This 14-hour tour visits the monastery complex Noravank, unique in its construction as the Church of Holy Mother of God is the only two-storied monastery in Armenia. Next is Tatev monastery, a spiritual center that had outstanding scientific and political significance. The monastery is surrounded by beautiful nature. It is here, where one can take the world’s longest cablecar without stops “Tatever”. Visit Karahunj (Zorats Karer) with unique Bronze Age monument architecture, an amazing prehistoric open-air observatory, with the history of almost 7500 years. The holes on the stones through which the Universe was looked at make Zorats Karer unique from Stonehenge in England or Cancar in France.Description
Start your tour with pickup from your central hotel in Yerevan or at a central meeting point at 9am. Then, travel by comfortable, air-conditioned vehicle into the southern regions of Armenia.
After passing along a narrow road between rock walls carved with hundreds of caves, arrive at your first stop: Noravank Monastery. Tucked in a quiet valley and built to harmonize beautifully with its backdrop of craggy mountains, this stunning building boasts wonderful architecture and ornate embellishments, making it one of the best examples of Armenian 13th-century architecture.
Noravank consists of three churches: St. Karapet, St. Grigory the Illuminator, and the 2-story St. Astvatsatsin (Holy Mother of God), the latter noteworthy for its impressive sculptural work.
Your next stop is the Tatev Monastery, once the wealthiest medieval monastery in Armenia. Aside from serving as a religious and educational center, this spectacularly situated complex was an important strategic stronghold for the medieval Syunik kingdom and impregnable for being located on a high basalt plateau above the Vorotan River Gorge.
In times of danger, residents of the monastery used secret tunnels and passageways that led to the canyon below to maintain links with the outside world.
Next up, ride the ‘Wings of Tatev’, a 3.5-mile (5.7-kilometer) cableway high over the river gorge and lushly forested hills. Built in 11 months, the cableway is the world’s longest without stops and supported by three towers between two terminals: one overlooking the village of Halidzor and the second near the monastery, on the road to Tatev village. Two cabins operate at once, traveling in opposite directions, and the journey serves up spectacular views.
Break for a tasty lunch (own expense) at a restaurant near the cableway, having chosen your preferred meal from a menu of four options beforehand.
Your last stop is Karahunj, a prehistoric archaeological site known to be one of the world’s oldest observatories. Believed to be around 7,500 years old, this ancient monument consists of 220 stones, some carved with mysterious figures and bored with holes that were used for astrological observations.
Petroglyphs (rock carvings) and paintings discovered in the nearby mountains are believed to add further proof that early local peoples were well aware of astrology.
After your visit to Karahunj, return to Yerevan where your tour finishes at the original central meeting point.Highlights
- All entrance fees included
- Snacks and Beverages included
- Informative, friendly and professional guide
- Perfect introduction for first-time visitors
: Yerevan, ArmeniaDuration
: 14 hours Voucher Redembtion
: You can present either a paper or an electronic voucher for this activity.