Dance and culture tour Armenia (May 2019) – Detailed program

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Day to day program

This tour can be booked separately or in combination with a tour to Iran which will take place from May 3-14.

Day 1 – Tuesday May 14
Late afternoon arrival in Yerevan from Teheran. If you fly directly from your home country and did not participate in the Iran tour: your room will be available from 12.00 hrs.
Transfer of about 20 minutes to IBIS hotel located in the center of Yerevan.
Dinner will be included and we will certainly enjoy Armenian Cuisine with its large variety of dishes, all fresh made.

Day 2 – Wednesday May 15
City walk to get acquainted with Yerevan. No lunch provided, but our hotel has a rooftop restaurant. There is also an abundance of restaurants in the near vicinity of our hotel or a local supermarket which sells fresh lunch snacks and salads. In the afternoon we will have a dance class (2 ½ hrs.) in which local teacher Gagik Kinosyan will teach us some traditional Armenian dances.
Dinner included.

Day 3 Thursday May 16
Dance class (2 ½ hrs.) in the morning and free afternoon to explore Yerevan. If you don't want to go shopping, the Matenadaran Museum can be an interesting place to visit. It hosts the world’s largest collection of Armenian manuscripts.
Likewise worth a visit are the Historical Museum, the Museum of Russian painters or the Cascade - a giant stairway made of limestone adorned with fountains and modernist sculptures and surrounded with cozy restaurants. A short drive by taxi can take you to the Genocide monument or to Erebuni.
Erebuni is the foundation of a fortress and the founding of the city of Yerevan (782 BC). It has a small but very interesting museum with English explanation of the artefacts. Simply enjoying a drink on one of the many terraces in the green ring of parkland which crosses Yerevan is also very relaxing.
Dinner included.

Day 4 Friday May 17
Dance class (2 ½ hrs.) in the morning. No lunch provided, free afternoon.
This free afternoon offers you an opportunity to visit the Vernisage, a daily market in Yerevan. Craftsmen sell their products and it is a good place to buy souvenirs. In the Bazaar you can find vegetables, fruit and cheese. Armenia is famous for its dried fruits filled with nuts and tasting is never a problem!
Make sure to watch the impressive sound and light show which starts around 21.00 hrs. at Yerevan’s central square, located very close to our hotel. The place to hang out for the inhabitants of Yerevan. If tonight is not your night: the show is performed every night.
No dinner provided.

Day 5 Saturday May 18
Check out to start our 5-day tour to the eastern part of Armenia. We will have a first stop in Khor Virap. The monastery is located on the Turkish-Armenian border and very close to Mount Ararat, which is considered a national symbol for the Armenians because the ark of Noah would have been stranded here. From Khor Virap one has a beautiful view of the mountain if clouds don’t cover its 5137 meters high peak.
The monastery is known because Gregorius the Illuminator was imprisoned by King Tiridates IV for thirteen years. After Gregory converted the king to Christianity in 301, Armenia became the first country to accept Christianity as a state religion.
On our way we pass fish ponds and fruit orchards in the Ararat Valley, the only flat region in Armenia. Passing thru the village of Surenavank we can see a big population of storks, returning every year to make their nests and raise their chicks. We will make a brief stop there.
The landscape is becoming more mountainous and rugged before reaching our picturesque open air restaurant to have lunch (included) past the wine village of Areni. Our next stop will be Karahountj, also called Zorats karer, a circular arrangement of 204 stones with holes in them, which is similar to England's Stonehenge, but older. It is surrounded by an impressive landscape and in this time of year many flowers will bloom.
After another 75 minutes we will reach our final destination for today, the small town of Goris, where we will spend the next two nights.
Dinner included.

