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Exploring Armenia

Exploring Armenia Exploring Armenia
£ 2195

The Republic of Armenia, the first nation to adopt Christianity as its religion in the 4th century, has a rich cultural heritage as witnessed in the museums of its capital, Yerevan, and in the remarkable early churches, monasteries, and cave dwellings set in the majestic mountain scenery of the south Caucasus.

We begin in Yerevan with a city tour including the State Museum of Armenian History, with collections documenting ancient history through to modern times, and the Armenia Genocide Museum and Memorial. We also visit the historic churches at Etchmiadzin, including the ruined church of Zvartnots and Etchmiadzin Cathedral, and the Sergei Parajanov Museum with its eclectic works by the artist. Leaving the city, we travel south to the monastery of Khor Virap, with its splendid views of Mount Ararat and the evocative Noravank Monastery complex.

We continue south to the picturesque town of Goris and we visit the impressive walled monastery at Tatev and the home and museum of Armenian prose writer Axel Bakounts. Crossing the Selim Pass, we visit Orbelian’s caravanserai, before continuing to Lake Sevan, one of the largest mountain lakes in the world, and onwards to Dilijan, surrounded by the forests of the Dilijan National Park. Here we visit the remote Goshavank Monastery and the Makaravank and Haghartsin Monasteries before our journey back to Yerevan. The tour ends with the remarkable rock-carved churches at Geghard, the Hellenistic Temple at Garni and the magnificent Matenadaran, a depository of over 12,000 ancient manuscripts.

NB. There will be an option to attend a performance at the Opera House in Yerevan subject to performance schedule.

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9 days from
per person
Single Supplement:
Tour Date:
5th April 2022 -
13th April 2022
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    Detailed Itinerary
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    Day 1-2 London / Paris / Yerevan
    London / Paris / Yerevan

    Day 1:

    Suggested flight (not included in the cost of the tour) Air France AF 1681 departing London Heathrow at 09.00 hrs arriving Paris at 11.25 hrs connecting with AF 1060 departing at 13.00 hrs arriving Yerevan at 20.40 hrs. Transfer to the 5-star Armenia Marriott Hotel, situated next to Council Square, where three nights are spent. Light dinner on arrival at the hotel.

    Suggested flight (not included in the cost of the tour) Air France AF 1681 departing London Heathrow at 09.00 hrs arriving Paris at 11.25 hrs connecting with AF 1060 departing at 13.00 hrs arriving Yerevan at 20.40 hrs. Transfer to the 5-star Armenia Marriott Hotel, situated next to Council Square, where three nights are spent. Light dinner on arrival at the hotel.

    Day 2:

    Morning tour of the capital including a visit to the National History Museum in Republic Square. See the Government and National Assembly Buildings and the Opera House in Opera Square. From here see the Cascade, a vast flight of steps and flower beds leading up to a monument commemorating the 50th anniversary of Soviet Armenia. Continue to the 23-metre high statue of Mother of Armenia that watches over the city from Victory Park.

    Lunch at a local restaurant. Visit the Genocide Memorial and Museum which was opened in 1995 and is dedicated to the victims of the Armenian Genocide. Visit and dinner at the Megeryan Carpet Factory.

    Day 3 Etchmiadzin & Yerevan
    Etchmiadzin & Yerevan

    Morning drive to the city of Etchmiadzin. Here see the UNESCO World Heritage sites of the ruins of the Palace Church at Zvarnots and Etchmiadzin Cathedral, the Mother Church of the Armenian Apostolic Church and considered the oldest cathedral in the world. Also visit the fine 7th-century churches of St. Hripsime and St. Gayane and the Treasury Museum of Etchmiadzin.

    Lunch at the Cross of Armenian Unity NGO restaurant. Return to Yerevan and visit museum of the artist and film director, Sergei Paradjanov, known for The Colour of Pomegranates. His controversial lifestyle and behaviour led Soviet authorities to repeatedly persecute and imprison him and suppress his films. Dinner at a local restaurant.

