A cultural exploration of the prehistoric, pagan and early Christian sites of this landlocked country. Travel in the shadow of biblical Mt Ararat and across high mountain passes to discover remote monasteries, ancient burial grounds and forbidding fortresses.
Arrive Yerevan and transfer to your hotel.
Echmiadzin – Geghard – Garni Excursion
Discover some of Armenia’s most important religious sites. First visit Echmiadzin is the spiritual home of the Armenian church. At Geghard, the steep cliffs of the Azat Gorge have been carved out into a fascinating monastery complex. Finally explore Garni Temple – one of Armenia’s oldest pre-Christian monuments.
Yerevan – Khor Virap – Noravank – Goris
Leave Yerevan this morning and visit the monastery and pilgrimage site of Khor Virap, set against the magnificent backdrop of Mt Ararat. St Gregory the Illuminator, who introduced Christianity to Armenia, was imprisoned here for 13 years. From here, travel to Areni, heart of the wine producing region, where you will have a chance to sample some of the local produce before continuing to Noravank Monastery, notable for its unusual two-storey church. Drive to Goris for an overnight stay in this pleasant city surrounded by green hills and snowy mountains.
Khndzoresk – Tatev – Karahunj Excursion
Take a trip out of Goris today, stopping first at the ancient cave settlement of Khndzoresk before taking the world’s longest cable car to Tatev Monastery. Set on a high plateau on the edge of the Orotan Gorge, Tatev is one of the highlights of any visit to Armenia, both for its historical importance and for its spectacular location. On the way back to Goris, stop at the necropolis of Karahunj, “Armenia’s Stonehenge”, and Ughtasar, a beautiful lakeside site with thousands of petroglyphs dating back at least 6000 years.
Goris - Smbataberd - Selim - Noraduz - Dilijan
Today drive to Smbataberd Fortress, which dates back to the 5th century but was extensively modified in the 10th and occupies an excellent defensive position at the southern tip of a high ridge. Heading further into the mountains, stop at the well-preserved caranvanserai located along the 2400m Selim Pass. Descending from the pass, stop at the cemetery of Noraduz, a surreal burial ground on the shores of Lake Sevan with over 900 khachkars (monumental stelae) dating back to the 16th and 17th centuries. Skirting the lakeshore, continue to the historic town of Dilijan for an overnight stay.
Haghartsin - Haghpat - Dzoraget
Leave Dilijan in the morning and drive to the Haghartsin Monastery, set at the head of a wooded valley and containing interesting reliefs and unusual architectural features. Next, travel to Haghpat and Sanahin Monasteries, which form a joint UNESCO World Heritage Site. Classic examples of medieval religious architecture, the monasteries both overlook Alaverdi, notable for its 12th century bridge where you will stop on the way to your overnight stop at Dzoraget.
Gyumri - Amberd - Yerevan
Today’s first stop is Gyumri, Armenia’s second city, renowned for its strong artistic tradition. Visit the museum and nearby Harich, whose 7th century monastery is dominated by an elaborate cathedral and once housed an important religious school. This afternoon stop at the key defensive site of Amberd, literally translated as “fortress in the clouds”. After exploring the basalt fortifications and admiring the panoramic views, continue to Yerevan for a two-night stay.
Yerevan City Tour
A full day to discover the sights of the capital city, including visits to the fascinating ancient manuscript museum at the Matenadaran Institute and Erebuni Fortress. This hilltop site was one of the major political centres of the Urartian Kingdom. You will also visit the memorial to the 1915 Genocide, the Ararat distillery, which produced Winston Churchill’s favourite cognac, and the Blue Mosque, the only functioning mosque in Armenia.
Today you will be transferred to the airport for your onward flight.
To book now, or for more information about this or other tours, call us on 0208 728 2478 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Prices and Availability
Available to run every day of the week
Price per person £1340 based on two sharing
- Private English speaking guide
- Separate driver with vehicle
- All entrance fees
- Medium locally graded accommodation
- 8 nights accommodation Bed and Breakfast Basis
- International flights
- Travel Insurance
- Personal expenses (drinks, tips etc)
- Discover Echmiadzin, the spiritual home of the Armenian church
- View Khor Virap monastery with its stunning back drop of Mtn Ararat
- Take the longest cable car in the world to cliff top perched Tatev monastery
- Explore the stunning ancient petroglyphs at Ughtasar
- View the fine Silk Road caravanserai on the Selim Pass
- Marvel at the fine UNESCO Heritage listed monasteries of Haghpat and Sanahin
- Sample Winston Churchill’s favourite brandy at the Ararat distillery in Yerevan
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