was very personable. His standard of English was excellent. He was well-informed, being an archeologist and historian by training, and obviously knew the country well and was evidently an experienced guide. He was able to answer all our questions about history, culture and everyday life in Armenia.
Driver: Ara was our driver too. It sometimes made it a bit difficult to ask him about things while he was concentrating on negotiating windy mountain roads or driving in think fog! We realise this keeps the cost down but it does mean he was having to work doubly hard which must have been tiring.
Car: The car wasn’t really quite big or comfortable enough for such a road trip. We, fortunately, only had a small amount of luggage, but had anyone had more, it would have been impossible to store it all out of sight. Also being a right-hand drive it meant Ara constantly had difficulties seeing what was coming when overtaking.
Hotels: Cascade, Yerevan:
Lovely, friendly staff, especially the receptionists. Excellent location, comfortable rooms. Good laundry service. Breakfast good but terrible coffee!
Khachik B&B, Goris: Friendly reception from the owner. Rooms basic but very clean and comfortable. Good breakfast (but again lacking decent coffee). We didn’t see much of the surroundings.
Heghnar Hotel, Stepanakert:
Rather ordinary, trying to be grander than it really was. But clean and comfortable enough. Breakfast average (can’t really remember it). Restaurant wasn’t open in evening. Without a car it would have been difficult.
Noyland, Sevan Lake: Clean and comfortable enough but lacking in character and felt a bit desolate out of season (it was only mid September). Breakfast average.
What did you like best in your trip? Beautiful scenery, visits to markets, trying local food. Wine tasting in Ijevan.
What didn’t you like in the trip? Too much time on the road. Not enough time in places such as Dilijan. Too many monasteries: before the last day we had already seen the most spectacular ones and would have preferred to have seen more of Dilijan (where we wanted to stay). we only had time for a quick lunch an a walk down one road.
In view of the fact that we were being driven to Tbilisi the next day, it would have been better for our tour to end in Dilijan, stay there the night, then we could have taken a car from there to Tbilisi. We ended up driving all the way back to Yerevan for one night at the end of tour, only to retrace our steps as far as Ijevan the next morning.
What would you add to your trip? Would have liked to have some more local crafts and artisans.
Would you recommend our company to your friends? Definitely. The pre-trip service by Lusine was excellent.