The Hidden Heritage Tour


Our journey today starts with a visit to Akhtala Monastery and ends with Haghpat and Sanahin monasteries. Just like Haghpat and Sanahin monasteries, Akhtala monastery is located in province of Lori in Armenia (close to Georgian border). However, unlike Haghpat and Sanahin which are plain Armenian Apostolic church elements, Akhtala shares some history with Georgian Orthodox church.Akhtala carried great significance in Armenian history; it protected the northwestern regions as well as the road that took from Armenia to Georgia. Akhtala Fortress was built in the late 10th century by the Kyurikids. The main building of the monastic compound is Surp Astvatsatsin (Holy Mother of God) church. The exact date of the building of the church is unknown and is generally regarded as an 11th-13th century complex, but the current church has been built on an earlier foundation. The murals of Surp Astvatsatsin are one of the best representations of Byzantine art outside the traditional borders of Byzantium. Inscriptions from nearby khachkars point out that the monastery was headed by Petreh in the 1240s. The most prominent figure who resided at the monastery was the translator and scribe Simon of Pghndzahank. He was born in 1188 and was a clergyman for several years at the monastery translating Byzantine theological literature.

Our journey then continues to Monasteries of  Haghpath and Sanahin, of which Haghpath Monastery is  UNESCO World Heritage site. These two Byzantine monasteries in the Tumanian region from the period of prosperity during the Kiurikian dynasty (10th to 13th century) were important centres of learning. Sanahin was renown for its school of illuminators and calligraphers. The two monastic complexes represent the highest flowering of Armenian religious architecture, whose unique style developed from a blending of elements of Byzantine ecclesiastical architecture and the traditional vernacular architecture of the Caucasian region.

Armenia Heritage

  • First we will head from Yerevan to Akhtala monastery which is a 10th-century fortified Armenian Apostolic Church monastery located in the town of Akhtala. The fortress played a major role in protecting the north-western regions of Armenia and is among the most well preserved of all in modern Armenia.
  • Then we will visit Haghpat and Sanahin monasteries which are on the UNESCO World Heritage list. These monasteries are in a perfect harmony with the amazing nature.

Hotel in Yerevan

9:00 am

Tour and transfers in a private car
English speaking guide
Map of Armenia
All entrance fees
All Taxes

Guide and driver gratuity
Meals and drinks


  • Duration is 8 hours – 10 hours
  • Please wear comfortable walking shoes
  • Please carry sunscreen, sunglasses if you take this tour in summer
  • Please wear  warm clothes if you take this tour in spring or autumn
  • Don’t forget to carry a camera
  • Please do carry a digital copy of your confirmation voucher

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