Get picked up from your hotel in Yerevan and head to Khor Virap, a well-known Armenian pilgrimage site associated with Gregory the Illuminator, the founder of the Armenian church who was imprisoned there for 14 years. Admire the panoramic view of the Mt. Ararat, a famous national symbol and the highest mountain of the Armenian Highland. Learn about the architecture, history, and legends of Khor Virap from your professional guide and gain a deeper understanding of Armenian culture and national heritage.
Continue on to Areni and go on a tour of the local winery. Have a walk through the vineyards and taste a range of organic wines. Take advantage of the chance to order or purchase the organic products. Next up is a visit to the ancient Areni Cave 1. Filled with high chambers and huge stalactites and stalagmites, Areni Cave is a significant archaeological site dating back to the Chalcolithic period between 4500 and 3400 BC. Marvel at a hidden place occupied by humans thousands of years ago. Learn how the site was used for ritual purposes related to mortuary activities, and how the dry environment together with the stable temperature provided excellent conditions for the preservation of organic materials.
Let your experienced guide lead you along well-maintained boardwalks into the cave's narrow chambers and discover the site deep inside the cave of the world’s oldest presently known wine pressing installation, dating back to around 4000 BC, and the oldest leather shoe, dated approximately to 3600 BC. Check out the colony of cave weta, large insects unique to Armenia, just inside the entrance to the cave.
After your spelunking adventure, head to Soth to see Noravank, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that is one of the greatest Medieval monasteries of Armenia. Absorb the beautiful architecture and learn about the birthplace of one of the famous architecture and manuscript schools in medieval Armenia. Head back to Yerevan after a day full of exploration between 6 pm and 7 pm.