Armenia is a nation, and former Soviet republic, in the mountainous Caucasus region between Asia and Europe.
Among the earliest Christian civilizations, it’s defined by religious sites including the Greco-Roman Temple of Garni and 4th-century Etchmiadzin Cathedral, headquarters of the Armenian Church. Khor Virap Monastery is a pilgrimage site near Mount Ararat, a dormant volcano just across the border in Turkey.
9:00pm11:00am : Yerevan
4:00am-4:30pm : Hotel checkin
7:00am-8:00am : Charent's Arch, Garni
Standing isolated on a hill, Charent's Arch offers some of the best views of Mount Ararat--the legendary mountain where Noah's ark landed after the flood. The arch was designed by a famous Armenian architect Raphael Israyelian and erected in 1957. See the words carved in Armenian alphabet--they're taken from a poem by Yeghisheh Charents, who described Ararat as "an impassable road to glory." The surrounding area provides many hiking and cycling opportunities.
8:30am-9:00am : Garni Gorge, Garni
Marvel at impressive basalt column formations carved by the Goght River at Garni Gorge, a picturesque ravine with an eponymous pre-Christian temple of Mithras perched atop its steep cliff. Thousands of hexagonal volcanic rock bars protrude from the clifftop like a giant curtain, forming what locals call the "Symphony of the Stones." You'll see some goatherd huts, an 11th-century bridge, and a few kiosks selling dry fruits. Located some 23 km (14.3 mi) east of Yerevan, the site is best visited by 4x4 on a dirt road, and offers scenic hiking opportunities.
10:00am-11:00am : Garni Temple, Garni
The classical Hellenistic structure of Garni Temple remains the only embodiment of Armenia's pre-Christian era. Built in the 1st century CE by king Tiridates I, the temple honored the sun god Mihr. Today, in addition to drawing scores of tourists, it represents a shrine for Armenian neopaganism. As you approach the site surrounded by mountains, notice the structure's colonnades, geometrical figures, and rich decorations, all typical of Ancient Greek architectural style. Scholars speculate that it may in fact have functioned as a tomb, allowing the structure to survive the mass destruction of pagan edifices.
11:30am-12:30pm : Basaltic Organ, Garni
1:00pm-2:00pm : The Monastery of Geghard,
Listed as a World Heritage Site, The Monastery of Geghard allegedly shelters the spear--brought by apostle Judas Thaddaeus--which pierced Jesus during his crucifixion. Founded in the 4th century, the monastery complex was partially carved into a mountain, surrounded by towering cliffs and the Azat River gorge. Examine the elaborate structures with engraved khachkars--memorial stone stelas bearing a cross symbol. Enter the chapels, churches, and tombs located in the compound to observe the holy relics hidden amid rock-cut walls. Near the parking lot, vendors sell homemade sweet bread, dried fruit, treats, and souvenirs.
3:00pm-4:00pm : National Gallery of Armenia
Immerse yourself in Armenian art at National Gallery of Armenia, featuring a substantial collection of Russian, Persian, and European arts divided into 56 pavilions. Paintings by celebrated national artists such as Ivan Aivazovsky, Vardges Sureniants, and Martiros Saryan take pride of place, alongside a substantial collection of Russian realist painters. Works from Kandinsky, Donatello, and Flemish painters round out the selection. Get a fresh perspective of 20th-century Soviet art, as well as Armenian Apostolic Church-related pieces ranging from the 16th to 19th century.
4:00pm-5:00pm : History Museum of Armenia
Examine a collection of 400,000 objects at History Museum of Armenia, displaying archaeological finds, ethnographic items, and historical relics. Established in 1920, the national museum preserves Armenia's cultural heritage across themed sections--numismatics, ethnography, archaeology, modern history, and restoration. Highlights include bronze items dating back to 2,000-3,000 BCE, works of art and objects hailing from many regions across Europe and Asia, and excavated finds from ancient cities. Security officials prohibit taking photographs.
