Armenia & artsakh meetup tour
Armenia and everyone you’ll meet along this journey will feel more like a dear friend than a place and a culture you visited for the first time. The stories you hear and the ones we create together will have you gushing to share with anyone who will listen back at home.
We’ll explore centuries-old Armenian fortresses and historic battlegrounds. Together, we’ll uncork more than a few bottles of delicious Armenian wine with accomplished female entrepreneurs, dig into regional delicacies that will shock your friends and family later, and share tea, art, and stories with locals. We’ll travel through remote villages and bustling bazaars to countryside ranches and resort towns, getting to know what feels like every nook and cranny of this beautiful and rarely visited destination.
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Enjoy home cooked local cuisine
Taste wine and rare cheeses across the country
Visit two UNESCO sites: Geghard Monastery and Ani
Meet the women of Armenia: entrepreneurs, historians, winemakers, humanitarian organization founders
Ride a therapy horse through the countryside.
Learn the history and politics from our full time expert guide
Yerevan Airport Pickup
Our driver will pick you up at the airport and take you to our hotel in Yerevan. En route, admire the Soviet-era architecture of Armenia’s capital city. Check in to your room, then join the group for a stroll through the Pink City.
Our next stop is the ruins of the Amberd Fortress. Originally built in the 7th century by Armenian royalty (and rebuilt several times over the prevailing centuries) this fortress in the clouds is perched on a cliff a cool 2,100 metres above sea level.
After stopping for a lunch of scrumptious local food, we are off to the Centaur Hippotherapy Centre. Centaur is the first – and only – centre in Armenia for therapeutic horse riding. Here we will chat with the female founders about their work, help to feed the horses and even go for a ride if you want!
After saying goodbye, it’s time to visit the Armas Winery. Enjoy a wine-tasting as well as a delicious dinner at the on-site restaurant before heading back to Yerevan for the night. Meals: breakfast, lunch and dinner
ARAS RIVER, SARDARABAD & GYUMRI
These days, the flat plain is better known for housing the Voskeni Winery where we’ll sample yet more Armenian wine and dig into a lunch of tandoor oven-baked calf’s head – a local specialty. For the vegetarians and less adventurous eaters, there will be a feast of veggies, cheese, bread, and other local treats.
We’ll receive the grand tour of the Memorial Complex and museum by a well-versed female historian before we hit the road for the Shirak Province. There, we’ll get a good look at Ani, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
From there, we’ll travel to Gyumri to check into our hotel nestled in its historic district. Enjoy the evening to yourself to make some new Armenian travel memories at your leisure. Meals: breakfast and lunch
Baked buffalo brains, green cheese, and kololak lamb soup are on the menu for those daring to try something offbeat. Vegetarians, we have you covered, too, with a feast of less adventurous but still delicious local cuisine.
Continuing our day in the scenic Lori foothills, we’ll pass through two Molokan villages where, with some luck, we may get to enter a local’s home for a cup of tea and a chance to learn more about this unique, Amish-like sect of Spiritual Christians.
We’ll spend the night in Dilijan at a boutique hotel and dine on haute cuisine in town before resting up for our next day’s adventure. Meals: breakfast and lunch
The can’t-miss stop is Sharabeyan Street in the Old Town with its assortment of craft shops and artisans meticulously at work hand-crafting their products.
Because Armenia’s Switzerland is in Dilijan’s backyard, we’ll go to the countryside at a nearby ranch. Spend the day meandering through the oak, pine, and beech-filled forests, opt to go horseback riding, or strap up for an optional zip line canyon adventure.
The true highlight of the day, however, is meeting the women behind the ARM Cook Lab, an experimental kitchen that exclusively uses local ingredients and traditional cooking techniques from the region. Meals: reakfast and lunch
LAKE SEVAN TO NAGORNO-KARABAKH
Reeling with local lore, we’ll then visit a farm for a rare cheese tasting and a chat with a traditional cheese-maker. From there, we’ll cross the border into The Republic of Artsakh by way of Nagorno-Karabakh, finding our way to the village of Dadivank where a delicious lunch alongside delightful locals awaits us. In the evening, we’ll pull into Stepanakert, the capital city of Artsakh, for another delicious meal, this time with local winemakers joining us around the table. Meals: breakfast and lunch
REPUBLIC OF ARTSAKH
After, we’ll visit the local market to experience the organized chaos and stalls spilling over with local produce and homemade wine. Following our nose, we’ll make our way to some fresh zhingyalov hats, a mouthwatering flatbread stuffed with herbs and the perfect appetizer for our scenic lunch overlooking Stepanakert.
We’ll spend the rest of the afternoon at the centuries-old fortress city of Shushi, wandering its ancient streets and chatting with locals. Ascend the towers of the Shushi Fortress for a ridiculous view, then visit the Museum of Karabakh Carpets to admire the handiwork of the women behind these intricate woven masterpieces and learn the history of this predominantly female trade. Meals: breakfast and lunch
Continuing south, we’ll visit the village of Shosh, where we’ll descend into the Karkar River gorge to explore an ancient miners village sandwiched between the narrow canyon walls. It’s also home to a string of waterfalls, springs, caves, and the remains of an intact medieval bridge.
As no day in this corner of the world is complete without some wine, we’ll make time to visit the Avetsiyan family winery in the village of Togh. There, we’ll sample kataro wine, a variety made with grapes indigenous to the region.
