Join Connie and Chuck Holton for a spectacular introduction to the Culture, History, People and FOOD of Armenia.
We're taking a week-long whirlwind exploration of this hidden gem of Asia in the shadow of Mount Ararat!
Flights out of Washington DC are $895 on Austrian/United, with a 14-hour layover in Vienna (arrive 8am depart 10pm) so you can see the sights in Austria for a day.
Leave 1 May at 5:35pm from Dulles, arrive in Vienna, Austria at 9am on 2 May. Spend the day seeing the sights in Vienna, then board the plane again at 10pm and take the short flight to Yerevan, the capital of Armenia. Arrive in Yerevan at 4am on 3 May.
Here's the proposed schedule for the week: (subject to change)
4 May rest, explore Yerevan, the capital city. A surprisingly quaint, walkable place, it feels more like a small town rather than a city of a million people. Explore the Vernissage outdoor craft market, the Cascades, and Republic square. And if you're feeling jetlagged, there will be time for a nap!
5 May Leave early and drive to Lake Sevan, the only large body of water in Armenia. Stop and check out the commanding views from Sevanavank, the ancient church overlooking the lake. Then continue to Dilijan, the "little Switzerland" of Armenia. Lunch and enjoy the sights, then back to Yerevan in the evening.
6 May. Another full day. Visit the famous Gor Virap monastery, where the first Armenian Catolicos (think Pope) was thrown in a dungeon for 13 years, Then visit Armenia's famous wine country - possibly the birthplace of wine! A quick side trip to visit Noravank, a spectacular 13th Century Church in the mountains, then on to an adventurous overnight stay in the tiny village of Tatev.
7 May Visit the incredible Tatev monastery, then return to Yerevan in the afternoon, evening free.
8 May Visit Geghard Monastery, one of the oldest in Armenia from the 3rd Century, and then visit an even older site - the mysterious pagan temple on a clifftop at Garni, In the evening we'll visit a refugee center and meet some of the families who lost their homes to the recent invasion by Azerbaijan.
9 May depart Yerevan at 0500, arrive Washington DC at 1430 same day.
3-day ADD ON: Visit Stepanakert, the capital of Artsakh (space limited). 10-12 May, leave for home 13 May - Additional $500 (subject to visa approval - MORE RISK INVOLVED)
Trip: $899 (double occupancy) includes ground transportation, lodging, a translator/guide, breakfast each day and a dinner banquet at the end of the trip. Extra $100 if you want your own private room.
Deposit $300 to hold your space, 100% refundable if you have to cancel within 15 days of departure. We recommend travel insurance to cover airfare and trip costs if you have to cancel closer to D-day.
AIRFARE: You can arrange your own air transport to Yerevan, or meet us in Washington DC and we’ll travel together. You will need approximately $20 per day for food and incidentals, and perhaps an extra suitcase for all the gifts you’ll want to bring home.
COVID requirements: Armenia requires a negative PCR test within 72 hours of arrival in Yerevan, so you'll want to find a rapid test if you can and take it right before you leave, just in case there is a delay in our arrival. COVID numbers have been dropping very much in Armenia and while masks are technically required in public, enforcement is very lax. ON RETURN to the US, a negative PCR test will also be required to board the plane, we will arrange for everyone to be tested the day before we leave.
RESERVE YOUR SPOT HERE by paying $300 now. If you'd like to go ahead and pay the rest, you can do so here.