Armenia In-Depth Tour10 Days | Yerevan, Echmiadzin, Zvarnots, Garni, Geghard, Khor Virap, Noravank, Karahunj, Goris, Tatev, Khnzoresk, Jermuk etc.

Armenia In-Depth Tour

Stand at the crossroads of past and present, religion and folklore, and the bravery and devotion of an enduring people on the Armenia In-Depth Tour: 10-day itinerary. Uncover diversity in the Land of Noah – historical Yerevan and cave village Khndzorezk, pagan temple Garni and Christian cathedrals Echmiadzin and Haghpat, Geghard Monastery and mysterious Lake Sevan, one of the largest alpine lakes in Eurasia. Beautiful nature, delicious foods and delightful hospitality await you among Armenia’s most bewitching sites.

Tour itinerary:

Day 1: Yerevan – arrival
 
Arrival in Yerevan. Meet your driver at the airport. Transfer to the Hotel for overnight.
Day 2: Yerevan – Echmiadzin* – Zvartnots – city tour
 
After breakfast, drive out of the city Echmiadzin (Etchmiadzin Cathedral)*. According to many scholars it was the first cathedral built in ancient Armenia. We will visit the main Cathedral (it is the residence of the Catholicos, the supreme head of the Armenian Apostolic Church) and the museum of Christian relics. Continue to the ruins of Zvartnots – the oldest and largest aisled tetraconch church in historical Armenia. Its design strongly influenced later constructions of other Armenian churches. Although largely destroyed in an earthquake in the 10th century, Zvartnots Cathedral was excavated and rediscovered between 1900-1907 years. Both Zvartnots and Echmiadzin are included on the UNESCO Word Heritage list.
Return to explore Yerevan, one of the world’s oldest cities.
Yerevan is often referred to as a “Pink City” and impresses visitors with its grand Soviet architecture. Our first stop in Yerevan will be at the Armenian Genocide Memorial Complex on Tsitsernakaberd Hill. Next, we will visit the modern symbol of Yerevan – Cascade Monument. The Cascade is a giant stairway (572 steps) linking the downtown area of Yerevan with the Monument neighborhood. From the top of the monument you can capture the best panorama of Yerevan and the mountain Ararat. Continue exploring the city by walking along the beautiful streets, past Opera House, Republic Square, and Abovyan Avenue. Transfer to the hotel for overnight.
*The site is presently under renovation works.
Day 3: Yerevan – Garni – Geghard – Yerevan
 
Depart Yerevan and drive to Garni, the only pagan temple in Armenia that survived Christianization of Armenia in the 4th century. The next stop is Geghard Monastery (meaning "spear" in Armenian). The monastery complex was founded in the 4th century by Gregory the Illuminator at the site of a sacred spring inside a cave.
Return to Yerevan. You’ll have a free afternoon to explore the city Suggested sightseeing places: In the evening enjoy dinner at the local restaurant. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 4: Yerevan – Khor Virap – Areni – Noravank – Karahunj (Carahunge) – Goris
 
Breakfast. At 08:00, head to Khor Virap Monastery. According to the legend, St. Gregory the Illuminator (who is credited with converting Armenia to Christianity) had been kept in the basement here for 13 years for disseminating of Christianity, until King Tradt decided to adopt the new religion. The monastery’s location allows you to enjoy superb views of Mount Ararat. Drive to the Noravank complex, which is situated on a ledge of a deep, winding gorge. Noravank stands among bizarrely shaped, precipitous red cliffs. Visit the Areni Cave complex where, in 2008, the world’s oldest leather shoe was found. Visit Hin Areni winery to taste wines made from local grape varieties. Continue driving towards Goris, have an en-route stop at Karahunj (Carahunge) – also known as Zorats Karer, prehistoric monument consisting of hundreds vertically set rocks – Menghirs - with through holes in the top part. The Heights of the stones range from 0.5 to 3 meters and they weigh up to 10 tones. Armenians name it the “Armenian Stonehenge”. Arrival in Goris in the evening. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 5: Goris – Tatev – Khnzoresk – Jermuk
 
