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September Guaranteed Tour
Armenia & Artsakh
11 Days / 10 Nights

Itinerary

Day 01: Arrival in Yerevan

Arrival in Yerevan in the evening. Transfer to hotel. Accommodation. Overnight in Yerevan (centrally located ANI PLAZA 4* hotel).

Day 02: Yerevan City Tour

Breakfast at hotel.

Yerevan City tour:
Yerevan is the capital of Armenia and one of the oldest cities in the world. It stretches under the gaze of biblical mountain Ararat and resembles a beautiful gilt bowl to those flying over it. A basalt slab with an Urartu cuneiform inscription, unearthed by archaeologists in the south-eastern part of the city shows the age of Yerevan to be 2783 years old. Modern Yerevan is mostly a rebuilt colourful city with buildings of unique architecture, constructed from basalt, marble, onyx and volcanic tufa stone and it is a contemporary to such ancient metropolises as Babylon and Nineveh.

“Mayr-Hayastan” (panoramic view of Yerevan).
Matenadaran (Depository and Museum of Ancient Manuscripts):
The Matenadaran is one of the oldest and richest book-depositories in the world. Its collection of about 17,000 manuscripts includes almost all of the areas of ancient and medieval Armenian culture and sciences – history, geography, grammar, philosophy, law, medicine, mathematics, cosmography, theory of calendar, alchemy, chemistry, translations, literature, chronology, art history, miniature, music and theatre, as well as manuscripts in Arabic, Persian, Greek, Syrian, Latin, Ethiopian, Indian, Japanese and others.

Cascade and Museum of contemporary Art.
Street tour including Republic Square, Yerevan State University, Victory Bridge.

Tsitsernakaberd (1915 Genocide Memorial).
Sports & Concerts complex, Kiev Bridge, Parliament, Palace of President, Academy of Sciences, Opera house. Evening free. Overnight in Yerevan.

Day 03:Yerevan – Dilijan Spa – Goshavank – Lake Sevan – Yerevan

Breakfast at hotel. Trip to Dilijan spa. Goshavank Monastery Complex.

Goshavank – The monastery can be reached by a road by way of Parz (Limpid) Lake which originates in Dilijan. Goshavank was built in the 12th c. by Mkhitar Gosh, the famous scientist of medieval Armenia, famous author of fables. The oldest construction of the complex is the Virgin church (1196). There are monumental khachkars next to the main church.

Old district of Dilijan (Sharambeyan Street).
Trip to Sevan Lake – emerald of Armenia. Peninsula and churches of Sevan.

Sevan, this wonder of nature, is 60 Km from Yerevan on a highway which cuts northward through mountains and rocks. Sevan is so austere and majestic that the gentle turquoise waters are astonishing. They fill the gigantic depression situated at the height of almost 2000 m above sea level. Sevan, with its pure air and sandy beaches, is a popular holiday resort. Sevan has always been famous for its fish “Ishkhan” which means “prince-fish” in Armenian. The fish has graced many Lords’ tables in old times. One of the most interesting sites in Sevan is the monastery on the rocky peninsula founded in 874 AD by King Ashot I and his daughter Mariam. Other monuments include Sevan Monastery (874) and Astvatsatsin Church.

Return to Yerevan. Evening free. Overnight in Yerevan.

Day 04: Independence Day

Breakfast at hotel. Tour to Ashtarak city. Churches of Karmravor and Tsiranavor.

Ashtarak town (“Tower” in Armenian) is famous as a scientific center. There are many scientific research institutes here. There are ancient burial sites and fortifications in Parbi, Mughni, Orgov. Going from Yerevan to Ashtarak, Kasakh river is spanned by a 5th c. bridge. It is a nice three-arched bridge built of apricot-colored tuff stone. The beautiful Karmravor church made of red stone stands on the rock rising above the bridge. Surprising churches of Karmravor, (7th c.), Marine (13th c.), Mughni (10th c.), Saghmosavank (12-13th c.), Ohanavank (5-13th c.) are also located in Ashtarak.
Tour to Oshakan. Burial site of St. Mesrop Mashtots – creator of Armenian alphabet.

Oshakan is an ancient village northwest of Yerevan. It was the home-village of St. Mesrop Mashtots, the 4th c. monk scientist and philosopher from Echmiadzin, who invented the Armenian alphabet which is still in use today with almost no changes. The tomb of Mashtots is here in the crypt of a church built in the 5th c. and rebuilt in the 19th c. A recently opened seminary is nearby the church. Just outside Oshakan there is a memorial in the shape of an open book upon which the Armenian alphabet is carved. It was erected in 1962 on the occasion of the 1600th anniversary of the Armenian alphabet.
Return to Yerevan. Yerablour Cemetery.

Independence Day concert and fireworks in evening (Republic square).

Evening free Overnight in Yerevan.

Day 05: Yerevan – Garni – Geghard – Yerevan

Breakfast at hotel. Half-day trip to Garni Pagan Temple and Geghard Monastery.

This pagan temple was built in 1st. c. AC and was devoted to one of the Armenian Pagan Gods – Mitra. After Armenia converted to Christianity in the 4th c., the rulers of the country used the temple as their summer residence. King Khosrov stayed there often as the area was his favourite hunting ground. Garni was destroyed when the Arabs conquered Armenia but was rebuilt in the beginning of the 10th c. Its final destruction came in 1638 during the Turkish invasion. A violent earthquake buried what remained from it in 1679. The complete restoration of the temple began in 1970 and was over in 1978. The temple consists of dwellings and bath quarters built in the 3rd century in the Roman style. The fantastic landscape of Garni canyon shakes the human imagination.

