Tsaghkadzor (Kecharis monastery), Sevan (Sevanavank), Dilijan (Goshavank, Haghartsin) (overnight)
Akhtala, Haghpat, Sanahin, Kobayr, Gyumri (overnight)
Gyumri observing city tour, Harich, Dashtadem, Aruch, back to Yerevan
Day 1: The first destination of the trip is the famous mountain-ski resort - Tsaghkadzor. Translated from Armenian the word “Tsakhkadzor” means the Gorge of Flowers. In the north-western part of Tsakhkadzor one can find the 11th century monastic complex of Kecharis.
The next destination during this trip will be “The Jewel of Armenia” or the “Geghama Sea” - Lake Sevan, which is one of the largest high-mountainous freshwater lakes in the world. In the northwest part of Sevan Lake, on a narrow rocky peninsula, there stands one of the most prominent examples of medieval Armenian architecture – Sevanavank Monastery. It was founded in 874 AD by princess Mariam.
The next destination of the tour is “Armenian Switzerland” - Dilijan. In 13 km northeast of Dilijan in a cozy place one can find Monastery complex Haghartsin ('Dance of the Eagles’). It was built between the 10th and 13th centuries. There are stunning khachkars, a sundial on the wall of St Gregory, a ruined gavit and a refectory with stunning arched ceiling.
We will also pay a visit to the Monastery Goshavank which became one of the most famous religious and scholarly centers in medieval Armenia in the 12th-13th centuries, led by one of Armenia's most accomplished scholars, legal experts and scientists, Mkhitar Gosh (Mkhitar from Gosh, 1130–1213). The monastery was renamed Goshavank upon his death. The monastery was built between 1188 and the late 13th century.
We will stop in Dilijan for overnight.
Day 2: After the breakfast we will leave for monasteries of Haghpat, Sanahin, Akhtala and Kobayr, dating back to the 10th to 13th centuries.
The monastery of Haghpat, founded by Queen Khosrovanush (wife of the Armenian King Ashot III) in AD 976, consists of one narthex, two corridor-sepulchers, a refectory, a scriptorium, the Chapel of Hamazasp, a belfry, several chapel-tombs and cross-stones (khachkars)․
Sanahin used to be the administrative centre and family burial place of the Kyurikyan Bagratids (10th and 11th centuries), as well as the Episcopal residence for the diocese (until the 11th century). The Sanahin monastery contains 3 churches, narthex, scriptorium, belfry and academy. Haghpat and Sanahin Monasteries are placed on UNESCO's World Heritage List.
Akhtala is a 10th-century Armenian Apostolic Church monastery, with breathtaking frescoes. The fortress played a major role in protecting the north-western regions of Armenia (Gugark) and is among the most well preserved of all in modern Armenia.
Kobayr is another remarkable architectural complexes of medieval times. It was built in the 12th-century. The main church has some partially restored frescoes and a detached 3th-century bell tower. There are also three chapels, one with a scenic balcony.
The last destination will be the city of Gyumri, where we will stop for an overnight.
Day 3: Gyumri is the second largest city of Armenia. By the end of the 19th century, the city was known as Alexandropol, then it was renamed to Leninakan during the Soviet period. Gyumri is known for its 19th-century architecture and urban constructions. We will have an observing city tour in thi sbeautiful city, cause its historic town center is quite walkable and fun to explore. During the tour, you can walk around the center, visit nearby monasteries and churches. The most visited churches here are Church of the Holy Saviour or Surp Amenaprkich, Seven Wounds of the Holy Mother of God, Russian church, Surp Nshan or Holy Sign Church.
After we will head to Harichavank and Dashtadem fortress. Harichavank is one of the pearls of medieval architecture built in the 7-13th cc. Harichavank monastery has been one of the key centers of Armenian spiritual, cultural, and scientific centers for centuries. Dashtadem means “in front of the field”. It is assumed that the construction of the fortress was carried out in the 7th-10th centuries. The exact date of when it was found is unknown.
The last destination of the trip is Aruch Monastery built in the late 660s by Grigor Mamikonyan, an Armenian nobleman. Architecturally it is one of the most important Armenian churches of the Middle Ages and also one of the largest. It is a domed hall single-nave basilica type structure. The church had been extensively damaged by earthquakes and now you can see the sky instead of the dome.