Day 1: Departure from homeland
Day 2: YEREVAN – THE CITY OLDER THAN ROME
Arrival to Zvartnots International Airport of Yerevan – the capital of Armenia. Meet the guide and private transfer to the hotel. Overnight or short rest depending on flight schedule. Breakfast at the hotel. City tour in Yerevan. Visit Historical center of Yerevan at Erebouni fortress ruins, State History Museum, Cascade monument and take a panoramic view to the city. Welcome dinner at a traditional restaurant. Evening stroll in Republic Square to enjoy the Singing Fountains. Overnight in Yerevan
Day 3: ARMENIAN KHACHKARS – CROSS STONES UNESCO
Breakfast at the hotel. Drive to Ghegarkunik province which hosts the beautiful Lake Sevan which si the second highest and larghest alpine freshwater lake of the world. On the western shores of Sevan Noraduz village is situated. We make a stop here to visit the local cemetry where hundred Armenian cross stones are laid. Continue to Sevan monasteries of 9th cen. Lunch at the lake tasting the delicious lake trout. Continue to Goshavank monastery 13 cen. and Parz lake if time permits. Overnight in Dilijan.
A khachkar, also known as an Armenian cross-stone is a carved, memorial stele bearing a cross, and often with additional motifs such as rosettes, interlaces, and botanical motifs. Khachkars are characteristic of Medieval Christian Armenian art.
Since 2010, khachkars, their symbolism and craftsmanship are inscribed in the UNESCO List of World Herigate.
D ay 4: NORTHERN ARMENIA AND UNESCO HIGHLIGHTS
Breakfast at the hotel. Enjoy the forested town of Dilijan more known as Armenian Switzerland and drive to Hagpat and Sanahin monasteries UNESCO highlights 10-13 cen. These two monasteries in the Tumanian region from the period of prosperity during the Kiurikian dynasty (10th to 13th century) were important centres of learning. Sanahin was renown for its school of illuminators and calligraphers. The two monastic complexes represent the highest flowering of Armenian religious architecture, whose unique style developed from a blending of elements of Byzantine ecclesiastical architecture and the traditional vernacular architecture of the Caucasian region. Both of them were inscribed in UNESCO in 1996. Return back to Dilijan stopping at Russian ethnic and religious minority Molokans village for evening tea. Overnight in Dilijan.
Day 5: MT. ARAGATS – MEET THE NOMADS
Breakfast at the hotel. Return back to Yerevan making a semicircle to the highest peak of Armenia Mt. Aragats 4090 m. and possible meeting with nomads. Visit Amberd fortress ruins on the slopes of Mt. Aragats at 2200 m. and short stop at Armenian Alphabet park en route. Last stop is at Sagmosavank monastery of 13th cen. with the view to Qasagh river canyon called by the tourists as Armenian Grand Canyon. Return back to Yerevan. Overnight in Yerevan.
Day 6: BIBLICAL MT. ARARAT AND CRADLE OF WINE
Breakfast at the hotel. Drive to Khor Virap monastery 4-17 cen. taking the best view to Biblical Mt. Ararat. Continue to Noravank monastery 9 – 14 cen. situated over the Ghnishik river canyon. Wine tasting in famous wine regions and return back to Yerevan with a stop at a Carpet factory. Optional dinner in Carpet Factory with Master Class show. Overnight in Yerevan
Day 7: CRADLE OF CHRISTIANITY
Breakfast at the hotel. Drive to the religious center of Armenia – Echmiadzin Cathedral 4th cen. UNESCO and visit Zvartnots cathedral ruins 7th cen. UNESCO. The cathedral and churches of Echmiatsin and the archaeological remains at Zvartnots graphically illustrate the evolution and development of the Armenian central-domed cross-hall type of church, which exerted a profound influence on architectural and artistic development in the region. These sights have been inscribed in UNESCO in 2000. Return back to Yerevan and visit Tsitsernakaberd Memorial park and Genocide Museum dedicated to the victims of Armenian massacres of 1915. Overnight in Yerevan
Day 8: HANDCRAFTING AND LOCAL TRADITIONS
Breakfast at the hotel. Drive to Garni pagan temple of 1st cen. – the only one survived among CIS countries. Continue to Ghegard cave monastery 12-13 cen. UNESCO main relic – Holy Spear. The monastery of Geghard contains a number of churches and tombs, most of them cut into the rock, which illustrate the very peak of Armenian medieval architecture. The complex of medieval buildings is set into a landscape of great natural beauty, surrounded by towering cliffs at the entrance to the Azat Valley. The monasteyr was inscribed in UNESCO list in 2000. Lunch in the beautiful garden of a local family partiticpating at Armenian bread lavashe baking process which is inscribed in UNESCO World Heritage list. One should not leave the country without having listened to the magic sounds of Armenian Duduk musical instrument which is also in UNESCO Heritage list. Visit Matenadaran manuscript depositary and Vernissgae open air handcraft market. Farewell dinner in a traditional restaurant with live music. Overnight in Yerevan.
Lavash bread is a traditional thin bread that forms an integral part of Armenian cuisine. Its preparation requires great effort, coordination and special skills and strengthens family, community and social ties. Women work in groups to bake lavash, which is commonly served rolled around local cheeses, greens or meats. It plays a ritual role in weddings, where it is placed on the shoulders of newlyweds to bring fertility and prosperity. Men are also involved through making tools and building ovens.
Duduk is inscribed in 2008 on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity (originally proclaimed in 2005)
The Tsiranapokh (translated as oboe of wood of apricot tree) or duduk, the Armenian oboe, is a double-reed wind instrument characterized by a warm, soft, slightly nasal timbre. It belongs to the category of aerophones. The soft wood of the apricot tree is the ideal material for the body of the instrument. The reed, called ghamish or yegheg, is a local plant growing alongside the Arax River.
Day 9: Departure
Transfer to airport. Departure.