Yerevan city tour
City tour in Yerevan
Yerevan is the capital of Armenia and one of the oldest cities in the world. It stretches under the gaze of biblical mountain Ararat and resembles a beautiful gilt bowl to those flying over it. A basalt slab with an Urartu cuneiform inscription, unearthed by archaeologists in the south-eastern part of the city shows the age of Yerevan to be 2800 years old. Modern Yerevan is mostly a rebuilt colourful city with buildings of unique architecture, constructed from basalt, marble, onyx and volcanic tufa stone and it is a contemporary to such ancient metropolises as Babylon and Nineveh.
Breakfast at hotel.
Yerevan is one of the most ancient cities in the world founded in 782B.C.
Now Yerevan is a vibrant and modern European city with much to offer.
Did you know that Yerevan is considered to be the oldest operating capital in the world, older than Rome and Nineveh and will celebrate its 2800th anniversary in 2018.
Afterwards you can see the most beautiful panorama of Yerevan City and the biblical Mount Ararat from the top of huge Cascade Monument. Cascade is just a masterpiece in terms of architecture and is decorated in a very stunning way. Inside this monument you find the Cafesdjian Art Center. There are a lot of original statues of modern art. Not far from Cascade you see the Mother Armenia Statue, which symbolizes “peace through strength”. Having its location on a hill overlooking Yerevan City, makes her “The Guardian “of the Armenian Capital.
During your City tour you pass through the Northern Avenue which connects the two Yerevan Famous Squares – The Republic Squareand the France Square (where Opera House with the original statue of Rodin is located). The Republic Square in Armenia with the governmental buildings is considered to be one of the most beautiful squares of the world. In the night, the square is especially beautiful because of the “Dancing Fountains” accompanied with classic music of world known Armenian components.
Street tour including: Yerevan State University and the Island of universities, Victory Bridge, Tsitsernakaberd Hill (The Swallow Castle) with Genocide Museum, Sports & Concerts complex, Kiev Bridge, Parliament, Residence of President, Academy of Sciences. Overnight in Yerevan.
Breakfast at hotel. Trip to Dilijan spa. Goshavank Monastery Complex.
Goshavank – The monastery can be reached by a road by way of Parz (Limpid) Lake which originates in Dilijan. Goshavank was built in the 12th c. by Mkhitar Gosh, the famous scientist of medieval Armenia, famous author of fables. The oldest construction of the complex is the Virgin church (1196). There are monumental khachkars next to the main church.
Old district of Dilijan (Sharambeyan Street).
Trip to Sevan Lake – emerald of Armenia. Peninsula and churches of Sevan.
Sevan, this wonder of nature, is 60 Km from Yerevan on a highway which cuts northward through mountains and rocks. Sevan is so austere and majestic that the gentle turquoise waters are astonishing. They fill the gigantic depression situated at the height of almost 2000 m above sea level. Sevan, with its pure air and sandy beaches, is a popular holiday resort. Sevan has always been famous for its fish “Ishkhan” which means “prince-fish” in Armenian. The fish has graced many Lords’ tables in old times. One of the most interesting sites in Sevan is the monastery on the rocky peninsula founded in 874 AD by King Ashot I and his daughter Mariam. Other monuments include Sevan Monastery (874) and Astvatsatsin Church.
Return to Yerevan. Evening free. Overnight in Yerevan.
YEREVAN – GARNI – GEGHARD – YEREVAN
Breakfast at hotel. Half-day trip to Garni Pagan Temple and Geghard Monastery.
This pagan temple was built in 1st. c. AC and was devoted to one of the Armenian Pagan Gods – Mitra. After Armenia converted to Christianity in the 4th c., the rulers of the country used the temple as their summer residence. King Khosrov stayed there often as the area was his favourite hunting ground. Garni was destroyed when the Arabs conquered Armenia but was rebuilt in the beginning of the 10th c. Its final destruction came in 1638 during the Turkish invasion. A violent earthquake buried what remained from it in 1679. The complete restoration of the temple began in 1970 and was over in 1978. The temple consists of dwellings and bath quarters built in the 3rd century in the Roman style. The fantastic landscape of Garni canyon shakes the human imagination.
