|DATE:||May – September|
|LANGUAGE:||English, Russian, Armenia|
|GROUP SIZE:||up to 10 people|
|ACCOMMODATION||Hotel, Hostel or B&B|
|FOOD:||yes (Non-vegetarian or Vegetarian)|
|TOUR PRICE:||from 500 EUR equivalent AMD/per person|
Armenia offers every visitor an extensive yet mysteriously historical background, all amid the prospect of Armenia’s considerable hope for the future. The dust- coated, millennia-old past has left its mark throughout Armenia. And, while holding much hope for the future, Armenians still demonstrate great kindness and respect for every visitor. Without losing our original age-old folk traditions, you will discover the splendor of modern Armenia and quickly understand that Armenia has taken a new breath and has stepped firmly into the future. During this tour, you will become acquainted with the spectacular and globally-significant historical and cultural past of Armenia. You’ll see how the forces of nature influence Armenia’s rural life while you discover the customs and mores that govern the lives of Armenia’s villagers. This tour exposes the ancient rural soul of the Armenian. You will realize how the Armenian’s proud history has helped it emerge into the future.
Yerevan City tour – Sisian
Arriving. Pick up upon arrival at the Zvartnots, Yerevan airport
Yerevan City tour, including a visit to the Armenian Genocide Memorial and Museum.
Depart for Sisian and travel along one of the Silk Road routes used by ancient merchants.
Lodging and welcome dinner at the hotel, to include traditional Armenian music and dancing instruction by Arman Davtyan, Sisian’s national award-winning dance instructor and director of the Sisian Dance School.
Sisian – Ughtasar Mountain – Sisian
Making lavash, Armenia’s national and near-sacred bread, including preparing the traditional salt-wheat-water dough and baking in the traditional toner baking pit. (1)
Traditional music and songs and dance performances by Sisian school children.
Depart for Ughtasar Mountain in four-wheel drive vehicles to see Armenian’s amazing millenniums-old petroglyphs (2) (3), including a stop on the way at Zorats Karer*, Sisian’s 7,500-year-old fortress and necropolis and possibly the world’s first astrological observatory.
Relaxing evening on the terrace or local cafes.
Sisian – Vorotan River – Sisian
Visit to Sisian pottery to see pottery and ceramics created by the foremost Sisian potter who is an expert in the use of the unique red clay that is found only in the Sisian area. Demonstration of techniques used to make red-clay based pottery, jewelry, and uniquely Armenian items. *
Return to hotel for cooking demonstration and hands-on preparation of traditional Armenian foods, including Armenia’s national dish, tolma, khorovats (barbecue), a variety of Armenian soups, and ghapama, stuffed baked gourd (in season), and lunch
*Free afternoon in Sisian, walking tour of shops, cafes, Sisian’s 6th century Syuni Monastery, and the culture center and town square to celebrate the 100thanniversary of the birth of Hamo Sahyan, Sisian-born and great Armenian poet and literary artist. Also visit artisans who make Armenia’s extraordinary khatchkars (carved stone crosses) monuments.
Dinner at Kantegh café and restaurant to enjoy a spectacular sunset while overlooking the Vorotan River and viewing Sisian’s spectacular mountain scenery.
Sisian – Halidzor – Tatev – Khndzoresk – Sisian
the valley, a school that taught miniature holy book inscription and the art of beekeeping.
Visit the three churches and centuries old university at the world famous Tatev Monastery, which arose from a modest 4th century church which replaced a pagan temple after Armenia became the first nation to adopt Christianity as a national religion. The monastery at Tatev is a part of a chain of monasteries (including the Syuni Monastery in Sisian) that sit atop mountains or plateaus and stretch the length of the Vorotan River.
Visit Satani Kamurj (Devil’s Bridge) to see a natural bridge that was formed by hot springs in one of the deepest parts of the Vorotan River gorge. The bridge’s spectacularly splashed colors and an impressive array of stalactites are at the end of a 700-800 meter descent from the Tatev plateau to the bottom of the gorge.
If time permits, visit Old Khndzoresk village and see centuries-old caves on both sides of the gorge where, up until 50 years ago, people lived, worked, worshipped, and survived countless threats and attacks from nature and a variety of real and potential conquerors.
Sisian museums and culture centers
Visit Sisian museums and culture centers, including a visit to the art museum, school, and studio of Ashot Avagyan, Sisian’s celebrated abstract expressionism artist who has exhibited in Scandinavia, Europe, and the United States.*
Also included is a visit to the Sisian Museum of History* named after N. Adonts (premier 20th century Armenian historian) where 3,000-year-old artifacts and early examples of agricultural and sheep wool processing tools and Armenian rugs and clothing are displayed. On the grounds of the museum see a variety of petroglyphs, khatchkars (Armenian carved stone crosses), early Roman stone artifacts, and centuries-old monuments of unknown origin.
Lecture, demonstration of, and hands-on processing of wool-processing techniques that have been used for millennia by Sisian’s rug-making artisans, and which uses the tools viewed earlier in the Sisian History Museum.
*Free time in Sisian, walking tour of shops, cafes, Sisian’s 6th century Syuni Monastery, and the culture center and town square to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the birth of Hamo Sahyan, Sisian-born and great Armenian poet and literary artist. Also visit artisans who make Armenia’s extraordinary khatchkars (carved stone crosses).
Villages of Sisian and the Syunik region
Driving / walking tour of Sisian villages to see the 6th century obelisk in Aghitu, Vorotnovank Monastery (1,000 AD) where Armenian kings were inaugurated and Vorotnoberd (fortress) where residents weathered attacks by various invaders, and the 19th century Melek Tangi stone bridge over the Vorotan River, all near the village of Vorotan. The bridge is located beneath the fortress, which, since 450 AD, has been conquered and freed numerous times.
Includes information of the Vorotan River chain of monasteries and the incredible engineering feat of the Syunik cascade, the system of reservoirs, concrete tunnels, and hydroelectric plants that brought electricity to the villages of Sisian and the Syunik region.
Sisian – Shaqi Waterfall – Shatin village – Yerevan
Depart for Yerevan with a stop at Shaqi Waterfall, Armenia’s highest, which is on the Vorotan River and near the village of Shaqi. The wildlife watching tour to the village Shatin to observe the beauty of Armenian wildlife – Bezoar Goats will also possibly be organized.
Arriving to Yerevan and a city tour to include a visit to the Mayr Hayastan (Mother Armenia) statue that overlooks Yerevan, Yerevan’s modern and beautiful cascade, and the unique Yerevan Vernissage market where visitors can find an endless variety of souvenirs and keepsakes from Armenian rugs and paintings to carved wooden khachkars.
(1) Depending on the tour dates, could include participation in Sisian’s annual Bread Festival which includes traditional blessing ceremonies, arts and crafts, and cultural exhibitions by Sisian artisans.
(2) Depending on the dates of the Ughtasar visit, it may be possible to see and participate in the archaeological and anthropological survey of the petroglyphs which is part of a 10-year project conducted by a variety of German-based universities and archaeological and anthropological societies.
(3) Depending on the dates of the tour, an evening discussion with the German petroglyphs team may precede or follow the trip to Ughtasar Mountain.
Price for the tour is:
500 EUR equivalent AMD/per person with accommodation (excluding international flight)
Tour price includes:
Airport pick up
Transportation during the all duration of the tour
Accommodation in Hotel
Meal including lunch, dinner and breakfast during the tour with hot tea/coffee
All the entry fees
City tour in Yerevan
Tour price excludes: