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365 days of Armenia by SacVoyage
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Home :: Tours to Armenia :: Folk and Event Tours :: Wine festival in the origin country of wine / Guaranteed departure
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Catch the smell of the ancient world

Wine festival in the origin country of wine

 

According to the legend, humanity first tasted wine and felt its magic effect when Noah sipped it at the foot of Mount Ararat.

Armenia is one of the oldest wine-producing areas in the world. This has been proved by the archaeological excavations* in Armenia's most famous archaeological site - Areni cave, where an international group of archaeologists has found surprising relics of a wine production facility, the artifacts of which should be 6100 years old.

Greek historians of a later period, including Herodotus, Xenophon and Strabon, recorded that excellent wines were exported from Armenia to neighboring countries at least 2,500 years ago.

It is believed that the wine was thought not only for the profane pleasure, but also for sacrificial or grave goods.

 

Duration: 8 days / 7 nights

Type of trip: Cultural, Event

Accommodation: 3 * +

Meals: BB

 

What you can expect from this trip:

 

·         Exploration of the wine culture of millennia

·         Participation in the known Areni Wine Festival with national dances and songs

·         Experience the magic of the first Christian country with one of the oldest civilizations in the world, known since the days of Shumer and Akkad

·         Experience a 3000 old culture between East and West

·         Visit of the oldest UNESCO-monasteries in the world

·         Visit of the religious center of Armenia-the Holy Ejmiadsin, which is called the "Armenian Vatican", and where many relics can be found

·         Visit of the only pagan temple of the CIS countries - Garni temple (1st century AD) and the Geghard monastery, carved into rocks

·         Visit of a prehistoric cave settlement with the mysterious rock carvings of primitive man, where you will find yourself in the past

·         Visit of the Armenian Stonehenge, which is 3500 years older than Stonehenge in England and 3000 years older than the Egyptian pyramids

·         Visit the legendary monastery of Tatev with the longest cableway in the world (entered in the Guinness Book of Records)

·         Visit of Lake Sevan, which is about 2000 meters above sea level and one of the high-altitude lakes in the world

 

 

During this wine tour you will have the opportunity to learn about the following brands of wine and cognac and taste their products: Ijevan winery, Areni winery, Maran winery, Yerevan Brandy Company (product name ARARAT).

 

Day 1 / Arrival (October  2)


Arrival in Yerevan

Meeting at the International Airport "Svartnots"

Transfer to the hotel

Assistance with check in

Overnight in Yerevan.

 

Day 2 / City tour of Yerevan - Ararat Brandy Factory (October 3)


After breakfast at hotel you meet your guide and start with the city tour through Yerevan. The ancient and at the same time modern capital of Armenia was founded in 782 BC and is even 29 years older than the eternal city of Rome. The city tour includes the following sites: Republic Square, "Victory" Park, Mother Armenia, Cafesjian Center for Modern Art, Cascade-monument with beautiful view over the whole city, Opera House, Erebuni Museum.

We visit also Matenadaran (Armenian for "library", UNESCO World Heritage Site) - a unique repository of ancient manuscripts, which has a high ideal value for Armenia. It's an indescribable feeling to get the strange dusty smell of old manuscripts in the nose and let the fingers slide over admiring ornate leather bindings with silver ornaments. Then we drive to Ararat Brandy factory, founded in 1887, where you can taste the famous Armenian brandy. In the evening you can enjoy your welcome dinner in a restaurant with folk show, where you taste national dishes and Armenian wine in accomplishment of national dances and songs.

Overnight in Yerevan.


