from $440

ARMENIA GUARANTEED DEPARTURE TOUR 2017

ARRIVAL & DEPARTURE FROM YEREVAN

MIN 2 – MAX 15 PAX

6 DAYS | 5 NIGHTS

Spend 6 days discovering some of Armenia’s most spectacular sights on this comprehensive tour. Visit an impressive array of UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including the churches of Echmiadzin, the Main Cathedral of Echmiadzin, the fascinating Geghard Monastery Complex and the ruins of the 7th century Zvartnots Temple. Enjoy a panoramic view of Lake Sevan from the Sevanavank Monastery on Sevan peninsula, marvel at the Biblical Mount Ararat from Khor Virap Monastery, and finish your tour exploring our beautiful Yerevan, by immersing yourself in Armenian history and its unique culture at one of the numerous museums of the city.

DAY 1 YEREVAN
Arrival to Zvartnots International Airport early in the morning. Meet your Phoenix Tour representative. Transfer to the hotel. Check in. Breakfast. Start exploring Yerevan, the Armenia’s capital city and one of the oldest cities in the world. Stop at the Victory Park and Mother Armenia monument to get a spectacular view of the Biblical Mt. Ararat with a panorama of central Yerevan.

Take a walking tour of Cascade Complex, with its Sculpture Park and Cafesjian Center for the Arts. See Fernando Botero’s sculpture of “The Black Cat” and other renowned artist’s works decorating the Park. The Cascade is an Art Deco version of the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, a massive white stairway up a hillside of central Yerevan, decorated with green stretches, fountains and waterfalls, that run uphill and crowned with the obelisk of the Revived Armenia.

Visit the magnificent building of the Opera House, the postmodern Northern Avenue and the city’s main Republic Square, the centerpiece of the architect Alexander Tamanian’s master plan for Yerevan. The Republic Square is ringed by the National Gallery, National History Museum and several government buildings. Be sure to return to Republic Square after dark to see the “Dancing Fountains”, a choreographed water show synched with lights and music.

Continue to the Armenian Genocide Memorial Complex on the hills of Tsitsernakaberd. The Armenian Genocide Memorial Complex houses both the Armenian Genocide Museum, and the Tsitsernakaberd Genocide Memorial. The museum offers an account of the 1915 genocide in which as many as 1.5 million Armenians perished while Armenia was part of the Ottoman Empire. Overnight in Yerevan.

DAY 2 YEREVAN - ECHMIADZIN - ZVARTNOTS - YEREVAN
Breakfast. Drive to Echmiadzin, the spiritual and administrative center of the Armenian Apostolic Church. Visit the churches of St. Hripsime and St. Gayane (UNESCO World Heritage Sites). The St. Hripsime Church is one of the famous ecclesiastical buildings in the city of Echmiadzin. The church is notable with its architectural simplicity and loftiness, and the tomb of the Christian martyr Virgin Hripsime is located in the sacristy of the church. The church of St. Gayane is not far from the Echmiadzin Cathedral, and according to the legend, this church was constructed over the tomb of Virgin Gayane, who was martyred for preaching Christianity in Armenia.

Visit the Main Cathedral of Echmiadzin, the oldest state-built church in the world, having been built by St. Gregory the Illuminator in 303 AD (UNESCO World Heritage Site). Attend the colorful service of the Holy Liturgy on Sundays, which attracts a numerous visitors and pilgrims from around the world. Visit the Cathedral Museum, where amongst other relics, you can see the Holy Lance, with which Jesus Christ was pierced on the cross.

Drive back to Yerevan. En route to Yerevan visit ruins of the 7th century Zvartnots Temple (UNESCO World Heritage Site). Zvartnots Cathedral was destroyed by an earthquake in 930 AD, and was lost to history until its discovery in the early 20th century. The Armenian and Arab historians alike marveled at the beauty of Zvartnots, calling it one of the most beautiful buildings ever built. Originally built to be the tallest church of the world at the time, and to last for 1,000 years (a projected date for the second coming of Christ), the Zvartnots Cathedral has been only partially reconstructed.

Return to Yerevan. Take a tour of an open air “Vernissage” market, where you can buy some gifts, souvenirs, jewelry and other handicrafts made of wood, semi-precious stones, silver and other materials. It is open year round, though only on the weekends, except for a rump vernissage held daily at the end of the usual “Vernissage” venue where it meets Khanjian Street. The “Paintings Vernissage” is located at Martiros Saryan Park, near the Opera House.

Stop at the popular fruit market “Shouka” to buy traditional sweets and dry fruits. You will be greeted by vendors of all types asking you to sample their goods – from delicious homemade dried fruits stuffed with nuts, paper thin fruit lavash and grape sujukh (local walnuts threaded on string and dipped in grape molasses) – right through to fresh lavash bread, an organic fruit and vegetables. Overnight in Yerevan.

