Fulfilling dreams, Creating Memories!
DISCOVER THIS ANCIENT LAND THROUGH YOUR EYES
Itinerary ARMENIA and KHARABAGH
June 23 – July 7, 2011
DAY 1 – June 23 – THURSDAY - arrival at Zvartnots Airport - Yerevan
Transfer to the Hotel, Check in, unpack, rest
WELCOME DINNER IN ARMENIAN TRADITIONAL RESTAURANT
DAY 2 – June 24 – FRIDAY - 8.30 – 9.30 – Breakfast served
CITY TOUR of Yerevan, the rose-colored capital, so called because most buildings use a pink shade of "tuf" stone, quarried in Armenia. Let’s start our acquaintance with the Yerevan by stepping through its ancient history at the Erebouni museum and Fortress, founded in 782 BC.
“Victory” Park with panoramic view of Yerevan and Mt. Ararat, Mesrop Mashtots avenue,
We will then visit the Tsitsernakaberd memorial and museum to the 1915 Genocide, one of the most impressive and moving monuments in Yerevan, followed by Lunch in one of Yerevan’s traditional restaurants.
DAY 3 - June 25 – SATURDAY - 8.30 – 9.30 – Breakfast served
You will enjoy a tour of the most enigmatic of cities, visiting the remarkable Matenadaran Library and Research Institute of Armenia, one of the richest depositories of manuscripts and books in the world which houses about 17,000 rare manuscripts. The history of the Matenadaran dates back to the creation of the Armenian alphabet in 405. This center of manuscripts is centuries old and continues into the 21st century with modern upgrades.
Lunch in Yerevan
Vernisage Open Air Market
DAY 4 – June 26 - SUNAY - 8.30 – 9.30 – Breakfast served
FEAST OF THE CATHEDRAL OF HOLY ETCHMIADZIN
ONE OF THE MOST CELEBRATED FEASTS OF THE ARMENIAN CHURCH IS THE DAY WHEN THE CATHEDRAL OF HOLY ETCHMIADZIN WAS ESTABLISHED, ACCORDING TO THE INSPIRED VISION OF ST. GREGORY THE ILLUMINATOR.
We embark on our journey to the lands of ancient treasures in Christian history, the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin, the religious capital of Armenia, and the seat of the Supreme Patriarch – the Catholics of all Armenians. The story holds that the place where Noah made the fire after the flood is the site upon which the main Cathedral, one of the earliest Christian churches, was built. Nowadays, it is located in the lower chamber, underneath the main Altar of the Cathedral.
Participation in DIVINE LITURGY .
Then, admire the Hripsime and Gayane Churches (7th c) named after faithful virgins of the 3rd century, followers of Christ who were martyred. St. Hripsime was a nun from the Church of Rome. Due to the persecutions of the Emperor Diocletian, she and the other sisters of her order fled the empire with their mother superior Gayane, finding their way to Armenia. Their relics are housed in these churches.
Lunch in Etchmiadzin
DAY 5 – June 27 – MONDAY - 8.30 – 9.30 – Breakfast served
Ashtarak – where you can find numerous churches or various ancient buildings at any step; Artashavan – New Complex of Armenian Letters: “It is difficult to express the deep feeling Armenians have for their language, which many regard as the lifeblood of their culture”,
Saghmosavank Monastery perch on the edge of the precipitous gorge of the Kasakh river. Lunch and hospitality in the Armenian Traditional Family within traditional lavash making: “Eat thy bread with joy”; Oshakan – the most famous as the last resting place of Mesrop Mashtots
DAY 6 – June 28 – TUESDAY - 8.30 – 9.30 – Breakfast served - Check out
During today’s tour we’ll see Lake Sevan: “The emerald of Armenia”, and the biggest lake in present-day Armenia. Set some 1900m above sea level, Lake Sevan is situated high in the mountains and is famed for its glorious and ever changing hues. Upon arrival, we will stop by the lakeside churches at the top of the peninsula, and have a chance to admire a spectacularly picturesque scene overlooking the lake and distant mountains. There is a story which tells us that a famous archimandrite had a vision, in which the twelve Apostles gave their blessing to this land and instructed the building of churches on this island. Indeed the vision became true. The churches were built and one of them was named after the apostles - St. Araqelots Church. Lunch in Sevan - Continuing our journey across Armenia’s ever changing landscape, we will travel to the lush environs of Dilijan: “A piece of Switzerland in Armenia”. Old Town Dilijan is complete with craftsmen’s workshops, small shops with traditional Armenian products and crafts, and a museum showing typical 19th century living with all its local customs and handmade wood furnishings. 10-13th centuries Goshavank Monastery
DAY 7 – June 29 –WEDNESDAY - 8.30 – 9.30 - Breakfast served
Trip to ANI
THEN ON TO SARDARABARD
RETURN TO YEREVAN
DAY 8 – June 30 – THURSDAY- 8.30 – 9.30 - Breakfast served - Check out
In the morning we’ll depart from YEREVAN to NAGHORNO KHARABAGH.
Driving through the fertile plains of the Ararat valley, you will reach Khor Virab Monastery – the beginning of the History of Christianity in Armenia, magnificently set against the towering slopes of Biblical Mount Ararat. This setting offers some of the most spectacular photo opportunities in all of Armenia. The monastery is the site where St. Gregory the Illuminator was incarcerated and is a pilgrimage destination for every Armenian, as well as for foreign believers.
