Duration: 01 Nov 2017 - 31 Mar 2018
Location: ARMENIA
Price:
DOUBLE OCCUPANCY: $724.00
SINGLE OCCUPANCY: $979.00
  • OFF SEASON
  • Buffet Breakfast, daily
  • All taxes (VAT 20%)
  • Transfers to and from airport

 Optional tours:

An every day tour:

Erebuni Museum. The fortress of Erebuni is on Arin-Berd hill. It was built in 782 B.C. by the Urartian king Argishti the first. During the excavations started in the 20th century a cuneiform inscription was found, according to which the history of nowadays Yerevan starts from this place. On the top of the hill the ruins of the citadel and the frescoes on the wall reveal the high artistic achievements of those remote centuries. The museum down the hill displays the findings that have been excavated in the territory of the fortress.

   Tsitsernakaberd. The memorial-complex to the victims of the Armenian genocide towers over Tsitsernakaberd hill. At the center of the monument there is the Memorial Sepulcher with eternal flame and twelve, tall basalt slabs leaning over the flame. As a part of the Monument the arrow-shaped 44 meters high granite stele symbolizes the spiritual rebirth and bold spirit of the Armenian people. The Genocide Museum is a special constituent part of the complex. The exhibit contains many large photos taken by the witnesses, archival documents, documentary films and the original documents issued by international organizations and parliaments of foreign countries condemning the Genocide

   Matenadaran.On the northern part of Mashtots avenue there is Matenadaran (a book depository), one of the world’s most ancient libraries. Its collections comprise ancient Armenian books and miniature paintings that have gained world-wide fame. Among its unique treasures are the works of ancient classical authors and rare manuscripts that have come to our days only in the Armenian translation. Several monuments to the outstanding Armenian cultural figures are located in the courtyard of Matenadaran.

5 hours,  $18


Sunday tours

Cathedral of Echmiadzin.The center of Armenian Apostolic church- St. Echmiadzin is located 20 km far from Yerevan. The Cathedral of Echmiadzin was founded at the beginning of the forth century and is one of the oldest churches in the world. According to the legend the church was built in the place where apparition of Jesus Christ was seen to Grigory the Illuminator in the dream. The interior of the church is covered with frescoes created by Hovnatanyan family. The residence of the Catholicos and the Theological Academy are situated near the Cathedral.

 St. Gayane. Not far from the Echmiadzin Cathedral against the background of white peaks of Ararat one can see the silhouette of the cupola of St. Gayane church. The church was built in the 7th century and belongs to the domed-basilica style. According to the legend this church was constructed over the tomb of Virgin Gayane, who was martyred for preaching Christianity.

St. Hripsime. St. Hripsime church is the one of the famous ecclesiastical buildings in the city of Echmiadzin. This is the developed and perfect example of cross-cupola churches in Armenia. The church is notable with its architectural simplicity and loftiness. The tomb of the Christian martyr Virgin Hripsime is in the sacristy of the church.

 Zvartnots. This marvelous temple is a result of skillfulness and brave creativity of Armenian architects of the 7th century. Having been built on several columns it could survive only till the 10th century. When in the beginning of the 20th century this site was being excavated many specialists could hardly accept its reconstruction model designed by famous Armenian architect Toros Toramanyan as it was difficult to believe that such a huge and complicated construction could have been built those days, and amazingly at that time one of the bas-relieves of St. Chapelle church in Paris came to prove Toramanyan’s version; the bas-relief depicts Zvartnots temple with Noah’s Ark and it looks like the model represented by the architect.

 5 hours, $15


Monday tours.

Saghmosavank. 5 km far from Hovhanavank monastery on the edge of Kasakh river canyon, in the 13th century Vachutian dukes built Saghmosavank monastery. The main church is adjacent to the scriptorium, where many manuscripts have been produced during centuries. Saghmosavank underwent the devastating influence of the earthquake in 1988. The reconstruction comleted in 2000 returned the church its beauty and glory.

 “Armenian alphabet monument” is located in the village of Artashavan, at the east side bottom of Mt. Aragats. It was erected in 2005 to the 1600 anniversary of creation of the Armenian alphabet by the design of the famous Armenian architect Jim Torosyan. The monument is an interesting demonstration of the stone carvings of 39 Armenian letters. The Armenian alphabet has been used to write the Armenian language since the year 405 or 406 and is still used to present Armenian language in written form. It was devised by Saint Mesrop Mashtots, an Armenian linguist and ecclesiastical leader, in order to make the Bible accessible to Armenians and spread Christianity. Originally it contained 36 letters and had been completed in the Middle Ages.

 Amberd. The principal architectural features of medieval fortress-building have found their reflection in this fortress. Having been built on a naturally well-defended cape, Amberd has for long time served as an important military fort. Next to this secular edifice there is a church built in 1026 by the duke Vahram Pahlavuni.

