Armenia, Georgia & Historical Armenia
15 nights / 16 days

DISCOVER THIS ANCIENT LANDS THROUGH YOUR EYES

ARMENIA, GEORGIA AND HISTORICAL ARMENIA (TURKEY)

15 nights / 16 days 

(6 Nights in Armenia, 5 Nights in Historical Armenia,  4 Nights in Georgia)

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Day 1

 

Early morning Arrival to Yerevan. Meeting at the airport. Transfer to the hotel in Yerevan.

Check into hotel. Time for rest.

Early Breakfast

We will start by getting acquaintanced with the city of Yerevan by walking through the history of its  foundation.

sErebouni museum and fortress founded in 782 B.C. The next stop of our tour will include a visit to the remarkable Matenadaran Library and Research Institute of Armenia which houses close to 17,000 rare manuscripts. The Matenadaran is one of the richest depositories of manuscripts and books in the world.

Lunch in an Armenian Traditional Restaurant

The next stop is the Cascade, which is a huge white stairwell built on a Yerevan hillside in the 1970s, with water fountains running down the sides, all reminiscent of a natural river or stream cascading. It connects the central district to Haghtanak Park –“Victory” Park to the center of the city. The structure has escalators so that it is unnecessary to manually ascend the stairs all the way to the top.

OVERNIGHT IN YEREVAN

 

Day 2

 

Breakfast served

dDriving through the fertile plains of the Ararat valley, you will reach Khor Virab Monastery – the beginning of the History of Christianity in Armenia, magnificently set against the towering slopes of Biblical Mount Ararat. This setting offers some of the most spectacular photo opportunities in all of Armenia.

The monastery is the site where St. Gregory the Illuminator was incarcerated and is a pilgrimage destination for every Armenian, as well as for foreign believers.

On the way to Noravank, you will enjoy a guided tour of the famous “Areni Winery.”  In Armenian, there is a famous saying that “Wine is bottled poetry”. Next, we will take the path through the narrow gorge, revealing Noravank Monastery, nestled inside the deep red landscape of the tuf stone mountains.

Lunch will be served in the historic 12th c. refectory of Noravank Monastery.

OVERNIGHT IN YEREVAN

 

Day 3

 

Breakfast served

fThis morning begins with a visit to the Tsitsernakaberd memorial and museum dedicated to the 1915 Genocide, one of the most impressive monuments in Yerevan.

Later, we will proceed to Garni, the rare pre-Christian pagan temple maintained in Armenia and Garni canyon, with a view magnificent sheer vertical cliffs, which appear to be a gigantic basalt organ carved in the rocks.  The next stop is the Geghard (Cave monastery) (UNESCO) architectural complex, rising out from the mountain, carved from one monolithic rock in the 12th-13th centuries. Sing an ancint hymn while inside; the acoustics in this chamber are extraordinary.

Lunch in Garni

You have free time to stroll and make your own discoveries in the local shops, bars, restaurants or any attractive areas per your interest.

OVERNIGHT IN YEREVAN

 

Day 4

 

Early Breakfast – Check out

Early morning Depart from Yerevan; Cross the Armenia–Georgia border;

Cross the Georgia–Turkey border;

First stop in the Historical Armenia is Kars – stands at an altitude of 1750 meters and has played an important role in the Armenian history.

DINNER OVERNIGHT IN KARS

 

Day 5

 

Breakfast served and Check out

tKars City Tour (walk).  Kars is a town that is dominated by the ruins of the ancient castle, which sits at the top of a rocky hill, over-looking Kars and St. Arakelots (Holy Apostles) Cathedral (10th century), old Armenian houses & Kars Museum, with a wide collection of antiquities. 

About 42 kilometers east of Kars, on the ancient Silk Road, is the medieval city of Ani, one of the capitals of Armenia. Today the great City of Ani is in ruins… a ghost town, a mere shadow of the once world-renowned splendor of over a 1,000 years ago; it can attract us even today; panoramic view of Mt. Ararat from the Western Armenia. Lunch

The city of Igdir stands on a large, fertile plain where fruit and, unusual for this geographical region, cotton grow. The Bible relates that when the flood waters receded, Noah and his family descended from Mount Ararat toward the fertile plain. From here, their progeny most likely settled to the south and west along the Euphrates and Tigris rivers, established the second generation on mankind.  From this plain you have the best view of Biblical Mount Ararat. Igdir with its high mountain ranges, remote plateaus, plains splashed with color, and some of the amazing architectures, this region brings history to life.

Dougbayazid was settled by Armenians in the Daroynk Fortress during the time of the Kingdom of Urartu (over 3000 years ago).

Agri has 1650 meters-high plateau, is 183 km east of Erzurum.

Berkry Waterfall – the miraculous waterfall to the northeast, not surprisingly, has plenty of fish restaurants serving local delicacies.