Next, we will take the path through the narrow gorge, revealing Noravank Monastery, nestled inside the deep red landscape of the tuf stone mountains.
Lunch will be served in the historic 12th c. refectory of Noravank Monastery. Returning to the main highway we will head South, and after a short stop by the entrance of the Syunik region
Enjoy a shorter walk today in the town of Sisian to Karahunge- 7000-year-old Observatory, the
“twin” of the English Stonehenge but more ancient; clouded in mystery, the ancient stone circle of
Karahunge is an amazing feat of engineering and the most important pre-historic site in Armenia,
but beyond its archeological significance and possible astronomical role, Karahunge is also holds
a mystical charm. Karahunge continues to enthrall the imagination and captivate the heart of every visitor.
Dinner and Overnight in Goris
DAY 9 – July 1 –FRIDAY - 8.00 – 9.00 - Breakfast served
The Aerial Tramway of Tatev - spanning 5.7 kilometers across the spectacular Vorotan River Gorge, offer a spectacular journey with breathtaking views of the river gorge below, but most significantly, it will link you to one of the jewels of Armenia's medieval legacy - Tatev Monastery as well the Tatev Aerial Tramway - the longest passenger aerial tramway in the world - is poised to be one of southern Armenia's most popular attractions.
After Breakfast leave Goris for Tatev Monastery in the early morning; on the way you will admire a splendid view of the area. Arriving you will see the picturesque monastery nestled at the top of an impregnable plateau, crowned by the ramparts walls from the upper part of the territory. After you will have time to discover the interior of the monastery which was founded in the 4th cent., becoming an important religious and educational center of medieval Armenia in 9-10th cent.
Lunch-picnic in the foothills, with the rare view of Tatev Monastery.
On your return, you have a very attractive stop in Khndzoresk, a cave village and exotic rock formations. This village looks like a vertical multi-storied rocky amphitheater. Troglodytic dwelling at Khndzoresk – Prehistoric era.
Winding road leads your pleasant ascent.
Dinner and Overnight in Goris
DAY 10 – July 2 – SATURDAY - 8.30 – 9.30 - Breakfast served
Driving to Stepanakert - the capital of the Republic of Mountainous Kharabagh.
On the way you will see the “Tank” Liberation Monument. It is a restored tank
dedicated to the capture of the town of Shushi, also known as "Eagles Nest", which is the next stop.
Shushi is surrounded on three sides by deep canyons, and is home to Ghazanchetsots Cathedral - a
massive structure with a white stone facade that dominates its surroundings and remains a silent
witness of the destructions of the last war. Lunch
City tour of Stepanakert.
One of the highlights of the tour will be the Artsakh State Museum, where a selection of ancient and Christian manuscripts are on display
Dinner and Overnight in Stepanakert
DAY 11 – July 3 –SUNDAY- 8.30 – 9.30 – Breakfast served
The second day of the journey in Karabakh we will depart for Gandzasar by the impressive mountainous road to a highly artistic monumental monastery which has long attracted the attention of many specialists. Charles Dill, professor of Sorbonne University, called it "the pearl of architectural art";
DIVINE LITURGY IN GANDZASAR
A short walk towards the hill offers you a view superb landscapes and the famous monument called “We Are Our Mountains”;
Drive to Tigranakert : was one of the four cities founded by the Armenian king, Tigranes the Great, in different territories of the Armenian highlands during the 1st century B.C.
Dinner and Overnight in Stepanakert
DAY 12 – July 4 - MONDAY - 8.30 – 9.30 - Breakfast served
– Check out
Drive to Amaras Monastery is among the world's oldest Christian monuments and is the place where the inventor of the Armenian alphabet, St. Mesrob Mashtots, founded a school where the newly invented script was first probated for teaching purposes.
Return Yerevan – CHECK IN
DAY 13 – July 5 –TUESDAY - 8.30 – 9.30 - Breakfast served
This morning we will travel to Garni, the location of the rare pre-Christian pagan temple maintained in Armenia.Later on, we will reach the Geghard cave monastery, an architectural complex (12-13th c.), carved out of one monolithic rock. With the participation of the choir, we’ll have another chance to experience the ancient hymns and feel the extraordinary acoustics of the upper chamber. A visit to Geghard is truly a spiritual experience. Lunch in Yerevan
DAY 14 – July 6 – WEDNESDAY- 8.30 – 9.30 - Breakfast served
FREE DAY IN YEREVAN
EVENING: Say goodbye to Armenia at the FAREWELL DINNER in a classic Armenian Restuarant with live Armenian music and Folk Dances, capping off your journey with unforgettable memories.
DAY 15 – July 7 – THURSDAY
TRANSFER from hotel to airport; depart from Zvartnots Airport.
Price includes: Tour Package
Full transportation and transfers in Armenia as specified in itinerary
Breakfast and lunch/dinner, as specified in itinerary
Entrance fee to all sightseeing destinations;
Tour guide (Armenian and English)
Hotel accommodation based on double occupancy (Congress Hotel/10 nights)
Hotel accommodation in Kharabagh (2 nights)
Hotel accommodation in Goris (2 night)
Visa for Kharabagh
Price per person: $2,790
Price does not include:
optional: Visa’s; Insurance (i.e. CSA Travel Insurance)
Soft and Alcoholic Beverages; Tips, Additional tours and transfers not included in the itinerary
Tentative, may have minor changes