AQUARIUS TRAVEL 8 DAYS PILGRIMAGE PROGRAM FOR ARMENIA
DAY 1 Arrival in Yerevan. Custom formalities. Meeting at the airport and transfer to the hotel. Check-in. Rest.
Yerevan Sightseeing Tour
After breakfast full day sightseeing tour of Yerevan including the Republic Square, the Opera House, the Parliament, the Cascade as well as the monument ‘Mayr Hayastan’ (Mother Armenia) with a panoramic view of Yerevan and Mount Ararat. Visits to: Erebuni – archaelogical museum of ancient Yerevan and ruins of the fortress of Erebuni founded in 782 b.C. by the Urartian King Argishti I. Visit to Matenadaran – institute of ancient manuscripts. Lunch in a local restaurant. In the afternoon visit to Tsitsernakaberd – Memorial and Museum of the Armenian Genocide of 1915. Holy Mass. Dinner in a city restaurant or in hotel. Overnight in Yerevan.
DAY 2 Yerevan – Ashtarak – Amberd – YerevanTour
Breakfast at hotel. Departure for Ashtarak to visit the small gracious church of S. Astvatsatsin dating to the 7th century known also with the name Karmravor thanks to the originally red tiles on the roof replaced with new ones recently. The tour then continues to the fortress of Amberd located at 2300m above sea-level on the southern slopes of Mount Aragats. Holy Mass in Amberd. Lunch in a restaurant. In the afternoon visit to 13th century monastic convents of Saghmossavank and Hovhannavank both located on the edge of deep Kasakh gorge with a breathtaking view over the canyon. Return to Yerevan. Dinner and overnight in Yerevan.
DAY 3 Yerevan – Alaverdi – Yerevan Tour
After earlier breakfast at hotel 3 hours’ drive to the north of Armenia to visit some of the architectural masterpieces of medieval Armenia. Visit to the Monasteries of Haghpat and Sanahin built between 10-13th centuries and set amidst forest-clad hills close to the town of Alaverdi, a small copper-mining town on the river Debed. The monuments are preserved by UNESCO and included in the World Heritage List. Holy Mass in Haghpat. After lunch return to Yerevan enjoying the beautiful landscapes changing completely from region to region. Weather permitting, there will be a possibility to see the highest peak of Mount Aragats (4095m). Dinner and overnight in Yerevan.
DAY 4 Yerevan – Echmiadzin Tour (Holy Residence of Armenian Apostolic Church)
After breakfast departure for Echmiadzin – the holy seat of the Supreme Patriarch – Catholicos of all Armenians. Armenia was the first country to adopt Christianity as a state religion in 301 AD. The Cathedral was built in 303 on the site of a pagan temple after the adoption of Christianity. Visit UNESCO Heritage Sites St. Hripsime Church (7th cent) and ruins of the cathedral of Zvartnots (7th cent). Holy Mass in Church of St. Astvatsatsin. Return to Yerevan. Lunch in a restaurant. Afternoon free to explore Vernissage – an open-air art market open only at weekends. Dinner in a city restaurant. Overnight in Yerevan.
DAY 5 Yerevan – Lake Sevan – Dilijan- Yerevan Tour
Full day excursion to the north – east of Armenia to Lake Sevan – the emerald of Armenia situated at 2000 meters above sea level, therefore considered one of the highest altitude lakes in the world. Visit to the 9th century Sevanavank Monastery on Sevan Peninsula (formerly an island). After a short stop at the statue of Akhtamar, the tour will continue on to the beautiful mountainous and forested region of Dilijan and then on to the magnificent and impressive complex of Goshavank Monastery (11-13th centuries). Holy Mass. Lunch in a restaurant. In the afternoon visit to Noraduz hosting the biggest collection of world famous Armenian khachkars (cross-stones) – the pride of Armenian medieval architecture. Return to Yerevan late in the afternoon. Dinner in a city restaurant. Overnight in Yerevan.
DAY 6 Yerevan – Khor Virap – Noravank – Yerevan Tour
After breakfast at hotel drive towards the south to visit the historic Monastery of Khor Virap (Deep Pit), an important pilgrimage site close to the Turkish border where St. Gregory the Illuminator has been imprisoned for 13 years before the official conversion of Armenia to Christianity in 301 A.D. From the monastery you can enjoy a breathtaking view of majestic snow-peaked Biblical Mount Ararat and the vast Ararat valley. Continue to Vayots Dzor Region to visit Noravank Monastery – the jewel of medieval Armenian architecture set in a marvelous canyon and built in a perfect harmony with the surrounding nature. Meeting with a priest of Armenian Apostolic Church. Lunch in a restaurant. On the way back stop at Areni Winery to taste Armenian wine and return to Yerevan. Holy Mass. Dinner in a city restaurant. Overnight in Yerevan.
DAY 7 Yerevan – Garni – Geghard -Yerevan Tour
After breakfast at hotel departure for Kotaik Region. Stop at the Arch of Yeghishe Charents to have a bird-eye view of Mount Ararat and Yerevan city. Continue to bronze age Garni Village to visit the 1st century Pagan Temple of Garni located in a picturesque position and in perfect harmony with the pure nature. Then visit the UNESCO Heritage site Geghard Monastery (13th century) carved into solid rock. Lunch in the village with lavash (Armenian bread) bakers. Watching and assisting Armenian women bake lavash in tonir (well-stove) and tasting it with home-made cheese and herbs. Return to Yerevan. Visit Pak Shuka (fruit market). Good-bye dinner at a city restaurant. Overnight in Yerevan.
DAY 8 Departure
Hotel check-out. Transfer to the airport. Flight to home country.