1 day. Arrival in Yerevan. Settlement. Meeting at the hotel, acquaintance, discussion of the route, answers to questions. Today is a free day and you can walk around the cultural and historical places of the city of Yerevan, because this city is 28 years older than Rome.
Day 2. Yerevan - Gosh - Sevan. In the morning after a hearty breakfast, we will go to the village of Garni, where we will see a pagan temple built in the 1st century BC. We will drive into the gorge, the rocks of which consist of huge basalt pillars hanging above the ground at a height of about 50 meters. Then we go to the medieval monastery complex Goshavank. Our familiar abbot of the monastery will tell the amazing story of the founder Mkhitar Gosh, an outstanding thinker and public figure, who wrote a code of judicial laws, laid down the ideas of humanism back in the 12th century. Under him, Goshavank was not only a monastery, but also a university and scientific center, where many public figures of Armenia studied. Lunch at a national restaurant. The end point of the route of the second day is Lake Sevan, the largest lake in the Caucasus and the second largest lake in the world, located at an altitude of 1900 m above sea level. The residence of the President of Armenia is located on the lake.
Day 3 Sevan - Hermon. In the morning, after a hearty breakfast, we drive to the Sevanavank temple, located on a hill on a peninsula. The monastery offers a picturesque panoramic view of the blue waters of the lake. The Sevanavank Monastery was built on the site of an ancient pagan temple in 305. Moonstone is mined in Sevan, you will have the opportunity to purchase jewelry made by skilled Armenian craftsmen from this beautiful stone. On the way along the lake, we stop at the medieval cemetery Noratus with the largest number of khachkars in Armenia. We will stop for lunch at a restaurant where you can taste the most delicate whitefish and other dishes from the gifts of Lake Sevan. Further, the road goes through the beautiful Selim pass at an altitude of 2500 m. Previously, the Great Silk Road passed through this road, we will stop and enjoy the views in the well-preserved Selim caravanserai of the 14th century, which provided overnight accommodation for travelers centuries ago. The end point of the 4th day is the small authentic village of Ermon. Accommodation and rest in comfortable cottages with a rich infrastructure: a sauna, a large swimming pool, billiards, a shooting gallery, a telescope, a bar and a restaurant, a gym, numerous gazebos and cozy places where you can comfortably sit in a friendly circle around the fire and exchange impressions of a busy day.
Day 4. Early in the morning after a hearty Armenian breakfast we go to see the numerous sights of the Vayots Dzor region. First, we will drive to the foot of the Smbataberd fortress, to the top of which we will be taken by jeeps. Enduro fans can try to conquer the rock climbs on a motorcycle. From the ancient walls of this fortified complex of the 5th c. stunning panoramic views. During the entire existence of the fortress, they were able to conquer it only once. Next, we are waiting for a secluded atmospheric monastery complex in the mountains of Tsakhats Kar with a unique 2-meter image of a fighting bull and a lion and a two-story tomb. We are waiting for a delicious lunch in an authentic restaurant located right in the rock. After lunch, we will plunge into the cool world of the Areni cave. The cave, located at an altitude of 1080 m above sea level, was chosen by ancient people for shelter as early as the 6th-5th millennium BC. The guide will tell you about all the interesting finds: the oldest leather shoes in the world, an ancient winery, etc. In the evening, after a busy day, we relax in the sauna with a swimming pool, in good weather we look at the stars through a telescope, we taste Armenian wines.
Day 5. Hermon – Djermuk – Tatev. In the morning, after a hearty Armenian breakfast, we drive to the Noravank monastery complex, located on the ledge of a narrow winding gorge of the tributary of the Arpa River. The gorge is famous for its sheer red cliffs towering above the monastery. Further along the picturesque mountain road we go to the small town of Jermuk. The city is located at an altitude of 2080 m, rich in Stalinist architecture, rocky canyon, clean air, a waterfall and, of course, healing mineral water. We will enjoy mineral water not only in the pump room. The jeep will take us for a swim in the thermal carbonated geyser near Mount Guydag. The geyser spouts every 7 minutes, heating the water and creating the effect of a natural jacuzzi. On the way back we stop at an observation deck with a picturesque view of the city and its symbol - a sculpture of a deer. We have lunch on the bank of the pond in a restaurant with Stalinist interiors. After lunch, we walk around the local market, where you can buy honey, herbs, cone jam, chewing gum and other local products. Further along the mountain serpentines we get to the final point of today - the village of Tatev. We spend the night in comfortable spacious rooms with a cozy area and a view of the mountains.
Day 6. Tatev is a place with a special atmosphere and energy. Early in the morning, after a hearty Armenian breakfast, we will ride on the longest reversible cable car in the world, Wings of Tatev, listed in the Guinness Book of Records, with a length of 5.7 km. During the trip, you can enjoy the treasures of this area: the deep and picturesque gorge of the Vorotan River, ancient cave villages and hermitages, Neanderthal camps, healing springs. Further along the picturesque serpentine we will descend to an unusual place - the Devil's Bridge, a natural bridge in the Vorotan gorge 30 m long and 50-60 m wide. Under the bridge you can go down to karst caves and white thermal baths, like in Pamukkale. We have lunch in the village of Tatev in a national restaurant. After lunch we enjoy the Tatev monastery complex, the pearl of medieval Armenian architecture. The legend says that the name of the monastery came in honor of the architect who stepped into the abyss after the completion of his creation, exclaiming at the same time “Fires of Surab, ta tev” – “Holy Spirit, send me wings”. In a remote part of the monastery complex, in harmony with nature and its numerous inhabitants - bears, lynxes and even porcupines - a hermit monk lives alone. There is a small market near the monastery where you can buy local products - honey, balms, herbs, dried fruits, nuts, natural marshmallows, etc.
Day 7. Tatev – Erevan. In the morning, after a hearty Armenian breakfast, along the picturesque mountain serpentine, we head to the mysterious Karahunj or Zorats Karer, an ancient megalithic complex of the 2nd-5th millennium BC, which is one of the oldest observatories in the world. Then we go to the beautiful Shaki waterfall 18 meters high. The place near the waterfall is replete with gorges with steep slopes, rocky niches and deep grottoes, in which traces of the presence of a man of the ancient Stone Age were found. Then we head to an amazing place - the Vayots-sar volcano, which erupted for the last time relatively for a volcano long ago, in 735, burying many large shopping centers and villages. On a spiral road past alpine meadows, we will drive into the very heart of the volcano, its crater. A stunning panoramic view opens up from the top and in good weather you can even see Mount Ararat. We have lunch at a national restaurant. We return to Yerevan, relax in a comfortable, bright and stylish room. If desired, and with the remaining strength, we walk around the night Yerevan.
Day 8. Hearty Armenian breakfast. Airport transfer. Departure.