Best of Armenia
- Price from:
- 975 EUR /person
- 00 37410 53 96 09
- 00 37410 53 80 17
- Payment Types:
- Credit Card
- Travellers cheque
- Wire Transfer
- 10 days
- Location Start:
- Location Finish:
- Start time:
- 10.00 am
- End time:
- 06.30 pm
- We Speak:
- Russian, Italian, French, English
Last updated: 05/10/2007
Unique cultural tour to Armenia, biblical Mount Ararat, historical sites, ancient churches, mountain lakes, local food and wine. All this in a classic journey exploring the Best of Armenia
In the morning meet your group participants and tour leader, trip briefing before heading to an introductory cultural tour of Yerevan, new and old. We start our exploration with the Republic Square with it magnificent buildings enhanced by the singing fountains, continue to Erebouni Fortress, the birthplace of Yerevan. Explore the impressive ruins and drive to the Railway Station to see the beautiful monument of David of Sasun, national hero. On to Mashtots Avenue, past Blue Mosque and huge fruit market to reach Matenadaran, the repository of ancient manuscripts. Afternoon we head for Garni where the impressive and amazingly well preserved Temple of Sun stands proudly. Marvel at the monumental colonnade and elegancy of Hellenic architecture set against a perfect mountain backdrop. Continue to the legendary Monastery of Spear cut in solid rock. Built to house one of the most cherished relics of Christianity, the Holy Spear, the monastery has a special atmosphere. Set back for Yerevan, en route stop at Charent arch to enjoy the view of Mount Ararat. Transfer to hotel, rest. Welcome dinner at ethnic restaurant, waiters dressed in national costumes, delectable dishes and lovely music are a fitting finale for this day full of impressions.
Breakfast and early start in the morning. Today we set off for the highest peak of Transcaucasia, Aragats (4,090m), an extinct volcano. Our bus takes us to picturesque Byurakan -Thousand Springs. On the way we stop at Armenian Alphabet monument with letters exquisitely carved from tufa red stone. Acclimatizing gradually as we ascend the beautiful countryside of Byurakan, we reach the Stone Lake, one of the gorgeous mountain lakes of Armenian highland whose waters glitter like polished mirror in the sunlight. We continue on foot to explore the important historical site of medieval Armenia - the eleventh-century Amberd Fortress and the picturesque gorge of Kasakh river. Continue to Oshakan, the burial site of St. Mashtots, the creator of Armenian Alphabet. Visit gorgeous Saghmosavank Monastery (Monastery of Psalms) perched on Kasagh Gorge rim with St. Sion church and adjoining gavit built in 1215. Back to Yerevan, optional visit to Brandy Factory.
Breakfast at hotel. Morning sees us setting off for a scenic ride to the north of Armenia, romantic Lori. Set high in the mountains, this charming site promises some of the most thrilling discoveries taking us back to the times of mighty kings. Lori is home to enigmatic Hagpat and Sanahin monasteries listed as UNESCO World heritage sites. Time free to explore these sites and undertake sidewalks to numerous architectural and historical highlights nearby. Late afternoon transfer to Dilijan, a picturesque town nestled in deep wooded gorge. Narrow streets, cozy houses with carved wooden terraces and tiny souvenir shops opening onto narrow alleyways make this an ideal place to relax. If time permits cultural tour to Art Museum with fine paintings of local artists. Overnight at a charming local guesthouse.
Breakfast at hotel and journey southward to forested Dilijan Nature Park, a protected area renowned for its serene lakes, picturesque hill trails and peaceful villages. This is a prime hiking area and we enjoy a full day on foot actively experiencing nature and feasting our eyes on abundant birdlife in the thick groves of chestnut and oak. There is an opportunity to explore the architectural jewels of Haghartsin and Goshavank, fairy-tale monasteries set amidst flower-filled meadows. Driving through the picturesque Honey Pass we come to the shores of Lake Sevan.
