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By The Caucasus Tours

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Highlights of Armenia - (Private Tour)

  • 10 Oct
  • -
  • 17 Oct 2020
  • |
  • 8 days

$1650

per person

Availability: 8 places

    Uncover the highlights of Armenia

    Tour Highlights:

    * See the top attractions of Armenia - one of the oldest countries in the world, the contemporary of Babylon and Assyria, with a capital older than Rome, a country with rich cultural heritage and ancient history on the crossroads of East and West

    * See the oldest official Christian church in the world - Echmiadzin Mother Cathedral as Armenia is the first country in the world to embrace Christianity as a state religion in 301 A.D.

    * Visit some of world’s oldest and most beautiful remote Christian monasteries and churches tucked away in remote forested mountain settings, abandoned cave villages frozen in time.

    * Ride the world's longest cable-car “Wings of Tatev” built by the Swiss (5.7km) to see the 9th century Tatev Castle-Monastery * See the real Silk Road and one of the most notable medieval caravanserais in the world

    * Experience the uncommon Armenian hospitality at its best meeting the friendly locals; sample delicious and authentic Armenian cuisine

    * Visit the oldest winery in the world which is 6100 years old excavated in Areni-1 Cave Complex and taste some of the most refined wines in the world in Areni village, the oldest wine making site in the world

    * Marvel at the beauty of biblical Mount Ararat (5165 m), always snow-capped, where Noah's ark landed after the Great Flood

    * Explore Yerevan, a magical European capital with thriving nightlife under the gaze of Mount Ararat. There are hundreds of local cafes, wine-houses and restaurants spread all over the sidewalks that will give you a chance to taste the local cuisine, beer, wine and famous Armenian cognac, known as the best in the world

    Price of the tour is based on private tour at 4 star  hotels from 2 persons 
    Included

    • Accommodation at 4* hotels in DBL/Twin rooms (7 nights)

    • Transportation with a comfortable cars with AC

    • English speaking guide

    • Breakfast at the hotel

    • Entrance fees to all visited places

    • Armenian bread Lavash making in a local house in Garni village

    • Wine tasting in Areni village

    • 6 Lunches during the tours

    • 2 dinners at the hotel in Goris and Sevan

    • Airport transfers

    • Local taxes



    Not Included

    • Dinners in Yerevan

    • Flights

    • Travel insurance

    • Visa to Armenia (if required)

    • Single room supplement

    • Bank transfer fees

    Day 1

    Arrival to Yerevan

    Arrival. Transfer to your. hotel in Yerevan. Hotel check in. Rest. Overnight in Yerevan

    Yerevann

    Day 2

    Yerevan city tour

    Today you explore the secrets and hidden gems of Yerevan, the pink “pearl” of Armenia, a beautiful European city mostly built with different shades of local pink stone called "tuf" quarried in Armenia. Founded in 782 B.C. Yerevan is reputedly one of the oldest cities in the world to have been continuously inhabited. We start the exploration with the "Victory Park" and "Mother Armenia" monument offering a "bird's-eye" view of the city with the fantastic view of the majestic snow-capped Mount Ararat (5165m) dominating the skyline. Continue to the colossal monument of Cascade and Cafesjian Center for the Arts which includes a world-class sculpture garden and indoor modern art museum with works from Botero, Chihuly, Arshile Gortky, Jennifer Bartlett, Lynn Chadwick, Barry Flanegan and Jaume Plensa and many others. Exploring the Republic Square, Abovyan Street, one of the oldest streets in Yerevan which used to be a part of the Great Silk Road, we walk down the Northern Avenue and arrive at the Freedom Square, the home of the Opera and Ballet Theatre (architect A. Tamanian). The design and layout of the building was awarded with Grand Prix in 1936 World Exhibition in Paris. A cultural showcase not to be missed is Matenadaran, one of the world’s largest and oldest repositories of Armenian, Greek, Persian manuscripts. Marvel at the illuminated pages of some of those manuscripts within their glass cases. Tour of "Goom" bazaar of Yerevan, a real museum of food with pyramids of fresh and dried fruits stuffed with different kinds of nuts, honey, cinnamon and other spices, colorful strings of "sweet sujukh", orange beads of dried peaches(“alani”) stuffed with walnuts, piles of "lavash" traditional Armenian bread, many kinds of cheeses some of them aged in clay pots, pickles, beans and other organic products offered by local farmers. *Lunch in a traditional Armenian restaurant where you sample a big variety of appetizers, salads and meat dishes prepared by old recipes.

