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      Cultural Tours in Armenia                        

  Classical Tour & Trekking in Armenia           
  Cultural & Trekking Tour (8 days)

15,000 monuments of history and culture are spread all over the territory of the Republic of Armenia making this country a unique open-air museum. The fact that Armenia is the oldest Christian state, the existence of early Christian monuments and strong traditions make Armenia a fascinating country for tourists interested in religious and cultural tours. Armenians built magnificent churches in the most inaccessible places and carved unique cross stones which have become one of the symbols of the nation.

  The presence of nearly all climatic zones, variety in relief, diversity in flora and fauna attract the people who prefer ecological tourism, bird watching, geological and adventure tours. The sights of Armenian nature - the Armenian Plateau containing an endless chain of mountains, lakes hidden in the heights, mountain torrents and waterfalls, valleys and forests leave deep impressions in people who visit Armenia. Being a country of contrasts in this small piece of land Armenia has sultry summer and eternal winter existing almost side by side. The valleys can be as hot as tropics while mountains are covered with snow all year around.  
  One of the most ancient cities of the world - Yerevan, is of special interest for visitors. Downtown Yerevan is full of open-air cafes, restaurants, parks and entertainment. Original architecture bearing the signs of various epochs, and safe streets make the city pleasant for walks. The view on the Biblical Mt. Ararat, which is 50 km from Yerevan, is very beautiful.  
Day 1


  Arrival / Yerevan city tour/ Echmiadzin / Zvartnotz / Genocide museum / Yerevan
Arrival in Zvartnots airport. Meet and greet transfer, accommodation at the hotel. Breakfast at the hotel. City tour around Yerevan. The history of Yerevan dates back to the 8th century BC. A little part of the capital city's 3,000-year history has survived: Central Yerevan was once dominated by huge Soviet-style buildings, but now, due to the nowadays active constructions, many modern-style buildings appear and are going to appear. While your tour you will see the Republic Square which is designed in the traditional Armenian architectural style and includes the Government House, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Central Post Office, the National Art Gallery. Along with all major sights of the capital you will also see "Cat statue" by famous sculptor Fernando Botero, will climb up the Cascade to enjoy the panoramic view of Yerevan as well as will see Opera house, Victory Park with Mother Armenia statue, Kievyan Bridge, Baghramyan Avenue, the Presidential Palace, Academy of Sciences, National Parliament, Writers Union and Fruit market. Lunch in a local restaurant. In the second half of the day your main attractions will be Echmiadzin which is mere 20 km from Yerevan. On the way visit to St Hripsime church which is considered to be one of the 7 wonders of Armenia. Etchmiadzin Cathedral is known as the center of the Armenian - Gregorian Church and appears to be one of the world's first Christian churches. Legend has it that it was here that Jesus Christ descended from heaven to show were he wanted a church built. So Echmiadzin means "The only-begotten descended". The Church was built between the years 301 - 303 AD under the Armenian king Tiridates III and the first Armenian Catholicos, St. Gregory the Illuminator. Return to Yerevan with stop at the ruins of Zvartnots temple - the pearl of the 7th c. architecture which is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage. Lunch in a national restaurant in Yerevan city. Visit to the Tsitsernakaberd Memorial park and museum of the victims of Genocide.
Welcome dinner and overnight at the hotel in Yerevan.
Day 2


  Yerevan / Khor Virap / Areni / Noravank / Artabuynk village
Sightseeing tour to Khor-Virap monastery 4- 17th cc. 45 km. from Yerevan the monastery of Khor-Virap has a very rich history, both religious and secular. Khor Virap was built in Artashat during the reign of the Arshakids dynasty. At that time it was used as a pit- dungeon for convicts. In the 60s of the 4th century Artashat was ruined by Persian invaders. It is situated in the Ararat valley against the biblical Ararat Mountain, were Noah's arch cast anchor. The importance of it is connected with Gregory the Illuminator, who introduced Christianity to Armenia and is considered to be the first Armenian catholicos. Here you will also have an opportunity to take a lit candle from the pit like His holiness Paul II did while his visit to Khor Virap. Continue tour to Noravank monastery - a great religious and cultural centre of 12th c. On the way visit Areni wine factory to taste local wine made from special sorts of vines. Noravank ("New Monasterey") is 122 km away from Yerevan and is located in an inaccessible location throughout the stunning nature. The oldest structure of the monastery is the church of St. Karapet (9-10 c) that has not survived. The principal church is known as St. Karapet as well, which was built in the 13th c. The church has an atrium, which was rebuilt by the famous architect and sculptor Momik and is decorated with bas-relives on religious themes. Lunch in a local cave cafe. Drive to the Artabuynk village and from here we begin our hiking to the Smbataberd Fortress of 10 cc. This spectacular castle sits on the crest of the ridge between Artabuynk and Yeghegis villages and includes an upper citadel. The castle received water from a buried clay pipe leading from the monastery. According to legend, the Turks compelled the fort’s surrender by employing a thirsty horse to sniff out the pipeline (Hiking/ 3-3,5 hours).
Dinner of fresh and organic hand made food and overnight in private houses with clean rooms, cozy beds.
Day 3   Artabuynk village - Mount Astkhonk (3400 m)
After breakfast we start our full day hiking without luggage (main luggage is being transferred by special cars). Our way is through a prime hiking area and tourists can enjoy a relaxing day on foot actively experiencing exceptional nature typical only to this region of the country. Lunch on the spot. During this interesting hike we pass through alpine meadows, fascinating landscapes and animal- breeding houses of the local shepherds. (hiking in this area 6-6,5 hours/Amplitude 1750- 2500 m). Not far from these houses, on the slopes of the Mt. Astkhonk you will put up a tent and have rest from the strenuous day. In the evening there is an opportunity to gather up with the local people over a nice fire in the hug of nature.
Overnight in tents.