Karmravor. This exquisite church is considered to be the jewel of Ashtarak. It resembles a monolith pillar due to its small sizes and architectural solutions. It was built in the 7th century and has come to our days almost intact. It has a cross-shaped ground plan from inside and outside.

 Oshakan, Tomb of St. Mesrop Mashtots. Oshakan village has been a holy place since the 5th century, when in 440 due to the duke Vahan Amatuni’s efforts the creator of Armenian alphabet Mesrop Mashtots was buried there and a small church was built over his tomb. In the 19th century a bigger church bearing the name of St. Mesrop Mashtots was constructed in the place of the old one. Every year many first class schoolchildren learn the first letter of the alphabet in this church after an oath at the tomb of St. Mashtots.

 7 hours, $20


Tuesday tours.

Lake Sevan. The fascination and the pearl of mountainous Armenia is Sevan Lake, which is one of the world’s greatest high altitude fresh-water lakes. It is about 1900 m above sea level. The lake is of volcanic origin and is surrounded with mountains of 3000 m and higer. The beautiful landscape and the crystal water serve nice preconditions for excellent rest.The lake is also famous for its peninsula and medieval church complex built in 874.

 Noratus. The art of khachkar (cross-stone) is the most original manifestation of Armenian medieval culture. Noratus which is truly considered to be a forest of khachkars and open-air museum, displays hundreds of khachkars, the most stunning of which are the so called “embroidered” ones typical to the 13th-14th centuries. This is a unique place, where one can reveal the development of khachkarial art in its historical process.

 Hayravank. The church of Hayravank is built on a high rock on the shore of Lake Sevan. There is no written testimony concerning the date of its foundation, but according to the constructional solutions it has gained its place among the 9th century architectural pillars. This cozy church is built of roughly hewn stone and looks rather modest.

Sevanavank. A marvelous scene opens in the north-western part of Sevan Lake, where the peninsula towers over the transparent surface of the lake. Sevanavank monastery was built on the peninsula in 874 by the order of king Ashot Bagratuni’s daughter princess Mariam. The silhouette of the churches against the background of the turquoise lake and blue sky casts unexplainable impression on the visitors.

 7 hours, $20


Wednesday tours,

Garni. Garni temple which towers over a triangular cape, is the unique survived example of heathen culture in Armenia. It is a blend of Greco-Roman and Armenian styles. King Trdat the First ordered building the temple in the first century A.D. and dedicated it to the God of Sun. After adopting Christianity in 301 the pagan temple lost its significance and the fortress of Garni became the summer residence of the kings. Nowadays the ruins of the royal palace and the bathroom with a stunning mosaic work can be found near the temple.

 Geghard. Geghard monastery is the unsurpassable masterpiece of the 13th century Armenian architecture. Some of the churches of the complex are masterfully hewn in a huge rock. From the outset the complex was called Ayrivank (cave monastery), later it was renamed Geghard (lance), as the lance used by the roman soldier to sting Jesus Christ’s side, was kept in this monastery for many centuries. Due to its construction Geghardavank serves the best place for singing spiritual songs. The complex is rich in subtle sculptural embellishments and many striking khachkars (cross-stones).

 5 hours, $16


Thursday tours.

Khor Virap. Khor Virap is the most famous pilgrimage site in Armenia, as it is directly connected with the adoption of Christianity. As a state religion Christianity in Armenia was adopted in 301 due to endeavors of Saint Gregory the Illuminator, who before converting king Trdat the 3rd to Christianity, was imprisoned in the dungeon over which a church of Khor Virap monastery was built in the 17th century. From the monastery one can admire the stunning view of the Biblical Mount Ararat.

 Noravank. Passing a narrow road surrounded by rocks of hundred caves one discovers a scene of harmony of architecture with nature. The monastery enshrined with fine architectural solutions and luxurious embellishments is one of the brightest examples of Armenian architecture of the 13th century. Noravank consists of St. Karapet, St. Grigory the Illuminator churches and St. Astvatsatsin (Holy Mother of God) two-storey church, which is notable for its ideal constructive and sculptural work.

 Jermuk. The famous health resort Jermuk is in the north-eastern part of Vayots Dzor. Jermuk mineral waters have been famous for their medicinal properties since early medieval. A special drinking gallery has been constructed for visitors, along which pump rooms with mineral water are lined up.The water temperature varies from 30 to 50 degrees C.

 Areni village. The village of Areni is in Vayots Dzor region. This sunny village is famous for its best wine assortments. Due to its specific flavor and delicate taste “Areni” wine has its respectful place among the best Armenian wines. The visit to the wine factory of the village will serve a good testimony to the above mentioned. The St. Astvatsatsin church built by skillful architect and sculpture Momik is in Areni village, too.

 10 hours, $29


Friday tours

Aruch. About 40 km far from Yerevan there is the village of Aruch where you can find one of the biggest churches in Armenia – St. Gregory cathedral, built in the 7th century. The cupola of the church was destroyed and now the piece of the sky seen from the circular opening of the cupola place is like an uninterrupted continuation of the frescoes once masterly painted on the walls of the church.

