4th – 18th August 2017
Plane • Minibus
First country to accept Christianity as a state religion, hiding treasures of natural and cultural heritage. A country who was formed by volcanoes, laying in Lower Caucasus and offers any traveller wonderful views on the mountains, rivers, gorges, lakes, waterfalls, stepps and rocky half-deserts. Ancient Armenian people, who survived in a long history at the silk road due to their rich culture and raddiate pride and hospitality, mix with merchant’s savvy and viability. It’s a country which left permanent and unforgettable impress.
1. day: Friday, 4th August 2017
Departure from Slovenia, arrival to Yerevan early next morning, transfer to hotel.
2. day: Saturday, 5th August 2017: YEREVAN
In the late morning hours going for site-seeing of Yerevan. We’ll visit Tsitsernakaberd Memorial Museum which commemorate 1,5 million of Armenian people, who died because of decision of Turkish government in 1915. In the afternoon we’ll visit Matenadaran museum with 23.000 ancient manuscripts. We’ll learn about ancient and rich Armenian culture. In the evening fee for dinner. Staying in a hotel overnight.
3. day: Sunday, 6th August 2017: GEGHAMA MOUNTAINS
The Geghami Mountains extend north to south for around 70 kilometres and separate the Ararat Plain (to the west) from Lake Sevan (to the east). They are of volcanic origin and include a number of extinct volcanoes. The average height of the terrain is around 2500 metres, rising to 3597 metres at the summit of Mount Azhdahak. We start our walk at the village of Sevaberd (2100m), around 1 hour drive from Yerevan. Our walk this day ascends gently to the plateau through bloomed meadows and to lake Akna where we camp for the night. 6-7 hours of walking.
4. day: Monday, 7th August 2017: GEGHAMA MOUNTAINS
We set off from lake Akna past a nearby shepherd’s camp and ascending through rolling uplands and alpine meadows to the base of Mount Azhdahak (3597m). After lunch, we have a short steep ascent along the zigzag trail, across scree and possibly some snow patches. We are rewarded by views of its summit crater (complete with snowmelt lake) and by another fantastic panorama, encompassing Sevan Lake and Mount Ararat. We take time to enjoy this amazing place, before descending down the other side of the mountain and camp not far from its base near some shepherds camps. 5-6 hours walking.
5. day: Tuesday, 8th August 2017: GEGHAMA MOUNTAINS
A wonderful day of trekking, as we traverse the open mountainous landscape of Geghama. This part of Armenia is well known for the quantity and quality of its petroglyphs (ancient rock art, depicting lots of subjects, from ibex to astrological symbols) and we descend to one of the best of these sites on the volcanic landscapes at 3050 metres. This is also a great viewpoint, with Mount Aragats in one direction and Mt. Ararat in the other. We continue through and pass Lake Vank with its standing stones before descending to our campsite. 5 hours walking.
6. day: Wednesday, 9th August 2017: TREASURES
The final day of our Geghama Mountains traverse. We leave camp and the pretty meadows and grazing land of the high plateau as we meander down from the mountains. Earlier in the season, there are many wild flowers as we descend. We end our trek at Geghard Monastery dated from Middle ages and listed on UNESCO World heritage site, which used to held a spear, which wounded Jesus. After that, we will visit Garni, a site of a rebuilt Pagan temple, a symbol of pre-Christian Armenia. We will take a short walk to see the basalt columns on the rock, where Garni temple is built. Driving to Yerevan, dinner and staying in a hotel overnight. 5 hours of walking.
7. day: četrtek, 10th August 2017: BETWEEN CRISTIANITY AND ANCIENT HISTORY
Sightseeing tour to historical Khor-Virap monastery (4- 17th cc) with a beautiful view to the biblical Ararat Mountain, were Noah’s arch cast anchor. Khor-Virap monastery rests atop a little hill. It is where St. Gregory the Illuminator was imprisoned for 13 years before adapting Christianity as a state religion in 301 AD. Continue the trip towards Areni village and visit Areni wine factory to taste wine made from the special sorts of Areni grape. Driving through the stunning nature of Vayots Dzor province, ending at Noravank monastery from13th century, a masterpiece of Armenian architecture, which is situated in a narrow gorge and encircled by tall, sheer, brick red cliffs. Proceed to Sisian at Zoras Karer to visit a prehistorical archaeological site. Then drive to Goris – a beautiful city with a very charming regional style of stone architecture surrounded by high mountains and some great rock formations striving to the sky with ancient cave settlement.
8. day: Friday, 11th August 2017: MYSTIC
In the vicinity of Goris we’ll visit a famous cave village with wounderfull views of old churc’s ruins, old tombs, springs and hanging bridge connecting both sides of a gorge. Khndzoresk is an ideal place for hiking. In a late 19th century Khndzoresk was the biggest village in eastern Armenia. Later we’ll continue to the south and we’ll stop at the “Devil’s bridge” (Satani Kamuri), natural monument made from travertine in a gorge of Vorotan river, which is app. 500 m deep. There are also some mineral springs there with medical value (opportunity for bath). A special cultural value here is a Tatev monastery (UNESCO) laying above the gorge and connected with a funicular. It was built in a 4th century on a previous pagan sanctuary on a 1.600 m above sea level in the middle of wonderfull landscape. After a visit we’ll drive to village Shikahogh, where we’ll have a dinner and staying overnight in a visitor’s center of state reserve.