6:30pm-7:00pm : Armenian Genocide Museum
Constructed into the side of a hill overlooking Mount Ararat, Armenian Genocide Museum commemorates the victims who have fallen during the Ottoman extermination of the Armenian people in 1915. First opened in 1995, the museum annually receives scores of visitors, both foreign and local, providing insight on the nation's dark history and with an aim to prevent similar tragedies. Visit the indoor exhibition hall covering 1,000 sq m (10,763 sq ft), and the outdoor gallery.
7:30pm-10:00pm : Daboo Bar
4:30am-6:30am : Caucasus Mountains
Marvel at the snow-covered double peaks of biblical Mount Ararat and other parts of Caucasus Mountains, not far from Yerevan. Hike around fabulous mountain landscapes of the Lesser Caucasus by taking a short trip outside the city, where you'll see rows of hills, mountain goats, and rolling clouds. While the largest part of the mountains is in Georgia, 5,317 m (16,854 ft) Ararat lies in both Turkey and Armenia, with spectacular scenery accessible from the latter. With its grandiose peaks and the contrast of bright and dark slopes, the mountain range close to the city offers diverse vegetation and easy trails.
7:00am-9:00am : Kari Lake, Byurakan
Lake Kari (Lake Qari, Armenian: Քարի լիճ) is a lake in Armenia located on the slopes of Mount Aragats. Most of its water comes from ice and snow. It is located 3,185 m above the sea level and has a perimeter of 1,150 m. From Byurakan village an asphalt automobile road stretches towards the source of Arkashen River, the lake Kari, located on a plateau below the peaks. On the eastern side of the lake there is a meteorological station.
9:30pm-11:00am : Mount Aragats,
Surrounded by rivers and green plains, Mount Aragats features numerous hiking trails and historic monuments, such as an ancient mausoleum, a medieval fortress, and prehistoric rock paintings. The mountain claims a special place in Armenia's folklore and culture, taking its local name from a legendary Armenian hero Ara, who was so beautiful Assyrian queen Semiramis started the war with Armenia to get him. One of the mountain's four volcanic peaks is Armenia's highest, reaching 4,090 m (13,420 ft) above sea level.
12:00pm-3:00pm : Amberd Fortress, Byurakan
On a small mound over a confluence of two streams, Amberd Fortress stands as a witness to centuries of turbulent history. A major defensive point for Armenian rulers--standing 2,300 m (7,545 ft) above sea level--the fortress was built in Roman times and expanded on several occasions between 11th and 13th centuries. Archeological excavations discovered the site was previously occupied by a Stone Age settlement and a Bronze Age fortification. See the gates, thick walls, and imposing towers, and explore the remains of a church, chapel, and bathhouse--all of which support the theory that the edifice once served as a summer palace.
4:30pm-6:00pm : Vernissage Market
Browse through countless stands with a bizarre collection of items at Vernissage Market, one of the largest flea markets in the region. The open-air market in central Yerevan has a huge variety of offerings, from trinkets to used dental equipment. Stroll along the 350 m (1,148 ft) street to shop for traditional dolls, paintings, ceramics and woodwork, brass, and teapots in a lively, bustling atmosphere. You may find some treasures among the second-hand goods, including Soviet memorabilia, antique carpets, costumes, and photographic equipment.
