THE COUNTRY OF TRADITIONS AND LEGENDS

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City Tour (7 days, 6 nights)

Route: Yerevan (sightseeing in the city), Kotayk region (Garni, Geghard), Armavir region (Echmiadzin, Zvartnots), Ararat region (Khor Virap), Vayots Dzor region (Amaghu gorge, Noravank, Areni village), Lori region (Akhtala , Ptgavank, Haghpat, Sanahin), Aragatsotn region (Amberd,Saghmosavank, Ohanavank)

Description

Day 1


Arrivals.

Meeting at the airport “Zvartnots” with representatives of the “Land of Noah”.
Transfer to the hotel.
Lunch Time.
Resting.
The sights of Armenia – not only the most ancient architectural monuments, but also the distinctive traditions and customs, delicious cuisine, exclusive handicrafts and unique nature of these places, where high mountains alternate with deep gorges, forests – semi-deserts and arid plains of snow-capped mountains. Through many trials and changes the Armenian people managed to smuggle their traditional way of life, passing from generation to generation their traditions of hospitality, a unique ancient history and culture.
It has long been observed that people, with a deep sense of their national identity and cultural unity, with special reverence build their lives in accordance with the customs of their ancestors. Armenia has managed to keep its true spiritual wealth, religion, culture and national centuries-old traditions which they strictly adhere, both in joy and in sorrow. To date, these traditions have persisted as the strength of marriage, respect for elders, strength and breadth of kinship and neighboring mutual hospitality.
The day begins with a tour of the thirteenth capital of Armenia – Yerevan.
First visit – The history museum of Armenia, located in the heart of the city – Republic Square. A Museum called the Ethnographic-anthropological museum library. By the number of showrooms, publications and ways of their conservation the National History Museum of Armenia meets all the requirements of a modern museum. Today it is one of the leading museums in the country.
Tsitsernakaberd – Memorial to the victims of the Armenian Genocide in 1915 on the hill Tsitsernakaberd. A 44-meter obelisk symbolizes the will of the revival of the Armenian people. All along the obelisk from bottom to top stretches a deep cut or fault that separates it into two parts. The arrow symbolizes the shattered Armenian people, a minority of whom live in Armenia, and the most – in the Diaspora. Next to the obelisk is a pedestal – a cone formed of twelve large stone slabs. In the center of the cone, an eternal flame burns at a depth of 1.5 meters. The plates symbolize the 12 provinces in which the massacre mainly occurred. An integral part of the complex is the Genocide Museum, which contains a large number of photographs to see, documentary films – archives and original documents issued by international organizations and parliaments of foreign countries that have recognized the Genocide.
After lunch at a local restaurant, guests will continue their tour in Yerevan, visiting one of the most famous sights of the city among tourists – The Yerevan Brandy Factory. Ararat brandy preserves the tradition of legendary producing since 1887, when Nerses Tairyan founded the first wine and brandy factory in Yerevan.
Ararat – one of the most successful brands of cognac, both in Armenia and abroad. The exceptional taste of this drink is due to the peculiar climate of the Ararat Valley, the local varieties of grapes and the sun bathed Armenia. Guests have a unique opportunity to visit the Museum of the plant, to get acquainted with the legend of the ARARAT brandy, the 120-year history of the creation of Armenian cognac, to see ancient Armenian barrels and medals that adorn the long cellar. In addition, they are given the opportunity of tasting the unique varieties of cognac called “THREE STARS” and “AKHTAMAR”.
Next, a walk along the Republic Square with the “singing fountains”, admiring the magnificent view of the city from the top of the Yerevan Cascade complex, which is one of the most popular attractions of the city.
Return to the hotel.
Dinner.Overnight.
 
