Things to do in
Alaverdi

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Our most recommended things to do in Alaverdi

From Tbilisi: Small Group 1-Day Tour to Armenia with Lunch

1. From Tbilisi: Small Group 1-Day Tour to Armenia with Lunch

Visit two of Armenia’s ancient monasteries and the town of Alaverdi on this small group tour from Tbilisi. Cross over the border with your experienced guide who will take you through the highlights of Northern Armenia in just 1 day.   Depart at 9:00 AM sharp for a 1.5-hour trip across the Georgian-Armenian boarder. Almost immediately you’ll start to notice changes in the landscape—the fields will become rocky mountains and the scenery takes on a certain apocalyptic touch, due to the many abandoned Soviet mines and factories. Your first stop is the fortified monastery of Akhtala, where you can marvel at the beautifully preserved frescoes and learn about the thrilling history of this Georgian-Armenian creation.   Then, you’ll reach the UNESCO-listed monastery complex of Haghpat, where you’ll learn about the Armenian stone crosses and the mystical poet Sayat-Nova. The next stop is a small authentic restaurant by the river, where you can try authentic Armenian cuisine. Travel another 30 minutes to the center of the town of Alaverdi, famous for being the hometown of MIG fighter jet engineer Mikoyan, and the 10th century monastery of Sanahin. Arrive back in Tbilisi by around 6:00 PM after a full and fascinating day.

From Tbilisi: Day Trip to Armenia Including Homemade Lunch

2. From Tbilisi: Day Trip to Armenia Including Homemade Lunch

Start your tour at the Akhtala Monastery, a church from the 12th century which contains beautiful frescoes and is surrounded by copper smelting caves as well as a copper smelting factory. The second destination of the tour is the Haghpat Monastery, which is located in Haghpat Village and is a UNESCO-listed site. It is one of the most beautiful medieval masterpieces in Armenia, and one can't help but think that God's hand played a part in building such an incredible construction. You will then have the possibility to have lunch and try some traditional Armenian food. Following lunch, you'll make 3 stops on your way to visit the second UNESCO Heritage Site, Sanahin. The first will be a 13th-century bridge, the second for a Debed canyon with astonishing views, and the third for the Mikoyan Brothers' museum, where an original aircraft (MiG 21) will surprise you. You will finally travel back through the border to Tbilisi, where you will arrive at approximately 8:30 PM.

From Tbilisi: Day Trip to the UNESCO Sites of Armenia

3. From Tbilisi: Day Trip to the UNESCO Sites of Armenia

Armenia, with its distinctive culture, its beautiful rocky mountains and ancient history is a must-see when traveling in the Caucasus region. Discover the beauty of Northern Armenia on this day trip from Tbilisi, with your tour starting at 9:00AM, after which you will head for the border. From here the landscape will begin to change, as you drive through the narrow gorges of the Debed River in between the high rocky mountains. The time seems to stand still in this part of the country, with its typical Soviet cars and huge copper factories built in the middle of the mountains, the scenery is full of bizarre beauty. The tour includes several main sightseeing objects of Northern Armenia, such as the historic Lori region, the fortified monastery of Akhtala, a unique example of wonderfully preserved frescoes from the 11th century and the two UNESCO protected monasteries of Sanahin and Haghpat. The history of the two monasteries in Alaverdi is connected by a legend of father and son and you can see many similarities, but also differences in their architecture. Both places are known for their beautiful architecture and the unique hachkars, as well as the stone crosses, a signature of Armenian art. Before heading back to Tbilisi you can taste authentic Armenian food in a traditional restaurant by the river.

Armenia: Private Tour to Haghpat and Sanahin Monasteries

4. Armenia: Private Tour to Haghpat and Sanahin Monasteries

During this tour, you will be travelling towards the north-east, to one of the greenest regions in Armenia – the region of Lori. Here there are two of the three monasteries that are in included the UNESCO list. The monasteries of Haghpat and Sanahin are closely connected, and located within a 20-minute drive of each other. Legend says that both monasteries were built by father and son masons, with Sanahin having been built earlier by the father. The name says it all: Sanahin literally means “this is older than the other”, whereas Haghpat means “great wall”. The main churches in both complexes were built by Queen Khosrovanuysh, for the prosperity of her two sons, Princes Smbat and Kurike, whom you can observe on the east walls of the main churches. The major church in Haghpat Complex – St. Nshan or the Holy Cross – was built in 976, and the main church in the Sanahin Complex was built some 30 years earlier. Admire both on this tour.

