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Bicycle tour – 6 days

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  • Bycicle
  • Access for disabled
  • Groups allowed
  • Pet allowed
  • Tour guides

Description

Dear tourists, welcome to Armenia!

Armenia is the first country, which adopted Christianity as a state religion in 301 AD.

Armenia is truly an indescribable open-air museum. Here even the ruins of temples and historical monuments treasure the history of centuries and have a significant importance.

Armenia is a fabulous place, a country of contrasts, where the summer nights are so comfortable and soulful, that your heart is filled with warmth.

Armenia is an earthly paradise with its sharp turns and passes. Only in Armenia you can move from one city to another through lots of passes. The nature of Armenia is not only strikingly beautiful, but also healing.

The Armenian nation, being formed in the second millennium BC, is one of the most ancient nations in the world: the genetic code of Armenians is more than 4000 years old.

Yerevan is the capital of Armenia. The history of Yerevan dates back to the 8th century BC with the founding of the fortress of Erebuni in 782 BC by king Argishti I. In 1950 in the territory of modern-day Yerevan was found a cuneiform script with the following text: «By the greatness of God Khaldi, Argishti, son of Menua, built this mighty stronghold and proclaimed it Erebuni for the glory of Biainili and to instill fear among the king’s enemies…»

Meeting at the “Zvartnots” airport, transfer to the hotel in Yerevan, registration and a short rest. After having lunch at the hotel the city tour will begin.

So, the most important sights of Yerevan are waiting for you: places, which you have seen in pictures or probably have heard and read about, but have never seen live.

We’ll begin with the Arshakunyats Avenue and will come to the train station (Kayaran). The decoration of the forecourt is the fabulous statue David of Sasoon by famous Armenian sculptor Ervand Kochar.

Following the route we’ll pass the streets Tigran Mets, Ervand Kochar and will stop at the St. Gregory the Illuminator cathedral, which was founded in 1997.

 It’s the biggest cathedral in Armenia and the second biggest in
Transcaucasia. Passing the main streets of the capital we’ll see trade center “Russia”, the Pedаgogical University, the statue of Griboyedov established in 1975. Alexander Griboyedov was very close to the Armenian nation, shared its joys and sorrows, and did a lot for the Armenians. Today his statue is deservedly considered a decoration of street scenery of the Armenian capital.

Turning to Khanjian Street and reaching the Vernisage, on the opposite side of the street you’ll see the majestic statue of Armenian nobleman and warlord Vardan Mamikonyan. Reaching one of the central streets, Sayat-Nova, on the right side we can see the Chess House and also the Armenian Radio House already located on the Alex Manoogian Street. On the same street you’ll see the building of Yerevan State University, in front of which stands the statue of the creator of the Armenian alphabet Mesrop Mashtots and the Catholicos Sahak the Parthian. Also here is situated the Armenian State University of Economics. Passing the Nalbandyan Street we’re turning to the Moskovyan. On the right side we see the statue of famous Armenian painter Ivan Aivazovsky. A little further, on the crossroad of Moskovyan and Abovyan streets is situated the statue of polar explorer and a great friend of the Armenian nation Fridtjof Nansen. And here it is, the heart and the flavor of the city, the Abovyan Street, through which, looking at the universities (Yerevan State Medical University, branches of YSU), passing the garden after Abovyan, we’re heading to the Victory Park – one of the favorite places of townspeople. Here stands the monument Mother Armenia in honor of the victory of the Soviet Union in the Great Patriotic War. The statue is 54 meters in height and symbolizes a figure of an Armenian mother putting her sword into the scabbard and with a shield lying under her feet. The pedestal hosts the Mother Armenia Military museum of the Ministry of Defense, which houses exhibit of the times of World War II and Nagorno-Karabakh War.

From the Victory Park we’ll go down to the center of the city by the stairs of Cascade (we can also use the escalator). Through the Tamanyan Street we’ll pass to the Marshal Baghramyan Avenue. There are a lot of residencies of public organizations on this avenue. Here is situated the complex of buildings of the National Academy of Sciences. In front of it is situated the building of the National Assembly of the Republic of Armenia. From here through the Leningradyan Street we’ll head to a large trade and entertainment center “Dalma Garden Mall”, we’ll see the Municipality of Yerevan and pass to the Republic Square.

