Expert-Led Group Tour

Armenia Group Tour - Armenia In-Depth

Spend 12 days exploring the fascinating sites and spectacular scenery of Armenia

12 days

from £1,650pp
  • Dine with local families, sampling traditional food and drink
  • Visit UNESCO sites including Haghpat, Sanahin & Geghard Cave monastery
  • Experience live Armenian music and try your hand at local crafts
  • Soak up the beautiful scenery around Lake Sevan & Mount Ararat

This group tour to Armenia begins and ends in Yerevan, the countries capital city and one full of wonderful contradictions. Traditional teahouses, colourful local markets and soviet era architecture rub shoulders with contemporary sculptures and the musical fountains in Republic square. Spend time exploring the sites of the city as well as venturing out to visit many of the charming villages, ancient monasteries and churches in the surrounding areas. The ancient city of Etchmiadzin is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a special place of pilgrimage for Armenians around the world.

A wonderful part of this trip is the chance to interact with locals. Armenian people are renowned for their hospitality and during this tour time will be spent with local families, eating with them and learning about age old techniques of food preparation. Delicious local produce ranges from traditional sweets, bread “lavash”, marmalades, wines, vodka and Ararat brandy as well as traditional crafts such as carpet weaving, wood carving and pottery.

Leave Yerevan for a few nights and spend time in the town of Goris, located in a valley dominated by the Biblical Mount Ararat, an area of dramatic mountain scenery and ancient sites. Continue onward to Dilijan via lake Sevan, located at 2000m above sea level and villages where the Molokan minority people live. 

IS THIS GROUP TOUR SUITABLE FOR SOLO TRAVELLERS?

Our group tours are perfect for solo travellers, as travelling as part of an organised group in faraway places does provide security and peace of mind. We handle all of the arrangements for you and there will be a local tour guide on hand throughout to provide advice and help if needed, as well as the expertise of a Tour Lecturer.

If you are willing to share, we will always do our best to match you up with another solo traveller of the same sex so that you do not have to pay for a single room.

If you would prefer the privacy of your own room and would like this guaranteed, then the single room price supplement will apply.

WHAT IS THE ACCOMMODATION LIKE IN ARMENIA?

Luxury hotels in Armenia are not to the same standard as those of other more developed countries within Europe. The capital city of Yerevan offers a larger selection and therefore a slightly higher standard than accomodation outside of the main city, which is more basic. 

HOW FIT SHOULD I BE TO ENJOY THIS TOUR?

You do not need to be particularly fit to participate, there are no long walks involved but there will be a certain number of stone steps and uneven surfaces.

WHAT IS THE FOOD LIKE IN ARMENIA?

Armenian specialities feature a variety of local cheeses, flat Lavash bread, sweet Lavash made from fruits, Khoravats (barbecues), Dolma (stuffed vine leaves), Kartofel (raisin and apricot pilaf rice dish) and Kyufta (veal meatballs cooked with cognac). 

WHAT WILL THE WEATHER BE LIKE?

Not excessively hot, clear sunny days, but when travelling in the mountainous areas the weather can vary. The best time to travel to Armenia and Georgia is generally during the months of May, June and September, as it is neither too hot nor cold.



Departing on:
  • 19th May 2017

For a detailed itinerary or to book your place on this tour, please contact us.

DEPART UKARRIVE UKPrice Excluding Flights (£)Flight cost fromSingle SupplementTour LecturerStatus 
19th May 2017 30th May 2017 £ 1,650 £ 415 £ 260 Loretta Grove Available
  Click here to see what is included/excluded

what is included

  • Accommodation as detailed
  • All transfers and transportation
  • Entrance fees to all sites
  • Excursions and activities as detailed
  • Gratuities
  • Meals as indicated
  • Services of tour lecturer & local guides

what is excluded

  • Alcoholic drinks during meals
  • International flights
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Travel Insurance

PLEASE NOTE THE ABOVE FLIGHT COST IS A SUGGESTED FROM PRICE. FLIGHT COSTS WILL BE CONFIRMED AT TIME OF BOOKING. ALL FLIGHTS ARE ATOL PROTECTED.

Itinerary at a glance

Collapse all
Day 1

Fly London to Kiev

Fly Kiev to Yerevan


Transfer to the hotel will take approximately 15 minutes (15km)


You will be staying at Doubletree by Hilton Hotel

Day 2

The morning is at leisure


Afternoon Sightseeing to Genocide Memorial & Matenadaran
Visit the Genocide Memorial, the museum dedicated to the victims of the Great Genocide that took place in 1915 and the memorial with eternal fire.

