If you love nature, history, organic food, COOKING and WINE then this tour is for you!!!

FOOD - Armenian cuisine is one of the most ancient on Earth and its preparation techniques today remain almost the same as 1500 years ago. Armenians use a great variety of ingredients in their traditional dishes. Fish, diverse types of meats and numerous sorts of fruits and vegetables, combined with also a great number of condiments, lead to the uniqueness of the Armenian cuisine, both in taste and in look. Each dish served here is a masterpiece cooked after age-old family recipes valued for their unforgettable original taste and nourishing value as well as for the prescribed peculiar cooking techniques intensifying the value of each part.

WINE - The slopes of the Caucasus Mountains and the Armenian Plateau are the world’s oldest winemaking sites. The Armenian village of Areni is home to the remains of the planet’s oldest winery that operated 6,100 years ago. Today, Armenia is experiencing a genuine winemaking renaissance: as traditional methods are reimagined with modern technologies, new wineries and enotecas are spreading like wildfire, rare

indigenous varieties of grapes are being cultivated, and traditional methods are once again in use alongside modern ones; Caucasian wines can even be found among elite wine lists.

Tour Highlights

  • Explore the top best attractions of Armenia in stunning natural sites, villages frozen in time with hospitable and friendly locals

  • See the planet’s oldest winery (6100 years old) in Areni-1 Cave and taste wines from the oldest wine region in the world – Areni village

  • 7 cooking classes of the most delicious authentic Armenian dishes and sweets in unique heritage houses, simple local homes or trendy restaurants by outstanding chefs

  • Premium wine tasting and tour in 4 of Armenia’s best wineries during which we meet winemakers

  • Visit the most beautiful rock-cut monastery in the world – Geghard (UNESCO site)

  • See the highest peak in Trans-Caucasus – Mount Aragats (4094 m) 

  • Taste the famous Armenian cognac “Ararat”

  • See Yerevan, a dynamic modern European city yet known as one of the oldest cities in the world founded in 782 B.C. There are hundreds of local cafes, wine-houses and restaurants spread all over the sidewalks that will give you a chance to taste the local cuisine, beer, wine and famous Armenian cognac, known as the best in the world

Itinerary in brief 
Day 1:
 Arrival. Airport pick-up and transfer to Yerevan.
Day 2: Yerevan City Tour. Visit the city highlights and hidden gems. Food Bazaar. Cooking master class at Megerian Carpet Factory. “Noy Ararat” Brandy-Wine Factory tour & tasting.
Day 3: Amberd Castle on Mount Aragats (4094m), Saghmosavank monastery. Lunch & cooking master class with a local in a 19th century Heritage House in a small village. Voskevaz Winery Tour & premium wine tasting.
Day 4: Garni royal fortress and Hellenistic Temple, Geghard Monastery carved out of a solid rock (UNESCO). Armenian traditional bread "lavash" making and lunch with wine in a local house. Cooking class. Azat Canyon with hexagonal basalt rock formations called “Symphony of Stones”. O/n in Yerevan.
Day 5: Khor Virap Monastery near snow-capped Mount Ararat (5165 m), Areni -1 Cave & the oldest winery in the world. Cooking class & lunch. Winery tour & wine tasting in Areni village. Noravank Monastery. O/n in Hermon.
Day 6: Follow the Great Silk Road to visit the Orbelian Caravanserai, Lake Sevan, Noraduz – the largest forest of exquisite “stone-crosses”. Visit a local making cheese aged in wine. Fish barbecue from the lake. Sevanavank Monastery. Yerevan.
Day 7: Echmiadzin, the "Vatican city" of Armenia. Tour of Echmiadzin Cathedral, St. Hripsime church. Zvartnots ruins. All of them are UNESCO sites. Cooking class & lunch with a charming host in a village. Tour & wine tasting at “Armenia Wine”, the biggest winery in Trans-Caucasus.
Day 8: Transfer to Zvartnots Airport. Departure.

