Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross
September 09 - 21, 2021

Khachverats

10 nights/11 days

 

We adore thee, O Christ, and we praise thee, 

for by thy cross thou hast redeemed the world.

For God so loved the world that He gave His only-begotten son, that whosoever believeth in Him may not perish, but have everlasting life.

– John 3:16

Day 1 - September 9, 2021

 

Arrive at Zvartnots International Airport.

Meet and greet by SIMA Tours.

Transfer to Hotel.

OVERNIGHT IN YEREVAN

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Day 2 - September 10, 2021

 

Meals: breakfast, lunch

YEREVAN CITY TOUR!

bOur 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 begin it from the museum of Erebouni to the top of Arin-Berd hill to discover the ancient fortress.

Continuing our city tour, we will make a stop at the eternal flame and memorial to the Armenian Genocide of 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.

Next we are off to the “MEGERIAN RUGS” Factory & Showroom: which brings together time-honored traditions and a range of exquisite aesthetics, from organic materials, to create objects of art for modern living and you will become acquainted with the ancient craft of Armenian carpet making.

OVERNIGHT IN YEREVAN

 

Day 3 - September 11, 2021

 

Meals: breakfast, lunch

 

cDying, you destroyed our death; rising you restored our life. 

Save us by your cross, Christ our Redeemer.

FEAST OF EXALTATION OF THE HOLY CROSS

The feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross is the last one of the five major feasts of the Armenian Apostolic Church. It is the most important feast among the feasts dedicated to the Holy Cross, as it is dedicated to the history of the return of the Holy Cross from imprisonment, its elevation and glorification.

For Christians the Cross is God’s power and strength and pride of all prides, on which Christ’s innocent blood was shed. 

By means of the Cross Jesus proved His love towards mankind, and the Cross became for us the symbol of hope, love and salvation.

 

Today we embark on our journey to the land of ancient treasures of Christian history  – the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin (UNESCO), the “religious capital” and the seat of the Supreme Patriarch-Catholics of all Armenians. Participation in DIVINE LITURGY

dThen, admire the Monasteries of Sts. Hripsime and Gayane Churches (7th c) dedicated to these faithful virgins, 3rd century followers of Christ who were martyred.  Continuing our day, we’ll do a short visit to Hripsime Church  (UNESCO). It’s unique for its different types of central-domed church developed in the Early Middle Ages and became widespread in Armenia during the 7th century. 

The next visit is the ruins of the Zvartnots Cathedral… It’s special for its rare construction technique that was not common during the 7th century and the methods used were considered extremely advanced.

OVERNIGHT IN YEREVAN

 

Day 4 - September 12, 2021

 

Meals: breakfast, lunch

eLet’s head today to the north-west of Armenia towards Mt. Aragats, which is the highest peak of Armenia and the fourth highest one in the Armenian Highland. Aragatsotn Region is very famous for “Armenia Alphabet Park”. Standing next to a small pool of water and with the high Holy Cross hovering in the background lays a monument of 39 giant carved Armenian letters in stone and statues of famous Armenians. The park was dedicated to the creator of the Armenian language, Saint Mesrop Mashtots whose language he created over 1,600 years ago is still spoken today. Saghmosavank (“monastery of the Psalms”) is located in the village of Saghmosan, on the right bank of the Kasakh River. This is one of the richest and most prominent spiritual and cultural centers of the Middle Ages.  

Next is a unique experience to make Armenian Dry Fruit in the Chir’s house. It is a fascinating process to be involved. Armenian dried fruit is especially delicious because it is made from local fruits, which are known around the world for their sweetness and richness of the taste. Next is St. Mesrop Mashtots Cathedral of Oshakan was founded in the memory of archimandrite Mesrop Mashtots, the creator of the Armenian alphabet, founder of the Armenian school and Armenia’s first teacher. 

“Armenian Wine” Winery – as they say let’s discover Armenia in their wines with its indigenous grapes and terroir diversity. The winery creates wines which open the window to main wine in other regions of Armenia, still undiscovered.  

OVERNIGHT IN YEREVAN

 

Day 5 - September 13, 2021

 

 Meals: breakfast, lunch

In the morning we’ll start with a trip to Dilijan: “A piece of Switzerland in Armenia” – Earth and sky, woods and fields, rivers, the mountains become excellent schoolmasters, and teach some of us more than we can ever learn otherwise… The old approach in the new century … “Old Town Dilijan” complete with craftsmen workshops, small shops with traditional Armenian products and crafts, museums, and ultimately showing typical 19th century living with all its local customs and handmade wood furnishings….. We will also visit the 10-13th centuries Goshavank Monastery, nestled in the forest. Next is Lake 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 Sevan is seen from the peninsula atop which Sevan Monastery (9th c.) towers over the lake. 

gOn our way back to Yerevan, we will visit Noraduz, the largest Khachkars (Crosses-stones) cemetery. What makes Noraduz special is that it is unique, one of a kind worldwide in its expression of art carved of stone.