    Day 4 Yerevan / Goris
    Yerevan / Goris

    Leave for the historic Khor Virap Monastery, with its splendid views of Mount Ararat, before continuing South to visit the evocative 13th-century Noravank Monastery, set against a rugged cliff face. Visit the Areni Caves where, in 2010, the worldís oldest known winery (4th millennium BC) was discovered.

    Lunch and wine tasting in the Vayots-Dzor region, known for its wine making. Continue to the mysterious standing stones of Karahunj or Carahunge, near the city of Goris. Check into the Mirhav Boutique Hotel in Goris where two nights are spent. Dinner at the hotel.

    Day 5 Goris & Tatev
    Goris & Tatev

    Morning tour of Goris considered Armeniaís most beautiful town, with its fine stone houses, arched windows and balconies along its tree lined streets. Take the cable car to the impressive walled monastery of Tatev, which stands in splendid isolation above the Vorotan Gorge.

    Lunch at a local restaurant at Tatev. Return to Goris and visit the 19th-century home and museum of the Armenian prose writer, Axel Bakounts (1899ñ1937). Take tea at the museum. Dinner at the hotel.

    Day 6 Selim Pass / Lake Sevan / Dilijan
    Selim Pass / Lake Sevan / Dilijan

    Depart for the Selim Pass and visit the Caravanserai which was built along the Vardenyats Mountain Pass in 1332, by prince Chesar Orbelian to accommodate weary travellers and their animals as they crossed from, or into, the Vayots Dzor Mountains. Located at the southern side of the pass at a height of 2410 metres above sea level, Orbelianís Caravanserai is the best-preserved caravanserai in the entire country. Continue to Noraduz to see the field of khatchkars (or carved memorial stone crosses).

    Lunch at the Miqayelyan Cheese Factory. Drive on to Lake Sevan, one of the largest mountain lakes in the world and the inspiration for poets, artists and composers. Visit the 9th-12th century monastery of Hayravank on the shores of the lake. Drive on to the village of Dilijan, situated in Dilijan National Park. The forested and reclusive city is home to numerous Armenian artists, composers, and filmmakers and features some traditional Armenian architecture. Check into the Best Western Plus Paradise Hotel where one night is spent. Dinner at the hotel.

    Day 7 Dilijan / Yerevan
    Dilijan / Yerevan

    In Dilijan, walk along Sharambeyan Street in the Old Town with its artisansí workshops and craft shops and visit the Esayan Museum with its reconstruction of typical 19th century homes. Visit Makaravank Monastery on the slopes of Mount Paitata, built of dark-pink, red and greenish stone, and dating from the 10th-13th centuries. Continue to the remote 12th-century monastery of Goshavank, founded by Mkhitar Gosh, a medieval Armenian ruler who was both a scholar and a politician.

    Lunch at a local restaurant in Dilijan. Visit the 11th-13th century Haghartsin Monastery, hidden in a verdant valley with three churches. Return to Yerevan and check in at the Marriott Hotel where two nights are spent. Dinner at the hotel.

    Day 8 Yerevan, Geghard & Garni
    Yerevan, Geghard & Garni

    Leave for the early monastery of Geghard, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with its rock-hewn chapels and monksí cells. Take the winding road through the Aransk Gorge to the restored Hellenistic temple of Garni.

    Lunch at a local house, with a demonstration of the typical bread (lavash) baking. Return to Yerevan and visit the Matenadaran Library, the pride of Armenian culture with one of the worldís largest collections of ancient manuscripts. Dinner at a traditional Armenian restaurant.

    Day 9 Yerevan / Paris / London

    Transfer to the airport. Suggested flight (not included) Air France AF 1061 departing Yerevan at 09.30 hrs arriving Paris at 12.10 hrs connecting to AF 1780 departing at 13.15 arriving London Heathrow at 13.45 hrs.

    • A great trip as always - you're a fantastic company.

      -
      NC, Zambia & Botswana 2019