Russia For You: Sample Programs

Destination
Season
Theme

Incentive Trip to Yerevan, Armenia 5* Hotel, for 15 pax

02 September  2020
Country / city: Armenia / Erevan
Season: Autumn
Theme: Incentive

PROGRAM at a Glance

SMP.27475 for Erevan (Armenia)

Erevan (Armenia) 1 Oct – 5 Oct 2020 • 15 pax

 

Morning Activities
08:00 — 13:00

Lunch
13:00 — 14:00

Afternoon Activities
14:00 — 19:00

Dinner Evening Activities
19:00 — 00:00

Day 1
1 Oct
2020
Thu

MUST KNOW: Description of Armenia

RECOMMENDED ENTARTAINMENT: Duduk Performance

MUST KNOW: Armenia Weather Forcast

MUST KNOW: Visa requirements

Zvartnots (Yerevan) International Airport Arrival

19:00 — 23:00 Transport & Guide Evening (Hotel — Restaurant — Hotel)

Visit to the legendary Brandy Factory ARARAT with degustation

Welcome Dinner at Tavern Yerevan with folklore show

Day 2
2 Oct
2020
Fri

09:30 — 17:30 Transport & Guide Full Day (8 hours)

Yerevan City Sightseeing:

1. Sasuntsi Davit Statue

2. Baghramyan Avenue with National Assembly Building and Presidential Residence

3. Victory Park and the statue of Mother Armenia

4. Cascade Complex

5. Abovyan Street & Republic Square

Recommended entertainment: Tresure Hunt during the city tour (for the groups up to 40 pax)

Dinner at Ad Astra Rooftop Restaurant — Radisson Blu Hotel, with music entertainment

Lunch at Megerian Carpet Restaurant & Rug Weaving Class at Megerian Carpet Factory

Khor Virap Visit — Armenia's most sacred monastery

 

Day 3
3 Oct
2020
Sat

09:30 — 17:30 Transport & Guide Full Day (8 hours)

Garni Pagan Temple Visit

Geghard Monastery and Upper Azat Valley

Lunch at Garni Toun Restaurant — after Geghard Monastery Visit

Lavash Baking Master Class

Free time in Yerevan/ Shopping at Vernissage Market

19:00 — 23:00 Transport & Guide Evening (Hotel — Restaurant — Hotel)

Dinner at Vostan Restaurant

Day 4
4 Oct
2020
Sun

09:30 — 17:30 Transport & Guide Full Day (8 hours)

Noravank Monastery Visit

 

Vine Festival at Areni Village with Grape Treading

OPTIONAL: Khachkar Stone Carving Master Class (Areni Village)

20:00 — 00:00 Transport & Guide Evening (Hotel — Venue — Hotel)

Gala Dinner at Monarch Armenia Restaurant

RECOMMENDED ENTERTAINMENT: Traditional Dance Performance

RECOMMENDED ENTERTAINMENT: Cover Band Performance

Day 5
5 Oct
2020
Mon

Zvartnots (Yerevan) International Airport Departure

 

 

 

HOTEL ACCOMMODATION

 Radisson Blu Hotel 5*

With a stunning location near Victory Park and Areni Lake, the Radisson Blu Hotel, Yerevan offers 5-star accommodation on the upscale Azatutyan Avenue. Our magnificent hilltop setting provides beautiful views of Yerevan city center against the backdrop of Mount Ararat, and our upscale facilities deliver a resort feel with proximity to many local businesses and embassies.

Attractions like the Cascade Complex and the Charles Aznavour House Museum are also within walking distance of our family-friendly hotel, or you can easily board a bus or train nearby to reach other destinations.

Stylish décor, superior service and a prime location in the Armenian capital

In addition to our breath-taking location, our Yerevan hotel features 142 immaculate rooms and suites housed within an eye-catching stone and glass façade.

Enjoy magnificent views from every room, as well as from our 2 on-site restaurants, which offer lovely outdoor dining areas for easy access to the surrounding scenery.

Other amenities include 2 on-site bars, laundry services, and a spa and fitness center with a pool. Our central hotel also offers 6 attractive meeting rooms perfect for business or social gatherings of up to 200 delegates.

 

DAY 1 — 1st October 2020, Thursday

 MUST KNOW: Description of Armenia

Armenia is one of the most ancient countries of the world. Its history traces back to the III-I millenium BC. The highly civilazed state Urartu (the ancestor of Armenia) was formed in IX BC. In I BC Armenia occupied the territory from the Caspian Sea to the Meditarranian Sea.

Nowadays the Armenian Republic is located in Transcaucasia, bordered by Georgia on the north, Azerbaijan on the east, Iran on the south, and Turkey on the west.

The population of Armenia is about 3,200,000. More than 90 percent of the population are Ethnic Armenians. The official state language is Armenian. In the early 4th century (301 AD) Armenia was the first country in the world to adopt Christianity as a State Religion; national currence is dram.

The Republic of Armenia is an independent, democratic, public and rule of law state.

Armenia is famous for its magnificent and extremely picturesque landfscapes and for old solitary monasteries and fortresses, situated here and there, on the hills and in the caves, such as Khor Virap (XVII cent.), Garny Geghart (IV BC-III AD), Amberd, Dzorap, Ani etc; Echmiadzin- the centre of armenian apostolic church; high in the mountains the pearl of Armenia, the lake Sevan is situated.

Besides in Armenia there is a ski resort Tsahkadzor situated 1845 metres over the sea level.

 MUST KNOW: Armenia Weather Forcast

According to data of the Hydro-meteorological Department of RA, the average temperature in January is 6 degrees below 0. (The lowest one was registered up to 30 degrees below 0); in July it is 20 degrees above 0  (the highest one was registered up to 50 degrees above 0).In general Armenia has a dry and continental climate, with a hot summer and temperate winter. To obtain the full and complete information about the weather in Armenia, appeal to www.meteo-tv.am.

 MUST KNOW: Visa requirements

If you are traveling to Armenia, you might need a visa for your trip. List of countries, with which Armenia has a visa-free regime according to bilateral and multilateral agreements: Albania, Argentine Republic, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Brazil, Georgia, Hong Kong, Kazakhstan, Kyrgiz Republic, Macao, Moldova, Russian Federation, Ukraine, Uruguay, Uzbekistan.

Holders of all other national passports and travel documents, including UN Laissez-Passer, are required to obtain an entry visa.

 Zvartnots (Yerevan) International Airport Arrival

Zvartnots International Airport  (IATA: EVN, ICAO: UDYZ) is located near Zvartnots, 15 km (9.3 mi) west of Yerevan, the capital city of Armenia. It acts as the main international airport of Armenia and is Yerevan's main international transport hub. It is the busiest airport in the country.

 19:00 — 23:00 Transport & Guide Evening (Hotel — Restaurant — Hotel)

Please kindly note that we always recommend to have a guide/assistant for bus dispatching as drives do not speak English. Surcharge after midnight hours is according to specification below. All additional hours are charged additionally. In case of full day usage price for meals of drivers & guides might be charged. Mineral water will be supplied only upon extra request. Please note that it is prohibited to drink and eat in some vehicles. In case of more than three vehicles, we strongly recommend have an additional assistant, who will provide coordination at each stop. Transport and guide usage after 23:00 (11 pm) till 8:00 (8 am) — is charged as + 50% per each additional hour. NB! The vehicles presented on the pictures are samples of used but not necessarily provided during the actual transportation.

 Visit to the legendary Brandy Factory ARARAT with degustation

Welcome to Armenia, the keeper of an ancient civilization, the cradle of winemaking, the free and hospitable homeland of ARARAT brandy! Start your unforgettable journey to the world where intertwine history and modernity, traditions and experiments, natural generosity and creative passion — to the world of the ARARAT. ARARAT is far more than just a brandy. It is a chance to immerse oneself into Armenian culture.

