ON UNEXPLORED PATHS

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International Youth (8 days, 7 nights)

Route: Yerevan, Ararat region (Khor Virap), Vayots Dzor region (Noravank, Areni village), Syunik region (Karahunj), NKR – Shushi (Kazanchetsots church, fortress Shushi, gorge Unot, waterfall Mamrot Kar) Askerasnky area (Stepanakert , Mayraberd, Tigranakert, Amaras, Platan Tree, Pirumashen, river Badara, St. Gevorg, Amenaprkich, Jukhtak Vank, Ohta Ehtsi, Akopavank, Kaushik Anapat), Martakert region (the village of Vank, Gandzasar) Karvachar district (Dadivank), Syunik region (Tatev “Old Khndzoresk”).

Description

Life pulsates with calmness inherent to the ancient land of Artsakh…
A 1 week trip to Artsakh for those who crave adventure and discovery.
During the trip we will visit the small villages and the old capital, which has numerous traces of the complicated history of the region. We also go up to the mountains, where we will spend a few days in a leisurely stroll through the alpine meadows. The journey involves two nights in nature – in tents, the other days – in comfortable guest houses.
By the way, the beginning of summer – the best time of year to travel around the edge, because the slopes of the mountains are already covered with flowers and fresh vegetation, and at this time Karabakh prepares zhingyalov hats (bread)!
 
Day 1
 
 
Arrival at the international airport “Zvartnots”.
Meeting at the airport with a representative of the “The Land of Noah”.
Transfer to Nagorno-Karabakh (Artsakh).
The road on which we travel crosses the entire southern part of the country. On the way we will see the historic landscapes of the biblical mountain Ararat, look at a few medieval monasteries lost in the gorges, as well as dine in a home inn. By evening we will arrive in NKR.
A trip to the Ararat valley.
Excursion to the monastery of Khor Virap, which offers one of the most beautiful views of the biblical Mount Ararat. The monastery is located opposite of Mount Ararat (5165 m.), where the state border between Armenia and Turkey is located. From the walls of the monastery you can see panoramic views of the majestic Mount Ararat and the entire valley.
This fortress monastery is a place of pilgrimage, one of the most revered places of Armenia, sacred to the Armenian Apostolic Church. The monastery was built in the period from the VI to the XVII century, over the dungeon, where the Baptist St. Gregory the Illuminator was languishing in prison – for the spread of Christianity, until king Tradt decided to adopt this as a state religion. The dungeon where the holy man suffered, was the royal dungeon (“Khor Virap” – “deep hole”). Here in the pit infested with poisonous snakes and scorpions, prisoners were lowered. According to legend, St. Gregory the Illuminator was in the pit for 13 years.
In the monastery of Khor Virap is located the Seminary and the residence of the Armenian Catholicos.
We then head to the south of Armenia, to Noravank monastery complex (XIII c.).
The beautiful Noravank monastery complex was built in the XIII century on the ledge of the narrow winding gorge of the Arpa River near the town of Yeghegnadzor. The gorge is famous for its steep red cliffs, towering behind the monastery.
Noravank, thanks to the magnificent creations of medieval architects and its location in the beautiful landscape, leaves a lasting impression.
In 2002 the church was completely restored and is included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.
Moving to the region of Syunik, to visit the prehistoric megalithic complex Zorats Carrere or Karahunj (an analogue of the British Stonehenge).
Moving to Nagorno-Karabakh.
Arrival in the city of Shusha.

Accommodation at the hotel.
After a short rest, sightseeing tour of the city.
The unique beauty of the nature of Nagorno Karabakh (Artsakh), worthy of the brush of an artist, rich historical heritage, gray mountains, lush alpine meadows, dense forests, fleeting mountain streams, The pearls of lakes have long attracted tourists to this enchanting region of longevity. No wonder the region is called “Little Switzerland”. Hospitable owners live on this generous land, sowing wheat, vineyards and mulberry gardens.
Nagorno-Karabakh (Artsakh) is rich in minerals and medicinal waters. The climatic conditions of the mountainous region – the presence of forests rich in wild fruits and berries, thick grass cover. Numerous species of wildlife. Forests, rich and diverse vegetation occupies 42% of the territory of Nagorno-Karabakh.
Dinner and overnight at the town of Shushi.
 
