Khor Virap - Areni (winery) - Noravank – Orbelian's Caravanserai – Lake Sevan
Khor Virap (meaning "deep dungeon") is an Armenian monastery located in the Ararat plain in Armenia, near the closed border with Turkey. Khor Virap's notability as a monastery and pilgrimage site is attributed to the fact that Gregory the Illuminator was initially imprisoned here for 13 years by King Tiridates III of Armenia. Over the centuries, it was repeatedly rebuilt. In 1662, the larger chapel known as the "St. Astvatsatsin" (Holy Mother of God) was built around the ruins of the old chapel, the monastery, the refectory and the cells of the monks. Here is the most beautiful view on the biblical Mount Ararat and entire Ararat Valley from the monastery.
Noravank monastery (meaning “new monastery”) is one of the spectacular tourist attractions in Armenia of 13th century. This magic monastery is located in Vayots Dzor province, in a narrow gorge made by the Amaghu River. The gorge is known for its tall, sheer, brick-red cliffs, directly across from the monastery. The monastery is best known for its two-storey Surb Astvatsatsin (Holy Mother of God) church, built by skillful architect and sculpture Momik, which grants access to the second floor by way of a narrow stone-made staircase jutting out from the face of building.
The village of Areni is in Vayots Dzor region. This sunny village is famous for its best wine assortments. Due to its specific flavor and delicate taste "Areni" wine has its respectful place among the best Armenian wines. The visit to the wine factory of the village will serve a good testimony to the above mentioned.
Vardenyanc or Orbelian qaravanatun (caravanserai) was one of the guiding points of the Silk road passing through Armenia. People accompanying caravans could lodge here and animals could find a refuge. According to an inscription at the entrance, the caravanserai was built in 1326-1327 by an order of prince Orbelian. When Mongols invaded Armenia in the middle of the XIIIth century Syunik had very little damage. Caravanserai was destroyed in the 15-16th centuries and renovated in 1956-1959. It is the best preserved caravansaray in Armenia.
Sevan Lake – “The Jewel of Armenia” or the “Geghama Sea” is one of the largest high-mountainous fresh water lakes in the world and the main attraction Armenia. In summer you can take a boat trip and enjoy your time. The most famous cultural monument here is Sevanavank monastery located on the peninsula, which was until the mid-20th century an island.