The culture of winemaking in Armenia goes back centuries, and the Armenian brandy that is famous around the world today appeared at the end of the 19th century.

Armenian brandy production was started in 1887 in Yerevan by the merchant and philanthropist Nerses Tairyan, who was the first to introduce classic French alcohol production technology in his factory. He was inspired by his cousin, Vasily Tairov, who was an experienced winemaker and scientist. Nobody else recognised as well as he did nature's gift – the unique conditions of Ararat Valley and the high-quality of the local grapes.

With financial support from friends and relatives, production was fitted with Charante Type distillers and the premises were equipped for ageing spirits. Their entrepreneurial instinct did not fail the brothers, their undertaking became a technological breakthrough and opened new prospects for the brandy business in Armenia.

 Welcome Dinner at Tavern Yerevan with folklore show

It is our pleasure to host you in the beautiful halls of Tavern Yerevan restaurant where you will appear in an unmatched environment offering an excellent combination of price, quality and service. The menu of the restaurant includes a number of dishes, some of which have endured for centuries as the favorites of Armenians and are still on the list of the most popular dishes. When preparing our menu we were guided by a simple principle-to offer a purely Armenian cuisine that will feature forgotten or almost forgotten dishes. We have also included the best samples of the Caucasian cuisine that are suitable to our customers’ taste, but are also unique and somewhat different.

 RECOMMENDED ENTARTAINMENT: Duduk Performance

The duduk, the Armenian oboe, is a single or double reed wind instrument made of the wood of the apricot tree and has a warm, soft, slightly nasal timbre. The duduk or tsiranapokh, which is alsocalled the apricot tree pipe, belongs to the organological category of areophones, which also includes the balaban played in Azerbaijan and Iran, the duduki common in Georgia and the ney in Turkey.

The soft wood is the ideal material to carve the body of the instrument. The reed, called ghamish or yegheg, is a local plant growing alongside the Arax river. The roots of Armenian duduk music go back to the times of the Armenian king Tigran the Great (95-55 BC). The instrument is depicted in numerous Armenian manuscripts of the Middle Ages.

The duduk accompanies popular Armenian traditional songs and dances of the various regions and is played at social events, such as weddings and funerals. Although there are also famous duduk soloists, among them Gevorg Dabaghyan and Vache Sharafyan, the duduk is mainly played by two musicians. One player creates the musical environment for the lead melody by playing a continual drone that is held by circular breathing, while the other player develops complex melodies and improvisations.

There are four major types of duduk, varying in length from 28 to 40 cm and in sound, ranging from one to fourth or third octaves. Therefore, the sound of the duduk can express various moods depending on the content of the piece and the playing context. The 40-cm long duduk, for example, is regarded as most appropriate for love songs, whereas the smaller one usually accompanies dances. Today, duduk craftsmen continue to create and experiment with different forms of duduks.

Many Armenians consider the duduk as the instrument that most eloquently expresses warmth, joy and the history of their community. Over recent decades, the popularity of Armenian duduk music has decreased, in particular in the rural areas where it originated. At present, most duduk players are concentrated in Yerevan.

The duduk instrument is played less and less in social festivities, but more often by professionals as a staged performance. Duduk music risks losing its viability and traditional character and becoming just another facet of «high culture».

 

DAY 2 — 2nd October 2020, Friday

 09:30 — 17:30 Transport & Guide Full Day (8 hours)

Please kindly note that we always recommend to have a guide/assistant for bus dispatching as drives do not speak English. Surcharge after midnight hours is according to specification below. All additional hours are charged additionally. In case of full day usage price for meals of drivers & guides might be charged. Mineral water will be supplied only upon extra request. Please note that it is prohibited to drink and eat in some vehicles. In case of more than three vehicles, we strongly recommend have an additional assistant, who will provide coordination at each stop. Transport and guide usage after 23:00 (11 pm) till 8:00 (8 am) — is charged as + 50% per each additional hour. NB! The vehicles presented on the pictures are samples of used but not necessarily provided during the actual transportation.

