ARMENIA UNEXPLORED

14 days

Armenian Art Heritage in all its charm, including soviet era decorative art and medieval monastic architecture, miniature painting and folk art
 
Immortal Christian legacy
 
Private visits to contemporary  artist’s studios and independent exhibition spaces 
 
Informative, interactive and appetizing experiences during tasting trials
 
Authentic faith based immersion  
 
Vibrant night life of the capital
 
Enchanting  nature
 
Small places crammed with archeological treasures
 
A sense of freedom and peace, never tormented by disturbance
 
Tasting that distant past by means of  characteristic mouthwatering meals from each region visited  
 
Mysterious, stone-built constructions in isolated places
 
Great sense of historical perspective   
 
Regions of undulating hills with wooded slopes, streams and valleys

Day 1

  • Late night arrival in Yerevan, the capital of Armenia and one of the world's oldest continuously inhabited cities. We’ll meet you at the Zvartnots International Airport and drive you into the beating heart of the city. Check-in at a downtown hotel to feel part of the action.

 

  • Enjoy specially arranged late dinner at the hotel

Day 2

  • Afternoon stroll in the city center, exploring downtown Yerevan

 

  • Visit Museum of Sergei Parajanov,  a tribute to revered artist's diverse cultural and literary heritage

 

  • Check Yerevan’s thriving food scene with a welcoming lunch at the Hrazdan gorge  

 

  • Admire the view from the Victory Park, overlooking the capital

 

  • Dinner at an authentic Armenian Restaurant

Day 3

  • Metro tour. Exploring Soviet Architecture Heritage

 

  • Coffee break at Boghossian Gardens

 

  • Visit Matenadaran, one of the best-known landmark’s and world-famous repository of ancient manuscripts. Access to the restoration workshops and archives

 

  • Delve straight in with an edible excursion to Yerevan downtown for a revitalising lunch

 

  • Evening Dinner at Megerian Carpet Factory with an Armenian traditional garment show by Teryan Cultural Center; "Armenian Traditional Dish" Master class by Chef Artavazd Sarukhanyan; Rug weaving and Carpet Making Game  

 

 

Day 4

  • Visit to the Pantheon. Many outstanding figures of Armenia's artistic world are buried here, including Komitas (1869-1935), the founder of Armenian national music, after whom the Pantheon is actually named

 

  • Special visit to Armenian Duduk maker’s workshop

 

  • The road will take us to Khor Virap. This 7th century monastery rests atop a little hill in an otherwise very flat Ararat Valley. Khor Virap is one of the most popular destinations in Armenia for a number of reasons, primarily because St. Gregory the Illuminator was imprisoned for 13 years in its underground dungeon before curing King Trdat III of a disease. This caused the conversion of the king and Armenia into the first officially Christian nation in the world in the year 301.

 

  • Sample Vayots Dzor’s legacy with a wine tasting and lunch at a Cave Restaurant

 

  • Next stop is Areni village, best known for its wine production and Copper age excavations. In January 2011 archaeologists announced the discovery of the earliest known winery, the Areni-1 winery, seven months after the world's oldest leather shoe, the Areni-1 shoe, was discovered in the same cave. We’ll visit that very cave, that’s not open to public yet

 

  • We'll head to Noravank, the 13th century UNESCO World Heritage Site. En route, a stop at Amaghu, nowadays abandoned village above the canyon.

 

  • Field Walking at Ishkhanasar valley fertile countryside 

 

  • Arrival and Overnight in Goris

Day 5

  • Visit ancient Old Khndzoresk Cave Village. Khndzoresk is widely famous for its canyon with picturesque rock formations and ancient cave settlement. The artificial caves, some of which are currently used as stables and warehouses, used to be inhabited 'till the 1950s!

 

  • Roam Goris, a town situated in the valley of Goris River, surrounded by  Zangezur mountain range

 

  • Your hands-on cooking lesson followed by an authentic Armenian lunch will introduce you to generations-old culinary secrets and techniques that will inspire your culinary creations

 

  • Take the longest passenger aerial tramway in the world to get an adrenalin-fuelled punch and glorious views

 

  • Explore the  peace and tranquility at the 9th century Tatev monastic complex standing on the edge of the picturesque Vorotan River gorge

 

  • Overnight in Goris  

Day 6

  • Exploring the hidden side of Sisian town: the museum quarter

 

  • Visiting Karahunj, the prehistoric archaeological site, often referred to as the “Armenian Stonehenge”

