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Armenia Plenary

Price $1420 12 days
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Armenia Plenary

$1420 per person

The “Armenia Plenary” cultural tour in Armenia is a comprehensive and thorough journey to all four sides of Armenia, exploring the humid north and sunny south, visiting the border-side towns from west to east, riding from 2500 meters down to 400, making a round trip of over thousand kilometers long. Spend four nights in Yerevan and seven days outside the city. Visit the two big cities of Armenia – Gyumri and Vanadzor, walk in small spa towns and mystic cave city in the south, get to know the everyday life and traditions of ethnic minorities in Armenia, by visiting their settlements and religious centers.

During this trip you enter the historical lands of Artsakh (Independent Republic of Nagorno Karabakh), where you spend two nights in the capital city of Stepanakert. Visit the medieval masterpieces of Armenian architecture, see one of the first academies where Armenian alphabet was taught and numerous translations were done.

Besides the cultural monuments you will also be amazed with the natural heritage like stone symphony in Azat gorge, the deep Hunot canyon in Shushi, the borderline rivers of Araxes and Akhuryan, high waterfalls in Syunik region. Experience the latest technical achievements by taking the longest reversible cable car in Tatev and pass over the suspension bridge in Khndzoresk. Furthermore, visit innovative educational centers to see the great potential of the young generation. Book your cultural tour in Armenia with Route Armenia tour operator and discover the country with us!

Tour highlights:
  • Yerevan city tour
  • Garni pagan temple & Geghard monastery
  • Etchmiadzin cathedral
  • Gyumri city tour
  • Stepanavan Dendropark
  • UNESCO World Heritage Haghpat monastery
  • Dilijan spa resort town & Dilijan National Park
  • Lake Sevan
  • Republic of Artsakh, its cultural and spiritual heritage
  • Khndzoresk cave town
  • Tatev monastery & Wings of Tatev – the longest reversible aerial tram in the world
  • Areni-1 cave where the world’s oldest winery and shoe were discovered
  • Khor Virap monastery
  • Armenian wine and cognac tasting
  • Authentic Armenian cuisine

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 Hyatt Place Jermuk (Jermuk), Goris Hotel (Goris), Tufenkian Old Dilijan (Dilijan), Tufenkian Avan Dzoraget Hotel (Dzoraget), Nane Hotel (Gyumri), Park Hotel Artsakh (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.

  • Included
    Accommodation
    Meals
    Museum Tickets
    Personal Guide
    Transfer to/from airport
    Transportation
  • Not Included
    Air tickets
    Alcohol
    Coffee break
    Insurance
    Subway tickets
    Visa
    Wine tasting
1

Arrival, transfer to hotel.

Yerevan City Tour – Mother Armenia – Yerevan History Museum and City Hall – Republic Square - Kond Old District - Cascade – Matenadaran - 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. A unique walking tour around the old district of Kond - see the last remains of 18th century Yerevan. 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. In the evening, we’ll visit the Megerian Carpet museum and factory to discover the unknown history of Armenia’s carpet weaving traditions.

(The schedule of the first day of the tour program will be adjusted in accordance with the arrival time.)

2

Yerevan – Garni Pagan Temple – Geghard Monastery – Levon’s Cave – History Museum of Armenia – Vernissage Market

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.

Visit the History Museum of Armenia. Established in 1920, the museum represents the history of the country from ancient to modern days through its archaeology, ethnography, numismatics and documentary collections.

Sum up your journey at the open-air Vernissage market in the heart of Yerevan, where you can find variety of handmade works by local artisans representing Armenian culture. In the evening, enjoy the city night life and the Fountain Show on the Republic Square (from 9 to 11pm).

3

Yerevan – Etchmiadzin – St. Hripsime Church - Sardarapat – Aknalich – Genocide Memorial – Yerevan Brandy Factory – Yerevan

On the second day, make a pilgrimage to the spiritual center of all Armenians. See the mother cathedral of Etchmiadzin that was founded in 301AD, a year when Armenia officially adopted Christianity as its state religion. 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. Both Etchmiadzin Cathedral and St. Hripsime Church are included in the UNESCO World Heritage list.

Leaving Etchmiadzin, we head to Sardarapat, an important historical site where a battle took place in 1918. The victory of the Armenians in this battle conditioned the establishment of the first Armenian Republic. We’ll visit the local ethnographic museum, which houses a large collection dedicated to the development of Armenian nation on this land. On the way back to Yerevan, a stop in the village of Aknalich to visit a Yazidi temple. The Yazidis are the largest ethnic minority in Armenia, with whom Armenians built a centuries-old friendship.

