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Western Armenia (Historical Armenia) 6 day tour

Route map
Tour price: starts from 650 USD Duration of the tour: 6 days The tour distance: 2600 km ( 1615 miles ) Tour type: Armenia

Anitour travel agency is the founder of the tours to Historical Armenia and has been providing high quality service (VIP) for over 20 years. The majority of the tourists are from abroad, they appreciate the comfort (hotels, meals, transport, guide, etc).The actual price of the tour depends on the number of members in the group.

25 people 630$ /1 Mercedes Tourismo 48 seats, 2017/
20 people  660$ /1 Mercedes  bus 20 seats, 2017/
15 people  690$ / 1 Mercedes Sprinter 17 seats, 2017/
10 people 730$
/ 1 Mercedes Sprinter 17 seats, 2017/
9-7 people` $ / 1 Mercedes Sprinter 17 seats, 2017/
4-6 individual order / 1 Mercedes Viano 8 seats, 2017/

Day 1

You leave Yerevan and by way of Gyumri you set off to Akhlkalaki which is the centre of Javakhk. You cross the Armenia Georgia border at Bavra.  You arrive in Akhalkalaki where you visit St. Cross church. After a short rest you set off to Karzakh, the birthplace of Armenian ashugh (bard) Jivani. Here you visit the house-museum of Jivani. You cross the Georgia Turkey border at Karzakh.
After crossing the border you visit Lake Cildir, surrounded by a mountainous region. You continue your way to Kars. It is one of the former five capitals in Western Armenia. In 928 Kars was the 10th capital of Armenia. You have dinner at “Ojakh Bashi” where very tasty dishes are served and after a short rest you start the tour around Kars. St. Apostle’s church which was built during the reign of king Abas Bagratuni /928-953/ is a magnificent structure, still standing but it has been turned into a mosque. You admire the beauty of the fortress. Those who want can go up to the fortress from where they can have a beautiful panorama of the city. You go over across St. Vardan Bridge, see well preserved two-storeyed buildings in black tuffa and the ruins of Charents’ paternal house alongside them.
You leave for Ani. You are met by the Smbatashen walls on which just in front of the entrance you can see the coat of arms of the Bagratunis – a running lion. In 961 Ani became the 11th capital of Armenia. It is famous for its churches. The Mother Cathedral was built by architect Trdat (989-1001). It is considered to be the masterpiece of Armenian architecture. The general structure of the church of Holy Redeemer was so solid that when it was ruined in two halves, its dome wasn’t damaged. The church of Tigran Honents is decorated with different reliefs and frescos inside and outside. Walking about Ani you will see numerous churches and ruins of magnificent buildings. You come back to Kars.
Overnight at the Katerina Sarayi 5*

  • St. Apostle’s church
  • Kars Fortress
  • The Mother Cathedral
  • The church of Holy Redeemer
  • The church of Tigran Honents
Day 2

You leave for one of the magnificent places in Western Armenia – the first capital of Armenia, Van. On the way you have a stop at Bayazet where you see Bayazet Fortress. You also see the picturesque Waterfall of Berkri, a real wonder of nature.
In the evening you arrive in Van. First you visit Van Castle (built during the Urartian period) where the mausoleums of Menua, Argishti and Rusa are situated. Then you visit Mher’s Door which never opens.
You check-in at the hotel  Elite World Van hotel 5*.

  • Bayazet Fortresss
  • Waterfall of Berkri
  • Van
  • Van Fortress
  • Mher’s Door
Day 3

40km way to Akhtamar Island lies along the shores of Lake Van. You cannot help admiring the beauty of the lake that looks like a pearl surrounded by mountains. It takes 15 minutes to get to Akhtamar Island by boat. On approaching the island you are met by St. Cross church which was built by architect Manvel from 915 to 921. You have dinner in “Akhtamar” restaurant on the shore of Lake Van. You return to Van.
Overnight at the hotel  Elite World Van 5*.

  • St. Cross church
  • Holy Cross church
  • Lake Van
  • Lake Van
  • Lake Van
Day 4

You set off to Mush. Here you visit St. Marine church, the Armenian cemetery, Sulukh Bridge where Gevorg Chaush was killed in an unequal fight. You leave for Erzurum.
You arrive in Erzrum. Here you visit Erzrum Castle, Sanassaryan College, Armenian Church which was turned into a mosque.
Overnight at the hotel Polat Renaissance Erzurum 5*.

  • Armenian district in Bitlis
  • Armenian Church in Bitlis
  • Sulukh Bridge
  • St. Marine church
  • Armenian Church in Erzurum
Day 5

You start off to Turky-Georgia border. On the way you visit Tortum Waterfall. Tortum Waterfall is both a unique and not to be missed attraction full of natural beauty and wonder. With a total drop of 48 meters, the waterfall creates a giant splash.
You arrive in Yerevan at 10.00-11.00pm.

  • Lake Tortum
  •  Lake Tortum
  • Waterfall Tortum
  • Erzrum Castle
  • Erzrum Castle
Day 6


  • Gyumri
  • Old Gyumri
  • The statue of Frunzik Mkrtchyan
  • The statue of Sharl Aznavur
  • The statue of Vardan Mamikonyan

Additional information


Artyom Qosakyan

You always feel the greatness of the loss when you see it with your own eyes. I felt it, felt it with every cell of my body. And now I wonder about two questions: I wonder who says that paradise doesn't exist and who says that God doesn’t makes miracles. I object it; God made that miracle and I visited the paradise. Perhaps my words won't be enough to describe my feelings that I had in Western Armenia. Having been in our once luxurious cities, I could hardly suppress my tears. Maybe the thing is that boys do not cry or my tears might not be running, being hardened in my soul and turning into wrath and hatred. How not to  get furious when you know that each stone of it is yours, yet it is the kurdish and turkish child that is playing in them. My heart was aching when I remembered my grandmother's words. “I wish I had your eyes, my boy”. Only now I understand the meaning of these words. Every Armenian would like to be in the land of their ancestors, which, one day, and we will have “ Armenia from the sea to the sea” .
My profuse thanks to the organizers  of  “Hay Aspet” and to the travel agency  “Anitour” for awarding me  such wonderful moments.

