Culture program - Armenia

1 250 EUR

Day 1. 20.05
Arrival at Yerevan at 04:30 / night from 20.05 to 21.05. Flight No BT 726 G
Meeting at the airport with a sign JUST TRAVEL. Transfer to hotel. Overnight in Yerevan. 

Day 2. 21.05
Sightseeing tour of Yerevan. Tour and tasting in Yerevan Brandy Factory. Dinner in national restaurant with folk music and dances

09:00 – 11:00 Breakfast at hotel
11:15-11:25 – meeting at the lobby of the hotel (a late start, to give a possibility to the group to have a rest after the night flight)
11:30-14:30 – sightseeing tour of Yerevan
15:00-16:30 – tour and tasting in Yerevan Brandy Factory
16:30-18:30 – free time
18:30-18:40 – meeting at the lobby of the hotel
19:00-22:00 – welcome dinner in a folk restaurant

Tour and tasting in Yerevan Brandy Factory
It’s not a secret that ArArAt brandies are one of the main symbols of Armenia for many years. In order to get acquainted with this legendary brand and with its 130-year history, we will go to the Yerevan Brandy Factory, where we will: 
• visit the museum of the factory, get acquainted with the legends of ARARAT brandies, learn the 130 years old history of Armenian brandy production, learn about the famous consumers of Armenian brandy, see the oldest Armenian barrels and the medals which decorate the ARARAT legend.
• walk around the ageing cellar and see how the brandy spirits are preserved, know who have nominal barrels and enjoy the delicate aroma of the cellar.
• pass a pleasant and memorable time in the tasting hall enjoying the delicious brandies: ArArAt 3 stars and Ani 7 years old.
We are sure after this fantastic tour you will fall in love with this sunny beverage for the rest of your life!

Day 3. 22.05
The Arch of Charents - Garni - Geghard - Lavash baking masterclass

07:30-09:30 - breakfast
09:45-10:00 – Meeting at the lobby of the hotel
10:00-10:45 – road to the Arc of Charents
10:45-11:00 – photostop at the Arc of Charents
11:00-11:40 – tour around the Hellenic Temple of Garni
11:45-12:45 – Excursion to the Geghard Monastery
12:45-13:45 – masterclass of baking Armenian bread lavash
13:45-14:45 – return to Yerevan

The Arch of Charents is a favorite place of tourists, from where opens a stunning view of biblical mount Ararat and the city of Yerevan. The arch is named after the great armenian poet Egishe Charents, who loved to come to this place and enjoy the beauty of Armenian land. You can also enjoy that beauty and take a photo for memory about your wonderful trip to Armenia.
The Temple of Garni - a classical Hellenistic temple in Garni village. It is perhaps the best-known structure and symbol of pre-Christian Armenia. Used to be a favorite place of Armenian kings. The beauty of the temple seems unreal. It occupies the triangular cape dominating the deep canyon, enveloped by the river Azat from two sides. The gorge is remarkable for its amazing slopes, known as "Symphony of Stones".
In the village of Garni, we will be hosted by local residents to see how real Armenian lavash is baked. And, of course, we will not get out of there without testing freshly baked lavash.
St. Geghard Monastery (12th - 13th centuries) - meaning "the Monastery of the Holly Lance", originates from the Lance which had wounded Jesus at the Crucifixion. The monastery is partially carved out of the adjacent mountain, surrounded by cliffs. The spectacular towering cliffs surrounding the monastery are part of the Azat River gorge, and included together with the monastery in the World Heritage Site listing. Some of the churches within the monastery complex are entirely dug out of the cliff rocks, others are little more than caves, while others are elaborate structures, with both architecturally complex walled sections and rooms deep inside the cliff. There is a cold spring that beats from the rock in one of the caves of the temple, which to this day is an object of worship. It is believed that his holy water heals from diseases, rejuvenates, and gives beauty.
Return to Yerevan. Overnight in Yerevan

