MAGIC ARMENIA

Day 1 Arrivel

Arrival to Yerevan Airport. Meeting with  assistant. Transfer and accommodation in hotel in Yerevan.

Day 2-Yerevan

Breakfast in Hotel.We start our Excursion in the morning at 10:00 after breakfast.During this tour you will see all the major sights of the capital ( including the  Republic Square with It’s magnificent buildings enhanced by singing fountains,, the Opera house, the Cascade where you will see the statue of the world-famous sculptor Fernando Botero "The Black Cat” , the Parliament, the Palace of President, the National Academy of Sciences). Than we visit   Manuscript museum of Matenadaran which has an amazing collection of beautifully illuminated medieval Armenian manuscripts, including medieval Bibles.We will also visit the Genocide Memorial Complex and get acquainted with this sad page of Armenian history.Overnight in Yerevan.

 

Day 3- Trip to Geghard and Garni temple

Breakfast in Hotel. Half day visit of Geghard and Garni.We will drive the fortress of Garni (Kotayk District) which is situated in a picturesque mountain locality and commands a broad panorama of orchards, fields and mountain slopes. The fortress was conquered by Argishti I, the king of Urartu, in the first half of the 8th century B.C,which included several disconnected buildings: a temple, a presence chamber, a columned tall, a residential block, a bath-house, etc. The temple was built in the second half of the first century B.C. and dedicated to a heathen god, probably to Mitra, the god of the sun, whose figure stood in the depth of the sanctuary. After Christianity had been proclaimed the state religion in Armenia in 301, the temple was probably used as a summer residence of the kings. A chronicle describes it as ‘‘a house of coolness‘‘. 

Than we continue to drive to the north-east of Garni, where is located  a magnificent monument of medieval Armenian architecture - Geghard monastery- listed as a UNESCO.World Heritage Site. While the main chapel was built in 1215, the monastery complex was founded in the 4th century by Gregory the Illuminator at the site of a sacred spring inside a cave.. In one of the caves of Gegharda-dzor there still gushes a spring which was believed to be a sacred one in heathen times. Following a tradition, it continued to be worshipped even after Christianity had spread in Armenia. The name commonly used for the monastery today Geghardavank meaning "the Monastery of the Spear", originates from the spear which had wounded Jesus at the Crucifixion, allegedly brought to Armenia by Apostle Jude, called here Thaddeus,and stored amongst many other relics. Now it is displayed in the Echmiadzin treasury.

Day 4 Trip to Echmiadzin, the religious capital of Armenia

Breakfast in hotel .We start the day with the visit of  Echmiadzin, which is the religious center of all Armenians.

The word "Ejmiatsin" means The coming of the only-begotten, and the cathedral was built on the very spot Grigor Lusavorich(St. Gregory the Illuminator) dreamt Jesus Himself descended to from heaven to show him where He wanted the church to be built. We visit the local museum which has the Holy Lance and a fragment of Noah’s Ark.  After this we will visit the ruins of the marvelous medieval cathedral Zvartnots. The area is a UNESCO’s World Heritage Site. After coming back to Yerevan we will visit Ararat Brandy factory. Overnight in Yerevan.

Day 5 -  Khor Virab –Areni- Noravank

During this excursion we explore  two amazing monasteries : Khor Virap and Noravank.The Khor Virap is an Armenian Apostolic Church monastery located in the Ararat plain in Armenia, near the border with Turkey, about 8 kilometres (5.0 mi) south of Artashat Ararat Province. When you arrive you will be as close to Mt. Ararat as you can probably get in Armenia.The monastery was host to a theological seminary and was the residence of Armenian Catholicos. Khor Virap's notability as a monastery and pilgrimage site is attributed to the fact that Grigor Lusavorich, who later became Saint Gregory the Illuminator, was initially imprisoned here for 13 years by King Tiridates III of Armenia.You can visit the underground chamber which he was imprisoned in, located in the nondescript St. Gevorg Chapel apart from the main church.

Noravank -which is a 13th-century Armenian monastery, located 122 km from Yerevan. The gorge is known for its tall, sheer, brick-red cliffs, directly across from the monastery. The monastery is best known for its two-storey Surb Astvatsatsin (Holy Mother of God) church, which grants access to the second floor by way of a narrow stone-made staircase jutting out from the face of building. Than we stop in Areni village ,where we can try various perfect wines.This is the center of  Armenian wine-making. Overnight in Goris.

Day6  -Tatev monastery

After breakfast we drive to Tatev monastery.The Tatev monastery is a 9th-century monastery located on a large basalt plateau. The term "Tatev" usually refers to the monastery. The monastic ensemble stands on the edge of a deep gorge of the Vorotan River. Tatev is known as the bishopric seat of Syunik and played a significant role in the history of the region as a center of economic, political, spiritual and cultural activity.In the 14th and 15th centuries Tatev Monastery hosted one of the most important Armenian medieval universities, the University of Tatev, which contributed to the advancement of science, religion and philosophy, reproduction of books and development of miniature painting. The monastery is the "best-known site" in Syunik.Wings of Tatev, a cableway from Tatev to Halidzor village was opened in October 2010. It was included in the Guinness World Records as world's "longest non-stop double track cable car.Overnight in Goris

Day 7 - Lake Sevan

Breakfast , Departure from Yerevan to Lake Sevan.Lake Sevan  is the largest lake in Armenia and the Caucasus region. It is one of the largest freshwater high-altitude lakes in the world.Lake Sevan is situated in the central part of the Republic of Armenia, at the altitude of 1,900 m above sea level . The Sevan peninsula(formerly an island) is  to a medieval monastery.The island was uninhabited until the end of the eighth century A.D., when monks built a chapel and a group of cells. The monastery was founded in 874 by King Ashot I, the first king of the Bagratid kingdom and  his daughter Mariam. Two churches remain, St. Arakelots and Astvatsatsin. The island monastery was, according to historians of the time, used both for worship and pilgrimage, and as a place of exile for Armenian noblemen who had fallen into disgrace. It also was the residence and headquarters for Ashot I, from which he led a battle against invading. Arabs, beginning in 859..Overnight in Yerevan

Day 8 - Breakfast, transfer to airport.

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