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Armenia: Heartland of The Caucasus

Group Tour

8 Days From C$2,730

Overview

Spanning cultures and continents, Armenia lies at the heart of the Caucasus, its ancient monasteries and candlelit churches standing silent sentinel over centuries of conflict and religious devotion. 

Watched over by the biblical heights of Mount Ararat, its mountains and forests play host to a stunning collection of ecclesiastical treasures, from the beautiful cathedral at Echmiadzin, to the serene majesty of the Khor Virap and Tatev Monasteries. 

This incredible journey takes ...
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HIGHLIGHTS

At a glance

MEALS

7 x Breakfasts
6 x Lunches
6 x Dinners

TRANSPORT

On this tour we will use minibuses.

GROUP SIZE

Maximum: 12

CARBON CONTRIBUTIONS

A carbon-offsetting contribution to Eco Act for all bookings

EXPERT TEAM

The full services of a Wild Frontiers Tour Leader with local guides where appropriate

ACCOMMODATION

3 nights x Premium
4 nights x Superior

ACCOMMODATION

As an overall ethos, wherever possible we aim to use characterful accommodation that enhances the overall travel experience, not just offers a bed for the night. This can obviously vary dramatically from country to country and from trip to trip. On this trip we mainly will be in comfortable hotels. Please note that the accommodation mentioned in the itinerary is intended as a guide only and is always subject to availability.

ENTRANCE FEES

All entrance fees for sights mentioned in the itinerary

FITNESS RATING

Low / Moderate

FITNESS RATING

LOW: You should be comfortable walking around towns and cultural sites. May include some optional walks (typically 1-2hrs).

LOW/MODERATE: May be of a long duration and/or involve numerous border-crossings. May include easy/moderate day walks (up to 2-3hrs/day). You should be relatively fit and lead a generally active lifestyle.

MODERATE: May include several easy/moderate day walks (up to 2-5hrs/day) possibly at altitude. You should be relatively fit and lead a generally active lifestyle. Previous experience of similar trips helpful.

MODERATE/HIGH: May involve several days of moderate hiking (up to 3-6 hrs/day) possibly at altitude. You must be a fit and active traveller with appropriate trekking experience.

HIGH: May involve several days of moderate/strenuous trekking (up to 4-7 hrs/day) possibly at altitude. You must be a very fit and active traveller with appropriate trekking experience.

Map & Itinerary

Individual departures may vary so please refer to the information in the tour specific links in the Dates and Prices section below

Armenia: Heartland of The Caucasus
EXPAND ALL ITINERARY DAYS
COLLAPSE ALL ITINERARY DAYS

DAY 1: TOUR STARTS IN YEREVAN

DAY 1: TOUR STARTS IN YEREVAN

Our journey begins in Yerevan, one of the world’s oldest continuously inhabited cities, which can date its origins back to the 8th century BC and the founding of the Erebuni Fortress by King Argisthi in 782. Sitting on the banks of the Hrazdan River, against the impressive backdrop of Mount Ararat, the Armenian capital has been at the heart of the staunch and traditional Armenian Highlands for centuries. Rooms will be available in Yerevan from this afternoon. Those arriving on the group flights will arrive late this evening.

Imperial Palace Hotel (or similar)

DAY 2: IN & AROUND YEREVAN

DAY 2: IN & AROUND YEREVAN

This morning we drive a short distance to the UNESCO site of Echmiadzin, the spiritual centre of the country and the home of the head of the Holy Armenian Apostolic Church. We’ll visit the city’s stunning cathedral, one of the oldest churches anywhere in the world and purportedly home to a number of sacred relics, including a piece of Noah’s Ark and the Holy Lance from Geghard. After a chance to observe Sunday mass - a remarkable sight in itself - in this most revered of places, we will visit the 7th century archaeological site of Zvartnots, also UNESCO. We will then return to Yerevan where there will be time to visit the colourful Vernissage Market and the city’s Matenadaran Museum, one of the world’s richest repositories of medieval manuscripts and books.

