Example Itinerary

Classic Armenia

Duration
7 days / 6 nights
Price Per Person
Interests
Heritage
Destinations
Armenia

Armenia is a small country in the South Caucasus boasting a rich and long history, and a cultural heritage influenced by its East-meets-West location.  As the first official Christian nation, Armenia is home to an extraordinary collection of churches and monasteries, many which are among its star attractions. Combined with a dramatically beautiful landscape, genial locals, an exciting cosmopolitan capital, hearty cuisine and acclaimed wines, Armenia has a lot to offer visitors seeking a destination lesser traveled. Over seven days, experience the country’s top highlights and multi-faceted charms as you travel between Yerevan, Goris in the south, tranquil Lake Sevan, and all the picturesque countryside in-between. 

This itinerary is an example. It’s designed to inspire you and provide you with thoughtfully curated ideas. You can choose to do this exact itinerary or completely personalize it. All trips are 100% bespoke.

Highlights

  • Divine Churches & Monasteries: As the world’s first official Christian country, religion has been intrinsic to its culture and national identity. Countless churches and monasteries are dotted around the country, each one a part of Armenia’s story. From lonely standing ascetic monasteries cast against a dramatic background, to the intricately decorated, storied, and grand, you will witness some of the must-see churches and monasteries of Armenia which inspire visitors and pilgrims alike. 
  • Diverse Scenery: Despite being a small and landlocked country, Armenia has a lot of beautiful natural scenery to offer. This journey will take you from the city to the largest lake in the Caucasus, deep gorges, arid plains, verdant hills, valleys, and dramatic mountains and cliffs. 
  • Ancient Architecture: Throughout history Armenia was conquered by many different groups which left their mark across the land in the form of Brutalist Soviet buildings, Byzantine-style frescoes, Romanesque rounded arches, and Arabic geometric stonework and domes. Yet also despite this, the Armenian style of architecture endured. Cross stones, conical roofs, stark and bare interiors are quintessential characteristics which can be found in many of the country’s churches and monasteries. 
  • Celebrated Wines & Spirits: One of the cornerstones of Armenian culture is its viticulture and winemaking, which arose in ancient times and endures in modern day. It is no surprise that wines produced in Armenia have been recognized globally. Armenia is also home to Armenian brandy which is also renowned worldwide. Visit vineyards and the most famous brand factory for a taste of Armenia’s acclaimed wines and spirits. 

 

 

Day-by-Day

Day 1

Map

Yerevan »

Arrive at Yerevan International Airport where you will be greeted off the aerobridge by a representative and escorted to a VIP lounge where arrival formalities will be handled.  Then, you and your luggage will be taken to the arrival hall to meet your your guide and driver. Transfer by private luxury vehicle to your hotel and check in and relax for the rest of the evening. 

Hotel Options

Day 2

Map

Yerevan »

Today is spent exploring Yerevan, Armenia’s capital and cultural center. This attractive city is divided by the Hrazdan River and framed by mountain peaks to the north and across the Turkish frontier to the south. Stroll along the city center’s tree-lined boulevards and take in the scene: traditional taverns, chic wine bars, street fashion boutiques, outdoor cafes, Soviet-era buildings, and modern structures. Stop by the city’s iconic landmarks which include Republic Square, Yerevan Opera Theatre, and the Yerevan Cascade, a giant stairway made of limestone where locals come to congregate for festivals and on sunny days. You may want to grab a cup of coffee and sit on a bench and enjoy some people-watching, as the locals do. After lunch, continue to the Armenian Genocide Memorial, a hilltop complex dedicated to the victims of the Armenian genocide. Next door is the Museum-Institute which features exhibits, a library, and a reading hall. Finally, visit Yerevan Brandy Factory, home of the country’s most famous brand of Armenian brandy called ARARAT. Learn about the spirit’s historical heritage as you walk around the museum, as well as the secrets of modern production in the factory. End the tour and the day with a degustation of a selection of ARARAT brandies. 

