Stop the time for a second and find peace in mysterious Armenia!
Stop the time for a second and find peace in mysterious Armenia. Visit the country with Noah’s ark at the foot of the Mount Ararat. Take a closer look at this old-young country filled with living memories of far and rough history. You don’t have to look far – explore the Yerevan museums and galleries. Discover traditions and folk culture of this land by visiting flea markets and Armenian Stonehenge. Admire the gems of sacral and secular architecture hidden in incredibly beautiful nature. Take a sip of Ararat brandy and enjoy a little adventure in the longest aerial tramway in the world!
care of the English-speaking tour guide and owner of the Tamada Tour
Comfortable hotels *** in the city center
local color and culture
meals (breakfasts and dinners)
shopping at local bazaars
tasting of local drinks and products
transfers by air-conditioned minibus from / to the airport, to / from the hotel and on the route
Transport to selected attractions by off-road vehicles
you will see places inaccessible to ordinary tourists
In the capital city of Armenia, we will experience the historical and cultural legacy of Armenians. The Matenadaran will provide us with manuscripts from 5th century! In a rock-hewn repository one can find manuscripts, incunabulum and Etchmiadzin Code considered as Georgian treasure. In Khor Wirap monastery we will learn why Gregory the Illuminator was imprisoned in a well and we will admire the majestic Armenian Mount Ararat a resting place of Noah's Ark. In order to get more acquainted with local people we go to Tsitsernakaberd – the Armenian Genocide memorial complex dedicated to Armenian Genocide which took place in 1915-1918. The evening walk across city center will take us into green, old and modern architecture from beautiful palaces, avenues, cafes to observation tower overlooking the city and snow-capped Ararat peak.
We’ll make the impossible! We’ll reach the kingdom of Neptune: Armenian sea as the Sevan lake is commonly referred as to because it’s the biggest lake in the Caucasus and highest situated in the world. In order to get to the lake, we’ll go to a beautiful hollow on 1900 m over the sea level and on our way, we’ll meet fishermen selling smoked fish from the lake that covers almost 1/6 of the whole country. The lake Sevan is surrounded by a rock and grass plateau and range of gradual but severe mountains where we can find peace and many of 210 species of birds. In blue sheet of the lake we can spot reflection of swings, wooden bridges, villages in which time went back to the 1980’s and a monumental Sevanawank from the 8th century many people still attend services in. Volunteers may follow the footsteps of Noah and set free white pigeons. Observing a freed bird we can feel its careless freedom.
Every step we take in Armenia will bring us into the impenetrable power of nature. The attractions include the majestic Mount Ararat which can be observed from Yerevan, Khor Virap monastery and other places. Mount Ararat (known also under its official name Masis) is omnipresent in the lives of local people (visible in the Armenian emblem, repeatable in literature and art), although it is located in the present-day Turkey. Some scientists and adventurers believe that the Armenian Mount Ararat became a resting place for Noah's Ark which is mentioned in the Book of Genesis. However, the outgoing research has not given clear answers. It comes as no surprise that Mount Ararat has been on people’s mouth for decades and we will be captivated by its charm as well. The name of the snow-capped peak derives from Ara - a god from the bronze era who symbolizes death and rebirth. Observing Mount Ararat will bring us back to the 19th century when the first ascensionists set foot and those were for example Friedrich Parrot and Khachatur Abovian (1829). We can only dream about reaching the peak because not only a great courage it is what we need to get there but also a special permit.
What is hidden in Vagharshapat (known under historical name of Etchmiadzin) that the first settlers appeared just in the bronze era? We’ll dive into the rich history of the town famous for clever scholars who in the 8th century channeled water from Hrazdan River (Ildaruni river) which was quite an engineer-construction phenomenon. There are of course more phenomena which we will admire! Other attractions include undisputed Armenian national treasure namely monumental monastery complex enlisted in UNESCO thanks to which Vagharshapat is known as the Armenian Vatican. Inside this rock temple built since the 4th century, we’ll find: illuminated manuscripts, icons, sculptures, crucifixes, votive burning candles and omnipresent silence interrupted only by whispering prayers. But before we enter into the headquarters of the Catholicos of All Armenians we will check if there is a spear which had wounded Jesus at the Crucifixion.