 Yerevan City Sightseeing:

Yerevan is the capital and largest city of Armenia; one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. Yerevan is 29 years older than one of the most ancient capitals of the world of Rome. Yerevan is the administrative, cultural and industrial center of the country. Since 1918, the city was declared the capital of the 1st Armenian Republic, thus becoming the thirteenth capital in the history of the Armenian state and the seventh of those capitals located in or around the Ararat plain.

The history of Yerevan dates back to the 8th century BC. and originates from the foundation of the Erebuni fortress in 782 BC The Erebuni fortress was erected on the western end of the Ararat plain by the Armenian king Argishti I. Erebuni functioned as a large administrative and religious center, as a full-fledged royal capital. In 2012, Yerevan was named by UNESCO the World Book Capital. In 2018, Yerevan celebrated its 2800th anniversary. Today, Yerevan is an associate member of Eurocities.

 1. Sasuntsi Davit Statue

The statue of David of Sasun is one the most prominent monuments in Yerevan city; the author is Yervand Kochar; the architect is Michael Mazmanyan; the model is national artist of USSR Vanush Khanamiryan. Yervand Kochar (1899-1978) is an artist whose innovative ideas were expressed in three genres: painting, graphics and sculpture, which tells about his high talent. The statue of David of Sasun is one his masterpieces.

Armenian nation created lots of eposes during long centuries. Heroic eposes express national spirit of Armenians most characteristically and in detail. Integral image of the nation is best of all reflected in «David of Sasun» epos. The epos was created in the 7-8th cc, when Armenian nation was attacked by the Arab invaders. Vitality, best aspirations, thoughts and feelings of the people are embodied in the main hero of the epic — in David’s character. David is invincible strongman with superhuman strength, a patriot, a humanist, a defender of workers and peasants, selfless brave, peaceful virtue. David is so much beloved within people that he got divine title, under name «David».

The statue was erected in 1959 in David of Sasun Square, in front of the Train Station building; replaced plaster version, erected in 1936. David’s body is in motion, ready for the battle. His fairytale horse Kurkik Jalali perched on the basalt cliff. Under his hoof, in the angle of the cliff, bronze bowl is located: symbol of patience of Armenian nation. The monument is situated in the center of a pool with diameter of 25 meters; overall height with pedestal is 12,5 meters.

The statue of David of Sasun is depicted on commemorative five-ruble coin, released in 1991 by Central Bank of the USSR. «David of Sasun» is depicted on subway tokens. For long years David of Sasun was the symbol of film studio «Hayfilm». «David of Sasun» is the heaviest statue in Yerevan – 3,5 tons.

 2. Baghramyan Avenue with National Assembly Building and Presidential Residence

Marshal Baghramyan Avenue is an avenue in the central Kentron and the northwestern Arabkir districts of Yerevan, Armenia. The avenue is named after the Soviet Armenian commander and Marshal of the Soviet Union Hovhannes Baghramyan whose statue stands at the central part of the avenue. It was known as the Friendship Avenue (Comradeship Avenue) between 1970 and 1995, as a tribute to the friendship of all Soviet Union member nations. The 2.2-kilometre-long (1.4 mi) avenue starts with the Place de France at the east and ends up with the Barekamutyun Square at the west. It is mainly home to educational, government and foreign diplomatic mission buildings.

 3. Victory Park and the statue of Mother Armenia

The next step is Victory Park and the statue of Mother Armenia, erected in honor of the victory of the USSR in the Great Patriotic War. Here the Eternal Flame burns in honor of an unknown soldier, and one of the most beautiful views of the city opens from the observation deck of the statue. Stop near the monument and time for a walk and photos.

 4. Cascade Complex

The Cascade is a giant stairway made of limestone in Yerevan, Armenia. It links the downtown Kentron area of Yerevan with the Monument neighborhood. Designed by architects Jim Torosyan, Aslan Mkhitaryan, and Sargis Gurzadyan the construction of the cascade started in 1971 and was partially completed in 1980.

