Walking tour of the city. This is a special calm and quiet walk through the picturesque and colorful streets of Yerevan, when you can feel the true spirit of the Armenian people. Wonderful historical buildings and small, narrow central streets, kind and smiling locals and the smell of traditional pastries and hot coffee – this is what you have to feel here in our ancient capital.
Excursion to the Matenadaran Museum. Welcome to one of the largest research institutes and manuscript centers in the world, which houses the richest museum of manuscripts. The Matenadaran contains 17,000 manuscripts and 100,000 documents accumulated over 1,500 years. Just imagine how many new and interesting things you will learn here about the history of the Ancient World.
Megerian carpet Fabric. Now you going to have some Armenian vibes in the Manufacture of hand-woven carpets. In an incredibly cozy atmosphere, the factory workers present to your attention chic Armenian carpets made of real sheep’s wool. By the way, Armenia is considered the birthplace of carpet weaving, so you will be fulfilled by emotions.
Armenina Brande Factory “Ararat”. The best ending to such a cultural explosion on the very first day will be a tasting of one of the best and most prestigious alcoholic beverages in the world – the famous Armenian cognac. A tour of the cellars of the factory, the walls of which are built of tuff the color of peach cognac, as well as a tasting with delicious Armenian chocolate, relax and end the day on the sweetest and most positive note. There is even an interesting fact, which says, that Armenian brandy was Winston Churchill’s favorite alcoholic drink.
Khor Virap Monastery. Today you will meet with one of the most important holy places for the entire Christian world. It was in Khor Virap that back in the 3rd century AD. Gregory the Illuminator, the first Catholicos of all Armenians, was imprisoned. You can go down to the dungeon where St. Gregory would have been imprisoned for more than 13 years. From here you can endlessly enjoy the world’s best view of the biblical Mount Ararat.
An interesting fact: Khor Virap was built on the site of the royal dungeon of the ancient capital of Armenia – the city of Artashat, through which one of the most important routes of the Great Silk Road passed.
Areni Cave. Many of you have probably noticed that when talking about Armenia, people often use the pronoun “most”. So, it’s not easy, get ready for an overdose, because in the Areni Cave they found the oldest winery in the world, the oldest leather shoes in the world, the oldest find of the remains of a primitive man in the world! It’s hard to believe, but some of the most valuable and ancient archaeological finds in the world have really accumulated here. Come and see everything with your own eyes.
Wine tasting at Areni winery. A little more than an hour later you find yourself in the wine-making kingdom of the east – the village of Areni, where archaeologists have discovered the oldest winery in the world, about 6 thousand years old. Clay jars, seeds of different grape varieties were found, among which the Areni variety, which grows only in Armenia, stands out, even ancient burials and traces of sacrifices were found. In Areni you will taste delicious Armenian wines that will definitely make your day sweeter.
An interesting fact: in the same place, archaeologists found the oldest leather shoes in the world, which is about 5500 years old. Today the slipper is kept in the History Museum of Armenia in Yerevan.
Noravank Monastery.Once in the fairy tale of the Vayots Dzor region, it would be a crime not to see the luxurious architecture of Noravank with your own eyes. Only here is the concept of luxury here. The tradition of medieval Armenian architecture has always adhered to modesty and moderation in the choice of architectural elements. But this did not prevent Amag-Noravank from becoming one of the largest spiritual centers of antiquity. Even more breathtaking from the surrounding mountain landscapes of the monastery, completely covered with a bright red hue.
An interesting fact: on one of the tympanums of the Noravank monastery, a rare bas-relief has been preserved – an image of the Lord holding the head of Adam in his hands.
St Hripsime Church. Today can be safely called a trip to the UNESCO heritage world, because absolutely all the sights that we are going to show you are included in the world heritage list, including the Church of St. Hripsime. It was erected in the 7th century on the site of an even more ancient chapel of the 4th century, founded in memory of the death of the ancient Christian martyr Hripsime, whose remains are buried in the left aisle of the church. Armenians believe that the saint helps young girls find love and female happiness, and also heals any illness.
St Gayane Church. The church of St. Gayane, built in 630, has a similar history. Gayane was also one of the martyrs who were brutally stoned for renouncing paganism and disobeying the king. The remains of the Saint are buried in the right sacristy of the temple. The pacifying aura of the territory surrounding the church fascinates and makes you forget about all the problems.
Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin.The continuation of our cultural and historical journey is the Etchmiadzin Cathedral, where the residence of the Catholicos of all Armenians is located. The first church was founded about 1700 years ago by the first Catholicos of Armenia, Gregory the Illuminator.
An interesting fact: the Etchmiadzin Museum stores the most ancient relics of the Christian world: the spear of Longinus, with which Jesus was pierced, a piece of Noah’s Ark, the relics of St. Stephen, a particle of the staff of the Apostle Bartholomew.
