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Stonehenge No Longer In England Tour

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Must Visit City
Syunik Region
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Stonehenge No Longer in England Day 1: Departure Departure from home country Day 2: Arrival / Yerevan City Tour Yerevan is the capital and largest city of Armenia and one of the world's oldest continuously-inhabited . .
Country: Armenia
City: Syunik Region
Duration: 10 Day(s) - 9 Night(s)
Tour Category: Monastery Tours
Departure Date: Thu 01 Jan '99
Package Itinerary

Stonehenge No Longer in England

Day 1: Departure

Departure from home country

Day 2: Arrival / Yerevan City Tour

Yerevan is the capital and largest city of Armenia and one of the world's oldest continuously-inhabited cities. Situated along the Hrazdan River. Yerevan is the administrative, cultural, and industrial center of the country. It has been the capital since 1918, the thirteenth in the history of Armenia. During your tour, you will visit also Memorial Park and Tsiternakaberd memorial, and the museum of victims of Genocide.

In the second half of the day visit Armenian National History Museum, here the important archaeological collection from Stone Age through Medieval periods is dark and almost unlabeled, but should not be missed. Opportunity to have welcome dinner in a traditional Armenian restaurant. Overnight at the hotel in Yerevan.

Day 3: Yerevan / Khor Virap / Noravank / Goris

After breakfast drive to Khor Virap Monastery. This fortified monastery is the place of pilgrimage and one of the most worshipped ones in Armenia and the holy site for the Armenian Apostolic Church. The monastery was erected in the 6th – 17th centuries above the dungeon where St. Gregory the Illuminator, the Baptist of Armenia, had been kept for the disseminating of Christianity until tsar Trdat decided to adopt this religion. The dungeon where the holy elder was tortured used to be the tsar's dungeon (“Khor Virap” – “deep pit”). The pit swarming with poisonous snakes and scorpions served as a prison. According to the legend St. Gregory the Illuminator stayed I that pit for 13 years. Drive to Vayots Dzor region.

Visit to Noravank Monastery. Noravank (meaning "new monastery") is a 13th-century monastery, located 122 km from Yerevan in a narrow gorge made by the Darichay river, nearby the city of Yeghegnadzor, Armenia. The gorge is known for its tall, sheer, brick-red cliffs, directly across from the monastery. The monastery is best known for its two-storey S. Astvatsatsin church, which grants access to the second floor by way of narrow stones jutting out from the face of the building. In the 13th–14th centuries, the monastery became a residence of Syunik's bishops and, consequently. a major religious and, later, cultural center of Armenia closely connected with many of the local seats of learning, especially with Gladzor's famed university and library.

Opportunity to have lunch in a local cave cafe tasting local food. Drive to Syunik region. Overnight at the hotel in Goris.

Day 4: Goris / Khndzoresk / Tatev Monastery / Goris

Start the tour from Goris to explore the city, visiting the exciting Dig Dig stones – a natural monument. Nestled in a bowl of green hills and mountains, with interesting formations and many previously inhabited caves in them, Goris has some of the nicest overall Armenian architecture in Armenia.

Excursion tour to Khndzoresk which is a cave village and there are many signs of past settlement throughout the valley which are just waiting for discovery. You will see that many of the caves have been carved out by man and they served as houses for people. Continue exploring the monastic complex of Tatev.

The jewel of medieval Armenian architecture, Tatev, was constructed in the 9th – 13th centuries. The access to it is very complicated due to the terrain features. Nevertheless, the true lovers of unique ancient monuments do find ways to visit this masterpiece of medieval architecture. Take the chance to travel by the longest ropeway in the world. The world’s longest 5.7-kilometer ropeway called “Wings of Tatev” opened in Armenia on October 16, 2010. It will lead to the medieval Tatev Monastery located in the Tatev village of Syunik region, southern Armenia. The ropeway that can carry a visitor to the Monastery in 12 minutes will also be included in the Guinness Book of Records. Overnight at the hotel in Goris.

Day 5: Goris / Karahounge / Selim Carvanssarai / Noratous / Lake Sevan

After breakfast start the tour to Karahunge (Stonehenge), an ancient observatory 6mil B.C. It is located at 1770 m. above sea level and occupies 7 hectares of territory. The monument consists of about 223 basalt slabs of which 84 have 4-5cm long openings in them (which, for Stone Age, have been rendered with incredible smoothness).

Drive to Noratous cemetery which is a medieval cemetery with a large number of early khachkars located in the village of Noratus, Gegharkunik marz near Gavar and Lake Sevan, 90 km north of Yerevan. The cemetery has the largest cluster of khachkars in the republic of Armenia. It is currently the largest surviving cemetery with khachkars.

