8 DAYS 2020 / 2021
01, 15, 29 August 2020/12, 26 September 2020/10, 24 October 2020/07, 21 November 2020 /27 March 2021/10, 24 April 2021/08, 22 May 2021/05, 19 June 2021/03, 17, 31 July 2021/ 14, 28 August 2021/11, 25 September 2021/09, 23 October 2021/06, 20 November 2021
The philosophy of this trip is living unforgettable moments and encounters, the discovery of Armenia, its history, its culture, its spiritual centers, its inhabitants and the landscapes. Armenia has a rich history, a rich language and a millennial culture. During your stay you will experience the legendary hospitality of the Armenians and take part in their daily life. The accent will be on the local gastronomy: you will taste different national and regional specialties accompanied by the famous Areni wine. Combining spirituality and architecture, alternating tradition and modernity, this is a complete journey for discovering the history and the culture of this country.
Transfer and accommodation in hotel. Relax.
In Etchmiadzin we will visit the Etchmiadzin Cathedral (4th century) where there is also the residence of the Catholicos of all Armenians, the churches of Saint Hripsime and Saint Gayane (7th century), the ruins of Zvartnots Cathedral (7th century). We will also attend Sunday mass in the Etchmiadzin cathedral which is enchanting with its Gregorian style spiritual songs. Lunch will be in a house where travelers will attend the preparation of different Armenian dishes with local home products. After lunch visit to the Historical Museum of Armenia which includes the treasures of more than 3000 years of history. The day ends with a walk in the Vernissage, the arts and crafts market. Overnight at the hotel in Yerevan.
After breakfast, departure towards the Kotayk region to discover one of the wonders of the Hellenistic era, the fortress and the temple of Garni which is situated on the top of a well-protected triangular promontory, erected in 77 AD. After the visit of Garni temple we will start a 40-minute walk in the Garni gorge which is a place particularly known for its formations of basalt columns called the “Symphony of the stones”. After the walk we will visit the 13th century Ghegardavank the only rock-carved monastery in Armenia. The name derives from the relic, for a long time preserved in the place and now at the Etchmiadzin museum, of a fragment of the spear with which the side of Christ was pierced on the cross. Lunch by the inhabitants of the village of Garni where you will also participate in the ritual of preparing lavash, the most popular bread in Armenia. Overnight at the hotel in Yerevan.
After breakfast we will begin the discovery of the medieval wonders of Armenia. We will visit the 13th century monasteries Hovhannavank and Sagmossavank on the Khassakh canyon and the 7th-13th century Amberd fortress. We will also visit the Park of the Letters of the Armenian alphabet. It is a group of tuff monuments depicting the letters of the Armenian alphabet. Lunch on the way. Overnight at the hotel in Yerevan.
N.B: For the reason of the presence of snow until April 30, with great probability the fortress of Amberd will not be visited but there will certainly be a visit to another monument of the same historical and landscape importance …
After breakfast, departure towards the South. The first stop is at the monastery of Khor Virap, a place particularly dear to Armenians, due to the Christianization of Armenia. From the top of its walls we can enjoy one of the most beautiful views of Ararat, the mountain where Noah’s Ark stopped after the Great Flood. We will continue towards the monastic complex of Noravank (13th -14th century). We will visit the Birds Cave where the oldest shoe and the oldest cellar in the world (6000 years BC) were found. Lunch near Noravank monastery. We will cross Selim pass (2440 m) and we will visit the caravanserai of Selim, that of the Silk Road mentioned by the Italian traveler Marco Polo in his memories. The day ends with the discovery of the Noraduz medieval cemetery full of khatchkars disseminated all over the shore of Lake Sevan. Dinner and overnight in a hotel in Tsaghkadzor or Dilijan.
We will visit Ketcharis monastery (13th century) in the ski resort town Tsakhadzor. We will continue towards the ski resort and go up the the Teghenis mountain with a chair lift from where a beautiful panorama opens up over the whole region. Afterwards we will begin the discovery of the wonders of Lake Sevan “a piece of sky fallen on the mountains” (1900 m above sea level), one of the highest freshwater lakes in the world. We will visit the peninsula from which opens a splendid view of the lake. We will continue our journey towards to Diligian and will visit the Sharabeyan street, the street of the craftsmen. We will visit Haghartsin monastery (10th – 13th centuries). It is hidden in an enchanting valley cloaked in forests. Lunch in on Lake Sevan with the tasting of a local fish. Before returning to Yerevan, a boat trip on the shimmering waters of Lake Sevan. Overnight in Yerevan.
After breakfast we will meet the guide and will start the discovery of the Yerevan city. We will visit the main places and monuments of the city: Republic Square, Opera Square, Northern Avenue, The Cascade Monument, Yerevan State University, Victory Park with the statue of “Mother Armenia”, the Cathedral of Saint Gregoire the Illuminator, the Tsitsernakaberd Memorial and others. After lunch, visit to the Matenadaran Museum, where one of the largest collections of manuscripts in the world is kept. After visiting the Matenadaran, free time to make personal purchases. Dinner in a traditional Armenian restaurant with an evening accompanied by songs and dances. Overnight at the hotel in Yerevan.
After breakfast, transfer to the airport with the guide or his/her assistant. Check-in and departure.