Near the church there are the ruins of a palace built at the same time with the church and in the outskirts of the village there are the remainders of a castle and a caravanserai built later in the 13-14th centuries.

 Marmashen. On the picturesque bank of Akhuryan river there is the magnificent monastery Marmashen built by Duke Vahram Pahlavuni. It is a huge complex, the construction of which started in 986 and finished in 1029. The main church is a domed hall. The facades of the church are elaborated with triangular niches, which endow the edifice with special liveliness. The survived eastern and northern walls of the second church, which is adjacent to the main church, prove that both with its composition and architectural details it is the smaller duplication of the main church. This complex built with well-hewn red tufa on the background of the blue sky casts an enigmatic impression.

 Gyumri. Gyumri is located in the north-western part of Armenia, in the middle of Shirak valley, 126 km far from Yerevan. From the ethnical point of view it is the most colorful city in Armenia. The local traditions are deeply rooted here, national spirit is reflcted in everything. Walking along the streets of old Gyumri one still seems to hear the voice of the smiths’ hammers, it seems that a cart will appear from the street corner and the carter will call to show around the city. The old houses, a part of which fortunately resisted the devastating earthquake in 1988, speak of the high architectural achievements of the city. These buildings are notable with their architectural solutions, combination of colorful stone and masterfully elaborated bas-reliefs. Gyumri has always been in the center of cultural events.

 Harich. The monastery complex of Harichavank is situated on the western slope of Mount Aragats, on a roky cape. According to the architects’ studies the complex was founded in the 7th century. In the 13th century the main church was built. In the 19th century the complex became the summer residence of Catholicoses. Not far from the main buildings there is a small chapel which is of great interest. The chapel is built on a piece of rock, which as a result of an earthquake split from the cape and the chapel is now towering over the canyon. 

 9 hours, $23


Saturday tours,

 Tsaghkadzor. Tsaghkadzor city (“Valley of flowers”) is considered to be one of the most popular winter resorts of Armenia. It is one of the places of our mountainous country, where the beauty of the nature appears with its whole variety. Tsaghkadzor is situated in Kotayk region, 50 kilometers North from Yerevan, on the eastern slope of Teghenis Mountain and is surrounded with virginal woods and alpine meadows.

 Kecharis. Kecharis monastery is in the north-western part of Tsakhkadzor. It was built in 11-13th centuries. The monastery consists of four churches and a half-destroyed mausoleum of Grigorius Pahlavuni, who financed building the monastery.

 Lake Sevan. The fascination and the pearl of mountainous Armenia is Sevan Lake, which is one of the world’s greatest high altitude fresh-water lakes. It is about 1900 m above sea level. The lake is of volcanic origin and is surrounded with mountains of 3000 m and higer. The beautiful landscape and the crystal water serve nice preconditions for excellent rest.The lake is also famous for its peninsula and medieval church complex built in 874.

 Dilijan. Dilijan entices people with its unforgettable beauty and mild climate. The city stretches on the banks of Aghstev river, surrounded with mountains and forests. Dilijan has the fame of a health resort. The warm sun, fresh air and natural spas have great healing influence on people. Dilijan is also rich in interesting architectural monuments.

Goshavank. Goshavank was founded by the famous medieval scientist, fabulist Mkhitar Gosh. The complex consists of several religious and secular buildings. The unrivalled khachkar put in front of the one-naved basilica was created by the skillful master Poghos in 1291.Goshavank used to be one of the most famous religious and cultural centers in medieval Armenia.

Haghartsin. Haghartsin monastery situated in the woodlands of Tavush region represents an indescribable example of blend of nature with architecture. It was founded in the 10-11th centuries, though new buildings were added in the 12-13th centuries. Now it consists of St. Grigor, St. Astvatsatsin (Holy Mother of God), St. Stepanos churches and some other buildings.The refectory due to its skillful architectural composition is of great interest. The huge oak tree, which is almost at the age of the monastery, completes the whole scene.

 9 hours, $26


 Sardarapat. This memorial sculptural complex is built in the sunny Ararat valley. By allegories it represents the Armenian-turkish battle in 1918 and glorifies the brilliant victory of Armenian people. Near the entrance of the complex there are two huge winged bulls symbolizing the persistence of Armenian nation and the alley fringed by five eagles leads to the Ethnography museum with a rich exhibition of Armenian culture, trades and crafts.

(5 hours, 5500AMD) = $16


Tuesday tour, (3 days/2 nights)

Khor Virap, Noravank, Stepanakert (overnight in Heghnar or Armenia * hotel),

Stepanakert (short city tour), Askeran, Gandzasar, Shoushi, Stepanakert (overnight),

Stepanakert, Tatev, Karahunj (Zorats Karer), Areni

 (3 days, 2 nights with hotel) US$220