 
 

Rates & Departures

Please contact us to get your quote

* The minimum number of the group is 6 persons - Max. is 10 persons

Guaranteed Departures:

Group #1: May 20-27

Group #2: Jun 20-27

Group #3: Jul 20-27

Group #4: Sep 20-27

Group #5: Oct 20-27

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Price of the private tours in USD based on DBL/TWIN room occupancy:

*Single Supplement is the additional amount applied to the cost of the trip to those who are travelling solo and do not wish to share.

Notes:
* Other hotels are available on request ( 4 or 5 star hotels)
* The tour is free of charge for children under 5 years old
* 50% discount for children from 6 to 10 years old with extra bed in room

 

What's Included!

Included

  • Accommodation at hotel in DBL/Twin rooms (7 nights)

  • Transportation with a comfortable cars with AC

  • English speaking guide

  • Breakfast at the hotel

  • Entrance fees to all visited places

  • Armenian bread Lavash making in a local house in Garni village

  • Wine & Congac tastings

  • 5 Cooking master classes

  • 6 Lunches during the tours and 1 dinner in Hermon

  • Airport transfers

  • Local taxes

Not Included

  • Dinners in Yerevan

  • Flights

  • Travel insurance

  • Visa to Armenia (if required)

  • Single room supplement

  • Bank transfer fees

 

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival

Airport pick-up and transfer to Yerevan.

 

Day 2: Yerevan City Tour – Megerian Carpet Factory & Cooking Class – Noy Ararat Brandy

Today you explore the secrets and hidden gems of Yerevan, the pink “pearl” of Armenia, a beautiful European city mostly built with different shades of local pink stone called "tuf" quarried in Armenia. Founded in 782 B.C. Yerevan is reputedly one of the oldest cities in the world to have been continuously inhabited.

We start the exploration with the "Victory Park" and "Mother Armenia" monument offering a "bird's-eye" view of the city with the fantastic view of the majestic snow-capped Mount Ararat (5165m) dominating the skyline. Continue to the colossal monument of Cascade and Cafesjian Center for the Arts which includes a world-class sculpture garden and indoor modern art museum with works from Botero, Chihuly, Arshile Gortky, Jennifer Bartlett, Lynn Chadwick, Barry Flanegan and Jaume Plensa and many others. 

Exploring the Republic Square, Abovyan Street, one of the oldest streets in Yerevan which used to be a part of the Great Silk Road, we walk down the Northern Avenue and arrive at the Freedom Square, the home of the Opera and Ballet Theatre (architect A. Tamanian). The design and layout of the building was awarded with Grand Prix in 1936 World Exhibition in Paris.

Tour of  "Goom" bazaar of Yerevan, a real museum of food with pyramids of fresh and dried fruits stuffed with different kinds of nuts, honey, cinnamon and other spices, colorful strings of "sweet sujukh", orange beads of dried peaches(“alani”) stuffed with walnuts, piles of "lavash" traditional Armenian bread, many kinds of cheeses some of them aged in clay pots, pickles, beans and other organic products offered by local farmers. Lunch with a cooking class after which we visit Megerian Carpet Factory. Thereafter we visit "Noy" Wine-Vodka-Brandy factory. Built in 1877 and made famous by the entrepreneur Nikolay Shustov prior to the Russian October Revolution, the factory not only produces premium cognac, but also has an unrivaled wine cellar, complete with wines that are ca. 100years old. Our degustation will include their best cognac and one kind of the oldest wines from 1944.

