Day 1 (Garni, Geghard):
The first stop of our trip will be the Arch of Charents from where a breathtaking view opens to Ararat, probably the most stunning view of the mountain. From this place it seems that Ararat is not on the ground, but is “hanging down” from the sky. The Arch was named in honour of Armenian poet Yeghishe Charents. From here, we will continue our tour to the pagan temple Garni, built in the 1st century AD by the armenian king Trdat. The temple Garni is the only monument connecting with the era of paganism and Hellenism, dedicated to the sun god Mithra. The temple is built according to the rules of the classical Greek architecture and looks very similar to the famous temple of Athens in Greece. There is the bathhouse not far from the palace built in the 3rd century AD and has the features specific to the Roman baths of that time.
The next destination of the tour will be the Monastery Geghard, which was built in the 4th century by The First Armenian Catholicos - Gregory the Illuminator. Initially it was called Airivank (cave monastery), then was renamed Geghard, which means <<spear>>. The name of the monastery originates from the spear of the Roman soldier who pierced the body of Jesus Christ.
Day 2 (Noravank, Tatev (ropeway), Karahunj): During this tour we will visit one of the wonderful monuments of medieval Armenia - the Monastery of Noravank, which dates back to XIII—XIV centuries. The complex includes the 1339 St. Astvatsatsin (“Burtelashen”) sepulchre-church, St. Stepanos Nakhavka and gavit, the St. Grigor Church and Stepanos Orbelian Sepulchre, the remains of medieval chapels and residential quarters and a modern office and hall.
Our next stop is Karahunj or Karahunj Observatory, also known as Zorats Karer or Zorats Kar is a megalithic composition of Bronze Age tombs (cists, dolmens or tumuli) and over 220 standing stones (menhirs).
The last destination is another famous monument of medieval Armenian architecture - Tatev Monastery, which was built in the 9th-13th centuries. In translation from the old Armenian (grabar) "tatev" means "give wings". Indeed, located at a great height, it seems that Tatev stretches upward to the sky. The walls seem to be a natural extension of the rock that raises it so high. Thanks to the construction of the Wings of Tatev, the longest cable car in the world (5.7 km), the complex has become one of the most visited places in Armenia.
Day 3 (Aragats, Armenain Alphabet monument, Amberd fortess): Mount Aragats is a four peaked volcano massif in Armenia. Its northern summit, at 4.090 m above sea level, is the highest point in the Armenian Highlands.
On the way we will visit the Armenian Alphabet Monument. The complex was built in 2005, on the 1600th anniversary of the creation of Armenian alphabet. The complex includes sculptures of 39 letters of Armenian alphabet. All the letters and statues are made of Armenian tufa. Armenian alphabet was created by Mesrop Mashtots in 405 in order to make the Bible accessible to Armenians and spread Christianity.
The last destination will be the fortress of Amberd. It is a 7th-century fortress located 2.300 meters above sea level on the southern slopes of the Mount Aragats. The name translates to "fortress in the clouds" in Armenian. The site includes a rich variety of buildings (church, chapel, baths, walls, gates, etc.), in a spectacular position defined by good natural defenses.
Day 4 (Lake Sevan (Sevanavank), Dilijan (Haghartsin, Goshavank): Our wonderful tour will take you to “The Jewel of Armenia” or the “Geghama Sea” - Lake Sevan, which is one of the largest high-mountainous freshwater lakes in the world. In the northwest part of Sevan Lake, on a narrow rocky peninsula, there stands one of the most prominent examples of medieval Armenian architecture – Sevanavank Monastery. It was founded in 874 AD by princess Mariam.
The next destination of the tour is “Armenian Switzerland” - Dilijan. In 13 km northeast of Dilijan in a cozy place one can find Monastery complex Haghartsin ('Dance of the Eagles’). It was built between the 10th and 13th centuries. There are stunning khachkars, a sundial on the wall of St Gregory, a ruined gavit and a refectory with stunning arched ceiling.
We will also pay a visit to the Monastery Goshavank which became one of the most famous religious and scholarly centers in medieval Armenia in the 12th-13th centuries, led by one of Armenia's most accomplished scholars, legal experts and scientists, Mkhitar Gosh (Mkhitar from Gosh, 1130–1213). The monastery was renamed Goshavank upon his death. The monastery was built between 1188 and the late 13th century.
Day 5 (Echmiadzin Cathedral, churches of Hripsime, Gayane, Zvatnots temple): The first destination of the tour will be St. Hripsime church, which was built on the grave of a Christian nun, who preached and spread Christianity in Armenia. The next spot is 7th century church of St Gayane.
Later you will visit the world’s first Christian Cathedral - Echmiadzin. The word “Echmiadzin” means a place where “the only begotten son of the God descended”. According to a legend, Jesus Christ descended from heaven and indicated the spot for a church to be built. Echmiadzin is the residence of the Supreme Catholicos of all Armenians and the center of the Armenian Apostolic Church.
The last destination of our tour is one of the brightest landmarks of medieval Armenian architecture – the magnificent Zvartnots Temple constructed in the 7th century. All these churches and the temple are listed on the UNESCO World’s Cultural Heritage Sites.
Day 6 (Haghpat, Sanahin, Odzun, Dsegh): The monastery of Haghpat, founded by Queen Khosrovanush (wife of the Armenian King Ashot III) in AD 976, consists of one narthex, two corridor-sepulchers, a refectory, a scriptorium, the Chapel of Hamazasp, a belfry, several chapel-tombs and cross-stones (khachkars)․
Sanahin used to be the administrative centre and family burial place of the Kyurikyan Bagratids (10th and 11th centuries), as well as the Episcopal residence for the diocese (until the 11th century). The Sanahin monastery contains St Astvatsatsin (Holy Mother of God), St Amenaprkich (Redeemer) and St Grigor Churches, narthex, scriptorium, belfry and academy.
Haghpat and Sanahin Monasteries are placed on UNESCO's World Heritage List.
Odzun Church is an Armenian basilica constructed around the 5th-7th century in the Odzun village of the Lori Province of Armenia. From the northern and southern sides of the temple there are arched galleries – a rare feature of Armenian temples architecture. There are a number of khachkars around the temple. On one side of the Debed River you will visit the picturesque village of Dsegh - the birthplace of the famous Armenian poet Hovhannes Tumanyan. Tumanyan wrote poems, quatrains, ballads, novels, fables, critical and journalistic articles. During the tour you will visit the House-Museum museum of Hovhannes Tumanyan.
p.s.The mentioned price is for up to 3 people. In case of biger groups please send a request.
For a confirmed booking, a deposit of (10%) is required. Deposit is paid by credit card (secure payment via Stripe, no credit card fees). The remaining balance can be paid in cash upon start of the trip - unless Host & Traveler agree on different payment methods.
Cancellations can be made free of charge up to 30 days prior to the beginning of the booked service. The deposit (10%) is only refundable if the booking is canceled at least 30 days in advance.