The Ultimate 2-Week Itinerary for First-Time Visitors

The Ultimate 2-Week Itinerary for First-Time Visitors




Whether you are a history buff, a nature lover, or a foodie, this 2-week itinerary has something for everyone. So, get ready to start a journey of a lifetime, exploring some of our country’s most attractive sights and hidden gems.


Day 1: Arrival, Yerevan City Tour


Twenty minutes from the Zvartnots airport, you're in the heart of our capital, Yerevan. If you have someone to greet you at the airport – that is perfect. If not, no worries. Zvartnots Shuttle Bus works 24/7 and will drop you off at the city center, or you can take a very affordable taxi ride to your destination (usually under 3,000 AMD to city center). Once fully rested, start a city tour in Yerevan to visit the main attractions such as Republic Square, Cascade Complex, and the Opera House. Take the chance to taste our local cuisine and soak up the lively atmosphere of Yerevan’s bustling streets.


Day 2: Head South (overnight in Jermuk)


Head south to explore the scenic countryside of Armenia. First, stop at Khor Virap Monastery to admire panoramic views of the biblical Ararat Mountain and learn about the history of Christian Armenia. Then, drive to Areni village to taste some of Armenia’s finest wines and explore the nearby Areni Cave – the world’s oldest winery (6,100 years old). After a fascinating 10-minute drive through the canyon, you will reach Noravank Monastery, a masterpiece of medieval Armenian architecture surrounded by red cliffs and stunning landscapes. Your final destination for day 2 is the mineral water spa town of Jermuk, known for its healing properties and scenic waterfall.


Day 3: Explore Southern Gems (overnight in Yeghegis)


From Jermuk, drive to Halidzor Village in Syunik, get on the Tatever aerial tramway, and visit one of Armenia’s most impressive tourist attractions – Tatev Monastery. Take your time to explore the monastery’s old churches and admire scenic views of the surrounding mountains and valleys. Afterward, visit Goris, a city famous for its unique rock formations and historic buildings. On your way back to Vayots Dzor region, stop by the picturesque Shaki Waterfall and capture some photos of water rainbows. Spend the night in the tranquil village of Yeghegis.


Day 4: From South to North (overnight in Dilijan)


After you visit St. Zorats church, go to the Jewish cemetery and admire the beauty of Yeghegis village, then head to Noratus Khachkar field near Lake Sevan. Noratus is a unique cemetery with hundreds of old cross-stones (khachkars) dating back to the 9th century. Afterward, visit the Sevanavank Monastery on a peninsula overlooking the lake and taste some local fish dishes. Then, drive to Dilijan, a charming spa town surrounded by forests, and admire the wooden balconies of Dilijan buildings as you stroll.


Day 5: Explore Tavush (overnight in Yenokavan)


Explore the lush forests and mountain trails of Dilijan National Park, enjoy the tranquility of Lake Parz, and visit Haghartsin and Goshavank monasteries – two jewels of medieval Armenian architecture. Then, drive to the remote village of Yenokavan, where you can appreciate a peaceful retreat and indulge in outdoor activities like horseback riding, off-road driving, and zip-lining.


Day 6: Hike to Lastiver Waterfalls (overnight in Vanadzor)


Start the day by hiking to Lastiver Waterfalls, nestled in the forests and accessible only by a scenic trail. You will enjoy its refreshing waters and take in the breathtaking views of the surrounding landscapes. After the hike, drive to Vanadzor, the third-largest city in Armenia, where you will overnight.


Day 7: Uncover Lori Vol.1 (overnight in Haghpat Village)


Explore the northern parts of the Lori region. After a city tour in Vanadzor and a short coffee stop there, drive to the Kobayr Monastery, a religious site hidden in the forests of Lori, known for its old frescoes and unique architecture. Next, head to the town of Alaverdi. Visit Sanahin and Haghpat Monasteries, two UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and true jewels of medieval Armenian architecture.


Kobayr monastery requires about 20-25 minutes of hiking from the main road: wear comfy boots! 


Day 8: Uncover Lori Vol.2 (overnight in Stepanavan)


Wake up! A day of outdoor adventure in the Debed River Canyon awaits you. Go rafting in the Debed River, a thrilling experience to remember forever. Afterward, visit the Akhtala Monastery, a unique fortress-like complex dating back to the 10th century that features stunning frescoes and murals. Head to the Odzun Church, a majestic basilica that stands on a hill overlooking the canyon and offers breathtaking views of the surrounding landscapes. Drive to Stepanavan overnight.


Remember to stop at the watchpoint of the Debed Canyon to take in the stunning views and capture some striking pictures. 


Day 9: Tour and Back to Yerevan (overnight)


Visit the Dendropark, a botanical garden with more than 500 species of trees and plants from all across the world. Then explore Lori Fortress and drive to Saghmosavank, a 13th-century monastic complex with unique carvings and breathtaking canyon views. Head back to Yerevan to enjoy some free time and explore its vibrant streets and markets.


Day 10: Free Time and Shopping in Yerevan


Spare some time to rest and do some shopping. You can check Vernissage Flea Market for souvenirs and local gifts, GUM food market for local flavors, Gold Market to buy gold and silver jewelry, or check some of the shopping malls and shopping streets in Yerevan. Enjoy a night out in the city in the evening and soak in the vibrant atmosphere of Yerevan’s nightlife setting.


Day 11: Explore Near Yerevan (overnight in Yerevan)


Explore two of Armenia’s most visited sites, the Garni Temple, an ancient Hellenistic-style temple that dates back to the 1st century and is the only surviving pagan temple in Armenia, and the Geghard Monastery, a UNESCO-listed World Heritage Site. Either hike or drive to the Azat River Gorge to see the Symphony of Stones, a natural rock formation that resembles a musical instrument and offers stunning views.


Day 12: Visit Ashtarak City and Beyond


Explore the picturesque town of Ashtarak, known for its beautiful churches, historic architecture, and gastro yards. After touring historic Ashtarak and tasting sweet sujukh and local arishta, drive to the 10th-century Amberd Fortress. Continue your drive on Mount Aragats and visit Lake Kari, a stunning alpine lake at an altitude of 3,190 meters and surrounded by four snow-capped peaks of the highest mountain in Armenia.


Day 13: A Day in Gyumri and Nearby


The city with a vast cultural heritage and unique architecture – Gyumri – awaits you. Explore the Gyumri cultural district and the main churches, walk along the narrow streets of the 19th-century town, and visit the Black Fortress. After having an authentic lunch in the second largest city of Armenia, head to Marmashen Monastery, a 10th-century complex with unique carvings and ornaments. 


Day 14: A Religious Visit to Etchmiadzin and Zvartnots, Departure


On your last day in Armenia, visit the Holy Mother See of Etchmiadzin, the spiritual center of the Armenian Apostolic Church, and admire its stunning cathedral and museum. On your return, stop to take one final look at Mount Ararat and explore the ruins of Zvartnots Cathedral, a beautiful example of Armenian medieval architecture and a UNESCO World Heritage site.


Reflect on your incredible journey in Armenia and cherish the memories of its beautiful landscapes, rich history, and warm hospitality. Use #TheHiddenTrack to share your impressions of Armenia with us!

Published on February 15, 2024