Day 1

Transfer: Zvartnots airport-Yerevan

Hotel accommodation in Yerevan

18:00 walking tour Excursion in Yerevan in the evening: sightseeing of North Avenue, Cascade, and Opera House.

NORTHERN AVENUE is the most modern part of the Armenian capital which connects Yerevan’s two main squares: the Republic Square and Freedom Square where the Opera Theater is situated.

CASCADE AND CAFESJIAN CENTER for the Arts is a great architectural complex in the center of historical Yerevan. It is a huge staircase (we counted 740 steps), which ends with a viewing platform. It is an ornament of the city in the form of the original architectural composition which reminds a huge multi-tiered pyramid of Babel.

OPERA AND BALLET THEATRE is one of the greatest attractions of the country. Being located in the heart of Yerevan it was designed by architect Alexander Tamanyan who combined the two auditoria in a single semi-circular building in a very unusual manner.

20:00- Welcome Dinner 

Day 2

09:00 Breakfast at the hotel

10:00 Visit to Garni and Gegard

GARNI - Explore Armenia’s UNESCO World Heritage-listed treasures on this Garni-Geghard day tour from Yerevan. You will stop at Ararat ARC where we'll have a fantastic view to Mount Ararat. Visit the iconic Temple of Garni considered the country’s most important symbol of pre-Christian Armenia-with a guide and admire the classical Hellenistic architecture you find.

The Goght River in Armenia carves through this beautiful, eye-catching gorge, referred to as Garni Gorge and located next to a village with the same name. The cliffs themselves are extremely beautiful, consisting mainly of well preserved basalt columns. The orderly octagonal columns look almost man-made.

On a prominent part of the gorge, an old temple, known as the Garni Temple, can be seen. The temple dates back to first century AD and has been fantastically preserved. It is believed to have been funded by Roman Emperor Nero and is perhaps the eastern-most Greek temple in the world. The temple was originally erected for the worship of the Greek gods although this changed after Armenia adopted Christianity in 301 AD. Along the gorge, one can also find an 11th century bridge built over what is today a small stream.

13:00-14:00 Lounch in Garni

GEGHARD Monastery-Armenian monastery carved out of cliffs and named after the spear that stabbed Jesus. At the turn of the 4th century, only one nation in the world had accepted Christianity as its official religion, and it was not a country anyone would expect. Led by Gregory the Illuminator who baptized the Armenian royal family in 301, the nation plunged into religion, collecting artifacts and building spectacular monasteries along the way.

The Geghard Monastery began only as a small cave chapel, which Gregory declared held a sacred spring in the 4th century. From there, the complex grew, becoming more ornate and massive. In 1215, the main and most prominent chapel was built. Partially carved out of the rocks on all sides of it, the stone monastery melds beautifully with its surroundings and stands out among the outcroppings above.

All told, the buildings comprising the complex are a mix of elegant Armenian stonework and carved crosses juxtaposed with bare cave chapels. The mix gives the complex a feeling of antiquity, especially when combined with the relics the area once held.

Geghard is a derivative of an Armenian word meaning Monastery of the Spear. The complex was named after the spear used to wound Jesus during the Crucifixion. Allegedly, the spear was brought to Armenia after the Crucifixion and is now housed in the Echmiadzin Treasury, in the spiritual center of Armenia.

Along with the religious importance of the site, the monastery offers stunning views of the Azat River Gorge surrounding the complex.

Duration of the excursion is 6 hours

Free evening

Day 3

09:00 Breakfast at the hotel

11:00 Visit to Erebuni museum, Matenadaran and memorial complex of Armenian Genocide.

EREBUNI MUSEUM was established in 1968. The opening of the museum was timed to coincide with the 2750th anniversary of Yerevan. The Museum stands at the foot of the Arin Berd hill, on top of which the Urartian Fortress Erebouni has stood since 782 BCE. The City-Fortress was excavated, some parts of the structure were reinforced and restored, and the fortress was turned into an outdoor Museum.

