Day 1 Yerevan city tour
Arrival to Yerevan Airport. Meeting with assistant. Transfer and accommodation in hotel in Yerevan. We start from Yerevan city tour.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 2 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.
Day3- Trip to Geghard and Garni temple
Breakfast in Hotel. Half day visit of Geghard and Garni.We drive east of Yerevan and visit a unique medieval monastery of Geghard which was included in the list of UNESCO world heritage sites. Some chambers of the monastery were carved out of solid rock and possess exceptional acoustics. We will then continue towards Garni village where we will visit a pagan temple from 1st century AD – the only one remaining from pre-Christian period in Armenia. The temple is located on a triangular cape overlooking the deep canyon of Garni. Overnight in Yerevan.
Day4- Khor Virap-NoravankAreni-Lake Seva-,Dilijan
At first 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-makin.
Than we continue our way to the Lake Sevan.Which is the largest lake in Armenia and the Caucasus region. It is one of the largest freshwater high-altitude lakes in the world. 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. In the end of this day we present you city Dilijan .Hear you will have a pleasant walk through a old museum street, with the buildings preserved from 19-century with the ceramics workshop and woodcarvers studio.Than we visit the 13th century monastery Goshavank .Overnight in Dilija
In the morning,after breakfast ,we continue our marvellous tour. We pass thrue picturesque Canyon of Debed River we visit the Monastery of Haghpat dating back to the 10th century. Being astonishingly well preserved with its frescoes, “lace” stone-crosses, inscriptions and bas-relieves it became the first Armenian architectural monument to be included in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Drive to Sadakhlo Georgian – Armenian border. Change buses and guides. Continue to Tbilisi
Day 6 –Tbilisi city tour
Tbilisi, capital of Georgia from the 5th century AD, has a long and fascinating history. Tbilisi’s Old Town, the most ancient part of the city, is renowned for its wonderful mix of cultures.
Looking down on the city are Mtatsminda (Holy Mountain) and the 4th century Narikala Fortress, excellent for views on the swirling river Mtkvari (Kura) and this city of so many ages and nationalities.
Full-day city tour of Tbilisi with visits to the Old Town, Metekhi Temple, 12th c., the Abanotubani, Narikala, - The main fortress of Tbilisi. Walking through some narrow streets, along which some carpet and souvenir shops are situated, will continue excursion in the old town. We visit the Sioni Cathedral 11th c. and Anchiskhati Church (6th c), Baratshvili str. Visit Georgian National Museum Visit Rustaveli Avenue, the main street of Tbilisi. Sightseeing tour in the central parts f the city. Overnight in Tbilisi.
Day 7 Tbilisi – Mtskheta – Kazbegi ( or Gudauri).
We start our trip by driving to Mtskheta. Mtskheta, the ancient capital of Georgia is situated 20km from Tbilisi. The town and its architectural monuments are included in the World's Cultural Heritage of UNESCO. Visit Jvari Monastery (6th c.) and Svetitskhoveli Cathedral (11th c.). We continue driving along the Georgian Military Highway, the historical road leading north into the Caucasian Mountains and then to Russia. It passes the spectacular Ananuri fortress (16th – 17th cc), where we have a excursion. Then we drive the sides of the dramatic Aragvi River Valley up to the Jvari Pass (2395m) and then down into Kazbegi (1700m).
Walk up to the Sameba Church beautifully situated on the hill and providing splendid views of Mt. Kazbek. We explore the area. Overnight in Kazbegi at the hotel (or if there is availability of hotel in Gudauri we travel to Gudauri ski resort situated on the southern slopes of the Greater Caucasus. Hotel). Overnight in Tbilisi.
Day 8 Gudauri – Gori – Uplistsikhe – Tbilisi.
Drive to Gori, a historical town. Today the town is mainly known for its huge Fortress and as a birthplace of J. Stalin. Optional visit Stalin’s museum. Drive to Uplistsikhe cave town dated to 7th c. BC. Here we find a big hall for pagan rituals and number of living rooms as well as a church of the 9th century. We have time to visit Ateni Sioni Church (7th c) famous for its 9th – 10th cc frescos. Return to Tbilisi.
Overnight in Tbilisi.
Day 9 Tbilisi – David Gareji Monastery – Tbilisi.
Half day trip to David Gareji Monastery. Founded in the 6th c. the Monastery is situated in Gareji semi-desert, 75km southeast from Tbilisi. Walk up to Udabno Monastery to explore some of the fine frescos of the 8-13th cc. and cave architecture. Walk down and visit “Lavra” Monastery, where the monks live. Return Tbilisi. Free time for independent explorations. Hotel.
Overnight in Tbilisi.
Day 10 Departur.Check-out the hotel. Transfer to the airport. End of the tour.