Day 1 : Arrival in Yerevan. Transfer to the selected hotel
Day 2 : City tour- hotel
Breakfast at the hotel. City tour- Yerevan sightseeing including City center, Republic square, State University, City panorama, Mother Armenia Monument, Parliament, President’s Palace, Opera, Sports & Concert Complex. Visit to Matenadaran (depository for ancient manuscripts, the collection of which is one of the biggest in the world). This outstanding collection includes manuscripts dating from 7th century and is widely appreciated by history and art amateurs and professionals. Visit to the Genocide Memorial, dedicated to the Victims of 1915 and the Genocide Museum. Lunch in a local restaurant. Visit to Armenian central market. Visit to Cascade complex, which is considered the modern art center of Yerevan, with art pieces displayed throughout the whole area: the boulevard and up the stairs, from top of which you can enjoy the panoramic view on the city and Mountain Ararat. Cascade is home to Cafesjan modern art museum. This place becomes even more charming in the evenings, when it is full of people, both locals and tourists from all over the world, enjoying the magic and the warmth of the capital. You will enjoy spending time in one of the cozy open-air caf es surrounded by beautiful sculptures, redolent flowers shining brightly with magic colors. It is also a popular place for open air concerts at summer season. Inspection of the hotels in Yerevan – 5*, 4* and 3*. Overnight in Yerevan.
Breakfast at the hotel. Visit to Zvartnots (included in the UNESCO World Heritage List (2000)) , a temple of Vigil Forces, built in 641—661 A.D. as Armenia’s main cathedral by the Catholicos Nerses III, is considered one of the architectural wonders and unique example of Armenian architecture of early Christian period. It was damaged by an earthquake in the 10th century. Тhe ruins of this cathedral still speak about the rare beauty of it. Drive to Etchmiadzin city, the ancient capital of Armenia. Since 4th century, it is the largest religious center, the residency of Catholicos of All Armenians.
Visit to Etchmiadzin Cathedral, one of the ancient churches in the Christian world, included in the UNESCO World Heritage List (2000). It is the center of Armenian Apostolic Church. It was founded in 301 A.D. by St. Gregory the Illuminator. Drive to Ararat valley. Visit to Khor Virap Church – the place of imprisonment of St. Gregory the Illuminator, who stayed here in the small dungeon for 13 years without any food, accused by the Armenian King of preaching Christianity. Khor Virap Church was built on the dungeon and now people have a chance to go down into the dark pit themselves. It is one of the holy places for the Christian world. It is also the best point to enjoy the most spectacular view of the gorgeous biblical mountain Ararat shining with its two white peaks. The hills adjoining Khor Virap were the site of the early Armenian capital – ancient Artashat built by King Artashes I, founder of the Artashesid dynasty, around 180 B.C. It is one of the few ancient towns, built by the special design of thefamous Carthaginian general Hannibal. After the defeat in a war against Rome, he found shelter in Armenia…
Drive through the spectacular canyon between the red rocks toward Noravank Monastery.
Lunch at the local restaurant with nice view on the canyon.
On the way visit local winery in Areni village– wine testing. Areni used to be one of the centers of wine production in Armenia. In September 2010, archaeologists discovered a 6,100-year-old 5 winery and wine cellars, a wine press for stomping grapes, fermentation and storage containers, drinking cups, grape vines, skins, and seeds were found. This is the earliest winery and wine cellar found to date. Drive back to Yerevan. Overnight in Yerevan.
Day 4 : Garni –Geghard – Sevan – Dilijan
Breakfast at the hotel. Drive to the only remaining pagan temple in Armenia devoted to the God of Sun – Myrth, in Garni, built in 77AD by King Trdat (Arshakid Dynasty). The temple is Greco-Roman style with characteristic pillars. It stands proudly on a rocky ridge with a deep canyon presenting a beautiful view. The temple was a summer residence for Arshakid dynasty. Visit to the ruins of Royal Palace and Royal bath-house nearby. Canyon of Garni – magnificent and outstanding scene which creates the image of falling crags. It obtained the name “Symphony of Stones” due to its view. The fantastic landscape of Garni canyon shakes the human imagination. Drive to the unique caved temple St. Geghard(12th -13thcc.), the name of which means “holy spear” in the honor of the long-preserved spear, the same spear that pierced the body of crucified Christ. It is now exhibited in the museum of Etchmiadzin Cathedral. Geghard Monastery is included in the UNESCO World Heritage list (2000). The monastery is hidden in the majestic rocks and this scene creates an impression that the rocks have been protecting the ancient monastery for ages.
Family hosted lunch in village house with watching of “Lavash” (Armenian traditional flat bread baked in stone-make oven) making process, testing authentic Armenian food, get acquainted with local village life.
Continuation to Sevan Lake one of the greatest high mountainous freshwater lakes of Eurasia. Climb on the peninsula from where the fascinating view on the Lake is open. Visit Sevanavank monastery, which stands in its greatness on the peninsula overlooking the lake for centuries.
Drive to mountainous resort Dilijan, or so called “Armenian Switzerland”, which is well-known for its forests as well as for its mysterious flora and fauna. During the drive one can enjoy the unbelievable change of the surrounding environment and land shaft from the mountainous lake to the green and rich forest mountains. Small walking city tour in Dilijan: visit to handicrafts’ street, where one can watch the preparation of different national souvenirs from wood, stone and ceramics.
Visit to Haghartsin Monastery complex which is located in the secluded place of the forest. Haghartsin dates back to 11-13th century and represent a magnificent piece of history, culture and architecture. The place is so unique and the scenery with the nature surrounding it is so breathtaking that most of visitors are in awe. Appearing unexpectedly, out of the dense forests, in front of the visitors, the Monastery creates a magical impression of a lost world. Complex includes Church St. Stepanos, St. Mary and St. Gregory’s Church, as well as famous refectory.
Day 5 : Transfer to the airport. Departure.
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