9. day: Saturday, 12th Azgust 2017: SHIGAHOGH STATE RESERVE
Shikahogh is a secong largest forest area in Armenia with many endangereus plants and animal species, such as Caucasus leopard, Besoar goat, brown bear, simfiandra, rare orchids, tulips, poppies etc. We’ll set off to hike through the park after the breakfast. The trail will begin in a forest along the stream, passing a mediaeval bridge to the ruins of mediaeval church with a water spring inside. We’ll continue to Tsav waterfall and then return to Shikahogh village to have dinner and staying overnight. 3-4 hours of walking.
10. day: Sunday, 13th August 2017: FROM GEOLOGY TO HISTORY
We’ll leave the south of Armenia and drive to the north to Yeghenadzor and Getap to reach the ruins of Smbataberd castle on a ridge with steep cliffs from the side. There will be breathless views on a landscape below. We’ll continue our trip to Yehgegis valley where we could admire volcanic rocks, visiting an old Yewish cemetery. Dinner and staying overnight in a village of Hermon.
11. day: Monday, 14th August 2017: SAINT LAKE
We’ll left the Yehgegis valley and drive on an ancient silk road over a Selim pass where we’ll stop to visit the most beautifully preserved Armenian karavanserai. On the other side od the pass we’ll be awarded with a beautiful view of Sevan lake. We’ll stop at the town of Noratus visiting a graveyard with most beautiful kackars in Armenia. We’ll continue to Sevanavank monastery and then along the lake coast to Wishupshore, where we’ll have dinner and staying overnight.
12. day: Tuesday, 15th August 2017: LAKE SEVAN
In the morning there will be free time for resting, having fun or recreation at the Sevan lake. Free time for swimming, sailing, renting a boat or exploring the nature. In the afternoon driving back to Yerevan, staying overnight in a hotel.
13. day: Wednesday, 16th August 2017: MOUNT ARAGATS
Driving from Yerevan to Kari lake at the bottom of Mt. Aragats. Light trekking in the surroundings (1-2 hours walking). Driving to Echmiatzin, the former capital of Armenia, than Zvartnots Cathedral Archaeological park. Back to Yerevan.
14. day: Thursday, 17th August 2017: YEREVAN
Spending last day of our trip in Yerevan: after the breakfast we’ll visit an open-air market to buy some local products and crafts. After that visiting a film director Sergej Paradjanov Museum, in the afternoon we’ll visit an Armenian Brandy Museum. Free for dinner, staying overnight in a hotel.
15. day: Friday, 18th August 2017
Departure to the airport early in the morning, flight to Slovenia.
Price, conditions, additional payment
|Price per person:||8 pearsons||10 pearsons||12 pearsons||14 pearsons|
|Final price for the members||2.200,00 €||2.030,00 €||1.900,00 €||1.810,00 €|
|Final price for the non members||2.420,00 €||2.233,00 €||2.090,00 €||1.991,00 €|
We offer 5 % discount of basic arrangment for paying in one installment. It’s possible to pay in 10 installment but the last must be payed before the departure.
The price includes:
- flight from Ljubljana to Yerevan and back,
- transfer with minibus round Armenia,
- escort vecihle in Geghama mountains,
- tents renting (Geghama),
- full board on all locations except in Yerevan (only breakfast, lunch and dinner on own arrangment),
- Slovene tourist guide with national licence,
- English speaking guide from Armenian Ecotourism Association,
- entrance fees and local guides where necessary,
- organization of the trip.
The price DON’T include:
- extra food and drink,
- single room,
- entrance fees for additional views,
- everything which is not included in the programme.
Payment, if desired:
- 155,00 € for a single room (organized where’s possible),
- 5 % value arrangement for travel cancellation insurance,
- 42,00 € for basic accident insurance for abroad Coris (basic multirisk).
Payment due on the payment of advance payments.
- during their stay in Armenia passengers do not have health insurance (is regulated separately), nor is it protected property or any damages (personal injury, theft, car accidents, kidnappings, terrorist attacks, unrest in the country, natural disasters such as earthquakes, fires, floods, avalanches, …),
- we are not responsible if, in the event of natural disasters such as earthquakes, fires, floods, landslides, … need to change the itinerary,
- we are not responsible for accidents or injuries during the trek and the consequences thereof,
- in the case of a rise in gasoline prices, hotels, airline tickets or any other price may be increased by the price arrangement,
- we are not responsible for cancellations, delays or changes in flights and consequences (higher costs, no implementation of the entire program),
- if the airline cancels the flight and transferred to another airline, we do not assume any additional costs,
- we do not assume the consequences of loss of baggage during air transport, and any costs borne by the traveler.
- special care (eg. vaccination) before departure is not required.
Author of the programme: © Janja Benedik & Armenian Ecotourism Association, 2016.
The organizer and operator of the program: © Prirodoslovno društvo Slovenije & Armenian Ecotourism Association, 2016.
Guiding: Janja Benedik and local guides.