DAY 3 YEREVAN - KHOR VIRAP - ARENI - NORAVANK - YEREVAN
Breakfast. Drive to the Khor Virap Monastery, where the Mt. Ararat reveals its breathtaking size and splendor. The monastery is located a few hundred meters from the border with Turkey, on the banks of the river Araks, right at the foot of the Mt. Ararat. Khor Virap is one of the most popular destinations in Armenia for a number of reasons, primarily because it is where the St. Gregory the Illuminator, the future head of the Armenian Apostolic Church was imprisoned here for 13 years. To this day you can visit the underground chamber which he was imprisoned in, located in the St. Gevorg Chapel, apart from the main church.

Continue to the Vayots Dzor Province, which is Armenia’s most storied wine growing region. Armenia is considered one of the most ancient cradles of grape growing and wine making, as the Bible states: “Noah descended from Mt. Ararat and he planted the first vine, and made wine from it.” Lunch. Stopover for wine tasting at the local winery in Areni Village, which is famous for its rather delicious dry red wine. Areni is marked by spectacular cliffs and caves, where archaeologists found evidence in one of the caves of the very first winery in the world, along with the world’s first shoe.

Continue to the masterpiece of medieval Armenian architecture, the 14th century Noravank Monastery. Set in a spectacular valley of red rocks, the monastery built out of the local stone, blends into the background of the molten red gorge, that contrasts with the stark blue sky. In the 13th–14th centuries the monastery became a residence of Syunik’s bishops and consequently a major religious and cultural center of Armenia, closely connected with many of the local seats of learning. Return to Yerevan. Overnight in Yerevan.

DAY 4 YEREVAN - GEGHARD - GARNI - LAKE SEVAN - YEREVAN
Breakfast. Drive to one of the most beautiful monasteries in Armenia, the 13th century cave monastery of Geghard (UNESCO World Heritage Site). The Geghard Complex is set in the landscape of great natural beauty, surrounded by towering cliffs at the entrance to the Azat Valley. Geghard literally means “Monastery of the Spear”. The name of the monastery originates from the spear which had wounded Jesus at the Crucifixion, allegedly brought to Armenia by Apostle Jude, called here Thaddeus, and stored amongst many other relics. Now it is displayed in the Echmiadzin’s Cathedral Museum.

Continue to the oldest surviving building on the territory of Armenia, the 1st century Garni Pagan Temple. The Garni Temple was built by the Armenian King Tiridates with the money he received after visiting Emperor Nero in Rome, and was dedicated to Sun God Mithra. After adopting Christianity in 301 AD, the pagan temple lost its significance and the fortress of Garni became the summer residence of the Armenian kings. The temple was destroyed in 1679 in an earthquake, but was reconstructed in Soviet times. Lunch.

Continue to Lake Sevan. Lake Sevan is one of the highlights of a visit to Armenia. The lakeshore is lined with sandy beaches, some teeming with activity and resorts, offering water sports such as sailing, jet skiing and windsurfing, and some quiet and secluded. The lake’s proximity to Yerevan, coupled with its cooler summer temperatures, outstretched blue waters and historic sights make it one of Armenia’s key places to visit.

Walk up to the 8th century monastery of Sevanavank on Sevan Peninsula, one of Armenia’s iconic landmarks. Sevanavank is perhaps the most photographed part of the lake. The conical towers of the monastery set against the backdrop of the turquoise lake and blue sky may look idyllic, but it was once a place of penance, a place of exile for monks from the religious capital of Echmiadzin who were guilty of sinful acts. Return to Yerevan. Overnight in Yerevan.

DAY 5 YEREVAN
Breakfast. Free day at leisure or shopping in Yerevan. There is plenty to keep you occupied in the city with its museums, exhibitions, film screenings, concerts and performances at the various festivals. There are numerous cafés line the main streets and side alleys around the city’s downtown. The city fills up with people at night, and you’ll find a number of trendy clubs and bars, where you can party till dawn Yerevan style! For more information, please visit the “Explore Yerevan” section of our website. Overnight in Yerevan.
DAY 6 YEREVAN
Breakfast. Check out from hotel. Transfer to Zvartnots International Airport. Departure from Yerevan.

TOUR PACKAGE PRICE PER PERSON | 440 USD

PRICE INCLUDES

all transfers according to a program in a car or minivan with A/C; accommodation in a DBL room in 3 star hotel (5 nights in Yerevan with an early check-in on arrival day); meals (6 breakfasts & 2 lunches); foreign language speaking guide services; 1 country map per person; 1 bottled water per person per day; entrance fees to museums and temples; wine tasting in Areni.

PRICE DOESN’T INCLUDE

airfare; entry visas; insurance; alcohol during the meals; all additional tours not mentioned in the program; tips.

 

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