DISCOVER ARMENIA AND ARTSAKH

Day 1 - Arrivel
Arrival in Armenia. On arrival you are met at the airport and transferred to your hotel.

Day 2- Yerevan.

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.Overnight :Hotel in Yerevan.


 

Day 3- Trip to Geghard and Garni temple

In the morning we will 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-Echmiadzin.

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. Overnight in Yerevan.

 

Day 5 - Khor Virap and Noravank.

At first we will visit  Khor Virap monastery which is an Armenian Apostolic Church monastery located in the Ararat plain 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 14 years by King Tiridates III of Armenia. Saint Gregory subsequently became the king's religious mentor, and they led the proselytizing activity in the country. In the year 301, Armenia was the first country in the world to be declared a Christian nation.Now, regular Church services are held in this church. It is probably the most visited pilgrimage site in Armenia.After , we will visit Noravank .This is the most popular area of Armenia producing red wines from native sorts of grapes.We will visit Noravank monastery and we will visit Areni and Taperakan wineriesOvernight :Hotel in Sisian

Day 6 -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 :Hotel in Stepanakert
Day 7 - Gandzasar/Stepanakert.


We start our tour early in the morning - city tour of the Capital of Artsakh -Stepanakert . The city was founded after the October Revolution in the town of Khankandi and was given the same name as the place. The city was renamed to Stepanakert only in 1923. in honor of the great revolutionary Stepan Shahumyan. It was built according to the plan of the architect Alexander Tamanyan.

We will visit the town of Shushi (10 km. From  the city Stepanakert), which is one of the oldest cultural and spiritual centers of the Caucasus. City (in the beginning was the castle) is known for its castle and cultural monuments, buildings. It is here that the Church of St. Ghazanchetsots. (1868 - 1888 years).
Also we  visit Gandzasar (Treasure Mountain) . Gandzasar considered the pearl of Armenian architecture. It was built in the 13th century.

We will see fortress Askeran(4 km. from Stepanakerta)- important strategic object 18 veka.

After it we will visit city Tigranakert (1st century BC. e.)- the fifth capital of historic Armenia, which was founded during the reign of King Tigran the Great (95-55 BC).Have been found a part of the citadel rampart , the shopping district,a part of the central area, the early Christian tombs, a part of  the church basilica during the excavations in 2005 . The Cultural Reserve Tigranakert was founded here (2136 hectares) in 2008. We drive to the lake Sevan ..Overnight :Hotel in Sevan.
 

Day8 – Lake Sevan/Dilijan


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 9-Oshakan – Amberd - Yerevan

We will drive to Oshakan, a vast archaeological site with remains of 7th century excavations. After this we will drive to Amberd which   is a 7th-century fortress located 2,300 meters) above sea level, on the slopes of Mount Aragats . The name translates to "fortress in the clouds" in Armenian. The castle ruins of Amberd comprised an area of 1,500 square meters. Its walls are constructed of roughly hewn basalt blocks set in place with mortar. Overnight in Yerevan.

 

 

Day 10 - Gyumri/ Aruch/ Talin/ Mastara.
City tour of Gyumri, the second city of Armenia. Gyumri has a distinct look and style, residents own dialect. Next visit to Aruch Cathedral in the village of Aruch, one of the most important medieval Armenian architectural constructions.
Visit to Talin Church, built in the second half of the 7th century by the Kamsarakan princes. This remarkable monument was half-destroyed because of the earthquakes in 1840 and 1931. It was partly fastened in 1947 and essentially reconstructed in 1972-1976.  Visit to Mastara Church. According to popular etymology, Mastara derives its name from Gregory the Illuminator, who brought back from Caesaria the relics of John the Baptist, one fragment of which he enshrined beneath the church site: Mas (a piece) Tara (I buried).Drive to Yerevan.Overnight :Hotel in Yerevan

 

Day11 - Departure transfer to the airport.

 

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