PILGRIMAGE TO ARMENIA

15-28 SEPTEMBER 2022

Day 1: 15/09 – Arrival
Arrival at Yerevan International Airport Zvartnots. Meet and transfer to the selected hotel in Yerevan.

Day 2: 16/09 –  Free day in Yerevan
Breakfast at the hotel
Free day in the capital without a guide and driver. Overnight at the selected hotel in Yerevan.

Day 3: 17/09 – Yerevan / City Tour / History Museum / Genocide Museum / Yerevan
Breakfast at the hotel
Begin to discover the capital of the Republic of Armenia. Yerevan was born in 782 BC, that’s why it’s one of the oldest cities in the world. Yerevan is famous as a pink city and calls visitors with its humble and at the same time splendid landscapes. Cascade Monument was the main symbol of the city’s 2780th anniversary with the equivalent number of stairs. A panoramic view from the monument opens up breathtaking city views with Opera House, Mount Ararat, Swan Lake, Republic Square, and posh Northern Avenue around. Visit Grigor Lousavorich church, Victory Park, and many other places. Visit the History Museum of Armenia. It has a national collection of 400,000 objects and was founded in 1920. The museum carries out conservation and restoration work and publishes works on Armenian architecture, archaeology, ethnography, and history. Visit the Tsitsernakaberd memorial park and the museum of victims of the Armenian Genocide of 1915. Overnight at the selected hotel in Yerevan.

Day 4: 18/09 – Yerevan / Saghmosavank / Hovhannavank / Amberd / Oshakan / Ashtarak / Yerevan
Breakfast at the hotel
Drive to Saghmosavank, a 13th-century monastic complex located in the village of Saghmosavank in the Aragatsotn Province. Like the Hovhannavank monastery which is five kilometers south, Saghmosavank is situated atop the precipitous gorge carved by the Kasagh river. Their silhouettes dominate the adjacent villages and rise sharply against the background of the mountains crowned by Mount Aragats. Continue to Amberd, a 7th-century fortress located 2,300 meters above sea level, on the slopes of Mount Aragats at the confluence of the Arkashen and Amberd rivers in the province of Aragatsotn, Armenia. The name translates to “fortress in the clouds” in Armenian. It is also the name incorrectly attributed to Vahramashen Church, the 11th-century Armenian church near the castle. Drive to Oshakan where St. Mesrop Mashtots Church is located the church contains the grave and relics of Mesrop Mashtots, the inventor of the Armenian alphabet. It is one of Armenia’s better-known churches and a pilgrimage site. The next visit is the Karmravor Church 7th century in Ashtarak. Back to Yerevan. Overnight at the selected hotel in Yerevan.

Day 5: 19/09 – Morning visit to Matenadaran in Yerevan / Afternoon free / Evening dinner in a traditional restaurant
We’ll start the day with the guided tour in Matenadaran museum where can see a great number of ancient manuscripts. Dinner in a traditional restaurant.

Day 6: 20/09 Yerevan/ Khor Virap/ Noravank/ Yerevan
Breakfast at the hotel
Visit the monastery Khor Virap. Khor Virap’s notability as a monastery and pilgrimage site is attributed to the fact that Gregory the Illuminator was initially imprisoned here for 14 years by King Tiridates III of Armenia. Continue to Noravank, a 13th-century Armenian monastery, located in a narrow gorge made by the Amaghu River. The gorge is known for its tall, sheer, brick-red cliffs, directly across from the monastery. The monastery is best known for its two-story Surb Astvatsatsin (Holy Mother of God) church, which grants access to the second floor by way of a narrow stone-made staircase jutting out from the face of the building. Return to Yerevan. Overnight at the selected hotel in Yerevan.

Day 7: 21/09 – Yerevan / Geghard / Garni / Yerevan
Breakfast at the hotel
Visit the Geghard monastery, being partially carved out of the adjacent mountain, surrounded by cliffs. It is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The name Geghard, meaning “the Monastery of the Spear”, originates from the spear which had wounded Jesus at the Crucifixion, allegedly brought to Armenia by Apostle Jude, called here Thaddeus, and stored amongst many other relics. We will have an acapella concert in Ruzakan’s cave which was the medieval academy of spiritual music founded by Mkhitar Ayrivanetsi.  Then we’ll visit the legendary temple of Garni. Here in Garni, we’ll have lunch in a local house, having the opportunity to participate in the process of making Armenian national bread lavash. Return to Yerevan. Overnight at the selected hotel in Yerevan.

Day 8: 22/09  Free day in Yerevan
Breakfast at the hotel
Free day in the capital without a guide and driver. Overnight at the selected hotel in Yerevan.

Day 9: 23/09 – Yerevan / Aruch / Talin / Gyumri / Yerevan
Breakfast at the hotel
Drive to the Cathedral of Aruch. According to wall inscriptions on the east wall and manuscripts, the church and adjoining building for residence (the palace) were commissioned by Prince Grigor Mamikonian and his wife Heghine/Heline between 661-682 AD. Architecturally it is one of the most important Armenian churches of the Middle Ages and also one of the largest. Then we’ll visit another famous and very original place, Talin Cathedral. Talin’s Katoghike Church sits central to the town cemetery and dominates the surrounding landscape. It is assumed to have been constructed during the late 7th century based on the architectural style. The building is currently in ruin, where the dome and a significant portion of the western wing have since collapsed. Drive to Gyumri, the second largest city in Armenia, serving as the administrative centre of Shirak Province. By the end of the 19th century, when the city was known as Alexandropol, it was one of the largest cities of Russian-ruled Eastern Armenia with a population similar to that of Yerevan. The city’s population grew above 200,000 prior to the 1988 Spitak earthquake, when it was devastated. City tour. Return to Yerevan. Overnight at the selected hotel in Yerevan.

Day 10: 24/09 – Free day in Yerevan
Breakfast at the hotel
Free day in the capital without a guide and driver. Overnight at the selected hotel in Yerevan.

Day 11: 25/06 – Yerevan / Saint Hripsime / Saint Gayane / Etchmiatsin / Zvartnots / Yerevan
Breakfast at the hotel
Drive to Etchmiatsin Cathedral, the mother church of the Armenian Apostolic Church. Back to Yerevan. Overnight at the selected hotel in Yerevan.

Day 12: 26/09 – Free day in Yerevan
Breakfast at the hotel
Free day in the capital without a guide and driver. Overnight at the selected hotel in Yerevan.

Day 13: 27/09 – Free day in Yerevan Farewell dinner
Breakfast at the hotel
Free day in the capital without a guide and driver. Farewell dinner. Overnight at the selected hotel in Yerevan.

Day 14: 28/09 – Departure
Breakfast at the hotel.
Transfer to the airport. Departure.