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TOUR  HIGHLIGHTS
* Two religions , two cultures and a lot of history
* Reveal the secrets of Armenia and Iran

* Explore Yerevan, the most dynamic capital in the Caucasus
* Participate in making the Armenian bread "lavash" in Garni village
* Visit  UNESCO World Heritage Sites
* Ride the world's longest cable-car to visit Tatev Monastery
* Marvel at the beauty of the biblical Mount Ararat, where the Noah's ark landed after the Great Flood
* Sample Armenian & Iranian cuisine

* Back in time to the Persian Empire era
* Enjoy the Persian bazaars, gardens, amazing mosques, palaces and carpets

Itinerary
in Brief:
Day 1: Arrival
Day 2:
Yerevan city tour
Day 3:
Yerevan - Garni – Geghard - Yerevan
Day 4:
Yerevan - Echmiadzin - Zvartnots ruins - Yerevan
Day 5: Yerevan - Lake Sevan - Dilijan spa town - Haghartsin - Yerevan
Day 6: Yerevan - Khor Virap - Noravank - Areni Winery -
Armenian Stonehenge - Goris
Day 7:
Goris - Tatev Monastery - Khndzoresk cave town - Goris
Day 8: Goris - Armenian-Iranian border - Tabriz
Day 9: Tabriz City tour - night flight to Tehran
Day 10: Tehran city tour
Day 11: Tehran city tour - Night flight to Isfahan
Day 12: Isfahan city Tour
Day 13: Isfahan city tour
Day 14: Isfahan - Pasargadae - Drive to Shiraz
Day 15: Shiraz city tour
Day 16: Persepolis and Necropolis - Departure

Detailed itinerary
Day 1: Arrival to Yerevan
Arrival at Zvartnots International Airport. Our tourist guide will welcome you at the airport. Transfer to the hotel in Yerevan. Check-in. Overnight in Yerevan.

Day 2: Yerevan city tour
A view of Yerevan from CascadeYerevan City tour -  Yerevan, the capital of Armenia, is a modern, colorful city, situated in the Northeastern part of the Ararat Valley. Yerevan is one of the oldest cities in the world, 29 years older than Rome. The fortress Erebuni - the birthplace of Yerevan, was founded by King Argishti of Urartu in 782 BC. The Urartu Kingdom was a powerful & highly developed civilization. Yerevan skyline with biblical Mount Ararat on the background is very impressive.
Drive through the central streets of Yerevan, Republic Square, Opera House, Cascade Monument and stairs, "Mother Armenia" Monument with a fantastic view of Yerevan, Victory Bridge, Hrazdan Stadium, Sports and Concerts Center, Presidential Palace, National Assembly Building, Academy of Sciences, Tsitsernakaberd-Armenian Genocide Memorial Complex.
Visit Matenadaran, a repository of ancient manuscripts, a scientific research institute of old manuscripts. It's the largest center of study and safekeeping of Armenian manuscripts in the world.
Overnight in Yerevan.

D
ay 3: Garni Pagan Temple - Geghard Monastery
This morning we drive to Garni village where we visit the Pagan Temple of the Sun
built in 77A.D., Armenia's foremost center of Hellenistic culture and the summer residence of Armenian kings. The Garni Templefortress is situated in a picturesque mountain locality and commands a broad panorama of orchards, fields and mountain slopes covered with motley carpets of varicolored grasses, of the jagged and precipitous canyon of the Azat river. The artistic merit and uniqueness of its monuments place Garni among outstanding creations of architecture of world importance.
Driving for 9 more kilometers from Garni, we visit the Monastery of Geghard (UNESCO), an incredible ancient Armenian monastery, partly carved out of a mountain. Though the monastery has been around since before the 4
th century, the main cathedral was built in 1215. It is said that the holy lance that pierced the body of Christ was kept here. The architectural forms and the decoration of Geghard's rock premises show that Armenian builders could not only create superb works of architecture out of stone, but also hew them in solid rock. Back to Garni village to enjoy the traditional Armenian bread "Lavash" making at a local house.
Overnight in Yerevan.

