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Things to do in

Ararat Province

Top sights in Ararat Province

Our most recommended things to do in Ararat Province

From Yerevan: Khorvirap, Noravank, & Areni Winery Day Trip

1. From Yerevan: Khorvirap, Noravank, & Areni Winery Day Trip

Khor Virap Monastery is located about an hour’s drive away from the capital Yerevan, and offers an amazing view of Armenia’s defining symbol – the majestic Ararat. Khor Virap translates as deep dungeon, and it was built on the place of the former royal prison, located on the historical site of Artashat. The Monastery is also one of the most sacred spots for Armenians around the world. This tour will also take you to the Areni Cave (Bird’s Cave). In 2008, archeologists discovered several of the world’s oldest artifacts, including a leather shoe and a winery here. The site, overlooking Arpa River near the town of Areni, is claimed to date back to the Early Bronze Age. It contains evidence of elaborate burial rituals and agricultural practices. Another place that can’t be missed is Noravank. It is one of the gems of medieval Armenian architecture, nestled high among the stunning brick-red cliffs at the end of the Gnishik Canyon. Afterwards, you will be given the chance to taste and even purchase Armenia’s renowned Areni wine, made from the oldest grape variety in the whole world. The wine is available in several wineries in the town of Areni itself. You will also taste the most famous dishes of traditional Armenian cuisine.

Yerevan: Garni, Geghard & Lake Sevan Tour with Lavash Baking

2. Yerevan: Garni, Geghard & Lake Sevan Tour with Lavash Baking

Start the tour at 10 AM by arriving at the local operator's office in Yerevan. After checking in, set off towards the Eastern part of Armenia in a comfortable air-conditioned vehicle. First, make a short stop at Charent's Arch where you can soak up the wonderful views to the biblical Mount Ararat. Them, head over to the Garni pagan temple which towers over a triangular cape. Admire the temple's blend of Greco-Roman and Armenian styles and see the ruins of the former royal palace with its stunning mosaics. After this, continue on to a masterpiece of 13th-century Armenian architecture at Geghard Monastery. Learn about how this cave monastery was believed to have housed the relic of the lance that pierced the side of Jesus as he hung on the cross. Experience its incredible construction which boasts fascinating acoustics which has served as a good place to sing spiritual songs. Marvel at some of the churches in the complex which are masterfully hewed into a huge rock. Discover how the complex is rich in subtle sculptural embellishments and many striking khachkars (cross-stones). Next up, stop for lunch at a cozy family-style restaurant called Abelyan House. Here, also watch the process of baking the Armenian lavash bread. Observe how the dough is rolled out flat and slapped against the hot walls of a clay oven. Have a good opportunity to participate in a lavash baking procedure. Savor the opportunity to taste it afterward with local cheese and greens. Following this, pop over to the amazing Lake Sevan, which is one of the world's greatest high altitude fresh-water lakes. Learn about how the lake is of volcanic origin and is surrounded by mountains of 3000 m and higher. Immerse yourself in the beautiful landscape surrounded by crystal-clear water. Check out the medieval church complex of Sevanavank Monastery on the peninsular before you head off. Finally, hop back into the vehicle and take the return journey back to the meeting point in Yerevan where the tour concludes.