Imperial Palace Hotel (or similar)
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 3: YEREVAN – KHOR VIRAP - NOROVANK – ARENI - KARAHUNJ – GORIS

DAY 3: YEREVAN – KHOR VIRAP - NOROVANK – ARENI - KARAHUNJ – GORIS

Today’s journey takes us by way of the pilgrimage site of Khor Virap, one of Armenia’s most spectacularly sited monasteries. Credited with bringing Christianity to Armenia, St Gregory is the patron saint and the first official head of the Armenian Apostolic Church, so this, the site of his incarceration, is held in great respect by the Armenian Christians. This is also the closest point in Armenia to the biblical slopes of Mount Ararat and the majestic views across to the holy mountain add a certain reverence to the setting. From here we then head on to the 13th century monastery of Noravank to view its beautiful stone crosses. Afterwards we will continue to the wine producing region of Areni Village where we will enjoy a short visit to one of the local wineries to sample a variety of wines and discover how they are produced. We will finally take a short walk to and around the site of Karahunj, the Armenian equivalent to Stonehenge, before ending our journey in the traditional town of Goris, set amongst the winding mountain roads of Southern Armenia.

Mirhav Hotel (or similar)
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 4: IN & AROUND GORIS

DAY 4: IN & AROUND GORIS

This morning we will visit the magnificently situated Tatev Monastery, taking the cable car across the Vorotan Canyon (at 5.7km, the longest cable car in the world). A former centre for the arts and sciences, Tatev Monastery has been a bastion of culture and learning for centuries and today its extensive grounds hold three churches, a refectory, a library, vault and several residences. We will then travel to explore by foot the fascinating cave village of Khndzoresk whose 400 dwellings were still lived in up to a couple of decades ago. Next we will visit the museum of Axel, an Armenian writer and public activist who was tragically murdered during Stalin’s 1937 assassinations.

Mirhav Hotel (or similar)
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 5: GORIS – SELIM CARAVANSERAI – LAKE SEVAN – DILIJAN

DAY 5: GORIS – SELIM CARAVANSERAI – LAKE SEVAN – DILIJAN

Departing Goris we will head north for the shores of Lake Sevan, stopping on route at the well preserved and atmospheric Selim Caravanserai, an important staging point in the 14th century built in 1332 by Chesan Orbelian. We will visit Noratus, the largest cemetery of khachkars in Armenia, and the medieval Sevanavank Monastery located on the shore of Lake Sevan. Next we will drive to the 'Armenian Switzerland' region of Dilijan where we will enjoy a cookery masterclass on ‘tolma’ - the traditional Armenian dish combining minced meat, rice, various herbs and spices, rolled in grape leaves. We will spend the next two nights in this beautiful alpine town.

Old Dilijan Hotel (or similar)
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 6: DILIJAN - TRANSCAUCASIAN TRAIL IN DILIJAN NATIONAL PARK – DILIJAN

DAY 6: DILIJAN - TRANSCAUCASIAN TRAIL IN DILIJAN NATIONAL PARK – DILIJAN

Today there is the option to set out on a full day's hike, using the ongoing Transcaucasian trail project. The terrain will vary today from well beaten paths to grassland and scree underfoot. As this is an alpine area, much of the walking will be forested but there will be break points to enjoy some wonderful vistas. On route you will visit Lake Parz, one of Dilijan's most attractive natural sites and the medieval Haghartsin Monastery. The refectory of Hagahrtsin is unique and there are a number of very interesting khachkars (cross stones) in the Monastery. From here you will reach Goshavank Monastery. The Monastery was established by Mkhitar Gosh, the famous scientist and author of medieval Armenia. Approx. 4 hrs walking (Total distance 6kms)

Old Dilijan Hotel (or similar)
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 7: DILIJAN - GARNI - YEREVAN

DAY 7: DILIJAN - GARNI - YEREVAN

This morning we will head back towards the capital, stopping to visit the 1st Century Garni Temple, Garni Gorge and the Symphony of Stones. We will then head to a local Armenian restaurant where you can tuck into a delicious home cooked meal and can learn how to bake the national Armenian bread, lavash. On arrival into Yerevan we will visit the Memorial to the 1915 Genocide, before heading out for our final dinner.

Imperial Palace Hotel (or similar)
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 8: TOUR ENDS IN YEREVAN

DAY 8: TOUR ENDS IN YEREVAN

Those on the suggested group flights will have an early transfer to the airport. For all other clients, the tour will end after breakfast.

