This 9 days Cultural /pilgrimage and religious/ tour includes most sanctuary parts of our historical country with a number of churches and monastic Complexes. Five overnights are in Yerevan, capital city of Armenia; one overnight is in City Goris, Syunik Province and two overnights are in Nagorno-Karabakh Republic. Armenia has 11 regions including the capital – Yerevan. During this tour you will have the opportunity to see 5 of them and also Nagorno-Karabakh Republic.
The Christian faith has shaped the Armenian culture so intimately that it permeates the very landscape of the country, with khachkars (cross-stones) spread across even the most remote mountainsides and ancient monasteries nestled in breathtaking natural settings. During this pilgrimage tour you will also get acquainted with local people with a strong sense of cultural identity and faith. Armenia and Nagorno Karabakh are home to countless ancient historical churches, monasteries and khachkars (cross-stones) that will help you to experience a new culture and be good companion for your pilgrimage and religious trip.
If you are interested in experiencing new impressions and fill your day with unforgettable moments as well as in gaining more knowledge about one of the oldest countries in the world then join us in our ”Footsteps on Noah’s Land” pilgrimage trip.
Let’s immortalize our footsteps on Noah’s Land!
Type of tour: Guided cultural+pilgrimage tour in Armenia
Duration: 9 days / 8 nights
Distance: 1386 km / 861 miles
Group size: 1 + pax
Accommodation: Hotels, B&B
Best period: April – November
Start/End point: Yerevan, Armenia
DAY 1: Arrival
Arrive at the airport. Meet and greet, transfer to the accommodation.
Transfer: 15 km / 10 miles
DAY 2: Yerevan – Echmiadzin – Zvartnots – Yerevan city tour
Transfer to the spiritual and administrative headquarters of the worldwide Armenian Church. Visit the Mother See of Holy Echmiadzin (302-303 AD) the oldest state-built church in the world and the seat of the Catholicos. Participate in liturgy. Visit St.Hripsime church (7th c.). Hripsime was a Christian nun who refused to marry the roman emperor and left to Armenia. On the way back to Yerevan visit Zvartnots temple (means “celestial angels”) 7th century wonderful architectural masterpiece. These sights are listed among the UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Start city tour in the capital of Armenia and explore the important sightseeing places of 2794 years old Yerevan city. Walk on Aram Street and meet the sculptor who carves khachkars (cross-stones) just right in his workroom. Be a witness of how these masterpieces are being made.
Distance: 80 km / 49.5 miles
DAY 3: Yerevan – Khor Virap – Tatev – Goris
Drive from Yerevan and start sightseeing tour to historical Khor-Virap monastery (4- 17th cc) with a beautiful view to the biblical Ararat Mountain, where Noah’s arch cast anchor. Khor-Virap monastery (means «deep dungeon») rests on a top of a little hill. It is where Grigor Lusavorich (St. Gregory the Illuminator) was imprisoned for 13 years before adapting Christianity as a state religion in 301 AD. Drive to the 9th century Tatev monastic complex located on a large basalt plateau near the village of the same name in part of Zangezur. Monastery is known for the unique monument called “Gavazan” (pillar) which aimed to give early warning signals about possible earthquakes and invaders. Proceed to Goris – a beautiful city with a very charming regional style of stone architecture surrounded by high mountains and some great rock formations striving to the sky with ancient cave settlement.
Distance: 297 km / 184.5 miles
DAY 4: Goris – Berdzor – Shushi – Gandzasar
Start the tour from Goris and drive to the village of Berdzor which is one of those super strategic towns, nestled in the mountains of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic. It’s one of many that make up the region of Kashatagh (formerly known as the Lachin corridor). Kashatagh is the glue that binds Armenia and Artsakh together, literally. It’s a huge swath of land between the two republics… and it is the key to security in the region. Drive to the historic fortified city of Shushi the cultural centre of Karabakh. Visit the beautiful Holy Amenaprkich Ghazanchetsots Cathedral (1868-1887) in Shushi. Continue our pilgrimage tour to Gandzasar Monastery (10-13th cc.), one of the most renowned and well-preserved ecclesiastical complexes of medieval Armenia and a first-class example of outstanding universal value of the Armenian architectural and decorative tradition.
Distance: 147 km / 91 miles
DAY 5: Gandzasar – Dadivank – Amaras – Stepanakert
Start today’s pilgrimage with the visit to the most magical place in all of Karabakh – Dadivank monastery (9-13th cc.) where the road winds along a gorge with a river and beautiful forests. The monastery was founded by St. Dadi who was the disciple of Thaddeus the Apostle who spread Christianity in Eastern Armenia during the first century A.C. In June, 2007, the grave of St. Dadi was discovered under the holy altar of the main church. On the way back visit ”We and our Mountains” monument that considered to be a national landmark. Continue tour and visit Amaras Monastery (4th c.) one of the most treasured historical and religious sites of the South Caucasus, and one of the world’s oldest Christian monuments. Start short city tour in the capital of Nagorno Karabakh Republic – Stepanakert nestled in a bowl of mountains. Visit the central bazaar to taste juicy local fruits, vegetables, greens, dried cornel that is made only in Karabakh.
Distance: 140 km / 87 miles
DAY 6: Stepanakert – Bgheno Noravank – Amaghu Noravank – Yerevan
Left for Karabakh and proceed to Bgheno Noravank Monastery that is an 11th century Armenian monastery. It now consists of a small church dating to 1062, located on a little wooded promontory, and ornately decorated with borders and biblical reliefs. Continue the pilgrimage trip to Amaghu Noravank 13th century monastery (means “New Monastery”) a masterpiece of Armenian architecture which is situated in a narrow gorge and encircled by tall, sheer, brick-red cliffs. Proceed and visit Areni wine factory to taste local wine made from special sorts of vines. Drive back to the capital city.
Distance: 398km / 247 miles
DAY 7: Yerevan – Oshakan – Hovhannavank – Saghmosavank – Yerevan
Drive to Oshakan village which is best known for the Church of Saint Mesrop Mashtots which also happens to be the burial place of Saint Mesrop Mashtots, the creator of the Armenian alphabet. Continue and visit the monastery complexes of Hovhannavank (4-13th cc.) and Saghmosavank (13th c.) which are five kilometers apart and perch on the edge of the precipitous gorge of the Kasakh River. The most ancient structure in Hovhannavank is a basilica typical of the fifth century. Return to Yerevan and enjoy the evening.
Distance: 82 km / 51 miles
DAY 8: Yerevan – Garni – Geghard – Matenadaran – Yerevan
Visit the Institute of Ancient Manuscripts – Matenadaran the state repository that holds one of the world’s richest depositories of medieval manuscripts and books. Continue the last day of our pilgrimage tour and drive to Kotayk province. 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. Nowadays the ruins of the royal palace and the bathroom with a stunning mosaic work can be found near the temple. Northeast of Garni, higher up the gorge of Azat River, there is an outstanding monument of medieval Armenian architecture – Geghard monastery (4-12th cc.). Visit the monastery listed as UNESCO World Heritage Site. Drive back to Yerevan. Evening is free in the capital.
Distance: 80km / 50 miles
Day 9: Departure
Transfer to the airport. Have a safe flight home.
Transfer: 15 km / 10 miles