Continue to visit Matenadaren that is a depository of ancient manuscripts and one of the world’s finest libraries containing around 20,000 documents. The oldest illustrated manuscript is the Echmiadzin Gospel dating from AD989 and the oldest book written in Armenian dating from AD1512 and printed in Venice. This is an exclusively guided tour in Matenadaran by the most prominent specialists of the Institute.

End the afternoon in the food market to explore the beautifully arranged fruits and vegetables, dried fruit and Armenian sweets.

Yerevan is the capital city of Armenia. Both the cultural and administrative centre of the country, it is a city overlooked by the commanding Mount Ararat just across the border in neighbouring Turkey. At the city's heart is the attractive and colourful Republic Square, home to some of the capital's most beautiful architecture, and invigorated by its famous illuminated dancing fountains.

Nearby is the lively Vernissage Market, a bonanza of local arts, crafts and hand-made souvenirs. Take a guided tour of Matenadaran Museum, which lays claim to being the richest depository of Armenian texts and manuscripts in the world and provides a real insight into Armenian heritage.


Breakfast & Dinner Included


You will be staying at Doubletree by Hilton Hotel

Day 3

Half Day to Etchmiadzin
After breakfast, drive to Etchmiadzin city (so called the Armenian Vatican City) including Main Cathedral (303 AD) a World UNESCO cultural heritage site. You will be taken on an exclusive visit to the Museum of Treasures of the Armenian Apostolic Church, reputed to be one of the world's oldest cathedrals. Etchmiadzin is a special place of pilgrimage for all Armenians around the world and is the official residence of the Catholikos (Highest clerical rank of Armenian Apostolic Church similar to the Pope for Catholics) of all Armenians. The Cathedral built in the IV century is the first official Christian Church in the World.

There will be a possibility to take part in the Holy Mass in Echmiatsin.

Lunch in a special authentic ethnic environment in Etchmiadzin organised by a hosting family of Cross of Armenian Unity. Besides having an ecologically pure dinner, you will be shown the winery of the owner where he makes and stores the wine. You may like to take part in making Armenian dishes. Cross of Armenian Unity is a charity NGO founded in 1991 the aim of which is to provide humanitarian assistance to orphans and help them successfully integrate in the social life. There is an opportunity to assist the development of an NGO by purchasing items that are made by local orphans.

After lunch return to Yerevan.


Time at leisure OR Market visit
The afternoon is at leisure

OR

Visit the open-air souvenir market Vernissage, where you can find carved wood and art works, handicrafts, traditional carpets, jewellery and various Armenian souvenirs.


Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner Included


You will be staying at Doubletree by Hilton Hotel

Day 4

Oshakan Village and Wine Tasting
After breakfast drive to Oshakan village and visit the church. Oshakan is the last resting place of St Mesrop Mashtots, the creator of the Armenian alphabet in 405 AD.

You may like to go down to the gorge for a short walk.

There will be a demonstration on the preparation of dried fruit and Armenian sweets in the pleasant garden of the owner. You can sample the sweets and dry fruits from the garden.

A special lunch has been arranged in the Armas wine factory with a degustation of wine and also special tea. A tour around the valleys of Armas will show you how the wine is prepared.

Drive back to Yerevan. Free time to explore Yerevan in the evening.


Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner Included


You will be staying at Doubletree by Hilton Hotel

Day 5

History Museum and Brandy Factory
After breakfast visit the History Museum. Founded in 1919, there are currently around 400,000 exhibits, over 5,000 of which are on permanent display. A visit to the museum is a fascinating journey from the Stone Age and man's first settlements to the end of the 19th century.

Ararat brandies are legendary, embodying Armenia, its cultural and historical heritage. This product has been an inalienable attribute of life for many generations.

Today, it is one of the most famous and successful brands in Armenia and worldwide. Ararat has been preserving the traditions of brandy production since 1887. Only local varieties of grape with special properties are used in the production of an authentic Armenian brandy, based on the unique microclimate of the Ararat Valley. You will be taken on an exclusively guided tour in the factory and taste various types and ages of famous Armenian Brandy at the Brandy Gallery.

The remainder of the day is at leisure.


Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner Included


You will be staying at Doubletree by Hilton Hotel

Day 6

Travel from Yerevan to Goris


Drive from Yerevan to Goris visiting Khor Virap, Norovank, Sissian en route.