We’ll take the longest reversible aerial tramway built in the world to reach the edge of the gorge of river Vorotan (since 1995 enlisted in UNESCO). The name of the cave monastery is as light as air because it means wings. It is these wings that, according to the legend, the Apostle Thaddeus’s student asked God for. However, the historical importance cannot be described as lightly as the name itself. We will visit three churches belonging to the monastery complex: Sts. Paul and Peter Church, St. Gregory the Illuminator Church, St. Mary’s Church as well as residential and administrative buildings. What is remarkable about these buildings is the fact, that they used to be the bishop’s headquarters, monk’s cells, valuable manuscripts repository, kitchen, bakery, wine manufacture, olive press, mill but most of all - a university that contributed to rapid development of economics, politics and religious and cultural life of Armenia.
We’ll drop by incredible deep dungeons – it is what Khor Virap means in Armenian. We’ll find out that the temple located 8 km from the border with Turkey, was named so for a specifiq reason. Gregory the Illuminator was initially imprisoned here for 13 years by King Tiridates III of Armenia and probably more people. We’ll visit the mysterious monastery which used to be used as the headquarters for Catholicos, so we can go back in time to the 3rd century to unveil the mysteries hidden in the monastery walls. We’ll hear a legend of the founder of Armenian Church – a martyr and a saint who arrived at a pagan Armenia to propagate love for one God only. Armenian and Syrian version of the myth are quite different, but what they share is that Gregory when being imprisoned in the monastery dungeons cured the Armenian ruler. Thanks to Gregory’s cure, the King believed in the power of Christianity and made it a national religion. Today, Armenia is one of the most religious countries and it is here, in Khor Virap, where we’ll experience the true strength of belief.
We’ll discover a holy spear hidden in the mountains. We’ll go one hour from Yerevan among picturesque high cliffs where a pagan cult used to be very popular to find a great historical treasure – the cave monastery complex enlisted in UNESCO. The legend has it that Geghard originates from the spear which had wounded Jesus at the Crucifixion. Attractions in the Katoghike Holy Mother of God Church and zhamatun tomb include: the Holy Lance, relics of the Apostles Andrew and John, massive Roman columns, reliefs and impressive Khachkar (a carved, memorial stele bearing a cross,). In this silent and peaceful church, we’ll also unveil another secret: a mysterious underground passage from sacristy to one of the oldest and remarkable part of the complex. Will we hear a whisper of praying monks from the 4th century in these caved temples and chapels?
We will discover places hard to believe they exist even when you see them for yourselves: incredible monumental architecture and endless landscapes which are lopsided, grey and sometimes even forgotten. We will see places which are very close to Europe but also very remote at the same time. We will take a walk across city streets that never sleep where most desirable fashion designers have their showrooms and where you can visit the best hairdressers and gyms even in the middle of the night and where you can visit small provinces in which people live in flats for multiple families or wooden cottages with no bathroom, running water, heating, not to mention TV or Internet. We will witness peculiar local customs, listen to stories filled with lament over previous socialist system. This is the best place for you to experience what a full of absurd and contrasts post-Soviet reality actually looks like.
Travelling is not just all about visiting tourist attractions! Well, we’ll go to see interesting monuments, learn about historical and environmental fun facts about the country and taste delicious local cuisine. But thirsty for authenticity, we’ll take a road for real explorers. We’ll mingle with the crowd to adapt to its everyday rhythm and we’ll follow it to reach to places tourists never go to. We’ll get acquainted with everyday life of people and carried away by local folklore. We’ll be tasting, touching, listening and observing. We’ll let local people show us their intrigue customs and artifacts and we’ll listen to the language contributing for centuries to their endemic culture and through stories told by Georgians we’ll discover the true meaning of their fascinating civilization.
Price does not include: flights, souvenirs, personal expenses, or extra charge for single room.
Accommodation in hotels *** located in city centers, comfortable and nicely furnished double bedrooms with own bathrooms. If you travel all by yourself, don’t worry – you’ll share a double room with a person of the same-sex which saves you extra charge for single room (up to EUR 180 per person depending on a trip and date).
Rates include 2 meals a day: hotel breakfasts and great dinners in restaurants serving local cuisine (for example Georgian, Armenian, Azerbaijan) as well as European. We’ll get familiar with the culture of the country by tasting other regional beverages and meals.
We take comfortable minibuses such as a Mercedes Sprinter from/to airport as well as for our tours. All vehicles have AC, Wi-Fi and radio. Safety is guarantee by professional and experienced drivers.
Tours and sightseeing takes place in cozy groups of 16 participants guided by English-speaking tour leader – a resident expert who is passionate about a given region and knows its culture, traditions, history and geography. We will reach the most interesting attractions, everyday life and culture, colorful bazaars and less known places which tourist hardly ever travel to.
Booking is available:
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Payment for tour shall be made in accordance with the payment schedule.