Artyom Qosakyan Student
Lilit Hovanyan

Kars, Ani, Igdir, Aghtamar, Mush,  Erzrum… they are all ours, close and crony. In Georgia I felt the anxiety which you undoubtedly have in a foreign land. But not here. The Turkish and Kurdish inhabitants just make you feel disgusting like an awkward and disturbing guest. We are strolling through Western Armenia. This is a dream, a wish, a yearning and an aim, inconceivable and untouchable but real.  I don’t want to describe what I felt , saw and thought here. There are things that dive deep into our hearts and consciousness, remain there and crystallize. Each time while leaving a fortress, a church or a monument, I want to cry, want to return to their bosom, but I suppress my feelings. There is no need their age-old wounds to be hurt by my bitter tears.
I only beg God to give me the ability to survive and accurately assess what I have.

Lilit Hovanyan .
Tereza Karapetyan, Guillaume Basselin

Many thanks to Anitour for revealing such marvellous places to us. Visiting Ani is a dream of every Armenian, I am very happy today that I could discover our holy lands thanks to you and now I am returning to Armenia with full of wonderful memories in my heart.
We are also thankful to the company “Anitour” for such exclusively comfortable hotels and for very tasty food. We would like to take part in your further tours with great pleasure once again. Thank you for everything!

Tereza Karapetyan, Guillaume Basselin Responsibles for CIS countries
Ira Voskanyan

I have been in some cities of Western Armenia thanks to the travel agency «Anitour» I had a feeling of happiness that I could at last be in the homeland of my forefathers, when I could step my ancestors' native land. It seemed that they were talking to us, looking after us .....
I experienced pain and regret that all these lands are so close and at the same time so far away from us...
When I saw those silent witnesses of our spiritual mind so close, my heart melted; abandoned temples, distorted engravings, scraped and wounded stones...Yet the Lake Van was a real miracle, a miracle along with Aghtamar, St. Cross Church, and the tasty fish of the Lake Van – Tarekh.
Many thanks to Anitour for pleasant and heartwarming excursions, and warm attitude.

Ira Voskanyan Pedagogue
Nune Khachatryan

My cherished dream since childhood unexpectedly came true. The idea of a pilgrimage to our ancestors’ land was arising contradictory emotions inside me over years. Shall I go or not? The time has come. Together with my husband and daughter I decided to take part in this tour. 
I was looking forward to seeing my forefathers’ homeland. Ardahan was the first to welcome us. I was shocked from the luxurious colors of the nature; endless forests, fields…
Next we visited Kars. My grandfather comes from Kars. My heart began beating fast. The excitement strangled my throat, and tears were running down my cheeks. It was too difficult.
We visited Ani, Van, Igdir, Mush, Erzrum: We climbed the slopes of Ararat, were present at the liturgy taking place in St. Cross Church of Aghtamar. While leaving each place, it seemed to me as if I was tearing a piece of  my heart  and leaving it there. A blunt pain was  strangling my throat. But what can we do? We are just to live and beg God to revolt the historical truth. Our pilgrimage was rather interesting and saturated owing to the organizers of  “Anitour”. I am thankful to Mr. and Mrs. Arushanyans, their son with all my heart. May God bless you, as you are doing a patriotic, tremendous and priceless work.

Nune Khachatryan Pedagogue
Mariam Sargsyan

This was my second pilgrimage to Western Armenia. This time I visited Western Armenia together with my parents. The pilgrimage was exceptional as we were lucky to take part in the liturgy of the St. Cross Chuch of Aghtamar and receive the sacraments. I experienced pain when I saw the treshold of St. Nshan Church of Varagavank  having been collapsed (it collapsed during the earthquake in Van), I experienced pain when I saw the last relics of the Armenian districts in Mush being destroyed. As usual, this time also the Arushanyan family organized the tour on a high level. My father found his grandfather's village Berdagh with the help of Anitour. The excitement was indescribable. Thanks to the Arushanyan family for their precious and patriotic work. Let us remember that we are not only the victims of the genocide but also a nation devoid of homeland. And one day sooner or later the occupated part of our homeland will join the Republic of Armenia. Anyway, it should be noted the words by the eminent Armenian novelist Raffi “One who doesn't know their homeland, cannot love it truly.”

Mariam Sargsyan Art critic, historian
Hovhannes Hakobyan

Thanks to the Arushanyan family to provide us with invaluable service and for giving us the opportunity to be in Erzrum. Our main aim was to be in our ancestors’ homeland. My wife’s forefathers have migrated from Bayazet and my grandfather was born in Erzrum. Also my dream to climb the Mount Ararat partially came true. Hopefully next year I will climb the summit of Ararat. It is hard to describe our feelings, first - happiness that we have such a wonderful country, and then pain - that it belongs to the foreigners, who takes care of it as an owner. And after our return we experienced disappointment and uncertainty. The foreigner is protecting our country, while we are destroying the last pieces of land which we are going to lose. We are blaming everybody for the massacre; the Turkish, the Kurdish, Russians, yet the real ones to blame, are we who have lost our religious values/beliefs, have removed from our roots. And only the return to our roots will save our nation.

Hovhannes Hakobyan Jeweler

Past tours

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Tour to Western Armenia
Tour to Western Armenia
Tour to Western Armenia
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