Goris, is a town in the southern Syunik Province of Armenia. The city was possibly the first built in a grid layout in Armenia, with a very quaint regional style of stone architecture. Located in the valley of river Goris, it is 254 km from the capital Yerevan.


Ararat Valley and Wine Tasting in Areni
The Ararat valley is dominated by Biblical Mount Ararat. En route to Goris stop at Khor Virap Monastery that dates back to the 4th century. From the monastery you are only 20 km from the Turkish border where you can admire the beauty of Mount Ararat. Visit the chapel which was constructed over the deep dungeon where Gregory the Illuminator was imprisoned for 13 years.

Continue along a narrow road that somehow finds its way through an outlandish narrow, rocky gorge emerging into dramatic scenery of a rocky mountainous landscape. As the road heads higher into this valley you will see the incredibly located 13th century Noravank Monastery, a unique construction, spectacularly surrounded by red cliffs. Time here to contemplate and take in the views.

Wine tasting in Areni.

The landscapes suggest that this is a relatively hot and relatively dry part of Armenia. This area of Armenia is believed to be the location of one of the oldest wine producers in the world. There is a special visit to a recently discovered cave winery that is around 6500 years old. The cave was also famous for the excavation of the oldest shoe in the world.

Lunch is in an open air restaurant with a beautiful view over the surrounding red cliffs.

Continue onto Goris.


Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner Included


You will be staying at Mirhav Hotel

Day 7

Tatev Monastery and Khndzoresk Cave Village
After breakfast drive to Tatev Monastery (9-14th century) and take the Ropeway to get there. The construction was finished in 2010 and it is now the longest ropeway in the world at 5.7 km. Take the ropeway to Halidzor village. On the way you will see a breathtaking view over the River Vorotan and the canyon from above. Explore the monastery on arrival.

Continue to Khndzoresk cave village. Visit the 'Swinging Bridge'. The bridge was opened on June 9, 2012 and is 160 metres long, 1.5 metres wide and rises 36 metres above the ground. It connects the two banks of the village and there is a splendid view over the gorge from the bridge. You will also be given a demonstration of carpet weaving, spinning thread and associated processes. You can try some of these for yourself.


Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner Included


You will be staying at Mirhav Hotel

Day 8

Travel from Goris to Dilijan


Selim Pass Caravanserai, Lake Sevan and villages of Molokans Minorities
After breakfast, drive to Selim Pass, and see one of the best preserved caravanserais in Armenia dating back to the 13th century. The caravanserai used to accommodate travellers and also their animals that were passing along the Silk Road. There is also a small chapel.

Visit Lake Sevan located at 2000m above sea level. It is rich in different types of fish and is especially famous for its Trout. Visit Sevanavank Monastery on the peninsula. Originally made from three churches, Sevanavank monastery was built on an island. Receding waters in the 20th century created the current peninsula. The monastery was founded in 874AD by King Ashot I. The island monastery was, according to historians of the time, used both as a workshop and pilgrimage and as a place of exile for Armenian noblemen who had fallen into disgrace.

Lunch will be taken in a local restaurant in Sevan with traditional dishes made from famous Armenian trout.

Drive to Dilijan via the villages of the Molokan minority who live in Armenia. They settled in Armenia after they were exiled from Russia following a decision of Russian Orthodox Church for not obeying the rules of the church. Molokans are also called "Milk Drinkers" due to the fact that they drink a lot of milk. Dilijan, known as the "Switzerland of Armenia", is one of the most famous resort towns in the country. Here you find yourself in an extremely different climatic zone with clear air and landscapes covered with thick forests.


Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner Included


You will be staying at Dilijan Resort Hotel

Day 9

Travel from Dilijan to Dzoraget


Goshavank Monastery and Hiking in Dilijan Park Reserve
Drive to the Ethnic part of the city and visit a wood-carver's studio and also a potter's workshop.

Continue to Goshavank Monastery (13th century) that is named after Mkhitar Gosh who was the author of the Code of Laws, and was a prominent lawyer, scholar and very famous public figure.

Continue onto Dzoraget for an overnight stay.


Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner Included


You will be staying at Avan Hotel

Day 10

Travel from Dzoraget to Yerevan via Haghpat & Sanahin, Amberd and Hovhanavank


Ozdun and Haghpat Monasteries
After breakfast drive to Odzun monastery dating back to the 7th century. The monastery is beautifully nestled in the village and is surrounded by nature. In Odzun try the local honey and homemade marmalades (apricot, peach or walnut).

