Dolma Festival
May 18-25, 2021

 THE DOLMA FESTIVAL IN ARMENIA

7 nights/8 days

While you are touring in Armenia, take advantage of some of the country’s traditional food festivals – The Dolma Festival!!! Don’t miss the chance to taste different variation of Armenian traditional dolma.

The venue of the festival is not selected by chance:  it’s near the Cathedral of Zvartnotz… which is one of the greatest architectural masterpieces of its time (7th c.)

There will also be music, singing, and dancing setting the traditional mood for the festival …

Picture1

Day 1 - May 18, 2021

 

Meet and greet at the Airport by SIMA Tours.  Welcome to Armenia!!! 

Transfer to your hotel, check in and relax in comfortable rooms with full facilities.

OVERNIGHT IN YEREVAN

 

Day 2 - May 19, 2021

 

Breakfast Served  

YEREVAN CITY TOUR!

Picture2Our trip through Armenia begins today in Yerevan – the capital, one of the most ancient cities in the world – Erebouni Fortress which was founded in 782 BC. We will start from Erebouni museum located at the top of Arin-Berd hill. You will also have a chance to discover this ancient fortress.

Afterwards, we will stop by the eternal flame and memorial symbolizing the Armenian Genocide in 1915Tsitsernakaberd. It is dedicated to preserving the memory of the Armenian Genocide and to honoring 1.5 million innocent Armenian victims who went through the horrors in the beginning of the 20th century.

Then we will enjoy a tour to one of the most enigmatic cities, visiting the remarkable Matenadaran Library and Research Institute of Armenia with close to 22000 rare manuscripts, one of the richest depositories of manuscripts and books in the world.

Finally, we will visit Cascade – Gerard Cafesjian Sculpture Garden. The Cafesjian Center for the Arts is dedicated to the best of contemporary art and presents some of the best Armenian cultural pieces to the world. 

 

OVERNIGHT IN YEREVAN

MEALS: Breakfast/Lunch

 

Day 3 - May 20, 2021

 

Breakfast Served

Picture3Driving through the Aragatsotn Region, we will find a church or an ancient building at every turn. In the village of Oshakan, we will see the wonderful church, which was built over the grave of Mesrop Mashtots, the inventor of the Armenian alphabet. Throughout the trip around this region, it will be impossible not to notice the magnificent peaks of the highest mountain in Armenia, Mt. Aragats. The highlight of the day will be the traditional Armenian lunch in the backyard of a family house in this region. 

Saghmosavank Monastery perches on the edge of the precipitous gorge of the Kasagh River. 

“Armenian Wine” Winery – as they say “let’s discover Armenia in their wines with its indigenous grapes and terroir diversity”. Armenia is notorious for its ancient winemaking.

Back to Yerevan and free time in the evening.

OVERNIGHT IN YEREVAN

MEALS: Breakfast/Lunch

 

Day 4 - May 21, 2021

 

Breakfast served

Picture1.In the morning we’ll start our trip to Dilijan: “A piece of Switzerland in Armenia” – Earth and sky, woods and fields, rivers… Dilijan truly is a piece of paradise. We will make sure to stop at the Old Town Dilijan to admire the craftsmen workshops, small shops with traditional Armenian products and crafts as well as museums.

This town stands out with its typical 19th century living with all its local customs and handmade wood furnishings.

We will also visit the 10-13th centuries Monastery Goshavank nestled in the forest. The gem of the complex is the “embroidered” cross stone. This is an exceptional piece of artwork and a must-see.

Next is Lake SevanLake Sevan – the emerald of Armenia, a blue-eyed beauty under the sky. Lake Sevan is one of the largest freshwater lakes in the world, situated at an altitude of 1,897 meters above sea level. The most picturesque view of Lake Picture2..Sevan is seen from the peninsula atop which Sevan Monastery (9th c.) towers over the lake. On our way back to Yerevan, we will visit Noraduz, the largest Khachkars (Crosses-stones) cemetery. Noraduz is a one of a kind complex and stands out with its expression of art carved of stone.

Our last stop will be the Mikayelyan Cheese Cellar, where we will have a chance to witness the production of Gourmet cheeses and taste a variety of wonderful flavors accompanied by a glass of wine.