In Yerevan, visit the Genocide memorial representing a dramatic phase of Armenian history in the 20th century.

The tour program of the day ends at the Yerevan Brandy Factory famous for its Ararat brandy. Learn about the preparation process of Armenian brandy during the tour around the factory and discover the exquisite taste of this drink.

4

Yerevan – ArmAs Vineyards - Gyumri – Marmashen Monastery – Overnight in Gyumri

Two-hour drive to the second biggest city of Armenia – Gyumri, the center of arts and crafts. Visit the ArmAs winery on the way. Tour around the vast vineyards and taste some fine Armenian wines.

City tour in Gyumri. Walk in the city center and explore Gyumri’s 2-century old buildings, parks and cultural sites. Visit the Dzitoghtsyan museum to learn about the daily urban life of Gyumri. Meet villagers at the agricultural market to get acquainted with the local produce.

Proceed to Marmashen, a medieval monastery situated on the bank of Akhuryan river, facing the Armenian-Turkish border.

Overnight in Gyumri.
5

Gyumri – Stepanavan Dendropark – Akhtala Monastic Complex – Haghpat Monastery - Dzoraget

The fifth day of our tour around Armenia’s north will take us from Shirak province to Lori. Travel to the city of Stepanavan, home to an extraordinary botanical garden in Armenia. Learn about the history of this botanical garden and have a relaxing walk around.

We then continue our journey to visit the 10th-century Akhtala monastic complex famous for its well-preserved colorful murals.

The next destination is the monastery of Haghpat, a large monastery complex listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site. With its unique location and elaborate architecture, this monastery is an impressive site to sum up the day’s program.

6

Dzoraget – Dsegh – Vanadzor – Fioletovo - Dilijan (overnight)

Drive to a nearby village Dsegh to see Armenia’s greatest writer Hovhaness Tumanyan’s house-museum and visit the newly opened innovative Smart center for kids.

Our next stop is the third-largest city of Armenia – Vanadzor, where you can visit the local farmers’ market and have a workshop at an artist’s place. On our way to Dilijan we’ll have a Russian rural style homemade lunch in the Fioletovo village. Fioletovo is inhabited by Russian Molokans, the second largest ethnic minority in Armenia.

Proceed to Dilijan, the spa resort city of 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.

7

Dilijan – Lake Sevan – Noratus - Vardenis – Artsakh – Dadivank Monastery – Stepanakert

Drive to the shores of Lake Sevan, the largest body of water in the Republic of Armenia. Considered the second highest freshwater lake in the world, Sevan has an elevation of over 1900 meters above the sea level and is surrounded by mountain ranges. Take a boat from the Sevan peninsula to the opposite shore. Visit 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 laid between 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.
8

Stepanakert – Gandzasar Monastery - Tigranakert – Amaras Monastery - Shushi – 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.

Sum up the tour 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.

Return to Stepanakert. Free time.
9

Stepanakert – Khndzoresk Cave Town – Tatev Monastery – Goris

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. To conclude our exploration of Tatev village, we’ll visit a craftsman’s house who makes traditional Armenian leather shoes called ‘trekh’.

Overnight in the nearby town of Goris.
10

Goris – Zorats Karer - Shake Waterfall – Jermuk

Travel to the mysterious prehistoric archeological site of Zorats Karer, known among travelers as the Stonehenge of Armenia. Learn about the ancient petroglyphs discovered in the nearby mountains.

Visit the Shaki waterfall, a natural monument hidden from the main routes. Continue to Jermuk – a spa town famous for its hot springs and mineral waters. Learn about the production of bottled mineral waters at the factory of Jermuk, explore the mineral water gallery, take an easy hike to the famous waterfall of Jermuk.

Overnight it Jermuk.
11

Jermuk – Noravank Monastery – Areni-1 Cave – Khor Virap Monastery – Yerevan

On the last day of our tour around Armenia, following a winding road through the volcanic canyon of Amaghu, we’ll travel to the monastery of Noravank, a secluded Christian monastery built in 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.

On the way back to Yerevan, we’ll visit the monastery of Khor Virap (translated from Armenian as ‘deep pit’), the witness of historical conversion of Armenia from paganism to Christianity. The first Armenian Catholicos and the patron saint of the Armenian Apostolic Church was imprisoned here for 13 years. The area where Khor Virap is located was once part of one of the ancient capitals of Armenia - Artashat, known as the “Armenian Carthage” during the Roman era.

Return to Yerevan. Free time.
12

Checkout from hotel. Transfer to Zvartnots Airport. Departure from Yerevan.

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