Religious Armenia (8 days / 7 nights)
DAY 01: ARRIVAL TO YEREVAN
Arrival to Yerevan, meeting at Zvartnots International airport. Transfer and hotel accommodation. In the evening a panoramic tour of the capital of Armenia, which is one of the oldest cities in the world. We will visit the Republic Square, the National Opera and Ballet Theater, cultural - architectural complex Cascade, the monument of "Mother Armenia". Dinner in a national restaurant. Overnight in the hotel.
DAY 02: YEREVAN - ASHTARAK - YEREVAN
After breakfast a trip to Ashtarak. We will visit Karmravor church (7th century), which is the only one in Armenia preserved with its original roofing. Visiting Monasteries Saghmosavank and Hovanavank (13th century) situated at the edge of one of the most beautiful canyons in Armenia. During this trip we will have the opportunity to meet a local priest to whom we can discuss all the questions you are interested in. He will tell how Armenia became the first country in the world to adopt Christianity as state religion. Return to Yerevan.
DAY 03: YEREVAN - ECHMIADZIN - ZVARTNOTS - YEREVAN
After breakfast, we will start our trip to Echmiadzin, the spiritual and administrative center of the Armenian Apostolic Church. Visit the pearls of Armenian architecture - the Church of St. Hripsime (618 AD) and the world's first Christian Cathedral (301 AD). Echmiadzin is a holy city of Armenia and is the seat of Catholicos of all Armenians, the head of Armenian Apostolic church.
We will participate in the Sunday Mass at the Holy See of Echmiadzin's main cathedral. Visit the Church of St. Gayane (5-7 cc). On the way back we'll stop at the ruins of Zvartnots cathedral (7th century). Return to Yerevan. Lunch time. Visit the famous open air market "Vernissage" which is a center of contemporary art and culture.
DAY 04: YEREVAN - GEGHARD - GARNI - YEREVAN
Breakfast. On the way to Geghard, we'll stop at the "Arch of Charents", which offers a splendid view of the Biblical Ararat valley. Visit the cave Monastery Geghard (13th centuary) bought by princes Proshyan. The monastery consists of three churches, a huge mausoleum carved into the mountain. Many centuries the church kept the Holy Lance - who had pierced the body of Christ on the cross. Geghard-Spear, now the Holy Spear, is kept in Echmiadzin Museum.
Here we will get pleasure from the sounds of magnificent singing choir. Continuation of the excursion to the pagan temple of Garni (77 AD) - the only Hellenistic temple extant in the region. Inspection of "Temple of the Sun" and the ancient royal baths. The temple is situated on the edge of the picturesque valley. Lunch in a local restaurant. Return to Yerevan.
DAY 05: YEREVAN - SEVAN - DILIJAN
Breakfast. Today our trip will bring us to Lake Sevan - one of the most beautiful and large mountain lakes in the world. Inspection of Sevanavank Monastery, standing on the peninsula that offers magnificent panoramic views of the lake and surrounding mountains. We will continue to the forested resort town of Dilijan, which is also called "Armenian Little Switzerland" for its nature. Here we will visit the highlights of the region - the medieval Monasteries Haghartsin and Goshavank (10-13 th cc.). Dinner and overnight in Dilijan.
DAY 06: DILIJAN - HAGHPAT - SANAHIN - ODZUN - YEREVAN
After breakfast we will walk along the most beautiful and oldest street of the Old Dilijan - Sharambeyan where we will find small art schools and souvenir shops. Then we will have sightseeing in Lori region and visit the Monasteries of Sanahin and Haghpat (10-13th cc). These two architectural complexes are among the outstanding and greatest works of medieval Armenian architecture and both are among the World Heritage List of UNESCO. Our trip continues to the village Odzun where we will visit the Odzun Basilica Church dating back to the 6th century. Return to Yerevan.
DAY 07: YEREVAN - KHOR VIRAP - NORAVANK - YEREVAN
Breakfast. A trip to Ararat valley, visiting one of the most revered shrines of the Armenian people - the Monastery of Khor Virap, where for many years was imprisoned first patriarch of Armenia, St. Gregory the Illuminator. The monastery is located 200 meters away from the Turkish border. Khor Virap is considered to be a pilgrimage center for all Armenians, from where we can have the best view of Biblical Mount Ararat. Our tour will be continued to the one of the most beautiful monasteries in Armenia - Noravank, which is a remarkable architectural complex of 13th century. Lunch in a local restaurant. Return to Yerevan.
DAY 08: DEPARTURE
Breakfast. Transfer to the airport.