Breakfast

ACCOMMODATION USED ON THIS TOUR

Hotel Rating

Ultra
The best of the best, the ultimate in luxury
Luxury
Outstanding service and facilities, giving you the 5* experience
Premium
Excellent standards without the big price tag
Mid-Range
Good quality service and overall comfort
Superior
No frills, basic accommodation, but often in the most exciting of places

Hotel Rating

Ultra
The best of the best, the ultimate in luxury
Luxury
Outstanding service and facilities, giving you the 5* experience
Premium
Excellent standards without the big price tag
Mid-Range
Good quality service and overall comfort
Superior
No frills, basic accommodation, but often in the most exciting of places

Hotel Rating

Ultra
The best of the best, the ultimate in luxury
Luxury
Outstanding service and facilities, giving you the 5* experience
Premium
Excellent standards without the big price tag
Mid-Range
Good quality service and overall comfort
Superior
No frills, basic accommodation, but often in the most exciting of places

Accommodation displayed here should be taken as a guide only. *Please refer to the Detailed Itinerary of your individual departure for more information.

PRIVATE HOLIDAYS: DATES DON’T FIT?

All group tours can be taken on a private basis.

REVIEWS OF THIS TRIP

Additional Details

Responsible Travel

Responsible travel and sustainable tourism are fundamental ideas that Wild Frontiers has been committed to since our birth. It is our strong belief that these words should not be simply ‘tagged on’ to itineraries and websites but should be at the very core of each trip, and our adventures are therefore designed with the local people, culture and eco-system in mind. We believe that a successful trip not only delivers a unique and unsurpassable journey for our clients, but that it also benefits the peoples whose lands we are privileged to visit. For more information, please see our responsible travel page.

Culinary Masterclass with a family in Dilijan

On this tour the group will visit Dilijan, located in northern Armenia, famous for its beautiful surroundings and spa resorts.  The area is popular with tourists who want to enjoy the amazing landscapes.  As part of the Wild Frontiers responsible travel ethos the group will support a local family in Dilijan.  We will join the family for a culinary masterclass followed by lunch.  Supporting local people and local businesses by utilising their services can have a positive economic impact on the community.

Getting There

If you would like us to send you a quote for the suggested tour flights or on any alternative flight that may suit you better, please let us know, noting that for our US clients, we will most likely refer you to one of our preferred partners. For this trip our suggested flights from the UK (subject to change) are shown below.

If you wish to arrange your own flights you are completely free to do so and in this case we can arrange any transfers or supplementary accommodation that you may require. However please note that if you are planning on making your own flight arrangements, we recommend that you first check with us to see if the trip is guaranteed. We then suggest that you purchase flights that are flexible and ideally refundable as due to the nature of adventure travel, itineraries and destination accessibility can change at any time. For more information, please refer to our booking conditions.
 

Flight Code Departing Arriving
PS 112 London Gatwick (LGW) 11:45 Borispol Airport (KBP) 17:00
PS 611 Borispol Airport (KBP) 19:10 Yerevan Airport (EVN) 22:50
PS 612 Yerevan Airport (EVN) 06:30 Borispol Airport (KBP) 08:25
PS 111 Borispol Airport (KBP) 09:30 London Gatwick (LGW) 10:55

Visas

Visas are necessary for many of the destinations we travel to and while we aim to provide you with the most up-to-date information, requirements frequently change and as such for the latest advice we advise that you check with the relevant embassies or contact our recommended visa agency, Travcour www.travcour.com 

For this tour UK passport holders currently do not require a visa for Armenia.

Non-UK passport holders or non-UK residents should contact the relevant embassies for individual requirements.

Extensions

If you have more time available, why not arrive early to adjust to a new time zone or just to get a feel for the country before your tour starts? Or alternatively you might choose to allow a few extra days after the tour to relax or to undertake some further exploration.

The choice is completely yours and we can usually arrange anything from simply additional accommodation and transfers to full tailor-made itineraries.

Below is just a small sample of what you could do. Please contact the office for more details and to discuss your individual requirements.

Georgia

Why not travel via the Debed canyon to neighbouring Georgia with its own unique culture and traditions? Allow 4-10 days.

Azerbaijan

Continue on across the Caucasus and take a trip further east to see Georgia’s very different neighbour. The Silk Road crossroads town of Sheki and the bizarre capital of Baku are just some of the highlights that await. Allow 4-6 days.

Nagorno Karabagh

Venture into the disputed mountainous region of Nagorno Karabagh. Please note that the British Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) sometimes advises against certain parts of this extension. Before deciding to book this extension you should first read the advice on their website - www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice - and talk to us. Allow 2-3 days.

Governmental Travel Advice

Many governments issue advice which highlights potential hazards their citizens might experience when travelling abroad. We strongly suggest you refer to your country’s particular advisory site before booking and contact us if you have any queries or concerns. Click to follow links to the advice of the British Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) or the US State Department.

Non-UK citizens should consult the travel advice of their respective governments.

