Welcome to Noravank

The smaller Surp Karapet Church (1227) next to Surp Astvatsatsin is the original shrine built by the miracle-working Bishop Hovhannes. Noravank once treasured a piece of the True Cross stained with the blood of Christ, acquired from a mysterious stranger. The side chapel of St Gregory includes a carved lion-human tombstone dated to 1300.

There are picnic spots and springs around Noravank, as well as an excellent restaurant by the car park. The valley really warms up in the middle of a summer’s day, so come early, or late in the afternoon. During medieval summers the monks of Noravank retired to a mountain retreat. The site is at its most spectacular around sunset when the reddish hues of the cliffs are accentuated by the setting sun.

Noravank features on many travel-agency tours from Yerevan, about 90 minutes away by road – many combine a visit with a stop at Khor Virap and a winery. Public transport from Yerevan or Yeghegnadzor takes you as far as the turn-off on the highway, 6km from Noravank. Get out at the Edem restaurant and hitch the rest of the way, a fairly easy process on weekends.

About 4km from the turn-off to Noravank is an unusual cave-cafe dug out of the side of the cliff. There is no sign, but you’ll see the metal grating between the boulders on the right side of the road.

Top experiences in Noravank

Noravank activities

$25.88 Day Trips & Excursions

Small-group Tour Khor Virap, Areni Cave, Noravank, Areni Winery, Traditional Lunch

Although there are various historical landmarks in Armenia, the oldest and most well-known is probably the Biblical Mount Ararat. This is why our tour promises a spectacular view from the closest spot possible. The Khor Virap monastery is located about an hour’s drive away from the capital Yerevan, and offers an amazing view of Armenia’s defining symbol – the majestic Ararat. “Khor Virap” translates as “deep dungeon”, and was built of the place of the former royal prison, located on the historical site of Artashat.  It was this very prison in which they kept Gregory the Illuminator, the first Armenian Catholicos, for a whole 13 years. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that this place is one of the most sacred spots for Armenians around the world. Likewise, it’s also the closest point to the Mount Ararat from Armenia; very often this spot becomes the number 1 reason to visit our country! Aside from Khor Virap, another place that can’t be missed is Noravank. It is one of the gems of medieval Armenian architecture, nestled high among the stunning brick-red cliffs in the end of the Gnishik Canyon.  Here you will see the one and only depiction of God the Father in Armenia, which is just as astonishing as the face of Jesus Christ that appeared on the dome of the Church’s narthex. Built by Orbelian noblemen, it stands out among our churches as the sepulcher of this noble family, making it unique since it was absolutely prohibited to bury people inside a church since the 5th century. A 15 minutes’ drive back from the monastery of Noravank will take you to the Bird’s Cave. In 2008, archeologists discovered several of the world’s oldest artifacts, including a leather shoe and a winery. The site, overlooking Arpa River near the town of Areni, is claimed to date mostly to the Early Bronze Age (around 5,000-6,000 years ago). It also contains evidence of elaborate burial rituals and agricultural practices. What concerns the “finishing touch” to this tour, you will be given a chance to taste and even purchase Armenia’s renowned Areni wine made from the oldest grape variety in the whole world. The wine is available in several wineries in the actual town of Areni. There will be traditional lunch served in a local restaurant.

$100 Private & Custom Tours

One Day Private Trip to Khor Virap, Noravank and Tatev Monasteries

Drive through the pretty Ararat Valley to the 4th century monastery Khor Virap, where you will enjoy the view of Mt. Ararat (to be honest there are lots of places, where you can enjoy the view, but each of them is unique). Ararat is the mountain, which will let you feel where your ancestors come from. “Khor Virap” means “deep dungeon”, where was a royal prison in the 4th century, here the first Armenian Catolicos Gregory the Illuminator was detained. Continue your tour to Noravank monastery with its intricate carvings. Here you will find the only depiction of God. You can also notice the face of Jesus Christ appeared on the dome of the narthex. Also visit the 7th century monastery of Tatev, which was an educational and spiritual center. You will reach the monastery by the cable car. The ropeway is the longest in the world and if you are looking for unforgettable adventures in the air and want to fly, you don’t need planes! Wings of Tatev will take you to the sky!