A cuneiform inscription testifies that the city was built by Argishti I the King of Urartu in 782 BCE. The majority of the fortress was built from raw bricks. The citadel was encircled by strong walls in some places built in three rows. The temple of God Khaldi occupied an important place in the fortress. The walls of the temple were decorated with numerous frescos. Archeologists have found giant karasses (pitches for storage of wine) buried in the ground. Ceramics, potter’s wheels and other articles used in everyday life were also unearthed during excavations. There is huge collection of artifacts, sups, jars, bronze bracelets, glass, agate beads and many other things that tell us about the life of the citadel, the tastes and habits of its inhabitants. The building of the Museum that houses 12,235 exhibits was constructed by architects Baghdasar Arzoumanian and Shmavon Azatian and sculptor A. Harutiunian. It has two branches in Shengavit and Karmir Blur with 5,288 and 1,620 exhibits respectively in stock.

MATENADARAN Mesrop Mashtots Institute of Ancient Manuscripts is a repository of ancient manuscripts, research institute and museum in Yerevan. It holds one of the world's richest depositories of medieval manuscripts and books which span a broad range of subjects, including theology, philosophy, history, medicine, literature, art history, and cosmography in Armenian and many other languages.

The earliest mention of the term matenadaran, which means "repository of manuscripts" in Armenian, was recorded in the writings of the fifth century A.D. historian Ghazar Parpetsi, who noted the existence of such a repository at Etchmiadzin Cathedral, where Greek and Armenian language texts were kept. After that, however, the sources remain largely silent on its status.

Thousands of manuscripts in Armenia were destroyed over the course of the tenth to fifteenth centuries during the Turkic-Mongol invasions. According to the medieval Armenian historian Stepanos Orbelian, the Seljuk Turks were responsible for the burning of over 10,000 Armenian manuscripts in Baghaberd in 1170. In 1441, the matenadaran in Sis, the capital of the former Cilician Kingdom of Armenia, was moved to Etchmiadzin and other nearby monasteries. As a result of Armenia being a constant battleground between two major powers, the Matenadaran in Etchmiadzin was pillaged several times, the last of which took place in 1804.

MEMORIAL COMPLEX DEDICATED TO THE VICTIMS OF ARMENIAN GENOCIDE

Tsitsernakaberd Memorial Complex in Yerevan is dedicated to the memory of the 1.5 million Armenians who perished in the first genocide of the 20th century, at the hands of the Turkish government. Completed in 1967, the Genocide Monument has since become a pilgrimage site and an integral part of Yerevan’s architecture. Set high on a hill, dominating the landscape, it is in perfect harmony with its surroundings. The austere outlines convey the spirit of the nation that survived a ruthless campaign of extermination. The complex occupies 4500 square meters of territory and consists of three main buildings: the Memorial Wall, the Sanctuary of Eternity (Memorial Hall & Eternal Flame) and the Memorial Column “The Reborn Armenia.”

Duration of the excursion 5 h.

Free evening

Day 4

09:00 Breakfast at the Hotel

10:00 Excursion: Yerevan-churchs Saint Gayane and Ripsime-Etchmiadzin Cathedral-Zwardnoc-Khor Virap  

Although there are various historical landmarks in Armenia, the oldest and most well-known is probably the Biblical Mount Ararat. This is why our tour promises a spectacular view from the closest spot possible.

Whilst travelling to Armenia, you may just be interested in seeing the world’s first Christian Cathedral church. Echmiadzin is considered to be the spiritual center of all Armenians all over the world! The word itself means a place where “the only begotten son of the God descended”.

You will visit the Church of SAINT HRIPSIME, which was built on the sepulcher of a Christian nun Hripsime who fled from the Roman Empire and was killed in Armenia. This amazing building has stood upright from the day of its construction since 618 A.D, making it one of the oldest standing churches in the world.

Five minutes drive away will be our next spot: the 7th century church of St. Gayane. Gayane was the nanny of Hripsime, and shared Hripsime’s tragic fate.

The Church of SAINT GAYANE is a 7th-century Armenian Church in Vagharshapat (Etchmiadzin), the religious center of Armenia. It is located within walking distance from the Etchmiadzin Cathedral of 301. St. Gayane was built by Catholicos Ezra I in the year 630. Its design has remained unchanged despite partial renovations of the dome and some ceilings in 1652.