Overnight in Yerevan

Tour duration: 6/7 hours

Meal plan (B-L)

  

Day 3: Amberd Castle – Saghmosavank – Heritage House (cooking class) – Voskevaz Winery

Drive towards Mount Aragats (4090m), the highest peak of Armenia and Trans-Caucasus. Visit Amberd Castle ("castle in the cloud"), a fitting name given to it because of its elevation at 2300m. Breathtaking views of the castle and its citadel, snow covered peaks of Aragats, sun scorched grasslands dressed in wild flowers combine to provide an unforgettable experience this morning. On the way we can stop to take a photo of high-mountain camps of friendly Yezidi people who tend their sheep under the towering peaks of Aragats. Photo stop at "Armenian Letters" park. Visit Saghmosavak ("Psalm Monastery") perched on the edge of Kasakh Canyon.

*Lunch in a charming 19th century village house now listed as a Heritage House, where our hostess will treat us with authentic and tasty food prepared by old Armenian recipes and we will make “dolma”, a hot dish prepared with grape leaves stuffed with meat, rice, herbs and spices...).

Later we drive to Voskevaz Winery, a property with a long history founded in 1932. In the territory of the winery there is a real medieval town with its city hall, tavern and even a bazaar. The whole place reminds of a movie decoration for a fairy-tale or a legend. The frescoes, the bas-relieves, the painting of the complex are the works of a famous American Armenian painter Gagik Oganesyan whose brother David is the owner of the winery. There are over 30 old amphorae the oldest of them dating back to 1899. After touring the place we'll taste 2 kinds of classic wines and 3 kinds of aged wines. 

Overnight in Yerevan

Tour duration: 7/8 hours

Distance: 135 km

Meal plan (B-L)

  

Day 4: Yerevan – Garni - Geghard – Azat Canyon “Symphony of Stones” - Yerevan

We drive to Garni Fortress, the royal summer residence of the Armenian kings and visit Garni Temple of the Sun, the only standing Hellenistic temple in the Caucasus and the former USSR. It resembles Parthenon in Greece but its dimensions are smaller as it was built only for the Armenian royal family to worship the Sun God.

We continue to Geghard Monastery (UNESCO), the most beautiful rock-cut medieval monastery in the world with its fascinating natural setting and decorative art carved inside the solid rock.  It is the only place in Armenia where you can see a large number of the Armenian exquisite lace-type cross-stones carved on the rocks. 

*Lunch in a local house in Garni village where you sample local dishes with home-made wine.

*Master class of traditional Armenian bread “lavash” being baked in tonir (underground oven). The preparation, meaning and appearance of traditional bread as an expression of culture in Armenia has been inscribed on UNESCO’s Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage on Humanity. After a hearty lunch we will explore the most surreal site in Armenia, the stunning Garni Gorge where you can marvel at basalt rock formations - columns looking like honeycombs or pencils. The site stretches for a kilometer along the river...

Meal plan (B-/L-)

Tour duration: 6/7 hours

Driving distance: 90 KM

Overnight in Yerevan

 

Day 5: Mount Ararat & Khor Virap Monastery – Areni 1 cave – Noravank Monastery - Winery Tour – Hermon 

Today is a long but fascinating day! It is dedicated to exploration of Southern Armenia combining the magic of Armenia's finest medieval architecture with stunning landscapes.  Our first stop is at Khor Virap Monastery, one of the most popular destinations in Armenia for a number of reasons, primarily because it is where St. Gregory the Illuminator was imprisoned for 13 years before curing King Trdat III of a disease. This caused the conversion of the king and Armenia into the first officially Christian nation in the world in the year 301. Its location, near the closest point to biblical Mount Ararat within Armenian borders, offers a spectacular view of the mountain, the national symbol of Armenia.

We continue to the south driving through the agricultural heartland of Armenia, Ararat Plain offering fantastic scenery of fruit orchards, endless vineyards at the foothills of Ararat Mountain. As soon as we pass the Ararat Valley we can experience the untamed beauty of Southern Armenia - surreal red rocks providing an eerie echo, honey-colored villages sandwiched between them.

Our next stop is the Monastery of Noravank, an architectural gemstone nestled among brick-red cliffs, just above a deep gorge. It’s only here where you can see a bas-relief with the representation of Father God with almond-shaped eyes which look far ahead.

