A four days tour to discover the most famous fortresses and fortified monasteries, combined with other different types of sights and unique churches settled in the North and South of Armenia.
We start from Yerevan at 09:00 a.m. heading to Aragatsotn region. We stop on the way to see the monument of Armenian Alphabet, then we move on to the splendid fortress of Amberd (10th century) with its church. Based on the slopes of Mount Aragats, Amberd is 2300 metres above sea level.
Our next stop is the city of Stepanavan for lunch. Afterwards we go to Dendropark, a unique park with more than 500 different kinds of trees and decorative plants established in 1931.
The last sight of our day is the half-preserved Lori Berd fortress (11th century) built by the river of Dzoraget. We go on driving to Vanadzor for overnight.
In the morning, we continue moving up to the North and stop on the road to walk (5 minutes) to the monastery of Kobayr (12th century) built on the edge of the rock. Then, passing through Debed Canyon, we reach the fortified monastery of Akhtala (10-13th century). Its well-preserved frescos are unique in Armenia and definitely worth to discover.
After having lunch in Alaverdi we stop at the beginning of Haghpat village and hike to Kayan Berd fortress (13th century) that had a great military importance for the land in the middle ages.
Afterwards head to Dilijan for overnight.
After having breakfast in the hotel/guesthouse, we visit Lake Sevan, “the blue treasure” of Armenia, and the monastery of Sevanavank situated on the peninsula.
Then we go on to Noratus village and discover the land of cross-stones (Armenian khachkars). This kind of stone-carving is typical Armenian art work.
Having lunch in the village we continue our trip to Artabuynk village through Selim Pass. From the road we can see Smbataberd fortress standing proudly high on the hill. We start hiking to the fortress which takes around 1 hour. The fortress was built in the 11th century and has been mostly preserved. The view from the fortress surrounded by its mountains is just unbelievable.
We go to Sisian for overnight.
From Sisian we head to the monastery of Vorotnavank (10th century) near Vaghatin village.
Our next stop is the fortified monastery of Tatev, wonderfully settled in the mountains. This magnificient complex is inscribed in the tentative list of UNESCO from 1995. Here we have the opportunity to get the longest ropeway in the world (5.7 kilometres).
After lunch, we drive to the Armenian Stonehenge called Karahunj/Zorats Karer which has an even older history than the one existing in Great Britain.
Our last stop of the day is in Areni village. Here we visit the local wine factory and have wine tasting, learning the secrets and methods of the wine making process.
We return to Yerevan taking with us good memories and a lasting impression of the Armenian land.