If you’d like to step back in time without ever leaving the present, Amistad Tour’s cultural tours of Armenia are designed just for you. Our tours are developed to give you a deep understanding and appreciation for this ancient land, it’s people, and their customs.
While every tour is customized to the interests of each group, our tours can take you from the lush forests and ancient monasteries in the north like Haghpat, Sanahin, and Samosavank, to the 4000m+ mountain peaks, Lake Sevan, and ancient fortresses like Amberd in the center of Armenia, to the ancient wineries in Areni, to the world’s longest open-span tramway on the way to Tatev Monastery,and the ghost towns, walnut groves and mysteries of Nagorno Karabagh.
If exploring the past is your passion, let Amistad Tours design an historical tour of Armenia just for you.
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Arrival assistance at the airport and transfer to the hotel. Accommodation.
If you have time, we recommend a small tour through the capital, Yerevan. It is an ancient city founded in 782 B.C., but with a vibrant, modern buzz.
Visit the impressive Republic Square surrounded by beautiful buildings, the Central Post Office, the National Gallery beautiful musical fountains, and some excellent shopping.
If you want to taste traditional Armenian cuisine an excellent option is the Kilikia Restaurant. At night we recommend you visit Yerevan’s best jazz club, Mezzo, where the country's best bands and singers perform.
After breakfast on Day 2, we will continue our organized city tour. After a stroll down Northern Avenue, Yerevan’s new pedestrian street, we will arrive at the Freedom Square, the home of the Opera and Ballet Theatre (architect A. Tamanian). The design and layout of the building were presented at the 1936 World Exhibition in Paris and awarded with Grand Prix. Not far from the opera is the Cascade. The Cascade is a monumental sculpture garden, art museum, and staircase. Along with a monument to the great A. Tamanian, the Cascade houses the Cafesjian Center for the Arts, which includes a world-class sculpture garden and indoor modern art museum. With works from Botero, Chihuly, Arshile Gorky, Jennifer Bartlett, Lynn Chadwick, Barry Flanagan, and Jaume Plensa, and many others.
From the Cascade, we’ll travel to the Armenian Genocide History Museumand the Tsitsernakaberd Memorial (a monument dedicated to the victims of the Armenian Genocide, the first genocide of the 20th century which claimed the lives of 1.5 million Armenians).
We’ll follow this up with a visit to one of Yerevan’s true treasures: the Matenadaran. In the sphere of ancient manuscripts, the Matenadaran is one of the richest deposits of manuscripts and documents in the world. There are over 17,000 ancient manuscripts preserved, covering all areas of Armenian culture.
For dinner, our guests are left to discover the delights of Yerevan for them selves, before retiring to their hotel.
Yerevan – Khor Virap – Noravank
After breakfast we’ll depart to the legendary monastery of KhorVirap (4-12th centuries). Khor Virap is the place where the founder of the Armenian Church was imprisoned for 13 long years until Christianity bécame the oficial religion in 301 A.D.
From there we’ll continue to the Vayots Dzor región and stop in the village of Areni, the heart of Armenia’s wine country, to visit a local winery for wine tasting. From there we’ll continue to the Noravank monastery (13-14th centuries), whose name means "new monastery”. This is the only church in the country that contains the representation of God the Father, under the symbol of the Holy Spirit, who blesses with one hand the crucifix and in the other hand holds the head of Adam.
After a return to Yerevan, our guests will have the evening free.
Haghpat and Sanahin Monasteries
After breakfast, we’ll head north to visit the Haghpat Monastery and the Sanahin Monastery (10-13th centuries), both are UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The monasteries are located in two neighboring villages located on the same mid-mountain plain, but separated by a deep gorge.
We’ll have lunch at a local restaurant where you will taste traditional Armenian barbecue with a great variety of salads.
We’ll return for dinner and an overnight in Yerevan
Dilijan and Lake Sevan
After breakfast, we’ll travel to the resort town of Dilijan to visit two terrific monastic complexes. First we’ll visit Goshavank (12-13th centuries, located in beautiful and rocky Guetik valley). Thereafter we’ll visit Haghartsin, which was built by architect Minas in 1248 A.D. and features lavish decorations of carved stone. The main church is typical of churches built between the tenth and thirteenth centuries.
From Dilijan we’ll head to Lake Sevan. It is the largest lake in Armenia and one of the largest high alpine lakes in the world. Here we’ll visit see the Monastery of the Holy Apostles, called Sevanavank, which was founded in 874 A.D. by Princess Mariam Bagratuni.
We’ll have lunch at the Ashot Erkat Restaurant, located on the lake shore and featuring magnificent panoramic views. After lunch, we’ll take a short sail on a replica of the ancient ship the Kilikia to have a broader view of the lake.
We’ll finish the day by heading to Yerevan. Dinner will be at the Noyan Tun restaurant, which is a French gourmand’s delight. At Noyan Tun you can taste a great variety of seafood and meats, all prepared on a special grill made of volcanic stone. Noyan Tun also features wine from France, as well as from the Old and New Worlds.
Overnight at a hotel in Yerevan.
Garni, Geghard, and Echmiadzin
After breakfast, we’ll then drive to the Kotayk region. On the way, we’ll stop at the Charents Arch, named after the great Armenian Poet. Here there is a spectacular view of Mt. Ararat (weather permitting). Then, will proceed to visit the Geghard Monestary, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Geghard was founded in the IV century by Gregory the Illuminator around a spring in a cave and carved from the rock.
Afterwards we’ll visit to the pagan temple Garni (1st century A.D.) and the fortress (2nd century B.C.) in the village of Garni.
There will then be a visit to the Greco-Roman Garni Temple, a pagan temple (1stc. A.D.) and the fortress (2nd c. B.C.) in Garni village. The visit includes an opportunity to listen to a capellaconcertin the natural acoustic hall of Garni and is followed by a khorovats (barbeque) prepared in a traditional tondir. Our guest will also see the process of making Armenian bread (lavash) at the home of an Armenian family.
After lunch we’ll depart for Etchmiadzin to visit the Echmiadzin Cathedral which was constructed in 303 A.D. and is the first church built in the world. It continues to be the oldest church in Christianity. According to the Annals of S. V, St. Gregory had a vision of Christ descending from heaven and striking the Earth with a golden hammer to show where the new cathedral was to be erected.
We’ll also visit other famous churches in cluding the Church of St. Hripsime (618 AD) and The Church of St. Gayane (630 AD). Etchmiadzin is the residence of the Catholicos, the head of the Armenian Apostolic Church.
Finally, we’ll visit the Zvartnots Cathedral. It was a circular cathedral of the 7th century.
Check-out. Transfer to the airport. Departure.