The Tastes and Aromas of Armenia

Armenia

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Description:

If you are a garrulous soul who would describe themselves as a bit of a foodie, this could be the perfect tour for you. The exciting program is tailored to suit those who appreciate culinary adventures, featuring familiar ingredients that are combined in unique ways, showcasing dishes that are typical of Armenian cuisine. The best way to experience the cuisine of this fascinating culture is by journeying the country, savoring local culture and looking at food through the prism of Armenian history and traditions.

Itinerary:

Day 1: Arrival - Yerevan

Arrival at Zvartnots International Airport and transfer to your hotel.

Day 2: Yerevan City Tour and Brandy Factory

Your journey will start with a tour of the capital of Armenia: Yerevan. This city is been known as a “pink city” due to the color of the stone it has been built from. First you will visit Republic square (formerly known as Lenin Square), Mashtots Avenue (which is 1.6 miles long), the House of Opera and Ballet, and the “Cascade” park. You’ll also get a chance to visit Matenadaran: a manuscript museum which is also the world's largest repository of ancient Armenian manuscripts. Matenadaran is the only such museum in the world. In addition to documents in the Armenian language, it also holds Persian and Arabic manuscripts. Lunch will be held at a restaurant during these morning visits. After that you’ll visit places such as:

  • The History Museum, which boasts a vast collection of over 400,000 artefacts.
  • Afterwards you’ll visit the Armenian Genocide Memorial Complex (known as Tsitsernakaberd) which is dedicated to the victims of Armenian Genocide.
  • Pay a visit to the most famous Armenian Brandy Factory. If you want to try out the unique taste of Armenian brandy, this is your chance! It’s also worth mentioning that one of the most famous admirers of Armenian brandy was Winston Churchill.

Dinner at a local restaurant will be accompanied by folk music, where most delicious and authentic masterpieces of Armenian cuisine are waiting for you to taste.

Day 3: Yerevan – Ejmiatsin – Zvartnoc – Yerevan

The third day will start with the tour of centuries-old monuments of Ejmiatsin and Zvartnots, listed in the UNESCO World Heritage list. The Cathedral of Ejmiatsin, founded in 303, is the official residence of the Catholics of Armenia. Echmiadzin is a sacred place for Armenian people and a spiritual heart of Armenian Apostolic Church. We’ll continue the trip to Zvartnots Temple, which was built in 7th century by Nerses the Builder. Only ruins remain of Zvartnots Temple, but it hasn’t lost its mysterious atmosphere over the years. Lunch will be at a local restaurant. Visit Wine factory and Brandy factory in the afternoon before returning to Yerevan, where you will visit the Megeryan carpet factory. Dinner will be at the factory restaurant.

Day 4: Yerevan - Khor Virap – Areni village – Noravank – Karahunj - Goris

On the fourth day you’ll take trip to the Khor Virap Monastery (4-18th century). This monastery is prominent because of its history; Gregory the Illuminator, who introduced Christianity to Armenia, was imprisoned there for about 13 years. Here you can enjoy the spectacular view of the sacred Ararat Mountain - a well-known symbol of Armenia. Visit the village of Areni, which is considered to be an important center of wine production industry and which has an epic history of more than 6000 years. You are welcome to taste its excellent wine. Here you will also get the chance to participate in preparation of the famous Armenian barbecue. Our tour then continues to Noravank - a monastery from the 12th century, located among amazing sheer rocks on the slopes of a twisted mountain gorge. Lunch will be served at a local house in Areni.

Following that, you will visit Karahunj (also known as Zorats Karer) which is 3,500 years older than the Stonehenge and 3,000 years older than the Egyptian Pyramids. Some specialists even calculated the age of the stone circle itself, purely based on the position of stars in the sky in earlier times - the result was that is can be dated to 7,600 years ago. This would make Karahunj the oldest astronomical observatory in the world. The day will end with dinner and staying overnight in Goris.

Day 5: Goris – Tatev – Khndzoresk – Jermuk

Visit the cave village of Khndzoresk. From there, the trip will continue to Tatev Monastery (9-13th century): a famous center of religious studies of medieval times. To reach the monastery the group will use a cable car which holds the record for being world’s longest non-stop double-track cable car. Lunch will be at a house where you can taste the local dishes and admire a master class of preparation of vodka from different fruits. After these activities, you will depart to famous spa town Jermuk. Here you will have the opportunity to enjoy fresh mountain air, and visit one of the most beautiful Armenian waterfall cascades. Dinner and overnight in Jermuk.

