Day 1. Arrival in Yerevan, meeting at the airport, transfer to the accommodation, sightseeing tour of the city (optional),greeting dinner
- Yerevan is one of the ancient cities in the world, founded in 782 B.C. by Argishti II. During the excursion you’ll attend the Republic Square, which had been building for 50 years by different architects, nevertheless a perfect architectural ensemble has been made; Opera and Ballet National Academic Theatre is a unique architectural complex in the center of Yerevan; Ring boulevard, where you’ll see monuments to Andranik Zoravar, Griboedov, Zoravar Vartan Mamikonyan, Michael Nalbandyan, Ivan Aivazovsky; St. Grigor Lusavorich Cathedral; Cinema ‘’Russia’’, Komitas Chamber Music House, Cascade hills, Yerevan train station of Sasuntsi David, which has become the symbol of Yerevan.
- Visiting "Erebuni" Historical and Archaeological Museum
- Greeting dinner
Day 2. Mastara, Gyumri, Harichavank Monastery, Marmarashen Monastery
- Village Mastara is 75 km north-west from Yerevan, here is located St. John (Surb Hovhannes) Church, founded in the V century. The architectural style of the temple symbolizes the transition of Armenian church from simple compositions to complex church structures, like the church of St. Hripsime in Etchmiadzin.
- St. Hripsime Church before the entrance to Etchmiadzin stands a magnificent St. Hripsime Temple. Hripsime is the name of a martyr, whose grave is located in the tomb, under the altar. On the site of her death in the fourth century A.C. was built a chapel, and in the seventh century Catholicos Komitas erected a temple.
- Gyumri (sightseeing tour)is the second largest city in Armenia, located in the region of Shirak, 130 km north from Armenia. After surviving the destructive earthquake of 1988, Gyumri managed to save the ensemble of old buildings. The ensemble of the Central Square in its current view developed after the earthquake of 1926, by the project of Alexander Tamanian. Of all the pre-revolutionary buildings only St. Astvatsatsin Church (Cathedral of the Holy Mother of God), also known as Our Lady of Seven Wounds, and St. Amenaprkich (Holy Savior’s Church) survived till our days. In the center of the Square is located ‘’a monument to Armenian kings’’ – a sculptural composition In honor of the legendary commander of the V century.
- Harichavank Monastery was founded in the VII century, in 1850. Harich was converted into the summer residence of Armenian Catholicos. Its main feature is that it was built from huge stones of various shadows. Staggered, the stones created a unique ornament for the walls.
- Marmarashen Monastery The cloister of Marmarashen was founded in 988, but the construction was finished in 1029. Marmarashen Monastery is composed of three iconic structures. The main temple is located in the center of the courtyard and is the largest building, built by King Vahram Pahlavuni.
Day 3. Mughni, a monument to Armenian alphabet, Lori Berd, Stepanavan Dendropark
- Mughni Monastery iis 22 north from Yerevan, located in the village of the same name. The complex is consisted of the main St. George Church (1661-1669) with a gallery, refectory, abbot’s chamber and a service room. The building of the Monastery is surrounded by a beautiful, soigne garden and a wall. Leeft from the altar is St. George’s grave.
- A monument to Armenian Alphabet
- Lori Berd is a medieval fortress in the Province of Lori, Armenia, on the left bank of the River Dzoraget, 4 km east from Stepanavan. From 1065 to 1113 Lori had been the center of Armenian Lori Kingdom. The Citadel of the fortress was about 9 ha and was guarded with a powerful defensive wall about 200 meters. Till our days remained only the ruins of some buildings of the fortress, among which are a church and two bathhouses. Around the Citadel was a town, 25 ha, which was also encircled with powerful walls, from which in some places remained their foundation nowadays.
- Stepanavan Dendropark "Sochu" was founded by Polish biologist Edmon Leonovich in 1933. It’s the first Botanical Garden in Armenia. The arboretum is 35 ha in total, half of which consists of natural forest. The Dendropark is considered to be the first forestland in the South Caucasus, converted into the park.
Day 4. Matenadaran, "ARARAT" Brandy Factory or ‘’NOY’’ Wine and Brandy Factory
- Matenadaran is located in the center of Yerevan, the modern building, built by the project of an architect M. Grigoryan in 1959, is a storage of ancient unique manuscripts and has about 20000 storage units.