Day 4. 23.05
Echmiadzin Cathedral – Museum “Treasures of Echmiadzin - St. Hripsime Church - Zvartnots Temple

07:30-09:30 - breakfast
09:45-10:00 – meeting at the lobby of the hotel
10:00-10:40 – road to Echmiatsin
10:40-11:20 – visit and tour in St.Hripsime church
11:30-12:20 – museum “The treasures of Echmiatsin”
12:20-12:45 – the Mother Cathedral of Echmiatsin
12:45-13:35 – return to Yerevan
13:35-14:35 – visit to the central market

Today we will have a trip to Etchmiadzin - the religious capital of Armenia (World Heritage of UNESCO (sheet 2000)).
St. Echmiadzin Mother Cathedral (303) - the most ancient Christian temple of Armenia, is one of the first in entire Christian world. The first stone of the temple, as the legend goes, was laid between 301 and 303 by St. Gregory the Illuminator, the first Catholicos of Armenian Church. The distinguishing feature of the cathedral is that it is the holy site where Christ descended and ordered St. Gregory the Illuminator to build the temple on that particular place. In 2001 when Armenia celebrated the 1700th anniversary of adoption of Christianity, Pope John Paul II brought the relics of the first Armenian Catholicos to Echmiadzin. For five hundred years the relics of St. Gregory the Illuminator had been kept in Naples, and now are in a cathedral of Echmiadzin.
We will also visit the museum-treasure-house of Echmiadzin to see the Holy Lance with which Jesus Christ was injured and the miraculously preserved piece of Noah's Ark.
Afterwards we will visit the Church of St. Hripsime (7th c.) and continue our way to the Ruins of the temple Zvartnots. The temple was erected as early as the 7th century. Like most of the ancient structures of Armenia, Zvartnots reached the present time in ruins and remained buried until its remains were uncovered at the beginning of the 20th century. Zvartnots is of great value not only for Armenians but also for international society, as it is inscribed in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Return to Yerevan. 
Visiting the main central market of Yerevan, where you can buy lots of sweets, fruits, dry foods, spices, 

Day 5. 24.05
Lake Sevan - Sevanavank Monastery - Sevan Peninsula - Dilijan - Haghartsin

07:30-09:30 - breakfast
09:45-10:00 – meeting at the lobby of the hotel
10:00-11:10 – road to lake Sevan
11:10-12:10 – excursion around the Sevan Peninsula and Sevanavank Monastery
12:10-12:30 – road to Tsaghkunk village
12:30-13:30 – lunch in the restaurant Tsaghkunk 
13:30-14:30 – road to Dilijan
14:30-15:20 – tour around Dilijan
15:20-16:20 – excursion to the Haghartsin Monastery
16:20-18:00 – return to Yerevan

Today we will go to see the pearl of Armenia – the Lake Sevan, endowed with “blue-eyed beauty” epithet by locals and “Armenian Riviera” by foreigners. Lake Sevan is one of the top tourist attractions. It is the largest freshwater high-altitude (alpine) lakes in Eurasia. We will visit the monastery of Sevanavank (9th c.) on the top of Akhtamar peninsula. Perhaps this is where you will want to release a pair of pigeons - the sacred birds of Noah's Land. And then all your cherished wishes will certainly come true! 
Afterwards we will go to a local restaurant to try dishes with Sevan fish and if the luck turns to us, we will meet the Chief of the restaurant who is one of the best known in Armenia.

Then we will continue our way to resort town Dilijan. People say that if there were forests, mountains and mineral springs in Paradise, the paradise would look like Dilijan. The Haghartsin Gorge is one of the most spectacular places of Dilijan Reserve. The Monastery is nestled in a temperate rainforest on a mountainside, not far from the ruins of the medieval village of Haghartsin, which gave the name to the monastery.

