Pilgrimage to the First Christian Country / 8 days

Cultural & Theme Tours, Traveler pickup is offered to null
Image by Viator

Information from Viator

Tour description

It’s a pleasure to welcome to Silk Road Armenia Travel Agency.‘Caucasus Pearls’ is a 15-day combined group tour with fixed dates, which explores three countries of South Caucasus – Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Armenia. This unique pilgrimage to the Holy Shrines of renowned Armenian and Universal saints will give you the whole outline of Armenian Christianity starting from the very first ages AD up to nowadays. You will get acquainted with some beautiful surroundings of the monasteries they lived and worked. Each day of our pilgrimage is entitled with a challenge Armenians had met in the past. We will have two overnights in Stepanakert, the capital of Artsakh, and the other nights we will spend in Yerevan. So join us in this pilgrimage and get enriched with the deeds and prayers of holy people.

ItineraryDay 1: Arrival Stop At: Yerevan Cascade, YerevanArrival to the Zvartnoc International Airport. Transfer to hotel.Duration: 30 minutesNo meals included on this day.Accommodation included: Overnight at 3* Hotel Day 2: Conversion and Proclamation / Yerevan - Ejmiatsin - Zvartnots - Yerevan Stop At: The Churches of Echmiatsin and the Archaeological Site of Zvartnots, Vagharshapat, Armavir ProvinceBreakfast. We will start our pilgrimage with a prayer proceeded by a visit to a magnificent cathedral having the Holy Relics of St. Grigor Lusavorich (St. Gregory the Illuminator) who played decisive role in the adoption of Christianity as a state religion in 301 and later became the Catholicos of the Armenian Church. Here we get the blessing for our pilgrimage. After lunch in the centre of Yerevan we will continue our pilgrimage and visit the spiritual and administrative centre of the Armenian Apostolic Church - the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin. In route the guide will tell you the story how Armenia became the first country in the world to adopt Christianity asa state religion. Upon the entrance to the city of Etchmiadzin we will see a 7th century church where the shrine of a St. Hripsime (3rd c.) and the relics of the other 40 martyred nuns are. The Mother Cathedral will embrace us next, with its museum opening the doors for us to see the Holy Relics of known saints, the unique piece from Noah's Ark, the Holy Lance with which our Lord was pierced and many more. A 10 minutes' drive from Echmiadzin will bring us to the ruins of once glorious Zvartnots Cathedral of 7th century translated as “Place of Angels”. The temple was built on 7th century by Nerses Builder Catholicos. Drive back to Yerevan. Overnight. (B)Duration: 4 hoursMeals included: • BreakfastAccommodation included: Overnight at 3* Hotel Day 3: Translating and Surviving / Yerevan - Oshakan - Mughni - Hovhanavank Stop At: Mughni Church, Ashtarak, AragatsotnAfter breakfast we will leave for Oshakan, a sacred place for each Armenian as here is the shrine of St. Mesrop Mashtotz, who by God’s grace invented the Armenian Alphabet in 405 AD. Then we will continue our way to St. Gevorg (St. George) church of Mughni (13th c.), with a nice fresco of 19th century. Then we will continue our pilgrimage to Hovhannavank monastery (4th c.) on the relics of St. John. Then we will go to see a 5th century martyr's shrine near Aparan Lake. Get back to Yerevan and Overnight here. (B)Duration: 5 hoursMeals included: • BreakfastAccommodation included: Overnight at 3* Hotel Day 4: Law and Theology / Yerevan - Haghpat - Goshavank - Dilijan Stop At: Goshavank Monastery, Gosh, Tavush ProvinceThe Morning Prayer will open our day to discover the shrines of Armenian medieval saints still as places of pilgrimage in the north-east of the country. First, we will visit Odzun Church, situated on the mountaintop and considered one of the finest Armenian basilicas with a cupola of 6th century, and to the nearby St. Hovhannes Odznetsi's shrine (a 7th century Catholicos) who was a very bright Christian figure not only in Armenia but also in whole world. Evening prayer will be in the Monastery of Haghpat where the shrine of Deacon Hovhannes Imastaser is. Haghpat