Every travel agency offers a cultural tour to Armenia. There are dozens of tour offers all over the internet, but what makes this one special?
You are traveling to another country and you have only 9 days, but you want to see everything or at least as much as you can. Well…this is not impossible. But do you really need that? Think for a moment… You are in a new place and you want to take a moment and enjoy what you see, but you don’t have enough time, as you have a lot more in your program. And at the end will you take with you as many feelings and memories as the places you’ve visited?
Our program is saturated and you’ll manage to see a lot of new places, but without a rush. We will show you the most outstanding places of Armenia and give you the opportunity to take your time and enjoy the moment.
Day 1: Welcome to Yerevan
Greeting the group at the airport. The program of the day depends on arrival time.
Transfer to the hotel and after excursion in Yerevan.
Welcome dinner with traditional Armenian food.
Day 2: From Paganism to Christianity
The first thing to do on this day is to stop near Charents’ Arch and admire the infinite grace of Mount Ararat. Afterwards, we will travel to the pagan period of Armenia and see the only pagan building which survived Christianity: the Temple of Garni. From here, we will return to the Christian era and visit the famous Geghard monastery, which is carved into the mountain.
While you are in Armenia and have the chance, it is essential to visit the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin, which is the spiritual centre of Armenia and the seat of the Armenian Catholicos. Thus, we will visit this place. Next, we will drive to Zvartnots Cathedral, which was one of the tallest buildings in its period.
In the evening you will have free time to walk in Yerevan and relish the night life of the city.
Day 3: Time For New Experiences
In the morning we will drive to Khor Virap monastery, which is the place from where the Christian era originates. Khor Virap means “deep pit”. It’s the place where Gregory the Illuminator was imprisoned for 13 years. Do you want to go down to that pit and feel what Gregory once felt? On this day you’ll have that opportunity. After experiencing the “pit” you could use some wine. So we will head to Areni, which is the well known wine region of Armenia. Once you feel better, we will continue to Noravank monastery, which is surrounded by enormous bloody-red rocks. You would think that the rocks seem so red because of the wine in your veins, but the truth is that it’s the rocks’ natural colour.
Next is lunch in the cave, which you need to experience while in Armenia. From here we will continue to the wonderful Shaki waterfall and then visit the monument Zorats Karer, which people call the Armenian Stonehenge. Maybe you will feel some supernatural energy while walking between those huge mysterious stones. This is because our ancestors believed that the area was a place of power.
After a long day you’ll reach the hotel in Goris city and prepare for a good night’s rest to regain your strength.
Day 4: The Old and the New
In the morning after breakfast we will drive to an old village called Khndzoresk with its cave houses and a long swinging bridge which connects the two main sides of the old village. From a swinging bridge we will move to a cable car Tatever and reach the famous monastery Tatev, which you can see everywhere on the internet, while searching Armenia and would be a shame not to visit.
After examining the monastery we will continue to the times without cars, when people were traveling on camels. And of course camels are not cars and they needed rest, so prince Chesar Orbelian built the Orbelian Caravanserai to accommodate weary travelers and their animals, who were passing through Vardentas Pass. Afterwards, we will visit the biggest and oldest cemetery of Armenia – Noratus. It has over 800 khachkars (cross-stone) and gravestones, carved between 9th-17th centuries. It deserves a “wow”, right?
The day ends at the hotel on the shore of lake Sevan.
Day 5: Fairy Armenia
In the morning we will drive to the Sevan Peninsula, which used to be an island. The Sevanavank monastery was built in that island. The position of the monastery made it almost impregnable and it survived the attacks of many invaders. From here we will continue to Dilijan – a city surrounded by dense forests of Dilijan National Park. Not only are there breathtaking views, but also the city is rich with history and culture.
Then, there will be a visit to an Armenian Traditional Art and Craft Center in the Tufenkian Centre. After leaving Dilijan we will visit Haghartsin monastery (13th century). Haghartsin is Armenian for “Dance of the Eagles”. The monastery is located in a picturesque area, surrounded by forests. Before returning to Dilijan we will visit the monastery Goshavank, deep in the woods.
The night will be spent in a cozy and atmospheric guesthouse.
Day 6: UNESCO Worl Heritage Sites & Breathtaking Nature of Lori
After homemade breakfast we’ll drive to Byzantine monasteries Sanahin and Haghpat, which used to be important educational centres. These two monasteries represent the highest blossoming of Armenian religious architecture between the 10th and 13th centuries. Haghpat and Sanahin monasteries are included in the World Heritage List of UNESCO. The last monastery visit of the day will be Odzun and then we will continue to Lori fortress, which used to be a big cultural and trading centre.
Walking by the ruins of the fortress try to imagine the erstwhile bustling lanes and the lively atmosphere… almost 10,000 people once lived in that territory. We will proceed to move on to a quiet and peaceful place called Dendropark. After spending the most part of the day sitting in a bus a little walk wouldn’t hurt. This botanical garden is like a heaven on earth. There are more than 2500 species of plants and 500 species of trees in Dendropark. After a relishable walk in a park we’ll drive to Vanadzor city for the overnight stay.
Day 7: Familiarity With One of the Oldest Cities in the World
In the morning we will drive to one the most atmospheric cities of Armenia – Gyumri. It is the second largest city of Armenia as well. The tour in this amazing city you will cherish forever. Gyumri is one of the oldest cities in the world, but because of the devastating earthquake in 1988 80 percent of the city was destroyed and until now one can clearly see the consequences of that horrible event. But enough about the past; now Gyumri is thriving year by year and spending time in that historical city can fill you with a real satisfaction.
We will then be driving to Marmashen monastery after the city tour. Marmashen is a 10th century monastery and is an outstanding example of medieval Armenian architectonics. It has a similar architecture with Ani Cathedral in Western Armenia (modern day Turkey). After exploring the monastery we will drive back to Gyumri. An evening walk in the city is encouraged.
Day 8: From Gyumri to Lake Kari
After breakfast we will drive to the monastery Ohanavank (Hovhannavank). It used to be a very important educational and spiritual centre of Armenia. But besides its historical importance it has one more advantage – the position of the monastery. It is located on the top of a gorge from where you can enjoy the breathtaking view of Kasagh gorge, take amazing photos and make people jealous :)
5 kilometers away from Ohanavank another significant monastery is located called Saghmosavank, which is the next stop for today. We will then continue to Amberd fortress (7th century) located on the slopes of the highest mountain of Armenia – Aragats. Amberd is one of the best preserved fortresses of Armenia, and is worth visiting. And finally you will find yourself on the highest point of your whole journey. You’ll be standing near lake Kari, which is 3200 meters high above sea level.
Finally, we will return to Yerevan.
Day 9: Goodbye Armenia
Before leaving we will have time to have a walk in Yerevan. There is a market known as “Vernisazh” very close to Republic Square. Here you can get souvenirs and many other things unique to Armenia.
At the end we will exchange contacts and transfer you to the airport.
The price includes:
- the service of the guide-translators
- transfer from the airport and back
- transportation within Armenia
- food service during the whole tour
- tickets for “History Museum”
- tickets for “Matenadaran”
- tickets for “Garni”
- tickets for “Wings of Tatev”
- excursion & degustation in “Areni Wine Factory”
- Armenian Traditional Art and Craft Center
- presentation of Armenian wedding traditions
- museums in Gyumri
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.