Posted August 13, 2016

While many scholars have argued that the bible refers to the area and not specifically to Mount Ararat, the legend still remains an important part of Armenian lore. The mountain is still considered sacred to Armenians and is depicted on the country’s coat of Arms.

The Ark is mentioned in Genesis as having landed on the ‘mountains of Ararat’ after the flood subsided. Traditionally, theologians argued that Mount Ararat would have been the first peak to emerge from the retreating deluge. The fact that Mount Ararat is the one prominent peak in the surrounding area also suggests that the biblical author of Genesis had Mount Ararat in mind.

Searches for Noah’s Ark have been led up Mount Ararat since Antiquity, but a single photograph taken in 1949 reignited interest in the legend. Known as the ‘Ararat anomaly’, this photograph was taken by the US Air Force and, according to conspiracy theorists, appears to show a large object encased in snow on the Western Plateau of the mountain. Despite many failed expeditions, it seems as though many still believe in the Arks presence on Mount Ararat.

Located just 8km south of the Ararat Province is the monastery of Khor Virap, another important site of Christian history. It was here that the pagan King Tiridates III imprisoned St Gregory the Illuminator, the first pontiff of the Armenian Church. After 14 years of imprisonment, Gregory was released after he healed the pagan king of an incurable disease. Indebted to Gregory, the pagan king converted to Christianity, making Armenia the first nation to adopt Christianity as its official religion in the year 301. It wasn’t until 312 that the Emperor Constantine would also change his empire’s religion to Christianity.

The chapel that now stands on this site was built in 1662 and looks out to Mount Ararat. At its closest point, the chapel is only 100m away from the barbed-wire fence of the Turkish-Armenian border, something that makes the view from the chapel all the more striking to its visitors.

Check out our tours with these unique experiences below

Prefer to do a tailor-made itinerary where you can choose your unique experiences and build your perfect trip? Click here to contact us today.

Armenia Explorer

Culture | Silk Road

Ancient monasteries, traditional cuisine & stunning landscapes

£1,895 pp This is the per person group tour price, based on 2 sharing. The price is subject to change with exchange rate and flight cost fluctuations.
9 days
2024: 12 April, 19 September
Call us on:020 7183 6371

Trip Finder


Or search directly from our list of tours: