Ari Explore Armenia

Hike, Travel, Adventure

Day 5: Trip to Garni Temple, Symphony of Stones

and Geghard Monastery

We will discover two of the most popular destinations of Armenia: the only pagan temple Garni and the 13th Geghard Monastery complex with uniquely beautiful architecture. Garni is the only standing symbol of pre-Christian Armenia. It was once a pagan temple dedicated to the Armenian sun god Mihr built in the middle of the 1st century CE. After admiring the temple, we will ride down to the Azat gorge and see the Symphony of Stones. The Symphony of Stones is basalt rocks in the form of straight pipes about 100m high and is considered to be the result of the collapse of volcanic rocks. It has received the name of Symphony of Stones since the rocks seem to resemble a musical instrument organ.

The Geghard Monastery was partially carved in the rock and is included in the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage List. The main chapel was built in 1215, the monastery complex was founded in the 4th century by Gregory the Illuminator. Geghard is the commonly used name for the monastery. The full name Geghardavank, meaning ՙՙthe Monastery of the Spear՚՚, originates from the spear which had wounded Jesus at the Crucifixion, allegedly brought to Armenia by one of the Apostles and stored amongst many other relics.

We will have a late lunch at an outdoor village restaurant in Garni Village where Lavash (Armenian bread) is baked in a traditional underground oven. We will return to Yerevan late afternoon so that you will have a free evening!


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