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12 nights
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Treasures of Armenia

An escorted tour discovering the cultural & scenic wonders of Armenia combined with a two night stay in Kiev, Ukraine

  • 16 June 2020
  • 8 September 2020
  • History and Culture
  • Hellenic temple at Garni

Landlocked Armenia boasts beautiful scenery, a fascinating and diverse cultural history and some exquisite churches and monasteries. This comprehensive escorted tour will explore the many facets of this ancient land as well as include ample time at leisure to enjoy the lively café culture of the capital city, Yerevan, one of the world’s oldest inhabited cities and home to numerous museums.

Some thirty years before Rome was founded, Yerevan was an important stop along the caravan routes from Asia to Europe and over the years has been invaded by Assyrians, Romans, Byzantines, Persians, Arabs, Seljuks, Mongols, the Turks and later by the Soviet Red Army, making for a captivating history with the many invading influences evident in the architecture.

Armenia was the first country in the world to adopt Christianity as its state religion and is scattered with Christian places of worship, many in stunning locations such as the Sevanavank Monastery located on the shore of Lake Sevan, the largest lake in the Caucasus, and the Etchmiadzin Cathedral, one of the oldest cathedrals in the world, both of which we will visit.

Aside from learning of the intricate cultural history of the land, we will visit the Ararat brandy factory (a reputed favourite tipple of Winston Churchill), enjoy a vocal concert and have the opportunity to interact with villagers.

Useful links & Travel Advice

Please find a selection of useful websites to refer to for information from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, on visa requirements, NHS travel health advice and other useful travel tips.  


Armenia Hotels

Armenia Hotels

We will stay in the best available hotels in the region.

View accommodation details

Itinerary

  • Symphony of Stones basalt columns and the Azat River Gorge
  • Hellenic temple at Garni

Day 1 London to Kiev, Ukraine.

Fly by scheduled flight. Arrive this evening and transfer to the Opera Hotel, Kiev for a two night stay. Dinner will be in the hotel this evening. (D)

Day 2 Kiev.

This morning enjoy a guided tour of this vibrant and friendly capital city including Pecherska Lavra and St Sophia Cathedral. Erected in 1037 by unknown architects in Russian-Byzantine style to commemorate the victory of King Yaroslav the Wise over the Petcheneg tribes, the cathedral contains a unique collection of mosaics composed of different colours and shades, and frescoes on religious and secular themes. (B, L)

Day 3 Kiev to Yerevan, Armenia.

After breakfast in the hotel transfer to the airport for the scheduled flight to Yerevan, Armenia. Arrive this afternoon and check in to the Grand Hotel, our base for the next five nights. Enjoy time to settle in before our welcome dinner in a local restaurant this evening. (B, D)

Day 4 Yerevan.

After breakfast we will explore the Armenian capital, Yerevan. During our city tour see Republic Square, Abovyan Street and City Park and visit the Genocide Memorial and the museum dedicated to the victims of the Great Genocide that took place in 1915. Also visit the Cascade which houses the Cafesjian Centre for the Arts, dedicated to bringing contemporary art from all over the world to Armenia and presenting the best of Armenian culture to the world. After lunch visit the History Museum. Enjoy dinner this evening in a local restaurant with authentic Armenian cuisine. (B, L, D)

Day 5 Yerevan.

Today we further explore Yerevan starting with a visit to Matenadaran, a museum and scientific institute of ancient manuscripts which holds one of the world’s richest collections of Medieval manuscripts and books spanning a broad range of historical and cultural subjects. We continue to the Carpet Museum where specially trained weavers demonstrate traditional methods of Armenian carpet making. For lunch, enjoy a selection of Armenian cuisine before visiting a brandy factory. Brandy is a strong part of Armenian culture and heritage and has been for generations. Learn the local processes they use and special grape varieties chosen, finishing with a tasting of the local produce. (B, L)

Day 6 Etchmiadzin & Zvartnots.

This morning following breakfast we make our way to the city of Etchmiadzin. The main cathedral, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is reputed to be one of the world’s oldest cathedrals and is a special place of pilgrimage for all Armenians around the world. After a tour of the cathedral enjoy a special authentic lunch hosted by an Armenian family. On our return journey to Yerevan we will stop en-route at Zvartnots Cathedral. Built in the 7th century AD, this UNESCO World Heritage Site is today unfortunately in ruins, but even in ruins it reflects its unique architectural value and is still an impressive sight. (B, L)

Day 7 Khor Virap & Noravank.