Return to Yerevan. Overnight in Yerevan

Day 6. 25.05
Khor-Virap - Noravank - Areni wine factory

07:30-09:30 - breakfast
09:45-10:00 – meeting at the lobby of the hotel
10:00-10:50 – road to Khor Virap
10:50-11:45 – excursion around the Monastery Khor Virap
11:45-13:15 – road to Areni village
13:15-13:45 – wine tasting in a local Winery
13:45-14:45 – lunch in a local resaurant
14:45-15:15 – road to Noravank
15:15-16:30 – excursion around the Noravank Monastery
16:30-18:30 – return to Yerevan

Khor Virap means "deep dungeon". Khor Virap’s notability as a monastery and pilgrimage site is attributed to the fact that Gregory the Illuminators was imprisoned here for 14 years before curing King Trdat III of a disease. This caused the conversion of Armenia into the first Christian nation in the world in 301. The temple is located in the Ararat valley with the magnificent view of the biblical mountain Ararat


Day 7. 26.05
Monument of Armenian Alphabet - Saghmosavank monastery – Wine Castle Voskevas - lunch in a house of local farmer

07:30-09:30 - breakfast
09:45-10:00 – meeting at the lobby of the hotel
10:00-10:30 – road to Artashavan village
10:30-10:45 – photostop near the monument to Armenian Alphabet
10:45-11:00 – road to the Wine Castle Voskevaz
11:00-12:20 – tour and tasting in Wine Castle
12:20-13:30 – excursion around the Saghmosavank Monastery
13:30-14:00 – road to Ohanavan village
14:00- 16:00 – eco-lunch in the house of a local farmer
16:00-16:30 – return to Yerevan
Today we will go to a very fascinating trip. First we will see the monument to the Armenian Alphabet. The alphabet is the pride of the Armenian people. It was assembled in 405 by the great scientist and enlightener St. Mesrop Mashtots. The complex was built in 2005, on the 1600th anniversary of the creation of Armenian alphabet. 
The complex includes sculptures of 39 letters of Armenian alphabet, as well as monuments to the great Armenian thinkers. All the letters and statues are made of Armenian tufa. 
We will continue our road to a breathtaking place, where just on the edge of a magnificent canyon stands the Saghmosavank monastery. Saghmosavank is a 13th-century monastic complex located in the village of Saghmosavank in the Aragatsotn province. 
The main structure of the monastery erected by Prince Vache Vachutyan — the Church of Zion in Saghmosavank (1215) and the Church of Karapet in Hovhannavank (1216-1221)—belong to the same type of cross-winged domed structure with two-floor annexes in all the corners of the building. Subcupola space predominates in the interiors of both churches, which is reflected in the exterior shapes of these structures

Lunch at the most hospitable young hostess of the village Ohanavan.
Vahanush (that's the name of the hostess) will open for us a large eco-food table in her fruite garden. By the way, we will help her cook barbecue in the tondir (an Armenian underground stone oven). The very beauty of this place is not only that we will try organic village food in an indescribably beautiful place, but also that her house is located on the edge of the Kasakh gorge, and this gorge is considered one of the mystical places of strength of the Armenian land. So, when you're there, don't forget to close your eyes and make a wish ????

Return to Yerevan. Overnight in Yerevan

Day 8. 27.05.

Free day. Overnight in Yerevan.

Day 9. 28.05

03:00-03:40 Check-out from hotel. 
03:40 transfer to airport and happy return home! 
Flight at 06:40,  BT 727 G    

Price includes:
 Hotel accommodation / 8 nights
 Guide service
 3 lunches as per program 
 Welcome dinner in folk restaurant
 All entrance tickets
 Tour and tasting in Yerevan Barndy Factory
 Tour and tasting in Areni winery
 Tour and tasting in Wine Castle Voskevaz
 Masterclass of baking Armenian bread lavash
 1 bottle of water per person during the excursions
 Transfers Aiport-Hotel-Airport
 Comfortable air-conditioned bus
 Free participation of the group leader
 Price doesn’t include:
 Lunches and dinners, don’t mentioned in the program
 Alcohol during the meals