Inside the Cascade, underneath the exterior steps, are seven escalators that rise along the length of the complex. There are also exhibit halls connected to some of the landings along the escalators which compose the Cafesjian Museum of Art.

The exterior of The Cascade features multiple levels adorned with fountains and modernist sculptures from the Cafesjian collection. The stairs afford walkers unobstructed views of central Yerevan and Mount Ararat. At the base of the Cascade is a garden courtyard with statues by contemporary sculptors such as Botero, Lynn Chadwick, and Barry Flanagan.

There are a number of cafes and restaurants on both sides of the Cascade frequented by locals and tourists. Classical and jazz concerts often take place at the Cascade during spring, summer and early autumn, with spectators sitting on the steps.

 5. Abovyan Street & Republic Square

This, perhaps, the most interesting street in Yerevan stretches for 1.6 km. It bears the name of an Armenian writer and enlightener of the 19th century. Khachatur Abovyan. It used to be called Astafyevskaya, and even earlier it was called Fortress. It starts to the left of the Museum complex. Its first quarters (the numbering of houses goes from the Republic Square) look quite motley — miraculously preserved buildings of the XIX century. side by side with modern entertainment centers made of glass and concrete.

The street was opened in 1863. Astafyan became the street that brought to life the other central streets. In 1883 Moscow City Duma decided to name the street Alexandrovskaya in honor of Alexander III and in 1921 it was renamed Abovyan. Nowadays the street has the same name. At the end of the 19th century as well as during the 20th century the Abovyan street was considered cultural,industrial and political center.

 Recommended entertainment: Tresure Hunt during the city tour (for the groups up to 40 pax)

During the city tour we suggest you to participate in teambuilding game. It can be:

1. Quest along the city route.

During the city tour, will be organized a quest, according to which the group will be divided into 3 teams, and each team will have its own guide. All teams will land on Republic Square and from there begin their route in an unknown direction. Each of the team captains will have cards with a number of puzzles, the answers to which in the compartment will be a clue to the name of the meeting place, where all the teams should come and where the city tour starts from next by bus. To find clues, team members will have to turn to random passers-by for help, as well as carefully listen to the guide’s story.

The winner will be the team that comes to the meeting point earlier than the others, where all the participants will be waited by the company representative, who will summarize the quest. From the start of the walking route to the moment of arrival at the meeting point, the teams will have no restrictions in the algorithm of actions. The only restrictions are the walking route and coordination with the guide.

2. Photo quest: each team will be distributed 5 photos with the image of certain elements of various attractions of the city. Participants will need to recognize the element depicted in the photo and take a picture on its background. An important condition for the photo quest will be to make non-standard photos, using all your imagination.

 Lunch at Megerian Carpet Restaurant & Rug Weaving Class at Megerian Carpet Factory

If you feel like buying one of Armenia's beautiful carpets and want to try some of its traditional cuisine, you can do both at once at the Megerian Carpet Factory. The restaurant is located inside the carpet factory itself and patrons can enjoy their meals surrounded by exquisitely-patterned rugs and tables made from old looms. Try the local pork stuffed with spinach, which is cooked in a clay pot underground. Knowledgeable staff can also explain all about how the carpets are made.

Small Hall capacity: 40 pax.

Big Hall capacity: 500 pax.

 Khor Virap Visit — Armenia's most sacred monastery

A trip to the region of Ararat and visit to the monastery of Khor Virap. Khor Virap monastery was built over an underground prison in which the Armenian king Trdat III kept the first Catholicos of all Armenians imprisoned. Gregory the Illuminator before he was converted to Christianity (in 301). The very name «Khor Virap» in translation from Armenian means «deep dungeon».

The entrance to the underground prison, preserved to this day, is located in the chapel of St. Gregory, built in 1661. Khor Virap is famous for its location. The hill on which the monastery is being built is located on the site of the ancient capital of Armenia, Artashat. It is from here that one of the most wonderful views of the biblical mountain Ararat opens, on which, according to legend, Noah was on the ark after the Flood.

