ARMENIA AND NAGORNO KARABAGH
MAY - NOVEMBER
An amazing journey in the Armenian land: Armenia and Nagorno Karabagh that with the bad game of destiny they are considered as two countries, but the people are the same, the descendants of Hayk, the granddaughter of Noah. Unique traditions, magic nature, rich cultural heritage and local cuisine make two Armenian countries very attractive and mysterious. Within the short period of this tour we will have the opportunity of being acquainted with both rich cultural and historic heritage and Armenian people, their customs, traditions, legends and famous cuisine. And we are sure you will be back here for long period of travelling.
Transfer and accommodation in hotel. Relax.
To discover the capital of Armenia we will start with a visit to the Abovian street, which has preserved some parts of its 19th century architecture; it leads you directly to the Republic Square where the National Museum of History is located. Visiting the Republic Square, which creates a harmony between medieval and Soviet architecture. Afterwards visiting the National Museum of History. Visiting the Genocide Memorial and Museum in the afternoon. And before finish the day we will meet with a representative of traditional Armenian crafts in a place of cultural, art, history and handicraft meetings with a cup of coffee or tea. He will speak not only about their art, but also demonstrate some elements and techniques that were handed down from generation to generation (khatchkar sculpture, master of duduk, national flute, carpentry, carpet weave ring, goldsmith, silversmith, ceramist and others). Overnight at the hotel.
After breakfast visiting 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 back to 618, which is considered as one of the Armenian architecture masterpieces. Visiting the Echmiadzin cathedral which is theoretically the oldest Christian construction of Armenia. The seat of the supreme patriarch of the Armenian Church is at the cathedral. Visiting the ruins of Zvartnots cathedral, the most original among Armenian religious buildings. Overnight at the hotel.
Option 1: There is a possibility of attending Sunday Mass.
Option 2: Walking to the Vernissage, a picturesque market of Armenian crafts.
This day, spectacular monasteries are waiting for us. Visiting the monastery of Khor Virap, magical for the strength of landscape dominated by view of Ararat. After a two-hours drive you will arrive in famous wine making region, Vayots Dzor, famous for its beautiful landscapes. At the Areni village visiting the wine cellar and tasting wine. Noravank monastery is located in a circle of mountains with rugged and rocky cliffs. Going on to the South, to antiquity, visiting the remains of an ancient observatory, dating to the 3rd–2nd millennium AD, well before the Stonehenge in Britain. Going on to the city of Goris, one of the most beautiful cities of Armenia located in the heart of a cave landscape. Overnight at the hotel.
In the morning keep heading to Khndzoresk to discover the traditional troglodyte houses. Walking on the Khdzoresk bridge from which a beautiful view of the troglodyte dwellings opens up. After lunch going on to Nagorno Karabagh and visit the city of Shushi. It was the religious capital of the region. Discovery of the city of Shushi. The visit to the Ghazantchetsots Cathedral of Kharabagh and the Shushi Museum of Carpets. In the evening returning to Stepanakert, the capital of Nagorno Karabagh. Overnight at the hotel.
After breakfast, visiting the Ganzasar monastery. The construction had begun in the 13th century. Later the monastery became the cultural and spiritual center of the Karabagh province over the centuries. In the same day we also explore the fortress-town of Tigranakert, an archaeological site, founded by Tigran II in the 1st century BC. This great city was founded in 2006 and it is now in the focus of attention of historians and archaeologists working so far on the site. Overnight at the hotel.
After breakfast, the morning begins with a visit to the capital of Karabagh. Visiting the famous monument called “Mamik and Papik” which symbolizes binding of the Karabagh people with the mountain and the land of Armenia. Afterwards visiting the “Karabagh Carpet” carpet factory and the city’s Eastern Bazaar. Return to Goris. After lunch, visiting and discovering the city of Goris and the old Goris. Overnight at the hotel.
After breakfast leaving for the Tatev monastery with the longest rope-way in the world, which allows visitors to admire the stunning landscape of the Halidzor gorge. More than a millennium, Tatev monastery was the spiritual center of Siuni’s kingdom and therefore it is an important place of pilgrimage. After lunch, passing the Selim pass at 2410 m above the sea level, we will reach Lake Sevan. The Selim pass preserves the remains of the best preserved Selim caravanserai in Armenia, built in 1332. The village of Noraduz is visited for its cemetery which contains the largest concentration of the khatchkar-stone crosses in Armenia. Arrival at Lake Sevan. Visiting the Lake Sevan, “pearl of Armenia”, the most important water resource of the country which is located at 1900 m above the sea level. Visiting Sevan peninsula with its two medieval churches. Heading to Dilijan, the green heart of Armenia. Overnight at the hotel.
In the morning leaving for the valley of Azat, to the village of Garni where there is the “Temple of the Sun” of Garni /1st century AD/ a jewel of pre-Christian Armenian architecture, the only monument that belongs to the Hellenistic culture in Armenia. Leaving the temple of Garni we enter the universe of the sipirituality of the monastery of Geghard. The monastery is named after the spear that pierced Christ’s body, is located in a very spectacular deep canyon. Half built and half excavated in rock, it dates back to the 4th century. Returning to Yerevan, visiting the Matenadaran, museum of ancient manuscripts. After that we will have some free time for personal purchases. Farewell night in the restaurant accompanied by traditional Armenian dances and songs. Overnight at the hotel.
Transfer to the airport. Ending of services.