In the morning we will visit Tatev Complex. The 9th-century monastery, standing on the edge of a deep gorge of the Vorotan River attracts many visitors each year. In order to reach the monastery, we need to ride a cable car “Wings of Tatev”, the longest aerial tramway in the world. It is included in the Guinness World Records book (5700 m. length, 12 min. duration). Tatev used to be the religious and political center of the region and the remote location of the monastery was chosen strategically, to protect the complex from the constant invasions.
Continue to Khndzoresk - The historical cave village, located on the steep slope of a gorge. It consists of natural and manmade caves. Since many of the dwellings were carved out over and around each other, a complex system of ropes and ladders were required for people to reach many corners of the community. Right up until the 20th century Khndzoresk Cave Village was the biggest village in Eastern Armenia. Drive to mountain spa town Jermuk for overnight.
Day 6: Jermuk – Selim Pass – Noratus Cemetery – Sevanavank – Dilijan
 
After breakfast, continue exploring Armenia with Selim Pass Caravansary, also known as Orbelian's Caravanserai, located at a height of 2410 meters above sea level. The Caravansary was built in 14th Century and was one of the major points of Armenian Silk Road. After crossing the pass, you will visit the medieval cemetery – Noratus. Here you can see khachkars – Armenian cross-stones from medieval centuries. Khachkars keep unique symbols and represent amazing skillfulness of medieval Armenian craftsmen. Since 2010, khachkars, their symbolism and craftsmanship are inscribed in the UNESCO list of Intangible Cultural Heritage.
Our final stop today is Sevanavank Monastery. It stands on a narrow rocky peninsula, in the northwest part of the Lake Sevan – one of the largest freshwater alpine lakes in Eurasia. The road passes through the coastline of the lake, surrounded by beautiful nature. Lake Sevan attracts many locals and tourists throughout a year. Reach Dilijan for overnight.
Day 7: Dilijan
 
After breakfast visit Dilijan National Park, one of the four national parks of Armenia. The park is well known for its forest landscapes, rich biodiversity, medicinal mineral water springs, natural and cultural monuments, and extensive network of hiking trails. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 8: Dilijan – Haghpat – Sanahin – Gyumri
 
After breakfast start exploring northern part of Armenia – the region of Lori.
Today you will visit two UNESCO World Heritage Sites: the monasteries of Sanahin and Haghpat.
Dating from 10th to 13th centuries, both monasteries were important centers of learning. Sanahin was famous for its school of illuminators and calligraphers. Haghpat beautifully overlooks the Debed River Canyon. The monasteries of Sanahin and Haghpat combine elements of Byzantine Church architecture and traditional building styles of the region. Drive to Gyumri, the second largest city in Armenia, located at the central part of the Shirak plateau. Overnight in at the hotel.
Day 9: Gyumri – Amberd Fortress – Oshakan – Yerevan
 
In the morning we will have a short walk on streets of Gyumri to see examples of traditional Armenian urban architecture of 19th century. We will then drive towards Amberd complex, comprised of medieval fortress and a church located in a quiet area on the southern slopes of the Mount Aragats. Amberd is at 2300 meters above the sea level; this explains its name which means ‘fortress in the clouds’. Next stop is Oshakan, which is known as a burial place of the father of the Armenian alphabet Saint Mesrop Mashtots. A cathedral named after him houses his grave which was rebuilt by Catholicos George IV in 1875. Drive back to Yerevan. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 10: Yerevan – departure
 
Check out from the hotel till noon. Transfer to Yerevan International Airport. Departure. End of the tour.
  • All transfers (1-2 pax by sedan, 3-4 pax by Mercedes Vito or similar, 5-10 pax by Mercedes Sprinter passenger van);
  • Accommodation based on double/twin room sharing, breakfasts included;
  • Sightseeing tour program in Armenia with local English-speaking guide;
  • Entrance tickets to sights as per itinerary;
  • Wine Tasting at Hin Areni Winery;
  • Welcome dinner in Yerevan;
  • Bottled drinking water.
  • Full board (lunches and dinners);
  • Hotel charges for additional services;
  • Personal travel insurance;
  • Tips are not included, but would be appreciated.

Accommodation:

Economy Option
Comfort Option
Yerevan - 4 nights
Cascade, Silachi, Hrazdan or similarDoubleTree by Hilton, Opera Suite, Grand Hotel Yerevan, Tufenkian Hotel or similar
Goris - 1 night
Mirhav, Montebello or similarMirhav, Montebello or similar
Jermuk - 1 night
Hotel Verona, hotel Kasanova or similarJermuk Grand Resort Hotel or similar
Dilijan - 2 nights
Toon Armeni or similarBest Western Paradise, Turfenkian Old Dilijan Complex, Dilijan resort or similar
Gyumri - 1 night
Hotel Villa Kars, Berlin Hotel or similarHotel Nane or similar

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