 
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Day 2
 
 
Breakfast at the hotel.
Excursion to the summer residence of Armenian kings – the fortress of Garni (III century BC. – XIII c. BC) and the pagan temple of the Sun (I century), built by King Trdat in the year 77. – The only surviving Hellenistic temple on the territory of the CIS countries.
The fortress of Garni in the eponymous village of the Kotayk Region. It is the only surviving pagan temple in Armenia. In the structures of Garni elements of Hellenistic and national culture are combined, an evidence of antique influences and the distinctive building traditions of the Armenian people. The temple was built in the second half of the I century BC and dedicated to a heathen god, probably to the sun god Mithras, whose figure stood in the back of the sanctuary. After the proclamation of Christianity as state religion in 301 in Armenia, the temple was used as the summer residence of the kings, called in the annals as the “house of coolness.”
A trip to the monastery Gegardavank. Examination of the unique cave (carved into the rock) of Geghard (XII-XIII century), with several buildings of which have unsurpassed acoustics.
To the north-east of Garni, further up the Azat river gorge, is the Monastery of Geghard. In its originality, no doubt, it reflected the nature surrounding the monastery, the severe and majestic nature a picturesque gorge with steep high cliffs towering over eachother, very winding and steeply descending roads, suddenly open up the monastery. The main monuments of Gegard occupy the middle of the court, surrounded on three sides by walls and towers, and the fourth, the western – the sheer rock face, which gives the ensemble a unique identity. To date, the Geghard monastery complex is included in the UNESCO World Heritage list.
After the tour, lunch at a local restaurant, where guests can enjoy dishes from the national Armenian cuisine.
Return to Yerevan.
Dinner. Overnight.
 
 
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Day 3
 
 
Breakfast at the hotel.
Visit one of the 12 capitals of Armenia – Echmiadzin (Vagharshapat) and the First Cathedral St. Echmiadzin and the churches of St. Ripsime and St. Gayane.
After the adoption of Christianity in 301 AD King Tiridates III destroyed the pagan temple in Vagharshapat and in its place founded the Cathedral of St. Echmiadzin. The name of the temple comes from a legend according to which St. Gregory the Illuminator had a vision of Christ, who came down from heaven and had commanded a place to build a temple: “Etchmiadzin” translated from Armenian means “the Descent of the Only-Begotten (Son of God)”, who is Jesus Christ.
St. Echmiadzin – a sanctuary of the Armenian Apostolic Church, worshiped by Armenians all over the world, a kind of Armenian Vatican, the religious and spiritual center of the country. Here, on the green and landscaped area of about 60,000 sq. meters. is located the Cathedral of the Holy Echmiadzin, the Theological Academy of The Holy Echmiadzin, the seat of the Patriarch – Catholicos of All Armenians, the Synod of the Armenian Church, the library and book depository and monastery. Most of the buildings were built in the XVII – XIX centuries.
Echmiadzin has three more ancient monuments. According to legend these temples were erected in honor of the martyrs – the first Christians who fled from the persecution of the Emperor of Rome. These churches are: Ripsime, Gayane and Shoghakat. These temples were erected on the spot of death of the three holy virgins.
Visiting Zvartnots temple.
5 km from Echmiadzin is the brightest monument of medieval Armenian architecture – the magnificent Zvartnots Temple, built in the VII century.
Construction of the Zvartnots Temple, which means “Temple of Vigil Forces” began in 641-643 years and was conducted intermittently over twenty years until the year 652.
Zvartnots stood for more than three hundred years, and around the year 930 it was destroyed by an earthquake.
Today the territory of Zvartnots – is an archaeological reserve, and in 1937 a museum was opened where you can see the model variant of the reconstruction of the temple, numerous sculptural fragments, of impressive size. Well preserved huge stone slabs carved with figures, a sundial, bunch of grapes and pomegranates.
The ruins of Zvartnots temple are a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Return to Yerevan.
Dinner.Overnight.
 
 
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Day 4
 
 
Breakfast at the hotel.
Visiting the monastery Khor Virap (deep dungeon). In this dungeon for 13 years languished the future head of the Armenian Apostolic Church St. Gregory the Illuminator. The monastery is located a few hundred meters from the border with Turkey, on the banks of the border river Araks at the foot of the biblical Mount Ararat (5165 m).

A trip to Areni village which is famous for its vineyards. A tour of the winery, its technologies and how they make wine – including Areni wine tasting.
Lunch Time.
A visit to the Noravank Monastery (XIII c.).
The beautiful Noravank monastery complex was built on the narrow ledge that winds the gorge of the Arpa River near the town of Yeghegnadzor. The gorge is famous for its steep red cliffs, towering behind the monastery.
During the reign of the princes of Orbelian the monastery became a major religious center, and in the XIII-XIV Century – the residence of Syunik’s bishops and, accordingly, major religious and, later, a cultural center of Armenia closely connected with many local institutions – especially the famous university and library Gladzor. According to legend, there is a hidden piece of a cross in Noravank, covered in the blood of Christ.
Return to Yerevan. 
Visit Vernissage (souvenir market).
Return to the hotel.

