#201: PRIVATE Guided tour to Garni Temple & Geghard Monastery
This tour is the principle tour that we suggest to all of our guests who visit Armenia the first time. There are different options for this tour depending on what expectations you have; however, one thing unites all of them: this is the best introduction to Armenia.
Traveling not far from Yerevan, in this tour you will visit one of the oldest historical landmarks located in Armenia. We will travel to the mountains of Kotayk region, located north-east from Yerevan to visit the oldest Armenian historical sites that are listed on UNESCO heritage sites.
On our way, we will stop next to Charents arch from where opens a breathtaking view of biblical mount Ararat and Ararat valley.
The first destination of the tour is the famous Geghard monastery or Airivank. This is the monastery where the “Holy Lance” with what roman soldier Longinus pierced Jesus when he was on the cross was guarded. Even the name ‘Geghard” translated from old Armenian means “lance”. In addition to this, what makes Geghard even more unique and extraordinary is that it is built inside the rock.
Near to Geghard, we will witness how the traditional Armenian bread Lavash is baked in special ovens called "Tonir".
The next stop is the Garni village. Here is located the pagan temple of Garni built-in 77A.D. This ancient, Hellenistic style temple is one of the oldest landmarks in Armenia and is listed on the UNESCO World Heritage sites.
Garni temple is located on the edge of the Azat gorge. With the age of more than 1900 years, this temple is a brilliant example of what Armenian pre-Cristian temples looked like.
After excursion in the temple, if you wish, we will go down to the Gorge to visit the beautiful Stone Symphony. This natural beauty is a huge bouquet of stone columns that astonishes the viewer.
If you are an active pertson who is fond of nature and abandoned places, we would highly recommend visiting the ruins of Havuts Tar monastery that is an additional destination of this tour. Located in the Khosrov National Park, this is an abandoned monastery complex that is on the top of the hill. Due to its remote location, this complex is not popular among tourists; however, whoever was here, was fascinated with the ruins of massive abandoned halls and gorgeous engravings.