monastery is a UNESCO world Heritage site. Then a beautiful road will lead us to Goshavank where the shrine of Mkhitar Gosh is. He was a well-known Armenian scientist and bishop, the author of Datastanagirq – a unique book of law codex first printed in Venice in 1790. We will be headed finally to the resort town of Dilijan with its contrasting colours, forests, the pure mountain air and curative mineral water springs. Overnight in Dilijan. (B)Duration: 9 hoursMeals included: • BreakfastAccommodation included: Overnight at 3* Hotel Day 5: Scholasticism and Stones / Dilijan - Sevan - Noratus - Selim - Tatev - Goris Stop At: Tatev Monastery, Tatev, Syunik ProvinceBreakfast. We will drive to Lake Sevan which is one of the largest lakes in the world. It stands out with its sweet and astonishingly blue water. Here we can enjoy the breathtaking scenery of the beautiful lake. Then we will visit Sevanavank Monastery which is situated on Sevan Peninsula. There are 2 monasteries actually; one of them is destroyed but the other stands still. They have been built in the Middle Ages, around 10th century. We will alo visuit the greatest cross stone cemetry of the world in Noratus village.We will continue our way to see another miracle – Tatev Monastic Complex founded in the 4th century, which once was a huge spiritual and cultural centre. Nevertheless, it is a magnificent monastery built on a gorge; it is in nice harmony with the nature and is full of spirituality. Here is the shrine of a 14th century Saint Grigor Tatevatsi, who was a great theologian. We will take here the longest cable car of the world to cross the huge gorge to the complex. Drive to Goris in the end. Overnight here. (B)Duration: 11 hoursMeals included: • BreakfastAccommodation included: Overnight at 3* HotelDay 6: Forerunning and Protection / Goris - Noravank - Khor Virap - Yerevan Stop At: Khor Virap, Lusarat, Ararat ProvinceAfter having our morning prayer we will move to Monastic Complex of Noravank (4-13th cc.) that was considered the see of the Siunik bishops. Here we have a chance to admire the work of a well-known monk-architect Momik and among a large number of khachkars (cross-stones); we will find the one dedicated to the genius. The magnificent landscape of mountains and red cliffs surrounding the monastery display a beautiful array of colours from the sun's reflection. Take trip to Khor Virap Monastery (4-18th cc.). This monastery is very prominent because of its history; Gregory the Illuminator, who introduced Christianity to Armenia, has been imprisoned there about 13 years as at that time there was a prison in the place of the monastery. Here we can enjoy the spectacular view of the sacred Ararat Mountain - an immortal symbol of Armenia. Drive back to Yerevan. Overnight. (B)Duration: 7 hoursMeals included: • BreakfastAccommodation included: Overnight at 3* Hotel Day 7: Past, Present and Future / Yerevan - Geghard - Yerevan city tour Stop At: The Monastery of Geghard, Geghard, Kotayk ProvinceTake trip to Geghard Monastery. Its name came from the legendary lance that was used to pierce the body of Christ. It has been kept here for centuries. Though the exact foundation of the monastery is unknown, the present complex was built in the mid – 13th century. Return Yerevan for city tour. Visit St. Zoravor, a charming church in the centre of Yerevan, will start the day. Here the precious relics of St. Anania, the disciple that opened Saul’s (future apostle St. Paul’s) eyes, are kept. Then we will visit the Matenadaran - the world's largest depository of ancient manuscripts, a museum and scientific institute named after Mesrop Mashtotz (the inventor of Armenian Alphabet). After free time for lunch, we will have time for shopping and enjoying the last walks along the Yerevan streets or just having rest before our farewell party that will sum up the week’s impressions and we will say good-bye with the hope to meet again. (B)Duration: 7 hoursMeals included: • BreakfastAccommodation included: Overnight at 3* Hotel Day 8: Departure Stop At: Yerevan Cascade, YerevanSo take advantage of being here, join us on the road of pilgrimage, discovery and prayer, Duration: 30 minutesMeals included: • BreakfastNo accommodation included on this day.

What's included

  • 7x Breakfast
  • Accommodation included: 7 nights
  • Accomodation in hotels in DBL rooms for 7 nights
  • Professional English, Russian, French, Spanish, German, Italian speaking gide
  • AC Transportation / 2-4 pax- Mini van, 5-13 pax- Mercedes Sprinter, 14-20 pax, Mercedes Atego
  • All entrance fees to monuments mentioned in the program
  • A bottle of water per day per person
  • Tatev Cable Car
  • Maps
  • Entry/Admission - Yerevan Cascade
  • Entry/Admission - The Churches of Echmiatsin and the Archaeological Site of Zvartnots
  • Entry/Admission - Mughni Church
  • Entry/Admission - Goshavank Monastery
  • Entry/Admission - Tatev Monastery
  • Entry/Admission - Khor Virap
  • Entry/Admission - The Monastery of Geghard
  • Entry/Admission - Yerevan Cascade

What's not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Air Tickets
  • Visits outside the program
  • Other meals not mentioned in the program

Itinerary

Day 1: Day 1: Arrival Stop At: Yerevan Cascade, Yerevan Arrival to the Zvartnoc International Airport. Transfer to hotel. Duration: 30 minutes No meals included on this day. Accommodation included: Overnight at 3* Hotel

Day 2: Day 2: Conversion and Proclamation / Yerevan - Ejmiatsin - Zvartnots - Yerevan Stop At: The Churches of Echmiatsin and the Archaeological Site of Zvartnots, Vagharshapat, Armavir Province Breakfast. We will start our pilgrimage with a prayer proceeded by a visit to a magnificent cathedral having the Holy Relics of St. Grigor Lusavorich (St. Gregory the Illuminator) who played decisive role in the adoption of Christianity as a state religion in 301 and later became the Catholicos of the Armenian Church. Here we get the blessing for our pilgrimage. After lunch in the centre of Yerevan we will continue our pilgrimage and visit the spiritual and administrative centre of the Armenian Apostolic Church - the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin. In route the guide will tell you the story how Armenia became the first country in the world to adopt Christianity asa state religion. Upon the entrance to the city of Etchmiadzin we will see a 7th century church where the shrine of a St. Hripsime (3rd c.) and the relics of the other 40 martyred nuns are. The Mother Cathedral will embrace us next, with its museum opening the doors for us to see the Holy Relics of known saints, the unique piece from Noah's Ark, the Holy Lance with which our Lord was pierced and many more. A 10 minutes' drive from Echmiadzin will bring us to the ruins of once glorious Zvartnots Cathedral of 7th century translated as “Place of Angels”. The temple was built on 7th century by Nerses Builder Catholicos. Drive back to Yerevan. Overnight. (B) Duration: 4 hours Meals included: • Breakfast Accommodation included: Overnight at 3* Hotel

Day 3: Day 3: Translating and Surviving / Yerevan - Oshakan - Mughni - Hovhanavank Stop At: Mughni Church, Ashtarak, Aragatsotn After breakfast we will leave for Oshakan, a sacred place for each Armenian as here is the shrine of St. Mesrop Mashtotz, who by God’s grace invented the Armenian Alphabet in 405 AD. Then we will continue our way to St. Gevorg (St. George) church of Mughni (13th c.), with a nice fresco of 19th century. Then we will continue our pilgrimage to Hovhannavank monastery (4th c.) on the relics of St. John. Then we will go to see a 5th century martyr's shrine near Aparan Lake. Get back to Yerevan and Overnight here. (B) Duration: 5 hours Meals included: • Breakfast Accommodation included: Overnight at 3* Hotel

Day 4: Day 4: Law and Theology / Yerevan - Haghpat - Goshavank - Dilijan Stop At: Goshavank Monastery, Gosh, Tavush Province The Morning Prayer will open our day to discover the shrines of Armenian medieval saints still as places of pilgrimage in the north-east of the country. First, we will visit Odzun Church, situated on the mountaintop and considered one of the finest Armenian basilicas with a cupola of 6th century, and to the nearby St. Hovhannes Odznetsi's shrine (a 7th century Catholicos) who was a very bright Christian figure not only in Armenia but also in whole world. Evening prayer will be in the Monastery of Haghpat where the shrine of Deacon Hovhannes Imastaser is. Haghpat monastery is a UNESCO world Heritage site. Then a beautiful road will lead us to Goshavank where the shrine of Mkhitar Gosh is. He was a well-known Armenian scientist and bishop, the author of Datastanagirq – a unique book of law codex first printed in Venice in 1790. We will be headed finally to the resort town of Dilijan with its contrasting colours, forests, the pure mountain air and curative mineral water springs. Overnight in Dilijan. (B) Duration: 9 hours Meals included: • Breakfast Accommodation included: Overnight at 3* Hotel

