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ARCHAEOLOGICAL TOUR TO ARMENIA

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73
13 days
Availability : 2021 Dec.
Yerevan
Gyumri
Min Age : 18+
Max People : 50

The Armenian Highland is a mysterious and little-explored territory. References concerning the Highlands, Armenia and the Armenian ethnicity, which lived on that territory for several millennia, are preserved in Sumerian, Assyrian, Egyptian, Persian and other inscriptions. Hence, let’s dig together into human history and form an idea about cosmological studies together with many aspects of the cultures of ancient peoples. Inhabiting this territory for thousands of years, the Armenians formed a nation, established their kingdoms in the crossroad of ancient civilizations with their unique culture. The rich archaeological heritage spans approximately over two million years.  Nowadays’  archaeological excavations testify to the important role Armenia played in the context of Near Eastern civilizations. Hence, open the uncovered pages of this beautiful country during the archaeological tour to Armenia. 

Archaeological Tour to Armenia
Tour Details
What to Expect
  • Indulge yourself into the ancient times and study the findings of Chalcolithic, Bronze Age and the Middle Ages
  • Visit the second biggest town of Armenia Gyumri known as the city of arts and crafts, sport and humour
  • Have an unforgettable jeep tour experience in the arms of Armenian mountains
  • Dig deeper into Urartian kingdom and its unique culture
  • Have a visit to one of the ancient wineries in the world
  • Visit the main archaeological sites of the country
  • Reveal the secrets of ancient petroglyphs

Departure & Return Location

Zvartnots International Airport

Departure Time

3 Hours Before Flight Time

Price Includes

  • Hand-picked Hotels with Breakfast
  • Transfers to and from the Airport
  • Entrance Fees and Local Guides
  • Premium Transportation
  • Tastings and Jeep Tours
  • Professional Guide

Price Excludes

  • Dinners and Lunches
  • Alcoholic Beverages
  • Tips
Itinerary

Day 1 Arrival

Arrival in Yerevan. Transfer to hotel. Use your free time to enjoy the evening lights of Yerevan and the fountain show in the city centre. Get ready for an unforgettable archaeological tour to Armenia. Overnight in Yerevan.

Day 2 Archaeological sites of Yerevan

Firstly, explore the roots of ancient history from the National History Museum located in the central square. After taking a walk around the central square visit one of the Vishap or Dragon Stones near the Government House. Have a short walking tour through the main Yerevan streets meanwhile visiting another Vishap near Poplavok Lake. After lunch head to Nor Norq Community to visit Vishaps and rock-carvings near the statue of hero Torq Angegh who was a deity, the son of Angegh and the Grandson of Hayk – our forefather. Then, finish your day enjoying the walking tour in the small centre of Yerevan. Visit Victory Park, Walk down the Cascade complex, pass by the Opera House and Northern Avenue. Overnight in Yerevan.

Day 3 Metsamor – Zvartnots Temple – Shengavit - Yerevan

This day will be a real feast for archaeology lovers. Firstly, visit the fortress-city of Metsamor. Archaeological excavations here continue till these days and Metsamor still holds further research potential. During the excavations different cultural layers were found, which date to the Eneolithic, periods of the Bronze Age,  iron developing and Middle Ages. Next, visit the ruins of the 7th-century masterpiece- Zvartnots Temple.  Afterwards, make your way towards  Shengavit.  During the mid-fourth millennium BC, a uniquely specific and powerful civilization emerged and developed in Armenia, encompassing a vast territory from the Northern Caucasus to Israel, from Eastern Anatolia to Central Iran, with the Armenian Highland, especially the Ararat Plain with its surrounding foothills. This civilization uncovered in 12 modern countries is known as Kura-Arax or Shengavit culture. Overnight in Yerevan. 

Day 4 Geghard – Garni Temple – Geghama Heights - Yerevan

No traveller to Armenia can avoid this wonderful masterpiece. The name Geghard derives from the holy spear brought there still in the first century. This is the very spear by which the Roman soldier pierced Christ while on the cross. Continue your wonderful tour to the 1st century A.D. Garni Temple which was once the summer residence of the Armenian Kings of the day. Garni is the only standing heathen temple in Armenia and also in the territory of Former Soviet Union. The temple stands on a high plateau overlooking the gorge of the Azat river. After a tasty lunch take a jeep tour to Geghama heights to explore the huge site of Dragon stones and the amazing landscape. On the way back stop next to Symphony of Stones – a natural monument which is the result of the collapse of the volcanic rocks. Overnight in Yerevan.

Day 5 Teishebaini- Yerevan Fortress – Erebuni Fortress – Zovuni (Urartian Kingdom 9the century BC -6th century BC)

This day we will mostly visit and study the sites related to the Urartu kingdom. In the mid-9th century BC, one of the most powerful states of the Ancient Near East, known as Urartu arose around the territory of Van lake in the Armenian Highland. Firstly, dig into this mystic period from Teishebaini, the capital of Urartu. Next, head to Yerevan fortress which is changed into Brandy factory nowadays but still keeps the Urartian period secret water channels inside the construction. Afterwards, head to Erebuni fortress where the history of Yerevan starts in 782 BC. Reveal many secrets of Urartu kingdom in the museum, enjoy walking through the ruins of the fortress and feel the breath of the period which is still a mystery for many. Finally, study Zovuni fortress which represents many layers of early and middle Bronze age period. Overnight in Yerevan.

