Armenian Heritage – Day Tour to Garni, Geghard and Echmiadzin

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From$25
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From$25
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8 Hours
Availability : Year-Round
Yerevan
Yerevan
Tour Details

Highlights

  • Garni Temple
  • Roman Bath
  • Geghard Monastery
  • Mother Cathedral Echmiadzin
  • Lunch in a local family
  • Ancient Monuscripts & Piece of Noahs Ark

Tour description

Explore the history of Hayastan (Armenia) and learn about the Armenian Heritage. Visit an ancient Pagan temple Garni as well as the Christian origins of the country – Geghard Monastery and the Holy Mother Cathedral – Echmiadzin.

We will start the day from your hotel, where you will be met by your guider/driver who will lead you to your car to start the one day trip from Yerevan.

The first stop of the day is going to be the Garni Temple – a wonder of ancient culture. This Pagan temple has stood here for more than 2000 years! We will explore the whole complex with the ancient fortress and amazing roman baths with stunning mosaics from the early days of the complex.

Once we’re done exploring Garni, we will proceed towards Geghard – a Monastery carved out in a cave. A true wonder of medieval architecture. No one knows when the monastery first started functioning, but it’s name – translated “Spear-head” is linked to Jesus Christ. It’s believed that the spear that pierced through the side of Jesus, was kept here in the early days.

We will walk through the mysterious inner rooms of the church as well as taste the holy water coming straight from the underground into one of the Gavits.

Next, we’ll head to a local Armenian family where we will enjoy a home-cooked lunch made especially for us. A great way to get to know Armenian Culture and cuisine.

Afterwards, we will proceed to the religious center of Armenia – Echmiadzin Mother Cathedral. This is where Armenia accepted Christianity as its official religion. Today, here you’ll find Armenia’s most valuable manuscripts and relics. Including a piece of Noah’s ark as well as the Spear mentioned above.

Once we’re done exploring Echmiadzin, we will return to Yerevan and your driver will drop you off at an address of your preference in Yerevan.

Departure & Return Location

Your Hotel in Yerevan

Departure Time

09:00

All Inclusive Tour

Number of travelers 1 2 3 4
Price per person, USD 180 95 70 60

Includes:

  • English Speaking Guide Service
  • Authentic Lunch
  • Comfortable Transport
  • All Entrance Fees
  • Pickup & Drop off at your hotel

Guided Tour

Number of travelers 1 2 3 4
Price per person, USD 140 75 50 40

Includes:

  • English Speaking Guide Service
  • Comfortable Transport
  • All Entrance Fees
  • Pickup & Drop off at your hotel

Sightseeing Tour

Number of travelers 1 2 3 4
Price per person, USD 75 40 30 25

Includes:

  • Comfortable Transport
  • All Entrance Fees
  • Pickup & Drop off at your hotel

Recommendations

  • Comfortable Walking Shoes
  • Sunscreen
  • Dress in Layers
Itinerary

09:00Departure

At 09:00 you’ll be met by your driver at the lobby of your hotel or any address of your choice in Yerevan. Your driver will lead you to your car to start the day tour from Yerevan.

10:00Garni Temple & Complex

The Garni Complex is located in a half hour drive from the capital of Armenia – Yerevan. Here you will find multiple monuments from Hellenistic and early-Christian era. The most notable are: The Temple of Garni dedicated to Mitra – the god of sun and light and the fortress of Garni. Complex also attracts visitors with the ruins of the royal palace and the roman baths. Garni is on the UNESCO World heritage sight list.

Temple of Garni is the only building from the Hellenistic era in Armenia. It was one of the central pagan temples of the kingdom and is thought to be from the first century AD. The Temple is built in a classic Greek style and looks very much like the temple of Athena in Greece.

The fortress of Garni is located on top of a deep ravine with stunning stone formations and offers captivating views. Historians estimate the foundation of the fortress to be between the 3rd – 2nd Centuries BC. However the deepest layer of the wall is thought to be from the Bronze age.

Last but not least, the roman baths – They were located outside of the royal palace. King Trdat is thought to have built these baths in the 3rd century AD. Inside the baths you will find the gem of the whole complex – a roman mosaic that has miraculously survived throughout the centuries.

11:30Geghard Monastery

Geghard Monastery, located north-east of Garni is a monastery famous for it’s cave architecture – more than half of the complex is carved out of rock.

No one knows precisely when Geghard was established. However, it’s assumed that the monastery was most likely founded here in the 4th century. Monastery was originally called Ayrivank because of its location in natural and artificial caves.

The name Geghard is related to the legend about a spear-head – according to the story, the spearhead that pierced the side of Christ was kept in this monastery. Name of the monastery roughly translates as the “Monastery of the Spear”. Currently, this spear is kept in the Echmiadzin Monastery – our next stop.

12:30Lunch in a local family

After we explore the monastery of Geghard, we’ll make a stop at a very hospitable local family where we’ll enjoy a delicious home-cooked lunch – made especially for us!

14:45Mother Echmiadzin Cathedral

Once we’re done with the delicious lunch, we’ll proceed to visit the religious center of Armenia – Echmiadzin.

All the nations of the world have their own sacred places and ones they treasure most. Echmiadzin(Vagarshapat) has been this place for Armenians for almost 2000 years. It was hear Armenia officially became the first Christian Country in the world – This happened in the year 301.

According to the legend, Grigor Illuminator had a vision of Christ, where he descended from heaven and pointed to this place with a golden hammer – as a sign where to build the church. This is how King Trdat decided to found the Armenian Christian church.

Throughout the centuries, many churches and residential buildings where built around the Mother Echmiadzin cathedral.

Today Echmiadzin is the heart of the Armenian Apostolic Church and it houses the residence of the patriarch of Armenia. In 1992, the ancient name Vagarshapat was officially returned to the city, but many still use the former name. In 2000, Echmiadzin was enlisted on the UNESCO World Heritage list.

17:00Back to Yerevan

After we’re done with the Areni cave and wine-tasting, we will head back to Yerevan. Your driver will deliver you to the address of your choice in Yerevan to conclude the one day tour.

Map