Yerevan Culture & history

Our most recommended Yerevan Culture & history

From Yerevan: Khorvirap, Noravank, & Areni Winery Day Trip

1. From Yerevan: Khorvirap, Noravank, & Areni Winery Day Trip

Khor Virap Monastery is located about an hour’s drive away from the capital Yerevan, and offers an amazing view of Armenia’s defining symbol – the majestic Ararat. Khor Virap translates as deep dungeon, and it was built on the place of the former royal prison, located on the historical site of Artashat. The Monastery is also one of the most sacred spots for Armenians around the world. This tour will also take you to the Areni Cave (Bird’s Cave). In 2008, archeologists discovered several of the world’s oldest artifacts, including a leather shoe and a winery here. The site, overlooking Arpa River near the town of Areni, is claimed to date back to the Early Bronze Age. It contains evidence of elaborate burial rituals and agricultural practices. Another place that can’t be missed is Noravank. It is one of the gems of medieval Armenian architecture, nestled high among the stunning brick-red cliffs at the end of the Gnishik Canyon. Afterwards, you will be given the chance to taste and even purchase Armenia’s renowned Areni wine, made from the oldest grape variety in the whole world. The wine is available in several wineries in the town of Areni itself. You will also taste the most famous dishes of traditional Armenian cuisine.

From Yerevan: Group Tour to Tatev Cable Car and Areni Winery

2. From Yerevan: Group Tour to Tatev Cable Car and Areni Winery

Escape the busy city of Yerevan and travel into Southern Armenia towards the town of Areni, known for its spectacular history in winemaking and bearing the name of one of the oldest grape varieties in the world. Your first destination will be one of the region’s best vineyards to enjoy a tour of the winery and learn about the process of making wine. Discover the variety of grapes that are used here and taste some of the oldest wines of Armenia to get a real flavor of the region. Next, enjoy stunning scenic views on the drive towards the next destination, the ‘Wings of Tatev’. The ‘Wings of Tatev’ is the longest cable car in the world, measuring 6 km. Ride the cable car and admire the breathtaking scenery along the way, including the Harsnadzor Watchtower and Devil’s Bridge. Travel to the 9th Century Tatev monastery, which once was the educational and spiritual center of Armenia. Built on a high plateau in the Vorotan river gorge, the monastery is surrounded by breathtaking mountains and dense forests. Also visit the magnificent waterfall of Shaki.

From Tbilisi: The Best of Armenia in 2-Days

3. From Tbilisi: The Best of Armenia in 2-Days

Day 1: After the pick up from your hotel in the morning, you will soon reach the border to Armenia and at around 11:00AM. You will step into the historical region of Lori, which is famous for its rocky landscapes and mysterious monasteries. Here you will visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Haghpat. A few of hours from there, you will arrive at the scenic lake of Sevan, one of the signature sites of Armenia. Here you can see the a medieval monastery, and even enjoy a traditional lunch by the lake. In the late afternoon you will reach Yerevan, the modern capital city. Some of the key sights not to miss here include the Mother of Armenia, Victory Park, and Cascade. Day 2 Your second day will begin with a 1-hour ride to see the Garni Temple and the monastery of Geghard, which is a true jewel of religious architecture in Armenia. Following some classical sightseeing, you will be invited on a tour through the world famous brandy factory, where you will learn about the history of the drink and taste brandies of different parts of the aging process. After an interesting day of exploration, you will reach Tbilisi at around 9:00PM.

Yerevan: Private Khor Virap, Garni, & Gehgard Monastery Tour

4. Yerevan: Private Khor Virap, Garni, & Gehgard Monastery Tour

Khor Virap monastery is located about an hour’s drive away from the capital Yerevan, and offers an amazing view of Armenia’s defining symbol: the majestic Ararat. “Khor Virap” translates as “deep dungeon”, and was built on the place of the former royal prison, located on the historical site of Artashat. It was this very prison in which they detained Gregory the Illuminator, the first Armenian Catholicos, for an entire 13 years. Your fantastic tour will introduce you to the exotic Pagan history of Armenia, before later introducing you to the development and spread of Christianity in the country. Your first stop will be Garni Temple (77 A.D.), which is the only standing heathen temple in the whole post-Soviet area. The temple is home to the Roman bath house with its mysterious mosaic which is made out of 30,000 pieces of natural stones, as well as the ruins of the royal palace which date back to the 3rd century A.D. The monastic complex of Geghard is another historical site included in this tour. Translated to “Monastery of the Holy Lance”, it refers to the lance with which Longinus pierced Jesus as he was still hanging on the cross. The complex is a representation of 13th-century Armenia, which is considered to be the golden age of the country’s architecture. The most astonishing part however is the virtue of the architect, who cut the church right into the solid rock whilst also considering all the rules of Armenian architecture. On your way to the temple, there will be another short stop at the Charents Arch where you will be given the chance to enjoy one of the best moments of your trip to Armenia: a picturesque view of the Biblical Mount Ararat.

Day trip to Khor Virap, Areni Winery and Noravank Monastery

5. Day trip to Khor Virap, Areni Winery and Noravank Monastery

The tour will start at 09:30 AM with a pick-up point from your hotel. The day’s itinerary includes visits to Khor Virap Monastery, Areni Winery and Noravank Monastery situated deep in the Noravank Canyon. Once you get to Khor Virap, you will stop to admire and take photos of the spectacular view of Mount Ararat, the national symbol of Armenia. You will then continue to the winery in the village of the Areni, where you can try delicious Armenian wine and take a few bottles with you. Due to its charming medieval architecture and magnificent landscape, the Noravank Complex is a must see when in Armenia.  