Lake Sevan, one of the highest freshwater lakes in the world - the tranquil majesty of its ever-changing waters, stunning mountains silhouetted against the blue sky, all this inspired its name The Pearl of Armenia. In the morning trip to romantic Sevanavank Monastery, light hike up Aghtamar Trail for fantastic photographic moments and panoramic views. Late afternoon start a heart-pumping southward trip through the rugged Selim Pass, en route visit to Stone Garden. Climbing steep paths and enjoying the views of Lake Sevan below, we reach the amazingly intact Selim Caravanserai, an important trading post on the Great Silk Road where little has changed since the fourteenth century. Situated high in the mountains this place will thrill you by its sheer arid magnificence. Arrival at Yeghegnadsor for rest and overnight at lovely local guesthouse.
Breakfast at guesthouse and transfer to the valley of Her-Her river for a half-day walking in this remote area accessed by just a handful of tourists. The day can be as strenuous or light as the group prefers : take a narrow village path to reach the small church of St. Catherine with romantic stories attached to its history, continue on foot to explore Zorats Cathedral situated in a gorge flanked by towering cliffs and the 13thc. Jewish cemetery, the oldest in Europe. There is time to visit the impressive Mosrov cave said to contain one of the largest collection of stalactites and stalagmites in Europe (optional). Proceed to small town of Sisian for overnight.
A day dedicated to exploration of Southern Armenia combining the magic of Europe's finest mediaeval architecture with stunning landscapes. We start the day with a visit to Tatev, an architectural masterpiece dating from the 10th century. Drive through a narrow ravine so deep that the sun hardly reaches the bottom, later ascend to a high-mountain plateau with striking views of jagged mountains and gorges. The journey takes 3 hours and is a totally absorbing and unique experience. Transfer to Goris crossing and off to Khndzoresk cave town. Walk down the gorge to explore the mysterious caverns cut in the face of the rocks by people seeking refuge from persecution in the natural protection of high cliffs. Drive back to Sisian, an abundant home-made dinner consisting of so many fresh and home made products - the undeniable luxury of freshness itself!
Breakfast at hotel and departure from Sisian. Untamed beauty of the Gorge of Bamboos, surreal red rocks providing an eerie echo, honey-coloured villages sandwiched between them. This day is designed for leisurely exploration of this distinctive highland believed to be peopled long before civilization. Visit to Noravank Monastery and Areni Wine Market, an ideal place to enjoy exceptional local wine, honey and fruits. The next stop of our trip is Khor Virap, the site of royal prison where St. Gregory the Illuminator was held for thirteen years before converting Armenia into the first Christian nation in 301. Guided by the remote majesty of biblical mount Ararat, we explore the site, its underground chambers, elegant chapels and are captivated by the ascetic atmosphere of the site. Back to Yerevan.
Breakfast at hotel. In the morning we head for the Vatican Town of Armenia, Echmiadzin. The architectural opulence of Mother Cathedral, antique artifacts and manuscripts of the Treasury, ruins of the fire temple beneath the altar, superb collection of unique carved cross-stones, these are just a few of the discoveries that await us. On to Zvartnots, Celestial Angels, a temple consecrated in the presence of Emperor Constantine of Byzantium, it stands out as one of the most prominent creations of architecture. Here, amid the vast sea of fallen columns we gaze in wonder at its imaginative and daring artistic design, fragments of mosaic ornaments and superb frescoes. Back to hotel, afternoon free. In the evening we offer you to enjoy the treasures of the cultural life of Yerevan. An exquisite performance at National Opera or a concert at Classical Music Chamber will offer you the best of what is available at the time of your stay (optional).
Free day on your own to explore Yerevan and visit Vernisage Flea Market, the huge arts & crafts market. In the morning departure to airport, end of trip.
- Inclusions -
- Welcome to Armenia information kit
- Exclusions -
- Optional activities
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Email the tour operator - Best of Armenia
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