Dates: December 26 – January 02
Type of tour: Guided
Duration: 8 days / 7 nights
Distance: 765 km (475 miles)
Group size: 2 + pax
Best period: Winter time
Start/End point: Yerevan, Armenia
DAY BY DAY ITINERARY:
DAY 1 / DEC 26: Arrival
Arrive at the airport. Meet and greet, transfer to the accommodation.
DAY 2 / DEC 27: Yerevan – Matenadaran – Khor Virap – Jermuk
Visit the Institute of Ancient Manuscripts – Matenadaran the state repository that holds one of the world’s richest depositories of medieval manuscripts and books. Drive to the historical Khor-Virap monastery (4- 17th cc.). Take the opportunity to enjoy a beautiful view to the biblical Ararat Mountain, were Noah’s arch cast anchor. Khor-Virap monastery (means «deep dungeon») rests atop a little hill; it is where Grigor Luisavorich (St. Gregory the Illuminator) was imprisoned for 13 years before adapting Christianity as a state religion in 301 AD. Drive to Jermuk a health resort surrounded by mountains is well-known in many other countries of the world. Visitors can enjoy the beautiful nature of Jermuk and the mountains of Vayots Dzor (3000 meters), the waterfalls, the curing water pools, the ropeway and alpine sports facilities.
Distance: 200 km / 124 miles
DAY 3 / DEC 28: Jermuk – Kechut reservoir – Noravank – Areni winery – Yerevan
City tour in Jermuk enjoying the beautiful nature and landscapes, possibility to use the ropeway. Continue the trip to Kechut reservoir and admire the beauty of reservoir. Proceed and visit Noravank 13th c. (means “New Monastery”) a masterpiece of Armenian architecture which is situated in a narrow gorge and encircled by tall, sheer, brick-red cliffs highlighting spectacular nature of Vayots Dzor province. Visit Areni wine factory on the road to taste local wine made from the special sorts of Areni grape. It is famous for its various kinds of wines. Drive back to Yerevan.
Distance: 210 km / 130.5 miles
DAY 4 / DEC 29: Yerevan city tour – Echmiadzin –Zvartnots – Tsitsernakaberd – Yerevan
Start tour in the capital of Armenia and explore the important sightseeing places of 2795 years old Yerevan city including Food Market where we can taste and buy home-made dried fruit and fresh vegetables. Depart for the spiritual and administrative headquarters of the worldwide Armenian Church. On the way visit Zvartnots (means “celestial angels”) 7th century temple is a wonderful architectural masterpiece. The remnants of Zvartnots, even in ruins, are a majestic sight. Continue and visit St. Hripsime church (7th c.). Hripsime was a Christian nun who refused to marry the roman emperor and left to Armenia. Visit the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin (302-303 AD) the oldest state-built church in the world and the seat of the Catholicos. Return to Yerevan and stopover for Zvartnots temple (means “celestial angels”) 7th century wonderful architectural masterpiece. The remnants of Zvartnots, even in ruins, are a majestic sight. These sights are listed among the UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Drive back to Yerevan. Visit Tsitsernakaberd Monument designed to memorialize the innocent victims of the first Genocide of the 20th century. Visit Genocide museum. The rest of the day is free. Take part in a Christmas Market in Northern Avenue.
Distance: 110 km / 68 miles
DAY 5 / DEC 30: Yerevan – Garni – Geghard – Tsaghkadzor
Drive to Kotayk province and visit Garni fortress (3rd-2nd cc.BC) the summer residence of the kings and Garni temple (1st c. ) which is the only survived pagan temple of heathen culture in Armenia. Northeast of Garni, higher up the gorge of Azat River, there is an outstanding monument of medieval Armenian architecture – Geghard monastery (4-12th cc.) listed as UNESCO World Heritage Site. Proceed to the town of Tsaghkadzor (means ‘gorge of flowers’) located at 1750m above sea level on the southeast slope of mount Teghenis. Spend the rest of the day in Tsaghkadzor enjoying the ski resort. There are 7 kms of piste at Tsakhkadzor and 5 lifts.
Distance: 130 km / 81 miles
DAY 6 / DEC 31: Tsaghkadzor – Kecharis – Ski Resort – Tsaghkadzor NEW YEAR
Visit Kecharis Monastic complex 11-13th cc. situated in Tsakhkadzor. In the 12th-13th centuries Kecharis was a major religious center of Armenia which had a higher school. Enjoy the rest of the day in the Ski Resort of Tsaghkadzor. Most trails in the Ski Resort are suitable for beginner level skiers and snowboarders. There are also excellent conditions for off-piste skiing and snowboarding. Participate in NEW YEAR celebration in Tsaghkadzor.
Distance: 10 km / 6 miles
DAY 7 / JAN 01: Tsaghkadzor – Lake Sevan – Yerevan
Drive towards Lake Sevan the largest lake in Armenia and the Caucasus region. It is also one of the largest fresh-water high-altitude lakes in the world. This huge mountain lake is situated at an altitude of about 1,900 meters above sea level. Visit Sevanavank 9th c. in the peninsula which used to be an island before. Note that the track leading to monastery consists of 220 stairs. Drive back to the capital city – Yerevan.
Distance: 105 km / 65 miles
DAY 8 / JAN 02: Departure
Transfer to the airport. Have a safe flight home.
Photo by: Vigen Hakhverdyan