Arrive in Van and after checking into your hotel we will proceed to Akdamar Island where we visit the beautifully restored 10th C Armenian Church of the Holy Cross, or Sourp Khach, built as a part of a palace and religious complex between 915 and 921 AD.
Day 2: Van – Hosap
From Van we travel south along one of the legs of the Silk Road (Ipek Yol) in Turkey. We visit Hosap Castle. The main castle structure of Hosap was built straddling the Silk Road and served as both a means of protecting the road and as a point for charging tolls on travellers. From Hosap we return to Van for lunch, before ending the day with a visit to the Citadel of Van at sunset.
Day 3: Dogubeyazit – Kars
After breakfast, we leave for Dogubeyazit via Muradiye and the pretty Bendimaahi Falls. On our approach to Dogubeyazit we will get our first view of Ararat. Mt. Ararat is known in Turkish as "the Mountain of Pain" and in Kurdish as the "Mountain of Fire". Armenians know it at as Masis. The name Ararat derives from the Bible (Jeremiah 51:27) and is a transliteration of "Urartu" the name foreigners gave to the inhabitants of this region in Biblical times. From Dogubeyazit we continue north around Mt. Ararat, to Kars.
Day 4: Kars – Ani – Kars
From Kars and continue forAni to spend the morning at the former capital of the great medieval Armenian kingdom of Ani. The remains of the ruined city include several churches as well as the shell of the Cathedral of Ani, the citadel and a mosque along with an extensive and well preserved defensive wall.
Today we cross the border to Georgia and from there onto Armenia to continue our tour to Gymri (at the border we change a guide and a driver). Gyumri is located in the north-western part of Armenia, in the middle of Shirak valley, 126 km far from Yerevan. While walking along the streets of old Gyumri one still seems to hear the voice of the smiths' hammers, it seems that a cart will appear from the street corner and the carter will call to show around the city.
Day 6: Gyumri – Yerevan
We drive to Echmiadzin Located 30 minutes outside of the city and considered one of the holiest cities in Armenia. This former capital is now home to the Supreme Catholicos of the Armenian Apostolic Orthodox faith. On the way back visit ruins of Zvartnots Temple, which is included in UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Yerevan is the capital of Armenia and one of the oldest cities in the world. It stretches under the gaze of biblical mountain Ararat.
Day 7: Yerevan – Khor Virap – Noravank – Yerevan
A short drive from Yerevan will lead us to Khor Virap Monastery a place of pilgrimage for Armenians all over the world. Khor Virap is the closest point to Mount Ararat from where you may witness the stunning views of the Biblical Mount Araratand the most convenient place for observing and taking pictures of the biblical mountain. After proceed to Vayots Dzor region and visit Monastery of Noravank- one of the most splendid monuments of medieval Armenia, built in a location of significant natural beauty. The magnificent landscape of mountains, surrounding the monastery, display a beautiful array of colours from the sun's reflection. Way to Yerevan. Next visit to the Brandy Factory with the degustation of 3 types of cognac.
We visit Garni Temple 1st century Roman building . Soon after Armenia adopted Christianity, the temple became the summer residence of Armenian royalty. Next stop is Geghard. Tour to the Lake Sevan- the highest mountainous Lake 2000 m above sea level, visiting the churches of the peninsula (St.Astvatsatsin and St.Arakelots). Proceed to the border. After border formalities change guide and driver and transfer to Tbilisi.
Day 9: Tbilisi – Mtskheta – Tbilisi
We start a trip by driving to Mtskheta - the ancient capital of Georgia is situated 20km from Tbilisi. Scientists date the town back to the 2nd millennium B.C. Here Georgians accepted Christianity in the beginning of 4th century. The town and its architectural monuments are included in the World's Cultural Heritage of UNESCO. Visit Jvari Monastery (6th c.), Svetitskhoveli Cathedral (11th c.) and Samtavro Monastery (11th century). Drive to Tbilisi.
Day 10: Tbilisi
We start the city tour of Tbilisi with visits to the Old Town: Metekhi Temple (12th c.), the Abanotubani bath houses, these balmy sulphur baths have hosted poets, writers, musicians, kings down through the centuries; Narikala - The main fortress of Tbilisi (4th c.), excellent for views on the swirling river Mtkvari (Kura) and this city of so many ages and nationalities. Walking through some narrow streets, along which some carpet and souvenir shops are situated. We visit Sioni Cathedral (11th c.) and Anchiskhati church (6th c.); Visit Georgian State Museum and Rustaveli Avenue - the main street of Tbilisi.
Day 11: Departure
After Breakfast transfer to the airport and flight back home.
Join the tour where you wish in Van, Gyumri or Tbilisi.