Self-Drive Winter Itinerary

If you are looking for some self-drive trips in Armenia, then Enterprise-Armenia is here to help you plan your safe and comfortable tour, offering from the wide selection cars for the winter roads of Armenia. Book your transportation and chase away to explore pure Armenian culture and heritage. And here are the best places to visit and some things to do during winter in Armenia.

Day 1. The “pink” capital

The capital city of Armenia, Yerevan, is an open air museum. Founded in 782 BC by king Argishti I Yerevan is one of the oldest cities in the world that was inhabited since its foundation. Yerevan is called pink city as Alexander Tamanyan, who was the architecture of Yerevan at the beginning of the 20th century, built the buildings of the city using pink tufa. There are several points that should be checked in when you are in Yerevan.

Brandy Factory

Founded in 1887 Ararat Brandy Factory produces one of the best brandies in the world. Armenian cognac was very popular during the Soviet era. Even Winston Churchill was one of the biggest fans of Armenian cognac. In the factory one can taste several types of brandies, have a tour across the factory and see brandy barrels signed by famous political and public figures, also learn about brandy bottling and production.

The History Museum of Armenia

Founded in 1919 museum performs as a conservator and restorer, having a collection of 400,000 historical items. The collection dates back to 3rd and 2nd millennium BC and presents archeological, numismatic and ethnographic heritage of the country.

Matenadaran

The Mesrop Mashtots Institute of Ancient Manuscripts is a temple of world culture and the richest center of manuscripts. It has a collection of more than 23,000 manuscripts and scrolls. As well as it has a unique collection of manuscripts in Greek, Latin, Arabic, Persian, Russian, Hindi and other languages. Here one can find the biggest Armenian book “Msho Charyntir” (28kg or 61,8Ib) and the smallest book (190g or 0,41Ib). Matenadaran is also a worldwide known research center.

Vernissage

To find some Armenian spirit you should visit Yerevan Vernissage. This is an open air “gallery” proposing you a wide variety of souvenirs, handicraft, silver and golden jewelry, carpets and many more. Here you can find old photo and video cameras, old coins and postmarks, silver, wooden and clay spoons and plats and so on. People say, that if you look carefully you can find even “devil’s nail” in Armenian Vernissage.

Tsitsernakaberd

Armenian Genocide is one of the fragile topics of discussion for every Armenian. 1915 is the black page of Armenian history, a year during which more than 1,5 million Armenians were killed within the Ottoman Empire. This mass execution is known in the history books as the first genocide of 20th century. Tsitsernakaberd is a memorial devoted to the victims of Yeghern (genocide in Armenian).

Every year on 24th of April thousands of people from all over the world walk to this memorial and lay flowers at the eternal flame to pay tribute to the victims of the Genocide. There is also Armenian Genocide Museum-Institute near the Tsitsernakaberd memorial, which displays affluent selection of documents, photos and demographic tables representing the history of Armenian Genocide. Many presidents, Popes of Rome and other political and public figures visit Genocide Museum as a part of RA protocol.

Day 2. Etchmiadzin and Zvartnots

Etchmiadzin is situated to the south-west of Yerevan in the fruit Ararat valley. This region is called the garden of Armenia. Etchmiadzin is a pretty cozy town with houses made of tufa. But it is famous as Holy city as the mother church of Armenian Apostolic church is situated in this town. The residence of the Armenian patriarch is also in Etchmiadzin.

Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin (301 AD) is the center of Armenian Apostolic church and one of the world centers of Christianity. Besides the main Cathedral (UNESCO) there are several educational institutions within the Mother See, such as Gevorkian Seminary, Voskanian Theological Academy, Karekin I Center of Theology and Armenology and others.

There are many churches in every corner in Etchmiadzin. Here are located Saint Gayane, Saint Hripsime, Saint Shoghakat, Saint Virgin Mariam and many others. About 2 km (1,2miles) from Etchmiadzin is located ruins of Holy Zvartnots Cathedral (UNESCO). Zvartnots is one of the architectural wonders of Armenian history going back to the 7th century. It had been standing for 300 years before an earthquake destroyed it. But even the ruins of this majestic structure gives an idea of its rare and unique beauty.

Day 3. Garni and Geghard

A few minutes on the road from Yerevan and you’ll arrive at one of the most ancient structures in Armenia; the Garni Architectural Complex (UNESCO). It dates back to the first century. Once it was a summer residence for Armenian kings and queens. The temple has a unique beauty. Its a small square with the altar in the center is surrounded by 24 beautiful columns. 6 km (3,7miles) from Garni there is a remarkable sample of medieval Armenian architecture, the Geghard Cave Monastery (UNESCO). It was founded in the 5th century. The Mother God Cathedral was built in 1215. The most original parts of the complex are the two churches cut in the depth of the rock. There is also a holy water, which ejects out of the rocks in the church.

Day 4. Saghmosavank and Hovhannavank

Saghmosavank is situated in the Aragatsotn region of Armenia. The magnificent monastery complex was built in 1215 by the order of Prince Vache Vachutyan. It is located on the top of dizzying gorge of the Kasakh river. If you stand in front of the main church, you’ll see clearly The Ararat Mountain.

There are many legends and songs about Saghmosavank and its mystery. 5km (3,1 miles) apart from Saghmosavank, there is another monastery complex called Hovhannavank. The oldest part of the church was built in the 4th century. For many centuries Hovhannavank was crucial educational and theological center within the region.

Day 5. Khor Virap and Areni Winery

Khor Virap or deep cage (prison) is a monastery located in the Ararat valley. The main monastery was built in the 7th century. This monastery is famous as in the 3rd century Gregory the Illuminator, the first official head of Armenian Apostolic church, was imprisoned here for 14 years. Despite the fact of 14 years of imprisonment Gregory survived with the help of local Christian women, who fed him. After 14 years of imprisonment for being Christian he helped king Tiridates III to adopt Christianity and proclaim Armenia as the first Christian nation in 301AD.

74km (45,9 miles) from Khor Virap is situated Areni Winery, famous Armenian wine factory. Areni is a village which is well-known by Areni Cave archeological site, where more than 6000-year-old wine making equipment were found. Starting from 2009 every year this small village holds a wine festival, which attracts many locals and tourists.
Ready to chase away?

Then don’t forget to book a vehicle from Enterprise Rent-A-Car and enjoy your trip in Armenia. You can also book a chauffeur service and rely on a professional driver who can guide you on the road, while you enjoy your wine or cognac.

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Self-Drive Winter Itinerary

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