Yerevan

Day 3

Map

Yerevan »

This morning, drive just west of Yerevan city to Zvartnots Cathedral, one of the country’s culturally-important sites. This UNESCO Heritage Site is an architectural masterpiece constructed between 643-652 AD and its innovative techniques provided the architectural blueprint for many churches throughout the Caucasus and Eastern Anatolia. Though it was destroyed in the 10th century, the ruins and on-site museum are worth a visit. Continue onward to Echmiadzin, another must-see highlight of Armenia and another UNESCO Heritage Site. Etchmiadzin is the name of the city and its eponymous cathedral, which is the mother church of the Armenian Apostolic Church and thus a major pilgrimage site. On the way back to Yerevan, stop at Voskevaz Winery known for its selection of quality wines produced using endemic Armenian grape varieties. Its premium line uses the traditional method of aging the wine in a clay vessel called a ‘karas.’ Take a tour of the winery and enjoy a private sampling of different wines. 

Day 4

Map

Goris »

Depart Yerevan to discover the south of Armenia today. The first stop is Khor Virap, a monastery located on a hillock in the Ararat Plain, beautifully framed by Mount Ararat in the distance over the border in Turkey. Another important pilgrimage site, Khor Virap is notable for holding the man who would become Saint Gregory the Illuminator in a pit for 14 years before he miraculously cured the king, thus helping turn the country into the first Christian nation. Continue onward to Areni village, where in 2011, archaeologists announced the discovery of the earliest known winery. Areni and the surrounding Vayots Dzor region has been the cradle of Armenian winemaking for millennia; the area’s sedimentary and rich volcanic soil coupled with high elevation makes it ideal for vineyards. Here, try a selection of local wines at a winery and have lunch. Finally stop by Noravank, a 13th-century monastery that sits in a picturesque valley, before arriving in Goris and settling in for the evening.

Hotel Options
Goris

Day 5

Map

Yerevan »

Begin the day with a visit to Tatev Monastery, one of Armenia’s most gorgeous churches. The monastery sits atop a high cliff overlooking a deep river gorge and is reached by the longest nonstop double-track cableway in the world. Enjoy the 12-minute journey by cablecar and panoramas of the verdant hillsides and mountains in the distance. After, begin your journey back to Yerevan via a different route. The first stop enroute is at Orbelian’s Caravanserai. Built during the 14th century into a mountain pass, the caravanserai was used as a sanctuary for travelers along the Silk Road. Following the road, you will arrive at Lake Sevan, a large freshwater lake and the largest body of water in the Caucasus region. Stretch your legs with a walk around the cool lake before stopping at a local farmhouse to try the local special ‘drunk cheese’ - cheese made using wine and brandy. Arrive back in Yerevan in the late afternoon.

Hotel Options

Day 6

Map

Yerevan »

After breakfast, head east just outside of the city to the iconic Garni Temple, the only standing Greco-Roman colonnaded building in Armenia and the former Soviet Union. This classical structure is surrounded by mountains, a deep river gorge, caves, and picturesque surrounds. Have lunch at a local restaurant where you will get a lesson in hand-making two national dishes - lavash (local bread) and tollma (stuffed leaves). In the afternoon, proceed to the nearby Geghard Monastery, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, located in the Upper Azat Valley. This medieval monastery is partially carved out of the mountain and surrounded by towering cliffs, making it both striking and unique. The monastery is also famous for housing a particular Christian relic - the lance that wounded Christ on the cross. Return to Yerevan and spend the rest of your day at leisure. If you wish to explore independently, we suggest visiting The GUM market which sells everything from traditional candies and treats, homemade products, fresh produce, and pickles to dried fruits, nuts, cured ham and blocks of cheese. For handicrafts, vintage items, and unique finds, you will want to visit Vernissage flea market. 

Yerevan

Day 7

Map

Departure

On your last day, spend your morning at leisure, whether having one last coffee at a local cafe or a visiting an art gallery. When ready, a private car will take you to the airport. You will be escorted to a VIP lounge where departure formalities are handled for you by a representative. Then, you will be led through security and immigration, then finally to an air-side VIP departure lounge to relax until your flight onward. 

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With Remote Lands you'll travel with people who have made Asia the solitary focus of their own lifelong adventure. As our guest, in the continent that our north American founders Catherine and Jay have adored and explored for decades, you'll discover Asia on a journey that is completely, authentically your own, adapted from our own remarkable experiences and adventures over the years.

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