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Easter in Armenia 2018

8days / 7nights

Open Detailed Descriptions
Day 1 (16.04.2019):

Arrival. Transfer to the hotel

Day 2 (17.04.2019):

City Tour Yerevan

Breakfast at the hotel. City tour - Yerevan sightseeing including City center, Republic square, State University, City panorama, Mother Armenia Monument, Parliament, President’s Palace, Opera, Sports & Concert Complex. Visit to the Genocide Memorial, dedicated to the Victims of 1915 and the Genocide Museum. Visit to Matenadaran (depository for ancient manuscripts, the collection of which is one of the biggest in the world). This outstanding collection includes manuscripts dating from 7th century and is widely appreciated by history and art amateurs and professionals. Visit to Cascade complex, which is considered the modern art center of Yerevan, with art pieces displayed throughout the whole area: the boulevard and up the stairs, from top of which you can enjoy the panoramic view on the city and Mountain Ararat. Cascade is home to Cafesjan modern art museum. This place becomes even more charming in the evenings, when it is full of people, both locals and tourists from all over the world, enjoying the magic and the warmth of the capital. You will enjoy spending time in one of the cozy open-air cafes surrounded by beautiful sculptures, redolent flowers shining brightly with magic colors. It is also a popular place for open air concerts at summer season.

Option: Very interesting one hour tour around Armenian brandy factory offers tourists familiarization with the history of the plant, process of brandy preparation, showrooms and halls of storages. Visitors will also have degustation of 2 types of brandy of different age in degustation hall. Brandy shop at the factory territory will be available for purchasing of this famous Armenian brandy directly from the factory.

Overnight in Yerevan

Day 3 (18.04.2019):

Holy Thursday / Yerevan - Garni - Geghard - Yerevan

Solemn Service at the Cathedral of St. Gregory the Illuminator, Foot washing service.

Breakfast at the hotel. Drive to the only remaining pagan temple in Armenia devoted to the God of Sun – Myrth, in Garni, built in 77 AD by King Trdat (Arshakid Dynasty). The temple is Greco-Roman style with characteristic pillars. Geghard monastery dates back to XII-XIII centuries and presents itself a unique caved temple. The word Geghard means “holy spear” in the honour of the long-preserved spear, the same spear that pierced the body of crucified Christ, which were brought here by Apostle Thaddeus. It is now exhibited in the museum of Etchmiadzin Cathedral. This is a masterpiece of the Armenian medieval architecture with the main church, two caved churches as well as burial-vault. Geghard Monastery is included in the UNESCO World Heritage list (2000).

Drive back to Yerevan.

In the evening, Solemn Service at the Cathedral of St. Gregory the Illuminator. Special liturgy with reading of Gospels leading to the Betrayal, Crucifixion and Death of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Participation in prayers and the historical sequence of the events. Foot washing service is commemoration of Last Supper when Our Lord Jesus Christ demonstrated the greatest act of servant leadership by washing and drying with the towel feet of his 12 disciples. At the time of this service the priest blesses the water with the cross and washes the feet of the entire congregation (only male) to show his humility and love.

Overnight in Yerevan

Day 4 (19.04.2019):

Holy Friday / Yerevan - Lake Sevan - Dilijan - Yerevan

The service of the Burial of Our Lord Jesus Christ in Haghartsin

Breakfast at the hotel. Drive to Lake Sevan, one of the wonders in Armenia. This blue lake is one of the greatest high mountainous freshwater lakes of Eurasia. On a clear and sunny day, the water is often of a deep turquoise colour. Total surface of the lake is 940 km2. Akhtamar peninsula is most popular destination to enjoy the breath-taking view on Sevan Lake, make pics for sweet memories and visit the ancient Sevanavank Monastery (IX century), which stands in its greatness on the peninsula overlooking the lake for centuries. Drive to Haghartsin Monastery, is located in the secluded place of the forest, which includes the group of Monastery buildings. Appearing unexpectedly, out of the dense forests, in front of the visitors, the Monastery creates a magical impression of the lost world.

Possibility to take part in touching service of the Burial of Our Lord Jesus Christ. By singing funeral hymns the priest with other servants take the flower-adorned sepulcher symbolizing the Tomb of Our Lord Jesus Christ , carry it around the church and at the end replace it before the Altar, everyone to see. This procession, with lighted candles, represents Christ's descent into Hades.

Drive back to Yerevan.