- "ARARAT" Brandy Factory is located on the right bank of the River Hrazdan, the building was built by the project of an architect O. Margaryan in 1953. The beginning of the production of cognac in Armenia was in 1887 in Iravani by a merchant and philanthropist Nerses Tairyan, which subsequently was obtained by Nikolay Shustov in 1898. In 1948 due to the reorganization of the Yerevan Wine and Brandy Factory (this was the previous name of Shustov’s factory in late 1940s) into the Yerevan Winery, the manufactory of alcohol distillation and cognac manufactory were merged into the separate Yerevan Cognac Factory. In 1953, after the finishing of construction and moving in a new building, the independent history of Yerevan Cognac Factory began.
- "NOY" Wine and Brandy Factory is located on the territory of the Fortress of Iravani, built in the XVI century by Persian Farad Pasha. In 1853 the Fortress was almost ruined by a severe earthquake and its territory was bought by Nerses Tairyan. In 1887 Tairyan began the production of Armenian cognac, which in 1989 continued Nikolay Shustov. The modern construction was built by an architect R. Israelyan in 1938. During the excursion you can get accustomed to the unique productions of cognac and wine, degustate them and purchase.
Day 5. Lake Sevan, Sevanavank, Dilijan, Ayrivank, Noratus
- Lake Sevan a nature miracle, adjoining the sky, the most beautiful of all the high-mountain lakes, is located in a huge thicket at the height of 1916 meters above sea level, it is the largest in the Caucasus region, 1240 km2, with the depth up to 83 meters. The Sevan is 63 km north from Yerevan. It is fed by 28 rivers and streams, the only flowing out river is the River Hrazdan. Its water is clear and pure, according to a legend, only stars and gods drank water from the Sevan.
- Sevanavank Monastery is 6 km west from the town of Sevan, on Sevan peninsula. Before the shallowing of the lake, the peninsula was a small island, separated from the land by a three-kilometer stride. At the end of the VIII century a few monarchs settled there. The congenial location of the island contributed to the enlargement of the monastic brethren and the dynamic construction of the Monastery.
- Ayrivank Church is located on a craggy cape on the east coast of Lake Sevan, in the village of the same name, and refers to the IX-XII centuries.
- Noratus is an old village, 27 km from the town of Sevan. In the XVI century Noratus was the residence of Armenian Meliks (Kings). There was the largest cemetery with khachkars – cross-stones, on the territory of modern Armenia. Most of the khachkars in Noratus cemetery go back to the XIII-XVII centuries, the most ancient goes back to the V century.
Day 6. Areni, Noravank Monastery, ‘’Wings of Tatev’’ cableway, Tatev Monastery
- Village Areni is one of the oldest villages of historical Syunik. The significance of the village was explained, first of all, by its geographical location on exit from a gorge, connecting Vayots Dzor with the valley of Sharur. Thereby, the village was not only a resting-place, but also an important military point. On the surrounding heights military fortifications were built. In the XIII century King Orbelyan Tarsaich built a palace here. By his order Bishop Sarkis (1265-1287) of Noravank built a three-arch bridge near Areni on the river, the foundation of which remained till our days. In 1321 by the order of Bishop Hovhannes of Syunik the architect Momik built St. Astvatsatsin Church in Areni.
- Noravank Monastery is located among fancy sheer red cliffs at the mouth of a meandering gorge. The Monastery was founded in the XII century on the site of ancient buildings. In the days of King Orbelyan it became a major religious center, and in the XIV century – the residence of the Bishops of Syunik. The gorge is famous for sheer red cliffs, rising behind the Monatery, on the territory of which is located a two-story St. Astvatsatsin Church with narrow cantilevered staircases. This Church, the construction of which was finished in 1339, is considered the last masterpiece of a talented Armenian sculptor and miniaturist Momik.
- Dinner, wine degustation
- "Wings of Tatev" cableway is the longest reversible aerial tramway, connecting villages Halidzor and Tatev through Vorotan gorge, stretches 5,7 km. The maximum height above the gorge is 320 km. The cabin, holding 25 passengers, moves with the maximal speed of 37 km/h, passing the way from the point of departure to the destination in 11 minutes 25 seconds.
- Tatev Monastery is located in the middle of Syunik Province in South Armenia, 30 km from the town of Goris near the village of the same name – Tatev, on the right bank of the River Vorotan. It was founded in 895-906. The Monastery is one of the intellectual centers of medieval Armenia. Its strategically beneficial location on a foreland, created by the deep, rocky slopes of the river, prospered to the creation of a powerful defensive complex. Gavazan (the pendulous column), built in 904 in the courtyard, near the living quarters of the Monastery, refers to the number of unique works of architectural-engineering art of Armenia. It is octahedral, folded out of shallow stones, column with the height of 8 meters. Under the impact of seismic soil fluctuations and even from a simple touch of a human arm, the column, due to articulation, bent and returned to its initial position.
Day 7. Check out, Transfer to the airport