    Overnight in Yerevan

    Tour duration: 7 hours

    Meal plan (B-/L-)

    Smoking women

    Day 3

    Mount Ararat & Khor Virap Monastery – Areni 1 cave – Noravank Monastery - Winery Tour – Karahunj - Goris

    Today is a long but fascinating day! It is dedicated to exploration of Southern Armenia combining the magic of Armenia's finest medieval architecture with stunning landscapes. Our first stop is at Khor Virap Monastery, one of the most popular destinations in Armenia for a number of reasons, primarily because it is where St. Gregory the Illuminator was imprisoned for 13 years before curing King Trdat III of a disease. This caused the conversion of the king and Armenia into the first officially Christian nation in the world in the year 301. Its location, near the closest point to biblical Mount Ararat within Armenian borders, offers a spectacular view of the mountain, the national symbol of Armenia. We continue to the south driving through the agricultural heartland of Armenia, Ararat Plain offering fantastic scenery of fruit orchards, endless vineyards at the foothills of Ararat Mountain. As soon as we pass the Ararat Valley we can experience the untamed beauty of Southern Armenia - surreal red rocks providing an eerie echo, honey-colored villages sandwiched between them. Our next stop is the Monastery of Noravank, an architectural gemstone nestled among brick-red cliffs, just above a deep gorge. It’s only here where you can see a bas-relief with the representation of Father God with almond-shaped eyes which look far ahead. Lunch in a local restaurant with stunning views, where you will taste the cuisine of Vayots Dzor region - local cheese and yogurt, salads prepared with organic and fresh herbs and vegetables growing in Armenia, and chicken barbecue from “tonir” oven is our main dish today followed by a local pastry “gata” as a dessert with tea/coffee. Visit Areni, the village of winemakers. We will tour of the world-class archaeological site, the cave complex Areni-1 to see the oldest winery in the world (6100 years old)! We drive to the best local winery to taste their blow-your-socks off Areni (a deep, full-bodied red) wines made according to traditional wine making techniques used in Armenia thousands of years ago, including the fermentation in terracotta vessels, called karas in Armenian. Afterwards we journey for approx. 3 hours to the small town of Goris where we stay the night. On our way we visit Karahunj known as the “Armenian Stonehenge”, the oldest observatory in the world which is 7500 years old. There are 223 vertically standing stones 84 of which have holes. The ancients were gazing the stars using them as telescopes.

    Overnight in Goris

    Tour duration: 10/11 hours

    Distance: 280 KM

    Meal plan (B-/L-/D-)

    Noravank

    Day 4

    Goris – Tatev – Silk Road & Orbelian Caravanserai – Noratus – Lake Sevan

    Explore Goris town, one of the most beautiful towns in Armenia. It’s a town in orchards where the houses have the same unique architecture with red tile roof. See old Old Goris cave town from the viewpoint. Riding the world’s longest aerial tramway (5.7 km) you’ll reach the miraculous Tatev Monastery, a formidable monastic complex founded in the 9th century. It’s the biggest monastery in Armenia located on a rocky peninsula more than 100 meters above the Vorotan River. Lunch with stunning views of the Vorotan Canyon. Driving through Vardenyats Mountain Pass famous for its fascinating colorful mountains we reach the Orbelian Caravanserai on the Great Silk Road at the highest point of the pass (2410 m). Here little has changed since the fourteenth century. The Caravanserai offered hospitality to travelers along the highway crossing the Selim mountains. Visit the Stone Garden - Noratus, the largest field of Armenian exquisite cross-stones in the world. Proceed to Lake Sevan National Park. We drive to the Lake Sevan, the world’s second largest highest lake at 1900 m above sea level and the most beautiful lake of Armenia taking up 4% of the territory of Armenia.

    Overnight in Sevan.

