$1135 per person
Throughout its centuries of history, Armenia went through several cultural and religious phases. It is rich with historical and natural monuments that tell us the legendary past of this land. “Armenia Enlightened” is a unique 10-day pilgrimage tour in Armenia, offering pilgrims an opportunity to visit major Christian pilgrimage site in Armenia and historical lands of Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh).
Travelers spend five nights in Yerevan and four nights outside the capital, in different towns of Armenia. The trip includes not only the Christian phase of our history, but also the pre-Christian era of the Roman period and even goes back to 4-3rd centuries BC, a time when Armenians were nature-worshipers and erected mysterious monuments that are still subject to researches by many scholars.
“Armenia Enlightened” pilgrimage tour takes you to medieval and contemporary churches and monasteries, unique pilgrimage and healing sites, and offers a stunning variety of Armenia’s landscapes: from snow-capped mountains and deep canyons to rapid rivers and serene lakes, spicing it up with delicious homemade food and drinks.
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- Yerevan city tour – learn about the history of Armenia’s capital
- Visit Khor Virap monastery and enjoy a stunning view of the Biblical Mount Ararat
- UNESCO World Heritage Site Etchmiadzin Cathedral
- Haghartsin monastery, a treasure hidden in Dilijan National Park
- Sevanavank monastery and Lake Sevan, the majestic blue pearl of Armenia
- Republic of Artsakh, its cultural and spiritual heritage
- The monastery of Tatev, one of the largest monastic complexes in Armenia
- Khndzoresk cave town, a mysterious settlement in the south of the country
- Noravank monastery, a masterpiece of medieval Armenian architecture
- Garni pagan temple and the cave monastery of Geghard
- Komitas museum – get acquainted with Armenian music
- Authentic Armenian cuisine – feel the diverse taste of Armenia
IMPORTANT: The mentioned price is calculated for a group of 10 people with double occupancy at the Tufenkian Historic Yerevan Hotel. Accommodation outside Yerevan is provided at Harsnakar Hotel (Sevan), Mirhav Hotel (Goris), Park Hotel (Stepanakert). Travelers can choose to stay in a different hotel. Please note that the final price may change depending on the number of the travelers, or your preferences.
IncludedAccommodationMealsMuseum TicketsPersonal GuideTransfer to/from airportTransportation
Not IncludedAir ticketsAlcoholCoffee breakInsuranceSubway ticketsVisaWine tastingWorkshops
Arrival, transfer to hotel.
Yerevan City Tour – Mother Armenia – Cascade – Matenadaran - St. Sarkis Cathedral - Matenadaran – St. Gregory the Illuminator Cathedral – Agricultural Market - Megerian Carpet museum
A city tour in Yerevan. Explore the different layers of the history of Armenia’s capital. Visit the Mother Armenia monument located in the Victory Park, which provides one of the best panoramic views over Yerevan with Mount Ararat in the background. A tour in the Yerevan History museum will introduce the three transformation phases of the city. Next stop is the Cascade complex and the Cafesjian park and its contemporary art center with a unique collection of art works. From here, we head to Matenadaran – the museum of ancient manuscripts. Learn about the ancient Armenian alphabet and the long traditions of translation skills.
Visit one of the most favorite churches of locals of Yerevan - the St. Sarkis cathedral. Overlooking the Hrazdan canyon, Victory bridge and the setting of the former Yerevan fortress, this cathedral was rebuilt on the same site where a monastery consisting of 3 churches was operating since the early days of Christianity. The old monastery was destroyed during an earthquake in 17th century.
Next stop is the St. Gregory the Illuminator cathedral, considered as largest church on the territory of Armenia. Built in 2001, ahead of the 1700th anniversary of establishment of Christianity as Armenia's state religion, the cathedral is home to the relics of St. Gregory the Illuminator that were from to Armenia from Italy. Pope John Paul II visited the cathedral shortly after its consecration.