Overnight in Yerevan

Day 5 (20.04.2019):

Holy Saturday / Yerevan - Noravank - Areni - Khor virap - Yerevan

Breakfast at the Hotel. Drive to Noravank Monastery complex (XIII- XIV cc.), a major religious and cultural center, is closely connected with Gladzor’s famed university and library. The most ancient monument of Noravank is St. Karapet Church (IX - X cc.). The burial site of the Orbelian dynasty (XIII - XIV cc.) is located north to the main temple. Тhe Church decorations include: Mother of God, the Father, crucifixion of Christ, as well as number of engraved stonecrosses. Drive to Areni village, famous for its wine making. Recent archaeological excavations found 6000 years winery with 5 wine cellars. Within the underground wine cellar, archaeologists discovered a wine press for stomping grapes, fermentation and storage containers, drinking cups, grape vines, skins, and seeds. Archaeologists suggest that our early ancestors used wine in ceremonies to honour the dead. It is also thought as a gift, placed and consumed inside the tombs. Tour around Areni wine factory with wine degustation will be a nice stop on the way to relax. Drive to Khor Virap .This exciting tour will bring you to the holy place of imprisonment of St. Gregory the Illuminator accused by Armenian king of preaching Christianity. It was built on the dungeon and now you have a chance to go down into the dark pit yourself. St. Gregory became one of the Saints of the whole Christian world. Here you can also see the closest and most spectacular view of the gorgeous biblical mountain Ararat shining with its two white peak. It is one of the few ancient towns, built by special design of famous Carthaginian general Hannibal. After the defeat in a war against Rome he found a shelter in Armenia.

In the evening, the feast of Resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ (the victory of life over death and the Feast of Feasts) will start and continue after midnight. Evening Liturgy at Khor Virap in Church of the Holy Mother of God. During the service the priest exits the altar with a burning white candle inviting parishioners to receive the light. After service people live The Church carrying candles and singing gospels.

Drive back to Yerevan. Traditional dinner at the local restaurant.

Overnight in Yerevan

Day 6 (21.04.2019):

The Holy Sunday of Easter / Yerevan - Echmiadzin - Zvartnots - Yerevan

The Holy Sunday of Easter

Breakfast at the hotel. Drive to Etchmiadzin City, the ancient capital of Armenia. Since 4th century, it is the largest religious center, the residency of Catholicos of All Armenians. Etchmiadzin Cathedral is one of the ancient churches in the Christian world, included in the UNESCO World Heritage List (2000). The museum of the Cathedral, located behind the Altar, has collection of religious artefacts about Holy Mass, subjects made of gold, silver, precious stones, decorations, colossal silver boiler for making the myrrh and legendary Holy spear.St. Hripsime Church (618 A.D.) is one of the major Armenian Apostolic churches.

Divine Liturgy of Holy Sunday of Easter in Etchmiadzin Cathedral. On this day the life-giving Resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is celebrated. As one of the most important events in Christian calendar The Easter become outspread Holiday in Armenia with traditional elements: coloring eggs into red which symbolize the blood of Christ, performing national songs and dances, playing egg games( “Tak-A Tok” or the egg fight). Everybody greets each other with “Christ has arisen”-“Blessed is the resurrection of Christ”.

Lunch at the local restaurant with possibility to taste traditional Easter dishes: Fish, rice pilaf with raisins, cooked and raw greens and lavash (Armenian bread).

Drive to Zvartnots, a temple of Vigil Forces, built in 641—661 A.D. as Armenia’s main cathedral by the Catholicos Nerses III, is considered one of the architectural wonders and unique example of Armenian architecture of early Christian period. Zvartnots is included in the UNESCO World Heritage List (2000). Drive back to Yerevan.

Overnight in Yerevan

Day 7 (22.04.2019):

Yerevan - Alphabet Park - Ashtarak- Oshakan - Saghmosavank - Amberd - Yerevan

Breakfast at the hotel. Drive to Alphabet Park, a location where all letters of Armenian alphabet made from tuff of human-size are scattered around volcanic stones. Drive to Ashtarak. Trip to the village Oshakan. Visit to the Church St. Mesrop Mashtots, the inventor of Armenian Alphabet, and his gravestone. Proshyan Visit to the monastery complex of Saghmosavank. The Church of Zion in Saghmosavank (1215 y.), the main temple, was erected by Prince Vache Vachutyan. The book depository of Saghmosavank located on the territory of the Monastery was built in 1255 A.D. under Prince Kurd Vachutyan. Many ornamented stonecrosses have been preserved on the territory of the monasteries. Visit to the Amberd fortress, meaning "fortress in the clouds" in Armenian. It is a fortress complex with a church built XI-XIII centuries on the slopes of Mt. Aragats at 2,300 meters above sea level. The fortress was founded in the 7th century A.D. during the rule of the Kamsarakan princes. It was rebuilt 4 centuries later by the architect Vahram Vachutian Pakhlavuni. He added thick stone walls and 3 bastions along the ridge of the Arkhashyan ravine, where were no natural defences. The Church was built in 1026 A.D. by Vahram Pahlavuni. The baths were constructed outside the palace in the 13th century. The exterior architecture is simple and expressive, crowned by an umbrella shaped cupola. Drive back to Yerevan.

Overnight in Yerevan

Day 8: (23.04.2019)

Transfer to Airport. Departure.

Easter in Armenia 2019