Aruch, Marmashen Monastery, and Gyumri from Yerevan
On this 9-hour tour you will visit Aruch, a monastery once known for having the largest dome in Armenia. The monastery has retained it's magnificence despite the dome no longer being present. You will also visit the Monastery Marmashen that is unique due to the beautiful color of the stones and the architectural solutions that can also be found in Western European churches of late period. Finally visit Gyumri, the second largest city in Armenia. It is one of the main cultural centers of the republic and the only Catholic church in Armenia has recently been built in Gyumri.
Make your way to a central location in Yerevan for 10am departure—pickup may also be available from select hotels in the city center.
Leave the city for northwestern Armenia, then make the first stop of the day in the village of Aruch, 25 miles (40 km.) from Yerevan, and the site of a 7th-century church that's among the biggest in Armenia.
Though the once-grand cupola is now destroyed, the cathedral is magnificent, and you'll also find the ruins a castle and a caravanserai from the 13th and 14th centuries.
The next stop is Marmashen Monastery a huge complex on the banks of the Akhuryan River that was started in 986 and completed in 1029. Marmashen's main church is a domed hall, and the facade of the church is elaborated with triangular niches. Following your time at Marmashen Monastery, pause for lunch in Gyumri, where you'll choose from four set meals, then dine to the sound of traditional folk music (meal own expense).
After lunch, spend the afternoon exploring Gyumri, where some houses still remain after the devastating 1988 earthquake. This tour concludes with return transfer to Yerevan, and drop-off at the original departure point.