In the evening, we’ll visit the Megerian Carpet museum and factory to discover the unknown history of ancient carpet weaving traditions of Armenia.
(The schedule of the first day of the tour program will be adjusted in accordance with the arrival time.)
Yerevan – Khor Virap Monastery – Zvartnots Cathedral – Etchmiadzin Mother Cathedral – St. Hripsime Church – Yerevan
On the second day of the tour, we will trace the route of the first Christians in Armenia. Driving 40 minutes south, we’ll visit the monastery of Khor Virap (translated from Armenian as ‘deep pit’), truly the witness of historical conversion of Armenia from paganism to Christianity. The first Armenian Catholicos and the patron saint of the Armenian Apostolic Church St. Gregory the Illuminator was imprisoned here for 13 years.
It is believed that St. Gregory’s relics were kept in the cathedral of Zvartnots. It is now an open-air museum where you’ll learn about its excavation and reconstruction history at the nearby museum. Zvartnots cathedral is included in the UNESCO World Heritage Sites list together with Etchmiadzin Mother Cathedral and St. Hripsime church.
Etchmiadzin was founded in 301AD, a year when Armenia officially adopted Christianity as its state religion and since then have been the Holy See of Armenian Apostolic church. Visit the St. Hripsime church to learn the history of women martyrs and explore the typical Armenian national architecture principles developed in the 7th century.
Yerevan – Dilijan – Haghartsin Monastery – Sevanavank Monastery – Sevan
Following the northern routes, travel to Tavush province of Armenia. Visit Dilijan, a spa resort town in Armenia, surrounded by the lush forests of the Dilijan National Park. You will see the rural style wooden houses with traditional furniture and attributes exhibited in the town’s ethnographic museum.
Explore the medieval monastic complex of Haghartsin, located away from the main roads and settlements, in a secluded forested area. The monastery’s isolated location and the serene atmosphere surrounding the site allows travelers to connect with its spiritual heritage.
Leaving the province of Tavush, we’ll travel to the shores of Lake Sevan, the largest body of water in the Republic of Armenia. Considered the second highest fresh water lake in the world, Sevan has an elevation of over 1900 meters above the sea level and is surrounded by magnificent mountain ranges.
The lake is also famous for its peninsula, where the 10th-century monastery of Sevanavank is located. The monastery provides a breathtaking panoramic view of the lake.Overnight in Sevan.
Sevan – Noratus – Vardenis - Artsakh – Dadivank Monastery – Stepanakert
Start the day’s tour program by visiting the medieval cemetery in the village of Noratus, home to the largest field of Armenian khachkars (cross stones) dating from 9th to 20th centuries.
We then head to the historical lands of Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh), traveling along the new Vardenis – Karvachar highway running through the forested Tartar canyon. Visit the 9th-century monastic complex of Dadivank with a unique captivating architecture that survived through many centuries.
Proceed to the capital of Artsakh – Stepanakert, to enjoy an evening walk in the city center.Overnight in Stepanakert.
Stepanakert – Gandzasar Monastery - Tigranakert – Amaras Monastery – Stepanakert
We continue exploring the Republic of Artsakh. Our first destination is the Treasure Hill or Gandzasar monastery considered the Holy See of historical Artsakh kingdom. Enjoy the detailed engravings, stunning location and surroundings of the site.
Continue to the excavation field of Tigranakert, one of the newly discovered sites that dates back to the 1st millennium BC. Explore the fortress and the museum, observe the excavation site from above.
From here, we’ll travel to the Amaras monastery considered the first academy on the territory of Artsakh founded in the 5th century.Return to Stepanakert. Free time.
Stepanakert – Shushi – Khndzoresk Cave Town – Tatev Monastery - Goris
Sum up the tour in Artsakh by visiting the strategically important town of Shushi. Learn about the battle for liberation of Shushi that took place in 1993. Walk around Shushi and discover its cultural and religious sites.