6:30pm-7:00pm : Gala Art Gallery, Yerevan
A Leading Art Gallery in Yerevan, Armenia.Specialized in Armenian Modern and Contemporary Paintings and Sculpture. Recognized for the scope and quality of collection, GALA ART GALLERY has long been a resource for collectors and dealers. The gallery is founded by two renowned artists Avetis Berberyan ( Director) and Noushik Mikayelian ( Deputy Director), and is located in the heart of Yerevan city, featuring an impressive collection of modern Armenian masters' and contemporary paintings, drawings, original art prints, sculptures, jewelry and carpet by historically important artists. Artists represented include: Gevorg Bashinjaghyan, Vardges Surenyants, Martiros Saryan, Yervand Kochar, Minas Avetisyan, Harutyun Galents, Khachatur Yesayan, Vahram Gayfedjian, Gabriel Gyurjyan, Dmitri Nalbandyan, Vardan Makokian, Arcene Chabanian, Edgar Chahine, Jean Carzou, Hovsep Karalian, Gayane Khachaturyan, Benik Petrosyan, Hakob Hakobyan, Arkadi Petrosyan, Ayvaz Avoyan, Emil Kazaz, Arev Petrosyan, Vigen Avetis, Anatoli Avetyan, Harutyun Hakobyan, Mushegh Amirkhanyan, Ashot Baghdasaryan, Armenak Vardanyan, Karen Baghdasaryan, Yura Harutyunyan, Vache Petrosyan, Heriknaz Galstyan and Mamikon Mkhitaryan, as well as strong emerging talents: Vav Hakobyan, Narine Grigoryan, Anahit Ispiryan, Vahagn Avetisyan, Vahe Berberyan, Areg Petrosyan, Abgar Khachatryan, Anoush Ghukasyan, Hayk Mkhitaryan and Tehmine MayilyanIn addition to buying and selling art, GALA ART GALLERY offers art consultation services. The acquisition of art is an exciting and rewarding activity. Whether you are a first time buyer or an experienced collector, you will enjoy working with GALA ART GALLERY to further your personal knowledge, appreciation and enjoyment of investing in fine art.
7:30pm-10:00pm : Liberty PUB, Yerevan
7:00am-8:00am : Khor Virap, Ararat Province
xperience a remarkable view of Mount Ararat near the fenced border with Turkey at Khor Virap. The monastery serves as a pilgrimage site where Armenia's patron saint--Gregory the Illuminator--was imprisoned for 14 years by King Tiridates II. Inside the enclosed compound, explore the elaborate altar in the Church of the Holy Mother of God, as well as a 60 m (200 ft) deep pit-prison built underneath St. Gevorg Chapel. Expect to climb many stairs to reach the monastery, and bring your walking shoes.
2:30pm-5:00pm : Daymaniyat Islands Nature Reserve
9:00am-9:30am : The Churches of Echmiatsin and the Archaeological Site of Zvartnots, Vagharshapat
Visit the World Heritage Site of The Churches of Echmiatsin and the Archaeological Site of Zvartnots, a series of early churches scattered across the holy city of Vagharshapat, dating from the 4th to 7th centuries. Admire the statuesque cathedral, believed to be the world's oldest, and considered Armenia's mother church, and visit the two smaller, 7th-century churches, well preserved and renowned for their classic Armenian architecture style. The fourth church, a circular cathedral, is now in ruins, but you can still view its partially reconstructed walls and columns.
9:30am-10:30am : Echmiadzin Monastery,
Visit the birthplace of Christianity in Armenia at Echmiadzin Monastery, a World Heritage-listed cathedral built by the country's patron saint. Gregory the Illuminator completed the Christian Apostolic cathedral in 303, symbolizing Armenia's transformation from a predominantly pagan country to a Christian one. Believed to be the oldest cathedral in the world, it remains active as the headquarters of the Apostolic Church. Admire the building's austere facade, adorned with several Greek inscriptions, and step inside to view the 18th-century frescoes that decorate the interior walls.
11:00am-12:00pm : Saint Gayane Church,
Designated as a World Heritage Site, Saint Gayane Church boasts a rich history dating back to the year 630. Despite its age, the church remained relatively unchanged over the years, marking the spot in which Abbess Gayane was tortured and martyred in 301, during the turbulent period of Armenia's conversion to Christianity. Head inside to explore the three-nave basilica and carved frescoes demonstrating typical Armenian architecture of the time.
12:30pm-1:00pm : Saint Hripsime Church, Vagharshapat
Dedicated to a beautiful virgin that caught the eye of a Roman emperor, Saint Hripsime Church was listed as a World Heritage Site as a well-preserved example of a classic Armenian structure from the 7th century. Legend has it that Hripsime escaped the marriage with Emperor Diocletian only to be captured by an Armenian king who tortured her to death after she refused his advances. The complex architectural design--known as "Hripsime Type"--was elaborated to save the edifice from earthquakes.
