Immerse yourself in Armenian culture and history dating back centuries by visiting some of the most amazing monasteries perched into various canyons and mountain tops of this country. With significant architectural and historical importance, as well as religious spirituality, Armenian monasteries are some of the most well-known masterpieces of cultural heritage to be seen in the world.
Destinations Unlocked:Let our travel expert Stefano help you find your perfect Culture trip
Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
Half cathedral and half cave, this is one of the oldest Armenian monasteries dating back to 800 years ago. Dimly lit with narrow windows and passages, Geghard stands in a steep scenic canyon near the city of Garni, where the holy Temple of Garni is also located. Legend has it that it was found during the 4th century with the ancient cave churches dating back to the 7th century. Some very eye-catching arched chapels and monastic cells as well as the typical Armenian khatchkars (stones with elaborate engravings representing a cross) are to be found in here. The monastery is a historically unique place with amazing acoustics, especially inside the cave churches.
Located in a province named Syunik in southeastern Armenia, Tatev is one of the most magnificent architectural and spiritual attractions of Armenia. Built on a fairy-tale natural fortress of rock perched on the edge of a deep gorge, the Vorotan Canyon, Tatev dates back to 9th century. The views from the Wings of Tatev cable cars, which offer an amazing crossing over the breathtaking valley, reach until the peaks of Nagorno-Karabakh, lost in the mists of another era.
On the lip of Debed Canyon, this is a spiritual pearl of distinguishing Armenian medieval architecture founded by Queen Khosrovanush in the year 976, and is today part of UNESCO World Heritage. The principal motif consists of the chief monastery temples forming integral, interconnected entities in a harmonious architectural balance embracing the monastery’s spiritual character. Various ornamented khachkars of unique identity are found here adding to the charming composition of the complex.
30 km away from Yerevan, Khor Virap is an iconic Armenian monastery and pilgrimage site at the foot of Mt Ararat located on a hillock close to Araks River. The story goes that King Trdan III imprisoned Grigor Luisavorich (St. Gregory the Illuminator) for 13 years in a well until the Saint miraculously cured the King from madness. This fact led to the conversion of the king to Christianity and therefore of the whole Armenian nation, which was the first officially Christian nation in the world in the year 301. A strongly spiritual pilgrimage with some of the most scenic views of Mt Ararat, Khor Virap is a must visit.
A 13th century monastery not far from Yerevan, located in a gorge near the Armenian city of Yeghegnadzor, Noravank was founded in 1205 by Bishop Hovhannes and was restored in the 1990s. There is a beautiful viewpoint to the holy ruins and the surrounding view, seen by climbing up the external stone staircase between the compound walls to reach the second floor of the complex. Consisting of different towerlike churches, Noravank is the masterpiece of the architect Monik. The real meaning of its name is ‘’New Monastery’’.
A fascinating monastery and church complex dating back as early as 928 with later buildings being gradually constructed between 1062 and 1211, Sanahin literally translates from the Armenian language to ‘this one is older than that one’, probably meaning to compare Sanahin with its as old neighboring Haghpat monastery. Numerous ancient graves and medieval style chapels as well as khachkars can be seen while wandering around this extremely fascinating historical complex.
Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip
meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.