Finally, we’ll round out the day wandering castle ruins that once belonged to the family that ruled the area. We’ll get a village tour from Anna, a Russo-Armenian entrepreneur, before beginning our drive back to Stepanakert. Along the way, we’ll pull over to visit one of the oldest trees on the planet, a humbling 2,000-year-old Sycamore. Meals: Breakfast and Lunch
FROM KARABAKH TO SYUNIK
Across the border in the rural reaches of Southeast Armenia, we’ll arrive at the cave town of Khndzoresk. For more than 600 years and up until the mid-20th century, these caves were dwellings for the local population. Today, the only residents around are grazing livestock. The locals now live across a 525-foot suspension bridge that hovers 200 perilous feet above the roaring river below it.
The day wraps with a visit to the Tatev Monastery, only accessible by way of the world’s longest reverse cable car. Teetering on the edge of a canyon, this convent served as the key religious and learning center of medieval Armenia. Inside, we’ll chat with a local female social activist before we go for dinner and a good night’s sleep in the nearby town of Goris. Meals: breakfast and lunch
Come lunchtime, we’ll have arrived in the resort town of Jermuk, home to therapeutic mineral springs and Soviet-era spas in a peaceful highland valley setting. Having refueled with a tasty lunch, we’ll wander around the resort park and follow a trail that leads to the narrow Arpa River canyon. In the afternoon, we’ll visit the medieval Gndevank Monastery, originally built in 936 AD by a Syunik princess. Today, it’s home to a friendly order of monks.
By evening, we’ll have made it to Yeghegnadzoe, the capital of the Vayots Dzor Province. There, we’ll meet the female pioneer of Armenian regional tourism and bed down for the night in a small family-owned hotel. Meals: breakfast, lunch and dinner
FROM ARENI TO YEREVAN
We’ll sit down for lunch inside of a cave then stroll to the the Noravank Monastery where you’ll stare in awe at the intricate khachkar cross stones and bas reliefs that adorn its walls and interiors.
As there’s always reason to pack in one more Armenian wine, we’ll say hello to the owners of Momik Winery and taste a few of their wines before we embark on the last leg of the journey: crossing the Ararat Plain back to Yerevan. We’ll detour to Khor Virap Monastery on the way, as it delivers extraordinary views of the biblical Mount Ararat. Meals: Breakfast and Lunch
After what is hopefully a fruitful few hours of shopping for souvenirs, we’ll gather with a representative from the Ministry of Diaspora for a brief on the current situation and relationship between Armenia and its diaspora (a community of people who live outside of their ancestral country but maintain active connections with it). While Armenians have established communities around the world since antiquity, the modern diaspora was largely formed as a result of the Armenian Genocide in 1915.
After lunch together, the day is yours to do as you please. We recommend visiting one of the city’s numerous art galleries or museums, tackling the climb up to the Cascade for a rewarding view of Mount Ararat over the border in Turkey, or finding a table at an open air cafe in Republic Square for some quality people watching. Meals: breakfast and lunch
DAY TRIP TO GARNI & GEGHARD
Further down the river, we’ll visit the Garni Pagan Temple, a colossal Greco-Roman building constructed in the 1st Century that offers panoramic views of the gorge below. We’ll then descend into the canyon for a walk along the river to examine the basalt columns formed by volcanic eruptions centuries ago.
Returning from Garni, we’ll grab a traditional lunch in a rural home before stopping at the Arch of Charents for more spectacular views of Mount Ararat. Then, we’ll spend the second half of the day ambling down the picturesque streets of Yerevan, committing the sights to memory to reminisce upon back at home. Meals: breakfast and lunch
FAREWELL FOR NOW
It’s time to say goodbye to our Armenia adventure companions as we make our way to the airport. We’ll share photos and stay in touch! Meals: breakfast
Our accommodation is hand-picked to give you the best combination of comfort, location, and style. These are photos from our collection of favorite guesthouses and hotels to give you a sense of the accommodation you can expect with us.
Silk Road Hotel, Yerevan
It feels like a homestay with delicious food, warm staff, and local decor. Surrounded by beautiful views but still walkable to the city. We love the homey vibe and beautiful breakfast.
Berlin Art Hotel, Gyumri
Not just a hotel but a non-profit organization, its purpose is to support the outpatient clinic Berlin Centre for Mother and Child. All of the rooms feature carefully chosen art by both local and international artists from Gallery25.
Tufenkian Old Complex, Dilijan
Refinished to keep its 19th century charm, this guesthouse is steeped in history and surrounded by beautiful views and wrap around porches. We love it here because it’s so old world Armenia with vaulted ceilings and traditional decoration.
- Accommodation in twin rooms
- Almost all meals, according to the itinerary
- Local transportation
- Airport pickup (see arrival details)
- All entrance fees and activities in the itinerary unless specified as optional
Our adventure starts with a 12pm pickup from the airport. If you arrive at another time, getting a taxi is easy. You can also arrive a day early and meet us either at the airport or our first hotel.
Share a taxi with a travel companion on the last day whenever your flight takes off. Check out is normally around 11am.
- A deposit of $500 is required to hold your spot.
- Final payment is due 60 days before departure.
- Pay as much as often as you like until the due date.
- If you cancel your spot earlier than 60 days before departure, you can apply your payment to any trip within the next year.
- No refunds on deposits.
- Armenia visa fees
- Travel insurance (mandatory)
- The itinerary is subject to change due for any reason – weather, unexpected cancellations, impromptu local opportunities, or surprise additions.
- Comprehensive travel insurance is mandatory or you may be refused to join the tour. See our guide for help choosing a plan.
- All bookings are subject to our terms and conditions.
What our Travelers say
“Unlike other tours, true friendships were formed and it was liberating, empowering, safe and intimate to travel together with women only. I look forward to joining for tours organized by SoFe Travel.” Daphne T. | Morocco
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