Hrepsime ChurchDay 4: Echmiadzin Mother Cathedral - Zvartnots Cathedral Ruins
Today we leave for Echmiadzin, the Holy See of the Armenian Apostolic Church, where the Armenian Catholicos (Supreme Patriarch) resides.
Visit St. Hripsime Church, built in 7th century. It is considered a masterpiece of early medieval Armenian architecture. Visit Echmiadzin Mother Cathedral, the oldest official church in the world (301-303A.D.), when Armenia was the only country in the world the state religion of which was Christianity. 
Afterwards we visit the Ruins of Zvartnots Cathedral. Zvartnots  was a majestic cathedral dedicated to St. Gregory. Zvartnots, built as Armenia's main cathedral in 641-661A.D. Zvartnots lay in ruins as early as in 10th century. The remnants of Zvartnots, even in ruins, are a majestic sight. All the places mentione in the tour are listed as a UNESCO site.

Overnight in Yerevan.

Day 5: Lake Sevan - Dilijan Spa Town - Haghartsin - Monastery - Yerevan
Lake SevanAfter breakfast we’ll have a tour around the Lake Sevan, the world’s second largest high altitude lake at 1900m above sea level. It’s a huge mountainous lake which takes up 5% of Armenia's surface area. Climb up to Sevanavank Monastery to marvel at the beautiful view of the Lake Sevan, the “blue-eyed” bride of Armenia. Continue to Dilijan spa town in Dilijan National Park, a protected area renowned for its serene lakes, picturesque hill trails and peaceful villages. Words alone can’t describe the natural beauty of Dilijan. Many poets used to say, "If there are woods, mountains, streams and mineral waters in paradise, it must be like Dilijan”. Due to its forested mountains and mild climate, Dilijan is named "Armenia's Little Switzerland". Take a stroll in the most beautiful part of the town, Old Dilijan Complex on historic Sharambeyan street. Here we experience the town as it was in the 19th century. Then we continue our journey to Haghartsin, a fairy-tale monastery in the middle of a dense forest. Back to Yerevan.
Overnight in Yerevan.

D
ay 6: Khor Virap Monastery - Noravank Monastery - Areni Winery - Goris
Leave for Khor Virap Monastery, one of the most popular destinations in Armenia for a number of reasons, primarily because it is where Grigor Luisavorich (St. Gregory the Illuminator) was imprisoned for 13 years before curing King Trdat III of a disease. This caused the conversion of the king and Armenia into the first officially Christian nation in the world in the year 301A.D. To this day you can visit the underground chamber he was imprisoned. Its location, near the closest point to Mount Ararat within Armenian borders, offers a spectacular view of the mountain, the national symbol of Armenia.
We continue driving to the south and we visit Noravank Monastery, an architectural gemstone nestled among brick-red cliffs, just above a deep gorge.
The surrounding cliffs offer a spectacular backdrop of mineral colors reflected from the sun. The breathtaking church of the monastery is St. Astvatsatsin a two-storied building with an open-air church. It is also worth mentioning that Noravank once treasured a piece of the true cross-stained with the blood of Christ, brought by a mysterious stranger. Later we will visit a winery in Areni village, world's oldest wine making area. Wine tasting.
Continue to Karahundj - Armenia’s Stonehenge. This stone circle, now shown to be a prehistoric observatory, long predates Stonehenge in England. Ancient inscriptions found here may mark the birthplace of the Zodiac – and of Western Civilization itself. Possibly it was the world's first astronomical observatory founded 7500 years ago.
Overnight in Goris.

Tatev MonasteryDay 7: Goris - Tatev Monastery - Khndzoresk - Goris
Take a stroll in Goris town, one of the most beautiful towns in Armenia. It’s a town in orchards where the houses have the same unique architecture with red tile roofs and arched windows. Riding the world’s longest cable-car (5.7km) we visit the miraculous Tatev Monastery, a formidable monastic complex founded in the 9th century. It’s the biggest monastery in Armenia located on a rocky peninsula more than 100 meters above the Vorotan River. According to tradition the relics of the Apostles, Sts. Peter and Paul, were placed under the dome's supporting pillars. Later we visit Khdzoresk, an abandoned cave town with thousands of cave. Back to Goris.
Overnight in Goris.