Our final visit of the day is unique in its own right… the Mikayelyan Cheese Cellar, is where we will have a chance to oversee the production of Gourmet cheeses and taste a variety of wonderful flavors complimented by a glass of wine.

OVERNIGHT IN YEREVAN

 

Day 6 - September 14, 2021

 

Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner

vDriving through the fertile plains of the Ararat valley, you will reach Khor Virap Monastery – the beginning of the History of Christianity in Armenia, magnificently set against the towering slopes of the Biblical Mountain, Ararat. You have some quite spectacular photo opportunities before a landscape of unparalleled beauty and majesty. The monastery is the site where St. Gregory the Illuminator was incarcerated, and it is a pilgrimage destination for every believer.

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. 

Returning to the main highway we shall start driving south to Goris.

OVERNIGHT IN GORIS

 

Day 7 - September 15, 2021

 

Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner

wAfter breakfast, we leave Goris for Tatev Monastery in the early morning; on the way we’ll admire a splendid view of the area. The Aerial Tramway of Tatev – spanning 5.7 kilometers across the spectacular Vorotan River Gorge, offer a spectacular journey with breathtaking views of the river gorge below, but most significantly, it will link you to one of the jewels of Armenia’s medieval legacy – Tatev Monastery as well the Tatev Aerial Tramway – the longest passenger aerial tramway in the world – is poised to be one of southern Armenia’s most popular attractions. Arriving you the picturesque monastery nestled at the top of an impregnable plateau, crowned by the ramparts walls from the upper part of the territory. After you will have time to discover the interior of the monastery which was founded in the 4th cent., becoming an important religious and educational center of medieval Armenia in 9-10th cc. 

On your return, we have a very attractive stop in Khndzoresk, a cave village and exotic rock formations. This village looks like a vertical multi-storied rocky amphitheater. Troglodytic dwelling at Khndzoresk – Prehistoric era. Winding road leads your pleasant ascent. 

OVERNIGHT IN GORIS

 

Day 8 - September 16, 2021

 

Meals: breakfast, lunch

qOn the way back we’ll visit Karahunge 7000-year-old Observatory. Clouded in mystery, the ancient stone circle of Karahunge is an amazing feat of engineering and the most important pre-historic site in Armenia, but beyond its archeological significance and possible astronomical role, Karahunge also holds a mystical charm.

Continuing our trip we’ll drive up to Jermuk, which is a leading Armenian spa city. Once in Jermuk, Gallery of Waters is a place not to miss. There are pipes in walls and the water flows from there into stone urns and each one has various temperatures. Next is Jermuk waterfall that falls from a height of 70 meters into the gorge of Arpa River is a true miracle of Armenian Highlands. It reminds of hair flowing freely and therefore locals call it “Mermaid’s hair.”

OVERNIGHT IN YEREVAN

 

Day 9 - September 17, 2021

 

Meals: breakfast, lunch

Picture9Today we will visit Garni, which is the rare pre-Christian pagan temple maintained in Armenia, dating back to the 1st century AD. 

It 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 the 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.

Today we’ll have an opportunity to follow the whole process of how one of the finest jewels of Armenian cuisine is created, “lavash” (flat bread), in a “tonir” (ground oven) and have lunch with the fresh bread made by yourself.  The preparation, meaning and appearance of traditional flat bread as an expression of culture in Armenia has been inscribed on UNESCO’s Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

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…

OVERNIGHT IN YEREVAN

 

Day 10 - September 18, 2021

 

Meals: breakfast, dinner

Today you will enjoy a tour of the most enigmatic of cities, visiting the remarkable Matenadaran Library and Research Institute of Armenia which houses about 22000 rare manuscripts.

tAfter it our visit is “NOY” ARARAT Brandy, Wine Factory:  “…one does not drink brandy, one derives pleasure from it.” We will have a sampling as we conclude our first day. Today’s last visit is to the Cascade – Gerard Cafesjian Sculpture Garden. The Cafesjian Center for the Arts is dedicated to bringing the best of contemporary art to Armenia and presenting some of the best of Armenian culture to the world. 

Later in the day we’ll visit Vernissage – Yerevan’s Flea Market is probably one of the interesting open air cultural markets in the world. It is the best place to get little taste of Armenia and a unique spot to witness the fusion between national traditions and modern taste.

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

OVERNIGHT IN YEREVAN

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Day 11 - September 19, 2021

 

Transfer to Zvartnots Airport

HAVE A NICE FLIGHT!

SERVICES:

  • Full transportation and transfers in Armenia as specified in itinerary
  • Hotel Accommodation: 10 x night
    • 8 x night Yerevan
    • 2 x night Goris
  • Meals as indicated 
  • Entrance fee to all sightseeing destinations 
  • Bi-lingual tour guide