Feast of the Transfiguration of Our Lord
July 09-17, 2021

VARDAVAR

8 Night/9 Day

Day 1 - July 9, 2021

 

Arrival at Zvartsnots International Airport in Yerevan and you’ll be met by your tour guide. Transfer to the hotel.

Take a deep breath as you are about to embark on an unforgettable experience in Armenia.

OVERNIGHT IN YEREVAN

 

Day 2 - July 10, 2021

 

Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner 

1Our first day of touring we’ll begin in the heart of Armenia – Yerevan.

Yerevan…. the rose-colored capital of Armenia…. It is named as such because most of its buildings have traditionally used a pink shade of “tuf” stone which is quarried in Armenia. This is an unmistakable and prominent feature of Yerevan’s cityscape.

As we get acquainted with Yerevan, we start from the very beginning of its history, Erebouni Fortress and museum, the fortress was founded in 782 B.C., 29 years before Rome, the “Eternal City”, was built.

Our next stop is essential to all who visit Armenia… Tsitsernakaberd memorial and museum to the 1915 Genocide, which is one of the most impressive monuments in Yerevan. 

While we are driving we see many of the other remarkable landmarks in Yerevan as: Sports and Concert Complex, Kievian Bridge, Bagramyan Avenue, President’s Palace, Academy of Sciences, National Parliament, Opera Theater.

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. 

WELCOME DINNER at the “Dine Sky” restaurant. You can enjoy a wonderful evening with the fantastic view of the city lights at night, as well as live music “in the sky” and a delicious meal all contribute to an unforgettable atmosphere…

Just enjoy YOUR “Dinner in the sky”…

OVERNIGHT IN YEREVAN

 

Day 3 - July 11, 2021

 

Meals: breakfast, lunch

 

The Feast of the Transfiguration of Our Lord Jesus Christ is one of the five main “Tabernacle” feasts of the Armenian Apostolic Holy Church.

It commemorates the transformation that came over Jesus while He was praying. 

Christ’s face shone like the sun and his clothes became a radiant and gleaming white.

On this glorious day we will visit one of the ancient treasures of Christian history – the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin. It is the Vatican of the Armenian Apostolic Church, the place where Surp Grigor Lusavorich (St. Gregory the Illuminator) saw a beam of light in a divine vision, and where he built the first Mother Church of Armenia (303AD).

We will also participate in DIVINE LITURGY.

Continuing our day, we’ll make a short stop at the Churches of Sts. Hripsime and Gayane (UNESCO). Both of them are unique for their different types of central-domed churches developed in the Early Middle Ages and became widespread in Armenia during the 7th century. 

The more commonly used name of this feast is “Vardakas” or “Vardevar”. The day is associated with an old Armenian tradition of pouring water on one another.

THE RULES ARE SIMPLE, LET’S TRY:

2First – Get water

Secondly – Splash at will

Third – Try not to get wet

Remember you could always try to tell people not to pour water on you, but there’s no guarantee that you’ll be spared from getting wet. Don’t get angry! Instead, just try to get involved and enjoy yourself…. 

Good luck!!!

OVERNIGHT IN YEREVAN

 

Day 4 - July 12, 2021

 

Meals: breakfast, lunch

Picture3Let’s head today to the north-west of Armenia towards Mt. Aragats, which are the highest peaks in Armenia and the fourth-highest ones in the Armenian Highland. Aragatsotn Region is very famous for “Armenia Alphabet Park”. Standing next to a small pool of water and with the tall 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, which he created over 1,600 years ago and 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 was one of the richest and most prominent spiritual and cultural centers of the Middle Ages.  After that we’ll drive up towards Amberd Fortress which was used as a summer residence for kings. The castle (along with some sections of the wall) were built in the 7th century. Nearby is one of the other Medieval Armenian churches – St. Astavatsatsin (St. Mother of God). 

Next visit is the Nairian farm & laboratory of local cosmetics situated on the slope of Mount Ara, in a charming village called Aragyugh. Let’s walk through the experimental gardens and learn about the process that goes into growing medicinal herbs and plants. 

“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 but yet there are still new regions being developed and undiscovered ‘riches’ being cultivated in these new regions.

OVERNIGHT IN YEREVAN

 

Day 5 - July 13, 2021

 

Meals: breakfast, lunch

Picture888In 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. 

OVERNIGHT IN YEREVAN

 

Day 6 - July 14, 2021

 

Meals: breakfast, lunch

rrIn the early morning we’ll visit  Khor Virap Monastery with a history over a thousand years old, steeped in mysticism, biblical events, and ties to Armenia’s Christian history. To witness this beautiful place with the amazing view of Biblical Mt. Ararat on a day when all its glory is revealed can be an experience you’ll remember forever. 

 

Afterwards we’ll continue our journey to the Vayots Dzor Region which is also home to bustling wineries and stunning vineyards. Here, in the Areni Winery, the thirsty traveler can tour the winery learning about Armenia’s unbroken tradition of winemaking while quenching their thirst with a sampling of vintages from across the ages.

After this, we travel through the narrow gorge, towards Noravank Monastery (13c.) which is a hauntingly preserved religious complex sitting on the picturesque upper ridge of the gorge. 

OVERNIGHT IN YEREVAN

 

Day 7 - July 15, 2021

 

Meals: breakfast, lunch

Picture5Today we have an opportunity to discover the 18th-19th century unique and indigenous architecture of the second-largest city of Armenia – Gyumri.  Walking around we’ll visit one of the churches that has the oldest icon in the city, “Seven Wounds of Virgin Mary”.  This is how the church is referred to by the locals, though it was consecrated as “Mother of God” church. A short walk across the square will take us to the Holy Saviour’ Church. The architectural masterpiece of it was derived from the design of the Cathedral of Ani. Between the churches in the square of Vardanants we’ll pause for a moment at the monument dedicated to the Battle of Avarayr. Which includes at the helm the historic martyr and St. Vardan Mamikonyan (commander-in-chief) who led the Armenian army’s campaign against Sassanid Persia.

We are off to visit the “Gyumri Beer’‘ brewery, and explore the cellars inside where the raw beer is fermented and produced. We’ll also have an opportunity to taste beer in its different stages of production along the tour. 

Our final stop of the day is the monastic complex of Marmashen (10th-11th c) which is located on a bluff overlooking the left bank of the Akhurian River.

OVERNIGHT IN YEREVAN

 

Day 8 - July 16, 2021

 

Meals: breakfast, dinner

Picture7Today 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.

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. 

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).  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…

 

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

 

Day 9 - July 17, 2021

 

TRANSFER TO AIRPORT

 

SERVICES:

  • Full transportation and transfers in Armenia as specified in itinerary
  • Hotel accommodation: 8 nights
  • Meals as indicated
  • Entrance fee to all sightseeing destinations
  • Bi-lingual tour guide 

 

**Itinerary is subject to change at any time