Proceed to Geghard Monastery (UNESCO World Heritage):
Geghard was initially known simply as Ayrivank (Cave Monastery). The present buildings comprising it date back to 10-13th cc., at which time it was renamed as Geghard meaning “lance” (spear) in Armenian. The name refers to the biblical lance used by a Roman soldier to pierce Christ’s body to find out if he was alive or not. The lance was kept in Geghard for a long time before being moved to the museum of Echmiadzin Cathedral. The main church, constructed in 1215, is the oldest building in the monastery complex. Avazan church, 1283, is carved right into the solid rock and is an incomparable work of art. It leads to a rectangular portico and then to another church deeper in the rock. Along the southern and eastern walls of the monastery, high above the valley, medieval dwellings appear. The monastery has withstood many assaults during a period of seven hundred years. Its walls have sheltered many scholars and it was revered throughout Armenia as one of the greatest spiritual and cultural centres in the country. Hundreds of khachkars (cross-stones) and caves are built in the rocks surrounding the Monastery.

Return to Yerevan. Vernissage. Evening free. Overnight in Yerevan.

Day 06: Yerevan – Sardarapat – Echmiadzin – Yerevan

Breakfast at hotel. Tour to Mother See of Echmaidzin.

En route – Hripsime Church:

This is a masterpiece of architecture and a marvellous example of cross-cupola architecture of the 7th century. Weddings and baptisms are performed here on Saturdays and Sundays. Remnants of very old constructions were discovered under the temple in 1959 while the temple was being restored. Virgin’s tomb lies here in the crypt of the church.

Memorial of 1918 victory by Saradarapat.

Sardarapat is a memorial complex, 38 Km west from Yerevan, established in 1968 to commemorate the Armenian people’s victory over Turkish invaders in 1918. The complex was designed by architect Raphael Israelyan and sculptor Ara Haroutyunyan. The complex consists of a bell-tower, “Path of heroes’, bas-relief Victory Wall, the Ethnographic museum and two giant statues of bulls at the entrance to the Memorial Park. These bulls symbolize the titanic strength. Stairways lead up to the square dominated by a 35-meter high stone bell tower. On the background of Mount Ararat one can hear the bells tolling.

St. Echmiadzin (Holy See). Cathedral of (UNESCO World Heritage).
This oldest Christian temple was founded in 301 and is one of the first churches in the Christian World. Holy Mass takes place on Sundays in the Cathedral. It is an architectural monument of early Christianity. It houses a unique museum of religious artefacts. There is a small altar in the centre of the Cathedral where, according to legend, Christ descended from Heaven and with a golden hammer pointed to the site upon which the Cathedral was to be built. The remnants of a pagan temple have been discovered during excavations made inside the Cathedral.

Return to Yerevan. Vernissage.

Overnight in Yerevan.

Day 07: Yerevan – Sevan – Dadivank – Stepanakert

Breakfast at hotel. Drive to Stepanakert.

Trip to Sevan Lake – emerald of Armenia. Peninsula and churches of Sevan.
Sevan, this wonder of nature, is 60 Km from Yerevan on a highway which cuts northward through mountains and rocks. Sevan is so austere and majestic that the gentle turquoise waters are astonishing. They fill the gigantic depression situated at the height of almost 2000 m above sea level. Sevan, with its pure air and sandy beaches, is a popular holiday resort. Sevan has always been famous for its fish “Ishkhan” which means “prince-fish” in Armenian. The fish has graced many Lords’ tables in old times. One of the most interesting sites in Sevan is the monastery on the rocky peninsula founded in 874 AD by King Ashot I and his daughter Mariam. Other monuments include Sevan Monastery (874) and Astvatsatsin Church.

Proceed to Dadivank monastery. Dadivank was first mentioned in medieval chronicles in the 9th century. The monastic complex of Dadivank consists of the Memorial Cathedral (Katoghike), Church of the Holy Virgin, Chapel, Memorial Bell-Tower and several auxiliary buildings.

In the 5th century the temple became the residence of the Bishop of Aghvan, while afterwards it was turned into one of the most significant educational and enlightening centres of that region.

Dinner and overnight in Stepanakert.

Day 09: Stepanakert – Tatev – Areni – Yerevan

Breakfast at hotel. CHECK-OUT after breakfast. Drive back to Yerevan. En route – Tatev monastery and Areni winery.
Tour to Tatev Monastery on Tramway (longest in the world – 5.7 Km).

Tatev monastery complex is located on a plateau surrounded by a precipice from three sides. Tatev monastery includes a number of structures. The main cathedral of St. Poghos and Petros (Paul and Peter) dates back to 885. The 8 meter high giant made of small stones topped by an airy cross rests on a hinge foundation. The cathedral is an example of 7th century monuments with free slanting pylons. To the south of the main cathedral, the church of St. Gregory (1295) is erected on the site of a former sanctuary from the 9th c.

Arrival in Yerevan. CHECK-IN. Hotel accommodation. Overnight in Yerevan.

Day 10: Free Day in Yerevan

Breakfast at hotel.
Overnight in Yerevan.

Day 11: Departure

Transfer to airport. Departure.
Tour Size:
Hotel: Ani Plaza 4
Occupancy: Double Room, Single Supplement
Guide: English & Armenian
Meals: Breakfast at the hotel and lunches during tours
Transportation: Tourist Class Mini Bus
Price:

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