This special experience promises you a trip to the gorge of flowers, the city of Tsaghkadzor – a small Olympic town not far from Yerevan, approximately an hour’s drive away. It is also called the Armenian Switzerland, as it is surrounded by dense mountain forests. This destination is referred to as “the gorge of flowers” since it is blooming with an array of gorgeous plants. As the legend holds, these flowers were torn from the princess’ garden and scattered over the land by the wind. It is also home to the 11th century monastic complex of Kecharis, specially built by the royals to honor the 1000th anniversary of Jesus Christ.
Whilst staying in Armenia, you simply cannot miss the opportunity of visiting one of the country’s most renowned landmarks – the beautiful lake Sevan. Merely an hour’s drive from the capital city of Yerevan, Sevan is situated at the height of 1900m above sea level and surrounded by a vast chain of mountains. The tour begins by climbing a flight of stairs to the Sevan peninsula – a pleasant morning work-out that will compensate itself with an unforgettable panoramic view of the lake from the top. We will also visit the monastery of Sevanavank, built by the princess Mariam to honor the life of her deceased husband in the 9th century. Sevanavank is also home to one of the most beautiful Amenaprkich (all savior) Khachkars of Armenia. This is one of the 13 rarest crosstones depicting Jesus.
The tour will then take you to the North of Armenia, where you will be surrounded by beautiful nature. Through the city of Dilijan, we will make a stop at the monastery of Gosh-Goshavank. This historical church is located in the heart of nature and beautiful village which has the same name. Mkhitar Gosh was one of the great intellectual powers of his day, “a humble man of wisdom”, authoring numerous works, including the first code of civil and Canon law that was used in both Greater Armenia and Cilicia. He is buried near the church which he himself built in 1188. Here you will also see Pavghos’s (Poghos) Khachkar, considered to be the most beautiful “embroidered” Khachkar (stone cross) in Armenia.
The last destination during this trip will be the monastery of Haghartsin, dating back to the 10th-14th centuries. The name is translated as “the play of the eagle”. The scenery is somewhat similar to a stunning work of art, with both the monastery and the nature surrounding it providing a breathtaking view. It is one of those spots in Armenia that feels like a breathtaking unreal movie set. Upon visiting the church, HH Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Muhammad Al-Qasimi, Ruler of Sharjah, donated over $5,000,000 for its renovation. The refectory of Haghartsin is considered the biggest amongst Armenian Church architecture; it was an absolute innovation of its time! If you are curious as to why, there will be nothing better than seeing it for yourself!