Day 3 / Yerevan - Khor Virap - Noravank Monastery - Areni Wine Festival - Yeghegnadzor (October 4)

 

After breakfast at hotel we drive through picturesque mountain villages and vineyards to the monastery Choir Virap (4th century) at feet of Biblical Mount Ararat - it is where Grigor Luisavorich (St. Gregory the Illuminator) was imprisoned for 13 years before curing King Trdat III of a disease. This caused the conversion of the king and Armenia into the first officially Christian nation in the world in the year 301. To this day you can visit the underground chamber which he was imprisoned in, located in the nondescript St. Gevorg Chapel apart from the main church. Then we drive among amazing sheer cliff on the bank of a winding canyon to the monastery Noravank (from the 13th - 14th centuries), which was the seat of the bishops of Syunik.

Near Noravank we will visit the Areni cave, where an international team of archaeologists has discovered the oldest leather shoe in the world. This 5500 years old shoe was perfectly preserved to our day.

In Areni you get the opportunity to visit the oldest winery in the world.

 

The festival program includes:


·         Opening ceremony

·         Armenian wine-makers’ Fair

·         Public and professional wine tasting

·         Exhibition-fair of traditional dishes, made by the best Armenian restaurants

·         Business Meetings

·         National music, dances, games, theatrical performances

·         Art program, participation of art amateur groups

 

Contests:

 

·         “Armenia in your eyes” best wine label contest,

·         “Gold Keg” prize for the best wine among the best wine-producers,

·         Homemade wine producers contest

·         “The best souvenir of the festival”

 

Drive to Eghegnadzor.

Overnight in Eghegnadzor.

 

Day 4 / Eghegnadzor - Khndzoresk - Tatev - Sevan (October  5)

 

After breakfast at hotel we drive to Khndzoresk, which is known for its picturesque canyon with rock formations and ancient cave settlement. The artificial caves, some of which are currently used as stables and warehouses, used to be inhabited even 50-60 years ago in spite of scientific development

The culmination of this day would be the legendary monastery of Tatev with its impressive size (895). With the longest cable car in the world ("Wings of Tatev" / "Wings of Tatev", 5752m long) we drive about 11 minutes from the village Halidzor over the Woratan gorge to Tatev Monastery, situated 1,546 m above sea. The cable car was opened on 16.10.2011 and is already in the Guinness Book of Records. The Monastery of Tatev is an architectural masterpiece and is often called "a monastery built on the edge of nothing." Thereupon drive to Karahunj - the Armenian Stonehenge, which is 3500 years older than Stonehenge in England and 3000 years older than the Egyptian pyramids. Nearby is a wonderful and unique creation of nature - the Devil's Bridge of Vorotan river. It is purely a creation of nature and surprises everyone by its perfection. Over the Selim Pass it continues to blue eyed pearl of Armenia - to Lake Sevan, which is about 2,000 meters above sea level and one of the high- altitude lakes in the world.

Overnight in Sevan.

 

 Day 5 / Sevan – Dilijan - Ijevan - Yerevan (on 6 October)

 

After breakfast at the hotel we visit the monastery Sevanavank (9th century) on a peninsula of Lake Sevan. The island monastery was used both for worship and pilgrimage and as a place of exile for Armenian noblemen, who had fallen into disgrace as well as sinner monks to cut them off from as many worldly pleasures as possible. The setting, the views and the beautiful altar of the monastery make this worth climbing up the 200 stairs to the top.  If you can rich the top, you can observe the unusual green khachkars.

Our next goal is Dilijan - the Armenian Switzerland. An Armenian saying states: "If paradise had mountains, forests and springs, it would look like Dilijan". Here we visit the monastery Haghartsin (10-13th centuries), which was a large, cultural and religious center in the 12th century. Lunch in Dilijan. Drive to Ijevan. Visit the Ijevan wine factory. Tasting of red and white wine, fruit wine (blackberry wine, apricot wine, quince wine). Return to Yerevan.

Overnight in Yerevan.

 

Day 6 / Yerevan - Garni - Gegard - Yerevan (on October 7)

 

Breakfast at the hotel. In the morning we drive to Garni temple (1st century AD), which is the only "witness" of the Hellenistic era in the region of the CIS and is dedicated to the Sun God. In Garni have the possibility to have lunch in a cave restaurant where you can follow the preparation process of the traditional bread of Armenian (Lavash).

