Mulberry festival in Armenia - 5 days
Armenian dark- violet mulberries’ taste will force you to visit Armenia again. Mulberry gave people not only its fruit, that would be named “the Queen of berries” for its sweetness, but also its aromatic juice called “dushab” in Armenia. The mulberry vodka is considered to be a distinctive feature of the Armenian culture. The combination of the ancient traditions and modern technologies allowed Armenians to create a new, unique drink. All these goods you can find during the mulberry Festival. After this sweetest day, Tatev Monastery and the longest ropeway in the world are waiting for you. During the next two days you will be in Vagharshapat, a town not far from Yerevan, where the Cathedral of Echmiadzin is located, and in Yerevan, where you can buy souvenirs for your relatives and friends.
day 1 -
Arrival to Yerevan - Transfer to hotel - City walk Our guide will meet you at the Airport. After that you will be transferred to Hotel. Check-in.Free time. Overnight in Yerevan.
day 2 -
Karahunj - Mullberry Festival – Goris. Breakfast at the Hotel. Take trip to Karahunj. Zorats Karer also called Karahunj is a prehistoric archaeological site near the town of Sisian in the Syunik Province of Armenia. It is also often referred to in international tourist lore as the Armenian Stonehenge. The name Carahunge is interpreted as deriving from two Armenian words: car (or kar) (Armenian: քար), meaning stone, and hunge or hoonch (Armenian: հունչ), meaning sound. Thus the name Carahunge means Speaking Stones. This interpretation is related to the fact that the stones make whistling sounds on a windy day, presumably because of multiple reach-through holes bored under different angles into the stones in prehistoric times. The annual Mulberry Festival is an important event and the major goal of the festival is to foster the development of tourism in the region, develop local industry, popularize the cuisine of Syunik Region and revitalize cultural life in the communities. Mulberry and the goods made from mulberry are of great significance for the people of Syunik Region. Evidence of that is the presence of numerous mulberry gardens across the region. There are cultural activities and performances that reflect the Armenian culture and more specifically the Armenian people so that the world and new generations can benefit by learning about the heritage of country. Overnight in Goris.
day 3 -
Khndzoresk - Tatev Monastery - Yerevan Breakfast at the Hotel. Take trip to Khndzoresk village located to the right of Goris - Stepanakert highway, on the steep slopes of Khor Dzor (Deep Gorge), from which, according to tradition, it got its name. Khndzoresk is widely famous for its canyon with picturesque rock formations and ancient cave settlement. The artificial caves, some of which are currently used as stables and warehouses, used to be inhabited till the 1950s. The 160-meter long swinging bridge weight 14 tons and connects the two banks of the village, the so-called old and new Khndzoresk. The amazing thing about the bridge is that it was constructed by the residents of the village, with their own hands and no machinery was used for the construction, and even for the transportation of materials (they used horses). The next place we will visit today is one of the jewels of Syunik Region – Tatev monastery (IX – XVIII). From a small chapel Tatev turned into a regional center, one of the world largest educational centers, along with the Bologna and Sorbonne University. Tatev monastery combines impressive architecture and an unforgettable natural beauty. Also there is the longest reversible aerial tramway in the world. Return to Yerevan. Overnight.
day 4 -
Zvartnots Catedral - Etchmiadzin Cathedral - St. Gayane Church – St. Hripsime Church. Breakfast in hotel. The ruins of Zvartnots Cathedral are located on a flat plain within the Ararat Plateau between the cities of Yerevan and Etchmiadzin in Armenia’s Armavir province near Zvartnots International Airport. Built in the middle of the 7th century CE, under the instructions of the Catholicos Nerses III (r. 641-661 CE), Zvartnots is the oldest and largest aisled tetraconch church in historical Armenia. Etchmiadzin Cathedral is the mother church of the Armenian Apostolic Church, located in the city of Vagharshapat (Etchmiadzin), According to scholars it was the first cathedral built in ancient Armenia, and is considered the oldest cathedral in the world. The original church was built in the early fourth century—between 301 and 303 according to tradition—by Armenia's patron saint Gregory the Illuminator, following the adoption of Christianity as a state religion by King Tiridates III. It replaced a preexisting temple, symbolizing the conversion from paganism to Christianity. The core of the current building was built in 483/4 by Vahan Mamikonian after the cathedral was severely damaged in a Persian invasion. Although never losing its significance, the cathedral subsequently suffered centuries of virtual neglect. In 1441 it was restored as catholicosate and remains as such to this day. Since then the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin has been the administrative headquarters of the Armenian Church. Etchmiadzin was plundered by the Safavids in 1604, when relics and stones were taken out of the cathedral to New Julfa in an effort to undermine Armenians' attachment to their land. Since then the cathedral has undergone a number of renovations. Belfries were added in the latter half of the seventeenth century and in 1868 a sacristy was constructed at the cathedral's east end. Today, it incorporates styles of different periods of Armenian architecture. Diminished during the early Soviet period, Etchmiadzin revived again in the second half of the twentieth century, and under independent Armenia. As the main shrine of religious Christian Armenians worldwide, Etchmiadzin has been an important location in Armenia not only religiously, but also politically and culturally. A major pilgrimage site, it is one of the most visited places in the country. Along with several important early medieval churches located nearby, the cathedral was listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2000. The Church of Saint Gayane is a 7th-century Armenian church in Vagharshapat (Etchmiadzin), the religious center of Armenia. It is located within walking distance from the Etchmiadzin Cathedral of 301. St. Gayane was built by Catholicos Ezra I in the year 630. Its design has remained unchanged despite partial renovations of the dome and some ceilings in 1652. Gayane was the name of an abbess who was martyred with other nuns by Tiridates III of Armenia in the year 301, and subsequently made a saint of the Armenian Apostolic Church. In 2000, Saint Gayane Church was listed in the UNESCO World Heritage Sites along with historical churches of Vagharshapat. The Saint Hripsime Church is a seventh century Armenian Apostolic church in the city of Vagharshapat (Etchmiadzin), Armenia. It is one of the oldest surviving churches in the country. The church was erected by Catholicos Komitas to replace the original mausoleum built by Catholicos Sahak the Great in 395 AD that contained the remains of the martyred Saint Hripsime to whom the church is dedicated. The current structure was completed in 618 AD. It is known for its fine Armenian-style architecture of the classical period, which has influenced many other Armenian churches since. It was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site along with other nearby churches, including Etchmiadzin Cathedral, Armenia's mother church, in 2000. Overnight in Yerevan.
day 5 -
Market visit in Yerevan. Departure Breakfast at the Hotel. Check out. A visit to traditional food market – GUM, and handmade and jewelry market Vernissage in Yerevan. Transfer to the Airport. Departure.