1. Yerevan: Visit Khor Virap, Noravank, Tatev
Your tour begins at 8:30AM from the local operator's head office in Yerevan. From there, depart for the southern part of Armenia, beginning with Khor Virap. Khor Virap is the most famous pilgrimage site in Armenia, as it is directly connected with the adoption of Christianity in the country. As a state religion Christianity in Armenia was adopted in 301 due to endeavours of Saint Gregory the Illuminator. Before converting King Tridates the 3rd to Christianity, Saint Gregory was imprisoned in the dungeon under the present day church of Khor Virap monastery was built in the 17th Century. From the monastery one can admire the stunning view of the Biblical Mount Ararat. Passing a narrow road surrounded by rocks of a hundred caves, you can then discover the Noravank Monastery. It is enshrined with fine architectural solutions, with its luxurious embellishments forming one of the brightest examples of Armenian architecture of the 13th Century. Noravank consists of St. Karapet, St. Gregory the Illuminator's churches, and St. Astvatsatsin, a two-story church which is notable for its ideal constructive and sculptural work. Take a break for lunch in a nice cozy restaurant surrounded by nature. There you can can choose a meal from 3 available options, payable on the spot. The next stop is the Tatev Monastery, which used to be wealthiest medieval monastery in Armenia. Besides being a religious center, it was also the important strategical center of the Syunik Kingdom. Being situated on a naturally defended place, the monastery has always been an impregnable fortress. Take the aerial tramway called the "Wings of Tatev", a 5.7-kilometer rope-way which was built within 11 months. It passes through a deep gorge of the Vorotan River, and is covered with lush forests. The tramway is supported by three towers between its two terminals, one terminal is on a hill overlooking the village of Halidzor, and the other is near the Tatev Monastery. Following the rope-way, your tour concludes with drop-off back at the operator's head office in Yerevan.