Khor Virap, Noravank, Karahunj, Vorotnavank, Goris (overnight), Khndzoresk Caves, Devil’s Bridge, Tatev, Wings of Tatev Ropeway, Shaki Waterfall, Hin Areni wine factory, Yerevan

Khor Virap Monastery, Noravank Monastery, Karahunj (Zorats Karer) Observatory, Vorotnavank Monastery, Goris

1. Khor Virap Monastery
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Khor Virap Monastery
Khor Virap is the most famous pilgrimage site in Armenia, as it is directly connected with the adoption of Christianity. As a state religion, Christianity in Armenia was adopted in 301 due to endeavors of Saint Gregory The Illuminator, who, before converting King Trdat The 3rd to Christianity, was imprisoned in the dungeon, over which a church of Khor Virap monastery was built in the 17th century. From the monastery one can admire the stunning view of the Biblical Mount Ararat.
2. Noravank Monastery
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Noravank Monastery
Passing a narrow road, surrounded by rocks of hundred caves, one discovers a scene of harmony of architecture with nature. The monastery, enshrined with fine architectural solutions and luxurious embellishments, is one of the brightest examples of Armenian architecture of the 13th century. Noravank consists of St. Karapet, St. Gregory The Illuminator churches and St. Astvatsatsin (Holy Mother of God) two-storey church, which is notable for its ideal constructive and sculptural work.
3. Karahunj (Zorats Karer) Observatory
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Karahunj (Zorats Karer) Observatory
The scientific expeditions proved Karahunj (Zorats Karer) to be one of the oldest observatories in the world. It is said to be about 7500 years old. Some of the precisingly arranged huge stones have holes bored into them, which were used for astrological observations. The petroglyphs, found nearby Karahunj, reveal that the early inhabitants in Armenia were well aware of astrology.
4. Vorotnavank Monastery
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Vorotnavank Monastery
Vorotnavank is a medieval monastic complex, located in Syunik region, on the edge of the gorge of Vorotan River. The monastery was founded in the year of 1000 by Queen Shahandukht of Syunik. It consists of St. Gregory, St. Stepanos, St. Karapet churches, courtyard, pillar rooms, guest house, as well as auxiliary buildings, a fence and a cemetery. According to historian Stepanos Orbelyan, St. Gregory one-nave church of Vorotnavank (at present – only ruins) was founded by Gregory The Illuminator, and rebuilt by the hermit Father Stepanos. In the early Middle Ages the church was known for its power to cure snake bites and later it became a prominent pilgrimage site.
5. Goris
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Goris
Goris is one of the main cities of Syunik region. This park-city, despite the natural cuts, has a well-organized ground plan. The city is surrounded with woody mountains and just next to the forests there are stunning pyramidical rocks, which seem to scratch the clouds. Due to its exceptional nature, Goris is considered the "beauty" of Zangezour.

Khndzoresk Caves, Devil’s Bridge, Tatev Monastery, Wings of Tatev Ropeway, Shaki Waterfall, Hin Areni wine factory, Yerevan