Day 6 Sunday May 19
Today we have an early departure (8.15 hrs.) to allow us to see two interesting sights in this part of the country in a full day tour. Slightly beyond the city of Goris the caves of ancient Khundzoresk are situated. An extensive walk through this bizarre-looking landscape of rocky points with caves really gives a good impression of the vastness. In the late 19th century up to 4000 people lived here. There will be time to buy yourself a lunch in the local supermarket before we will leave for a hiking experience in Khundzoresk.
Our next destination is Tatev, one of the largest church complexes in Armenia and in ancient times a university complex. To reach the monastery we will make use of a cable car and will cross in small groups of max. 25 people to fit a cabin. The length of the ride covers over 5 kilometers and offers a fantastic view on the surrounding landscape. There is a restaurant located near the start of the cable car where you can have dinner (not incl.)
Back to our hotel in Goris.

Day 7 Monday May 20
Check out at 8.30 hrs. Today’s tour leads us back in the direction of Yerevan. On our way we will reach an elevation of 2344 metres on the Volotan Pass, where some merchants sell their produce. We are travelling in the footsteps of the ancient Silk Road. After about 2 1/2 hrs. we will have a stop for a coffee break at Parvani restaurant along Arpa river. For those who want to make an easy hike, the bus will be ready to drive a short distance along the old road that used to connect Jermuk with the main road. Nature is very scenic here and basalt stone formations form an impressive scenery. We will be dropped off after about 3 kilometres and can walk back to our starting point to enjoy the landscape on foot. If you have developed an appetite that is just fine because a delicious lunch is waiting for us at Parvani restaurant.
After lunch we will continue our tour to turn off the main road northward to reach our final destination for today, Hotel Resort Lucy Tour, where we will stay two nights at cottages in the mountains in the village of Hermon. It has an open-air restaurant and bar, playgrounds, indoor swimming pool, ping-pong tables and billiards.
After a full day of sightseeing we will enjoy our dinner here and have a relaxed evening.

Day 8 Tuesday May 21
A relaxed free day in which you can make a stroll on the mountain, relax in the (covered) swimming pool, go biking or just read a book in the garden that surrounds our cottages. Lunch is included.
In the afternoon an optional hike will be offered to an ancient fortress which impresses by the vastness of the complex. You will have a great view over the surrounding mountains.
Dinner included.
Evening dance party with a local dance group.

Day 9 Wednesday May 22
Check out to continue our way towards lake Sevan. The road rises and we will cross the Selim Pass, at an altitude of 2400 m. part of the ancient Silk Road. The 14th-century Selimkaravanserai is the silent witness of this important period and offered traders a rest. After a visit to the karavanserai we cross the mountain chain and descend to Martuni, the provincial capital of this sparsely populated region. Not far from Martuni we pay a visit to a house which dates back to the 19th century situated in a small village on the south shore of Lake Sewan. This primitive type of house is unique in Armenia. We will have lunch (included) with the locals and enjoy a home cooked meal. Following the shoreline of the lake we will continue to Noratus, an ancient cemetery famous for its impressive number of old Khatchkars (carved stone crosses) from the 9th and 10th century. Our guide can give you interesting information on their development.
After a last view on lake Sevan and its peninsula with two churches on the top, we head back to Yerevan, where no dinner is provided. Check in at IBIS hotel.

Day 10 Thursday May 23
In the morning we wil pay a visit to the ruins of Zvartnots, where the remnants of richly ornamented arches laying on the ground bear witness to its reputation as a masterpiece of medieval architecture. It is about 15 minutes’ drive from Yerevan and a last impression of Armenia’s ancient culture before returning home. It is your last opportunity to do some sightseeing in Yerevan or to buy your last souvenirs.
We will enjoy a farewell dinner together.

Day 11 Friday May 24
Departure incl. transfer to the airport.

PRICE: € 1015 (flight excluded)

Included

- accommodation with breakfast in mentioned hotels above
- English speaking guide throughout the trip
- A/C modern bus with driver throughout the trip
- meals as mentioned in the program in different restaurants (water, coffee or tea included )
- entrance fees of sightseeing places as mentioned in the program above
- transfer from the airport

Excluded

- any meals not mentioned in the program
- any personal expenses such as telephone call, laundry, souvenirs, etc.
- tips to guide and drivers (indication: €1 p. person per day for guide, equivalent for driver)
- flight to Armenia
- possibly a visa (please see information under FAQ)
- surcharge single room € 230

A minimum of 15 participants is required.