Transfer to Vayots Dzor region, where is located the Noravank monastery.

 Dinner at Ad Astra Rooftop Restaurant — Radisson Blu Hotel, with music entertainment

Choose from a wide variety of international favorites, salads, sandwiches and burgers at AdAstra Rooftop Restaurant, at Radisson Blu Hotel, Yerevan.

 

DAY 3 — 3rd October 2020, Saturday

 09:30 — 17:30 Transport & Guide Full Day (8 hours)

Please kindly note that we always recommend to have a guide/assistant for bus dispatching as drives do not speak English. Surcharge after midnight hours is according to specification below. All additional hours are charged additionally. In case of full day usage price for meals of drivers & guides might be charged. Mineral water will be supplied only upon extra request. Please note that it is prohibited to drink and eat in some vehicles. In case of more than three vehicles, we strongly recommend have an additional assistant, who will provide coordination at each stop. Transport and guide usage after 23:00 (11 pm) till 8:00 (8 am) — is charged as + 50% per each additional hour. NB! The vehicles presented on the pictures are samples of used but not necessarily provided during the actual transportation.

 Garni Pagan Temple Visit

The Temple of Garni (Armenian: «Garnu tacar») is located in the village of Garni in Kotayk Province, Armenia, and it was once a pagan temple dedicated to the Armenian sun god Mihr. Built in the middle of the 1st century CE, the Temple of Garni remarkably survived the destruction of pagan temples following Armenia's conversion to Christianity in the 4th century CE, and countless invasions and earthquakes until its collapse in 1679 CE. After continuous excavations in the late 19th and early 20th centuries CE, the Temple of Garni was reconstructed between 1969-1975 CE. Today, it is the only free-standing Greco-Roman structure in Armenia and seen by many as a potent symbol of Armenia’s classical past as well as its deep historical ties to the civilizations of Greece and Rome.

 Geghard Monastery and Upper Azat Valley

The monastery of Geghard contains a number of churches and tombs, most of them cut into the rock, which illustrate the very peak of Armenian medieval architecture. The complex of medieval buildings is set into a landscape of great natural beauty, surrounded by towering cliffs at the entrance to the Azat Valley. High cliffs from the northern side surround the complex while the defensive wall encircles the rest.

The monuments included in the property are dated from the 4th to the 13th century. At the early period, the Monastery was called Ayrivank (Monastery in the Cave) because of its rock-cut construction. The monastery was founded, according to tradition by St. Gregory the Illuminator, and was built following the adoption of Christianity as a state religion in Armenia (beginning of the 4th century AD). The main architectural complex was completed in the 13th century AD and consists of the cathedral, the adjacent narthex, eastern and western rock-cut churches, the family tomb of Proshyan princes, Papak’s and Ruzukan’s tomb-chapel, as well as various cells and numerous rock-cut cross-stones (khachkars). The Kathoghikè (main church) is in the classic Armenian form, an equal-armed cross inscribed in a square in plan and covered with a dome on a square base, linked with the base by vaulting. The east arm of the cross terminates in an apse, the remainder being square. In the corners are small barrel-vaulted two-storey chapels. On the internal walls there are many inscriptions recording donations. The masonry of the external walls is particularly finely finished and fitted. A gavit (entrance hall) links it with the first rock-cut church.

 Lunch at Garni Toun Restaurant — after Geghard Monastery Visit

Lunch at the Garni Tun restaurant in the style of a peasant house, where you can taste delicious homemade food. A workshop will be organized here on baking national lavash bread (lavash bread is included by UNESCO on the list of intangible cultural heritage of mankind).

 Lavash Baking Master Class

Lavash, a traditional bread of Armenia and the most widespread types of bread in South Caucasus, is inscribed in 2014 on the Representative List of the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity due to its regional importance and distinctive expression of Armenian culture.

