EXPERIENCIAL TRIALS IN ARMENIA AND ARTSAKH

15 days

We connect you to local people and events that make your journey come alive, and that embody the extraordinary richness and diversity of Armenia. We're big believers in sampling the local delicacies and dishes of every place we visit with traditional flavors and techniques. Enjoy hands-on  to a traditional arts and crafts workshops. Meet locals who offer you tips on how to play doodook before you try it yourself. Discover the many splendors of Karabakh, from Shushi's steeped in time-honored tradition to its heathered hillsides shrouded in the mists of legend. Blackstone supports grassroots projects that improve communities in Armenia. Whether touring a bike shop enterprise or meeting the children of a local school, a visit to a Blackstone supported project adds a new layer of depth to your journey.

Day 1

  • 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 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

 

  • 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 3

  • 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 4

  • Arrival to Azat Artsakh

 

  • Hotel Check-in

 

  • Old Stepanakert Walking tour

 

  • Lunch

 

  • Carpet weaving extravaganza  

 

  • Robert Askaryan’s Studio visit

 

  • Dinner in the city

Day 5

  • Shushi City Tour

 

  • Carpet Museum, check the ancient pieces

 

  • Ghazanchetsots Cathedral

 

  • Arts and Crafts House

 

  • Ministry of Culture Tour – possible meeting with the officials  
  • Center of Fine and Applied Arts after Gyurjian

 

  • Shushi's Realakan School

 

  • Mosque tour, old town walking-tour

 

  • Lunch at Isahaki Aghbyur

Day 6

  • South Karabakh trip – Togh Meliq Palace Tour

 

  • Kataro Wine Estate Tour

 

  • Lunch at Mets Tagher

Day 7

  • Tigranakert of Artsakh Archeological Site, Access to Excavation areas

Day 8

  • Check-out from hotel

 

  • Gandzasar

 

  • The Trophy Wall

 

  • Dadivank

 

  • Lunch at The House-Museum of Nikol Duman (the museum of folk architecture, ethnography and rural life)

 

  • Optional: Jeeping Tour to Qarvadjar – Al Lcher Petroglyph site

 

  • Off to Syuniq, RA

 

  • Hotel Check-in at Goris

Day 9

  • 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 10

  • 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

 

  • 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 11

  • 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 12

  • 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 13

  • 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 14

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

 

  • Farewell Dinner

Day 15

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

Start your perfect journey!