If possible you can also visit Sanahin monastery as well, a UNESCO Heritage site which dates back to the 10th century. It has a rich collection of medieval manuscripts.

Continue to Haghpat monastery, also a 10th century UNESCO site. This used to be the spiritual, cultural and educational centre of the region. The monastery is one of the masterpieces of Armenian medieval architecture.

After the visit, lunch will be in an outside location where you can try homemade vodka. Musicians will be playing traditional Armenian.


Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner Included


You will be staying at Tufenkian Historic Yerevan Hotel

Day 11

Gehard Cave Monastery, Garni Village & Traditional Cookery
After breakfast drive to Geghard Cave Monastery (4th -12th century) a world UNESCO heritage site. The monastery is situated 40 km away from Yerevan and has great acoustics in this sacred space.

There will be a vocal concert of early medieval Armenian Religious Music in the cave part of the monastery.

Next drive to Garni village to visit Garni pagan temple (1st century AD, a world UNESCO heritage site) with a king bath roman mosaic. Garni is the only pagan temple that remains in Armenia after adoption of Christianity. From the temple there is a panoramic view of the Azat river gorge and Khosrov state reserve. A duduk is the national musical instrument made of apricot tree. A performance will be organised in the temple. In 2005, UNESCO proclaimed Armenian duduk music a Masterpiece of the Intangible Heritage of Humanity.

A special lunch will be organised at the house of an Armenian rural family with a demonstration of Armenian Bread "lavash" baking in an underground traditional oven - Tonir. The host family will also perform a master class of Armenian traditional barbeque making (marinated fresh lamb or pork or chicken), potato and seasonal vegetables (peppers, eggplants and tomatoes) prepared in the Tonir. The group may take part in preparing and cooking these foods in a traditional Armenian way.

There will be a hands-on cookery demonstration and lesson making a traditional Armenian sweet which is called by locals "Armenian Snickers". You will be offered local apricot vodka/grappa in the cosy garden of this typical Armenian rural house.

After lunch return to Yerevan.

Dinner will be in a traditional restaurant with live folk music.


Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner Included


You will be staying at Tufenkian Historic Yerevan Hotel

Day 12

Fly Yerevan to Kiev

Fly Kiev to London

Destination Experts

Our experts have unrivalled firsthand knowledge of Armenia

Joe Parkes, Travel Expert

"It was extremely helpful to work in conjunction with Joe and his much more up to date knowledge of India and arrive at an itinerary which we were happy with. We enjoyed the whole trip and probably what made it special for us was the fact that all the arrangements worked so well and we really didn’t have to worry about anything at all. Even when we decided to make a small change it was dealt with efficiently and promptly. We can't think of anything that would have made our trip more enjoyable."

"The service from start to finish has been excellent. Joe was very quick to respond to any queries and put together an excellent itinerary at short notice."

"A pleasure to deal with Joe. Efficient, helpful, knowledgeable and fun!"

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Paul Craven, Travel Expert

" I spoke to five different companies, but Paul was by far the most knowledgeable and empathetic."

"The service which I received from your Travel Expert Paul Craven was excellent, he was able to answer any queries I put to him."

"Paul must be congratulated on his expertise and great patience in dealing with all my programme changes. He must dread my phone calls!! A big thank-you from both of us to Paul and Carol."

Read More

For a more detailed itinerary with great ideas on what to do and where to stay, please get in touch with our experts.

Tour Guide

Loretta Grove

Loretta Grove
After many years of travelling, Loretta began tour leading in North Korea, Ukraine, Albania, Kosovo, Georgia, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan. Not the usual wish list places which is why they are even more fascinating and unexpected.



The unexpected always makes these tours extra special; Imagine just bumping into the Patriachate of Georgia at the Svetitskhoveli Cathedral of 379AD , and all the High Priests in their finery greeting him with a full guard of honour. A wondrous experience.



She just loves hunting out the unusual and was delighted to offer Eagle hunting, in Kyrgyzstan, to her group. They all jumped at the chance and the Tian Shen mountains in the distance just added to our enjoyment of this very special day.



Travelling is her greatest passion, meeting the locals, seeing their country through their eyes and discovering places off the beaten track.

Enquire about this Expert Led tour:

Group Size:

Min 6 / Max 15

Tour Expert:

Loretta Grove

Departure Date (S):

  • 19th May 2017

The tour may occasionally involve slightly longer walks, but nothing over 4 hours. The tour will involve visits to a variety of sites throughout the duration of the itinerary and be at a moderate pace.

Holiday Ideas in Armenia

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