 Free time in Yerevan/ Shopping at Vernissage Market

If you don't know what kind of souvenir you want, here is a perfect place for you. You will lose yourself here and won't get out without souvenirs or any interesting hand made artwork.The most interesting part of the market is the jewelry pavilions where you can see beautiful handmade silver and gold.

 19:00 — 23:00 Transport & Guide Evening (Hotel — Restaurant — Hotel)

Please kindly note that we always recommend to have a guide/assistant for bus dispatching as drives do not speak English. Surcharge after midnight hours is according to specification below. All additional hours are charged additionally. In case of full day usage price for meals of drivers & guides might be charged. Mineral water will be supplied only upon extra request. Please note that it is prohibited to drink and eat in some vehicles. In case of more than three vehicles, we strongly recommend have an additional assistant, who will provide coordination at each stop. Transport and guide usage after 23:00 (11 pm) till 8:00 (8 am) — is charged as + 50% per each additional hour. NB! The vehicles presented on the pictures are samples of used but not necessarily provided during the actual transportation.

 Dinner at Vostan Restaurant

Walking along Abovyan Street, the most picturesque street of Yerevan, be sure to check out the Vostan Restaurant. This is another authentic restaurant, saturated with the spirit of Armenian hospitality and warmth. Vostan is located in a building dating from 1884. The very first thing that catches your eye is a huge wooden door with patterns that has been restored. The interior is made in the old Yerevan style with a patio, vintage railings and wooden balconies.

Traditional Armenian cuisine is presented in the best way for real gourmets. In addition, in the restaurant's wine cellar you will be offered to taste homemade wines and choose one for dinner. When leaving, stop by the restaurant's shop, which sells homemade preserves, canned vegetables, Armenian basturma, sweet sujuk and much more.

 

DAY 4 — 4th October 2020, Sunday

 09:30 — 17:30 Transport & Guide Full Day (8 hours)

Please kindly note that we always recommend to have a guide/assistant for bus dispatching as drives do not speak English. Surcharge after midnight hours is according to specification below. All additional hours are charged additionally. In case of full day usage price for meals of drivers & guides might be charged. Mineral water will be supplied only upon extra request. Please note that it is prohibited to drink and eat in some vehicles. In case of more than three vehicles, we strongly recommend have an additional assistant, who will provide coordination at each stop. Transport and guide usage after 23:00 (11 pm) till 8:00 (8 am) — is charged as + 50% per each additional hour. NB! The vehicles presented on the pictures are samples of used but not necessarily provided during the actual transportation.

 Noravank Monastery Visit

Noravank tour will introduce you the monastery complex near the town of Ekhegnadzor that was included to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2002. Noravank is over 7 centuries old. The construction of the monastery is famous for beautiful architecture and effective ornaments adorning its walls.The Noravank monastery complex includes two churches and a chapel. Noravank was also the residence of the Armenian princes Orbelian, and here are the tombs of the Orbelian family, including a magnificent tombstone with a carved image of a lion-man dating from 1300.

 Vine Festival at Areni Village with Grape Treading

Armenian winemaking has a history of over 6000 years. This is not just a legend, but a scientifically proven fact with various evidence in the form of different relics. In the course of archaeological excavations and numerous studies conducted on the territory of Armenia, particularly in the caves near Areni village, ancient samples of the winemaking equipment, as well as the remains of grape seeds, were found by scientists. Excavations were conducted by a team of Armenian, US and Irish archaeologists. The results of the study have been published in such prestigious journals and international media like BBC, National Geographic and «The Journal of Archaeological Science».

Near Areni village, just in the same cave where another incredible relic in the form of the 5,500-year-old leather shoe was found, were also found a grape press, vessels for fermentation and storage of wine, drinking cups, and withered grape vines, skins, and seeds. All these prehistoric winemaking equipment was first discovered in 2007 in a cave complex called Areni-1. For maximum reliability vats were decided to subject to chemical analysis to determine the presence of characteristic wine residues. Chemical tests showed traces of malvidin, a grape pigment responsible for the color of red wine.

