Ancient Armenia Tour

Armenia – Ancient Armenia Tour – a 10 day Small Group Tour.

Armenia is a fascinating mixture of cultural influences.

Proud of its independence, its alphabet, and its Christian heritage, Armenia has more than a whiff of former Soviet Republic, indeed crossing Yerevan’s busy Republic Square (built over a nuclear bunker) risks being run over by one of many shiny white Lada Nivas.



Except for Georgia, relations with neighbouring states are best described as mixed. The Armenian Genocide, despite overwhelming evidence, is denied by the Turkish government, while the unresolved conflict with Azerbaijan over the territory of Nagorno Karabakh still festers. However, among contemporary Armenians, certainly in the towns and cities, these realities lead to a strong sense of identity and a desire to live life loud.

Fine wines, an excellent local cuisine and a penchant for jazz are perhaps manifestations of this – Charles Aznavour was Armenian, but then again so is Kim Kardashian?

Among Graeco-Roman ruins and ancient monasteries the country’s landscape is characterised by wide expanses, grassy plains and big skies – Armenia feels like a frontier state, and that’s because it is.

Tour ratings.

  • Fitness
  • Off the beaten track
  • Culture 
  • History 
  • Wildlife 

Tour pace


Tour style


Relaxed Pace

Relaxed tours are easy paced with plenty of leisure time built in. The tour will in all probability still be off the beaten track, with the occasional early start and there may still be occasional long drives. In general on a relaxed pace tour you can enjoy easy-going activities and experiences with opportunities to absorb the sights and immerse yourself in the local surroundings.

Moderate Pace

Moderate pace tours are ideal if you want a tour experience that combines activities and experiences with some time to relax. Typically you will be active and busy for part of the day but then also have time to rest and recharge your batteries. In general on a moderate paced tour there may be some long journeys involved but the tour is not an expedition or a road trip. On a moderate paced tour it will be necessary to have some early starts.

Busy Pace

A busy paced tour means that you can expect to be doing, seeing or experiencing something new almost every day, and moving on from place to place to pack in as much as possible. There may be early starts, long journeys and tiring days along the way, but you’ll return home feeling you’ve really experienced as much as you possibly could.

Pioneer Class Tours

On our Pioneer tours, you will be amongst an elite group of intrepid travellers and some of the first to explore a country that few have been privileged enough to discover. Of course, exploring such areas of the world will come with its challenges; it may mean several nights camping, long journeys by 4WD and the need to maintain a degree of flexibility for when carefully laid plans change. These are challenging tours in countries and areas that may have poor infrastructure, high levels of poverty and illiteracy. This can translate in to low standards in hotels, bad roads and poor driving standards among other issues. We try and smooth out as much of these issues as we can but you should be prepared to experience the bad with the good.

Traveller Class Tours

Our Traveller itineraries are at the core of our programme. These journeys are designed for travellers who still want to discover a land away from the tourist crowds but expect minimum standards. Accommodation will be primarily hotel based, although you could still find yourself camping, or the guest of a local family. Depending on the destination and itinerary, you’ll likely be travelling in a private vehicle, with occasional use of public transport. This is adventure travel with some of the rough edges smoothed out.


Upon arrival in Armenia, you will be welcomed and transferred to the hotel in central Yerevan. Overnight Tufenkian Historic Hotel or similar. No meals.

Note if you arrive early we can provide a quote for early check in and for any extra activities you may wish to do.

(Approximate driving time 2 hours)

Enjoy a city tour of Yerevan, including Victory Park with its high-scale view point over the city, Cascade and the Gafeschian Centre of Art, The North Avenue, the Opera House, Republic Square, and etc. Visit the Genocide Memorial and museum dedicated to the victims of the Great Genocide that took place in 1915 and the memorial with eternal fire. We also have a short visit of Matenadaran – a Museum and Scientific Institute of ancient manuscripts, which houses a unique collection of ancient manuscripts covering such topics as philosophy, law, mathematics, medicine and geography. Later visit the Yerevan Brandy Factory for a guided excursion to the cellars and enjoy a degustation of 2 types of local brandy. End the tour for the day with a visit to a craftsman specialized in khachkars (Armenian cross-stones). Later this afternoon there may be some time for your own exploration. Overnight in Yerevan (B)

(Driving time approximately 4,5 hours)