 
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Day 2
 
 
Breakfast at the hotel.
Tour of the city of Shushi.
Visit to the Kazanchetsots cathedral.
Visit to Castle Shushi.
Visit to the gorge of Unot.
Karabakh is one of the most picturesque corners of the Armenian Highland.
Artsakh keeps many treasures on its territory, monuments of antiquity. Around Artsakh one can find monuments of Christian architecture, ancient castles and fortresses that protected its inhabitants from invasions of unfriendly guests. In Artsakh there are also natural monuments like the hot springs of Dzhermadzhur and the Tartar river gorge.
On the territory of Artsakh is the oldest tree in the CIS. The Chinar tree which is near the village of Skhtorashen with an age of more than 2000 years.
One of the attractions of the city is the fortress of Shushi. The walls of the citadel have survived to this day.
The main architectural masterpiece of Artsakh is the church St. Amenaprkich (Kazanchetsots).
The church of St. Kazanchetsots. This marvelous church, is built of white limestone located in the ancient city of Shusha. The church is entirely decorated with sculptural works that emphasize its majestic appearance. According to ancient manuscripts found in the church, it was built in the years 1868 – 1888.
Hiking in the medieval village of Shusha you can find the gorge of Unot (VI-VIII cc.). A picturesque place where the river Kar-Kar is surrounded on two sides by high vertical cliffs covered with vegetation, The depth of the gorge is 1 km, while the length of the gorge 3 km., With numerous caves where the ancient man used to live, water mills, the rock palace of Melik, the place of Natavan, arched bridges (XVIII c.), churches (XVIII c.), a wonderful creation of nature – a waterfall called “Umbrella”, defensive structures, springs, settlements, etc.
Lunch at the river Kar-Kar.
Sightseeing.
Visit to the waterfall Mamrot Kar known as Ovanots or umbrella.
A deep-water source originates in the stone canyon, forming a constantly flowing waterfall in the form of a huge umbrella covered with moss. Under the umbrella is an impressive cave of nature surprising for all ages, and is the main attraction of the canyon. The waterfall Mamrot Kar is located along the river of Karkar in the beautiful town of Shushi, along with a pool for swimming. The picturesque town is under the cliffs of the gorge Unot, giving the natural environment almost unreal beauty.
The stunning beauty of the natural-historical reserve of the Unot gorge inspires awe.
Many historical, natural and architectural wonders are gathered in a nature reserve area of about 400 hectares.
Return to the hotel.
Dinner. Overnight.
 
 
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Day 3
 
 
Breakfast at the hotel.
A trip to the capital city of Artsakh, Stepanakert.
Accommodation at the hotel.
Departure to the Askeran fortress Mayraberd (XVIII century.)
The well-preserved fragments of the fortress and the walls of the fortress still provide inspiration through their strength and impregnability.
Excursion to the fortress city of Tigranakert.
Visiting the excavations of the ancient city of Tigranakert founded by Tigran II in the I century BC. and the Museum of relics.

Next stop – Amaras Monastery, a famous religious and cultural center of medieval Armenia. According to Armenian historian of the IV-V centuries, Faustus of Byzantium, the church of the monastery Amaras was founded at the beginning of the IV century by St. Gregory the Illuminator.
At the beginning of the V c. the creator of the Armenian alphabet St. Mesrop Mashtots founded the first Armenian school in Amaras, hence also began to spread the Armenian alphabet.
Return to Stepanakert.
On the way a visit and inspection of the sycamore tree which is more than 2,000 years old and the church of Pirumashen (XIII c.).
Return to the hotel.
Dinner. Overnight.
 
 
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Day 4
 
 
Breakfast at the hotel.
Departure with luggage.
Moving to the Valley of Badara – one of the most beautiful places in Karabakh with a rich and ancient history.
On the way a visit to the Church of St. Gevorg (18c.) in Asthashen.
Setting up camp on the banks of the river Badara.
Checking out the church of Amenaprkich (XII century).
Dinner (national Artsakh cuisine).
A trip to the forest and inspection of the monastery Jukhtak Vank (XII-XIII c.).
Hike to the monastery Ehtsi Ohta (XII-XIIIc.) With large populations.
A phytoactive walk and sightseeing at the Valley Badara.
Return to the area of the campground.
Resting.
Dinner and overnight at a fire.
 
