Armenia Group Tour Holiday - Ancient Armenia


Ancient Armenia

Style: TravellerCultural discovery away from the crowds
Duration: 10 days
Type: GroupTravel with a small group of other travellers

Itinerary

Day 1 – Arrival

Upon arrival in Armenia, you will be welcomed and transferred to the hotel in central Yerevan. Overnight Royal Plaza Hotel or similar. No meals.

Note if you arrive early we can provide a quote for early check in and for any extra activities you may wish to do.

Day 2 – The sights of Yerevan - (Approximate driving time 2 hours)

Enjoy a city tour of Yerevan, including Victory Park with its high-scale view point over the city, Cascade and the Gafeschian Centre of Art, The North Avenue, the Opera House and Republic Square. Visit the Genocide Memorial and museum dedicated to the victims of the Great Genocide that took place in 1915 and the memorial with eternal fire. We also have a short visit to Matenadaran - a Museum and Scientific Institute of ancient manuscripts, which houses a unique collection of ancient manuscripts covering such topics as philosophy, law, mathematics, medicine and geography. Later visit the Yerevan Brandy Factory for a guided excursion to the cellars and enjoy a degustation of 2 types of local brandy. End the tour for the day with a visit to a craftsman specialized in khachkars (Armenian cross-stones). Later this afternoon there may be some time for your own exploration. Overnight Royal Plaza Hotel or similar (B)

Day 3 – Yerevan - Lake Sevan – Dilijan – Haghpat - (Approximate driving time is 4 hours)

Journey to beautiful Lake Sevan and take the stairs to the top of the peninsula to enjoy breathtaking scenery of the splendid mountain chain surrounding the glittering surface of the lake. Continue to Dilijan, also known as Armenian Switzerland. Stroll through the picturesque old quarter of Dilijan, particularly Sharambeyan Street, renowned for its pottery, carpentry and other artisan shops. Continue to Haghpat and explore the monastery which is a masterpiece of medieval Armenian Church architecture.  We overnight in a beautiful location near Dedbed Gorge. Overnight Hotel Qefo or similar (BLD)

Day 4 – Haghpat – Gyumri - ArmAs Winery - Yerevan - (Approximate driving time is 4.5 hours)

Travel to Gyumri and attend a ceramics workshop. We explore the streets of the old town on foot to try to understand why, since the ancient times, Gyumri has been considered the cultural capital of Armenia and the birthplace of arts and crafts. ArmAs Winery Estate is a picturesque display of agricultural achievement, set against the backdrop of the inspiring Mount Ararat. The 180 hectares of previously desolate and disconnected rock-strewn countryside was diligently transformed into a stunning panorama including vineyards, orchards, and a world-class winery. Here you’ll have a guided excursion though the vineyards and distilleries, as well as a degustation of wines. Later we return to Yerevan. Overnight Royal Plaza Hotel or similar (BL)

Day 5 – Yerevan - Khor Virap - Areni - Noravank - Goris - (Driving time approximately 4 hours)

Start the day by driving through the fertile Ararat valley to the picture postcard monastery of Khor Virap (4-17c), one of the sanctuaries of the Armenian Apostolic church and an important pilgrimage site. Continue to the monastery of Noravank, surely one of the most majestic monuments of medieval Armenia. We spend time exploring this magnificent place before travelling to Goris for the overnight stay. Overnight in Goris (BLD)

Day 6 – Goris - Khndzoresk/ Tatev Monastery - Yerevan (Driving time approximately 5 hours)

This morning we drive to the cave village of Khndzoresk. The Village of Khndzoresk is a huge complex with interesting caves waiting to be explored and we will spend some time walking around this atmospheric site. Continue to Tatev Monastery which we will visit before returning to Yerevan. Overnight Royal Plaza Hotel or similar (BL)

Day 7 – Yerevan – Echmiadzin - Zvartnots – Yerevan (Driving time approximately 2 hours)

Visit Echmiadzin, the spiritual heart of the Armenian Church including the Mother Cathedral A short distance from here we visit the ruins of Zvartnots dating back to the 7th Century.  Later we enjoy a gastronomic master class of Armenian dishes before finishing the day at the Vernissage flea market, a large open air market for handmade souvenirs, carpets, silver and jewellery. Overnight Royal Plaza Hotel or similar (BL)

Day 8 – Yerevan – Garni - Geghard (UNESCO) - Megeryan Carpet – Yerevan (Driving time approximately 2.5 hours)

Travel to Kotayk province to explore Geghard Monastery, astonishingly partly carved out of a mountain. Continue to nearby Garni to visit the pagan temple. Enjoy lunch in the village of Garni in an authentic rural environment with a master-class of baking lavash - traditional Armenian flatbread. Return to Yerevan and visit Megeryan Carpet, a  workshop where we learn about centuries-old traditions of Armenian carpet weaving. Overnight Royal Plaza or similar (BL)

Optional Walk: 1 hour walk in the gorge of the Azat River. with no difficult passages. The walk starts from the village of Garni, taking you down to the Azat river gorge and the famous “Symphony of Stones” basalt columns, located at an altitude of about 50 meters above the ground. Difficulty: Easy to Medium.

Day 9 – Yerevan

Spend you last full day in Armenia to discover Yerevan at your own leisure, perhaps to take in some museums or shop for souvenirs. Overnight Royal Plaza Hotel or similar (B)

Day 10 – Tour Departure

Bid farewell to Armenia as you are transferred to the airport for your onward journey (B)


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