Note: In case of intentions of climbing up to the top of the mountain you will need an extra day.

Day 4   Mount Astkhonk / Selim Pass
Astkhonk – Selim pass (hiking inthis area 5-6 hours/ Amplituda2500- 2300 m).
After breakfast from the slopes off the Mt Astkhonk we start hiking to the medieval amazingly intact Selim Caravanserai, an important trading post on the Great Silk Road.Selim Pass, this carvansarai lies below the road just before the summit on the south side of the Pass (2410 m). In medieval Armenia many buildings were built along commercial routes for the accommodation of travelers. One of those, the Selim caravanserai, according to an inscription in Armenian and Arabic was built in 1332 by Prince Chesar Orbelian, This caravanserai offered hospitality to travelers along the highway crossing the Selim (Sulema) mountains. This is an excellent example of Armenian secular architecture of the middle Ages. If the weather is favorable we can see a cozy waterfall on the way. The mountain air is fresh and clean and the local shepherds with their lodgments seem to be the inseparable part of the nature of this area. In the vicinity of Selim caravanserai you will put up a tent and have rest.
Overnight in tents.
Day 5   Selim Pass / Dilijan / Sevan / Yerevan
After breakfast drive to Dilijan which is one of the famous resort areas in Armenia. People say, "If Paradise had mountains, woods, and mineral springs, it would be just like Dilijan". The natural beauty of Dilijan is so, that it is also called "Armenian Little Switzerland" This is again a prime hiking area and tourists can enjoy landscapes. Short hiking in this area 3, 5-4 hours/Amplitude 1200-1550m). Lunch on the way. After proceed back to Lake Sevan. About 70 miles north of Yerevan sits Lake Sevan the largest alpine in the world. This huge mountain lake which takes up to 5% of Armenia's surface area is about 2,000 meters above sea level and is the second highest freshwater lake in the world. The monastery peninsula is the most popular spot, and is the closest place to visit as well. Possibility to have dinner in Sevan tasting local fish.
Overnight in Yerevan.
Day 6   Yerevan / Ashtarak / Saghmosavank / Amberd Fortress / Yerevan
Start tour to the church of Karmravour. It’s one of the smallest pan-Armenian churches but in spite of its size you can still feel authentic Christianity. It’s also one of those rare churches where some traces of frescos are still seen. Continue to Saghmossavank medieval monastery, situated in the breathtaking site, at the deep canyon of Ashtarak. Sgmossamvank is translated as "monastery of psalms". According to the tradition when the first church of the monastery was built the priests kept reading psalms 40 days long so the monastery was called monastery of psalms. Lunch in a local house tasting homemade dishes. Tour to Fortress of Amberd, 9th century, 6 km from the village of Byurakan, stands halfway up Mt. Aragats, at the height of 2300m. The fortress stands on a rocky cape formed by the rivers Amberd and Arkhashen. There are also vestiges of a fortified three-storied palace, a church built in 1026, a palace bathhouse with two domes, a central heating system, water tanks, a water-supply system, and a secret passage to a nearby cleft, and other buildings. Drive back to Yerevan.
Dinner and overnight at the hotel in Yerevan.
Day 7   Yerevan / Geghard / Garni Temple / Garni Canyon / Monastery Havuts Tar / Yerevan
Drive to Kotayk region. Higher up the gorge of the Azat river the magnificent monument of medieval Armenian architecture— Gueghard monastery (13th century). Geghard is an incredible ancient Armenian monastery, partly carved out of a mountain and is also listed as a World Cultural Heritage Site by UNESCO. Outside the monastery complex there are some caves which have a bunch of little cave rooms and are quite interesting for exploring. Continue to Garni village with visiting of the Hellenic – Pagan temple of Garni (1 A.D.). Lunch in Garni in a private house where the tourists will have the opportunity to participate in lavash (Armenian bread) baking process, this particular kind of bread is baked in a special underground stove called "tonir"; they will try also Armenian barbeque made in this stove. Garni - the citadel and pagan temple of Garni is a picturesque temple of the Hellenistic period and an impressive piece of ancient Armenian architecture. It was built in the first century A.D. by the Armenian King Tiridates and was dedicated to a heathen god, probably to Mithra, the god of the sun whose figure stood in the depth of the sanctuary. Possibility to have a walking tour to the gorge of Garni to see the Symphony of Stones and arrive at another beautiful piece of Armenian architecture Havuts Tar monastery located in Khosrov National Reserve.
Overnight at the hotel in Yerevan.
Day 8   Departure
Breakfast at the hotel. Transfer to the airport
  Other details available upon request
  Note: Duration of the tour must be fit to your arrival and departure Flights.
Package Includes:
Airport - Hotel - Airport Transfer
Inland transportation
Tour Guide
Hotel Accommodation (in the cities) Double room
FB Meal: BLD
1 bottle of mineral water per person per day
Museums Entrance fees
Meeting dinner at the restaurant
Leaving party at the National restaurant
Wine tasting
Package Excludes:
Air fare
Single room supplement
Meals except described
Alcoholic beverages
Travel insurance

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