Full-Day Tour to North Armenia: Sanahin and Haghpat

5. Full-Day Tour to North Armenia: Sanahin and Haghpat

Meet your guide in front of your hotel after the lunch to start your journey: You will cross the beautiful Aragatsotn Province hills as you drive west from Yerevan in an air-conditioned vehicle. You will arrive at the village Artashavan which is the home of the monument of Armenian Alphabet. Here you will find giant 39 stone letters dedicated to the founder of Armenia's alphabet. Your tour will make its second stop in Sanain village where the medieval Sanahin church is located. It's one of the greatest Medieval monasteries of Armenia with beautiful architecture. The complex has numerous khachkars (stones with elaborate engravings representing a cross) and bishop grave sites scattered throughout it. After lunch, you will make a stop in Alaverdi town, where the medieval Sanahin bridge is located. It's one of the most significant architectural constructions of medieval Armenia. The bridge is located above narrow and fertile banks of the River Debed flow. The basalt bridge with its bewitching outlines, type of stone and colour combines with the picturesque surrounding becoming its inseparable treasure. Finally, the tour heads to Hagpat village, where you will enjoy postcard-perfect landscapes and medieval Hagpat Monastery complex which has a unique architecture including the unusual gavit, the defence of the monastery. Haghpaht had a significant influence on Armenian culture. The Sanahin Bridge along with the monasteries of Sanahin and Haghpat is on the UNESCO World Heritage list. In the evening you will be returned to your Yerevan hotel.

Yerevan: Haghpat and Sanahin with Armenian Barbeque Class

6. Yerevan: Haghpat and Sanahin with Armenian Barbeque Class

After departing from Yerevan, you will travel north-east to one of the greenest regions of Armenia, the region of Lori. This unique are is home to two UNESCO-listed monasteries. The monasteries of Haghpat and Sanahin are closely connected, and located within a 20 minute drive from one another. Legend says that both monasteries were built by father and son masons, with Sanahin having been built earlier by the father. The main churches in both complexes were built by Queen Khosrovanuysh, for the prosperity of her two sons Smbat and Kurike, whom you can observe on the east walls of the main churches. The major church in Haghpat Complex, St. Nshan (or the Holy Cross), was built in 976, and the main church in the Sanahin Complex was built some 30 years earlier. Mikoyan house-museum is also included in this tour, and in the museum Mikoyan’s family’s personal things are shown, as well as materials that tell stories about their past actions. This tour is also unique with its inclusion of a masterclass in Armenian barbecue. You will have the opportunity to not only get familiar with the secrets of the traditional Armenian dish, but also taste it during a following lunch.

Armenia: Odzun, Akhtala and UNESCO Heritage Sites Tour

7. Armenia: Odzun, Akhtala and UNESCO Heritage Sites Tour

In the morning, your professional team members will greet you in order to head to the northern province of Lori. It is one of the most picturesque regions in Armenia, offering dramatic changes of the views, from lush forests to rocky mountains and endless steppes. You will stop at the village of Odzun, situated on the left bank of the river Debed to explore the 5th-7th-century basilica church Odzun. Following this, you will depart to The UNESCO World Heritage Listed Monastery Sanahin which was built in the 10th century and is undeniably one of the most precious landmarks of the region. Next, you will drive towards another UNESCO listed Monastery, Haghpat, built in approximately the same period as Sanahin. Both monasteries lie in a plain green area, surrounded by numerous "khachkars" and splendid nature. Later, you will head to the Akhtala village to admire the Akhtala Monastery, famous for its highly artistic frescoes, which cover the walls of the fortress. The perfect location of this structure offers guests an excellent viewpoint over the divine surroundings of the province.