Yerevan: Private Khor Virap, Garni, & Gehgard Monastery Tour

3. Yerevan: Private Khor Virap, Garni, & Gehgard Monastery Tour

Khor Virap monastery is located about an hour’s drive away from the capital Yerevan, and offers an amazing view of Armenia’s defining symbol: the majestic Ararat. “Khor Virap” translates as “deep dungeon”, and was built on the place of the former royal prison, located on the historical site of Artashat. It was this very prison in which they detained Gregory the Illuminator, the first Armenian Catholicos, for an entire 13 years. Your fantastic tour will introduce you to the exotic Pagan history of Armenia, before later introducing you to the development and spread of Christianity in the country. Your first stop will be Garni Temple (77 A.D.), which is the only standing heathen temple in the whole post-Soviet area. The temple is home to the Roman bath house with its mysterious mosaic which is made out of 30,000 pieces of natural stones, as well as the ruins of the royal palace which date back to the 3rd century A.D. The monastic complex of Geghard is another historical site included in this tour. Translated to “Monastery of the Holy Lance”, it refers to the lance with which Longinus pierced Jesus as he was still hanging on the cross. The complex is a representation of 13th-century Armenia, which is considered to be the golden age of the country’s architecture. The most astonishing part however is the virtue of the architect, who cut the church right into the solid rock whilst also considering all the rules of Armenian architecture. On your way to the temple, there will be another short stop at the Charents Arch where you will be given the chance to enjoy one of the best moments of your trip to Armenia: a picturesque view of the Biblical Mount Ararat.

From Yerevan: 4.5-Hour Garni-Geghard Tour

4. From Yerevan: 4.5-Hour Garni-Geghard Tour

You will be picked up from your hotel where the tour will start at 10:00 am and last approximately 4 to 5-hours. The first stop is Garni, a Pagan Temple referred to as the well-known symbol of pre-Christian Armenia that was converted into a royal summer house. After exploring the grand structure, you will then stop at Ararat ARC where you'll have a fantastic view to mount Ararat, a snow capped dormant volcano situated in Turkey. From here, you will visit the UNESCO listed Geghard Monastery Complex. Some of the churches are situated in caves, whilst others are dug out of the surrounding rock surface. You will then be transferred back to Yerevan.

From Yerevan: Khor Virap, Etchmiadzin, and Zvartnots Tour

5. From Yerevan: Khor Virap, Etchmiadzin, and Zvartnots Tour

Visit Armenia’s oldest and most well-known historical landmark, Mount Ararat. This private half-day tour takes you to the closest spot possible at Khor Virap Monastery for spectacular views of the snow-capped volcano. Located about an hour’s drive away from Yerevan, the monastery offers an amazing view of the majestic Mount Ararat. Explore Khor Virap and learn about the region’s history as a royal prison. This was the very prison where Gregory the Illuminator, the first Armenian Catholic, was held for 13 years. It’s no surprise that the monastery serves as one of the most sacred spots in Armenia.   Discover more of Armenia’s sacred spots with a stop at Saint Hripsime Church, built on the sepulcher of the nun Hripsime and one of the oldest churches in the world. A short 5 minute drive away is the 7th-century church of Saint Gayane. From here visit the world’s first Christian Cathedral, the Holy Etchmiadzin. Built in 301-304, legend says that Jesus Christ descended here, where Gregory the Illuminator ordered to build the church. On the way back to Yerevan, the tour will conclude with a final stop at another beautiful 7th-century temple.

Armenia: Private Tour to Khor Virap Monastery

6. Armenia: Private Tour to Khor Virap Monastery

Although there are various historical landmarks in Armenia, the oldest and most well-known is the Biblical Mount Ararat. This tour promises spectacular views of the mountain from the closest spot possible. The Khor Virap Monastery is located about an hour’s drive away from the capital of Yerevan, and it offers an amazing view of Armenia’s defining symbol – the majestic Ararat. Khor Virap translates as “deep dungeon”, and it was built on the place of the former royal prison, located on the historical site of Artashat. Gregory the Illuminator, the first Armenian Catholic, was detained in this prison for 13 years. The Monastery is therefore one of the most sacred spots for Armenians around the world. Discover its beauty and history for yourself on this tour.

