14 Day Tour

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14 Day Tour

If you are planning your trip to Armenia, this 14 day private guided tour through Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh is ideal for you!

 

Tour Description

On this guided tour you will experience the unique beauty of Armenia and Nagorno Karabakh. Armenia is blessed with a great variety of beautiful landscapes. They range from wooded mountains in the north, volcanoes, vast plains and Lake Sevan in its center to rugged mountains and deep gorges in the south. Surrounded by varying empires and situated on important trade routes Armenia features a rich and complex history. The fortresses and castles you will visit still tell about these times.

 

Armenia is home to a century-old Christian tradition. Out of that it  has developed a unique and beautiful style of medieval ecclesiastical architecture. We will see important historical and cultural monuments of Armenia and Nagorno Karabakh as well as hidden treasures tourists seldom visit. Always using the local stone these monuments have become part of the landscape and form a perfect harmony with the surrounding nature.

 

You will get to know the Armenian culture, taste typical dishes of our national cuisine and enjoy the hospitality of the Armenian people. Your guide will tell you all about Armenian traditions, Armenian history and life in Armenia.

 

Your guide will make every day of your tour an unforgettable experience. And when you return home, you will carry a piece of Armenia in your heart.

 

 

Itinerary

This tour will start in the capital of Armenia, Yerevan. It will take you all the way south to Goris and east into Nagorno Karabakh. From there we head north to Haghpat and Sanahin and back to Yerevan. The longest areal tramway in the world will take you to the magnificent complex of Tatev Monastery. You will visit the ancient Stone Age Observatory and imagine how people lived in the ancient rock dwelling of Khndzoresk.

 

In Nagorno Karabakh you feel history with every step you take. Its wonderful nature and its centuries-old churches and monasteries are hard to describe in words.  Instead they need to be explored. You will travel on the trade routes of the Silk Road and stop at a caravanserai. This is where travelers from distant parts of the world took shelter with their animals and precious goods. At Lake Sevan you can relax and savor the famous Sevan fish.  Later you willl enjoy the forested mountains around Dilijan. Further north we will marvel at Haghpat and Sanahin Monastery. These impressive complexes of numerous monastic buildings are part of the UNESCO World Heritage list. On the southern slopes of Mount Aragat lies Amberd Castle, the most impressive medieval fortress in Armenia. It offers a magnificent view over the plains towards Yerevan and Mount Ararat.

 

Day 1 Airport - Yerevan city tour
  • Arrival at the airport. Transfer to the hotel.
  • In the morning we visit Yerevan-Cascade, a monumental stairway, and the Victory Park, which offers an incredible view over the city. We will see the Cafesjian Center for Modern Arts, the Opera House and visit the Matenadaran. This museum is named after St. Mesrop Mashtots who invented the Armenian alphabet.  It hosts an unrivalled collection of ancient manuscripts of which some are dated back to the 5th century AD and are associated with Mesrop Mashtots.
  • Lunch
  • The afternoon we spend at the Vernissage, a souvenir market. You can choose from a big variety of souvenirs and local products – wines, brandies, dried fruits, sweets, herbs, jewelry, etc.
  • Dinner
  • In the evening we walk to the Republic Square through the Northern Avenue and enjoy the Dancing Fountains Show.

 

Day 2 Geghard - Garni - Symphony of Stones
  • Breakfast at the hotel
  • Photo stop at the Arch of Charents. On a clear day the Arch of Charents provides a simply stunning view of Mount Ararat.
  • Next we visit Geghard Monastery. The name Geghard or more fully Geghardavank, meaning “the Monastery of the Spear”, originates from the spear, which had wounded Jesus. This spear was brought to Armenia and now is displayed in the Echmiadzin treasury. The monastery is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is one of the most revered places in Armenia. Built on the site of a sacred spring the monastery was founded in the 4th century. The main cathedral and several chapels and sepulchers cut into the rock date back to the 13th century.
  • Situated on an outcrop over the river Azat the pagan temple Garni is the only hellenistic colonnaded temple in Armenia.  King Tiridates I built it in 76 AD as a temple to the sun god Mithra (known as Mihr in Armenian). Later on it served as a royal summer house of the Armenian kings. In the vicinity of the temple there lie the ruins of the fortress, a royal summer palace and a bath complex of the 3rd century AD. The site of the temple offers a magnificent view into Garni Gorge.
  • Lunch
  • Deep in Garni Canyon the Goght River meets the Azat River. This canyon is well known for its wonderful hexagonal basalt steles. These pillars form sheer cliffs and overhanging structures from the bottom of the canyon to its rim. The composition is called “Symphony of Stones” or “Basalt Organ”.
  • Return to Yerevan, Dinner.

