reliefs carved into the walls of the 13th century Church of St. John the Baptist.
Meals: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
Hotel Accommodations: Armenia
Travel Distance: 210 km (131 miles)

Day 6

Stepanakert – Noravank – bird's caves - Areni - Khor Virap – Yerevan
On the way to Yerevan a trip to the monastery Noravank. One of the masterpieces of medieval Armenian architecture - Noravank the religious centre of Syunik province, was built in 13-14c by architects Siranes and Momik and is known for its laced stone ornaments.

The sight of the stalactites and stalagmites in Bird's cave.

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 tasting.

Visiting Ararat valley. A visit to Khor Virap Monastery «deep pit». According to Armenian historian Agatangeghos (5th c.) the future first patriarch of Armenian Apostolic Church, Grigor Lusavorich was imprisoned in this dungeon for 13 years. The monastery is several hundred meters away from the border between Armenia and Turkey, on the higher, left bank of Arax river. From here there is a panoramic view of Mount Ararat.

Back to Yerevan. Lodging in hotel in Yerevan.
Meals: Breakfast Lunch
Hotel Accommodations: Regineh
Travel Distance: 420 km (263 miles)

Day 7

Yerevan – Vernissage – Oriental market - Echmiadzin – Zvartnots - Zvartnots airport
A largely dormant concrete park during the week, Vernissage blossoms at the weekends as all kinds of national crafts, including jewelry, carpets, woodwork, ceramics, canvases, paintings, and many other works of art can be found.
Visiting the Oriental market. Shopping.

Visiting the old capital of Armenia – Vagharshapat. Excursion in the territory of residence of the Catholicos – the head of Armenian Apostolic church, then visit to the First Cathedral of Saint Echmiadzin (303 AD), which means the «The Descent of the Only Begotten Son».

A visit to church of Saint Hripsime (VIIc) as well as the ruins of Zvartnots Temple which is a monument that embodies the centuries old traditions of Armenian architects.

Transfer to Zvartnots International Airport.
Meals: Lunch
Travel Distance: 60 km (38 miles)

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