Tsaghkadzor, Kecharis, Lake Sevan, Goshavank, Haghartsin, Dilijan (overnight), Akhtala, Haghpat, Sanahin, Kobayr, Gyumri (overnight), Harichavank, Dashtadem, Aruch, Yerevan

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Tsaghkadzor, Kecharis Monastery, Lake Sevan, Sevanavank Monastery, Goshavank Monastery, Haghartsin Monastery, Dilijan

1. Tsaghkadzor
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Tsaghkadzor
Tsaghkadzor city (translated as valley of flowers) is considered to be one of the most popular winter resorts of Armenia. It is one of the places of our mountainous country, where the beauty of the nature appears with its whole variety. Tsaghkadzor is situated in Kotayk region, 60 km north from Yerevan, on the eastern slope of Teghenis Mountain, surrounded with virginal woods and alpine meadows.
2. Kecharis Monastery
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Kecharis Monastery
Kecharis monastery is in the north-western part of Tsaghkadzor. It was built in 11-13th centuries. The monastery consists of four churches and a half-destroyed mausoleum of Grigorius Pahlavuni, who financed the building of the monastery.
3. Lake Sevan
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Lake Sevan
The fascination and the "pearl" of mountainous Armenia is Lake Sevan, which is one of the world’s greatest high altitude fresh-water lakes. It is about 1900 m above sea level. The lake is of volcanic origin and is surrounded with mountains of 3000 m and higher. The beautiful landscape and the crystal water serve nice preconditions for excellent rest.The lake is also famous for its peninsula and medieval church complex, built in 874.
4. Sevanavank Monastery
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Sevanavank Monastery
A marvelous scene opens in the north-western part of Lake Sevan, where the peninsula towers over the transparent surface of the lake. Sevanavank monastery was built on the peninsula in 874 by the order of king Ashot Bagratuni’s daughter – princess Mariam. The silhouette of the churches against the background of the turquoise lake and blue sky casts unexplainable impression on the visitors.
5. Goshavank Monastery
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Goshavank Monastery
Goshavank was founded by the famous medieval scientist, fabulist Mkhitar Gosh. The complex consists of several religious and secular buildings. The unrivalled khachkar, put in front of the one-naved basilica, was created by the skillful master Poghos in 1291. Goshavank used to be one of the most famous religious and cultural centers in medieval Armenia.
6. Haghartsin Monastery
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Haghartsin Monastery
Haghartsin monastery, situated in the woodlands of Tavush region, represents an indescribable example of blend of nature with architecture. It was founded in the 10-11th centuries, though new buildings were added in the 12-13th centuries. Now it consists of St. Grigor, St. Astvatsatsin (Holy Mother of God), St. Stepanos churches and some other buildings.The refectory, due to its skillful architectural composition, is of great interest. Near Haghartsin there used to grow a huge oak tree, almost at the age of the monastery, completing the whole scene. Unfortunately, only a small part of the hollow has remained till the present day, however, it is still of much interest among the visitors, and preserves the tradition, according to which, when one makes a wish and at the same time manages to pass through the tree (hollow), it is expected to come true in the nearest future.
7. Dilijan
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Dilijan
Dilijan entices people with its unforgettable beauty and mild climate. The city stretches on the banks of Aghstev river, surrounded with mountains and forests. Dilijan has the fame of a health resort. The warm sun, fresh air and natural spas have great healing influence on people. Dilijan is also rich in interesting architectural monuments.

