Armenia – A Cradle of Civilisation

Haghartsin Monastery, Armenia - © Ramona Cazacu
Noravank Monastery, Armenia - © Alan Heywood
Sevanavank Monastery, Armenia - © Ramona Cazacu

Holiday Highlights

  • Stunning mountain scenery
  • Numerous visits to places of historical interest
  • Khndzoresk cave dwellings
  • Tatev aerial cableway
  • Explore Yerevan
  • New express train from Yerevan to Gyumri
  • Many meals from locally sourced organic produce
  • 10 Days from £1,950pp
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Tour Dates:
Tuesday 8 September to Thursday 17 September 2020

Armenia’s fascinating history covers a period from early Biblical times to the Soviet era and beyond. Add to that some stunning mountain scenery, good food and a warm and friendly welcome and you have the perfect recipe for a memorable holiday.

ITINERARY

Day 1 – London to Yerevan

Late morning flight from Gatwick via Kiev to Yerevan, arriving late evening. Transfer to our centrally located hotel for a 4-night stay.

Day 2 – Yerevan and Surroundings

City tour plus visits to Etchmiadzin Cathedral, Zvartnots Temple (661-641BC), Genocide Museum in memory of the 1915 atrocities and the small railway museum at Sasuntsi David metro station.

Day 3 – Garni and St. Geghard Church

Drive to Garni to visit its pagan temple (77AD) followed by a traditional lunch with a village family. Short drive through the mountains to the medieval St. Geghard cave church before returning to Yerevan.

Day 4 – Gyumri

Gyumri is Armenia’s second city, 130km from Yerevan and the two cities are linked by express train. We take a return trip which includes a walking tour of the main sights in Gyumri’s old city.

Day 5 – Khor Virap, Noravank and Goris

Khor Virap Church is the place for the best panoramic views of Mount Ararat, reputedly the resting place of Noah’s Ark. Continue to Areni where a 6,100 year old winery and cellar were discovered in 2010. We make a short stop for wine tasting before continuing through magnificent mountain scenery to Noravank Monastery and finally Goris for an overnight stay.

Day 6 – Khndzoresk, Tatev and Halidzor

Visit the cave dwellings at Khndzoresk before continuing to Devil’s Bridge and Tatev Monastery. There is the option to ride the aerial cable way here which, according to the Guinness Book of Records, is the longest in the world at 5.7km. Continue to Halidzor village for overnight.

Day 7 – Selim Pass and Sevan Lake

Drive via the Selim Pass and visit the Karavansaray which was used as a resting place for the Silk Road caravans. Continue to Sevan Lake, one of the largest high-altitude freshwater lakes in Eurasia and visit the Sevanavank Monastery before ending today’s journey in the mountain resort of Dilijan. In contrast to much of Armenia we find lush forests here and these give the area its nickname – Armenian Switzerland.

Day 8 – Haghartsin Monastery

The centre of Dilijan village has been tastefully restored to include various craft workshops and there is time to have a look around before visiting the nearby Haghartsin Monastery. Afternoon drive back to Yerevan.

Day 9 – Day at Leisure

A day to relax and unwind. As befits a capital city, there are things to suit all tastes and we should mention for railway enthusiasts that there is a small metro system, opened in 1981 in Soviet times and with typically Soviet-styled decorative stations.

Day 10 – Yerevan to London

Early morning flight from Yerevan to Gatwick, arriving late morning.

Some of the sites on this itinerary need to be explored on foot (including climbing and descending steps) and, whilst they don’t form an essential part of this itinerary, their omission would obviously remove some of the value and enjoyment.

Tour Route

Tour route map

Selected Hotels

Best Western Congress Hotel, Yerevan

Hotel Mirhav, Goris

Hotel Old Halidzor, Halidzor

Hotel Tufenkian, Dilijan

Please note - hotels can be subject to change

Price Includes

  • Flights in Economy Class by scheduled airline
  • Rail travel as specified
  • Other travel by private coach
  • Accommodation in good quality hotels or guest houses with en-suite facilities
  • All breakfasts and 7 lunches
  • Entrance fees to churches and museums where applicable and to the cave dwellings
  • Airport and other transfers
  • Services of a tour leader from London and throughout the tour plus local professional Armenian guide

Price per person

Escorted holiday: £1,950
Single room supplement: £175
Deposit for this holiday: £200

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