Back to Yerevan

OVERNIGHT IN YEREVAN

MEALS: Breakfast/Lunch

 

Day 5 - May 22, 2021

 

Breakfast served

The Armenian Dolma Festival

Picture3..We embark on our journey to the land of ancient treasures of Christian history, to the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin (UNESCO), the “religious capital” and the seat of the Supreme Patriarch-Catholics of all Armenians.

Next stop will be at the monastery of St. Hripsime Church (7th c) dedicated to the faithful nuns, 3rd century followers of Christ who were martyred.

Continuing our tour, we will then reach the ruins of the Zvartnots Cathedral which stands out for its rare architectural design which was not common in the 7th century and the techniques and details used were considered exceptionally advanced.

Around Zvartnots Cathedral you will already feel the mouthwatering smells of food and Armenian Traditional Dolma. Today is the special Armenian Dolma Festival Day. We will have delicious lunch here.

Dolma is a traditional Armenian dish made of ground beef, lamb and spices wrapped in grape leaves, cabbage leaves and stuffed vegetables.  During the festival Armenian chefs from across the country will introduce and demonstrate a variety of recipes of Dolma.

Back to Yerevan. Free time to explore the city.

OVERNIGHT IN YEREVAN

MEALS: Breakfast/Lunch

 

Day 6 - May 23, 2021

 

Breakfast served

Picture4Driving through the fertile plains of the Ararat valley, we will reach Khor Virap Monastery – the beginning of the History of the Christian nation in Armenia, magnificently set against the towering slopes of the Biblical Mountain of Ararat. You will have some spectacular photo opportunities to capture the landscape of unparalleled beauty and majesty. The monastery is the site where St. Gregory the Illuminator was incarcerated, and now it is a pilgrimage destination for all Christian believers. It has also  had a determinate impact on the Armenia people and their history.

As we continue through ancient wine country we will have a short stop to taste and enjoy a guided tour at the “Areni Winery.” Next, we will take the path through the narrow gorge, revealing Noravank Monastery, nestled inside the deep red landscape of the tuf stone mountains.

Throughout our wine journey, we will have a stop at one of the oldest wineries in the world, located in the Caves of Areni. It is also one of the rarest and best-preserved late Chalcolithic (Copper Age) monuments in the South Caucasus, proving the historic facts of wine-production in Armenia for at least 6000 years.

Back to Yerevan

OVERNIGHT IN YEREVAN

MEALS: Breakfast/Lunch

 

Day 7 - May 24, 2021

 

Breakfast served

Today we will visit Garni, which is the rare pre-Christian pagan temple maintained in Armenia, dating back to the 1st century AD. 

Picture5It is said that music has a way of speaking without lyrics and can somehow speak directly to a person’s soul. Today’s visit will give us a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to share and feel this language of music expressed through DUDUK, an Armenian musical instrument which is arguably one of the most powerful of all instruments in its ability to move someone to their very core.

Next is an enjoyable walk down to the Garni Canyon where one cannot help admiring the volcanic basalt formations and natural beauty. It’s like a “Symphony of stones” – one of the most dramatic scenes in Armenia. 

Then we will reach Geghard (Cave monastery) (UNESCO) architectural complex (12-13th centuries), carved out of one monolithic rock. Due to the extraordinary acoustics, when the local singer begins to sing in this chamber it is hard to believe a large choir isn’t singing… be aware it is only one man…

 Back to Yerevan.

Tonight we meet for a FAREWELL DINNER in a typical Armenian Traditional Restaurant with live Armenian music and Folk Dances to celebrate our wonderful journey!

OVERNIGHT IN YEREVAN

MEALS: Breakfast//Dinner

 

Day 8 - May 25, 2021

 

TRANSFER to Airport   

Have a nice and safe flight!!!

 

SERVICES: 

  • Full transportation and transfers in Armenia as specified in itinerary
  • Meals as indicated
  • Entrance fee to all sightseeing destinations
  • Hotel accommodation: 7 x nights
  • Events
  • Bi-lingual tour guide

 

**Itinerary is subject to change at any time