Day 6: Goris – Selim – Noraduz - Sevan – Dilijan

On this day you will be setting a course along the pathways that have been used by travelers of the Great Silk Road. We will drive through Selim Caravanserai, which served as an important center of trade during the times of the Great Silk Road. Lunch will be at the local restaurant. Following that, a visit to Noraduz cemetery. After Noraduz we will drive to Lake Sevan which is one of the largest lakes in the world. It stands out with its sweet and astonishingly blue water. Here we can enjoy the breathtaking scenery of this beautiful lake.

Then we will visit Sevanavank Monastery which was built on Sevan Peninsula. There used to be two monasteries at this location; one of them was destroyed, but the other still exists. Both were built in the middle ages, around 10th century. Following that we will drive to Dilijan. Walking along the Sharambeyan Street, which is one of the oldest streets of the city, you may buy souvenirs and see the daily life of the small city. During the walk you will breathe the clean mountain air, and get an authentic experience of life in Dilijan. Finally, you’ll have a chance to visit a local brewery, where you will get acquainted with the process of making Armenian beer. Dinner and overnight in Dilijan.

Day 7: Dilijan – Ijevan – Haghpat – Gyumri

Departure to Alaverdi. On the way we will have a stop at the wine and brandy factory which is famous for its delectable white wine. Lunch will be at a local restaurant. Visit a unique masterpiece of Armenian architecture of 10-14th centuries: the monastery of Haghpat, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Haghpat Monastery was one of the largest religious, cultural and educational centers of medieval Armenia. Departure to Gyumri. Dinner at a renowned local seafood restaurant.

Day 8: Gyumri – Amberd – Saghmosavank – Yerevan

Start the day by walking down the beautiful streets of Gyumri: a city which has changed its name several times. Initially it was called Kumayri, later Alexandrapol. After that it used to call Leninakan and finally Gyumri. This city is the second largest city of Armenia. It is about 120km away from Yerevan and is located on the bank of Akhurian River. While exploring Gyumri we will visit the Dzitoghtsyan house-museum; an Architecture and Ethnography museum. Mostly the museum is impressive because it gives a chance to look closer through the glimpses of history and know more about traditions and habits of Armenians during nineteenth century. We’ll also pay a visit to the Alexandrapol brewery, followed by our departure to the Aragatsotn region.

Lunch will be held at a local house and will include an amazing master class of Armenian sweets such as “Sujukh” and “Gata”. Visit the Armenian Alphabet monument before we head towards the mysterious medieval Amberd fortress (7th-13th centuries AD), which is built on the slope of Mount Aragats (4091 meters above sea level). Visit Saghmosavank monastery. After this we will return to Yerevan and have dinner at a traditional restaurant. Overnight in Yerevan.

Day 9: Yerevan – Garni – Geghard – Yerevan

On this day we will take trip to Garni. This Pagan Temple was built in the 1st century AD. It is the only temple that has been preserved from the Pagan times in Armenia. It was devoted to the god Mihr, who was the god of cleanliness. In 1679 it was destroyed by earthquake, and in the 1975 the Temple was restored.

Then we will continue our trip to Geghard Monastery. Its name came from the lance that was used to pierce the body of Christ. It has been kept here for centuries. Though the exact foundation of the monastery is unknown, the current building was built in the mid-13th century.

Afterwards we will visit a local house where you will have the chance to see and participate in the preparation of Armenian traditional bread: lavash. It is usually cooked in a ground oven called “tonir”. In 2015 it has been included in the UNESCO’s intangible heritage list. Here we will enjoy the “Armenian fast food” with lavash and cheese. On return to Yerevan we will visit the fruit market. The farewell dinner will be the most memorable, as you will get a chance to see the performance of Zara, a well-known local show-woman, to make “Khapama” and taste other traditional dishes. Overnight in Yerevan.

Day 10: Yerevan – Departure

Breakfast and transfer to the airport.

Inclusions:

Included in the package:

  • Visa support.
  • Best available hotels (4* or similar), 9 nights, full board.
  • All ground transportation.
  • Experienced tour guides and tour manager.
  • Entrance tickets to monuments, museums per program.
  • Welcome gift.
  • Silka Departure Guarantee.
    What is Silka Departure Guarantee?

    We’d rather take a loss than let you down. We guarantee that any tour you booked will happen even if the group is not full. If that occurs, we might adjust certain technical details like driving you around in a mini-bus or sedan instead of a coach, or letting you join one of our partners’ scheduled departures, but we’ll still take you to places we promised.

Not included:

  • International airfare.
  • Hotel incidentals.
  • Travel and/or medical insurance.
  • Meals, unless specified.
  • Personal expenses.

Days

10

Hotel

3-4*

From:

$0

Scheduled departures:

The Tastes and Aromas of Armenia