Gayane was the name of an abbess who was martyred with other nuns by Tiridates III of Armenia in the year 301, and subsequently made a saint of the Armenian Apostolic Church.

In 2000, Saint Gayane Church was listed in the UNESCO World Heritage Sites along with historical churches of Vagharshapat.

After this stop, you will be able to observe the world’s first Christian CATHEDRAL HOLY ECHMIADZIN, built in 301-304. According to the legend, Jesus Christ descended on the same spot where the Dissention Altar stands today, where Gregory the Illuminator ordered to build the church.

Lunch 13:00-14:00

CATHEDRAL ZVARTNOTS was built at a time when much of Armenia had just recently been occupied by the invasions of Armenia by the early Muslim Arabs who were progressively occupying the Sasanian Persia/Iran of which Armenia was a part at the time. Construction of the cathedral began in 643 under the guidance of Catholicos Nerses III (the Builder). Dedicated to St. Gregory, it was located the place, where a meeting between King Trdat III and Gregory the Illuminator was supposed to have taken place. According to the medieval Armenian historian Movses Kaghankatvatsi, the cathedral was consecrated in 652.

Zvartnots remained standing until the end of the 10th century, but historical sources are silent as to the cause of its collapse.A close copy of the cathedral was erected at Ani out by Trdat the Architect under the reign of Gagik I Bagratuni during the final decade of the 10th century. The contemporary Armenian historian Stepanos Taronetsi referred to Zvartnots when describing the church that Gagik I had inaugurated as "a large structure at Vagharshapat, dedicated to the same saint that had fallen into ruins.

THE KHOR VIRAP MONASTERY is located about an hour’s drive away from the capital Yerevan, and offers an amazing view of Armenia’s defining symbol – the majestic Ararat. “Khor Virap” translates as “deep dungeon”, and was built of the place of the former royal prison, located on the historical site of Artashat. It was this very prison in which they kept Gregory the Illuminator, the first Armenian Catholicos, for a whole 13 years.

Therefore, it comes as no surprise that this place is one of the most sacred spots for Armenians around the world. Likewise, it’s also the closest point to the Mount Ararat from Armenia; very often this spot becomes the number 1 reason to visit our country!

The duration of the excursion is 6-7 hours

Free evening

Day 5

09:00 Breakfast at the hotel

10:00 Check out from hotel

10:30 Trip to, Lake Sevan Dilijan Haghartsin-Goshavanq

LAKE SEVAN is, undoubtedly, one of the most exciting in Armenia. This wonder of Nature is located 60 km from Yerevan up a highway. Sevan is considered to be the pearl of Armenia and the largest freshwater pool in the South Caucasus is the second largest alpine lake in the world, after the Bolivian Lake Titicaca. The gentle turquoise of Sevan's waters is always astonishing: the lake is so austere and majestic.The mystery of Sevan's origin has not been fully solved. Some specialists believe that the bowl of the lake is the crater of an extinct volcano, while others think that millions of years ago volcanic lava formed a natural reservoir trapping the water inside.

13:00 Hotel accommodation in Dilijan

14:00-15:00 Lunch at the restaurant

Haghartsin -Goshavanq-It is said if there were mountains, mineral springs and a forest in the Heaven, it would be in Dilijan. Perhaps the best place of Dilijan is Haghartsin George where the monastic complex Haghartsin is located.

HAGHARTSIN was built in XI-XIII century Art. The oldest building of Haghartsin monastic complex is the church St. Gregory. A magnificent pearl warmly embraced within the green pearl of nature – this is how Haghartsin monastery and its surrounding landscape appear to every visitor. It’s where people see a perfect harmony of untouched nature and splendid architecture where the human creativity and efforts only added to the overall beauty of the entire territory. As long as you haven’t seen a single picture of the monastery you might be in two minds because then it appears just another monastery in Armenia, while get at least one picture and the monastery’s look and appearance will simply oblige you to visit it and see this magical piece of architecture with your own eyes.

GOSHAVANQ (New Getik)- It is one of the masterpieces of ancient Armenian architecture. Monastery is located in the dense oak forests of Dilijan district, in the village of Gosh on the bank of Getik River. Once Goshavanq was one of the most important medieval universities. Different languages like Armenian, Greek, Latin and others were studied here.

