Detailed program





PRICE: € 1995

Thursday 26/5 Departure
Friday 27/5 Arrival in Yerevan will be early morning and there is time to catch some sleep.
  After a brunch at the hotel, we will explore the city on foot and there will be some free time before we will enjoy our dinner (included) at a local restaurant, famous for its Armenian dishes and live music.
Saturday 28/5 9.00 This day offers you an opportunity to visit the Vernisage, a weekend market in Yerevan. Craftsmen sell their products and it is a good place to buy souvenirs.
If you don't want to go shopping, there are many interesting museums to visit. Simply enjoying a drink on one of the many terraces in the green ring of parks which crosses Yerevan is also very relaxing and raises associations with a Mediterranean atmosphere.
  18.30 We visit another charming restaurant to have dinner together (included).
Sunday 29/5 9.30 Today we will visit the ruins of Zvartnots, where the remnants of richly ornamented arches laying on the ground bear witness to its reputation as a masterpiece of medieval architecture. From Zvartnots we drive further to Edsmiadzin.
Many Armenians visit Edsmiadzin on Sunday, and we will be able to observe part of Sunday mass at the Mother Cathedral while listening to soaring, moving songs of the church choir. It is the seat of the Armenian Apostolic Church and spiritual centre of all Armenians all over the world. Inside the beautifully decorated cathedral we can admire the work of the famous painter Hovnathan, dating from 1720.
Back in Yerevan you will have free time to do some further exploration of the city.
Optional: there might be a performance of the Tatul Altunian Song and Dance Ensemble. In that case we will visit the performance and dinner time will be adjusted. Dinner will be included.
Monday 30/5 8.00 After breakfast we check out and depart at 9.00 o’clock towards Sisian situated in the east of Armenia, passing the valley of impressive mount Ararat and wine village of Areni.
Not far from there we take a turn to a winding road through a canyon. At the end of this road, located on a plateau and surrounded by an impressive landscape lies Noravank Monastery. Although Armenia has an abundance of religious monuments, Noravank ranks to one of the top locations because of its location, unique decorations and size.
We will have lunch at the bottom of the canyon (not included) and continue our way to Sisian, where we will have dinner at the hotel (included).
Tuesday 31/5 Today there is the opportunity to enjoy the beautiful nature in this part of Armenia. After breakfast we will depart around 9.00 o’clock towards the east. Slightly beyond the city of Goris the caves of ancient Khundzoresk are sited.
An extensive walk through this bizarre-looking landscape of rocky points with caves really gives a good impression of the vastness. In the late 19th century up to 4000 people lived here.
  After lunch (not included) we drive back towards Sisian and visit Karahountj, a circular arrangement of 204 stones with holes in them which is similar to England's Stonehenge, but older. It is believed to have been an observatory dating back to roughly 1000 BC. This is yet another place with its own particular natural beauty.
Dinner will be at the hotel (included).
Wednesday 1/6 8.30 Check out.
    Our journey takes us slowly along several sights towards Yerevan, clearly showing that Armenia was part of the Silk Road. Along the way we stop in Yegheknadzor and take a short walk to a bridge that was located on the old trade route. Before we turn to the north towards lake Sevan, there is time for lunch (not included). An imposing mountain scenery unfolds and we climb higher and higher. At an altitude of 2400 meters lies Selim Caravanserai, where time seems to have stood still. This 14th century inn was an important resting place for the Silk Road traders and silent witness of this period. We reach the southern coast of lake Sevan, where a small village is located with some historic 19th century homes, found only here. Our host tells us all about the history.
Following the shoreline of the lake in a northward direction, we will reach Noraduz, an ancient cemetery famous for its impressive number of old Khatchkars (carved stone crosses) from the 9th and 10th century.
Early in the evening we arrive at our hotel in Yerevan.
No dinner is served and the evening is free after this day with many travel impressions.