 

Day 3 Khor Virap - Areni - Areni Cave - Noravank
  • Breakfast at the hotel
  • At our first stop we enjoy a beautiful view of the biblical Ararat Mountain, where Noah’s ark cast anchor. Khor Virap Monastery (meaning «deep dungeon») rests atop a small hill facing the Ararat. Here Grigor Luisavorich (St. Gregory the Illuminator) was imprisoned for 13 years before he convinced the Armenian king to adapt Christianity as a state religion in 301 AD.
  • Our journey south-eastwards brings us to Areni, which is one of the actively developing wine regions in Armenia. Here the famous indigenous wine “Areni” originates. We will not miss the chance to taste it at one of the local wine factories.
  • Winery has an unparalleled tradition in Areni. In the mystical Bird’s Cave, wine vats date back to the Late Calcolithic Period. Here archeologists recently also found the oldest one-piece leather shoe about 5500-years old.
  • Overlooking the town of Areni lies the beautiful Areni Church, famous for its relief carvings by the great architect, sculptor and miniaturist Momik.
  • Lunch at the Cave restaurant
  • Noravank Monastery lies hidden in a beautiful gorge surrounded by red cliffs – one of the most stunning landscapes in Armenia. Here Momik built his masterpiece, the beautiful two story Surp Astvatsatsin church.
  • Dinner and overnight at a guesthouse in Yeghegnadzor.

 

Day 4 Spitakavor - Tanahativank - Gndevank  - Jermuk
  • Breakfast at the guesthouse
  • A jeep will bring us up into the mountains to Spitakavor. Not many people visit this remote monastery, although it is well known as burial place of the Armenian national hero Garegin Nzhdeh. High above the valley in perfect solitude this place has a very special atmosphere. Enjoy its tranquility, its beauty, and the majestic view.
  • Later we will visit the 8th century Tanahati Monastery. Now solitarily perched on a vast slope the two adjacent churches once were surrounded by a large monastic complex. Excavations suggest this site as the famous 13th century Gladzor University.
  • In viewing distance lies the Holy Cross Cathedral of Arcas, where according to tradition, a piece of Christ’s cross is buried.
  • Lunch at Yeghegnadzor.
  • In the beautiful valley of the Arpa River high mountains surround the monastery of Gndevank. To reach it, we will hike down the path the monks have used for centuries.
  • Then we continue to the famous resort town of Jermuk. It features healing thermal springs, picturesque nature and a pleasant climate. A gorge cuts right through the town and into it pours Jermuk Waterfall like a bridal veil.
  • Dinner and overnight in Jermuk.

 

Day 5 Karahunj Observatory - Tatev Monastery - Devil´s Bridge - Khndzoresk
  • Breakfast at the hotel
  • On our way to Tatev we visit Karahunj Observatory. This prehistoric monument comprises stone settings, stone tombs and standing stones. This “Armenian Stonehenge” dates back to the VI millennium BC and is considered to be the oldest observatory. As for its better-known “fellow” Stonehenge in England, its origin and function are still open to questions.
  • Tatev Monastery is located on top of a cliff overlooking Vorotan Gorge. You will enjoy the view over this huge canyon on a 12 minute ride with the cable car “Wings of Tatev” to reach the monastery. Tatev is among the best known monasteries in Armenia, famed for its historical significance as well as its beauty. It hosted an important Armenian university in the 14th and 15th century.
  • We will then drive down into the Canyon to Devil’s Bridge. Several thermal springs have accumulated limestone sediments over the centuries and formed Devils Bridge as a natural bridge over the canyon.
  • From there we will visit Tatevi Anapat, a medieval hermitage deep in the gorge. Even though unrestored, the massive complex gives you an idea about the strength with which the Armenian heritage was defended through the centuries.
  • Lunch in Goris
  • In the afternoon we visit Old Khndzoresk – the ruins of a cave town, which we will reach via the unique “Swing bridge”. Khndzoresk was one of the largest cave villages in the region. Inhabited until about 1950 it still features picturesque views of the ruins set against the slopes of a beautiful gorge.
  • Return to Goris and tour through the city.
  • Dinner and overnight in Goris.

 

Day 6 Tsitsernavank - Katarovank - Amaras - Shushi
  • Breakfast at the hotel
  • We will now leave for Artsakh, which is an inseparable part of historic Armenia. It is rich in historical and cultural sights, monasteries and fortresses. And it delights the visitor with its unique scenery, lush forests, mountains and gorges.
  • Tsitsernavank will be our first stop in Artsakh. It is unique because it is the best preserved three nave basilica in Armenia, dating back to the 5th or 6th century.
  • Lunch
  • Our next stop is Katarovank. Once a large monastery, now only one church rests on the top of a mountain. The monastery offers a beautiful view into the Karabakh valley and towards the Iranian border.
  • Amaras Monastery lies in the midst of orchards of huge old mulberry trees. Gregory the Illuminator founded this monastery in the 4th century. And here  Mesrop Mashtots, the creator of the Armenian alphabet, established the first school of Mountain Karabakh.
  • We will have dinner and stay overnight in the fortified city of Shushi. This city strategically sits on a mountaintop and is declared a historical and architectural monument of the Republic of Mountain Karabakh.