Drive to Lake Sevan on the way visiting Selim caravanserai which was built in 1332. Lake Sevan is the largest lake in Armenia and one of the largest high-altitude lakes in the world. The huge mountain lake takes up 5% of Armenia's surface area and is 2,000 meters above sea level. On a clear and sunny day, the water is a deep turquoise color. Sevan is a freshwater lake. Overnight at the hotel in Sevan.

Day 6: Lake Sevan / Dilijan / Goshavank / Haghpat / Sanahin / Dzoraget

Drive to the resort town of Dilijan - a green city located in the northern Armenian province of Tavush, Called by locals the "Little Switzerland" of Armenia, it is a worthwhile place to see, and spend the night. It is one of the most important resorts of Armenia, situated in Dilijan National Park. The Sharambeyan street in the centre, has been preserved and maintained as an "old town," complete with craftsman's workshops, a gallery, and a museum. Hiking, mountain biking, and picnicking are popular recreational activities. Visit Goshavank - meaning Monastery of Gosh - is a 12-13th century Armenian monastery located in a village of Armenia named Gosh (Tavush marz), which was originally known as Nor-Getik. It was the home of Mkhitar Gosh, after whom the village and monastery were named.

Visit Haghpat Monastery. The location of Haghpat Monastery was chosen so that it overlooks the Debed River in northern Armenia's Lori region. It was built, not on a peak, but halfway up a hillside on a site chosen to afford protection and concealment from prying eyes and also in response to a kind of monastic humility. It is built on a verdant promontory located in the middle of a mountain cirque, which is often wreathed in clouds. A peak on the opposite side of the river is over 2,500 meters high.

Visit Sanahin Monastery. Built-in the monasteries over three centuries were more than 20 various churches and chapels, four annexes, sepulchers, bell-towers, the building of the Academy, book depositories, refectories, galleries, bridges, and other monumental structures, to say nothing of numerous dwelling and service premises. The main monastery buildings are grouped around their chief temples, forming integral architectural organisms. They are asymmetrical relative to their main axes, which lends them picturesqueness. Drive to Dzoraget. Overnight at the hotel in Dzoraget.

Day 7: Dzoraget / Saghmossavank / Amberd Fortress / Yerevan

Leave Dzoraget and drive to Saghmossavank Monastery. Saghmosavank Monastery was founded in 1215 when prince Vache Vachyutian ordered to erect there the temple of Surb Zion (Holy Zion). Later the temple acquired extensions from the western and southern sides – the vestibule (1250), the book-depository (1255), the church of St. Astvatsatsin (1235).

Drive to Fortress of Amberd. Amberd is a fortress complex with a church built on the slopes of Mt. Aragats at 2,300 meters above sea level in the XI-XIII centuries. The road leading up to it on Mt. Aragats is virtually uninhabited and has gently sloping hills with the occasional shepherd and beekeeper. many wildflowers and great views. Amberd is a tall fortress built on a rise in between two streams. The church, built-in 1026 by the architect Vagram Pakhlavuni, is slightly down the hill from the fortress, nearer to where the two streams join. Drive to Yerevan. Overnight at the hotel in Yerevan.

NOTE*: Amberd is possible to visit only starting mid-May as it’s 2300 m above sea level and the Armenian highland is covered with snow until the end of April.

Day 8: Yerevan / Etchmiatsin / Zvatrtnots / Vernissage

Departure to Echmiadzin which is a mere 20 km from Yerevan. Echmiadzin Cathedral is one of the oldest standing churches in Christendom. Opportunity to have lunch in a local community tasting homemade dishes and communicating with the locals. Drive back to Yerevan with a stop at the ruins of Zvartnots Temple (7th c.). In the second half-day visit the open-air Vernissage flea market that bustles with hundreds of vendors selling a variety of crafts on weekends.Overnight at the hotel in Yerevan.

Day 9: Matenadaran / Garni / Geghard / Yerevan

After breakfast departure to Geghard temple. The monastery of Geghard is a unique architectural construction in the Kotayk province of Armenia, being partially carved out of the adjacent mountain, surrounded by cliffs. While the main chapel was built in 1215, the monastery complex was founded in the 4th century by Gregory the Illuminator at the site of a sacred spring inside a cave.

Drive to Garni Temple. Garni became the last refuge of King Mithridates of Armenia, where he and his family were assassinated by his son-in-law and nephew Rhadamistus. Several constructions and buildings have been identified within the enclosed area, including a two-storey royal summer palace, a bath complex, a church built in AD 897, a cemetery, and the site's most famous and best-preserved edifice, a peristyle Greco-roman temple built in the Ionic order. Opportunity to have lunch in a local house and watch the Armenia national bread "lavash" making process. Drive back to Yerevan.

Visit Matenadaran depository of manuscripts which contains historical documents from all over Europe and Asia throughout the many countries. Opportunity to have farewell dinner in an Armenian restaurant with folk music. Overnight at the hotel in Yerevan.

Day 10: Departure

Transfer to the airport. Departure home!

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