3 Days Private Tour to Artsakh
3 days/ 2 nights
English, Russian (other languages are available at an additional price)
From 165.000 AMD
Comfortable vehicles with air conditioning (1-3 pax – sedan, 4-7 pax – minivan, 8-19 pax – minibus)
Bottled water provided
Entrance tickets to “Hin Areni” winery included
Pick up and drop off at your hotel
Free Wi-Fi on board
Free cancellation up to 24 hours prior the tour
1st day – Khor Virap and Noravank Monasteries, “Hin Areni” winery, Tatev Monastery, overnight in Stepanakert – Although there are various historical landmarks in Armenia, the oldest and most well-known is probably the Biblical Mount Ararat. This is why our tour promises a spectacular view from the closest spot possible. Khor Virap monastery is located about an hour’s drive away from the capital Yerevan, and offers an amazing view of Armenia’s defining symbol – the majestic Ararat. “Khor Virap” translates as “deep dungeon”, and was built of the place of the former royal prison, located on the historical site of Artashat. It was this prison in which they kept Gregory the Illuminator, the first Armenian Catholicos, for a whole 13 years. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that this place is one of the most sacred spots for Armenians around the world. Likewise, it’s also the closest point to the Mount Ararat from Armenia; very often this spot becomes the number 1 reason to visit our country!
You will be given a chance to taste and even purchase Armenia’s renowned Areni wine, made from the oldest grape variety in the whole world. The wine is available in several wineries in the actual town of Areni itself, which we will make a stop at before finishing the trip.
Another place that can’t be missed is Noravank. It is one of the gems of medieval Armenian architecture, nestled high among the stunning brick-red cliffs in the end of the Gnishik Canyon. Here you will see the one and only depiction of God the Father in Armenia, which is just as astonishing as the face of Jesus Christ that appeared on the dome of the Church’s narthex. Built by Orbelian noblemen, it stands out among our churches as the sepulcher of this noble family, making it unique since it was absolutely prohibited to bury people inside a church since the 5th century.
Driving for 2 more hours, we will arrive at the longest airway tramway in the world (approx. 6 km), which was registered in the Guinness book of records in 2010. The Wings of Tatev will take us straight to the 9th century Tatev Monastery, which once was the educational and spiritual center of Armenia. It’s built on a high plateau in the Vorotan river gorge, and is surrounded by breathtaking mountains and dense forests. During your ride, you will enjoy a spectacular view over one of the most beautiful spots in Armenia (if not in the world). Here you will see the Harsnadzor Watchtower and Devil’s Bridge, which is a natural viaduct formed on the river.
2nd day – Shushi (St. Ghazanchetsots Cathedral), Hunot Canyon, Askeran, Tigranakert, Amaras – The next day will give you an opportunity to get acquainted with Shushi which is situated at an altitude of 1,400–1,800 meters in the picturesque mountainscape of Artsakh and is one of the main cities of the Artsakh Republic. During the 19 th century, Shushi was one of the main cultural and educational cities in the Caucasus, housing numerous schools, printing houses and theatres. It was especially famous for its musical schools.
The symbol and the landmark of Shushi is the Church of Surb Amenaprkich Ghazanchetsots, or All Holy Savior. Dating back to the 19th century, with its majestic domed basilica shape, the Ghazanchetsots church is also one of the largest Armenian Churches. On this day you will also discover the other most famous sights of Artsakh.
3-rd day – Gandzasar, Dadivank, Noratus Cemetary, Sevanavank – Dadivank (or Khutavank «monastery on the hill») is another historical site included to this tour. It is an ancient monastery complex in the Karvachar region of Artsakh Republic. The monastery complex is situated in the picturesque valley between the Artsakh and Mrav mountain-chains, and may just be one of the most charming and beautiful places in the world. The monastery was founded in 1 st century AD by St. Dadi, a disciple of Thaddeus the Apostle, who spread Christianity in Eastern Armenia during the first century AD. In June, 2007, the grave of St. Dadivanq was discovered under the holy altar of the main church.
The next stop is Gandzasar monastery. It is located in the Mardakert district of Artsakh Republic and dates back to the 10 th century. Translated from Armenian as “Treasure Mountain”, the Gandzasar is indeed the treasure of the Armenian Mediaeval Architecture, being one of the most beautifully designed Armenian churches, endowed with elegant ornaments. It is also home to relics believed to belong to St. John the Baptist and his father St Zachariah. Downhill from the church, near the Khachen River, you can also see a cave turned into a lion head – a highly popular landmark.
The trip will continue along the shore to reach Noratous, a village which is home to the largest collection of the Armenian Khachkars – stone steels engraved with a cross, designed to show the way to salvation. According to the legend, Hayk – the ancestor of all Armenians – ordered his people to decorate every single stone in Armenia, which is why you will see some 3000 of these decorated stones, depicting various stories from different ages.
The finishing touch of this tour is Lake Sevan and Sevanavank Monastery. Sevan is situated at the height of 1900m above sea level and surrounded by a vast chain of mountains. Climbing a flight of stairs to the Sevan peninsula will compensate itself with an unforgettable panoramic view of the lake from the top. We will also visit the monastery of Sevanavank, built by the princess Mariam to honor the life of her deceased husband in the 9th century. Sevanavank is also home to one of the most beautiful Amenaprkich (all savior) Khachkars of Armenia. This is one of the 13 rarest crosstones depicting Jesus.
Food and drink
Tickets to the ropeway “Tatever”
Starting time and place: at request
Possible languages: English, Russian. In case the tour is organized in other language, changes of the prices are possible.