If you are looking for cultural inspiration and haven’t plunged into the magical world of history for a long time, then you are definitely in the right place. Enrich your spirit with us during an exciting journey through Armenia. Open up Five UNESCO Heritage Places in one the most ancient countries in the whole world.
Arrival to the airport Zvartnots
Transfer to the Hotel in Yerevan
Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin. The beginning of the third day in Armenia is a cultural breakthrough in one of the greatest centers of the Christian world – 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.
Lunch at Agape Restaurante. The cafe is located on the territory of Etchmiadzin in a very interesting building. Once it was a monastery refectory, built in the first half of the 17th century. Now, it looks like a medieval tavern. So, Bon appetit!
Quote about Armenian hospitality: “I will give you all the flame of my heart. I will give you the fire of my joy and I will give you sparks of joy – I will pick everything up to the coal. Do not freeze in the middle of winter – I will give everything”.
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, the columns crowned with divine eagles have not lost their grandeur and monumentality.
An interesting fact: in Zvartnots there is one of the oldest and largest “marans” (wine cellar) in all of Transcaucasia.
Haghpat Monastery. After a few hours of driving along the road surrounded by mountain landscapes, you find yourself in a medieval Armenian fairy tale, where every stone and every door is filled with the spirit of antiquity. The monastery complex of Haghpat and its one-of-a-kind Khachkar “Amenaprkich” will burn into your memory, leaving an indelible mark there until the end of your days.
An interesting fact: the famous Armenian ashug-gusan (musician) of the 18th century, Sayat-Nova, lived and worked in the monastery, whose songs are still performed not only by Armenians, but also by Georgians, Turks, Iranians and Azerbaijanis.
Cave Mendz-Er. It’s time to relax and have a delicious meal near the ancient and former inhabited Mendz-Er cave, inside which today a real ethnographic museum is open. The main feature of the restaurant and the cave is their location high above a steep cliff with gorgeous views.
Sanahin Monastery. Visiting the Lori region, overlooking Sanahin, beloved by the Armenian people, is probably the worst mistake that any tourist and even a local resident can make. That is why we are transporting you through the eastern mountain serpentines to another all-Christian treasury – Sanahin Monastery. The unique architecture of its kind will surprise even the most experienced traveler.
An interesting fact: the monastery was built by the Bagratuni dynasty, which became the last royal dynasty of Greater Armenia before the Muslim invasion.
Arch of Charents. The last day in Armenia begins with a delightful sight – an amazing panorama of the Ararat Valley, the city of Yerevan and Mount Ararat. All this can be seen from the observation deck of the monument dedicated to Yeghishe Charents – the Great Armenian poet
Quote: “No matter how sharply they pierce my heart our wounds so soaked with blood, Even then I love my orphaned and my bloodied, dear Armenia.” – Yeghishe Charents.
Geghard rock 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”).
Lunch with a master class on baking lavash. Taste the bread that once saved the life of the Armenian king. There is a legend that lavash was baked to save King Aram, who was captured by the Assyrian king Nosor. Aram was kept in captivity for 10 days without food before the fight. Sly Aram asked to bring his most beautiful protective shell. Time after time, the messengers handed over to the king a shell with thin bread hidden inside, but Aram allegedly did not like the shell. Finally, on the day of the duel, well-fed and full of strength, Aram defeated Nosor in archery and returned home.
An interesting fact: Lavash cooking technique is included in the UNESCO Intangible Heritage List.
The pagan temple of Garni. Now we are traveling 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.
Performance by a professional Armenian musician. Inside the majestic temple, a professional musician plays the national Armenian instrument – Duduk (or Tsiranapokh), the sound of which floods people’s souls with emotions.
An interesting fact: the Duduk melody is included in the UNESCO Intangible Heritage List.
Transfer to the Airport Zvartnots