- 09:30 Departure
- 11:30-12:10 Areni 1 Cave
Archaeologists first discovered the Areni-1 Cave Complex in 2004 and began to excavate it in the late 2000s. Archaeologists unearthed the world's oldest leather shoe (5,500 years old) at the cave and also found the oldest unearthed wine production center. A combination of fermentation vats, a winepress and chemical traces of grape seeds in ceramic storage jars suggest that people were producing wine in the cave at least as early as 6,000 years ago. At the cave, archaeologists also uncovered the earliest known ceramic types of the Kura Araxes archaeological culture. These people inhabited the South Caucasus from about the 4th millennium BCE to the later half of the 3rd millennium BCE. The cave contains layers of human occupation. Partially exposed archaeological trenches reveal artifacts from several groups of occupants that physically overlay artifacts from proceeding years of civilization. This deep layering of finds suggests the importance of this site throughout several millennia.
- 12:15-13:00 Trynity Canyon Vineyards
Begin the tasting with a guided tour through lush vineyards, soaking in the essence of the Armenian terroir. Explore the heart of winemaking as you venture into the winery, witnessing the craft behind every bottle. The tour to Trynity Canyon Vineyards along with wine tasting will include also cheeses and tour within the facilities.
- 13:30-15:15 Lunch and Wine Tasting in Old Bridge Winery
After the large package wine-tasting the tour will transition into an authentic lunch that allow you to savor the delicious and rich Armenian cuisine in the Old Bridge Winery.
- 15:45-16:30 Noravank Monastery
A trip to Vayots Dzor is not complete without a visit to this iconic medieval monastic complex nestled within a gorge, and just a short drive from the Areni-1 Cave Complex. Ochre-colored cliffs surround the churches and monastic halls at Noravank, built from the 9th to the 14th centuries. The site consists of several churches, including St. Astvatsatsin church, St. Karapet church, St. Stepanos church and St. Gregory mausoleum-chapel, as well as other monastic buildings and spaces. Major construction began in the 13th century when Elikum, the son of Grand Prince Liparit from the Orbelian dynasty of Georgia, commissioned St. Stepanos church. The buildings in Noravank complex replaced the earlier version of St. Karapet church (dated most likely to the 9th century) and the St. Pokas chapel. The Orbelians made Noravank the spiritual center of their principality. Noravank competed with the Tatev monastic complex (located in present-day Syunik) as the ecclesiastical heart of the See of Syunik. Many Orbelian nobility are buried at Norovank. Make sure to walk into the St. Gregory mausoleum-chapel to see the tombstones of Orbelian princes and their family members. Marvel at the tombstone of Prince Elikum Orbelian, which features a lion turning towards you. The inscription reads: "Handsome Elikum, son of Great Tartsaiyithc, who like a lion bravely growled at the enemy. I beg you to remember him in prayers".
The day trip will end with the relaxing journey back to Yerevan.