Start your tour with pickup from your central hotel in Yerevan or at a central meeting point at 9am. Then, travel by comfortable, air-conditioned vehicle into the southern regions of Armenia.
After passing along a narrow road between rock walls carved with hundreds of caves, arrive at your first stop: Noravank Monastery. Tucked in a quiet valley and built to harmonize beautifully with its backdrop of craggy mountains, this stunning building boasts wonderful architecture and ornate embellishments, making it one of the best examples of Armenian 13th-century architecture.
Noravank consists of three churches: St. Karapet, St. Grigory the Illuminator, and the 2-story St. Astvatsatsin (Holy Mother of God), the latter noteworthy for its impressive sculptural work.
Your next stop is the Tatev Monastery, once the wealthiest medieval monastery in Armenia. Aside from serving as a religious and educational center, this spectacularly situated complex was an important strategic stronghold for the medieval Syunik kingdom and impregnable for being located on a high basalt plateau above the Vorotan River Gorge.
In times of danger, residents of the monastery used secret tunnels and passageways that led to the canyon below to maintain links with the outside world.
Next up, ride the ‘Wings of Tatev’, a 3.5-mile (5.7-kilometer) cableway high over the river gorge and lushly forested hills. Built in 11 months, the cableway is the world’s longest without stops and supported by three towers between two terminals: one overlooking the village of Halidzor and the second near the monastery, on the road to Tatev village. Two cabins operate at once, traveling in opposite directions, and the journey serves up spectacular views.
Break for a tasty lunch (own expense) at a restaurant near the cableway, having chosen your preferred meal from a menu of four options beforehand.
After your visit to Tatev, return to Yerevan where your tour finishes at the original central meeting point.