$670 Cultural & Theme Tours

10-Day Exploration of Armenia and Nagorno Kharabagh

Day 1: (D only)Arrival at Zvartnots International airport, pick up to your 3-star hotel (one of the best ranked hotels in Yerevan), and welcome dinner.Day 2: (B/L/D)After breakfast you will be taken to Garni pagan temple which is the only pagan temple remaining in Armenia, then afterwards is a visit to Gegard monastery, one of the UNESCO World Heritage sites. Lunch will be at Geghard Gorge with a fantastic view and then back to the hotel in Yerevan.Day 3: (B/L/D) Breakfast at the hotel then a trip to Tsakhkadzor (Valley of Flowers), a very famous resort in the summer and winter. You'll then continue your trip to Sevan Lake, where you'll stay overnight in Sevan or Tsaghkadzor (a 4-star hotel)Day 4:(B/L/D) Breakfast at the hotel then to Noratus, which is the biggest crosstone yard (2500 Khachkars). Then onwards to Selim Qarvansaray. Lunch will be provided where you can relax on the river bank, then on to Jermuk (overnight in Jermuk in a 3-star hotel).Day 5: (B/L/D)After breakfast at the hotel, you will be taken to the Jermuk waterfall and water gallery, and afterwards move to Goris. Afterwards, you'll be travelling to the Old Goris caves at night (this is optional). At the end of the day, you'll be staying overnight in Goris in a 4-star hotel.Day 6:(B/L/D)After breakfast, you'll move on to one of the most exciting days of the tour. You'll visit Tatev monastery , which is the biggest monastery complex in Armenia; to get there, you'll use the longest cable car in the world. After lunch with a breathtaking view of Tatev Gorge, the group will continue to Nagorno Kharabagh. On the road, you will visit the city of Shoushi, the capital Stepanakert, and then to Vank village. Overnight will be at the 4-star hotel right at the mountain with clean fresh air and gorgeous views.Day 7:(B/L/D)In the morning enjoy a traditional village breakfast with natural products from the region. Then you'll visit one of the most beautiful monasteries, Gandzasar, that translated means a treasure mount and fully deserves its name. Then back to Goris for the overnight stay again. Day 8:(B/L/D) After breakfast, you'll travel to Noravank monastery and have lunch there at the monastery overlooking a view of the cliffs. Afterwards you'll be taken to Khor Virap and then back to the 3-star hotel in Yerevan.Day 9:(B/L/D)Free day in Yerevan to peruse the city at your leisure. Day 10: (B only)The tour program is over, and you'll be transported from the hotel to the airport. Please note: The tour includes breakfast, lunch and dinner (except on Days 1 and 10), plus hotel accommodation for the whole period.

$118 Day Trips & Excursions

Khor Virap Monastery, Noravank Monastery, Areni, Jermuk

This time our destination is Vayots Dzor region. The first stop will be in Khor Virap, then in Areni, where we will taste different types of wines, and after that we’ll leave for the masterpiece of architecture Noravank monastery, which will admire everyone with its beauty.Continuing our way we will visit Jermuk city, which is famous with its health resorts. Then we will taste mineral waters of different temperature and will visit famous waterfall in Jermuk city called “Mermaid hair”.Here is the schedule of the tour:1. Khor Virap Monastery2.  Paruyr Sevak’s house-museum3. Areni- wine tasting4. Noravank Monastery5. Jermuk cityEnjoy a beautiful, sunny day and fresh air together with ONE WAY TOUR.P.S. Paruyr Sevak’s house-museum entrance fee is 300 AMD.

$127 Sightseeing Tickets & Passes

Tatev, Noravank and Shaki waterfall

This time we are going to discover unique architecture of Tatev Monastery, Noravank Monastery and admire the beauty of Shaki waterfall. We will visit Noravank monastery which is the most famous monastery of this region located on the rocky gorge of high-upplace.Shaki waterfall is one of the most beautiful natural monuments of Armenia.The height of waterfall is 18 meters and it’s 1700 meters high above sea level.The place of waterfall is a deep canyon, rich in cliffs and caves.Tatev Monastery is a 9th century historical monument.In order to see the Monastery of Tatev, it is a must to take the ropeway.Two way ticket is 5.000 AMD.

$1085.89 Multi-day & Extended Tours

7-Day Small Group Tour from Yerevan: Ararat Valley, Etchmiadzin and Garni Pagan Temple

This tour is an opportunity to discover the natural beauty of Armenia and the country’s cultural and historic background. You will visit Yerevan, the capital and largest city of Armenia, situated in the scenic Ararat Valley noted for its orchards and vineyards. Etchmiadzin, the holy city of Armenia, with its churches inscribed in the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Garni pagan temple which is a wonderful piece of Hellenistic architecture and the only surviving pagan temple in Armenia.Day 1: Arrive in Yerevan. You will have a welcome dinner at the Armenian restaurant. Overnight in Yerevan.Day 2: Leave Yerevan for Echmiadzin. Visit the Brandy Factory before returning to Yerevan for dinner and overnight in Yerevan.Day 3: Visit Khor Virap, Areni and Noravank. Return to Yerevan for dinner and overnight in Yerevan.Day 4: Visit Oshakan, Amberd and Saghmosavank. Return to Yerevan for dinner and overnight in Yerevan.Day 5: Visit Garni and Geghard. Enjoy a concert in the evening. Overnight in Yerevan.Day 6:Visit Lake Sevan and Dilijan. Dinner and overnight in Yerevan.Day 7: Free day, preparing for departure. Check-out. Transfer to the airport.

Noravank in detail