Thursday 2/6 10.00 Visit to Garni temple and Geghard monastery, famous sightseeing spots. Impressive nature surrounds these ancient constructions. Garni temple was built in the 1st century AD by an Armenian king and dedicated to the God of the Sun. It is the only remnant from pagan times in the entire former Soviet Union.
The monastery of Geghard is on the UNESCO world heritage list. Part of it is carved right into the solid rock and is an incomparable work of art.
  During our sightseeing we will enjoy lunch (not included) and late afternoon we will be back in Yerevan.
On foot or by subway we will go to a local restaurant (time to be announced). Dinner is included.
Friday 3/6   Today is a partially free day. If you don’t enjoy shopping, the Matenadaran (Old Manuscripts Museum) can be an interesting place to visit. Likewise worth a visit are the Historical Museum, the Museum of Russian painters, the Cascade etc. A short drive by taxi can take you to the Genocide monument or to Erebuni. Erebuni is the foundation of a fortress and the founding of the city of Yerevan (782 BC). It has a small but very interesting museum with English explanation of the artefacts.
  14.30 Our tour will lead us to Talin, a small town in the northwest part of Armenia. Many immigrants from the former West Armenian region of Sasoun (nowadays in Turkish Anatolia) settled around the city of Talin after the genocide. We will meet with a local dance group, which has managed to keep its dance heritage alive for almost a century. This visit offers us the chance to enjoy the company of the villagers and to meet with Armenian hospitality and toasting habits at first hand.
Besides freshly baked lavash we will undoubtedly enjoy other locally made products, so don’t eat too much at lunch time.
Back in Yerevan, free night. No dinner provided
Saturday 4/6 9.00 We will check out for an extended trip of three days which allows us to explore the diversity of Armenia’s landscapes. A good opportunity to discover more regions and ancient monuments.
Our first stop will be at Lake Sewan, where we will stay overnight at the lakeshore in apartments, which are part of the Harsnaqar hotel complex. Sewan lies at a height of 2000 metres and is surrounded by mountains 3000 metres high. Guided tour to the top of rocky Aghtamar Peninsula, where (after climbing over 200 steps) you have a splendid view over this huge lake. Amidst the scenery there are two churches.
You can enjoy a coffee/lunch at the restaurant on the lakeshore (not included).
  19.00 Check in at our (shared) apartments and free time to walk along the shore of the lake or to explore the nearby village.
Dinner at the hotel (included).
Sunday 5/6 8.15 Breakfast and check out at 9.00 o’clock. We continue our tour towards the north and after passing a tunnel the landscape changes into a lush forested region. Visit to Goshavank monastery, an important cultural center in the 12th and 13th century. The exterior decoration of the church is very rich, and the carving is so perfect that the overall impression is that of openwork lace.
We will continue our way and will stay overnight in an apartment complex on the mountain slopes north of Idjevan.
This remote spot allows us to enjoy Armenian nature and is a perfect place to relax. We will enjoy a lunch. All meals are made with local products that are in season (included) and many products are home grown.
Optional: a hike or time to relax. Dinner will be at the complex.
Monday 6/6 8.30 Breakfast.
Depending on everybody's mood and physical abilities, we have the option to hike to a cave with carvings and a waterfall (approx. 4 hrs both ways) or enjoy shorter hikes.
Everybody is free to choose an activity or stay behind and enjoy a good book.
Horseback riding/sauna is available upon request at an additional charge.
Lunch (included) will be served when we return from our walk or can be taken as a packed lunch.
Ready to enjoy another taste of pure food during dinner.


Tuesday 7/6 8.00 Breakfast and check out at 9.00 o’clock to return to Yerevan, where we will arrive early afternoon.
Free time to enjoy the Mediterranean atmosphere of Yerevan for the last time.
19.00 Farewell dinner
Wednesday 8/6 Early morning departure
If available, we will attend a concert or dance performance.
Performances are announced about two weeks in advance on billboards near Opera Square.