Day 8: Goris - Armenian-Iranian border - Tabriz Panoramic city tour
After breakfast we will drive to the Armenian-Iranian border at Meghri. Border formalities. Guide and transport change. Drive to Tabriz, the capital of one of the most famous provinces of Iran, the Azarbaijan or Aturpatgan. It is the land of Azargoshnasp temple - the fire temple of the Kings and the Noblemen of Iran. It is perhaps the birth place of Zaratushtra.
Our first stop in Tabriz is the Blue Mosque, a glorious example of 15th century Islamic architecture. Later we will visit Azerbaijan Museum, the major archaeological and historical museum in Tabriz.  Visit the Constitutional Home, а historical edifice built during the years prior to the Constitutional Revolution. Afterwards the house wаs used аs а gathering place оf the leaders, activists аnd sympathizers оf the movement.
Overnight in Tabriz.

Day 9: Tabriz city tour
Kandovan village in Iran
After breakfast we will have a panoramic tour of Tabriz, then we will visit the Great Bazaar of Tabriz, one of the oldest bazaars in the Middle East and the largest covered bazaar in the world. Later we will visit El-Gölü, one of the largest parks in Tabriz. Drive to Kandovan village, a rocky architectural oddity in Iran.
Kandovan is an extraordinary ancient village with its at least 800 years existence. This remarkable place is inhabited by 670 people and offers scenic beauty for its travelers. With homes carved inside rocks, some of them 700 years old, the Kandovan village is said to have been partially formed by volcanic remains from a strong Mount Sahand eruptions hundreds of years ago.Train to Tehran or Fly to Tehran.
Overnight in Tehran.


Day 10: Tehran City tour
Today we will explore the capital of Iran - Tehran, a modern megalopolis, prides itself in having unique museums with immense and unrivaled collections and artifacts dating from the earliest onset of history to the present era. Our first stop is the lavish Golestan Palace, a masterpiece of the Qajar era, embodying the successful integration of earlier Persian crafts and architecture with Western influences. The walled Palace, one of the oldest groups of buildingtours in Tehrans in Teheran, became the seat of government of the Qajar family, which came into power in 1779 and made Tehran the capital of the country. Built around a garden featuring pools as well as planted areas, the Palace’s most characteristic features and rich ornaments date back to the 19th century. It became a centre of Qajari arts and architecture of which it is an outstanding example and has remained a source of inspiration for Iranian artists and architects to this day. It represents a new style incorporating traditional Persian arts and crafts and elements of 18th century architecture and technology.
 Afterwards, we will visit a world of jewels in a priceless Crown Jewels Museum one of which is one of the two greatest diamonds, Darya-e-Noor (sea of light). Later we will visit the National Museum of Iran and the Museum of Islamic period.
Overnight in Tehran.

D
ay 11: Tehran city tour
A morning visit to Sa'ad Abad Complex with an immense area of 1,100,000 square meters and 18 magnificent historical palaces (2 of which we will visit).Our Tehran excursion will end at the Ceramic Museum.
Night flight to Isfahan.

Overnight in Isfahan.

Isfahan tours
D
ay 12
:
Isfahan city tour
Today we will explore Isfahan, the legendary city which never fails to enchant its visitors, is the pearl of traditional Islamic archeology. This city is revived by the works of contemporary artists. Isfahan prides itself in having fascinating historical garden palaces.
Our full day tour includes the famed Imam Square (Naqsh-e-Jahan), a huge square second in the world to Beijing's Tiananmen Square. Tour the architectural marvels of Sheikh Lotfollah and Imam Mosques, Aliqapu Palace, Chehel Sutoon and Hasht Behesht Palaces, and also visit one of the most famous bazaars in Iran, where we can purchase the arts & crafts for which Isfahan is so renowned.

Overnight in Isfahan.

