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Southern Lands

Price $895 8 days
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Southern Lands

$895 per person

Route Armenia tour operator’s “Passage to Southern Lands” is a 8-day cultural tour in Armenia that takes travelers on a mesmerizing journey to the southern regions of Armenia, along the high mountain routes with elevation of over 2000 meters above sea level.

This tour offers a perfect combination of sites and activities that suits both tourists who travel to Armenia for the first time and those who have already visited the country and now want a deeper understanding of Armenia’s cultural and spiritual heritage.

Explore the history of Yerevan and the nearby sites, uncover the six thousand years of wine making history, get to know Armenia’s natural treasures and try to solve the mystery of Zorats Karer prehistoric archaeological site, often called the Stonehenge of Armenia by travelers.

Furthermore, the “Passage to Southern Lands” tour offers travelers an opportunity to visit local craftsmen at their workshops and learn traditional crafts. Experience Armenian hospitality, try some of the most delicious dishes of Armenian cuisine and taste Armenian wine and cognac.

Book your cultural tour in Armenia with Route Armenia tour operator and discover the country with us! The south is calling!

Tour highlights:
  • Yerevan city tour – explore Armenia’s capital
  • Visi the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin, the spiritual center of Armenians
  • Travel to Khor Virap monastery for a stunning view of the Biblical Mount Ararat
  • Areni-1 cave, where the world’s oldest shoe and winery were discovered
  • Khachkar workshop
  • Hike to Jermuk waterfall
  • Khndzoresk cave town
  • Zorats Karer, a mystical prehistoric archaeological site
  • Tatev monastery, one of the largest monastic complexes in Armenia
  • Lake Sevan, the magnificent blue pearl of Armenia
  • Garni pagan temple and Geghard monastery, a unique UNESCO World Heritage site in Armenia
  • TUMO center for creative technologies
  • Armenian wine and cognac tasting
  • Authentic Armenian cuisine – experience the tastes 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 Hyatt Place Jermuk (Jermuk), Goris Hotel (Goris) and Tufenkian Old Dilijan Hotel (Dilijan). 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.

8 days
  • 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
    Workshops
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 – 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.

3

Yerevan – Yerevan Metro Tour - Sasuntsi Davit Train Station - Khor Virap Monastery – Old Artashat – Armenian Khachkar Workshop – Noravank monastery – Areni-1 Cave - Jermuk

The third day of our cultural tour in Armenia starts with a metro tour. We head to Sasuntsi David train station of Yerevan to see the Soviet neo-classicist building of the station with a contemporary spatial artwork by an Italian artist. From here, a 40-minute drive will take us to 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 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. Explore the archaeological site of Old Artashat and get acquainted with the discoveries and ongoing excavations of the city.

On our way further south, we’ll visit an artist’s house in one of the nearby villages to get acquainted with the art of Armenian cross-stones – khachkars, inscribed in the UNESCO list of Intangible Cultural Heritage.

From here, we head to Armenia’s wine making region. 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.

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 - a masterpiece of Armenian architecture, with elaborated ornaments and unique stone reliefs.

Overnight in Jermuk – a spa town famous for its hot springs and mineral waters.

4

Jermuk – Zorats Karer – Tatev Monastery – Khndzoresk Cave Town - Goris

After visiting the Jermuk mineral water gallery and the Jermuk waterfall in the morning, we’ll leave the town and 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.

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’.

Head 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.

Overnight in the town of Goris, a 20-minute drive from Khndzoresk.

5

Goris – Vardenyats Pass – Noratus – Lake Sevan – Dilijan

We leave the southern regions of Armenia and travel up north, crossing the Vardenyats mountain pass, known among locals as Selim pass. Once a part of the famous Silk Road, the Vardenyats pass is home to the only well-preserved caravanserai in Armenia. It was built by the Orbelian noble family as an overnight stop for merchants.

Continue 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.

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.

Our next destination is the town of Dilijan, a spa resort in Armenia surrounded by the lush forests of the Dilijan National Park.

Overnight in Dilijan.
6

Dilijan – Lake Sevan – Tsaghkunk – Yerevan

In the morning of the sixth day of our tour in Armenia we’ll visit the Sharambeyan museum displaying a collection of local wooden furniture and other folklore items. A guided tour inside the Dilijan International School (UWC) will introduce travelers to the best high-class boarding school in the region.

Leaving Dilijan, we’ll travel to Lake Sevan and its peninsula where the 10th-century Sevanavank monastery is located. Enjoy a stunning panoramic view of Lake Sevan.

On the way back to Yerevan, we’ll make a stop at the village of Tsaghkunk to taste delicious local food.

7

Yerevan – Garni Pagan Temple – Geghard Monastery – Levon’s Cave – National History Museum - TUMO Center – Vernissage

Visit the 1th-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 manmade miracle – 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.

Continue your journey at 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.

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).

8

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

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