Grand Armenia Tour (Am-3)7 Days | Yerevan, Garni, Geghard, Etchmiadzin, Khor-Virap, Areni village, Noravank Monastery, Goris, Selim pass, Lake Sevan, Sevanavank, Dilijan, Haghpat, Sanahin, Oshakan, Amberd fortress

Tour map

Old churches, medieval castles, lakes and cliffs, apricots and cognac, charming sound of duduk – this is all about the unique culture that you will explore during this Armenia tour. You will meet this “pink city” Yerevan, Geghard monastery complex, residence of all Armenians Catholicos – the monastery of Etchmiadzin and also visit a fortress of Amberd located at a height of 2300 meters above the sea level. You will see famous Armenian khachkars, enjoy the beauty of an alpine Lake Sevan and taste well-known waters of Dilijan.

Tour itinerary:

Day 1: Yerevan – arrival – city tour
 
Arrive in Yerevan. You will be met by our driver and transferred to hotel. Check in to hotel at noon. Meet your guide to start sightseeing in the capital of Armenia. One of the oldest cities of the world, Yerevan is famous as a pink city and calls visitors with its humble and at the same time splendid landscapes. Start city tour visiting Cascade Monument which was the main symbol of the cities 2780th anniversary with the equivalent number of stairs. Mega scale staircase is 500 meters high and 50 meters wide. A panoramic view from the monument opens up breathtaking city view with Opera House, Mount Ararat, Swan Lake, Republic Square, and posh Northern Avenue around, which you will also walk by during the tour. The next spot is Matenadaran – the Mesrop Mashtots (founder of Armenian alphabet) Institute of Ancient Manuscripts famous for being one of the world’s richest banks of medieval manuscripts with more than 300,000 archive documents. Continue to the Armenian Genocide memorial complex on the hill of Tsitsernakaberd. An excellent round-up of the tour will be a visit to the Brandy Factory in Yerevan to taste renowned Armenian cognac. The legend says that Noah planted the first vine in the abundant Ararat valley; afterwards winery was pioneered all over the country. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 2: Yerevan – Garni – Geghard – Etchmiadzin – Yerevan
 
Depart Yerevan and drive to Garni, one of the major villages in Armenia famous for its fortress. The fortress is the only pagan sacred place from the 1st century that survived aggressive introduction of Christianity in the 4th century. Next stop is at the monastery complex Geghard (means a spear in Armenian). A beautiful landscape of Geghard is framed with towering cliffs. Decorative art cut into rocks reflect and explain Medieval Ages development throughout the region. The complex was introduced to the history in the 4th century as a sacred spring inside a cave. Continue to the Holy See of Armenia, Etchmiadzin. Visit Etchmiadzin Cathedral which is the residence of the head of Armenian Apostolic Church the Catholicos of All Armenians. Drive back to Yerevan. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 3: Yerevan – Khor-Virap – Areni – Noravank – Goris
 
At 09:00 head to Khor-Virap monastery (“deep pit”). According to the legend, St. Gregory the Illuminator, the Baptist of Armenia, had been kept here in the basement during 13 years for the disseminating of Christianity until tsar Tradt decided to adopt new religion. Monastery location allows you to enjoy the best views of the Mount Ararat. Drive to Areni cave complex, where in 2010 the earliest shoe was found. On the way, stop in Areni, a town known for producing wine from pomegranate, apricots, and a variety of berries. Have a wine degustation at a local winery. Continue to Noravank Monastery situated on a ledge of a deep winding gorge. Noravank ensemble stands amidst the bizarre-shaped precipitous red cliffs.
Arrival in Goris at around 18:00. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 4: Goris – Selim pass – Lake Sevan – Sevanavank – Dilijan
 
Head to Selim caravancerai. Stop at the highest point of Vardenyats Pass (Selim pass, 2,410 m) and enjoy view over the valley. Continue to Lake Sevan. Ancient relict Lake Sevan – “The Jewel of Armenia” is one of the largest high-mountainous fresh water lakes in the world. The coastline of Lake Sevan is rich with thick woods, white bare steep rocks, mountain steppes and Alpine meadows. Stop at Sevanavank to visit the remnants of the monastery that include two temples – Surb Arakelots and Surb Astvatsatsin standing among numerous khachkars. The buildings were constructed from black tuff which probably gave the monastery its name “Sevanavank – “the Black Monastery”. The view from there is simply magnificent: the mountains surround lake from all sides and snow tops are seen almost on the entire perimeter and disappear behind horizon. The next milestone is Dilijan, the most famous tourist spot where you will visit two monastery complexes. We will finish our sightseeing today at Goshavank Monastery, the best place to explore diverse types of khachkars, Armenian cross-stones. Overnight at the hotel in Dilijan.
Day 5: Dilijan – Haghpat – Sanahin – Yerevan
 
After breakfast, depart to Lori region. Visit Haghpat and Sanahin monasteries built during prosperous the Kiurikian dynasty (10th to 13th century). Both monasteries were very important educational centers. Sanahin (meaning “this one is older than that one”) was famous for its calligraphy and illumination school. There are numerous khachkars (Armenian cross-stones) on their territory dating back to 1273. Being UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Haghpat and Sanahin represent bright example of traditional Armenian religious architecture. Drive back to Yerevan. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 6: Yerevan – Oshakan – Amberd fortress – Yerevan
 
Meet your guide and driver at your hotel. Take the way to Amberd – rare historical site that survived and reached us in a good condition from the 7-th century. Some say that it was built in the 11-13th centuries, attributing it to the near located church. Amberd means ‘fortress in the clouds’; the name is due to its location 2300 meters above sea level. Continue to 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.
Return to Yerevan. Free time. Overnight at hotel.
Day 7: Yerevan – departure
 
Check-out from hotel till noon. Visiting traditional Armenian market.
Transfer to Yerevan International Airport. Departure.

Accommodation

City

Comfort Option

Economy Option

Nights

Yerevan

Royal Tulip Grand Hotel Yerevan, DoubleTree by Hilton Yerevan, Opera Suite

Cascade, Hrazdan

4

Goris

Mirhav, Mina, Goris

Mirhav, Mina, Goris

1

Dilijan

Best Western Paradise hotel, Tufenkian Old Dilijan Complex, Hotel Dilijan Resort

Toon Armeni or similar

1

 

  • All transfers by sedan;
  • Accommodation based on single room sharing, breakfasts included;
  • Sightseeing tour program with local guide;
  • Entrance fees to sights as per itinerary.
  • Full board (lunches and dinners);
  • Hotel charges for additional services;
  • Visa support and consular fees for tourist visa;
  • Personal travel insurance.

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