ARMENIA – THE SILK ROUTE

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9 DAYS / 8 NIGHTS
Tour Details
ARMENIA – THE SILK ROUTE
9 DAYS / 8 NIGHTS

If you are planning an exciting first time trip, Armenia – The Silk Route is for you

YEREVAN – ECHMIADZIN – ZVARTNOTS – VERNISAJ -KHOR VIRAP – NORAVANK – ARENI WINERY – ZORATS KARER – GORIS – TATEV –SELIM PASS – SEVAN -LAKE SEVAN – DILIJAN (HAGHARTSIN)-YEREVAN -GARNI – GEGHARD

Itinerary

Day 1ARRIVAL IN YEREVAN

Greet and meet at the airport . Private transfer to the hotel

Day 2YEREVAN CITY TOUR

Breakfast at the hotel. City tour- Yerevan sightseeing including City center, Republic square, State University, City panorama, Mother Armenia Monument, Parliament, President’s Palace, Opera, Sports & Concert Complex. Visit to the Genocide Memorial, dedicated to the Victims of 1915 and the Genocide Museum.
Visit to Matenadaran (depository for ancient manuscripts, the collection of which is one of the biggest in the world). This outstanding collection includes manuscripts dating from 7th century and is widely appreciated by history and art amateurs and professionals.
Visit to Cascade complex, which is considered the modern art center of Yerevan, with art pieces displayed throughout the whole area: the boulevard and up the stairs, from top of which you can enjoy the panoramic view on the city and Mountain Ararat. Cascade is home to the Cafesjian modern art museum. This place becomes even more charming in the evenings, when it is full of people, both locals and tourists from all over the world, enjoying the magic and the warmth of the capital. You will enjoy spending time in one of the cosy open-air cafes surrounded by beautiful sculptures, redolent flowers shining brightly with magic colors. It is also a popular place for open air concerts during the summer season. Visit to Armenian central market. O/N in Yerevan.

Day 3ECHMIADZIN – ZVARTNOTS – VERNISAJ

Breakfast at the hotel. Visit to Vernisaj, national crafts/art market (open only on Saturdays and Sundays). Drive to Etchmiadzin, the spiritual and administrative center of Armenian Apostolic Church. Visit to Etchmiadzin Cathedral (4th c.), the museum, St. Hripsime’s Church (7th c.), ruins of Zvartnots temple (7th c.), (UNESCO World Heritage list 2000). O/N in Yerevan.
Optional is lunch in a local house.

Day 4KHOR VIRAP – NORAVANK – ARENI WINERY – ZORATS KARER – GORIS

Breakfast at the hotel and check out. Drive to Ararat valley, visit to Khor Virap Church – the place of imprisonment of St. Gregory the Illuminator, who stayed here in the small dungeon for 13 years without any food, accused by the Armenian King of preaching Christianity. It is one of the holy places for the Christian world. It is also the best point to enjoy the most spectacular view of the gorgeous biblical mountain Ararat shining with its two white peaks.
The hills adjoining Khor Virap were the site of the early Armenian capital – ancient Artashat built by King Artashes I, founder of the Artashesid dynasty, around 180 B.C. It is one of the few ancient towns, built by the special design of the famous Carthaginian general Hannibal. After the defeat in a war against Rome, he found shelter in Armenia…After visiting Khor Virap drive through the spectacular canyon between the red rocks toward Noravank Monastery (13th c.). Optional: lunch at the refectory of the Monastery with a nice view of the canyon. On the way visit a local winery in Areni village – wine testing. Areni used to be one of the centers of wine production in Armenia. Recent archeological findings make place worldwide famous. In September 2010, archaeologists discovered a 6,100-year-old 5 winery and wine cellar in Areni (Vayots Dzor province) in Armenia. Within the underground wine cellar, a wine press for stomping grapes, fermentation and storage containers, drinking cups, grape vines, skins, and seeds were found. This is the earliest winery and wine cellar found to date. The findings indicated large scale wine production, quite possibly the earliest retail winery. Drive to the southern part of Armenia Visit Zorats Karer (Armenian Stonehenge). Arrive to Goris town and check in the hotel. O/n in Goris.