Our next goal is the Gegard Monastery (7- 12th century). Gegard was originally known as Ayrivank (Cave Monastery). The name “Geghard” is the Armenian word for 'spear' with which Roman soldiers wounded Jesus Christ while he was being crucified and the spear was preserved here for many years. Hundreds of Khachkars and caves are built in the rocks surrounding the Monastery. Geghard and the Upper Azat Valley are inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.                                                                                     ​​

Here you get the opportunity to enjoy a cappella concert in an exceptionally acoustic chamber of Geghard monastery, which creates a mystical atmosphere all around. The quintet "Luys" (translated means "light") was founded in 2002 and consists of five female voices. Their repertoire includes fragments of the sacred liturgy, religious music, medieval Armenian folk songs, works of Komitas and works of contemporary composers. Return to Yerevan.

(Tip: Yerevan is very lively and has a rich jazz scene (... called also the "New Orleans" of the East), many rock and pop groups, an opera house with almost daily shows and numerous concert halls. Use one of the evenings and visit a concert or an opera. Our guide will inform you on the spot and you get cards on request. We haven’t consciously included dinners in Yerevan to give you greater freedom to attend here several events in the evening.)

Overnight in Yerevan.

 

Day 7 / Megerian Carpet Factory - Echmiadzin - Zvartnots temple - Maran winery optional (October 8)

 

 After breakfast at the hotel we will visit the Megerian Carpet Factory. A guided-tour through the gallery and factory gives you the opportunity to study the antique rugs and traditional elements in details and to learn new techniques of carpet weaving.

Drive to Echmiadzin (UNESCO World Heritage) - religious center of the Armenian Apostolic Christianity, where the "native son" came down. Here we visit the churches of three young women who have tragically committed suicide: the cross-domed church of St. Hripsimeh (founded in 618), the bump-shaped Basilica of St. Gayane (founded in 630) and the Shoghakat Church in the form of a dome Gallery (founded in 1694).

The Cathedral of Echmiadzin (founded in 303) is the official residence of Armenian Catholicos.

Also visiting “Gandzatun” museum. The sacred relics of the church are kept in the museum - the spear, by which the body of Christ was pierced, the fragment of Noah's Ark, John Baptist's patella, a piece of the wooden cross on which Jesus was crucified, and finally, the fragment of the crown of thorns of the Savior.

Then we visit the temple of Zvartnots (7 – 10 cc.) - Temple of vigil forces. On the way back to Yerevan stop at Maran winery for tasting of different types of Armenian wine.

Overnight in Yerevan.

 

8 Day / Home flight (October 9)

 

Breakfast at the hotel.

Visit of "Vernissage" - a large open-air market of only handmade traditional gifts: art, jewelry, books, carpets etc. You can take a sunny piece of Armenia back home.

Transfer to the airport 3 hours before the flight.

Help at the airport check-in.


Tour package includes:

 

·         To & From airport transfer  

·         All transfers in Armenia by program

·         Overnight in 3* and 4* hotels in city centre

·         Meals:

·         B = Breakfasts (7 x)

·         D = Dinner (1 x) in a restaurant with folk show (on the 2. day)

·         Wine tasting (on the 2./ 3. / 5. / 7. day)

·         Cappella concert in Geghard monastery (on the 6. day)

·         Visit of Megerian Carpet Factory (on the 7. day)

·         High-qualified guide-interpreter in the preferred language

·         All entrance tickets

·         Comfortable mini-bus with climate-control system

·         Professional friendly driver

·         24-hours tourist support

·         1 bottle of mineral water per person / day

·         Souvenirs as presents from SacVoyage

 

Tour package does not include:

 

·         Air tickets


For more details and prices please contact us directly via mail deutsch@sacvoyage.am.

 

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