DINNER OVERNIGHT IN VAN

 

Day 6

 

Breakfast served

rVan-Tushpa: one of the ancient and the first capitals of Great Armenia in the second millennium B.C., ancient fortress of Van Kingdom, Mher’s Door – with the famous Urartian cuneiform inscription. This city is set in a verdant oasis at the foot of a rocky peak. An imposing 9th century B.C. citadel overlooks the new and the old parts of town. Steps carved in the dock lead to the Urartian fortress. Halfway up the steps, inscriptions in cuneiform pay homage to Xerxes.  Within the fortress are several Urartian royal rock tombs.

The exotic  Van Cat, preserved specie, has thick white fur and one blue and one green eye. Lake Van is at an altitude of 1720 meters and  is ringed by beautiful mountains. Lunch in Van

Mount Sipan (4058 meters) is on the northwest side. Forty one kilometers southwest of Van – Akhtamar island, on which only the majestic 10th century Holy Cross Church has survived and has been renovated; every place with a breathtaking view of Lake Van as it has been said “Van is in this World – Paradise is in the Next”.

DINNER & OVERNIGHT IN VAN

 

Day 7

 

Breakfast served and Check out

Varagavank – about 10km east of the town of Van, are the remains of the once huge complex of Varagavank Monastery, known by locals as Yedi Kilise or Yedikilise (Seven Churches), reflecting it’s past glory. The ruins are still worth visiting. A few churches of the monastery remain in various states of collapse, two without roofs, one with frescoes, and some splendidly carved crosses, particularly along the front under the arches. Once it was the best known monastery of Vaspurakan and the seat of the Archbishop of Van. The monastery takes it’s name from Mt. Varag (now Erek Dagi). The monastery was destroyed by the Turkish army on April 30th 1915, during the siege of Van. Lunch

Datvan Mt. Nemrut makes a challenging climb. In its center a deep crater bubbles with volcanic hot springs. Mush  is the center of both Paganism and Christianity in Armenia.

DINNER OVERNIGHT IN MUSH

 

Day 8

 

Breakfast served and Check out
Mush
valley  a rare picturesque setting, in the highest region of this area, in present in Turkey. The plains of Mush have a natural beauty, with lakes and greenery between high mountains; they are especially very famous for the fields of tulips. Many Armenians were inspired by the landscapes of “blanket of tulips” (Mush valley) and created their artistic masterpieces.                           

bSulukh Bridge – with 12 arches.

Visit to the remains of St. Garabed Monastery, in the mountains of Mush. Lunch

About 8 km east of the town of Mush is situated St. Arakelots Church. According to local tradition, and also recorded in a document dated 1079, Arakelots monastery was founded in the 4th century by Saint Gregory the Illuminator to house various relics he received in Rome. Those relics (which included the left arms of Saint Peter and Saint Paul and right arm of the apostle Andrew) account for the monastery’s name. Most of the monastery was contained within a circuit of high walls. Behind those walls was a large church with a dome, a three-tiered bell tower that stood in front of the church, two chapels to the north and south of the large church, and various monastic accommodations and ancillary buildings. A little to the south, and outside the walls, was a second domed church. If you hope to experience this unrepeatable monastery let’s muster up our courage to do it.      

Erzrum – is one of the largest cities in the area, sprawls on a high plateau at an altitude of 1950 meters.

DINNER OVERNIGHT IN ERZRUM

 

Day 9

 

Breakfast served and Check out

Erzrum – City Tour

Tortum – Wonderfull water fall
Ardvin city – Lunch

To the north of Ardvin via Sarpi  lies the border gate of Turkey – Georgia. Meeting in Sarpi (Turkey/Georgia border).

Visit the Gonio fortress and ancient town (17th c.), Batumi- the capital of Ajara, is a major sea port and offers a beautiful Botanical Garden beside the Black sea, surrounded by tea and citrus plantations.

DINNER OVERNIGHT IN BATUMI

 

Day 10

 

Breakfast served and Check out

Depart for Borjomi. On the way to Kutailsi  (dated back to Argonauts times 13th -12th c. B.C.) visit the ancient Gelati monastery, founded by King David the IV in 12th c. Gelati, was an educational center of Georgia.

We drive through Borjomi to visit the National park and taste the famous Borjomi mineral water.

Bakuriani– famous ski resort (2100m) in the winter and walker’s paradise in the summer.

DINNER OVERNIGHT IN BAKURIANI

 

Day 11

 

Breakfast served and Check out

Walking along Bakuriani park. Drive to Uplistsikhe, “The Lord’s Citadel” is a cave town dated to the 7th c. B.C. where you can see a big hall for pagan rituals and a church of the 9th century. It served as a strategic point on the Silk Road from ancient times until the 15th century A.D.

Drive to Uplistsikhe – It is a large complex of natural caves which has been inhabited from pre-Christian times and it served as an important trade center on the historic Silk Road until the 12th century. Drive to Gori, a beautiful city and the birthplace of Joseph Stalin. Visit the house where Joseph Stalin was born.

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Drive Tbilisi – the capital of Georgia- stands on the banks of the river Mtkvari, in a valley surrounded by hills!!!    

DINNER OVERNIGHT IN TBILISI

 

Day 12

 

Breakfast served

City Tour!

Tour over the old city of Tbilisi, which stretches along the Mtkvari river within the ancient walls and citadels: Fortress Narikala (4th century), church Metechi (13th century) and the statue to Vakhtang Gorgasali – the powerful king of the 5th century who founded the capital of Georgia, the city of Tbilisi, basilica Anchiskhati (6th century); sulfur  bath-houses renowned for centuries for their curative quality;

ssStatue to Mother of Georgia (“Kartlis Deda”) – the symbol of powerful and friendly Georgian nation; walk on the Rustaveli Avenue – the main street of Tbilisi with its entertainment centers, museums and the governmental house.

Lunch in Tbilisi

Mtskheta – the ancient capital of Georgia is situated 20km from Tbilisi. Scientists date the town back to the 2nd millennium B.C. Mtskheta was the capital of Georgian Kingdom of Iberia during 500BC – 500AD. Here Georgians adopted Christianity in the beginning of the 4th century. 

Visit Jvari (Holy Cross) Monastery (6th c.). Visible for miles and it marks the importance of this particular religious site for all Georgians. Furthermore, it overlooks the confluence of two major rivers, the Argavi and the Mktvari. Svetitskhoveli (“The Column of Life”) Cathedral (11th c.) was built on the site of the former Zoastrian temple, to mark Georgian conversion to Christianity in 337 AD.  Drive to Tbilisi.

DINNER & OVERNIGHT IN TBILISI

 

Day 13

 

Breakfast served and Check out

Arrival to Bagratashen/Sadakhlo border.

Visit Lori Region: Vanadzor City – the historical and modern center of the province of Lori; Alaverdy a town in a canyon between Yerevan and Georgian border – is famous for its copper mines. We proceed to one more outstanding masterpiece of Armenian architecture Haghpat and Sanahin Monasteries (World UNESCO Heritage) where artistic merits transcended the limits of the national culture.

On the way, through retained ancient village setting on the slope of the hill, you will get acquainted with inhabitant’s life. Continuing our journey across Armenia’s fascinating landscapes, we will drive to the lush environs of Dilijan“A Piece of Switzerland” in Armenia and one of Armenia’s most appealing resort towns. The town is peppered with numerous examples of traditional Armenian architecture and the romantic settings of the monastery of Haghartsin (11th  c.).

DINNER AND OVERNIGHT IN DILIJAN

 

Day 14

 

Breakfast served and Check out

mNo trip to Armenia is ever complete without a visit to the sparkling bluewaters of Lake Sevan“The Emerald of Armenia”, set approximately 1900m above sea level, situated high in the mountains and famed for its glorious and ever-changing hues.

On arrival, you have a stop by the lakeside churches, on the top of peninsula, to admire a spectacularly picturesque scene overlooking the lake and distant mountains.

Lunch will be served in the restaurant of Sevan, tasting the famous fish of the lake.

Return to Yerevan – Check in

OVERNIGHT IN YEREVAN

 

Day 15

 

Breakfast served

bnAfter an appetizing breakfast, you will visit the ancient monastery, churches and museum complex of Etchmiadzin (World UNESCO Heritage), the seat of the Catholics of all Armenians. The Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin is the “religious capital” of the Armenian Apostolic Orthodox Church. The complex houses 4 main churches, including the Cathedral. Built in 303 AD, the cathedral is a masterpiece of Armenian classical architecture and considered to be one of the world’s earliest Christian churches. Just steps away, you will admire the Hripsime and Gayane Churches (7th c.) named after the faithful virgins of the 3rd century. On the way back to Yerevan, the magnificent ruins of Zvartnots (celestial angels) Cathedral (7th c) will show you the uniqueness of Armenian Church architecture.

You will also participate in DIVINE LITURGY (optional, only on Sundays).

Free time (you have a chance to wander or join any cultural event you like).

THE FAREWELL DINNER will be enjoyed in a typical Armenian restaurant, with live Armenian folk music and dance, completing your journey with unforgettable memories.

OVERNIGHT IN YEREVAN

 

Day 16

 

Check out

Transfer to the Airport

SERVICES:

  • Transfers and transportation as specified in the itinerary with A/C (Armenia-Turkey-Georgia)
  • Hotel Accommodation  (Armenia – Turkey – Georgia )
  • Meals as specified in the itinerary (Breakfast, Lunch/Dinner)
  • Guide service
  • Entrance fees to museums and sightseeing destinations

Services exclude

  • Visa for Georgia, Armenia (No need for a Visa for US, Canada, UK and UN citizens)
  • Visa for Turkey (Visas are issued on the border)

 

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