Continuing our city tour, we’ll visit Tsitsernakaberd (arm. swallows fortress) and the Armenian Genocide Museum. The memorial complex in Yerevan is dedicated to the victims of the Armenian Genocide in 1915. The 44-meters stele symbolizes the national rebirth of Armenians. Next to the stele 12 slabs are positioned in a circle. In the center of the circle, at a depth of 1.5 meters, the eternal flame burns. The two-storied Genocide Museum with a total area of 2000 square meters was open in 1995 and almost entirely is underground.

Not far from the museum is situated the alley, were the foreign statesmen plant trees in memory of the victims of the genocide. The Forbes listed the Armenian Genocide Museum among the 9 must-see memorial museums.

Then we’re going to the hotel.

Matenadaran

Yerevan Cascade

Tsitsernakaberd

After the breakfast we’re heading to Goshavank by cars. First we’re going to the village of Gosh located at the altitude of 1240 meters. From this village our unforgettable bike tour begins, which will be sometimes difficult, sometimes easy. We’re finishing in Dilijan. We’ll have an excursion in the Goshavank monastery (XIII century) and then we’ll continue our way by bicycles. The road is mostly smooth with few ascents and descents, the distance is 24 kilometers, but the road begins with a 3 kilometers – long descent. On our way we’ll enjoy the beautiful nature of the Tavush province. Overcoming the 5 kilometers – long ascent, we’ll reach the Haghartsin monastic complex (XII century). Further we’ll ride to the main road and we’ll continue our tour in Dilijan, where we’ll have an excursionin the “Old Dilijan” complex.

Goshavank

Now we’re heading to Goshavank monastic complex, which is also called Nor Getik (in Armenian nor – new, get – river, because of the river passing near the church), built in the XII – XIII centuries in the village of Gosh. It’s a magnificent architectural structure with a fabulous background – the nature of Armenia. In 1972 the Historical and Architectural Museum was opened here.

Haghartsin                                                                                                 

We’ll have an excursion in one of the oldest and, undoubtedly, one of the most fabulous architectural structures on the Armenian land – Haghartsin. Established in the X – XIII centuries in the territory of Haghartsin canyon surrounded by densely blossoming forests and proud mountains of Dilijan, Haghartsavank monastery stores silence and quietism. The secular monastery complex is founded by the monks, true followers of Christianity, who had fled from prosecutions from the Western Armenia, which was a part of the Byzantine Empire at the end of the X century.

After the lunch (lunch box) we’re cycling to Dilijan.

Dilijan

Dilijan is a town which has a status of a national park, the most ecologically clean region of Armenia. It’s located in the Tavush province at the north – east of the Armenian Highlands. Due to its location, nature, clean and fresh air Dilijan, out of competition, is considered as a health and mountain resort. In addition to everything, there’s a fascinating picturesque landscape.  The way to Dilijan itself is very interesting: the endless passes with the densely growing trees lying around them. On our way we’ll see the statue of the characters from popular movie “Mimino” and also we’ll visit the “Old Dilijan” complex on the Vanik Sharambeyan Street: Vanik Sharambeyan is a famous Armenian artist, who established the Folk – Art Museum in Dilijan. This area is called Tufenkian. Here are the works of the skilled artists from Dilijan.

We’ll stop at the hotel in Dilijan for the night.

Distance – 35 km (+ 10 optional).

Fluctuation of height – 500 m.

Haghartsin Monastery

Goshavank Monastery

Dilijan

The day promises to be the most difficult, as the 12 kilometer – long way to Sevan, passing through the forests of Dilijan, is winding.

So, we’re starting the way, consisting from ascents, in the end of which we are to pass 2 kilometers – long tunnel. For security reasons we’ll be accompanied by a car. Then we’ll come to the one of the largest high-altitude lakes in the world. The lake is located in the heart of the Armenian highlands at the altitude of 1900 meters. The average depth of the Sevan is 27 meters, the maximum – 80-90 meters. The nature is indescribably beautiful there, the coastline is very picturesque with thickly wooded slopes, plains, stone cliffs, alpine forests and sand beaches.

 The lake and its surrounding area are included in the protected zone of Sevan National Park. Here always dominates moderate coolness, clean and clear water, fresh mountain air. This makes the Sevan beloved and unique for both locals and tourists.

