1 day: ►
As is known, Armenia is the first country which adopted Christianity as a state religion (301y.). In Ejmiatsin town there are a lot of historical places relating to the mysterious events of that age, happened more than 1700 years ago.
- Echmiadzin Cathedral. Ejmiatsin Cathedral is the center of Armenian Apostolic Church. The temple was founded in 303y. by Gregory the Illuminator, the first patriarch of Armenia. However only in 5c. wooden building was replaced with the stone one.
- Hripsime temple. St. Hripsime temple was founded in 618y. on the place were St. Virgin Hripsime was murdered (298y.). The architecture of the temple was unique and innovative for that years. Under the altar of the church you can visit the tomb of St. Hripsime.
- Zvartnots ruins. Zvartnots church was built in 642y.. It was the first building of that style (like wedding cake). Unfortunately it was destroyed by earthquake in the same century.
At the evening we will walk in Yerevan. We will see the main viewpoint of the city, Cascade. Then we will walk on the central streets (Opera, Northern Avenue, Republic Square etc.)
2 day: 7km, 510m, 240km. ►
Ascent to Artanish mountain (1950 -> 2460m). Artanish isn’t hard mountain, but one of the most famous in Armenia because of it’s amazing view to Sevan Lake. The summit of Artanish is the only place, from which you can see the whole lake. Mountain located on the peninsula dividing the lake into two parts.
After the hiking we will swimming in Sevan Lake.
On the way back, we will visit Sevanavank monastery (7c.), located on another peninsula. The monastery was founded by Gregory the Illuminator in 4c., and was reconstructed in 7c. by the queen of Armenia.
3 day: 10km, 655m, 300km. ►
The drive on the historical Silk Way will bring us to one of the most important strategical object of Central Armenia.
Smbataberd fortress was built from 10 to 13cc. by ruler Smbat, who predicted enemy’s invasion and prepared the region for resistance. The fortress was one of the biggest in medieval Armenia. Because of impregnable position on the top of the rocky mountain, the fortress withstood a lot of forceful attacks and saved people from all surrounding villages. Climbing 3km (1450 – 1950m) we will reach that fortress and walk over it’s walls. From the citadel of the fortress you will enjoy awesome view to surrounding nature.
After the fortress we will hike to Tsakhats Kar monastery (1850 – 2100m). That monastery was founded in 10c. On the wall of the main church, the biggest bas-relief of Armenia was made, imaging the victory of lion over the bull, symbolizing victories of Armenians over enemies and the victory of the light over darkness. Near the monastery there is powerful spring of cold fresh water. In the medieval there was underground waterway from that spring to the fortress. From Tsakhats Kar monastery you will see the most beautiful view of Smbataberd fortress.
Day 4: 10km, 580m, 240km. ►
This day we will visit the greenest corner of Armenia, Dilijan National Park. Besides one’s awesome mountains and forests, the park holds a lot of historical monuments.
We will climb to another important forts of Armenia Maiden fortress hidden in the dark forests of Dilijan National Park. It was built in 10c. during Arab invasions. It was named Maiden, because the girl in Armenia was the symbol of inaccessibility like this fortress which have never been taken. This day we will commit the hardest hike of our travel. 10km walk over mountains and canyons will bring us to the last sharp ascent after which we will reach the fortress. After such efforts we will be granted by the most beautiful view of Dilijan National Park.
On the way back, we will visit one of the most famous monasteries in Armenia, Haghartsin monastery (12c.). You will never forgot the fabulous view of medieval monastery among green forest. In the monastery there were the tombs of two great Armenian kings, Gagik and Smbat Bagratuni.
Day 5: Free autonomous day in Yerevan. Please note that only breakfast included in the price for that day.
Day 6: 8km, 450m, 100km. ►
Mayravank monastery was built in 7c. by monk Hovhannes. Mayravank means Mother Monastery. In that age there was an ecclesiastical crisis in Armenia and Mayravank was the center of alternative church. Finally our church reunited but Mayravank remained one of the most important spiritual centerс of the country. We will hike 3.5km to the monastery.
After that we will walk 1km to Bjni fortress, one of the hot spots during Armenian-Turkish war 10-12cc.. In the fortress there is underground tunnel to outside.
After hiking we will have bath in hot springs with mineral natural water.
Day 7: 2km, 279m, 80km. ►
This day is excursion day. We will visit the most popular attractions of Armenia.
Yerevan is one of the oldest towns in the world. It even 29 years older than Rome. We will visit the birthplace of Yerevan, Erebuni fortress, built in 782y. B.C.. In ancient times there were 20.000 people living there. There are excavated and reconstructed parts which shows the main constructions of ancient town.
After that we will visit Garni Pagan Tample, the only one remained in Armenia and the oldest temple of the region. The temple was founded in 1c. as a temple to the sun god Mihr. It combines Armenian and Helenistic styles.
Then we will visit Geghard cave monastery, founded in 4c. by Grigory the Illuminator. However the major part of buildings was built in 13c. It is one of the biggest cave monasteries in the world. Well-decorated interior of cave churches make it really human-made wonder. Old name of the monastery was Ayrivank (from “Ayr” – cave and “vank” – monastery). The word “Geghard” means spear, originates from the spear which had wounded Jesus at the Crucifixion, allegedly brought to Armenia by Apostle Thaddeus, and stored in the monastery (now it is displayed in the treasury of Ejmiatzin cathedral).
In spite of this day is excursion day, at the end we will do a little walk to natural wonder Stone Symphony. It is rocks look like organ pipes. That kind of rocks could be formed during dramatic freezing of lava close to volcanoes. In Garni Canyon there is one of world’s biggest rock massif of that kind.
Day 8: 10km, 670m, 100km. ►
Ascent to Aratats mountain (South Peak, 3879m). We will start ascension at Lake Kari (3207m). Climbing doesn’t require any special training or mountaineering equipment, it’s just hiking trail. It is great opportunity to enjoy high mountain views.
On the way back we will visit the most popular fortress of Armenia, Amberd, situated on the slope of Aragats. It is also one of high-altitude attractions of the country (2300m). The fortress was built in 7c.. On the territory of the fortress a 10c. church and ruins of 3-floor castle remained.
Day 9: ► Free day (shopping, souvenirs, museums). ► Transfer to the airport in any time and date of departure. Please note, that dinner for that day and accommodation for extra nights isn’t included in the price.