Arrival in Yerevan, transfer to the hotel
Visit Khor Virap Monastery, the famous pilgrimage site with an iconic location at the foot of Mt Ararat. You’ll see plenty of tempting pictures of the place on postcards and souvenir books long before you get there.
Explore the Garni temple, a stunning temple that looms over mountain gorges. A blend of Greco-Roman and Armenian architectural styles, this unique example of pagan culture is the only surviving of its kind in the country.
Visit the Geghard Monastery, an unsurpassed masterpiece of 13th-century. This UNESCO-listed complex of churches is partially carved from a mountainside, with cliffs surrounding the buildings.
Lunch in the traditional Armenian restaurant in the vicinity of Geghard Monastery
Return to Yerevan
Visit Dilijan Town; It’s billed as the ‘Switzerland of Armenia’, and although that may be a bit of a stretch, alpine Dilijan has undeniably attractive scenery and an extremely pleasant climate. During Soviet times this was the peaceful retreat for cinematographers, composers, artists and writers to come and be creative; today it’s a centre for tourism with a number of fine hotels.
Visit Art Gallery and Museum of Dilijan; Housing an eclectic collection of European and Armenian art from the 16th to 20th centuries, this gallery is housed in a grandiose building on the road to the upper town and is Dilijan’s major cultural institution.
Visit Haghartsin; Hidden in a verdant valley 13km northeast of Dilijan, Haghartsin (‘Dance of the Eagles’) was built between the 10th and 13th centuries and has three churches: one named for Gregory the Illuminator; another for the Virgin Mary (Surp Astvatsatsin); and the third for St Stephen (Stepanos).
Visit Lake Parz; Lake Parz is a small lake located in the Dilijan National Park east of Dilijan in Armenia. The lake was formed by natural climatic changes. “Parz” in Armenian means clear. At the Lake you will find a restaurant, bar, paddle boats ropes course and zip lines
Visit Goshavank; Founded in 1188 by the saintly Armenian cleric Mkhitar Gosh, who was buried in a little chapel overlooking the main complex, this monastery features the main church (Surp Astvatsatsin), smaller churches to St Gregory of Narek and St Gregory the Illuminator, and a Matenadaran (library) that is said to have held 15,000 tower was built on top of the library in 1991.
Visit Ijevan Wine Factory, Put aside all expectations of a picturesque winery, because Ijevan’s wine factory is just that- a large industrial complex where the local grape harvest is transformed into dry white and sparkling wines under the Haghartsin, Gayane and Makaravank labels. The tour explains how the factory’s wine and cognac is produced, and the tasting includes three wines. The factory is about 1.5km from the town centre, on the road to Dilijan.
Visit Denropark Stepanavan; This cool and tranquil 35-hectare arboretum 11km south of Stepanavan was established in the 1930s and has a vast array of conifers and deciduous trees. It’s especially popular in May when locals with respiratory problems come to inhale the pollen (not recommended for allergy sufferers!)
Visit Sanahin; Home to one of Armenia’s World Heritage-listed medieval monasteries, this village is cut into the canyon wall above Alaverdi and is the essential stop for all visitors to the Debed Canyon.
Visit Sanahin Monastery; Sanahin is packed with ancient graves, darkened chapels and medieval study halls. The inner sanctum of the cross-shaped Surp Astvatsatsin Church (Holy Mother of God Chruch) is the oldest structure, dating back to 934. Its adjoining gavit is one of the later buildings, built in 1181.
Visit Tsaghkadzor. Back when Armenia was part of the USSR, Soviet athletes used to come to this tiny village to train for the Winter Olympics and other sports competitions. The ski centre is still here and, if you happen to be in Armenia in winter, Tsaghkadzor (Gorge of Flowers) makes an excellent weekend getaway.
Visit Sevan Lake. Perched at 1900m above sea level, the great blue eye of Sevana Lich (Lake Sevan) covers 940 sq km and is 80km long by 30km at its widest. The lake is perfect for escaping Yerevan’s summer heat. Its colours and shades change with the weather and by its own mysterious processes, from a dazzling azure to dark