We’ll have dinner and then we’ll visit Sevanavank – an ancient monastery at the north – western shore of Lake Sevan. The monastery was founded in 874. Only two small three – apse cross – domed churches have survived up to our days – St. Arakelots ans St. Astvatsatsin (871 – 874). Today, at the monastery operates a theological seminary named after Vazgen I. Sevanavank monastery, in contrast to other monastic complexes, is small and modest. At the same time, the main highlights of Sevanavank are the amazing views of the lake and surrounding area opening from the windows.

After a long day, a walk along the shore of Sevan will help to return our strength and energy. We’ll stop at a hotel in Sevan for the night.

Distance – 56 km.

Fluctuation of height – 800 m.

Dilijan

Sevanavank

We’ll have breakfast at the hotel and then we’ll continue our tour in Armenia.

We’re beginning the way on bikes from the hotel. The road is smooth and indescribably beautiful. Admiring the unapproachable mountains on the right side and the Sevan – on the left, we’ll reach the Hayravank monastery (IX century), located on the western shore of Lake Sevan. There is too little trustworthy information about the history of Hayravank. The monastery is built on a high hill, and from its territory opens a fantastic view of the lake.

We’ll have lunch (lunch box) and then we’ll cycle to the village of Noratus.

Noratus is kind of an open – air museum. The village is rich in historical monuments (681 monuments). Here is the largest cluster of khachkars in the world.In the center of the village is situated the St. Astvatsin church built in the end of the IX century. Also there are chapels, a memorial to the victory in The Great Patriotic War. And, of course, the khackars. There are no such large clusters of khachkars in the world: most of them date back to the XIII – XVII centuries and the oldest one – to the V century. The stones with their majesty remind of an invincible army. According to the legend the stone army saved this place from the attacks of enemies for several times. The paintings on each of the khachkars have their own meaning, and the sizes let us know who is buried under it, his age and even the social status.

After Noratus we’ll ride to town Martuni on bikes. We’ll stop here in a guest house for the night.

Distance – 70 km.

Fluctuation of height – 50 m.

Noratus

points to the notion that Noratus is one of the most ancient continuously inhabited settlements in Armenia.

We’ll have breakfast at Martuni. And we begin to gain altitude gradually, heading to the Selim caravanserai, located on the Great Silk Road and connecting East Asia to the Mediterranean area. The caravanserai was founded in 1326. Here we’ll have an excursion, after which we’ll have lunch (lunch box). Then we’ll start to climb to the village of Hermon, where we’ll spend the night.

Distance – 58 km.

Fluctuation of height – 800 m.

Orbelian's Caravanserai

After having breakfast at the village of Hermon, we’ll continue our sightseeing tour in Armenia, of course, by bicycles. The road is not very long, but it’s very promising.

From Hermon to town Yeghegnadzor we’re cycling down the steep road, but further the road is mostly smooth: it leads to the crossroad near the Gnishik Gorge, where the monastic complex Noravank (XIII – XIV centuries) is situated. The distance from the crossroad to the monastery is 9 kilometers, the last 800 of which are rather hard to pass. The gorge is very narrow surrounded by 100 meters – high cliffs. In the end of the road opens an amazing view of huge red cliffs with Noravank under standing under them.

After reaching the monastic complex, we’ll have a short rest here and an excursion. Then we’ll cycle down by the same way to the main road and we’ll continue our way to the village of winemaking – Areni. The area has a very rich history. Recently in one of the caves of Areni a 5500-year-old shoe was found, which is the oldest shoe in the world. There have also been found ancient jugs, proving that winemaking in Areni has a long history. Of course, we’ll take the chance to visit the famous cave. After having dinner we’ll have the opportunity to taste natural Armenian wine. We’ll cycle to the final point of Areni, then we’ll head to Khor Virap by cars.

The monastery-fortress located underneath the magnificent mountain Ararat – Khor Virap – one of the religious centers of the country. In Armenian Khor Virap means “deep pit”. During the reign of pagan king Tiridates III, in this pit, filled with poisonous snakes and insects, the criminals condemned to death were being imprisoned. According to famous Armenian historian Agathangelos here was imprisoned also the initiator of the adoption of Christianity in Armenia (in 301) – St. Gregory the Illuminator, who survived and lived there for more than 13 years. In the XVII century at the place of Gregory the Illuminator’s prison cell was built the St. Astvatsatsin (the Holy mother of God). You can see the pit and go down the narrow stairs.

We’re returning to Yerevan by cars.

You have time to get prepared for the departure. Transfer to the “Zvartnots” airport.

Distance – 27 km.

Fluctuation of height – 200 m.

Noravank

Khor Virap