 

Day 7 Tnjri Tree - Hunotian Gorge - Shushi Fortress
  • Breakfast at the hotel
  • We will visit the giant Tnjri Plane Tree near Skhtorashen. It is over 2 000 years old and about 54 m high. Although the stem is hollow, the tree is healthy and has an impressive appearance.
  • Then we will visit the Hounot Gorge, a natural history reserve. A hike into the gorge reveals a number of historical, natural and architectural sights.
  • Lunch in Shushi
  • After lunch we will visit the medieval Shushi Fortress. We will enjoy a stroll through the city of Shushi to visit a rather new but no less interesting church as well as several museums.
  • Dinner and overnight in Shushi.

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Day 8 Tigranakert - Mayraberd - City of Stepanakert
  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • Today we visit Tigranakert of Mountain Karabakh, a city that Tigran the Great  founded in the 1st century BC and named after himself. Excavations of the ruins continue until now. The reconstructed fortress hosts a museum featuring artifacts discovered in the vicinity and the surrounding areas.
  • On our way back we see the walls of Mayraberd, a huge fortification closing off the Karkar Valley to protect Shushi from the north.
  • Lunch
  • In the afternoon we will visit the capital of Mountain Karabakh, Stepanakert.
  • Dinner and overnight in Stepanakert.

 

Day 9 Gandzasar - Dadivank - Vanevan - Noratus - Hayravank - Sevanavank
  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • Today we visit the Gandzasar Monastery complex. It perches on top of a hill overlooking the village of Vank. The church impresses with its sheer size and its richly decorated facade.
  • On a slope between wooded mountains the medieval Monastery Dadivank is a quiet and peaceful place. It comprises several chapels and churches, one with extraordinary frescoes, and superb cross-stones. During the excavations of this monastery a mausoleum was discovered, maybe dating back into the pre-Christian era. The man was buried sitting on a chair and is now exhibited at a Stepanakert Museum.
  • We will now leave Ngorno Karabakh and turn towards Lake Sevan. Close to its shores we will visit Vanevan Monastery. Here lie the remains of the Armenian King Smbat I Bagratuni, who died in 914 during an Arab invasion.
  • Then we will visit Noratus. This huge ancient cemetery features hundreds of intricately carved cross-stones and gravestones.
  • Later we will picnic on the shores of Lake Sevan. This is the ideal opportunity to try smoked Sevan trout.
  • Here beautifully set against the lake are Hayravank and Sevanavank, the latter monastery is located on a peninsula that used to be an island.
  • Dinner and overnight at a hotel on the peninsula.

 

Day 10  Haghartsin - Lastiver - Goshavank - Parz Lake - Dilijan
  • Breakfast at the hotel
  • Driving north we reach the forested Dilijan region.  Several outstanding monastic complexes are nestled in the ancient beech forrests. Famous for the pale stone it is built from and the skillful architectural composition of its refectory, Haghartsin Monastery (10–13th century) is one of them.
  • From Yenokavan village we will hike along a ridge and down into the forested gorge to Lastiver. There we will find small caves called Lastiver and Anapat with mysterious sculptures and a beautiful stream with waterfalls.
  • Between small houses constructed on trees for overnight guests we will have Armenian barbecue for lunch.
  • In the afternoon we will visit a beautiful spot of Armenian nature – Lake Parz – among the mountains of Dilijan National Park. From there we hike part of the newly constructed Transcaucasian Trail to Goshavank Monastery (XII–XIII century) via Lake Gosh. The village of Gosh is famous for Mkhitar Gosh, the author of the first Armenian code of law. The Goshavank Monastery was the educational and cultural center of region and in front of the church stands the probably most beautiful khachkar.
  • Dinner with Armenian national dishes at the famous Kachuch restaurant.

 

Day 11 Haghpat - Sanahin - Akhtala - Alaverdi
  • Breakfast at the hotel
  • Today we visit the UNESCO World Heritage sites Haghpat and Sanahin, early medieval monastic complexes in the Lori region. Sanahin features a number of beautiful churches and chapels, connected by several large gavits and an exquisitely decorated scriptorium. The halls of Haghpat partly extend into the hillside. From above the belltower stands out over the grass-covered roofs. Once inside you will marvel at the large perfectly balanced halls with their superb acoustics.
  • Lunch at a local restaurant in Haghpat village.
  • As the northern most monastery of our tour Akhtala shows some Georgian influence in its architecture and decor. Akhtala features the best preserved frescoes in Armenia. Biblical scenes and saints in the byzantine tradition cover all the walls of this huge church, which give it a very special atmosphere.
  • Dinner and overnight at Alaverdi.