Zvartnots Cathedral. After this super-saturated start, you should calm your spirit down a bit in an absolutely unique place. The ruins of the medieval temple of Zvartnots, being energetically abstracted from the whole world, envelop you with an atmosphere of antiquity and majestic beauty. The “Temple of the Vigilant Angels”, included in the UNESCO World Heritage List, is considered a breakthrough in medieval world architecture, and even through the millennia, after so many destructions and invasions, its slender columns topped with divine eagles have not lost their grandeur and monumentality.
An interesting fact: in the temple of Zvartnots there is one of the oldest and largest “marans” (wine cellar) in all of Transcaucasia.
Garni Temple.The pagan temple of Garni. And now we travel back in time and find ourselves in the Hellenistic era, when the powerful kings of Greater Armenia issued their orders in Greek. In a pagan temple of the first century, vivid images of ancient sacrifices to the Armenian god of the sun, Mithra, appear before you. The deep mountain gorge and the noise of the Azat River help the temple make you lose your sense of reality.
Geghard Monastery. This day becomes special, because you find yourself inside a rock with a sacred spring. Walking through the rocky churches of the Geghard monastery complex, you will learn many interesting stories about the life of Armenia in the 12th-13th centuries. An interesting fact: in the monastery of Geghard, the spear of Longinus was kept – the very tool with which the Roman legionary pierced the body of Christ. Hence the name “Geghard” (from the Armenian “spear”).
Saghmosavank monastery. Armenia is a country of monasteries. They are indeed one of the most important cultural treasures of the country. Saghmosavank, built in the 13th century by one of the most noble princely families of Medieval Armenia, is no exception. In addition to the unique architecture, chiseled patterned bas-reliefs and elegant khachkars with floral and geometric ornaments, the mountain landscapes surrounding the monastery and the deep canyon of the Kasakh River are more impressive in Saghmosavank. These views pacify and excite at the same time, forcing you to stay here forever.
Alphabet Monument. The monument to the Armenian alphabet is located in the village of Artashavan, on the western slope of Mount Aragats. The complex was built on the occasion of the 1600th anniversary of the creation of the Armenian alphabet. The complex includes sculptures of 39 letters of the Armenian alphabet, as well as monuments of great Armenian thinkers. All letters and statues are made from Armenian tufa.
Amberd fortress. It seems as if nothing can surprise the eye after such a bright start. However, this is an erroneous opinion, because the medieval fortress of Amberd is not inferior to Saghmosavank either in the beauty of architecture or inspiring views. The fortress was built in the 7th century and since then it has risen unshakably at an altitude of more than 2200 meters on the slope of the highest mountain peak in Armenia – Mount Aragats.
Tsaghkadzor. The resort city, the Gorge of Flowers, the Birch Grove, – this all is about Tsaghkadzor – an ancient Armenian city, towering at an altitude of 1800 meters on the slopes of the Tsaghkunyats mountain range. This is the best place to reboot the body, because the geographical features of the city contribute to a more active production of hemoglobin in the blood, which has the best effect on well-being.
Interesting facts: despite its youthful appearance, Tsaghkadzor was inhabited as early as the 3rd-5th centuries and belonged to the influential princely family of Varazhnuni.
Kecharis. The main treasure of Tsakhkadzor is the monastery ensemble Kecharis, founded in the 11th century by the famous and very ancient Armenian princely dynasty Pahlavuni, from where Gregory the Illuminator himself, the first Catholicos of Armenians, was born. It is noteworthy that one of the churches of the monastery was built by Grigor Magistros, a philosopher, writer, teacher, scientist and statesman, who was also from the Pahlavuni dynasty.
An interesting fact: medieval Armenian princes, architects and priests are buried in the medieval cemetery of Kecharis.
Tsaghkadzor Ropeway. A favorite entertainment among tourists in the “Valley of Flowers” is the contemplation of nature from a height of 2819 meters on the Cable Car, which operates both for skiing and for ordinary pleasure rentals. The cable car is stretched on the eastern slope of Mount Tegeni, from where a gorgeous view of Mount Ararat and the entire Ararat valley opens.
Sevanavank Monastery. Now you are in the arms of the blue waves of Lake Sevan – the pearl of Armenian nature. One of the most ascetic and ancient monasteries of the entire region was built on one of the peninsular hills. Sevanavank, founded by Gregory the Illuminator in the 4th century, survived many battles in its lifetime, but was able to resist and preserve its most valuable beauties for you and me.
This is the last day of your cultural tour in Armenia. We will drive you to the airport 3hours before your flight time.
Have a safe flight! We hope to see you again.