Arrival- Yerevan city tour - Megeryan factory - visit Noy Brandy
Early morning arrival to Yerevan, meeting at Zvartnots International airport. Transfer to your hotel and breakfast.
Yerevan City tour: We’ll see the Republic Square, the National Opera and Ballet Theatre. Then we will visit cultural - architectural complex Cascade, the monument
"Mother Armenia". Visit of the Memorial Complex dedicated to the memory of the victims of the genocide of 1915 and Armenian Genocide Museum. Visit Megerian Carpet Factory, where you will take a tour and you will get acquainted with Armenian carpet history and technique. Visit to Noy Brandy and wine factory: excursion with degustation.
Erebuni - Wineries of Aragatsotn Province
Breakfast at the hotel. Visit to Erebuni Archeological museum: the settlement constructed in 782 BC by one of the greatest kings of Urartu. Drive to the Sasunik Village in Aragatsotn Province. The wine produced in Aragatsotn is mainly from the vineyards located to the south of the Aragats and Arteni mountains. Visit to “Armenia Wine” winery: introduction to Armenian wine, excursion inside the factory-brandy production units, ageing cellars and wine tasting in a specialised tasting room (Grapes: Kangun, Areni).
Next stop is “Voskevaz winary” which is one of the oldest wineries in the region since 1932. Today the winery produces wine using both modern winemaking technology and traditional old karases. This includes – a wine cellar tour, brief introduction to the winery’s history, winemaking technologies and particularities and wine tasting (Grapes: Voskehat, Haghtanak, Kakhet). Return to Yerevan.
Optional Inclusion for Day Two: Visit “Armas winery” at the end of the day. Excursion in vineyards and orchards. The guide will provide a narrative of the history of wine and brandy in Armenia. A walk through the winery and distillery will introduce you to current production methods, as well as provide insight into the age-old tradition of barrel ageing. Wine tasting grapes: Kangun, Karmrahyut.
Etchmiadzin - visit “Map” winery- Zvartnots
Breakfast at the hotel before heading to Echmiadzin, the spiritual and administrative centre of the Armenian Apostolic Church. Echmiadzin is the holy city of Armenia and is the residence of the head of the Armenian Apostolic church. Visit the world's first Christian Cathedral (301AD) and the museum. Drive to one of the leading companies in Armenia “MAP”. Excursion inside the factory, getting acquainted with factory’s classic technology of wine and brandy production
(receiving grapes, processing, ethyl alcohol distillation, ageing in oak casks in wine-cellars, brandy blending and bottling, the museum), tasting rules. One of the aims of the company was to use local wine base (Kharji, Voskehat, Garan Dmak, Rkatsiteli grape varieties) but later other grape sorts. Continue to Zvartnots Cathedral ruins, a complex of structures erected in the middle of the 7th century. Drive back to Yerevan
Optional Inclusion for Day Three: Visit Enoteca winebar in Yerevan to taste interesting range of wines from all over Armenia and enjoy live performances of Yerevan's most talented musicians, mostly Jazz performances (on each Friday or Saturday).
Khor-Virap, Areni Winery, Areni Cave Noravank Monastry
Breakfast at the hotel followed by a trip to Ararat valley, visiting one of the most revered shrines of the Armenian people - the Monastery of Khor Virap, where for many years was imprisoned first patriarch of
Armenia, St. Gregory the Illuminator. The monastery is located 200 meters away from the Turkish border and is considered to be a pilgrimage centre for all Armenians, from where we can have the best view of Biblical Mount Ararat. According to Genesis, it is in the mountains of Ararat that Noah plants the first vineyard and becomes drunk on wine. Drive to the southern part of Armenia, Areni village which is famous for its rich vineyards. Here is the place of the world’s oldest wine cellar (6200 years old) was found by archaeologists, inside the Areni Cave (Vayots Dzor Region). Located at 1000 meters above sea level, the village of Areni is believed to be a place where one of the oldest grape varieties has been cultivated since ancient times. This is the earliest, most reliable evidence of wine production. The archaeologists have unearthed a wine press for stomping grapes, fermentation and storage vessels, drinking cups, and withered grape vines, skins, and seeds. Visit to Areni wine factory to taste local wine and become familiar with the technology of wine making: (Sample raspberry, apple, apricot peach, pomegranate, cherry wines etc). Afterwards, drive to Noravank Monastery which is built in an inaccessible location among stunning nature. On the main highway to Yerevan individual wine-makers offer their homemade wine, where it's possible to us to stop and taste these wines.
Dilijan - Ijevan Winery - Sevan
Breakfast at the hotel, then a morning drive to the forested resort town of Dilijan, which is called “Armenian Little Switzerland” for its nature, flora and fauna. Here we will visit one of the highlights of the region - the medieval Monasteries Haghartsin. Drive to one of the first wineries of Armenia “Ijevan” winery. which high quality brandy, grape and fruit wine, fruit vodka, a wide range of canned and dried fruits. An excursion takes us inside the factory, and provides a visit to the wine cellar, product-ageing area for brandy, and a wine tasting (Grapes: Lalvari, Rkatsiteli, Bananc, Tigrai, Karmrahyut). Drive onwards to Lake Sevan which is situated at an altitude above 1900m. Its crystal-clear water changes colour several times during the day leaving
unforgettable impressions. Visit Sevan Monastery, located on the peninsula that offers magnificent panoramic views of the lake and surrounding mountains, then return to Yerevan.
Matenadaran- Garni-Geghard- Ararat Brandy- Vernissage
Breakfast at the hotel before heading off to visit to the repository of ancient manuscripts, research institute and museum Matenadaran. It holds one of the world's richest depositories of medieval manuscripts and books which span a broad range of subjects, including theology, philosophy, history, medicine, literature, art history, and cosmography in Armenian and many other languages. Drive to the pagan temple Garni (77 AD) - the only Hellenistic temple in the region. See the "Temple of the Sun" and the ancient royal baths, situated on the edge of the picturesque valley. We will continue our trip and find ourselves in Garni Gorge - a wonderful canyon, shaped by the ever-flowing river Goght. Along the sides of the gorge are cliff walls of well-preserved basalt columns. This part of Garni Gorge is typically referred to as the "Symphony of the Stones". Following we will visit the cave Monastery Geghard (5-13cc), which consists of three churches and a huge mausoleum carved into the mountainside. Lunch will be taken in a local family house where we’ll see the baking process of Armenian traditional flatbread, lavash. We will taste both appetising dishes
and delicious homemade fruit wines. There is an opportunity to participate in the process of baking. After lunch, we drive to Yerevan where we will visit the “Ararat” brandy factory for a unique journey through the history of the Armenian brandy making. The end of the excursion there will be a degustation of their legendary brandies. Following the tasting is a visit to an open-air flea market Vernissage.
Following breakfast there will be a transfer to the airport.
** If travelling in October you may like to include the Areni Wine Festival.
This is one of the most traditional and famous events in Armenia which takes place in “Areni” village on the first Saturday of October each year. During the festival, you can taste the products of the best Armenian winemakers as well as the product of individual winemakers; enjoy the unique Armenian wine at the origin of the grape variety "Areni". The cheerful mood and national song and dance are paralleled with the tasting of wines offered by winemakers. Special recreational areas, and pavilions for local foods and cafes are on offer. The program also includes traditional games, and theatrical performances, etc. Guests can taste the regional local dishes and enjoy the joyful day.