 

Day 12 Odzun - Lori Fortress - Spitak
  • Breakfast at the hotel
  • Odzun Monastery, the old seat of the Armenian catholicos before Echmiadzin, is a large 6th century basilica in a pinkish local stone with rich decorations. On the premises a strange grave monument with two green obelisks and relief decor, maybe even predating the church, stands out.
  • Lunch at Stepanavan
  • The Lori fortress has a territory of 33 ha. It  flourished in the second half of the 11th century as the capital of the Tashir-Dzoraget kingdom. Near the castle, in the lower part of the gorge, an arched bridge stretches over the Urut River.
  • Spitak city tour: Spitak once was a prosperous industrial city. This ended abruptly when an earthquake  completely destroyed the city in 1988. The destruction was so immense that rebuilding it took a joint effort of many supporting countries. Nowadays you can still see international districts built by different countries such as Switzerland, Germany, Finland, Norway, Uzbekistan etc.   
  • Dinner at Old Spitak Restaurant.
  • Overnight in Spitak.

 

Day 13 Gogaran Church - Marmashen - Gyumri
  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • Nestled in the hills west of Spitak lies the quaint village of Gogaran. It features the small but atmospheric Surb Astvatsatsin Church in an ancient graveyard full of mysteriously carved grave monuments.
  • The vibrant red stone  of Marmashen church contrasts perfectly with the lush oasis of fruit trees surrounding this spectacular group of churches. In their architecture they are closely related to the famous churches of Ani. Inscriptions cover large parts of the outer wall.  Inside the main church the sheer height  is breathtaking.
  • Lunch at Gymri
  • Gyumri also suffered from the earthquake 1988. But it was able to preserve and rebuild parts of its old town houses. Being the second largest city in Armenia it is the cultural center of the north.  A tour of the city leads us through the newly renovated pedestrian shopping area of the historic center. There we visit  the Museum of National Architecture and Urban Life, located in a spectacular old town house, and  the open air market.
  • Dinner and overnight in Spitak.

 

Day 14 Armenian Letters - Metal Cross - Amberd - Tegher - Etchmiadzin
  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • The Armenian Alphabet Monument perches on the western slope of Mount Aragats. The complex  celebrates the 1600th anniversary of the creation of the Armenian alphabet in 2005. It includes sculptures of the 39 letters of the Armenian alphabet, as well as monuments to the great Armenian thinkers. All the letters and statues consist of Armenian tuff.
  • Amberd, the “fortress in clouds”, really seems to touch the sky. This gem of early medieval Armenian architecture (supposedly 7th century) majestically stands 2,300 meters high above sea level on the slopes of Mount Aragats. For centuries, it served as one of the foremost defensive sites of the Kingdom of Armenia. The fortress complex comprises the castle, a bath and a church and offers stunning views into the plains towards Yerevan and Mount Ararat.
  • Lunch
  • Also on the slopes of Mount Aragats we will visit Tegher Monastery. This unique complex dates back to the 13th century.
  • Echmiatsin is the fourth-largest city in Armenia, one of the historic capitals of Armenia.  As the seat of the Catholicos, the head of the Armenian Apostolic Church, it is the spiritual center of the Armenians. Here Armenia’s patron Saint Gregory the Illuminator had a vision of Jesus descending from heaven. Jesus struck  the earth with a golden hammer to show where the cathedral should be built. This cathedral is one of the world’s oldest Christian structures still in use.
  • Dinner in Yerevan
  • Transfer to airport

 

map of private guided tour through Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh
 

 

Tour price: Private guided tour through Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh

People/Guests1-34-67-14
Price / per tour / AMD733 800866 400999 000
Price / per tour / RUB*99 162117 081135 000
Price / per tour / USD*1 5451 8242 103

         

            * RUB and USD might be different depending on the current exchange rate

 

The price of the private guided tour through Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh includes

  • Pick up at the airport / hotel and transport  with our comfortable cars/minivans
  • An English, Russian and Armenian speaking guide
  • Bottled water in the carransport service of the tour on comfortable  transport

 

The price does not include

  • Meals
  • Accommodation (We are happy to assist you in booking hotels or guesthouses)
  • Entrance fees

 

Regardless of the tours presented, we are happy to work with you to plan your own individual tour  to include exactly the places you would like to visit.

Contact us at any time and we will give you free consultation. We will do everything to make your stay unforgettable.

 

Pictures of this tour: