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Alternative Armenia


Type of tour: Guided

Duration: 10 days / 9 nights

Distance: 1225 km / 761 mls

Activities: Cultural; Religious; Hiking; Ecotourism; Rural

Group size: 2 + pax

Accommodation: Hotels, Guesthouses, Apartment

Best period: April – October

Start/End point: Yerevan, Armenia

Trip Highlights:
  • Yerevan Capital City
  • Levon's Divine Underground
  • Khor Virap Monastery
  • Noravank Monastery
  • Jermuk Spa Town
  • Orbelian Caravanserai
  • Noratus Cemetery
  • Lake Sevan
  • Dilijan Resort Town
  • Lake Parz
  • Molokan's Village
  • Haghpat Monastery (UNESCO)
  • Gyumri City
  • Aruch Cathedral & Caravanserai
  • Proshyan Brandy Factory
  • Echmiatsin Cathedral (UNESCO)
  • Zvartnots Cathedral (UNESCO)
  • Ararat Brandy Factory
  • Garni Temple
  • Geghard Monastery (UNESCO)
DAY 1:  Departure/Arrival

Depart from home country and start a journey to the Republic of Armenia. Arrive at the airport. Meet and greet, transfer to the accommodation.

Meals: (--/--/--)

Overnight: Yerevan

Transfer: Airport/Hotel

DAY 2: Yerevan city tour – History Museum – Tsitsernakaberd Memorial – Underground Cave

Start tour in the capital of Armenia and explore the important sightseeing places of 2800 years old Yerevan city including Food Market where we can taste and buy home-made dried fruit and fresh vegetables. Then we visit History museum of Armenia which represents an integral picture of the history and culture of Armenia from prehistoric times (one million years ago) till our days. Visit Genocide museum and Tsitsernakaberd Monument designed to memorialize the innocent victims of the first Genocide of the 20th century. Drive to Arinj village and visit the underground cave/museum dug by Levon. It’s interesting to realize that it’s a handmade labyrinth of a cave, with stairs, rooms, chambers, open shafts and sculpting was supposed to be a simple potato cellar. Enjoy evening near singing fountains in the Republic Square.

Meals: (B/--/--)

Overnight: Yerevan

Duration: 5-6 hrs

Distance: 90 km / 56 mls

DAY 3: Yerevan – Tushpa Wine – Khor Virap Monastery – Noravank Monastery – Jermuk

Visit Tushpa an old-fashioned wine cellar located in the heart of Ararat Valley. In a very warm and friendly atmosphere you can experience and learn about traditionally made Armenian wine. Continue a sightseeing tour to 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») is the most visited pilgrimage site in Armenia where Grigor Lusavorich (St. Gregory the Illuminator) was imprisoned for 13 years before adapting Christianity as a state religion in 301 AD. Visit Noravank 13thc. (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. Drive to Jermuk a spa town in the southern Armenian.

Meals: (B/--/--)

Overnight: Jermuk

Duration: 7-8 hrs

Distance: 210 km / 130.5 mls

DAY 4: Jermuk – Kechut reservoir – Vardenyats Pass – Noratus cemetery – Hayravank – Lake Sevan

Discover Jermuk, a major first-rate health resort zone and recreational area, possibility to use the ropeway. Continue the trip to Kechut reservoir on the river Arpa the largest reservoir in the picturesque surroundings of mountains and forests. Drive through the Vardenyats Pass (2410m) and visit the Caravanserai built in 1332, by Prince Chesar Orbelian. It used to be an important trade point on the famous Silk Road in order to accommodate weary travelers and their animals as they crossed from, or into, the Vayots Dzor Mountains. Drive across Lake Sevan and visit Noratus Cemetery a medieval cemetery with a large number of early khachkars (cross-stones) dating back to 10th century. Continue the trip and visit Hayravank monastery complex (9-12th cc.) surrounded by numerous khachkars and gravestones that are part of a small cemetery located on Lake Sevan's shore. Lake Sevan (1900m) is the largest lake in Armenia and the Caucasus region. It is also one of the largest fresh-water high-altitude lakes in Eurasia.

Meals: (B/--/--)

Overnight: Sevan

Duration: 9-10 hrs

Distance: 215 km / 133.5 mls

DAY 5: Sevanavank Moanstery – Goshavank Monastery – Lake Gosh – Lake Parz – Dilijan

Visit Sevanavank 9thc. (Sevan monastery) located in the peninsula which used to be an island before. Climbing up the 220 stairs towards the monastery and following a grassy path you will find peaceful and wonderful scenery to the lake. Passing Sevan-Dilijan tunnel we appear in the fabulous forested resort town of Dilijan. Continue and visit the impressive monastic complex of Goshavank (12-13th cc.) which has remained in relatively good condition also houses one of the world's finest examples of a khachkar (cross-stone). After a short walk down from Goshavank Monastery, this hike takes you up a winding dirt road towards Gosh Lich (Lake). This small lake is brimming with life - a frog sanctuary of sorts. Hike back to the Monastery. Not far from the monastery there is a small beautiful lake called Lake Parz (clear lake) which is located in the Dilijan National Park at the altitude of 1400m above sea level. Walk and explore beautiful Dilijan city in the evening.

Meals: (B/--/--)

Overnight: Dilijan

Duration: 7-8 hrs

Distance: 120 km / 74.5 mls

Moderate Hiking: 5 km / 2 hrs

DAY 6: Dilijan – Fioletovo village – Haghpat Monastery – Odzun Church – Gyumri

Drive to Fioletovo village to meet Molokans a religious movement, among the Russian peasants that refused to obey the Russian Orthodox Church in the beginning of 17th century. It has the feel of an ethnic Russian village where villagers live according to long-held traditions. After a nice host in Molokans’ village, drive to a medieval Armenian monastery complex in Haghpat village. Haghpat monastery (976) is inscribed in UNESCO world heritage list. Continue the trip across Debed River and visit Odzun Church a rare example of a domed basilica built at the end of the 6th century in Odzun village. In the end of this day we drive to the second largest city of Armenia for overnight.

Meals: (B/--/--)

Overnight: Gyumri

Duration: 8-9 hrs

Distance: 245 km / 152 miles

DAY 7: Gyumri city tour – Marmashen Monastery – Arutch Caravanserai – Brandy Factory – Yerevan

Start city tour in Gyumri that is the cultural center of Armenia known for its traditions and talented people. Here we can also enjoy the delicious taste of good humor. We visit the monastic complex known as Marmashen Vank located to the northwest of Gyumri. Marmashen churches are the best surviving examples of the "Ani school" of medieval Armenian architecture. Drive towards Yerevan and visit Aruch village on the way where we can see the Cathedral (7th c.) a remarkable monument of Armenian architecture and the Caravanserai (13th c.) a medieval roadside inn which had an important role in the development of international trade. Drive and visit Proshyan Brandy Factory that preserves the best traditions in the production of brandy and wine. Along with the technological development, the factory is constantly being accoutered with modern equipment used in the production of drinks.

Meals: (B/--/--)

Overnight: Yerevan

Duration: 7-8 hrs

Distance: 160 km / 99.5 mls

DAY 8: Yerevan – Echmiadzin – Zvartnots Temple – Machanents – Brandy Factory

Depart for the spiritual and administrative headquarters of the worldwide Armenian Church listed among the UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Visit St. Hripsime church (7th c.) named after 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. Visit Machanents House – a cozy tourism and art corner situated in Cherry Trees’ street. Return to Yerevan and stop for Zvartnots temple (means "celestial angels") 7th century wonderful architectural masterpiece. The remnants of Zvartnots, even in ruins, are a majestic sight. Conclude the day with the visit to Ararat Brandy Factory to try the exceptional taste of Armenian brandy which has preserved the traditions of the legendary brandy manufacturing since 1887.

Meals: (B/--/--)

Overnight: Yerevan

Duration: 5-6 hrs

Distance: 60 km / 37 mls

DAY 9: Yerevan – Matenadaran – Garni Temple – Geghard Monastery – S.Parajanov Museum – 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. 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. 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.) listed as UNESCO World Heritage Site. Conclude the day by visiting Sergei Parajanov Museum which is a tribute to one of the greatest figures of 20th-century world cinema. Drive back to Yerevan.

Meals: (B/--/--)

Overnight: Yerevan

Duration: 6-7 hrs

Distance: 95 km / 59 mls

DAY 10: Departure

Transfer to the airport. Have a safe flight home.

Meals: (--/--/--)

Transfer: Hotel-Airport


If you are interested in this trip send us a request. You will receive an offer with the exact price per person within 48 hours.

ADVENTURE is all you need!