After visiting the Noravank monastery, the group will move to Areni Village, where a wine festival takes place: the group will be involved in the whole process og making vine, starting with grape harvesting, its treading and bottling of wine.

The event involves the full involvement of the group in the atmosphere of the Armenian village and the ceremony of gathering and treading grapes. The process will be accompanied by national songs and dances.

During the break, the group will go for lunch in the courtyard of the local peasant’s house or at the house restaurant next to the cave, during which the participants will taste national dishes and home-made wine.

 OPTIONAL: Khachkar Stone Carving Master Class (Areni Village)

Khachkar is Armenian cross-stone art widely spread in Armenia, in particular, in a nearby area of churches. The height of khachkar reaches approximately 1.5 meters and has a big cross in the middle, which is ornated with traditional motifs symbolizing eternity. After being blessed and anointed, the Khachkar is believed to carry the holy spirit of God. There are around 50.000 khachkars in the territory of Armenia and each of them carries a unique pattern, which is one of the kind. In 2010, the symbolism of khachkar was added to the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

Spend an hour to create a traditional Armenian artifact. Learn to create a piece of this ageless country on a special artisanal tour. Armenia is a country known for its craftsmanship. You are therefore invited to learn the historic secrets of its handicraft traditions, as well as to create a souvenir with your very own hands. Here, you can observe the tradition of Armenian stone carving up close, and spark some inspiration for your own project. Learning under the master’s guidance and supervision, you'll soon be able to carve traditional Armenian patterns on a small piece of volcanic stone. Please note that this craft is very messy, with clouds of orange dust forming when you cut into the stone, so take the master's advice and wear a comfortable t-shirt for the class. Of course, no work of art can be created without a real effort, so expect your clothes to be covered in dust. Enjoy the friendly and warm hearted atmosphere as you let your creativity flow. At the end of the traditional masterclass, feel free to take your hand-made piece of Armenia with you.

 20:00 — 00:00 Transport & Guide Evening (Hotel — Venue — Hotel)

Please kindly note that we always recommend to have a guide/assistant for bus dispatching as drives do not speak English. Surcharge after midnight hours is according to specification below. All additional hours are charged additionally. In case of full day usage price for meals of drivers & guides might be charged. Mineral water will be supplied only upon extra request. Please note that it is prohibited to drink and eat in some vehicles. In case of more than three vehicles, we strongly recommend have an additional assistant, who will provide coordination at each stop. Transport and guide usage after 23:00 (11 pm) till 8:00 (8 am) — is charged as + 50% per each additional hour. NB! The vehicles presented on the pictures are samples of used but not necessarily provided during the actual transportation.

 Gala Dinner at Monarch Armenia Restaurant

You do not need to travel to the past to be in the Middle Ages. Upon entering the restaurant Monarch guests of this «castle» become part of the magical world of the Middle Ages. And in the evening, as soon as the torches of the Monarch Castle are lit, the city will turn into a fabulous reality.

The Monarch is an ideal place to communicate. A place where you can try yourself in the role of a medieval king, a knight and listen to quality music.

 RECOMMENDED ENTERTAINMENT: Traditional Dance Performance

Kochari is one of the most popular dances of Armenians. Kochari is danced in a group of men and women and is known for its tune played on the zurna. Shalakho (Շալախօ) — A dance for men from Ancient Armenia. It is performed in dance studios by men, but danced at public gatherings by women as well.

Performance duration — 20 minutes, performance of 3-4 dances

 RECOMMENDED ENTERTAINMENT: Cover Band Performance

Duration of performance 1 or 2 hours depending on the group.

 

DAY 5 — 5th October 2020, Monday

 Zvartnots (Yerevan) International Airport Departure

Zvartnots International Airport  (IATA: EVN, ICAO: UDYZ) is located near Zvartnots, 15 km (9.3 mi) west of Yerevan, the capital city of Armenia. It acts as the main international airport of Armenia and is Yerevan's main international transport hub. It is the busiest airport in the country.