Travelling to the location of the old Silk Road, it’s fair to say that many such tourists are keen to don their walking boots and have a good hike. On this tour, not only will you get a good taste of Armenian history and culture (through visits to museums, temples, memorials and fortresses) but you will also walk in the footsteps of those who have come before you on these great trading routes. With views that include forests and ridges, lakes and wide open spaces - it’s an unforgettable experience that will show you so much more than just a slice of scenery.
Arrival at Zvartnoc International Airport and transfer to the hotel.
Breakfast at the hotel. On the first day of the trip, you will enjoy a city tour that features a variety of places to visit:
Return to Yerevan. Overnight at the hotel.
Breakfast at the hotel and drive for the Lori region. First we will visit Lori fortress; a spectacular grass-topped structure with arched doorways, built by David Anhoghin in the 11th century. Following that we will drive to the Haghpat monastery (a UNESCO World Heritage site) which is one of the largest religious, cultural and educational centers of medieval Armenia. Finally we will visit the Odzun monastery, which dates back to the 5th-7th century.
We will drive to Yenokavan and stay there overnight.
After breakfast we will have a riding tour, following a route called ''the sense of antiquity'' which will cover the way from Lastiver to Ocon. In the morning we will take the horses and start the route. We will go through the woods and climb to a height of 4,300 feet. First the trail passes through the dense forests with open spaces up to the Parvidzor gorge (height 4,280 feet), then descends and climbs between the secular forest up to the river at a height of 4,185 feet. Crossing the river will we go up to the beautiful little chapel which is located at a height of 4,330 feet. The last point of the track is Ocon (4,600 feet). The length of the journey is 5.5 miles in total. We will stop at a local farm where you will have an opportunity to meet the locals.
Overnight at Yenokavan
Following breakfast we will drive to Dilijan. There we will visit the ancient street of Sharambeyan which has crafts shops and museums. Then we continue our tour to lake Parz, from where we will start our trekking. Our picturesque route through the magnificent forests will lead us to the monastery of Goshavank; a striking example of the harmony of nature with architecture. There are a number of interesting khachkars (huge carved stone crosses) in the monastery.
Overnight in Dilijan.
Breakfast, followed by departure towards Lake Sevan, one of the greatest lakes of the world. Here we can enjoy the splendid panorama of the blue expanse. Afterwards we will visit the Sevan peninsula, where there are two monasteries of the 10th century. Our visit Noraduz will take you to the biggest cross-stone cemetery in the world. Today we will be passing along the paths that were used by travelers of the Great Silk Road. We will stop near the Selim caravanserai, which was an important trade center on the Silk Road and was also a popular place for travelers to stay overnight and rest their feet. Our day will conclude with trekking towards the fortress of Smbataberd, which holds an advantageous position on the crest of a ridge, where it was heavily fortified around the 10th century.
Overnight at Hermon village at a local hotel.
Breakfast at the hotel and then departure to the famous spa city of Armenia, Jermuk, where there are many natural springs with temperatures ranging from 33-127 Fahrenheit. We can also see one of the beautiful cascades of Armenia. Visit to Karahunj, also called Zorats Karer, which is an ancient astronomical observatory that is 3,500 years older than Stonehenge in England and 3,000 years older than the Egyptian pyramids.
According to many archaeologists who have visited Karahunj, the site had been “a temple with a large, highly developed observatory”. Departure to the city of Sisian, from where we take the Soviet-era off-road vehicles to go up to the Ukhtasar mountain to see the petroglyphs.
Overnight in Goris.
Breakfast at the hotel. Today’s tour starts from Goris. We will visit the village called Khndzoresk (cave town). It is an ancient cave town which was inhabited until the 19th century. The caves still display traces of inhabitation. After this we will drive to Tatev where the longest cable car of the world will bring us to the most beautiful monastery in Armenia; the monastery of Tatev (9th - 13th century). Formerly it was an educational center for sciences and arts, where many famous Armenian writers, scientists and outstanding politicians lived centuries ago. The complex of Tatev consists of three churches, a refectory and a library. Finally, trekking to the '' Devil’s bridge'', where there are naturally warm pools located in the gorge.
Overnight in Goris.
After breakfast, we will depart for the region of Vayots Dzor to visit the wonderful monastic complex of Novarank (12th / 13th century), located in a spectacular position on the edge of a rock. Other places we will visit include the region of Ararat, to visit the Monastery of Khor Virap (which means “deep hole”), a famous place of pilgrimage, also visited by Pope John Paul II. The Monastery stands on the place of imprisonment of St. Gregory the Illuminator, who introduced Christianity to Armenia and became the first Catholicos of Armenia. The monastery is also the nearest point to biblical Mount Ararat and has fantastic view to it. After this we will drive to Yerevan.
Overnight in Yerevan.
Breakfast at the hotel and then we will take a 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, but in 1975 the Temple was restored. We will take off-road vehicles to visit the Garni gorge to see one of Armenia’s wonders of nature, which is called “Symphony of Stones”. Then we will continue our trip to Geghard Monastery. Its name came from the legendary 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 present complex 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 national bread, called lavash. It is very thin, and usually sold in large pieces. It’s usually cooked in a ground oven called a “tonir''. In 2015 it was inscribed in UNESCO intangible heritage list. Here we will enjoy the “Armenian fast food”, which is lavash and cheese.
Overnight in Yerevan.
Breakfast and then transfer to the airport.
Included in the package:
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.