    Meal plan (B-/L-/D-)

    Distance: 295 KM

    Duration: 10 /11 hours

    Tatev

    Day 5

    Lake Sevan – Old Dilijan town – Haghartsin – Tsaghkadzor – Yerevan

    Breakfast in our hotel. Marvel at stunning turquoise waters of the Lake Sevan and dramatic mountain scenery after climbing up the peninsula hill where we visit the 9th century Sevanavank Monastery (optional, over 240 steps to get there). Drive to Dilijan spa town in Dilijan National Park, a protected area renowned for its serene lakes, picturesque hill trails and peaceful villages. Words alone can’t describe the natural beauty of Dilijan. Many poets used to say, "If there are woods, mountains, streams and mineral waters in paradise, it must be like Dilijan”. Due to its forested mountains and mild climate, Dilijan is named "Armenia's Little Switzerland". Take a stroll in Old Dilijan Complex on historic Sharambeyan street. Lunch in an authentic restaurant where we sample Armenian dishes prepared by 450 year-old recipes. Then we continue our journey to Haghartsin, a fairy-tale medieval monastery nestled in the middle of the forest. On the way to Yerevan we’ll visit the town of Tsaghkadzor, the biggest ski resort of Armenia with forests. In the summertime, people go there to get away from the city life of Yerevan, and the heat, for the fresh air in the mountains. In the winter, the town is completely overtaken by skiers and people who just want to relax and enjoy the snow and scenery. The modern rope-way will take you to the top of Teghenis Mountain, where the greens of land and the blue of the sky get in fusion. Back to Yerevan.

    Overnight in Yerevan

    Meal plan (B-/L-)

    Distance: 205 KM

    Duration: 8 hours

    Haghartsin monastery

    Day 6

    Yerevan – Echmiadzin – Zvartnots – Vernissage Market – Yerevan

    Today we embark on our journey to the lands of ancient treasures of Christian history…Vatican City of Armenia, Holy Echmiadzin with its world’s earliest Christian churches included in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Visit Echmiadzin Mother Cathedral originally built by Saint Gregory the Illuminator in 301-303A.D., when Armenia became the first officially Christian state in the world. Continue to St. Hripsime Church built in 7th century, a masterpiece of early medieval Armenian architecture. Also visit the Ruins of Zvartnots Cathedral, a majestic cathedral dedicated to St. Gregory. The remnants of Zvartnots, even in ruins, are a majestic sight... Authentic lunch during the tour. Back to Yerevan to visit the Armenian Genocide Memorial and Museum. Visit Vernissage market, the largest outdoor arts & crafts bazaar in the Caucasus.

    Overnight in Yerevan

    Meal plan (B-/L-)

    Distance: 100 KM

    Duration: 5 hours

    Zvartnots

    Day 7

    Yerevan – Garni - Geghard – Azat Canyon “Symphony of Stones” - Yerevan

    We drive to Garni Fortress, the royal summer residence of the Armenian kings and visit Garni Temple of the Sun, the only standing Hellenistic temple in the Caucasus and the former USSR. It resembles Parthenon in Greece but its dimensions are smaller as it was built only for the Armenian royal family to worship the Sun God. We continue to Geghard Monastery (UNESCO), the most beautiful rock-cut medieval monastery in the world with its fascinating natural setting and decorative art carved inside the solid rock. It is the only place in Armenia where you can see a large number of the Armenian exquisite lace-type cross-stones carved on the rocks. Lunch in a local house in Garni village where you sample local dishes. Master class of traditional Armenian bread “lavash” being baked in tonir (underground oven). The preparation, meaning and appearance of traditional bread as an expression of culture in Armenia has been inscribed on UNESCO’s Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage on Humanity. After a hearty lunch we will explore the most surreal site in Armenia, the stunning Garni Gorge where you can marvel at basalt rock formations - columns looking like honeycombs or pencils. The site stretches for a kilometer along the river...

    Meal plan (B-/L-)

    Tour duration: 6/7 hours

    Driving distance: 90 KM

    Overnight in Yerevan

    Garni

    Day 8

    Departure

    Transfer to Zvartnots International Airport. Departure.