We leave Artsakh and travel to Khndzoresk - a cave town that was inhabited until the middle of 20th century. Hike down the steps and walk over the longest suspension bridge in Armenia that connects the two sides of the canyon. Explore the natural and man-made cave dwellings, the 17th-century small basilica nestled in the canyon and taste fresh mountain spring water. Spend some time with local youngsters collecting wild herbs used for brewing tea.
Our next destination is the Tatev village. Take a ride on the longest reversible aerial tramway in the world listed in Guinness Book of world records. The aerial tram takes travelers to Armenia’s largest medieval monastery and educational center – the monastery of Tatev. Situated on a vast plateau, it overlooks the Vorotan gorge and provides some breathtaking views. A choir of local children will introduce you to the spiritual and folk music in the monastery’s garden.Overnight in Goris.
Goris – Zorats Church of Yeghegis - Noravank Monastery – Areni-1 Cave – Yerevan
We head back to Armenia’s capital, the city of Yerevan. Driving east, we’ll visit the village of Yeghegis to see the one of its kind church of Zorats (translated as ‘the church of soldiers’), where the military men were blessed before going to war.
Following a winding road through the volcanic canyon of Amaghu, we’ll then travel to the monastery of Noravank, a secluded Christian monastery built in the 13th century. Truly a masterpiece of Armenian architecture, with elaborated ornaments and unique stone reliefs.
Archaeological excavations of the last decade unveiled a history of local viticulture dating back to 3rd millennium BC. Visit the Areni-1 Cave where several major discoveries were made, including the world’s oldest leather shoe and the oldest winery.Return to Yerevan.
Yerevan – Garni Pagan Temple – Geghard Monastery – Levon’s Cave – Komitas Museum – Vernissage
Visit the 1st-century AD Hellenistic temple of Garni, located in the Kotayk province of Armenia, a 40-minute drive north-east of Yerevan. The temple seats on a cliff overlooking the breathtaking Azat gorge. Continuing the road, we’ll reach a stunning monastery carved out of a mountain – the monastery of Holy Spear or Geghard, sometimes referred to as the Armenian Petra. Part of the monastery was carved in a single massive rock in the 13th century AD. Both the temple of Garni and the Geghard monastery are recognized as UNESCO World Heritage sites.
Back in Yerevan, visit another man-made wonder – the Levon’s Divine Cave. It’s an astonishing large maze dug right under a small house where the family of the cave’s creator still lives. Levon dug this labyrinth after he had a divine vision. He made a vow and dedicated the rest of his life to dig the labyrinth, eventually creating a stunning maze of wonders.
Visit the museum of Komitas, dedicated to one the greatest Armenian intellectuals who made an enormous contribution to Armenian music and arts in general.
Conclude the day’s program by exploring the open-air Vernissage market in the heart of Yerevan, where you can find variety of handmade works by local artisans representing Armenian culture.
Yerevan – Oshakan – Saghmosavank Monastery – Tsaghkevank Shrine – Yerevan
Leaving Yerevan, we’ll drive north to visit the village of Oshakan, home to the tomb of St. Mesrop Mashtots who created the Armenian alphabet in 405 AD. The church where St. Mesrop Mashtots is buried is a pilgrimage destination for schoolchildren on their first day at school and for students who just entered a college.
Take a ride to Saghmosavank – the monastery of the Psalms. The monastery seats on the edge of a cliff, overlooking the 60-meter deep Kasagh canyon. On a sunny day, three mountains can be seen from Ara – Mt. Ara, Mt. Aragats and Mt. Ararat.
Visit Tsaghkevank (Flowers’ church) – a small cave shrine in the heart of Mount Ara. Tsaghkevank is a popular pilgrimage destination known for its healing miracles. Many believe that the water flowing inside the cave possesses healing features and cures eyesight problems.Return to Yerevan.
Checkout from hotel. Transfer to Zvartnots Airport. Departure from Yerevan.
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