“Southern Mysteries” weekend tour in Armenia starts with a visit to the monastery of Khor Virap, the witness of historical conversion of Armenia from paganism to Christianity. 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.
From here, we head to Armenia’s winemaking region – the province of Vayots Dzor. Archaeological excavations of the last decade unveiled a history of local viticulture dating back to 3rd millennium BC. After an overnight in the city of Goris, we’ll travel to Khndzoresk cave town to explore the natural and man-made cave dwellings. A ride on the longest reversible aerial tramway in the world listed in the Guinness Book of world records will take us to the medieval monastery of Tatev, situated on a vast plateau that overlooks the Vorotan gorge.
Furthermore, on our way back to Yerevan, we’ll visit the mysterious prehistoric archaeological site of Zorats Karer, known among travelers as the Stonehenge of Armenia.
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- Khor Virap monastery and the ruins of Old Artashat
- Armenian khachkar workshop
- Areni-1 Cave and Noravank monastery
- Khndzoresk cave town
- TaTever – world’s longest reversible aerial tramway
- Medieval monastery of Tatev
- Zorats Karer prehistoric archaeological site
IncludedAccommodationMealsMuseum TicketsPersonal GuideTransportation
Not IncludedAir ticketsAlcoholCoffee breakInsuranceSubway ticketsTransfer to/from airportVisaWine tasting
Yerevan – Yerevan Metro Tour - Sasuntsi Davit Train Station - Khor Virap Monastery – Old Artashat – Armenian Khachkar Workshop – Noravank monastery – Areni-1 Cave - Goris
Start your weekend tour in Armenia with a ride on Yerevan Metro. We head to Sasuntsi David train station to see the Soviet neo-classicist building of the station with a contemporary spatial art work 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 archeological 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 Goris.
Goris – Khndzoresk Cave Town – Tatev Monastery – Zorats Karer - Yerevan
We leave Goris 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.
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’.
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.
Return to Yerevan.