8 days / 7 nights
*Dates are flexible
Yerevan- Garni Temple – Geghard Monastery – Echmiadzin – Zvartnots Temple – Khor Virap – Areni village – Lake Sevan – Noratus – Dilijan – Lake Kari – Amberd Fortress – Alphabet Alley – Saghmosavan – Ashtarak – Yerevan
Meet and greet at the airport. Transfer to the hotel. Check in formalities at the hotel. Overnight at a hotel in Yerevan. (-/-/-)
Day 2/Sightseeing Tour (GUM)
We visit GUM food market where the vendors are quite passionate about their product and will try their best to get your attention with a never-ending stream of free samples. Our next stop is The Mother Armenia Complex. This is the only place in Yerevan where you can enjoy the picture-postcard view of the whole city. We will enjoy ourselves strolling around Cascade Monument - a peculiar “huge staircase” decoration of the city in the form of unique architectural composition. During lunch we will taste some tasty Armenian traditional dishes. Moving on we go to Yerevan 2800th anniversary park decorated with 2800 fountains. Strolling along traditional Armenian carpet shaped ground of the park we find ourselves in Republic Square. Now we head to the wonderfully paved Northern Avenue which houses high-end brand shops, coffee shops, restaurants, hotels and a shopping gallery. To sum up we visit Megerian Carpet Factory offering hundreds of antique and new handmade carpets. Here will have a master-class of making Armenian traditional dish “Ararat” taking part in the process of dish cooking. Overnight in Yerevan.
Day 3/Yerevan – Garni Temple (lavash and gata baking) – Geghard Monastery (dry fruits) – Yerevan
We will visit the only survival of the Hellenic epoch in the whole territory of the Caucasus - Garni Temple. This pagan temple was built in the 1st century as a worship place devoted to the local god of sun Mihr. We will watch and take prat in the process of “lavash” baking in the traditional underground oven “tonir”. Our next stop is a mediaeval monastery Geghard (UNESCO). The monastery is of unique importance and style as it is partially carved out of the adjacent mountain, surrounded by cliffs. Here the visitors are given an unrepeated opportunity to enjoy the scenic view of Armenian nature. Driving back to Garni. Now it is time to enjoy the ultimate mix of great food, sun, culture and beautiful language. The region boasts a variety of dry fruits and sweets. We savor local gata (traditional Armenian pastry or sweet bread with a filling) and sweet sujuk (Armenian snickers). During lunch we taste traditional Armenian barbeque at a local house-garden. Driving back to hotel to have some rest. For dinner we will have traditional Armenian dishes and enjoy folk show. Overnight in Yerevan.
Day 4/Yerevan (Vernissage) – Echmiadzin (trout fish) – Zvartnots Temple (apricot garden) - Yerevan
After breakfast at the hotel visit Vernissage open air art and craft market, where we can buy a souvenir as a sweet memory from Armenia. We continue our tour to Etchmiadzin, the holy city of Armenia. Here we visit the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin with its main 4th century Cathedral (UNESCO). Also, we will pay a visit to Etchmiadzin Mother Cathedral which is the oldest cathedral in Armenia and one of the oldest cathedrals all around the world. Afterwards, we visit Machanents Tun to take our daily dose of Armenian delicacies. Here we learn how to make Armenian trout fish under the sun. Marinade fish, potatoes, nuts and other ingredients are put together on a sun panel so that we can enjoy our sun-cooked delicacy. Drive back to Yerevan with a stop at the ruins of Zvartnots Temple (UNESCO) or Church of the Guardian Angel (7th century). Although survived only in ruins, the church boasts a wealth of cultural and historical attractions to inspire the visitors. The visitors also have the opportunity to taste sun kissed apricots from local fruit garden. Overnight in Yerevan.
Day 5/Yerevan – Khor Virap - Areni village (alani masterclass) - Yerevan
We start tour to the Southern part of Armenia, which boasts unique cultural charms, world-class gastronomy and some of the most outstanding natural beauty in the Caucasus. Drive to Ararat valley which offers the closest and the best view to Biblical Mount Ararat. We pay a visit to the Monastery of Khor Virap. Here we can descend the deep dungeon where the first Armenian Catholicos Gregory the Illuminator was jailed for 13 years for disseminating Christianity in Armenia. Drive to Areni, where we enjoy our traditional Armenian lunch at local’s house and taste local wine made of indigenous grapes (optional*). Also, we take part in a traditional Armenian sweet - alani making masterclass. Afterwards we visit Noravank Monastery (13th c). The narrow road leading to the monastery is surrounded by beautiful red rocks on both sides. Our next stop is Areni Birds’ Cave - one of the rarest and best-preserved late Copper Age monuments in South Caucasus, which comes to prove that wine production in Armenia has at least 6000-year history. Driving back to Yerevan. Traditional Armenian dinner in a local restaurant. Driving back to Yerevan. Overnight in Yerevan.
Day 6/ Yerevan – Lake Sevan – Noratus (cheese factory) – Dilijan (Haghartsin Monastery, tea tasting) – Yerevan
Driving to Lake Sevan where we will have a lake cruise on the boat. We will visit the khachkar cemetery Noratus. Noratus is famous for its cemetery of cross-stones (khachkar), the largest one in the territory of Armenia. Many khachkars in the cemetery of Noratus date back to the 13-17th centuries, however. the oldest one was curved in the 10th century. In Noratus village we can visit local cheese factory and taste some local types of cheese. During the lunch at the lake we will have an opportunity to taste the fish from the lake cooked according to the special local recipe. Drive to Dilijan - the gorgeous forested region rich in mineral waters. Our next stop is Haghartsin Monastery Complex founded in the 10th -13th centuries. It is the canyon's jewel, buried in the verdure of mountain woods. Dinner and Armenian tea tasting which are made of local healing herbs. Driving back to Yerevan. Overnight in Yerevan.
Day 7/Yerevan – Lake Kari (khash) – Amberd Fortress – Alphabet Alley – Saghmosavan – Ashtarak (chocolate factory) – Yerevan
We drive to the Aragats mountain and if the weather allows, climb Lake Kari. We will taste Armenian traditional dish khash - a cold season dish made of boiled parts of cow or sheep such as head, feet and stomach. Our next stop is the medieval Fortress of Amberd on the rocky cliff on the height of 2100 meters. The site incorporates a rich variety of buildings including a church, a chapel, baths, walls and several gates. Our next stop is the only monument of an alphabet – Armenian Alphabet Alley. Here the visitors are given a chance to have a closer look at Armenian letters and take photos with their name initials. Afterwards we visit a 13th century monastic complex Saghmosavank (Monastery of Psalms). The church perches on the edge of the precipitous gorge of the Kasakh river. Driving to Ashtarak, where we enjoy our dinner, and try different indigenous fruits from local fruit gardens. Also we visit local chocolate factory to make some chocolate by ourselves and taste them. Driving back to Yerevan. Overnight in Yerevan.
After breakfast transfer to Zvartnots International Airport. (B/-/-)