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Big Armenian Journey

Price $1455 12 days
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Big Armenian Journey

$1455 per person

Our 12-day “Big Armenian Journey” family tour in Armenia is designed for families who want to learn and introduce their children to Armenia, its culture and history. You spend four nights in Yerevan and seven nights outside the capital, visiting all the important and also hidden treasures of the country.

This route 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, travel from 2500 meters down to 400, making a round trip of over thousand kilometers. This is also an educational trip, as your family will meet with locals, be hosted by the artists in different settlements to learn traditional crafts, such as cross-stone (khachkar) making, woodworking, clay, metal and wool.

Armenia’s nature and diverse landscapes provide with many opportunities to organize adventure trips as well: hike in the canyons, ride horses in the mountains, fly the longest zipline over the gorge, explore natural caves. Furthermore, you will also visit Armenian educational centers to meet the young and smart generation of the country. The local food can be a new experience for you with its fresh and natural flavors, delicious combinations and simplicity. Armenia is known as a family-oriented country, so this special journey will make you feel like you’re at home, surrounded with many new friends. Embark on the Big Armenian Journey – an unforgettable adventure for your whole family!

Book your family tour in Armenia with Route Armenia tour operator and discover the country with us!

Tour highlights:
  • Yerevan city tour
  • Garni pagan temple & Geghard monastery
  • TUMO center for creative technologies
  • Etchmiadzin Cathedral
  • ArmAs vineyards
  • Gyumri city tour
  • Akhtala and Haghpat monasteries
  • Yell Extreme Park
  • Lake Sevan
  • Republic of Artsakh, its cultural and spiritual heritage
  • Khndzoresk cave town
  • Tatev monastery & Wings of Tatev aerial tramway
  • Shaki and Jermuk waterfalls
  • Areni-1 cave where the world’s oldest winery and shoe were discovered
  • Traditional Armenian cuisine
  • Armenian wine and cognac tasting

(The tour program may be subject to minor changed depending on the age of the children to shape the journey accordingly).

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), Gayane Hotel (Haghpat), Nane Hotel (Gyumri), 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.

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

Arrival, transfer to hotel.

Yerevan City Tour – Mother Armenia – Yerevan History Museum and City Hall – Republic Square – Metro tour - Cascade – Matenadaran – Grand Candy - 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. Take a metro tour to Baghramyan Avenue - the administrative district of Yerevan. Walk to the Cascade complex and the Cafesjian park, visit 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. After the museum, take a short break at a famous Armenian candy shop that makes popular local donuts. 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 – TUMO Center – 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.

A guided tour inside the most innovative TUMO Center for creative technologies, the best technological school of the region.

Visit 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 Cathedral – 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 – Dsegh – Akhtala Monastic Complex – Haghpat Monastery

The fifth day of our tour will take us from Shirak province to Lori. Visit the village of Dsegh and experience its unique rural atmosphere and stunning location. Explore the new SMART center providing alternative education to local youth.

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.

Overnight in Haghpat.
6

Haghpat – Noyemberyan – Yenokavan - Dilijan

Get ready for adventures! Leaving Dilijan, we’ll travel to the village of Yenokavan, passing by a number of Armenian villages and visiting a thousand years old plane tree on the way. We’ll spend our day at the Apaga resort: hike to Lastiver waterfall, enjoy a ride on a horse and of course, fly the longest zip-line in Armenia.

We will then head to Dilijan, a spa resort town in Armenia, surrounded by lush forests of the Dilijan National Park. You will see rural style wooden houses and traditional furniture and folklore attributes.

Overnight in Dilijan.
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 fresh water 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 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.
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 5th-century monastery of Amaras considered the first academy on the territory of Artsakh.

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 – Sisian - Shaki Waterfall – Jermuk

Travel to the mysterious prehistoric archaeological site of Zorats Karer, known among travelers as the Stonehenge of Armenia. Learn about the ancient petroglyphs discovered in the nearby mountains. From here, we’ll drive to the town of Sisian to meet one of the local artists who works with wood and clay.

We will also 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 family tour in 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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Tour Location

Garni

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