Khor Virap monastery - Areni - Noravank monastery - Jermuk waterfall

Khor Virap

The Khor Virap ("deep dungeon") is an Armenian monastery located in the Ararat plain, near the closed border with Turkey, Ararat Province. The monastery was host to a theological seminary and was the residence of Armenian Catholicos.

Khor Virap's (6 metres deep and 4.4 metres wide) 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.

A chapel was initially built in 642 at the site of Khor Virap by Nerses III the Builder as a mark of veneration to Saint Gregory. 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.

The 17th century church built around the pit is a simple structure surrounding a large courtyard which looks like a fort complex.


Areni is a village in the Vayots Dzor Province of Armenia. The church of S. Astvatsatsin is a domed Armenian church completed in the year 1321. It was designed by the architect and sculptor Momik.

It is best known for its wine production. Every year in October the annual festival of wines takes place there.

The Areni-1 shoe is a 5500-year-old leather shoe that was found in 2008 in excellent condition in the Areni-1 cave located in the Vayots Dzor province of Armenia. It is a one-piece leather-hide shoe, the oldest piece of leather footwear in the world known to contemporary researchers.

In January 2011 archaeologists announced the discovery of the earliest known winery, the Areni-1 winery, seven months after the world's oldest leather shoe, the Areni-1 shoe, was discovered in the same cave.


Noravank ("new monastery") is a 13th-century Armenian monastery. In the 13th–14th centuries the monastery became a major religious and, later, cultural center of Armenia closely connected with many of the local seats of learning, especially with Gladzor's famed university and library.

The grandest structure is Surb Astvatsatsin (Holy Mother of God), also called Burtelashen (Burtel's construction) in the honour of Prince Burtel Orbelian, its financier. Surb Astvatsatsin was completed in 1339, a masterpiece of the talented sculptor and miniaturist Momik, who designed it, and was also his last work. Near the church there is his tomb khachkar, small and modestly decorated, dated the same year.


Jermuk is mainly famous with its hot springs (geysers). Its name itself is derived from this fact, as the word "jermuk" means "geyser" in the Armenian language.

The waterfall is situated in the town of Jermuk, on the Jermuk river which is the right tributary of the Arpa river. The waterfall of Jermuk forms from tributaries, and plummets over 3 dome-shaped and 68-meter-high cliffs down into the Arpa River.

There is an interesting legend regarding this waterfall.


Duration: 10-11 hours

Price of group and individual excursions

(The price is written on the transportation regardless the number of the participents)

Price without a guide
1-3 pers. 4-6 pers. up to 7 pers.
120 USD
140 USD
on request
Price with a guide
1-3 pers. 4-6 pers. up to 7 pers.
180 USD 200 USD on request
The price does not include:
  • entrance tickets to the historical and cultural centers;
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