Day 5GORIS – TATEV –SELIM PASS – SEVAN

Breakfast at the hotel and check out. Drive to Tatev Monastery, enjoying spectacular view of the scenery around, passing Devil’s bridge. View of recently constructed rope way – the longest in the world (5,7 km), recorded in Guinness record book. Optional: ride on the longest ropeway in the world over the canyons to the Monastery of Tatev and back. Drive to Sevan Lake, one of the greatest high mountainous freshwater lakes of Eurasia, via Selim pass. On a way visit Selim Pass Karavansaray, which was used for having a rest by Silk road caravans. Check-in hotel in Sevan. O/n in Sevan.

Day 6LAKE SEVAN – DILIJAN (HAGHARTSIN)-YEREVAN

Breakfast at the hotel. In Sevan, climb on Akhtamar peninsula from where the fascinating view on the Lake is open. Visit Sevanavank monastery, which stands in its greatness on the peninsula overlooking the lake for centuries. Drive to mountainous resort Dilijan, or so called “Armenian Switzerland”, which is well-known for its forests as well as for its mysterious flora and fauna. During the drive one can enjoy the unbelievable change of the surrounding environment and land shaft from the mountainous lake to the green and rich forest mountains. Small walking city tour in Dilijan: visit handicrafts’ street, where one can watch the preparation of different national souvenirs from wood, stone and ceramics. Visit to Haghartsin Monastery complex which is located in the secluded place of the forest. Haghartsin dates back to the 11th-13th century and represents a magnificent piece of history, culture and architecture. The place is so unique and the scenery with the nature surrounding it is so breathtaking that most of the visitors are in awe. Appearing unexpectedly, out of the dense forests, in front of the visitors, the Monastery creates a magical impression of a lost world. Complex includes Church St. Stepanos, St. Mary and St. Gregory’s Church, as well as famous refectory. Drive to Yerevan. O/n in Yerevan.

Day 7GARNI – GEGHARD

Breakfast at the hotel. Drive to the only remaining pagan temple in Armenia devoted to the God of Sun – Myrth, in Garni, built in 77 AD by King Trdat (Arshakid Dynasty). Photo stop at Charentc Arc. The temple is Greco-Roman style with characteristic pillars. It stands proudly on a rocky ridge with a deep canyon presenting a beautiful view. The temple was a summer residence for Arshakid dynasty. Visit to the ruins of Royal Palace and Royal bath-house nearby. Canyon of Garni -magnificent and outstanding scene which creates the image of falling crags. It obtained the name “Symphony of Stones” due to its view. The fantastic landscape of Garni canyon shakes the human imagination. Drive to the unique cave temple St. Geghard (12th -13th cc.), the name of which means “holy spear” in the honor of the long-preserved spear, the same spear that pierced the body of crucified Christ. It is now exhibited in the museum of Etchmiadzin Cathedral. Geghard Monastery is included in the UNESCO World Heritage list (2000). Option: opportunity to organize family hosted lunch in village house and watching of “Lavash” (Armenian traditional flat bread baked in stone-make oven) making process. O/N in Yerevan.

Day 8ASHTARAK – OSAHKAN- AMBERD FORTRESS- ALPHABET PARK

Breakfast at the hotel. Trip to the village Oshakan via town Ashtarak. Visit to the Church St. Mesrop Mashtots, the inventor of Breakfast at the hotel. Trip to the village Oshakan via town Ashtarak. Visit to the Church St. Mesrop Mashtots, the inventor of Armenian Alphabet, and his gravestone. Visit to Alphabet Park, a location where all letters of Armenian alphabet made from tuff of human-size are scattered around volcanic stones. Trip to Byurakan. Visit to Amberd fortress (11th-13th cc.) – the residence of Pahlavuni princes built on the slopes of Mt. Aragats are 2,300 meters above sea level. O/N in Yerevan
Optional: dinner with folk show.

Day 9DEPARTURE

Breakfast at the hotel.
Private transfer to the airport

Photos