10-day Trekking, Caving and Cultural tours in the historical Armenia

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Itinerary description

 

Type –Day pack trekking/cultural/caving

Duration – 10 days, 9 nights

Start and end point Yerevan

 

After some rest you will have an excursion around Yerevan including visiting The State Museum of Armenian History. The latter as well as the National Gallery of Armenia are located close to each other at the Republic Square in the center of the city. With their extensive collections of artwork and historical artifacts, the Museum and the Gallery will provide you with a good general understanding of the history and rich culture of the Armenian nation. In the evening you are free to shape your leisure program.

Monastery Saghmosvanq was built in 13thc and is comprised of four buildings. The main church is St. Syon, adjacent to it you can find the vestibule, church St. Astvatsatsin, the library and a chapel. Earthquakes exposed it to great damage, though later it regained its original appearance after restoration.

Fortress Amberd was a medieval citadel. It was built in the 10th c., 7km north to village Byurakan on the southern slope of Mount Aragats at a height of 2300m on the joint of the rivers Arqashen and Amberd. Nowadays you can witness the bath-house, the ruins of the castle, small chapel and some other buildings. Church Amberd was built by Vahram Pahlavouni in 1026 and is a cross-domed beautiful church.

Mount Aragats, an impressive stratovolcano situated 40 km north-west from the capital Yerevan,  is the highest mountain in Armenia.There are four summits, North (the highest, 4090m), West (4080m), South (3879m) and East (3916m) that form the rim of a volcanic crater. Between South and East summits the crater wall is broken, and a stream flows down to Aragats village. Between the three other summits there are high saddles with breathtaking views.

Lake Kari is located on the slope of Mount Aragats, 3207m above sea level. There is a Cosmic Rays Research Laboratory on its western side.

Monastery Haghartsin is hostage to vast forests in Ijevan mount range, 18km away from Dilijan town. The complex was built in 10-13th cc. 'Haghartsin' means ‘dance of eagles’. The current view of the monastery is the outcome of the architectural expressions delivered by various masters during three centuries. The main cathedral St. Astvatsatsin was built in 1281. The spacious refectory is comprised of two halls. Here you will sink into great tranquility, your heart and soul harmonious with the divine site and the peaceful nature.

Dilijan is a resort town on the right bank of Aghstev River, surrounded by Minor Caucasus Mountains and heavenly conifer forests. The town is 110 km away from Yerevan, at 1250-1500m above sea level. The town and the surroundings are called ‘Dilijan’ National Preserve. The mild climate, the healing mountain air, mineral springs architectural monuments are the triumphant incentives for visiting the area.

Monastery Jukhtak is 5km to the west of Dilijan between the tributaries of River Aghstev, not far away from ‘Dilijan’ mineral water springs. It was built in 12-13th cc and is comprised of two churches, hence the name of the monastery –Jukhtak i. e ‘couple, two’. A medieval small cemetery is preserved close to the monastery.

Lake Sevan is the biggest and highest freshwater lakes in Caucasus and is at 1900 m above sea level. There are 28 rivers pouring into it and Hrazdan River springs from it. The beauty of the lake can be most admired from the peninsula, with two 9thc marvelous churches crowning it.

Selim caravanserai (meaning ‘inn’) which is one of the prominent monuments of civil architecture of medieval Armenia was built under Chesar Orbelian in 1332.

Jermuk is a town  located on a small mountain plateau framed with woody mountainsides at a height of 2080 meters above sea level and split with picturesque canyon of Arpa river.

It is famous for its hot springs and brand of mineral water that is bottled in the vicinity. The town has a large waterfall with a large natural bridge nearby, a small lake, forests with walking trails, and mineral water pools. Jermuk is continually being developed in the hope of becoming a hectic center of tourism.

 

Gndevank is on the left bank of Arpa River, off the lower canyon road to Jermuk. From Gndevank to Jermuk it is a 13 km hike through the beautiful upper canyon.

The monastery is a true marvel of that mountainous region. The monastery is surrounded with high walls. The monastery complex consists of the St. Stepanos Church /936 AD/ and the gavit /999 AD/.

Qarahunge or, Zorakarer is 3, 500 years older than England’s Stonehenge. The total area of the observatory is 7 hectares. According to some scientist’s findings, the temple situated in the central part of Carahunge, consisting of 40 stones, is built in honor of the Armenian god Ari (meaning the Sun). Besides the temple, it had a large, progressive observatory, and also a university.

Tatev Monastery is situated near Tatev village. It fits in perfectly with the mountainous landscape around it. A large church, that reigns the surrounding and is visible from afar, is the architectural center of the ensemble. It was founded in the ninth century in place where a well-known tabernacle was located in ancient times. Tatev monument is prominent with high quality building work and reproduces the type of domed basilicas of the 7th century.

 Noravank monastery was founded in 1216 by Bishop Hovhannes, the former Abbot of Vahanavank. It is located 122 km from Yerevan in a narrow gorge made by the Darichay river, in the proximity of the city of Yeghegnadzor.

Ruins of various civil buildings and khachkars are found both inside and outside of the compound walls. Noravank was the residence of the Orbelian princes. The architect Siranes and the remarkable miniature painter and sculptor Momik worked here in the latter part of the thirteenth and early fourteenth century. Noravank is one of the most remarkable monasteries in Armenia, nestled among red-tinted rocks.

 

In village Areni there is a famous winery in which cellars you can taste the most famous sort of wines in the best quality the wines can ever be offered.

 

The Mozrov caves are located near Yeghegnadzor, in the heart of the Vayots Dzor region. Extraordinary beauty can be witnessed in the form of delicate stalactites and stalagmites filling the intricate underground passageways that extend over 300 meters.

 

Geghard is an incredible ancient Armenian monastery, some part of which is carved out of a mountain. The monastery has been constructed before the 4th century but the main cathedral was built in 1215. The monastery is located literally at the end of the road.


Garni temple is one of the few heathen monuments remained in the territory of Armenia. It was built in the first century A.D. by the Armenian King Tiridates. Garni combines elements of Hellenistic and national culture mixing them in a perfect combination. There are also ruins of mosaic ancient baths and residences in Garni. The value and uniqueness of its monuments place Garni among outstanding creations of architecture of worldwide significance.

 

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DAY 1   Arrival

Program

v     Arrival in Yerevan at Zvartnots Airport

v     Passport control, issuing of visas

v     Check-in at a hotel

v     Yerevan sightseeing tour (included our new exclusive tour to "Avan Salt Plant" factory)

v     Overnight in the hotel in Yerevan

 

DAY 2    Acclimatization day: monastery Saghmosavanq, fortress Amberd, Kari lake on the slopes of Mt Aragats

Program

v     Driving to the monastery Saghmosavanq

v     Driving to Amberd fortress

v     Driving to Kari lake (3200m)

v     Overnight in the camp near the lake

 

 DAY 3     Climbing the West and South peaks of Mt Aragats

Program

v     Hiking to West peak(4080m)

v     Hiking to South peak(3879m)

v     Hiking back to the Kari lake camp

v     Driving to town Dilijan

v     Overnight in the hotel in town Dilijan

 

 DAY 4     Monastery Haghartsin, village Shamakhyan, monastery Jukhtak vanq

Program

v     Driving to monastery Haghartsin

v     Driving to village Shamakhyan

v     Trekking to Jughtak vanq

v     Driving to city Sevan

v     Overnight in hotel in city Sevan

 

DAY 5    Along lake Sevan to Jermuk

Program

v     Driving to the monastery Hayrivanq along the lake, Selim carvan-sara, city Jermuk

 

DAY 6   Gndevang, trekking trough Arpa gorge, Qarahunj (stone henge ), city Sisian

Program

v     Driving do the monastery Gndevanq

v     Trekking down by Arpa gorge

v     Driving to Qarahunj

v     Driving to City Sisian

v     Overnight in the hotel in Sisian

 

DAY 7   Village Ltsen, monastery Tatev

Program

v     Driving to village Ltsen

v     Trekking to the monastery Tatev

v     Overnight in the B&B in Tatev village

 

 

 

DAY 8   Mozrov cave, Noravanq monastery, Areni wine factory, Yerevan

Program

v     Driving to Mozrov cave, Caving

v     Driving to Monastery Noravanq

v     Driving to Areni wine factory

v     Driving to Yerevan

v     Overnight in the hotel in Yerevan 

 

 

 

DAY 9   Garni Temple, Geghard  Monastery, ruins of the monastery Havustar 

Program

v     Driving to Garni temple

v     Driving to Geghard monastery

v     Trekking up to the ruins of the monastery Havustar

v     Driving back to Yerevan

v     Overnight in hotel in Yerevan

 

DAY 10   Departure  

Transfer from the hotel and departure

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