Akhtala Fortress, Haghpat Monastery, Sanahin Monastery, Kobayr Monastery

1. Akhtala Fortress
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Akhtala Fortress
The Akhtala fortress is situated in Lori district. It is constructed on a plateau resembling a peninsula, surrounded with deep gorges from three sides. In the 10th century the masons could exactly derive benefit from the nature in order to make the fortress more fortified. The fortress is strengthened with huge ramparts and there are two pyramid-shaped watchtowers, rising above from both sides of the main entrance. The monastery of Akhtala, comprised of three churches, is in the territory of the fortress.
2. Haghpat Monastery
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Haghpat Monastery
Situated not far from Sanahin, Haghpat monastery has its significant place in the historical and cultural life of Armenia. It was built during the reign of king Ashot Bagratuni. Numerous valuable manuscripts and miniature paintings have been produced in the scriptorium of Haghpat for many centuries. In the 18th century the famous Armenian bard Sayat-Nova u sed to live and create in this monastery. The belfry with its unique architectural composition is of stunning interest. The site is included in UNESCO World Cultural Heritage List.
3. Sanahin Monastery
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Sanahin Monastery
The monastery of Sanahin is on the right bank of Debed river. This architectural complex consists of several churches, seminary, book depository. The building of the seminary, which connects St. Astvatsatsin (Holy Mother of God) and Allsaviour churches, was from the outset built to make the edifices more earthquake-resistant. The site is included in UNESCO World Cultural Heritage List.
4. Kobayr Monastery
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Kobayr Monastery
The fantasy of the architects and masons has reached outstanding achievements when building Kobayr monastery. It was built in the 13th century on a picturesque and inaccessible rock. The whole monastery seems to be integrated into the rocks. The monastery consists of three churches, chapels and a refectory. The main church is half destroyed and its only survived eastern wall, covered with stunning frescoes, is like a huge canvas towering over the rocks.

Gyumri, Harichavank Monastery, Dashtadem Fortress, Aruch Cathedral, Yerevan

1. Gyumri
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Gyumri
Gyumri is located in the north-western part of Armenia, in the middle of Shirak valley, 126 km far from Yerevan. From the ethnical point of view, it is the most colorful city in Armenia. The local traditions are deeply rooted here, national spirit is reflected in everything. Walking along the streets of old Gyumri one still seems to hear the voice of the smiths’ hammers, it seems that a cart will appear from the street corner and the carter will call to show around the city. The old houses, a part of which, fortunately, resisted the devastating earthquake in 1988, speak of the high architectural achievements of the city. These buildings are notable with their architectural solutions, combination of colorful stone and masterfully elaborated bas-reliefs. Gyumri has always been in the center of cultural events.
2. Harichavank Monastery
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Harichavank Monastery
The monastery complex of Harichavank is situated on the western slope of Mount Aragats, on a rocky cape. According to the architects’ studies, the complex was founded in the 7th century. In the 13th century the main church was built. In the 19th century the complex became the summer residence of Catholicoses. Not far from the main buildings there is a small chapel which is of great interest. It is built on a piece of rock, which, as a result of an earthquake, split from the cape and the chapel is now towering over the canyon.
3. Dashtadem Fortress
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Dashtadem Fortress
Dashtadem fortress is located in a homonymous village near Talin town. It appears to be one of those medieval fortresses of Aragatsotn province, that were built for protecting Ararat Plain from attacks. The base of the fortress was founded during Urartian period. The citadel was built by Kamsarakan princes, who carried out large-scale construction works in the province. After the fall of Bagratuni Kingdom of Armenia, most of the territory went under the control of Seljuq sultans. At the end of the 12th century the governor of Ani capital – Sultal ibn Mahmoud, built pyramids with a semi-circular and polygonal plan there, and left an Arabic script about it. Zakaryan princes built the walls with semi-circular towers around the fortress, as well as a single-nave domed church near the northern wall. At the beginning of the 19th century Hussein Khan of Yerevan built enclosures with 8-angled towers and quite thick walls, thanks to which, the fortress became the largest within the territory of the Republic of Armenia.
4. Aruch Cathedral
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Aruch Cathedral
About 40 km far from Yerevan there is the village of Aruch, where you can find one of the biggest churches in Armenia – St. Gregory cathedral, built in the 7th century. The cupola of the church was destroyed and now the piece of the sky, seen from the circular, opening of the cupola place, is like an uninterrupted continuation of the frescoes, once masterly painted on the walls of the church. Near the church there are the ruins of a palace, built at the same time with the church, and in the outskirts of the village there are the remainders of a castle and a caravanserai, built later in the 13-14th centuries.
5. 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 and meals

Exclusions

  • Hotel accommodation
  • Significant deviations from the route
  • Alcoholic beverages if lunch option selected
  • Audio guides
  • WiFi in the vehicles
  • Discover the beauty of the Armenian valleys
  • Visit one of the largest freshwater high-altitude lakes in Eurasia
  • Admire the forests of the "Armenian Switzerland"
  • Marvel at the incredible UNESCO World Cultural Heritage sites
  • Explore the picturesque mountain ranges
  • Walk along "the city of crafts and arts"

*200 steps to climb to Sevanavank
*600 m to walk up to the hill to Haghartsint
*This tour is NOT recommended for people with high blood pressure