Armenia & Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh):  14-Day Tour

Armenia & Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh): 14-Day Tour

Day 1: Arrival to Yerevan (D)

  1. Pickup from the Yerevan airport

  2. Drive to the Silk Road hotel, located in the city center - rest and get organized

  3. Soon afterwards, we’ll go on a walk to show you the lively and cozy city of Yerevan 

    1. It is full of picturesque streets, delicious local food and hospitable residents

  4. Before the welcome dinner, we have scheduled a meeting and wine tasting with a local female winemaker

 

Day 2: Trip to Aragatsotn Province (B/L/D)

  1. After an early breakfast, we’re off to see the slopes of the extinct volcano, Mount Aragats (which gives its name to the neighbouring Aragatsotn province)

  2. We’ll start with a visit to the ruins of Amberd fortress, whose ancient walls seem to cling to the very edge of the gorge 

  3. Lunch at a local restaurant (local cuisine)

  4. After the feast we’ll visit Centaur, a center for therapeutic horse riding, where we will have a talk with the female founder, feed the horses, and also ride them if we want to. 

  5. In the evening we’ll travel further down the mountain slopes to visit a winery called Armas

  6. We’ll complete our day at the winery with a delicious dinner and wine tasting, before returning to Yerevan for the night. At dinner we will also meet the female CEO of the winery

 

Day 3: Skirting the Turkish Border (B/L)

  1. We’ll travel along the bank of the Aras River, which demarcates the modern-day border between Armenia and Turkey

  2. Our first stop will be at Sardarabad, the location of a battle fought in May, 1918 against the Ottoman Empire

    1. It was because of this victory that Armenia gained its independence. Today, this fateful plain is home to the vineyards of the Mkrtchyan family, who owns a small winery called Voskeni

  3. For lunch we will meet the winemaker, taste their wines and try the local speciality: a calf’s head baked in a tandoor oven 

  4. Afterwards, we’ll join a female historian for a tour around the museum exposition

  5. After lunch, we’ll continue to the province of Shirak

    1. We’ll look out at the ruins of Armenia’s medieval capital, Ani, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that stands on the Turkish side of this closed border 

  6. Finally, we’ll go to Gyumri, modern Armenia’s second largest city, which used to be an important center of the Russian Transcaucasus

    1. Even though Gyumri suffered greatly from the earthquake of 1988, its noble spirit lives on. We’ll dine and stay for the night at a cozy hotel Villa Kars located in one of the city’s pre-revolutionary mansions
       

Day 4: Gyumri and Surroundings (B/L)

  1. In the morning we will explore the center of the city, formerly known as Alexandropol

  2. We’ll visit the Black Fortress, a Russian army citadel that was built in the first half of the 19th century

  3. Afterwards, we’ll take a stroll around the Gyumri bazaar, the country’s liveliest and most colorful market

  4. We will move onto the Berlin Hotel and Gallery to meet with local artists 

  5. For lunch expect traditional Shirak province appetizers and dishes: green cheese, baked buffalo brains and kololak lamb soup 

    1. Don’t be put off by the dishes’ names, they are all delicious! 

  6. After lunch, we’ll travel across the foothills of Lori province 

  7. We’ll pass two Molokan villages that were settled by the members of a Christian sect from Central Russia

    1. They generally prefer to keep to themselves, but with some luck we may get an invitation for a cup of tea

  8. In the evening, we’ll make it to the town of Dilijan, where we’ll dine at a local haute cuisine restaurant and meet the owner

  9. Night at the Tufenkian boutique hotel 

 

Day 5: Rest in Dilijan (B/L)

  1. This is our day of rest, with some leisurely walks around Dilijan and one brief foray into the countryside 

  2. We’ll go to a nearby ranch, where everyone will find something to their liking: a walk through the forests, horseback riding, or even a zip line descent through the canyon

  3. We will also meet two young women who founded the “Arm cook lab” – experimental cuisine space
     

Day 6: Lake Sevan to Karabakh (B/L)

  1. In the early morning we’ll be off to Lake Sevan

  2. Armenians call a sea for its great size and beauty 

  3. We’ll make a couple of stops along the way, first near the walls of the ancient Hayravank Monastery, and then at the farm of local cheese makers family, to taste some rare cheeses and meet them 

  4. Next, the road will take us to Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh) and its northern region of Karvajar

  5. We’ll make a stop at the village of Dadivank to have lunch with locals 

  6. In the evening we’ll reach the capital of Nagorno-Karabakh, Stepanakert 

  7. We’ll drop our luggage off at the downtown hotel Park hotel and then visit a local winemaker for dinner

  8. Night in Stepanakert
     

Day 7: Central the Karabakh (B/L)

  1. In the morning we’ll meet an official from the Ministry of Foreignn Affairs of the Republic of Artsakh and have a short discussion with her

  2. Then we will stroll through the city streets and visit the local market to buy some souvenirs and try zhingyalov hats, flatbread stuffed with seasonal herbs. 

  3. Following that, we’ll go up to the ancient Artsakh capital, the fortress town of Shushi, where we’ll spend the rest of the day ambling along the ancient streets and conversing with locals

  4. We’ll lunch at a restaurant with a great view of Stepanakert

  5. Visit the Museum of Karabakh Carpets, and climb to the top of the fortress towers

  6. The night will be spent in Stepanakert

     

Day 8: Southern Artsakh (B/L)

  1. In the morning we will visit humanitarian demining organization Halo Trust and meet one of the program’s female managers

  2. Then we will go South and visit village of Shosh, where we’ll go down to the gorge of the Karkar River. This narrow canyon, sandwiched between vertical cliffs, hides many amazing things, such as the ruins of an ancient village of millers, waterfalls, springs, caves and a medieval bridge

  3. After walking around the canyon, we’ll get to the village of Togh, the historic center of Artsakh’s southern province, Dizaq. Here, we’ll visit the Avetisyan family winery, which produces wonderful Kataro wine from the indigenous khindogny variety of grapes. 

  4. Afterwards, we’ll visit the ruins of a castle that belonged to the Yeganyan noble family who ruled this area for decades and meet russo-armenian entrepreneur Anna, who will give us the tour around the village 

  5. On the way back to Stepanakert, we’ll stop to visit one of the planet’s oldest trees, a 2000-year-old sycamore
     

Day 9: From Karabakh to Syunik (B/L)

  1. In the morning we’ll leave Artsakh via the Lachin corridor, the “road of life,” which connected Stepanakert to Armenia during the last war 

  2. Right after crossing the border, we’ll visit the cave town of Khndzoresk, where people used to live in houses carved into the rocks right up until the mid-20th century

  3. After Khndzoresk we’ll ride the ultra-modern reverse cableway (also the world’s longest), to get to the Tatev monastery. This convent, which stands at the edge of a deep canyon, was the key religious and learning center of medieval Armenia, complete with a university and a book-producing workshop staffed by outstanding miniaturists 

  4. There we will meet a female social activist

  5. We’ll dine and spend the night at Mirhav Hotel, located in the nearby town of Goris

     

Day 10: Lower Syunik (B/L/D)

  1. Today We’ll begin our journey back to Yerevan. The first stop will be the “Armenian Stonehenge,” a megalithic complex called Zorats Karer, whose stone structures have been a part of this empty plateau for over 4,000 years

  2. By lunchtime, we’ll be at the resort town of Jermuk. This highland valley with therapeutic mineral springs is full of spas that were built during the Soviet era 

  3. After a walk around some resort parks, we’ll take an old trail which follows the narrow canyon of the Arpa River

  4. We’ll stop at Gndevank Monastery, whose ancient walls are still home to a few monks.

  5. By evening, we’ll make it to the town of Yeghegnadzor, the capital of Vayots Dzor province

  6. There we’ll spend the night in a small family-owned hotel and meet a  female pioneer of Armenian regional tourism

     

Day 11: From Areni to Yerevan (B/L)

  1. Our day will start at the village of Areni, the center of Armenia’s principal wine region Vine cultivation began here as early as the Copper Age, so we’ll visit a local cave where evidence of the world’s oldest wine making activities were discovered by archeologists

  2. We’ll lunch at a cave tavern, located in the middle of the red rock canyon 

  3. After the meal, we’ll walk along the canyon to Noravank Monastery, where you’ll be dazzled by intricate khachkar cross stones and base reliefs produced by the celebrated artist, Momik. We will also visit local winery Momik and meet the owners 

  4. The last leg of our journey to Yerevan runs through the Ararat plain, where we’ll take a detour to visit Khor Virap, a medieval monastery that stands on a low-rise rock, and offers a tremendous view of the mighty Mount Ararat, though the mountain itself lies on the opposite bank of the Aras River in Turkey

  5. After visiting the monastery, we’ll drive back to Yerevan, where we’ll dine and settle for three nights at the same hotel


Day 12: Exploring Yerevan (B/L)

 

  1. On this day we’ll leisurely stroll through the capital, visit the local flea market 

  2. We’ll also meet a representative from the Ministry of Diaspora, she will brief us about the current situation in a relationship between Armenia and its diaspora

  3. Free time in the city or arranged time

 

Day 13: Tour to Garni and Geghard (B/L)

 

  1. In the morning we will go to the upper reaches of the Azat River to a medieval monastery, Geghard, which is carved right out of the rocks 

  2. Then we will go to Garni – an ancient pagan temple that stand on the edge of a cliff and offers a stunning panorama of the gorge below 

  3. We will descend into the canyon along the trail to walk along the river and examine giant basalt columns hanging from the slopes – traces of ancient volcanic eruptions

  4. After an easy one hour walk, we will return to Garni, where we will have lunch in a rural house with traditional Armenian dishes 

  5. On the way back to Yerevan, we’ll stop at the arch of Charents, from which you can see a beautiful view of the biblical mountain Ararat 

  6. On the second part of the day we’ll leisurely stroll through the capital

 

Day 14: Homeward Bound (B)

 

  1. After much adventuring, our journey is over! We’ll say our goodbyes and make sure you get to the airport on time for your flight

 


Price Includes:

 

  • English–speaking guide services for the whole trip (Days 1–13)

  • Transportation according the itinerary (Mercedes Sprinter microbus)

  • Meals and tastings as specified (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)

  • Overnights in the hotels according to the itinerary (Twin room)

  • Tickets to all museums, natural reserves and sites

  • Local guides

  • Visa to Artsakh

 

Price does not include:

 

  • Visa for Armenia

  • Meals/services other than specified

  • Medical insurance

  • Gratuities

  • Single supplement – 250$

Included

  • English–speaking guide services for the whole trip (Days 1–13)

  • Transportation according the itinerary (Mercedes Sprinter microbus)

  • Meals and tastings as specified (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)

  • Overnights in the hotels according to the itinerary (Twin room)

  • Tickets to all museums, natural reserves and sites

  • Local guides

  • Visa to Artsakh

Not Included

  • Visa for Armenia

  • Meals/services other than specified

  • Medical insurance

  • Gratuities

  • Single supplement – $250

Contact Us

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