Proceed to Geghard Monastery (UNESCO World Heritage):
Geghard was initially known simply as Ayrivank (Cave Monastery). The present buildings comprising it date back to 10-13th cc., at which time it was renamed as Geghard meaning “lance” (spear) in Armenian. The name refers to the biblical lance used by a Roman soldier to pierce Christ’s body to find out if he was alive or not. The lance was kept in Geghard for a long time before being moved to the museum of Echmiadzin Cathedral. The main church, constructed in 1215, is the oldest building in the monastery complex. Avazan church, 1283, is carved right into the solid rock and is an incomparable work of art. It leads to a rectangular portico and then to another church deeper in the rock. Along the southern and eastern walls of the monastery, high above the valley, medieval dwellings appear. The monastery has withstood many assaults during a period of seven hundred years. Its walls have sheltered many scholars and it was revered throughout Armenia as one of the greatest spiritual and cultural centres in the country. Hundreds of khachkars (cross-stones) and caves are built in the rocks surrounding the Monastery.
Return to Yerevan. Vernissage. Evening free. Overnight in Yerevan.
YEREVAN – SARDARAPAT – ECHMIADZIN – YEREVAN
Breakfast at hotel. Tour to Mother See of Echmaidzin.
En route – Hripsime Church:
This is a masterpiece of architecture and a marvellous example of cross-cupola architecture of the 7th century. Weddings and baptisms are performed here on Saturdays and Sundays. Remnants of very old constructions were discovered under the temple in 1959 while the temple was being restored. Virgin’s tomb lies here in the crypt of the church.
Memorial of 1918 victory by Saradarapat.
Sardarapat is a memorial complex, 38 Km west from Yerevan, established in 1968 to commemorate the Armenian people’s victory over Turkish invaders in 1918. The complex was designed by architect Raphael Israelyan and sculptor Ara Haroutyunyan. The complex consists of a bell-tower, “Path of heroes’, bas-relief Victory Wall, the Ethnographic museum and two giant statues of bulls at the entrance to the Memorial Park. These bulls symbolize the titanic strength. Stairways lead up to the square dominated by a 35-meter high stone bell tower. On the background of Mount Ararat one can hear the bells tolling.
St. Echmiadzin (Holy See). Cathedral of (UNESCO World Heritage).
This oldest Christian temple was founded in 301 and is one of the first churches in the Christian World. Holy Mass takes place on Sundays in the Cathedral. It is an architectural monument of early Christianity. It houses a unique museum of religious artefacts. There is a small altar in the centre of the Cathedral where, according to legend, Christ descended from Heaven and with a golden hammer pointed to the site upon which the Cathedral was to be built. The remnants of a pagan temple have been discovered during excavations made inside the Cathedral.
Return to Yerevan. Vernissage.
Overnight in Yerevan.
5th day YEREVAN – KHOR VIRAP – NORAVANK – ARENI WINE VILLAGE – YEREVAN
Breakfast at hotel.
A fantastic tour dedicated to exploration of Southern Armenia combining the magic of Armenia’s finest medieval architecture with stunning landscapes by driving through the agricultural heart of Armenia. Our first stop will be at the Khor Virap Monastery – the most important place of pilgrimage of Armenia. St. Gregory the Illuminator – the first Catholic of all Armenians, had been imprisoned in “Khor Virap” (deep dungeon) for 13 years. From here you get a unique view of the holy Armenian mountain Ararat (5165m.), on which (according to the Bible) Noah’s ark landed after the World flood.
As soon as we pass the Ararat Plain we can experience the untamed beauty of Southern Armenia – surreal red rocks providing an eerie echo, honey-colored villages sandwiched between them. Continue to the previous residence of Syunik’s bishops – Noravank monastery, nestled at the edge of the narrow gorge in the impressive mountainous landscape with peculiar red hanging rocks. The structure distinguishes by a unique harmony of architectural forms and decorations.
On the way back to Yerevan visit to the winery in the village Areni, wine tasting made from the endemic grapes.
Return to Yerevan. Evening free. Overnight in Yerevan.