1:30pm-7:00pm : Wine Tours & Tastings
8:00pm-9:00pm : Republic Square
Constructed in a stone pattern similar to a traditional Armenian rug, Republic Square attracts swarms of tourists and locals during some of the city's most prominent concerts, venues, and ceremonies. Intersected by main streets, the oval-shaped plaza lies surrounded by important pink and white stone buildings, such as the government house, the history museum, and several ministries. Where a statue of Soviet leader Vladimir Lenin once dominated the square, today musical fountains perform choreographed light shows followed by music. You can find rest and refreshments in many cafes and restaurants nearby.
5:00am-5:30am : Hotel checkout
6:00am-7:30am : Dilijan
7:30am-8:00am : Hotel checkin
8:30am-9:00am : Haghartsin Monastery
Admire exquisite stone carvings at Haghartsin Monastery, an architectural ensemble featuring three masterful stone churches surrounded by a thick forest. One of Armenia's most visited monasteries, this compact architectural complex built from the 10th to the 14th century includes St. Stepanos Church, St. Gregory Church, and Holy Mother of God Church, whose sixteen-faced dome has elaborately decorated arches. Ornamental highlights include a chandelier and icons, one of which depicts an Asiatic Virgin Mary and Jesus in an attempt to spare them from Mongol destruction. Visit the royal sepulcher and the vaulted refectory (built in 1248 and still in use) to round out your experience of the medieval complex.
10:00am-10:30am : Saint Sargis Chapel, Gosh
11:00am-12:30pm : Lake Parz
Unwind in pristine forest surrounding Lake Parz, a small lake in Dilijan National Park. Standing at 1,334 m (4,377 ft), the lake provides an well-known picnicking escape, offering fresh air and tranquility. Row your zodiac or rent a powerboat to cross the lake, which extends some 385 m (1,263 ft) by 100 m (328 ft), or bike to explore scenic trails. Tennis facilities and a shooting range provide entertainment. There is a restaurant serving traditional food here, and you can feed swans, ducks, and squirrels.
1:30pm-3:30pm : Sharambeyan Street
Lined with traditional houses and artisan workshops, Sharambeyan Street takes you hundreds of years back in time. Situated within a national park, the area, popularly known as "Little Switzerland" for its forested hills and picturesque houses made of stone and wood, remains home of many Armenian visual artists, musicians, and filmmakers. Browse through the small shops or check into one of the guesthouses. The street is also home to an art gallery and a museum.
7:00am-9:30am : Tsaghkadzor Ropeway, Tsakhkadzor
10:00am-11:00am:Kecharis Monastery, Tsakhkadzor
Pay a visit to Kecharis Monastery, a church complex built between the 11th and 13th century and nestled in the picturesque Armenian highlands. Founded by an Armenian prince of the Pahlavuni dynasty--buried in a small chapel on the premises--the medieval compound includes three churches and a series of chapels, well-restored after a damaging earthquake in 1927. Explore the modest, austere monastic complex dotted with numerous old tombstones, enjoy the peaceful atmosphere, and admire the ornate memorial stone slabs, or "khachkars."
12:30pm-1:30pm : Goshavank Monastery, Gosh
Admire a pearl of Armenian medieval architecture with exquisite stone carvings at Goshavank Monastery, a huge 12th-century orthodox monastery complex on the hillside above Lake Gosh. Explore some of the world’s finest examples of Armenian cross-tones, or "khachkars" (memorial steles with a cross), a craft protected by UNESCO. Visit two churches within the complex, as well as admiring a bell tower with a book depository, elegant vaults, and pointed arches. Light a candle for lost souls and admire the carved, lacy ornaments decorating the numerous steles. A shrine to the monastery’s founder, Mkhitar Gosh, sits nearby, providing a scenic view of this marvelous stone structure nestled at the bottom of the hills.
2:30pm-3:00pm : Hotel checkout
6:00pm-7:30pm : Yerevan
5:30am-2:30pm : Dubai