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history • 10 days, 9 nights

Chiseled in Stone: Armenia’s Ancient Roots and Soviet-era Relics

Armenia
history • 10 days, 9 nights

Chiseled in Stone: Armenia’s Ancient Roots and Soviet-era Relics

Armenia
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  • Group Size 12 People Maximum
  • Activity Level
    Easy
  • Travel Style
    Road Trip
from $2,725 USD per person
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Trip Overview
Overview

Armenia is a country with an ancient, rich, complex, and, at times, tragic history. And yet it has a story to share of resilience, exuberance, and natural beauty. Join us on this exciting journey while we seek out the medieval remnants and enduring legacies of one of the earliest Christian civilizations, especially in Etchmiadzin, the spiritual capital of the country, and the spectacular history-filled Debed Canyon. Along the way, we will also discover incredible monuments and other remnants of the Soviet era, learn the traditions behind khachkar carvings, and be charmed by Armenia’s modern culture and friendly locals. And near the end of our extensive overland travels we’ll relax on the shores of the Armenian Ocean - Lake Sevan - and in the Soviet spa town of Jermuk.

Consider extending your travels in the region by joining our Georgia Culinary Adventure trip that immediately precedes the October 10, 2021 departure of this trip. A two-hour road transfer from Tbilisi to Yerevan will be provided.

Highlights
  • Historic churches & ancient monasteries
  • A visite to Etchmiadzin, Armenia’s spiritual capital
  • Explore a Soviet-era observatory
  • Khachkar carving workshop
  • Relax on the shores of Lake Sevan

Itinerary

Itineraries and daily schedules are subject to change. We expect to do everything listed in the itinerary, though the order may be rearranged based on weather or other local conditions.
Armenia

Trip Leader

Gianluca
Gianluca [dʒanˈluka] was born and raised in a sunny seaside town in Tuscany. After eternal years gone by in the sweet languor of seemingly endless summers he moved north to study Slavic Languages in Berlin and Photojournalism in London. He spent the best time of his university years traveling and photographing around four continents and more than 70 countries. During his journeys, Gianluca fell hopelessly in love with the complex geopolitical and cultural heritage of a vanished land that used to be called Soviet Union. After many a trip to the region, he is now loosely based between Berlin and the Caucasus, where he spends most of his time engaging in photographic, linguistic, and gastronomic discoveries.

Additional Info

Pricing

The listed price of the trip is per person based on double occupancy. The cost of the optional excursion to Garni and Geghard is $210 per person.

Traveling Solo?

You’re in good company. Solo travelers typically make up about half of our small groups. With curiosity at the center of our experiences, there’s a natural camaraderie that develops over the course of a trip. We have two options for you: 

Shared Room (subject to the latest Covid-19 guidelines): You’ll be matched with another solo traveler of the same gender. 

Private Room: Have your own room, subject to availability, for a supplemental cost of $620. After booking your trip, please request a private room when you fill out your traveler information form and we’ll add the option to your booking and final balance.

Accommodations

We’ll be staying at four-star hotels, boutique lodgings, and guest houses throughout this trip. Please note that, due to the nature of the trip and the number of locations we’ll visit, we will be staying only one night in several places.

Arrival & Departure

Our trip begins with a welcome dinner in Yerevan on Day 1. We recommend you arrive in Yerevan by 3 p.m. so you can settle into your accommodations before the group meets up for dinner and introductions. Our trip concludes on Day 10. If heading out directly, you can depart anytime on Day 10. If joining for the optional day trip extension to Garni and Geghard, you should plan to depart after 8 p.m., or the next morning. If you'd like to extend your trip, we’d be more than happy to provide suggestions for things to do and see in the region on your own.

Consider extending your travels in the region by joining our Georgia Culinary Adventure trip that immediately precedes the October 10, 2021 departure of this trip. A two-hour road transfer from Tbilisi to Yerevan will be provided.

Activity Level

Travelers should feel comfortable walking two to four miles over the course of each day, spending time in nature, remaining on their feet for long periods of time, and sometimes walking on uneven terrain. Travelers should also be comfortable spending time on the road, as most days will involve driving anywhere between 45 minutes and 2.5 hours (the average daily driving time is around 90 minutes).

Included
  • Accommodation throughout the trip at comfortable boutique hotels (generally four-star level) and guesthouses.
  • All meals described in the itinerary.
  • Transportation throughout the trip in a private vehicle.
  • Experienced local guides to accompany you for the duration of the trip, as well as special guests throughout.
  • Admission to all proposed activities, locations, and events.
  • A great group of fellow Atlas Obscura travelers, excited to explore all that Armenia has to offer!
  • Global Rescue medical evacuation insurance.
  • Special access to unique places and extraordinary experiences.
Excluded
  • Transportation to and from Yerevan, Armenia.
  • Pre- and post-trip accommodations.
  • Airport transfers (private transfers can be arranged for a supplemental fee).
  • Travel insurance (strongly recommended).
  • Additional meals and drinks outside of Atlas Obscura offerings, including most alcoholic beverages. 
  • Customary gratuities for local guides.
  • Applying for an Armenian visa, if applicable.
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Trip FAQ

Your participation in this trip will provide significant financial contributions to the communities we visit, directly supporting small businesses, schools, villages, and local families. This trip includes a visit to and financial donation to the Gallery of Mariam and Eranuhi Aslamazyan Sisters in Gyumri. The gallery preserves the complete collection of the painting, graphic, and ceramic works of Mariam and Eranuhi Aslamazyan sisters. After the ruinous earthquake of 1988 the building of the gallery was given to the homeless people and was reopened in 2004. The gallery supports cultural education programs and the promotion of Armenian culture. In addition, this trip's focus on important historical and religious sites will help to preserve and maintain them for future generations.

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Upcoming Departures

  • Oct 10–Oct 19, 2021
    from $2,725
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  • Apr 22–May 1, 2022
    from $2,725
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