Day 6 Yerevan- Harich – Horom Cyclopic Fortress – Gyumri – Agarak - Yerevan (Armenia in the Late Bronze and Early Iron Ages (1500-800 BC))

This day we head to Northern Armenia to enjoy the second biggest city of Armenia –Gyumri and many Bronze age settlements. Firstly, stop by Harichavank. Archaeological excavations indicate that Harich was in existence during the 2nd century BC, and was one of the well-known fortress towns in Armenia. Then, drive towards Horom cyclopic fortress – atop two large hills south of the main road and opposite of the dam and Kamut Reservoir. Make your way towards Gyumri. Get in touch with local people who claim to have a strong sense of humour! After lunch and a nice walk in the city centre head back to Yerevan. On the way, our last stop will be Agarak. The archaeologists discovered remains of ancient streets, miscellaneous goods of Van Kingdom, tombs, pottery of the 8-6 century BC, as well as coins of the Hellenistic and Roman periods.  Overnight in Yerevan.

Day 7 Khor Virap – Artashat – Areni Caves – Noravank - Karahunj – Goris

This day we drive to Khor Virap. Here you will enjoy the view of Mt. Ararat. “Khor Virap” means “deep dungeon”.  Just before reaching there, you will see the hills on which our historical capital Artashat was built around 173 BC.  Excavations around the ruins have discovered amazing things in this area: coins, stamps, the remains of the temple, citadel and markets. Continue your tour to Areni caves, where the oldest shoe and the most ancient winery were found during the archaeological excavations. Moreover, you will have an opportunity to taste Armenian wine. Afterwards, visit the most beautiful Noravank surrounded by red rocks and standing like a queen on the top of the hill.  Last stop of the day will be Karahunj commonly referred to as Armenian Stonehenge. It is already proven that this ancient megalithic complex once served as an observatory. Overnight in Goris.

Day 8 Goris –Tatev Monastery – Ukhtasar Petroglyphs- Sisian

Early morning drive to Tatev Monastery. Since medieval times Tatev has been a vital scholastic and spiritual centre and has played an important role in Armenia’s history. You will reach the monastery by the cable car which is the longest reversible ropeway in the world. Thus if you are looking for unforgettable adventures in the air and want to fly, you don’t need planes! Right after Tatev, you will head towards Ukhtasar. Jeeps will approach to take you to the top where you will enjoy exploring over 2,000 decorated rock fragments extending to the foot of the mountain. The Armenian petroglyphs are exceptional in the context of prehistoric Near East culture by their number, variety, style and content. Overnight in Sisian.

Day 9 Sisian – Jermuk free day

Early morning head to Jermuk spa town to enjoy your free time there. Walk in the parks, try the natural springs and spa services. 

Day 10 Selim Pass – Carvanserai –Sevsar- Noratous – Lake Sevan

Start the day heading to the northern region alongside Lake Sevan. Visit Selim Caravanserai on the Silk Road which is the best-preserved caravanserai in the territory of Armenia.  A little bit up from Caravanserai the car will stop close to Sevsar mountain from where you will hike to Vardenis Stellar maps. William Tyler Alcott, founder of the American Association of Variable Star Observers, in his “Star Lore of All Ages” notes that the Zodiac was most likely created in Armenia around 3,000 BC. Carry on the way to Noratous Village. At a family-owned local factory, you will surely appreciate the art of cheese making and the extraordinary flavours of various types of cheese. Then you will have a visit to Noratous cemetery where you will find hundreds of khachkars representing the development of Armenian Khachkar making history. Overnight in Sevan.

Day 11 Sevan- Hayravank - Lchashen- Odzaberd – Yerevan

Start your day with  Hayravank monastery located along the southwest shores of Lake Sevan. To the northwest, a short distance from the site, are the remains of Bronze Age through medieval fortification walls and foundations of a settlement. Weapons of metal and stone, tools, clay idols, numerous vessels, fireplaces and two tombs, all from the Iron Age were discovered in the vicinity.  Afterwards, drive to a Lchashen settlement founded at the end of the 4th millennium BC. The findings let archaeologists assume the population of the settlement was very sophisticated and were engaged in farming, cattle breeding, ceramics, etc. Finalize your impressions of the day at Odzaberd located at the south-east corner of Lake Sevan. It is an important archaeological site because it was once a fortified city of the Urartian Kingdom founded by Rusa I. Overnight in Yerevan.

Day 12 Free Day in Yerevan

During the archaeological tour to Armenia, you will have a free day in Yerevan. Hence, you will have time for shopping, enjoying the sun in an open-air cafe or wander along the streets of the city centre. 

Day 13 Departure

Transfer to the Airport.

Map
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