ARMENIA FLY AND DRIVE
JUNE - SEPTEMBER
Armenia is a land rich with cultural heritage and traditions. While some traditions date back thousands of years, like its people, they have evolved to befit the modern age and are still celebrated today. The culture of Armenia encompasses many elements that are based on the geography, language, faith, literature, architecture, dance, and music of the people.
Transfer and accommodation in hotel. Relax.
Free time to learn more about the city of Yerevan. Overnight at the hotel.
Option: We could organize a walking tour for participants of the trip around Yerevan city centre, visiting the important sites and monuments of the city with the professional cultural guide.
After breakfast leaving for the north of the country. The first stop will be at the 11th century Amberd fortress (2300 m high) on the foot of Mount Aragats, which is the highest point in Armenia (4090 m). The fortress is distinguished with its tower, the baths, the walls and the main church. Then we wend our way to the city of Vanadzor, which is the 3th largest city in Armenia. Going to the Dendropark, a miraculous corner. The Dendropark occupies an area of 35 hectares, 15 hectares of which are planted with decorative trees. After visiting the Dendropark we will go on to the high mountains of the gorge of Debed, the village of Hovhannes Tumanian, the “Father of Armenian poets”. Overnight at the hotel.
After breakfast visiting the monastery complexes of Haghbat and Sanahin (10th-13th centuries), listed in a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Departing to Dilijan, we pass through the villages of the Molokans. Blond and blue eyed, the Molokans, Russian old-believers who have been brought to the foot of Ararat after the historical and religious events. There are less than 5,000 of them, mostly residents of the north of the country, particularly Dilijan and the villages of Lermonotovo and Fioletovo. We will visit the city of Dilijan, the green heart of Armenia. Visiting the Sharambeyan craft district where the works of the city’s various artists are demonstrated is of particular interest. Then we wend our way to Lake Sevan through the Dilijan National Park. Arrival at Lake Sevan. Overnight at the hotel.
After breakfast the different cultural, historical and architectural wonders that testify the different stages of Armenian secular history expect us. The first visit will be at Lake Sevan, “Pearl of Armenia”, the most important water resource in the country located at 1900 m high above the sea level. Visiting the Sevan peninsula with the two medieval churches (874). Driving to the village of Noraduz which is famous for the cemetery which contains the largest collection of the khatchkar – cross-stones of Armenia. It enters the Vayots Dzor gorge, crossing the Selim pass at 2410 m high above the sea level. The Selim pass keeps the remains of Selim caravanserai (1332), the best preserved in Armenia, one of the main caravanserais of the Silk Road. Going on to the South, towards antiquity, visiting the ruins of an ancient observatory, dating the 3-2 millennium BC, well before of the Stonehenge in Britain. Overnight at the hotel in Goris.
Option: It is possible to take a boat cruise on Lake Sevan (depending on the weather).
In the morning leaving for Khdzoresk to discover the traditional cave houses. Walk along the Khdzoresk bridge from which a beautiful view of the troglodyte dwellings opens up. Then we set off towards the Tatev monastery on the rope-way, which is the longest in the world. Aged more than a millennium, Tatev monastery was the spiritual centre of Siuni’s kingdom and therefore an important place of pilgrimage. The monastery can also be got at by car. After a two-hour drive you arrive in region of the famous wine makers. Vayots Dzor is famous for its beautiful landscapes. Visiting the wine cellar in Areni village and tasting wine. Visiting the Noravank monastery which rises in a circle of the rugged and rocky cliffs. In the end, the monastery of Khor Virap on the foot of the biblical Mount Ararat waits for us. The magical view opens there: powerful scenery dominated by Mount Ararat covered with snow. Return to Yerevan. Overnight at the hotel.
In the morning leaving for the valley of Azat, to the village of Garni where the “Temple of the Sun” of Garni is (1st century BC) – the jewel of the pre-Christian Armenian architecture, the only monument in Armenia that belongs to the Hellenistic culture. Leaving the temple of Garni, for the universe of sipirituality of the Geghard monastery. The monastery, named after the spear that pierced Christ’s body, is located in a very spectacular deep canyon. Half built and half excavated in the rock, it dates the 4th century. Return to Yerevan. Overnight at the hotel.
Visiting the city of Echmiadzin, an ancient Armenian capital, a holy city where the heart of Armenian Christianity has been beating since the 4th century. Discovery of the city is starting with visiting the church of Saint Hripsime (dating 618) which is considered as one of the masterpieces of Armenian architecture. Visiting the Echmiadzin cathedral which is theoretically the oldest Christian construction of Armenia. The cathedral contains the Seat of the Supreme Patriarch of the Armenian Church. Visiting the ruins of the Zvartnots cathedral, the most original among the Armenian religious buildings. Overnight at the hotel.
Option: Possibility of attending Sunday Mass.
Option: A walk to Vernissage, a picturesque market of Armenian crafts.
Transfer to the airport. Delivery of the car. Check-in for the flight and departure.