Start the day by driving through the fertile Ararat valley to the picture postcard monastery of Khor Virap (4-17c), one of the sanctuaries of the Armenian Apostolic church and an important pilgrimage site. Continue to the monastery of Noravank, surely one of the most majestic monuments of medieval Armenia. The church had an atrium, which was rebuilt by the famous sculptor Momik. Visit Karahunj or Zorats Stones (Armenian Stonehenge), an outstanding archaeological site. We spend time exploring this magnificent place before travelling to Goris for the overnight stay. Overnight in Goris (BLD)

(Driving time approximately 5,5 hours/ Alternatively – Overnight in Dilijan, driving time 6,5 hours)

This morning we drive to the cave village of Khndzoresk. The Village of Khndzoresk is a huge complex with interesting caves waiting to be explored and we will spend some time walking around this atmospheric site. Continue to Tatev Monastery which we will explore. Journey to beautiful Lake Sevan via Selim Caravanserai and take the stairs to the top of the peninsula to enjoy breathtaking scenery of the splendid mountain chain surrounding the glittering surface of the lake. Continue to Dilijan, also known as Armenian Switzerland. Overnight in Sevan (BL)

(Approximate driving time is 3,5 hours)

Stroll through the picturesque old quarter of Dilijan, particularly Sharambeyan Street, renowned for its pottery, carpentry and other artisan shops. Continue to Haghpat and explore the monastery, a masterpiece of medieval Armenian Church architecture. Continue to Gyumri. Overnight in Gyumri (BLD)

(Approximate driving time is 4 hours)

Travel to Gyumri and attend a ceramics workshop. We explore the streets of the old town on foot to try to understand why since the ancient times Gyumri has been considered the cultural capital of Armenia and the birthplace of arts and crafts. ArmAs Winery Estate is a picturesque display of agricultural achievement, set against the backdrop of the inspiring Mount Ararat. The 180 hectares of previously desolate and disconnected rock-strewn countryside was diligently transformed into a stunning panorama including vineyards, orchards, and a world-class winery. Here you’ll have a guided excursion though the vineyards and distilleries, as well as a degustation of wines. Later we return to Yerevan. Overnight Royal Plaza Hotel or similar (BL)

(Driving time approximately 2 hours)

Visit Echmiadzin, the spiritual heart of the Armenian Church including the Mother Cathedral A short distance from here we visit the ruins of Zvartnots dating back to the 7th Century.  Later we enjoy a gastronomic master class of Lavash bread making before finishing the day at the Vernissage flea market, a large open air market for handmade souvenirs, carpets, silver and jewellery. Overnight Royal Plaza Hotel (BL)

(Driving time approximately 2.5 hours)

Travel to Kotayk province to explore Geghard Monastery, astonishingly partly carved out of a mountain. Continue to Garni. Continue to nearby Garni to visit the pagan temple. Have lunch in the village of Garni in an authentic rural environment with a master-class of baking lavash – traditional Armenian flatbread. Return to Yerevan and visit Megeryan Carpet where we learn about centuries-old traditions of Armenian carpet weaving. Overnight Royal Plaza or similar (BL)

Optional Walk: 1 hour walk in the gorge of the Azat River. The duration of the walk is approximately 1 hour, with no difficult passages. The walk starts from the village of Garni, taking you down to the Azat river gorge and the famous “Symphony of Stones” basalt columns, located at an altitude of about 50 meters above the ground. Difficulty: Easy to Medium.


Spend your last full day in Armenia to discovery Yerevan at your own leisure, perhaps to take in some museums or shop for souvenirs. Overnight Royal Plaza Hotel or similar (B)

Bid farewell to Armenia as you are transferred to the airport for your onward journey (B)

Dates & Price.

Tour Notes

Ancient Armenia tour single supplement is from £335

Return flights from London to Yerevan return start at £340. Contact us for a quotation.

Mapped itinerary.

Want to see details of your itinerary on a map?

Download PDF.

Download the full tour dossier for this trip here.

For expert advice get in touch now with our passionate,
well-travelled team.

+44(0) 191 296 2674 from THE UK
1-800-614-2967 from THE US & CANADA
1-300-956-415 from AUSTRALIA

Tour inclusions.

  • Arrival and departure transfers
  • All accommodation
  • Transportation throughout
  • Services of English-speaking guide / tour leader
  • Meals as listed (B – Breakfast, L – Lunch, D – Dinner)
  • Entrance fees for sites listed as part of the itinerary

Tour exclusions.

  • International flights
  • Any airport taxes
  • Travel Insurance
  • Visas
  • Drinks
  • Tips (Discretionary)

We thoroughly enjoyed the trip;the guides, the food,the scenery and the people.



Stewart Berry, UK