*Cooking class during which we will make the most beloved Armenian pastry – “gata” and we will have a fabulous lunch with stunning views. We will taste the cuisine of Vayots Dzor region - local cheese and yogurt, salads prepared with organic and fresh herbs and vegetables growing in Armenia, and chicken barbecue from “tonir” oven is our main dish today followed by “gata” as a dessert (made by us!) with tea/coffee.

Visit Areni, the village of winemakers. We will tour of the world-class archaeological site, the cave complex Areni-1 to see the oldest winery in the world (6100 years old)!

We drive to the best local winery to taste their blow-your-socks off Areni (a deep, full-bodied red) wines made according to traditional wine making techniques used in Armenia thousands of years ago, including the fermentation in terracotta vessels, called “karas” in Armenian.

Drive to Hermon village, in a valley of mesmerizing beauty. Hotel check-in.

Meal plan (B-/L-)

Tour duration: 8 hours

Driving distance: 175 KM

Overnight in Hermon village

 

Day 6. Silk Road & Orbelian Caravanserai, Lake Sevan, Noratus Stone-crosses – Cheese making – Sevanavank - Yerevan

After a hearty breakfast with so many organic products we drive through Vardenyats Mountain Pass famous for its fascinating colorful mountains. AT the highest point of the pass we visit the Orbelian’s Caravanserai along the Great Silk Road where you’ll see some remains of the real old road, small medieval  bridges, hundreds of fresh water springs gushing from the rocks. Here little has changed since the fourteenth century. The caravanserai offered hospitality to travelers along the highway crossing the Vardenyats mountains. Visit the Stone Garden - Noraduz, the largest field of Armenian exquisite cross-stones in the world dating from the 9-17th centuries.

Drive to Gavar town in Gegharkunik province. There we are going to visit Mikayelyan Family Farm where we will have an excursion in the farm, we will do a cheese-making master class and tasting. Our cheese tasting will include wine and a plate of 9 types of cheeses including cheeses aged in wine and cognac, fruits, jam, crackers and etc.

We continue driving to Lake Sevan, the world’s second largest high-altitude lake at 1900 m above sea level. Marvel at stunning turquoise waters of the Lake Sevan and dramatic mountain scenery after climbing up the peninsula hill where we visit the 9th century Sevanavank Monastery (optional, over 240 steps to get there).

*Lunch in Sevan during which you we taste fish barbecue from the lake.

Drive to Yerevan.

Meal plan (B-/L-)

Tour duration: 8 hours

Driving distance: 240 KM

Overnight in Yerevan

 

Day 7: Yerevan – Echmiadzin – Zvartnots – Cooking Class – Armenia Winery – Yerevan 

Today we embark on our journey to the lands of ancient treasures of Christian history…Vatican City of Armenia, Holy Echmiadzin with its world’s earliest Christian churches included in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Visit Echmiadzin Mother Cathedral originally built by Saint Gregory the Illuminator in 301-303 A.D., when Armenia became the first officially Christian state in the world. Continue to St. Hripsime Church built in 7th century, a masterpiece of early medieval Armenian architecture.

Also visit the Ruins of Zvartnots Cathedral, a majestic cathedral dedicated to St. Gregory. The remnants of Zvartnots, even in ruins, are a majestic sight...

*Lunch in a local village house with a famous who will show us how to make the Armenian spaghetti “arishta” and “sweet sujukh” – traditional Armenian dessert made from stringed walnuts dipped into grape molasses.

Afterwards we tour Armenia Wine, the largest winery in Trans-Caucasus. The winery building reminds of a medieval Armenian fortress the facade of which is coated with polished orange tufa stone and national Armenian ornamental art. Premium wine tasting.

Overnight in Yerevan

Meal plan (B-/L)

Distance: 120 KM

Duration:  6/7 hours

 

Day 8: Departure

Hotel check-out. Transfer to Zvartnots International Airport.

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