Dinner.Overnight.
 
 
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Day 5
 
 
Breakfast at the hotel.
A trip to the Lori region.
Lori Marz is located in the north-east of Armenia
Lori boasts an abundance of rivers – Pambak, Dzoraget, Debit and Aghstev cross this beautiful region rich in fertile lands, lakes and mineral springs. In the valleys evergreen trees and shrubs grow, and the slopes of mountain ranges are covered with sub-alpine vegetation. Lori is characterized by vast mountain ranges, stepped slopes and deep gorges.
No less interesting is the area in historical terms. The rich cultural heritage of the area stretches over dozens of centuries. Here in the X-XI centuries there was an independent Armenian state – the Lori kingdom. A part of Marz is a hereditary estate of the Armenian princely dynasty Zakarian.
In Marz there are rare examples of Byzantine architecture: Haghpat and Sanahin, built in the X century and included in the UNESCO World Heritage list.
A visit to one of the largest medieval monasteries in Armenia, the Haghpat complex (founded in 976).
And the Sanahin Monastery which is located on a wooded hillside above the village of Sanahin, a religious and cultural center in medieval times.
Lunch at Sanahin.
Sanahin Monastery was an educational center of medieval Armenia. Here were based an academy, library, scriptorium, and school, where the correspondence of books was done. Sanahin possessed vast areas of land.
Return to Yerevan
Dinner. Overnight.
 
 
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Day 6
 
 
Breakfast at the hotel.
A trip along the southern slopes of Mount Aragats.
Aragatsotn Marz is located in the western part of Armenia, and is surrounded on three sides by mountains, one of which – Mount Aragats – is the highest point of Armenia (4090 m), which gave the name to the region.
The nature of the area is extraordinarily beautiful. Throughout harsh stone walls of mountains on the background of bright blue sky. A blue pattern running along the green area of Aragatsotn marz, fast flowing rivers. The main river – Kasakh with major tributaries from Gegharot and Amberd. The largest lake – Kari Lake (Stone Lake) is located in the foothills of Mount Aragats.
On the road leading to Ashtarak is a magnificent panorama of the extinct volcanoes Aragats and Arailer. Near the town of Ashtarak an open view of the river gorge Kasakh.
Throughout the Marz are ruins of many surviving medieval monuments – Amberd fortress, medieval monasteries Saghmosavank and Ohanavank. Adjacent to the center of the marz, in the village of Oshakan, is the tomb of the founder of the Armenian alphabet St. Mesrop Mashtots, which has become a shrine for all Armenians of the world. Here is also the well-known Byurakan Observatory, which was founded and for many years headed by the world-renowned scientist Victor Ambartsumian.
A trip to the Amberd fortress (2145m). 
Tour of the fortress Amberd (Fortress of clouds, VII – XIV c.), which is situated at an altitude of 2300m on a triangular promontory formed by the rivers Amberd and Arkashen. It offers a magnificent view of Mount Ararat and Ararat Valley.

Return to Yerevan.
Farewell dinner – As the tour ends, guests are invited to a farewell dinner in a restaurant in Yerevan, during which they will be treated to not only delicious national Armenian dishes, but as well as all of this will be accompanied with Armenian folk dances and music.
Return to the hotel.
Overnight.
 
 
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Day 7
 
 
Breakfast at the hotel.
Transfer to the airport.
Departure from Yerevan.
 

The price includes:

  • All transfers (In comfortable modern minibuses);
  • Staying at the hotel (accommodation in double rooms);
  • Full board: Breakfast (hotel), lunch, dinner (restaurant / menu); and drinks – coffee, tea, water are available on request throughout the trip;
  • Excursions in the program with a professional guide;
  • All entrance fees (museums, galleries, participation in various events);
  • During the trip you will be accompanied by a group representative of the
    “Land of Noah”.

The price does not include:

  • Insurance;
  • Personal and other expenses not covered by the program (souvenirs);
  • Airplane ticket (we can help you find the best and most convenient ticket);

At 6 people the price of the tour per person will be €1095, when there are less than 6 people, the price per person will increase – when there are more than 6 people the price per person will be lowered.

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