This morning we will drive to Khor Virap Monastery which dates back to the 4th century. From here admire the beauty of Mount Ararat in the distance and also see the closed border between Turkey and Armenia located just 20 kilometres away. We will visit the chapel which was constructed over the deep dungeon where Gregory the Illuminator, the patron saint and first official head of the Armenian Apostolic Church, was imprisoned for 13 years. We then make our way towards Noravank, travelling through countryside that emerges into a scenic rocky mountainous gorge. The hot and dry climate makes this area renowned for wine making and is believed to be the location of the oldest winery, dating back 6000 years. We will visit the 13th century monastery standing high in the valley surrounded by red cliffs before enjoying lunch in a local restaurant. (B, L)

Day 8 Sevan Lake & Dilijan.

Today we make our way to Dilijan, commonly known by locals as the small Switzerland of Armenia. The town is surrounded by dense forest with surprisingly rich vegetation and offers a cool and refreshing climate to the arid surrounds. En-route visit Sevanavank Monastery, originally made from three churches the monastery was built on an island on Sevan Lake. The island monastery was, according to historians of the time, used both for worship and pilgrimage and as a place of exile for Armenian noblemen who had fallen into disgrace. The receding waters in the 20th century created the current peninsula you see today. Enjoy a scenic panoramic view of the lake and transfer to Dilijan where we will enjoy lunch before continuing to the Haghartsin Monastery, beautifully nestled in the heart of the forest. Later check in to the Best Western Paradise Hotel for a two night stay. Dinner will be in the hotel this evening. (B, L, D)

Day 9 Dilijan & Molokan Village.

Following a leisurely breakfast embark on a short walking tour of the quaint town of Dilijan before driving to see the 13th century Goshavank monastic complex that is named after Mkhitar Gosh, a prominent writer, lawyer and author of the Code of Law. We will have a late lunch in a Molokan village at one of the local houses where we can learn of the lifestyle of the village people. Dinner will be in the hotel this evening. (B, L, D)

Day 10 Ashtarak & Yerevan.

After breakfast drive to Ashtarak, passing through Vanadzor, the 3rd largest city in Armenia, where you can still see traces of the Soviet Union times. In Ashtarak visit the 13th century Saghmosavank Monastery that received its name from the religious ecclesiastical songs performed in the monastery. Following a local lunch we will continue to Yerevan and check in to the Grand Hotel for a three night stay. Enjoy dinner in a local restaurant this evening. (B, L, D)

Day 11 Geghard & Garni.

After breakfast we drive to the Geghard Cave Monastery, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that is partially carved out of the adjacent mountain, assuring the great acoustics of this sacred place. We will enjoy a vocal concert of Medieval Armenian songs inside the cave. A short transfer takes us to Garni village, where during lunch we will enjoy traditional Armenian cuisine. After lunch we will visit the Garni pagan temple, built in the 1st century AD and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Sited on a hillside high above the Azat River, Garni is the only pagan temple that remains in Armenia after the adoption of Christianity. Inside we will enjoy a special Duduk performance, the national musical instrument made of apricot tree. (B, L)

Day 12 Aragatsotn Wine Region & Yerevan.

This morning we stop at a local food market before driving to the region of Aragatsotn to visit a winery. The volcanic soil in the region is rich in minerals and properties that, along with the ample sunshine, makes the perfect climate for growing grapes. Visit the picturesque wine estate set against the backdrop of the inspiring Mount Ararat, Ara and Aragats and enjoy a wine tasting of different varieties and lunch. Return to Yerevan for some time at leisure. This evening our farewell dinner will be held at a local restaurant. (B, L, D)

Day 13 Yerevan to London.

After breakfast transfer to the airport for our return scheduled indirect flight to London. (B)

  • Khor Virap Monastery and Mount Ararat
  • Ruins of Zvarnots Cathedral
  • Vineyards of the Aragatsotn region

Dates and Prices

Prices per person based on double occupancy
16 to 28 June 2020 • 8 to 20 September 2020
Category Price
Twin £2995
Single £3495

Tour Reference Code: LAARMEN160620, LAARMEN080920

PRICE INCLUDES: Economy class scheduled air travel • 12 nights hotel accommodation as described • Meals as indicated (B-Breakfast, L-Lunch, D-Dinner) • Excursions • English-speaking local guide • Entrance Fees • Noble Caledonia Tour Manager • Gratuities • Transfers.

Not Included: Travel insurance.

Group Size: We are restricting the group size to just 25 participants.

NB. We have planned the itinerary to be less strenuous than most to the region, however, please note that the tour will involve being on your feet for long periods and some long drives. Many of the sites are reached by uneven steps without handrails. To best enjoy your experiences in Armenia, you should be in good physical condition.

Armenia Hotels

We will stay in the best available hotels in the region.