Day 13: Isfahan city tour
Vank Cathedral in IsfahanAfter breakfast we will visit Isfahan’s Jame' Mosque, a gallery of Islamic architecture in which the progress of the architecture from the outset of Islam till recent times is evident. Then we will visit Vank Church which is one of the most beautiful Armenian churches in the world. Our day will conclude with a visit to Monar Jomban, the tomb of a Sufi with its minarets and some historical bridges.
Overnight in Isfahan.

Day 14: Isfahan - Pasargadae
Today we will leave for Shiraz city. En route we will visit Pasargadae, the first dynastic capital of the Achaemenid Empire, founded by Cyrus II the Great, in Pars, homeland of the Persians, in the 6th century BC. Its palaces, gardens and the mausoleum of Cyrus are outstanding examples of the first phase of the royal Achaemenid art and architecture and exceptional testimonies of the Persian civilization. Particularly noteworthy vestiges in the 160-ha site include: the Mausoleum of Cyrus II; Tall-e Takht, a fortified terrace; and a royal ensemble of gatehouse, audience hall, residential palace and gardens. Pasargadae was the capital of the first great multicultural empire in Western Asia. Spanning the Eastern Mediterranean and Egypt to the Hindus River, it is considered to be the first empire that respected the cultural diversity of its different peoples. This was reflected in Achaemenid architecture, a synthetic representation of different cultures.
Overnight in Shiraz.

D
ay 15: Shiraz city tour
Shiraz mosquesShiraz has a reputation of an enlightened city that has been at the centre of Persian culture for more than 2,000 years, and was at one time the country's capital. Shiraz is crowned as the heartland of Persian culture and this city of sophistication will never fail to conjure up images of roses and nightingales, gardens and poetry. Early in the morning, relish in the highlights of Shiraz when it was the capital of Iran during the Zand Dynasty. Be inspired by the glorious Karim Khan palace, the splendid Vakil Mosque, Vakil Bazaar and Saray-e-Moshir with its splendid architecture and interesting ethnic souvenir shops, Nasir Almolk Mosque. This gorgeous city in the province of Fars is home to famous poets such as Hafez and Sa'adi and historical sites from different eras stretching back 6,000 years ago can be found. Hafez is one of great poets who impressed everyone with his mastery. His poems give us a special feeling and the peace in his tomb is really outstanding. Sa’adi is a poet, philosopher and mystic who is known as the father of a alternative tourist. About seven previous centuries he travelled to different countries and cities. Then he collected all his experiences in verse and Rhyme prose in two books named Boustan and Golestan. These two books give you lots of inspiration and information. We will get a chance to pay homage to tombs of these great poets. 
In the evening, we will visit Ali-Ebn-e-Hamzeh Garden and be prepared to marvel at its beauties. Take a stroll through the Jahan Nama Garden and witness its tall and proud cedars. Finally visit the Delgosha Garden and Khajoy-e-Kermani tomb from where the perspective of the mysterious city of Shiraz will perpetuate in our mind.

Overnight in Shiraz

Day 16: Persepolis and Necropolis - Departure

Today we are going to visit Persepolis, probably the most famous historic attraction in Iran. Founded by Darius I in 518 B.C., Persepolis was the capital of the Achaemenid Empire. It was built on an immense half-artificial, half-natural terrace, where the King of Kings created an impressive palace complex inspired by Mesopotamian models. The importance and quality of the monumental ruins make it a unique archaeological site. It seems that Darius planned this impressive complex of palaces not only as the seat of government but also, and primarily, as a show place and a spectacular centre for the receptions and festivals of the Achaemenid kings and their empire such as Nowroz.

The next is Necropolis. Opposite the mountain of Mercy, ten minutes driving to the north, proudly stands the Necropolis, the magnificent burial place of Achaemenid kings. The site also provides seven bas-reliefs dating back to Elamite and Sassanid period.
Transfer to Shiraz Airport. Departure.



Note: This tour can be combined with Georgia, Azerbaijan, Nagorno Karabakh Republic and Eastern Turkey.
*Itinerary is subject to change at any time upon your request.

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