 

  • Lunch at Arpa River gorge

 

  • Exploring Southern Armenia’s biodiversity: wildlife-spotting pavilion in Shatin, with particular emphasis on watching threatened, RedBook listed bezoar goats (Capra aegagrus)

 

  • Drive to Lori Region with a stop at Selim Caravanserai. This caravanserai offered hospitality to travelers along the highway crossing the Selim (Sulema) mountains and is considered to be the best preserved of all medieval caravanserais in Armenia    

 

  • Noratus medieval cemetery with early khachkars (cross stones)

 

  • Arrival at Lake Sevan, one of the largest freshwater high-altitude lakes in the world

 

  • Al fresco fish dinner by the lake

 

  • Overnight in Sevan  

Day 7

  • Excursion to the peninsula. Visit to the 9th century monastic complex

 

  • Check the replica of a 13th-century merchant sailing ship of the Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia. The ship was reconstructed in strict accordance with the information found in medieval manuscripts and miniatures, using the techniques and technologies available in the 13th century

 

  • Drive to Dilijan. Famed for it’s verdure, it’s usually called Little Switzerland by the locals. Enjoy the half-timbered houses and panoramic views.

 

  • Visit to Dilijan Museum of Local History and Art Gallery

 

  • Quintessential Armenian lunch in Dilijan

 

  • Visit to the 13th-century Haghartsin monastery

 

  • Special folk dance ensemble performance in Dilijan

 

  • Drive back to Yerevan

Day 8

  • Train your palate during a wine tasting at ArmAs Wine Estate and work up an appetite for a gourmet lunch

 

  • With the delicious tastes of the ArmAs lunch still tingling those tastebuds,  you’ve just got time to grab a few souvenirs to take home with you at the Vernissage Market

Day 9

  • Arrival in Gyumri, the second largest city in Armenia. It was originally founded as Kumayri, later re-founded as Alexandropol. City tour. Check the Kumayri historic district, one of the few places with an authentic historical 19th century urban Armenian architecture

 

  • Lunch at the splendid setting of  ''Cherqezi Dzor'' 

 

  • Visit Marmarashen, the 10th-century Armenian monastic complex consisting of five churches near the village of Marmashen

 

  • Drive back to Yerevan

Day 10

  • Visit one of the impregnable fortresses of medieval Armenia - 7th century Amberd, an echoe from a glorious past  

 

  • Visit to Byurakan Astrophysical Observatory. It is located on the picturesque southern slope of the mountain Aragatz. At the observatory five observational instruments are installed the larger ones being 2.6 m Cassegrain telescope and 1m Schmidt telescope

 

  • Lunch

 

  • Special ceremony by "Tonatsuyts" folk theater at the Museum of Traditional Festivals of Armenia

 

  •  A historic house-turned-restaurant will host you for a typical Armenian dinner in Ashtarak

 

  • Overnight in Yerevan

Day 11

  • A special visit to the spiritual center of Armenia, The Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin. Along with several important early medieval churches located nearby, the Etchmiadzin cathedral was listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. The locus of Etchmiadzin is considered “a sanctified soil” in a way similar to Temple Mount (for Jews) and Harmandir Sahib (for Sikhs)

 

  • Check Zvartnots, the 7th century magnificent cathedral remained uncovered until the 20th century. Zvartnots was awarded protection by the  UNESCO back in 2000

 

  • Lunch  at the Cross of Armenian Unity

 

  • Visit to the History Museum that, among other significant artefacts, owns a collection of the most ancient evidences of the history of transport, 15th-14th century BC wooden carts and chariots, excavated from Lchashen, Armenia

Day 12

  • Visit to Garni, the 1st century B.C. pagan temple dedicated to Mihr, the Sun God in the Zoroastrian-influenced Armenian mythology. The temple appears to be the only surviving monument of Hellenistic architecture in the CIS region

 

  • Indulge  in an al fresco lunching at Garni with a special lavash making ceremony

 

  • Visit to Geghard, the 4th century medieval monastery, partially carved out of the adjacent mountain, surrounded by cliffs, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site

 

  • Private spiritual choral performance in Geghard Monastery  

 

  • Yerevan Art Gallery tour. Explore some of the best contemporary art galleries and art centers in Yerevan

Day 13

  • Your holiday inevitably draws to a close.  Enjoy your idle time.  

 

  • Farewell Dinner

Day 14

  • Early morning transfer to the Zvartnots International Airport for your onward flight

Start your perfect journey!