 
  • Opera Hotel - Kiev
  • Best Western Paradise Hotel, Dilijan
    Grand Hotel, Yerevan, Armenia
  • Grand Hotel Yerevan - Swimming Pool
    Grand Hotel Yerevan - Swimming Pool
  • Grand Hotel Yerevan - Standard Double Room
    Grand Hotel Yerevan - Standard Double Room
  • Grand Hotel Yerevan - Spa
    Grand Hotel Yerevan - Spa
  • Best Western Paradise Hotel, Dilijan
    Best Western Paradise Hotel, Dilijan, Armenia
  • Opera Hotel, Kiev, Ukraine

    Ideally located in the heart of Kiev, the 140 room boutique Opera Hotel is at the crossroads of the city’s business, cultural and historical districts, housed in a turn-of-the-century architectural gem. The interior is elegantly appointed with stylish soft furnishings, with grand touches like velvet, bronze accents and chandeliers displayed throughout. The contemporary rooms are decorated in warm natural tones with high ceilings and spacious adjoining bathrooms. Facilities include free WiFi internet, in room safe, minibar, TV and air-conditioning. The hotel’s Lobby Lounge is a comfortable place to relax any time of day. Stop for a coffee in the morning, or a meal during the day. The evening brings live music, which you can enjoy with a glass of wine from the bar. The hotel’s Teatro Restaurant is refined and welcoming, offering gourmet fare influenced by the Mediterranean using the freshest ingredients. 

  • Grand Hotel, Yerevan, Armenia

    Grand Hotel Yerevan is an elegant and refined hotel perfectly located within walking distance to many attractions including the Opera and Ballet Theatre, the National Gallery, the Republic Square and Cascade. The spacious rooms are modern, complementing the building’s 1920s architecture, with contemporary furnishings and soothing colour schemes. Features include a smart TV, in room safe, tea and coffee making facilities, bathrobes and slippers, free WiFi internet and luxury amenities. The Italian-influenced restaurant, Rossini, offer delicious dishes with a cosy atmosphere where you can unwind and enjoy the panoramic view of Charles Aznavour Square. The sophisticate Dolce Vita Bar is an excellent place for a cocktail and you can enjoy live music each evening. Spend warm days in the open-air rooftop pool or relax in the hotel’s Spa Wellness Center where a range of treatments are available creating a truly luxurious experience. 

  • Best Western Paradise Hotel, Dilijan, Armenia

    Located in the picturesque resort town of Dilijan, Best Western Paradise Hotel features 60 spacious and comfortable rooms that are well appointed with free WiFi internet, TV, mini fridge and balcony that overlooks Dilijan National Park. The restaurant offers various Armenian and European dishes, whilst the bar offers a nice area to retreat in the evening. The hotel also features an indoor swimming pool and Wellness Centre with gym or sauna to relax in. 

  • View all tours
  • Opera Hotel, Kiev, Ukraine

    Ideally located in the heart of Kiev, the 140 room boutique Opera Hotel is at the crossroads of the city’s business, cultural and historical districts, housed in a turn-of-the-century architectural gem. The interior is elegantly appointed with stylish soft furnishings, with grand touches like velvet, bronze accents and chandeliers displayed throughout. The contemporary rooms are decorated in warm natural tones with high ceilings and spacious adjoining bathrooms. Facilities include free WiFi internet, in room safe, minibar, TV and air-conditioning. The hotel’s Lobby Lounge is a comfortable place to relax any time of day. Stop for a coffee in the morning, or a meal during the day. The evening brings live music, which you can enjoy with a glass of wine from the bar. The hotel’s Teatro Restaurant is refined and welcoming, offering gourmet fare influenced by the Mediterranean using the freshest ingredients. 

  • Grand Hotel, Yerevan, Armenia

    Grand Hotel Yerevan is an elegant and refined hotel perfectly located within walking distance to many attractions including the Opera and Ballet Theatre, the National Gallery, the Republic Square and Cascade. The spacious rooms are modern, complementing the building’s 1920s architecture, with contemporary furnishings and soothing colour schemes. Features include a smart TV, in room safe, tea and coffee making facilities, bathrobes and slippers, free WiFi internet and luxury amenities. The Italian-influenced restaurant, Rossini, offer delicious dishes with a cosy atmosphere where you can unwind and enjoy the panoramic view of Charles Aznavour Square. The sophisticate Dolce Vita Bar is an excellent place for a cocktail and you can enjoy live music each evening. Spend warm days in the open-air rooftop pool or relax in the hotel’s Spa Wellness Center where a range of treatments are available creating a truly luxurious experience. 

  • Best Western Paradise Hotel, Dilijan, Armenia

    Located in the picturesque resort town of Dilijan, Best Western Paradise Hotel features 60 spacious and comfortable rooms that are well appointed with free WiFi internet, TV, mini fridge and balcony that overlooks Dilijan National Park. The restaurant offers various Armenian and European dishes, whilst the bar offers a nice area to retreat in the evening. The hotel also features an indoor swimming pool and Wellness Centre with gym or sauna to relax in. 

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