City-tour in Yerevan, trip to Jermuk, visiting Khor Virap, Noravank and Karahunj. Visiting Sevanavank, Haghartsin and Goshavank monastires, Garni, Geghard and Ejmiatsin.
Visiting Matenadaran – depository of ancient manuscripts, guarded by the statue of primordial alphabet - giver St. Mashtots. There are conservation rooms for the 17000 manuscripts in dozen languages.
Excursion to Erebuni fortress, founded by Argishti I King of Urartu in 782 BC, and Erebuni museum which is housed in the ancient citadel of Erebuni, the predecessor of the present-day Yerevan. Its display includes bronze and iron tools, earthenware, weapons, ornaments and other articles made by Urartu craftsmen. All these have been discovered during excavations of the ancient town-fortress.
Visiting the Memorial in Tsitsernakaberd dedicated to the victims of the Genocide in 1915. Visiting the State History Museum in Republic Square. The important archaeological collection from Stone Age through Medieval periods are shown there. One should note a Latin inscription from Ejmiatsin attesting to the presence of a Roman garrison. There are some interesting models of early modern Yerevan and other historical exhibits.
Route towards Khor Virap. Seeing the historical site of Khor Virap with an overwhelming view of Biblical Mount Ararat. There are two deep stone cisterns there, one of which is said to be the pit where Gregory the Illuminator was imprisoned for 13 years by king Trdat III.
Visiting famous Complex of Noravank, situated on a ledge of a deep winding gorge of a tributary of the Arpa River near the village of Amaghu, Yeghegnadzor District. Noravank ensemble stands amidst the bizarre-shaped precipitous red cliffs. Built in place of an ancient cloister, it grew in the reign of Princes Orbelian of Syunik. In the 13th-14th centuries it became a residence of Syunik's bishops and, consequently, a major religious and later cultural center of Armenia, closely connected with many of the local seats of learning, primarily with Gladzor’s famed university and library.
Trip to Karahunj ancient observatory. It is considered to be more than 7500 years old, more ancient than its British analogy Stonehenge.
Arriving in Jermuk. Tour in Jermuk, named for the hot springs (up to 65 C), source of the famous fizzy water. There is a picturesque waterfall, interesting walks and the possibility of a cure of most human ailments at one of many sanatoriums. Visiting the drinking gallery, hiking to the waterfall.
Overnight in Jermuk.
Trip towards Selim caravan-saray, which lies below the road just before the summit on the South side of Selim Pass, a splendid relic of the days when an international trade route connected Vayots Dzor to the Sevan basin and points of North. It is the best preserved caravan-saray in Armenia. Selim is built of basalt blocks, with a cavernous central hall for animals separated from the two vaulted side aisles by rows of stone mangers.
Route towards famous Lake Sevan (1900m above see level), that enters recorded history with the Urartians. King Rusa I conquered Sevan basin and made it the eastern frontier of the kingdom of Urartu sometime around the 720 BC. A number of boundary markers of Artashes I written in Aramaic, the Middle Eastern lingua franca, show the presence of the Artashesid dynasty in Hellenistic times. In the medieval times, Gegharkunik was dominated by the Dopian clan.
Visiting Sevanavank, a construction, sponsored by Princess Mariam Bagratuni, which is a vivid example of an important religious regional school, under the guidance of the future Armenian Catholikos Mashtots Ervandatsi.
Accommodation in the hotel.
Overnight in Sevan.
Visiting Haghartsin (11th c.), one of the most beautiful monuments of medieval architecture. There is an ancient nut tree nearby (said to be 1000 years old), shading a fine viewpoint of various remains of graves with typical Armenian ornaments, including “royal” graves of the Bagratuni family. There is a belief that one can have his dreams come true by passing through a huge hole right in the famous tree.
Visiting Goshavank, founded on the right bank of the Getik river in 1188 by the famous Armenian scholar, jurist and fabulist M. Gosh.
Trip to Alaverdi.
Overnight in Alaverdi.
Visiting Haghpat and Sanahin architectural monuments (10th-13th centuries), truly considered to be the jewels of medieval Armenian architecture preserved by UNESCO and included in the World Heritage list. Both were founded by Queen Khosrovanush around 976. Haghpat and Sanahin were major literary centers in the Middle Ages.
Visiting Vanadzor – the administrative center of Lori region.
Route towards Yerevan.
Visiting the Hellenistic fortress of Garni, which has a different charm in each new season. The Greco-Roman-style temple was build around 77 AD under King Trdat I. This is the only architectural monument saved up to our days from Hellenistic period. The Temple is dedicated to the God of Sun Mher. It collapsed from the earthquake in 1679 and was reconstructed in 1970-s.
Route towards Geghardavank, a supremely beautiful architectural monument built in the 13th century. “Geghard” means a “spear-headed metal object” in Armenian, housed in Geghard, with which Christ was wounded in the side. Now it is saved in the Ejmiatsin treasury.
Pilgrimage to Holy Ejmiatsin – the first official Christian Church in the world and the seat of the Supreme Patriarch – Catholicos of all Armenians. Excursions to the ancient temple of St. Hripsime.
Tour around Ejmiatsin town, visiting the Cathedral – religious center of all Armenians, and the Cathedral Museum. On the back way observing the ruins of Zvartnots (7th c.). The temple collapsed from the earthquake in the 10th c.
Arriving in Yerevan