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Things to do in

Ararat Province

Our most recommended things to do in Ararat Province

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: Lake Sevan, Dilijan, Lake Parz, and Lunch

2. From Yerevan: Lake Sevan, Dilijan, Lake Parz, and Lunch

Whilst staying in Armenia, you simply cannot miss the opportunity to visit one of the country’s most renowned landmarks – the beautiful Lake Sevan. Merely an hour’s drive from the capital city of Yerevan, Sevan is situated at a height of 1900m above sea level and surrounded by a vast chain of mountains. You will then head to the North of Armenia, where you will be surrounded by incredible nature. Visit the 'Armenian Switzerland' – the city of Dilijan. The first stop in Dilijan .After that, you will make a stop at the monastery of Haghartsin, which dates back to the 10th century. The name means 'the play of the eagle'. The scenery is like a work of art, with both the monastery and nature surrounding it providing breathtaking views. It is one of those spots in Armenia that feels just like a movie set. The refectory of Haghartsin is one the biggest examples of Armenian Church architecture. It was an absolute innovation at the time it was constructed. If you are curious as to why then there's nothing better than seeing it for yourself.

From Yerevan: Garni Temple & Geghard Tour with Lavash Baking

3. From Yerevan: Garni Temple & Geghard Tour with Lavash Baking

The tour starts from the capital city of Armenia, Yerevan before traveling to the first stop of the day, Garni Temple. The temple, which was built in 77 AD, is the only remaining heathen temple of the post-Soviet era. The temple gracefully stands on a high plateau overlooking the Azat river gorge and has stunning views all around. At the temple, admire the on-site Greek-Roman bath house that holds a mosaic made from 30,000 pieces of natural stones, as well as the ruins of the royal palace, will dates back to the 3rd century AD. Next, visit the Geghard Monastery complex which symbolizes the lance with which the Roman centurion pierced Jesus after crucifixion. The lance was brought to Armenia and kept in the Geghard Monastery for many centuries, and the site is on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Not far from the temple of Garni, visit a cosy local restaurant with an amazing view of the temple and surrounding landscape. Here, relax after the tour and take part in a masterclass of baking and tasting fresh Lavash, a traditional Armenian flatbread. After having a lunch, your last stop before returning to Yerevan will be the gorge of "Symphony of stones." These rocks start from the beginning of the canyon and up to the highest point. The monument consists of huge paradoxically symmetric hexagon and pentagon basalt columns of nearly 100 meters high. Learn how the gorge got its name from its amazing resemblance to the church organ. Admire the many rocks in the gorge of the Azat River, which is included in the UNESCO heritage list.

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

4. 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.

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

5. 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.

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

6. 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

7. 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: Khor Virap, Etchmiadzin, and Zvartnots Tour

8. From Yerevan: Khor Virap, Etchmiadzin, and Zvartnots Tour

Visit Armenia’s oldest and most well-known historical landmark, Mount Ararat. This private half-day tour takes you to the closest spot possible at Khor Virap Monastery for spectacular views of the snow-capped volcano. Located about an hour’s drive away from Yerevan, the monastery offers an amazing view of the majestic Mount Ararat. Explore Khor Virap and learn about the region’s history as a royal prison. This was the very prison where Gregory the Illuminator, the first Armenian Catholic, was held for 13 years. It’s no surprise that the monastery serves as one of the most sacred spots in Armenia.   Discover more of Armenia’s sacred spots with a stop at Saint Hripsime Church, built on the sepulcher of the nun Hripsime and one of the oldest churches in the world. A short 5 minute drive away is the 7th-century church of Saint Gayane. From here visit the world’s first Christian Cathedral, the Holy Etchmiadzin. Built in 301-304, legend says that Jesus Christ descended here, where Gregory the Illuminator ordered to build the church. On the way back to Yerevan, the tour will conclude with a final stop at another beautiful 7th-century temple.

Yerevan: Garni, Geghard & Lake Sevan Tour with Lavash Baking

9. Yerevan: Garni, Geghard & Lake Sevan Tour with Lavash Baking

Start the tour at 10 AM by arriving at the local operator's office in Yerevan. After checking in, set off towards the Eastern part of Armenia in a comfortable air-conditioned vehicle. First, make a short stop at Charent's Arch where you can soak up the wonderful views to the biblical Mount Ararat. Them, head over to the Garni pagan temple which towers over a triangular cape. Admire the temple's blend of Greco-Roman and Armenian styles and see the ruins of the former royal palace with its stunning mosaics. After this, continue on to a masterpiece of 13th-century Armenian architecture at Geghard Monastery. Learn about how this cave monastery was believed to have housed the relic of the lance that pierced the side of Jesus as he hung on the cross. Experience its incredible construction which boasts fascinating acoustics which has served as a good place to sing spiritual songs. Marvel at some of the churches in the complex which are masterfully hewed into a huge rock. Discover how the complex is rich in subtle sculptural embellishments and many striking khachkars (cross-stones). Next up, stop for lunch at a cozy family-style restaurant called Abelyan House. Here, also watch the process of baking the Armenian lavash bread. Observe how the dough is rolled out flat and slapped against the hot walls of a clay oven. Have a good opportunity to participate in a lavash baking procedure. Savor the opportunity to taste it afterward with local cheese and greens. Following this, pop over to the amazing Lake Sevan, which is one of the world's greatest high altitude fresh-water lakes. Learn about how the lake is of volcanic origin and is surrounded by mountains of 3000 m and higher. Immerse yourself in the beautiful landscape surrounded by crystal-clear water. Check out the medieval church complex of Sevanavank Monastery on the peninsular before you head off. Finally, hop back into the vehicle and take the return journey back to the meeting point in Yerevan where the tour concludes.

Armenia: Amberd, Alphabet Alley and Saghmosavank Day Trip

10. Armenia: Amberd, Alphabet Alley and Saghmosavank Day Trip

On this tour, you will visit Amberd, a fortress on the southern slope of Mount Aragats, founded in the 7th century. Lake Kari with fascinating views of nature... Discover the secrets of Armenian sweets during a master class in an Armenian village garden. There comes the Alley of Armenian Letters (Alphabet Alley), which was built on the slopes of Mount Aragats in honor of the 1600th anniversary of the creation of the Armenian alphabet. This monument is unique not only in Armenia but all around the World. At the end of the program, visit Saghmosavank, a 13th-century Armenian monastic complex, unique due to its frescoes with biblical themes and the perfect harmony with the environment – vertical cliffs of Kasakh gorge.

Top sights in Ararat Province

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What people are saying about Ararat Province

Overall rating

4.8 / 5

based on 310 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.

It was an enjoyable tour. The tour guide was very knowledgeable (I can't remember the name right now, a woman with black hair), patient and friendly. The tour had a good pace. The sightseeing was interesting. I went solo and met some interesting people too. Lunch was tasty and I could order something extra too, including a glass of good wine. Excellent tour, recommended.

The transfer was hassle free and on-time. Our driver, Ara, was really cool all through out our long-drive. It was good to travel at 6AM as you can witness the sunrise on the way in Lake Sevan. Border checking was smooth and pretty quick, just prepare your Armenian visa alongside with you, it only takes 5mins or less. Highly recommended! :)

The tour guide (a young woman) was fantastic, so knowledgeable, so friendly and with a great sense of humour. Im really sorry i cant remember her name. The food was good too

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.