Key Information

CLIMATE

The weather conditions can be extremely varied (even within the course of a day!). The Greater Caucasus Range moderates local climate by serving as a barrier against cold air from the north and the relatively small territory covers different climatic zones, which are determined by distance from the Black Sea and by altitude. The climatic zones range from humid subtropical to snow and glaciers. Armenia is often described as a sunny country. The climate is highland continental, dry with four seasons. Temperatures can vary considerably between seasons; the summer is generally pleasant reaching 25C, though in the Ararat valley temperatures can climb to 40C but in the mountains the weather can change suddenly and the nights can be cold. 

IS THIS TRIP FOR ME?

It may sound obvious but Wild Frontiers tours are not always for everyone and it is important to us that the tour you choose is the most suitable. All our tours have a fitness rating as a guideline but you should check the day-by-day itinerary carefully. In certain instances we may ask you to complete a travel questionnaire before confirming your booking in order to ensure your suitability. Should you have any concerns about your ability to partake in any aspect of the tour then please contact the office.

KEY ASPECTS TO CONSIDER

Anyone in a reasonable state of health, with an open mind and a sense of adventure should be perfectly able to cope with this tour, as much of the walking is optional.

THE NATURE OF ADVENTURE TRAVEL

We feel that it’s worth pointing out that while we will always strive to stick as close to the stated itinerary as possible, it may be necessary from time to time to make changes to our itineraries or services (due to weather, political and religious influences etc.) and this can happen with little or no notice. This unpredictability can be one of the most exciting aspects of adventure travel and for many of our clients often leads to unexpected highlights as the tour-leader necessarily adapts the tour to the changing conditions. However we are aware that this lack of assuredness may not suit everyone. As such, with the greatest respect, if you are someone who needs to know that everything will happen exactly as planned, we would kindly suggest that perhaps our tours are not for you. Adventure travel can be infectious and once you’ve caught the bug, it is likely to never leave you, but especially if this is your first such tour we would strongly urge you to give us a call if you have any concerns whatsoever about your suitability for this trip.

TRAVELLING SOLO AND SINGLE SUPPLEMENTS

As a company approximately 70% of our clients are solo travellers, so it’s very unlikely you’ll be alone!

Our prices are typically based on twin-share accommodation but single supplements are not compulsory for any Wild Frontiers tour. If you prefer not to pay a single supplement we’ll pair you with someone else of the same sex for you to share with throughout the trip. On this trip, if you do opt to pay for a single supplement then please note that it will cover you for all nights of the tour. 

Please note that paying a single supplement entitles you to lone occupancy of a single room. In many cases these rooms will be of the same size as a double/twin room, but in some cases they may be smaller.
 

INSURANCE

Insurance that provides cover for emergency repatriation in case of a medical emergency is compulsory for all tours. You should be aware that due to some of the geographical areas visited and some of the activities included on certain of our trips some standard insurance policies may not always provide adequate cover. As such we strongly recommend that you purchase a policy that adequately covers your trip. If you choose to purchase the Wild Frontiers bespoke policy through Travel & General (currently available to UK residents only) then please note for this trip the minimum required level of cover will be the Standard policy. Please see the Insurance section for more details.

General Information

TOUR PRICE

All our tours are priced on a land-only basis, giving you maximum flexibility when deciding how to get to and from your tour.

DEPOSIT

A £200 (or equivalent) deposit is required to confirm your booking.

PROTECTION FOR YOUR MONEY

For further details please see our travelling with peace of mind page

WILD MILES

This tour will earn you 4502 Wild Miles

WHAT'S NOT INCLUDED

We believe in a completely transparent approach to pricing with no hidden extras. As such, please note that the following are not included in the cost of the tour.

Visas & Travel Insurance: Visas will always be tour/nationality dependent but travel insurance is mandatory
Tips: Always optional but some guidance will be given in the pre-departure information documents
International Flights: Please ask us for an obligation-free quote for flights which originate in the UK
Airport Transfers: We include complimentary transfers if arriving/departing on the suggested group flights
Beverages & any costs of a personal nature: This will include items such as laundry and souvenirs

WILD FRONTIERS COMMUNITY

If you’re still not sure if this trip is right or just want to see get some different perspectives, then why not have a look at the wide variety of resources we have on our website? Browse our community section to read our blogs, watch videos and find out about our events. 

WHY WILD FRONTIERS?

We are frequently asked what makes Wild Frontiers different from other tour operators. Visit our Why Wild Frontiers page to find out.

INSPIRATION