Day 5: Day 5: Scholasticism and Stones / Dilijan - Sevan - Noratus - Selim - Tatev - Goris Stop At: Tatev Monastery, Tatev, Syunik Province Breakfast. We will drive to Lake Sevan which is one of the largest lakes in the world. It stands out with its sweet and astonishingly blue water. Here we can enjoy the breathtaking scenery of the beautiful lake. Then we will visit Sevanavank Monastery which is situated on Sevan Peninsula. There are 2 monasteries actually; one of them is destroyed but the other stands still. They have been built in the Middle Ages, around 10th century. We will alo visuit the greatest cross stone cemetry of the world in Noratus village.We will continue our way to see another miracle – Tatev Monastic Complex founded in the 4th century, which once was a huge spiritual and cultural centre. Nevertheless, it is a magnificent monastery built on a gorge; it is in nice harmony with the nature and is full of spirituality. Here is the shrine of a 14th century Saint Grigor Tatevatsi, who was a great theologian. We will take here the longest cable car of the world to cross the huge gorge to the complex. Drive to Goris in the end. Overnight here. (B) Duration: 11 hours Meals included: • Breakfast Accommodation included: Overnight at 3* Hotel

Day 6: Day 6: Forerunning and Protection / Goris - Noravank - Khor Virap - Yerevan Stop At: Khor Virap, Lusarat, Ararat Province After having our morning prayer we will move to Monastic Complex of Noravank (4-13th cc.) that was considered the see of the Siunik bishops. Here we have a chance to admire the work of a well-known monk-architect Momik and among a large number of khachkars (cross-stones); we will find the one dedicated to the genius. The magnificent landscape of mountains and red cliffs surrounding the monastery display a beautiful array of colours from the sun's reflection. Take trip to Khor Virap Monastery (4-18th cc.). This monastery is very prominent because of its history; Gregory the Illuminator, who introduced Christianity to Armenia, has been imprisoned there about 13 years as at that time there was a prison in the place of the monastery. Here we can enjoy the spectacular view of the sacred Ararat Mountain - an immortal symbol of Armenia. Drive back to Yerevan. Overnight. (B) Duration: 7 hours Meals included: • Breakfast Accommodation included: Overnight at 3* Hotel

Day 7: Day 7: Past, Present and Future / Yerevan - Geghard - Yerevan city tour Stop At: The Monastery of Geghard, Geghard, Kotayk Province Take trip to Geghard Monastery. Its name came from the legendary lance that was used to pierce the body of Christ. It has been kept here for centuries. Though the exact foundation of the monastery is unknown, the present complex was built in the mid – 13th century. Return Yerevan for city tour. Visit St. Zoravor, a charming church in the centre of Yerevan, will start the day. Here the precious relics of St. Anania, the disciple that opened Saul’s (future apostle St. Paul’s) eyes, are kept. Then we will visit the Matenadaran - the world's largest depository of ancient manuscripts, a museum and scientific institute named after Mesrop Mashtotz (the inventor of Armenian Alphabet). After free time for lunch, we will have time for shopping and enjoying the last walks along the Yerevan streets or just having rest before our farewell party that will sum up the week’s impressions and we will say good-bye with the hope to meet again. (B) Duration: 7 hours Meals included: • Breakfast Accommodation included: Overnight at 3* Hotel

Day 8: Day 8: Departure Stop At: Yerevan Cascade, Yerevan So take advantage of being here, join us on the road of pilgrimage, discovery and prayer, Duration: 30 minutes Meals included: • Breakfast No accommodation included on this day.