Mountain Bike Tour in Armenia

8. Mountain Bike Tour in Armenia

Begin with a pick up from your hotel accommodation in Yerevan. Stopping in at the Monastery of Khor Virap, here get a great view of the Biblical Mount Ararat. Then hit the road on your bike, heading for Zangakatun, located at the gateway of the Vayots Dzor province. From here descend to the Areni Village, as the immense red cliffs are unveiled before you. Pass the Arpa Valley, and stop at the Areni cave, where many artifacts of the region's millennia-old win history have been found. This cave famously harbored the oldest shoe of the world, once. Then cycle to the Noravank Monastery through canyons. This medieval monastery will marvel you with its splendor. Rest for the night in the village of Herher.  Departing Herher, head to Noratus cemetery, stopping at the Selim pass and the Lake Sevan by car. Start your biking at the stone-cross in Noratus' Khachkars. Cycle around the side of the lake shore, taking a break at the Sevan Peninsula, here admire the Monastery of Secanavank. Heading toward the town of Dilijan, find a dramatically different landscape of forest along the way. In the late afternoon visit the Sanahin monastery in Odzun.  Departing Odzun, cycle to the Stepanavan. Explore diverse landscapes,  vast plateaus and green meadows. Watch out for herds of cows or horses galloping in freedom. Here, canyons that cross through huge plateaus, seem to be created by divine hand. Make your first stop at the fortress of Lori, located at the crossroads of two canyons, which used to be a strategic location for the Armenian Kingdom of Bagratuni. Later, continue the route to reach the town of Stepanavan. Then on to Vanadzor, which will be the final stage of the 3-day circuit. After you reach Vanadzor, a vehicle will take care of the transfer back to Yerevan.

From Tbilisi: Private Day Trip to Armenia

9. From Tbilisi: Private Day Trip to Armenia

Start your day trip at 9:00 AM with a hotel pickup. Drive for approximately 40 minutes and reach the Georgian-Armenian border. After processing through customs, your exploration of Armenia begins. Meet your local Armenian guide and head to the first landmark, Akhtala Monastery. See its famous precious frescoes and admire the gorgeous landscape that surrounds the historic building. After visiting the Akhtala Monastery, visit another old religious building said to be constructed between the 5th and 7th-centuries. Discover the Basilica Odzun and after marveling at its impressive architecture, continue on to the next stop. Along the way be stunned by mesmerizing landscapes that dramatically change from one kilometer to the next. After a short drive, arrive at the monastic complex of Haghpat and Sanahin, which were historically renowned for their school of illuminators and calligraphers. In Haghpat, stop for lunch at a local restaurant and experience true Armenian hospitality. Taste traditional khorovats (barbecue) paired with homemade fruit vodka. After a day of exploring Armenia, return back to your hotel in Tbilisi.

Other Sightseeing Options in Alaverdi

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What people are saying about Alaverdi

Overall rating

4.9 / 5

based on 131 reviews

I didn't expect much, just wanted to get a snif of Armenia, but the tour was better than expected. You get to see the old christian churches, old, but operating copper mines and factory that looks like it has been bombed many times over (dismal state), there is a cable car that was operational until 2017, but still hangs in the air. And then you can see the birthplace town and memorial (also museum) to the probably the most well known armenians after Kardashians - the Mikoyan brothers, one of whom was the designer of the famous Soviet jets MIG and the other was a long standing Politburo (a small band of Soviet supreme leadership) member who even survived Stalin (which was a rarity by itself, but more so because one was georgian and the other armenian with little trust between the two nations). And then there is a great dinner at a open air restaurant located by the banks of a stormy river. You get to taste a lot of armenian dishes. The tour guide Iraklis is good, speaks good english.

I went on this tour n May 2002 and I really enjoyed it. Irakli was an excellent guide, he was extremely well-informed and made everything very interesting with lots of amusing details. The minibus was comfortable and there were only five people on the tour - I think his was an ideal number. I would recommend this tour to anybody visiting Tblisi and with a time to do do it.

The tour organisation was very good, we had delicous lunch, and we enjoy our visited location. The group was very friendly. I would love to thank the most to our tour guide, he had a lot of patient with us, and we feel very good because of him. Because of him i would recomend to everyone this tour.

A great way to get a taste of Armenia. Very informative guide who looked after us very well and shared plenty of interesting info along the way. The lunch was a wonderful experience with lots of dishes to try.

Very nice day trip across the border into Armenia. So close to Georgia, but so different in many ways. Highly recommended!