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.


Begin your Armenia tour on arrival in Armenia and transfer to hotel accommodation in central Yerevan. Overnight Royal Plaza Hotel or similar. 

Please note: If arriving on an early flight we can arrange for early check-in and/or extra sightseeing activities at extra cost.

(Approximate driving time: two-hours)

Today’s tour of Yerevan includes Victory Park with its viewpoint over the city and the unmistakable snowy peak of Mount Ararat (across the border in Turkey), the Cascade staircase and Gafeschian Centre of Art, The North Avenue, the Opera House and expansive Republic Square. Later we visit the Genocide Memorial, eternal flame and museum, dedicated to the victims of the Great Genocide that took place in 1915. There’s also time to call in at Matenadaran – a museum and scientific institute for ancient manuscripts, which houses a unique collection covering philosophy, law, mathematics, medicine and geography. Later, there’s a guided tour of the Yerevan Brandy Factory, now owned by Pernod Ricard, producers of Ararat Brandy, a favourite of both Churchill and Stalin. The day’s tour ends with a visit to craftsmen specialising in khachkars, characteristic Armenian stone crosses. Overnight Royal Plaza Hotel or similar. (B)

(Approximate driving time: four-hours)

After breakfast we drive to Lake Sevan, climbing steps to the top of the peninsula to enjoy breath taking views of the lake and surrounding mountains. Afterwards we continue Dilijan, also known as Armenian Switzerland. Here, we stroll through the picturesque old quarter, particularly Sharambeyan Street, renowned for its pottery, carpentry and other artisan shops. Later, at Haghpat, we explore the monastery, a masterpiece of medieval Armenian Church architecture. Our hotel lies in a beautiful location near Dedbed Gorge. Overnight Hotel Qefo or similar. (BLD)

(Approximate driving: four-and-a-half-hours)

Today we drive to Gyumri, cultural capital of Armenia and the birthplace of arts and crafts, to attend a ceramics workshop. Afterwards there’s time to explore the streets of the old town and soak up the atmosphere. At nearby ArmAs Winery Estate 180 hectares of previously desolate and disconnected rock-strewn countryside has been diligently transformed into vineyards, orchards, and a world-class winery. A guided tour of the vineyards and winery is followed by tastings. Later we return to Yerevan. Overnight Royal Plaza Hotel or similar. (BL)

(Approximate driving time: four-hours)

Today we drive close to the Turkish border through the fertile Ararat valley to the picture postcard monastery of Khor Virap. Dating from the 4th century, the monastery is one of the sanctuaries of the Armenian Apostolic church and an important pilgrimage site. Khor Virap is notable for the 14-year imprisonment of Christian preacher Gregory the Illuminator in a deep pit – the pit pre-dates the monastery and still exists. Afterwards we continue to the 13th century monastery of Noravank, surely one of the most majestic monuments of medieval Armenia. We spend time exploring the complex before travelling to Goris for our overnight stay. Overnight in Goris. (BLD)

(Approximate driving time: five-hours)

This morning we drive to the cave village of Khndzoresk, a huge site where we spend some time exploring. The village is also connected with David Bek, an 18th military commander who led campaigns against Ottoman forces. Afterwards we drive to Tatev Monastery and visit this important 9th century Armenian Apostolic outpost before returning to Yerevan. Overnight Royal Plaza Hotel or similar. (BL)

(Approximate driving time: two-hours)

Today we drive to Vagharshapat site of the Mother See of Etchmiadzin, the spiritual heart of the Armenian Church and seat of the Catholicos of All Armenians, and Mother Cathedral. Nearby we visit the ruined cathedral of Zvartnots, dating from the 7th century.  Later we enjoy a gastronomic master class of Armenian dishes before finishing the day at Yerevan’s fascinating Vernissage flea market, a large open-air market for handmade souvenirs, carpets, silver, jewellery, and just about everything else. Overnight Royal Plaza Hotel or similar. (BL)

(Approximate driving time: two-and-a-half-hours)

After breakfast we leave Yerevan again, travelling to Kotayk province to explore Geghard Monastery, founded in the 4thcentury by Gregory the Illuminator, and partly carved from the living rock of the mountainside. Afterwards, by way of balance, we continue to nearby Garni and visit its remarkable 1st century colonnaded Graeco-Roman temple dedicated to the Sun god Mihr. We have lunch in the village of Garni, simultaneously taking part in a lavash (Armenian flatbread) masterclass. Afterwards we return to Yerevan and visit Megeryan Carpet, a workshop where we learn about the 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. 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.

Today, the last full day in Armenia, is free to explore Yerevan independently at your own pace, perhaps taking in some museums or shopping for souvenirs. Overnight Royal Plaza Hotel or similar. (B)

Today the Armenia tour ends after breakfast when airport transfers depart to meet onward flights. (B)

Dates & Price.

Tour Notes

Ancient Armenia tour single supplement is from £245

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

Extra night accommodation pre and/or post tour in Yerevan costs from £40 per person, per night sharing a twin/double room and £60 per person in a solo occupancy room.

Please note that the prices quoted above are for the category of accommodation and hotel used for this particular tour. Depending on the hotel eventually confirmed there may be some difference in the rate advertised by the hotel, and the prices available through Undiscovered Destinations. It should be noted we will not apply a surcharge should more expensive accommodation be used. At the same time in the event that a lower rate is available for the confirmed hotel we are unable to offer a refund.

If you prefer not to travel as part of a group tour then kindly note that we can arrange this Armenia tour on a private basis. Prices start from £1440 per person based on 2 people travelling sharing a room. Larger private tour groups and solo private tours can also be arranged – please contact us for prices.

If you prefer to have a tour tailored to your exact requirements, then please get in touch with Mark Huggins who will be happy to work with you to design your ideal tour.

Mapped itinerary.

Want to see details of your itinerary on a map?

Download PDF.

Download the full tour dossier for this trip here.

Ancient Armenia Tour Map

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