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Alaverdi Monastery

Alaverdi Monastery: Our most recommended tours and activities

From Tbilisi: Small Group Tour to Armenia with Lunch

1. From Tbilisi: Small Group Tour to Armenia with Lunch

Visit two of Armenia’s ancient monasteries and the town of Alaverdi on this small group tour from Tbilisi. Cross over the border with your experienced guide who will take you through the highlights of Northern Armenia in just 1 day.   Depart at 9:00 AM sharp for a 1.5-hour trip across the Georgian-Armenian boarder. Almost immediately you’ll start to notice changes in the landscape—the fields will become rocky mountains and the scenery takes on a certain apocalyptic touch, due to the many abandoned Soviet mines and factories. Your first stop is the fortified monastery of Akhtala, where you can marvel at the beautifully preserved frescoes and learn about the thrilling history of this Georgian-Armenian creation.   Then, you’ll reach the UNESCO-listed monastery complex of Haghpat, where you’ll learn about the Armenian stone crosses and the mystical poet Sayat-Nova. The next stop is a small authentic restaurant by the river, where you can try authentic Armenian cuisine. Travel another 30 minutes to the center of the town of Alaverdi, famous for being the hometown of MIG fighter jet engineer Mikoyan, and the 10th century monastery of Sanahin. Arrive back in Tbilisi by around 6:00 PM after a full and fascinating day.

From Tbilisi: Armenia Day Tour with Lunch

2. From Tbilisi: Armenia Day Tour with Lunch

Armenia, with its distinctive culture, its beautiful rocky mountains and ancient history is a must-see when traveling in the Caucasus region. Discover the beauty of Northern Armenia on this day trip from Tbilisi, with your tour starting at 9:00AM, after which you will head for the border. From here the landscape will begin to change, as you drive through the narrow gorges of the Debed River in between the high rocky mountains. The time seems to stand still in this part of the country, with its typical Soviet cars and huge copper factories built in the middle of the mountains, the scenery is full of bizarre beauty. The tour includes several main sightseeing objects of Northern Armenia, such as the historic Lori region, the fortified monastery of Akhtala, a unique example of wonderfully preserved frescoes from the 11th century and the two UNESCO protected monasteries of Sanahin and Haghpat. The history of the two monasteries in Alaverdi is connected by a legend of father and son and you can see many similarities, but also differences in their architecture. Both places are known for their beautiful architecture and the unique hachkars, as well as the stone crosses, a signature of Armenian art. Before heading back to Tbilisi you can taste authentic Armenian food in a traditional restaurant by the river.

Tbilisi: Kakheti – Signagi – Telavi – Alaverdi Full-Day Tour

3. Tbilisi: Kakheti – Signagi – Telavi – Alaverdi Full-Day Tour

After being picked up from your hotel at 8:00AM, your first stop will be the Ujarma fortress. It is believed that in the second half of the 5th century, the famous Vakhtang Gorgasali (founder of Tbilisi) erected numerous buildings in Ujarma and moved his residence there. In the 10th century, Ujarma was destroyed by the Arabian forces of Abul Kassim. Later on in the 13th century, the fortress was restored by King George III, where he arranged treasury. Moving on, your tour will continue through the Gombori Pass, which will see you drive to an altitude of 1,650 meters (5,414 feet). At the top you will discover an observation deck, the perfect place for a photo shoot. After a small stop, you will continue your journey through the magical forest, where you will be able to make a wish. The next stop will be to the Alaverdi Monastery. At a height of over 55 meters, the Alaverdi Cathedral is the second tallest religious building in Georgia. You will then visit the city of Telavi, the main city and administrative center of Georgia's eastern province of Kakheti. On the way to Kvareli, you will stop at the Gremi. Standing above the green valley of Alazan, Gremi attracts travelers whose road goes between Telavi and Kvareli. Gloomy and monumental, the castle is one of the most visited tourist points in Georgia. In Kvareli, you will have the opportunity to taste Georgian wines, finding out how they are made. Following your wine tasting, you should find yourself with a new strength. You will then go to the Bodbe Monastery, which is one of the most important religious sites in Georgia. Continuing your trip, you will venture toward Sighnaghi. Its charming cobblestone streets and alleys consist of restored original nouveau woodwork, and detailed facades give the town a romantic mystique. Billed the "City of Love", Sighnaghi is a popular wedding venue. The wedding chapel here was the first to operate around the clock, and put Sighnaghi on the map as a destination. Its marriage chapel now hosts ceremonies which take place at all hours of the day and night.

Full-Day Tour to North Armenia: Sanahin and Haghpat

4. Full-Day Tour to North Armenia: Sanahin and Haghpat

Meet your guide in front of your hotel after the lunch to start your journey: You will cross the beautiful Aragatsotn Province hills as you drive west from Yerevan in an air-conditioned vehicle. You will arrive at the village Artashavan which is the home of the monument of Armenian Alphabet. Here you will find giant 39 stone letters dedicated to the founder of Armenia's alphabet. Your tour will make its second stop in Sanain village where the medieval Sanahin church is located. It's one of the greatest Medieval monasteries of Armenia with beautiful architecture. The complex has numerous khachkars (stones with elaborate engravings representing a cross) and bishop grave sites scattered throughout it. After lunch, you will make a stop in Alaverdi town, where the medieval Sanahin bridge is located. It's one of the most significant architectural constructions of medieval Armenia. The bridge is located above narrow and fertile banks of the River Debed flow. The basalt bridge with its bewitching outlines, type of stone and colour combines with the picturesque surrounding becoming its inseparable treasure. Finally, the tour heads to Hagpat village, where you will enjoy postcard-perfect landscapes and medieval Hagpat Monastery complex which has a unique architecture including the unusual gavit, the defence of the monastery. Haghpaht had a significant influence on Armenian culture. The Sanahin Bridge along with the monasteries of Sanahin and Haghpat is on the UNESCO World Heritage list. In the evening you will be returned to your Yerevan hotel.

Other Sightseeing Options in Alaverdi Monastery

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What people are saying about Alaverdi Monastery

Overall rating

4.9 / 5

based on 135 reviews

I did enjoy this tour a lot!! We had great guide (sorry but forgot the name!!) who took us on slightly off the beaten path visits ( apart of what was in the itinerary). Was really different tour to what I expected - much more entertaining!! We had amazing lunch (there were vegetarian options for me). Luckily the border crossing was very quick. I would definitely recommend going for this trip to anyone who would like to see a bit of Armenia but doesn't have much time. Great value for money and guaranteed great time!!

Zezvar (hope I spelled this correctly) was excellent. He was informative and super patient with our small children. We were initially nervous to go through a tour as we have not ever been on a full day tour such as this. However, it was very easy and smooth. The other travelers were great also and we enjoyed talking with them as well.

We had an engaging, entertaining and knowledgeable guide, Irakli, who never fail to make us laugh. The trip really showed how time stood still in this age. If you love history and beautiful mountainous scenery, then I’ll highly recommend this for you!

Two bonus stops at some interesting sites, a very informative guide as well as the excellent scheduled stops. A great day.

amazing day with great views, interesting topics, information and delicious food!