 
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Day 5
 
 
Breakfast.
Driving to the Valley of Kolatak.
On the way visit the mineral source and Akopavank Monastery (XII-XIIIcc.) by the river Kolatak.
Walk and the rest by the river. Hike to the monastery Kaushik Anapat (XII-XIIIcc.).
Return to the area of the campground.
Resting.
Lunch Time.
A trip to the Martakert region, village Vank on the left bank of the river Khachen.
The Martakert region played a special role in the history of Artsakh. On its territory there are a large number of historical and architectural monuments, including the monasteries of Gandzasar (XIII century.), Yerits Mankants Monastery, Yeghishe Arakyala, Akobavank and The palace of the Melik Beglaryan princes, castles Jraberd, Kachahakaberd and Hohanaberd.
Accommodation at the hotel.
Dinner. Overnight.
 
 
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Day 6
 
 
Breakfast at the hotel.
Visiting the monastery of Gandzasar.
For residents of Artsakh the monument that symbolizes folk wisdom and centuries of Christian tradition, is the Gandzasar (Treasure Mountain) Monastery, it sits on a high hill on the left bank of the river Khachen. You could call the Gandzasar Monastery – “the greatest miracle of Armenian architecture”, “church-like dome temple of heaven,” “perfect creation”, but human language is powerless to describe this truly grand spectacle.
Gandzasar, an outstanding monument of Armenian culture, an active monastery of the Armenian Apostolic Church.
According to legend, the monastery received its name from the mountain, which locals call Gandzasar, because silver was mined from it. It is located on the left bank of the river Khachen, near the village of Vank in Nagorno-Karabakh. Gandzasar was first mentioned by the Armenian Catholicos Ananias in the middle of the X century. It is a recent and now known temple to be built by Prince Hasan Jalal Dawla “A pious and God-loving man, humble, an Armenian by origin” on the site of the old temple mentioned in the X century and consecrated on July 22, 1240.
According to legend, buried in the tomb of Herod is the severed head of John the Baptist, brought here from Cilician Armenia during one of the Crusades, because of that the church was named St. Hovhannes Mkrtich (St. John the Baptist).
Dinner with the traditional menu of Karabakh in the hotel restaurant.
Trip to Dadivank – an Armenian monastery from the IX-XIII centuries.
The first name is associated with the name of St. Dadi, who preached Christianity in Armenia to the west, and was a disciple of the Apostle Thaddeus – one of the seventy Disciples of Christ.
The monastery of Dadivank or Hutavank (literally – “monastery on the hill”) is located on the wooded mountainside of Mrav in Karvachar (Shahumyan) region of Nagorno-Karabakh. Like the vast majority of Armenian monasteries Dadivank stands in a fantastically beautiful place and it fits brilliantly into the surrounding landscape.
The grounds of the monastery complex are considered to be from the IV century, however, the first basilica was built here in the middle of the I century on top of the grave of Dadi, disciple of the Apostle Thaddeus. In 2007 Dadivank was excavated, which resulted in the discovery of relics of St. Dadi near the altar.
Accommodation in a guest house or camp.
Dinner.Overnight.
 
 
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Day 7
 
 
Breakfast.
Departure with luggage to the capital of Artsakh.
Arrival in Stepanakert.
Sightseeing tour of the NKR capital Stepanakert.
Moving to the Armenian Syunik region.
Tatev Monastery is located in the heart of the Syunik region, in the village of the same name, on the right of the high bank of the river Vorotan. Before climbing this breathtaking height it is necessary to descend into the 500-meter canyon of Vorotan.
Staying for a while at a natural bridge (where two banks of rivers converge, forming a kind of bridge), in the hot mineral springs and then climb up the mountain road. After a few turns you can see the monastery – a powerful and unassailable stronghold which stands on a rocky cliff.
Riding the world’s longest cable car (5.7 kilometers) to the monastery of Tatev. Along a magnificent landscape of mountains and a serpentine road (Ascent / descent 15 minutes.).
Tour of the Tatev monastery (IX-XVII centuries.) – The spiritual and cultural center of medieval Armenia, famous for its university (XIV-XV c.), an inspirer of the national-liberation of Syunik Armenians against the Iranians and the Ottoman invaders (XVIII c.).
Lunch Time.
Visiting Khndzoresk village, with a panorama view of cave town “Old Khndzoresk”.
A trip to Yerevan.
Accommodation at the hotel.
Dinner.Overnight.
 
 
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Day 8
 
 
Breakfast at the hotel.
Free time, depending on the time of departure.
Departure with luggage.
Transfer to the airport “Zvartnots”.
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 €1311, 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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