From Yerevan: 4.5-Hour Garni-Geghard Tour

6. From Yerevan: 4.5-Hour Garni-Geghard Tour

You will be picked up from your hotel where the tour will start at 10:00 am and last approximately 4 to 5-hours. The first stop is Garni, a Pagan Temple referred to as the well-known symbol of pre-Christian Armenia that was converted into a royal summer house. After exploring the grand structure, you will then stop at Ararat ARC where you'll have a fantastic view to mount Ararat, a snow capped dormant volcano situated in Turkey. From here, you will visit the UNESCO listed Geghard Monastery Complex. Some of the churches are situated in caves, whilst others are dug out of the surrounding rock surface. You will then be transferred back to Yerevan.

Armenia: Private Tour to Khor Virap Monastery

7. Armenia: Private Tour to Khor Virap Monastery

Although there are various historical landmarks in Armenia, the oldest and most well-known is the Biblical Mount Ararat. This tour promises spectacular views of the mountain from the closest spot possible. The Khor Virap Monastery is located about an hour’s drive away from the capital of Yerevan, and it offers an amazing view of Armenia’s defining symbol – the majestic Ararat. Khor Virap translates as “deep dungeon”, and it was built on the place of the former royal prison, located on the historical site of Artashat. Gregory the Illuminator, the first Armenian Catholic, was detained in this prison for 13 years. The Monastery is therefore one of the most sacred spots for Armenians around the world. Discover its beauty and history for yourself on this tour.

Private Tour: Khor Virap, Noravank, Areni Cave, & Winery

8. Private Tour: Khor Virap, Noravank, Areni Cave, & Winery

Although there are various historical landmarks in Armenia, the oldest and most well-known is the Biblical Mount Ararat. This tour promises spectacular views from the closest spot possible. The Khor Virap Monastery is located about an hour’s drive away from the capital Yerevan, and offers amazing views of Armenia’s defining symbol – the majestic Ararat. The site is also one of the most sacred spots for Armenians around the world. Another place that cannot be missed during your time in Armenia is Noravank. It is one of the gems of medieval Armenian architecture, nestled high among the stunning brick-red cliffs at the end of the Gnishik Canyon. Here you will see the one and only depiction of God the Father in Armenia, which is just as astonishing as the face of Jesus Christ that appeared on the dome of the Church’s narthex. This tour will also take you to the Bird’s Cave. In 2008, archaeologists discovered several of the world’s oldest artifacts here, including a leather shoe and a winery. The site, overlooking the Arpa River near the town of Areni, is claimed to date back to the Early Bronze Age (around 5,000-6,000 years ago). It also contains evidence of elaborate burial rituals and agricultural practices. Finally, you will be given the chance to taste and even purchase Armenia’s renowned Areni wine. Made from the oldest grape variety in the whole world, the wine is available in several wineries in the actual town of Areni itself, which you will make a stop at before finishing the trip.

From Yerevan: Echmiadzin Full-Day Trip and Cooking Class

9. From Yerevan: Echmiadzin Full-Day Trip and Cooking Class

Discover the world’s first Christian cathedral and the holy land of Armenians accompanied by an expert local guide. Learn how to cook traditional dolma in a cooking master class. Meet your guide in Yerevan and hop on your comfortable tour vehicle to head to Echmiadzin. Begin your tour by visiting the 7th-century Zvartnots Cathedral, the first of many UNESCO heritage sites on the tour. Explore St. Hripsime church, constructed in 618 A.D. on the sepulcher of a Christian nun who fled from the Roman Empire. Take part in a master cooking class and learn to make dolma. Enjoy a full traditional Armenian meal. Head to the Echmiadzin Cathedral, and visit the museum of Christian relics, including pieces of the Holy Cross and Noahs' Ark, as well as the spear which wounded Jesus.

Private Day Trip to Khor-Virap, Noravank & Tatev Monasteries

10. Private Day Trip to Khor-Virap, Noravank & Tatev Monasteries

Join this private tour to immerse yourself in Armenia's heavenly sites. In the morning, you will be picked up from your hotel in Yerevan, in order to uncover three magical structures and panoramas of the country. Enjoy your first exploration on the list: Khor-Virap Monastery. One of the most visited pilgrimage sites in Armenia which held a saint in a hole for 13 long years. Also here, you will be gifted a unique opportunity to have a closer look at splendid Mount Ararat, together with an ancient Monastery in the foreground.   Later, continue your exploratory mission to the Monastery of Noravank, located in the magnificent Amaghu gorge, which attracts visitors with a fascinating view over the canyon and exceptional architectural solutions.  Afterward, you will depart to the province of Syunik to take the longest cable car in the world and reach Tatev Monastery – the masterpiece of Armenia. This is an absolutely mind-blowing beauty, with an ancient religious complex and divine natural surroundings.

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Khor Virap

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What people are saying about Yerevan

Overall rating

4.8 / 5

based on 54 reviews

It was an enjoyable tour although I could not understand why some people complained at the end. I am not the easiest person on the planet, and I enjoyed it! The tour guide was knowledgeable (I can't remember the name right now, a man with a name starting in S, maybe Samuel?), patient and friendly. The tour had a good pace although it was long - a good day out. The sightseeing was interesting. I went solo and met some interesting people too. Lunch was tasty and I could order a glass of good wine for a minimal fee. I suggest you go early as I arrived exactly on time and I did not have a good seat on the coach. Very good tour, recommended.

Very nice day with impressive clever woman guide, highlighted by day of the event (Armenian Independence day) and emotional little private performance during lunch. I was touched.

A very well organised trip with a safe driver and a knowledgeable and friendly guide. I would recommend this to anyone interested in Georgia's history and culture.

The tour guide Maisa I believe was her name was incredibly knowledgeable and very attending to the visitors. Incredible experience!

The explanations were in Russian and in Englisch. Both languages were very good to understand.