Private Tour: Khor Virap, Noravank, Areni Cave, & Winery

7. Private Tour: Khor Virap, Noravank, Areni Cave, & Winery

Although there are various historical landmarks in Armenia, the oldest and most well-known is the Biblical Mount Ararat. This tour promises spectacular views from the closest spot possible. The Khor Virap Monastery is located about an hour’s drive away from the capital Yerevan, and offers amazing views of Armenia’s defining symbol – the majestic Ararat. The site is also one of the most sacred spots for Armenians around the world. Another place that cannot be missed during your time in Armenia is Noravank. It is one of the gems of medieval Armenian architecture, nestled high among the stunning brick-red cliffs at the end of the Gnishik Canyon. Here you will see the one and only depiction of God the Father in Armenia, which is just as astonishing as the face of Jesus Christ that appeared on the dome of the Church’s narthex. This tour will also take you to the Bird’s Cave. In 2008, archaeologists discovered several of the world’s oldest artifacts here, including a leather shoe and a winery. The site, overlooking the Arpa River near the town of Areni, is claimed to date back to the Early Bronze Age (around 5,000-6,000 years ago). It also contains evidence of elaborate burial rituals and agricultural practices. Finally, you will be given the chance to taste and even purchase Armenia’s renowned Areni wine. Made from the oldest grape variety in the whole world, the wine is available in several wineries in the actual town of Areni itself, which you will make a stop at before finishing the trip.

Garni, Gegard and Lake Sevan Day Trip from Yerevan

8. Garni, Gegard and Lake Sevan Day Trip from Yerevan

Start your day early at 9:30 AM. After pick–up from your hotel in Yerevan, make your first stop at the Arc of Ararat, slow down and take in the fantastic view of mount Ararat. Move on to the Garni Pagan Temple, and learn about the only Pagan Temple to exist in Armenia. Explore the Pagan Temple, a well–known symbol of pre–Christian Armenia that was converted into a royal summer house.  For your next stop, head to the unique UNESCO listed Geghard Monastery complex, dating back as far as the 13th century. Your tour continues to Sevan Lake and Sevanavank. Stop here and savor your lunch at with Sevan Lake Iishkhan, a type of local trout, before transferring back to Yerevan.

Day trip to Khor Virap, Areni Winery and Noravank Monastery

9. Day trip to Khor Virap, Areni Winery and Noravank Monastery

The tour will start at 09:30 AM with a pick-up point from your hotel. The day’s itinerary includes visits to Khor Virap Monastery, Areni Winery and Noravank Monastery situated deep in the Noravank Canyon. Once you get to Khor Virap, you will stop to admire and take photos of the spectacular view of Mount Ararat, the national symbol of Armenia. You will then continue to the winery in the village of the Areni, where you can try delicious Armenian wine and take a few bottles with you. Due to its charming medieval architecture and magnificent landscape, the Noravank Complex is a must see when in Armenia.  

From Yerevan: Full-Day Tatev Monastery Complex Tour

10. From Yerevan: Full-Day Tatev Monastery Complex Tour

The tour starts early in the morning at 7:00 am. After breakfast, you'll be on the road. The first destination is Khor Virap which is the closest stop to mount Ararat. Then, you'll continue the trip to Areni Wine Factory. After some wine tastings and even some shopping, you'll head to Halidzor village where you'll hop on the longest cable car in the world covering a distance of almost 6km. While enjoying breathtaking views from above Vorotan gorge, you''ll reach Tatev monastery complex, which is one of the largest monasteries in Armenia. Then, you'll return to Halidzor village with cable car again and continue the tour to Noravank monastery, the only only place where you can see father God's face carved. Enjoy lunch with fantastic views of red cliffs and then return to Yerevan.

Other Sightseeing Options in Ararat Province

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What people are saying about Ararat Province

Overall rating

4.8 / 5

based on 117 reviews

very comfortable bus. The Guide was very knowledgeable and his English was excellent and clear . Good amount of time at each stop Driver was excellent and felt safe on the climbs and descents to building. Excellent value for money. For me I love the bus ride and beautiful landscapes. Yervand and Norvik - excellent, highly recommended. lunch was extra but was at a wonderful place , food was gorgeous

Excellent trip. Friendly, informative and talented (she can also hold a note! )! The driver was also excellent, he drove very cautiously and I felt completely safe the whole time.

Nvard was so knowledgeable and the driver was excellent as well. Nvard explained everything as well as additional information about the country. The best guide I have had.

your guide Hasik was great, she explained the history of the sights, we got a welcome treat and a water. we left on time, lunch was great. Over all, a nice day out.

What a super day with a super guide - thank you so much...great historical trip - but winery is only at the end of the day fyi ;)