1. Khndzoresk Caves
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Khndzoresk Caves
Khndzoresk is located at a distance of 8 km from Goris. The village is famous for its natural "stone carpets". Old Khndzoresk is situated on the two slopes of the mountainous valley. There were no flat areas on those slopes for building settlements and for this reason people used caves. During the national liberation movement of Syunik (1722-1730), due to its inaccessible geographical position, Khndzoresk served as a stronghold for Syunik. Armenian commander Mkhitar Sparapet is buried in Khndzoresk. Next to him there rest his son Aharon and the Lady of Syunik – Gohar. Recently a unique structure – a "swinging bridge" has been opened in Khndzoresk, the length of which is 160 m, the height from the deepest point in the gorge is 63 m and the width is 1.5 m. 700 people simultaneously can go across this bridge weighing 14 tons. The bridge, from where there opens a magnificent view, connects the two banks of old Khndzoresk.
2. Devil’s Bridge
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Devil’s Bridge
It is a natural bridge, formed from travertine, located on Vorotan River in Syunik region. The length is ~30 m, the width is 50-60 m. There are number of mountain springs around the bridge, the waters of which have colored the walls of the canyon in pink, yellow and green. The Goris-Tatev highway crosses the Devil’s Bridge. There are various hypotheses concerning the name "Devil’s Bridge". For instance, there is a theory, that less water flows in under the bridge, than it flows out. This is due to the fact that mineral waters are dripping from above.
3. Tatev Monastery
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Tatev Monastery
Among the architectural pillars of Zangezour, the monastery of Tatev does not have its "rivals". It used to be the wealthiest medieval monastery in Armenia. Besides being a religious center, Tatev was also the important strategical center of Syunik kingdom. Being situated on a naturally defended place, Tatev monastery has always been an impregnable fortress for alien. In non-stable political conditions several secret ways in the territory of the fortress led to the canyon and served as a link between the monastery and the external world.
4. Wings of Tatev Ropeway
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Wings of Tatev Ropeway
Church bells were ringing loud in Tatev on October 16 of 2010, heralding the launch of a program to revive a medieval monastic complex and the opening of "Wings of Tatev Ropeway". The 5.7 km ropeway, built within 11 months, passes through a deep gorge of the River Vorotan and over hills, covered with lush forests. The tramway is supported by three towers between its two terminals. One terminal is on a hill, overlooking the village of Halidzor and the other is near Tatev Monastery, on the road to Tatev village. Two cabins operate at once, traveling in opposite directions. There are 6 cables altogether (3 for each cabin), each uniquely foreseen for the specifications of this project. Within about 11 minutes a tramway cabin takes passengers, 30 at a time, from the village of Halidzor to the magnificent complex of Tatev.
5. Shaki Waterfall
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Shaki Waterfall
Shaki waterfall is in the southern part of Armenia, close to Sisian. The fall, being located in one of the coziest and nicest corners of Syunik, gloriously opens its striking beauty to all admirers. The air here is full of inspiring melody of water and scent of mountains, loading all their wafts.
6. Hin Areni wine factory
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Hin Areni wine factory
Vayots Dzor and Areni village in particular has been the cradle of Armenian winemaking for millennia. "Hin Areni" wine factory opens up the doors of this region to the world to showcase the historic and indigenous Armenian grape varietals. At the winery the historic traditions of winemaking are well combined with state-of-the-art modern equipment. "Hin Areni" wine factory has the capacity to process over 250 tonnes of grapes.
7. Yerevan
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Yerevan
Yerevan is the capital city of Armenia, a city, which is 29 years older than Rome! It dates back to 782 BC, when the fortress of Erebuni was built by king Argishti The First. Yerevan is often referred to as "The Pink City" for many buildings are made of pink tuff stone. The capital city is a major tourist destination thanks to its numerous landmarks, extensive nightlife, great museums and lovely parks.

Inclusions

  • Professional drivers
  • Air-conditioned vehicles
  • Bottled water
  • Free pick-up & drop-off within Yerevan
  • Vehicle & passengers insurance
  • Extra stops on the route upon request
  • Driver/Guide accommodation & meals

Exclusions

  • Hotel accommodation
  • Significant deviations from the route
  • Alcoholic beverages if lunch option selected
  • Audio guides
  • WiFi in the vehicles
  • Embrace the stunning views of Biblical Mount Ararat
  • Observe the magnificent 2-storied monastery in Armenia
  • Immerse yourself in the secrets of one of the oldest observatories in the World
  • Explore the popular swinging bridge at the "crossroad" with forests and mystic caves
  • Feel the amazing vibes of the canyons
  • Take a ride on the longest reversible cableway in the World, recorded in the Guinness Book of Records
  • Enjoy the inspiring melody of nature
  • Reveal the unique taste of Armenian wine

*365 steps to descend to Khndzoresk