20:00- Dinner at the restaurant

Day 6

09:00 Breakfast at the hotel

10:00 Check out from Hotel

10:30 Trip to Haghpat-Sanahin

Visit to Haghpat Monastery

HAGHPAT Monastery is a medieval monastery complex in the Lori Province of Armenia. This venerable institution of the Armenian Apostolic Church, perched on the lip of the Debed Canyon, has a UNESCO World Heritage Site status, along with Sanahin Monastery. These two magnificent monastic complexes are among the most outstanding examples of Armenian religious architecture and were the major centers of learning in the middle Ages.

14:00 -15:00 Lunch

16:00 Visit to Sanahin Monastery.

Moss-covered SANAHIN is a fascinatingly detailed church and monastery complex in the Lori Province of Armenia, packed with ancient graves, darkened chapels and medieval gallery schools (study halls where pupils sat on benches on either side of a corridor). The inner sanctum of the St. Astvatsatsin Church (The Holy Virgin), located in the middle of several buildings, is the oldest structure here, dating back to 928, while its adjoining gavit or entrance hall is one of the later buildings, built in 1211. A library was created at Sanahin in 1062, and a medical school flourished in the 12th century. The name “Sanahin” literally translates from Armenian as “this one is older than that one”, presumably representing a claim to having an older monastery than the neighboring Haghpat Monastery. There are more than 50 khachkars in Sanahin.

18.00 Hotel accommodation in Sanahin

20:00 Dinner at the Hotel

Day 7

09:00 Breakfast at the Hotel

12:00 Check out from the Hotel

12.30 Trip to Yerevan

14:00 -15:00 Lunch

Arrival to Yerevan

Hotel accommodation in the Yerevan

20:00 Farewell dinner

Day 8

09:00 Breakfast at the hotel

Free day

We offer: A visit to Vernissage, market.

VERNISSAGE- Yerevan’s Flea Market is probably one of the best open air markets in world. It is called vernissage (varnishing, from French) -a term used for a preview of an art exhibition. It is one of the most crowded places in Yerevan despite the season and weather, which goes live on every Saturday and Sunday, no matter it’s hot outside, cold or heavily raining. It’s an open air market where the best and most impressive souvenirs are offered. Throughout the years it has turned into one of the most significant elements of Yerevan’s cultural life.

MARKET - One of the most vivid places in Yerevan is Gum Market near the Tashir trading center. The displays of fresh and dried fruits at this covered market are pretty as a picture. In summer, the fresh fruit is magnificent, with peaches, cherries, apricots and berries of every description tempting shoppers. In winter, dried fruits and nuts, including the strings of syrup-coated walnuts known as “sujukh”, are popular purchases. Other produce includes fresh vegetables, aromatic herbs, pungent “basturma” (finely cured ham) and huge blocks of cheese.

13:00 Check out from Hotel

Transfer to Airport Zvartnots

 

BON VOYAGE FROM APRICOT VOYAGE

Description

 

Tour is designed for those who discover Armenia for the first time. It is supposed for visiting the main tourist destinations of the capital as well as some outgoing tours in the most famous and impressive places of Armenia. Tour is designed for family trips, friend trips and for giving as a present.

Tour package 

Number of Persons

2-3

4-7

8-17

Price (USD) for one person

1268

988

889

 

 

 

The tour does not include:

·         Air tickets,

·         Alcoholic beverages,

·         Medical insurance.

The tour price includes:

·         Transfers airport-hotel-airport and 6 excursions,

·         Accommodation-(The price of the tour package is indicated for 1 person in a double room) 5 nights at the “Ani Plaza Hotel” (BB) in Yerevan, 1 night in hotel “Art Guest House” (BB) in Dilijan, 1 night in hotel Kefilian (HB). All include free WiFi,

·         Transportation service (Comfortable air-conditioned bus, minibus, car corresponding to the number of person),

·         Professional English-speaking guide service,

·         5 lunches and 3 dinners in the best restaurants,

·         Entrance tickets,

·         Free bottle of natural water per person (0.5 l) for each transfer and excursion,

·         24h support of tourists by phone,

 

·         Taxes.