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ARMENIAN HIKING TRAILS

TRIP INFO:

Type of tour: Guided

Duration: 11 days / 10 nights

Distance: 1380 km / 857.6 mls

Average hiking per day: 7.7 km / 4.8 mls

Activity level: Moderate

Activities: Hiking; Ecotourism; Cultural; Religious; World's Longest Aerial Tramway;

Group size: 2 + pax

Accommodation: Hotels

Best period: June – October

Start/End point: Yerevan, Armenia

Trip Highlights:
  • Yerevan Capital City
  • Megerian Carpet Factory
  • Echmiatsin Cathedral (UNESCO)
  • Zvartnots Cathedral (UNESCO)
  • Khor Virap Monastery
  • Noravank Monastery
  • Gnishik Protected Area
  • Devil's Bridge
  • Tatev Monastic Complex
  • Old Khndzoresk Cave Village
  • Karahunj Observatory
  • Jermuk Spa Town
  • Orbelian Caravanserai
  • Smbataberd Fortress
  • Noratus Cemetery
  • Lake Sevan
  • Dilijan Resort Town
  • Goshavank Monastery
  • Haghpat Monastery (UNESCO)
  • Sanahin Monastery (UNESCO)
  • Odzun Church
  • Garni Temple
  • Symphony of Stones
  • Geghard Monastery (UNESCO)
DAY BY DAY ITINERARY:
DAY 1: Departure/Arrival

Depart from home country and start a journey to the Republic of Armenia. Arrive at the airport. Meet and greet, transfer to the accommodation.

Meals: (--/--/--)

Overnight: Yerevan

Transfer: Airport/Hotel

DAY 2: Yerevan City walk – Echmiadzin – Zvartnots Temple – Yerevan

Start tour in the capital of Armenia and explore the important sightseeing places of 2800 years old Yerevan city including Northern Avenue which links Republic Square with Opera House and nearby Swan Lake. Walk on Aram Street and meet the sculptor and his works just right in his workroom. Be a witness of how these masterpieces are being made. During city tour we will use the public transport and experience Yerevan style metro. Explore the Cascade which is a giant stairway in Yerevan. It links the downtown area of Yerevan with the Monument neighborhood. Depart for the spiritual and administrative headquarters of the worldwide Armenian Church. Visit St. Hripsime church (7th c.) named after a Christian nun who refused to marry the roman emperor and left to Armenia. Visit the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin (302-303 AD) the oldest state-built church in the world and the seat of the Catholicos. Return to Yerevan and stop for Zvartnots temple (means "celestial angels") 7th century wonderful architectural masterpiece. The remnants of Zvartnots, even in ruins, are a majestic sight. These sights are listed among the UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Drive back to Yerevan. The rest of the day is free.

Meals: (B/--/--)

Overnight: Yerevan

Duration: 5-6 hrs

Distance: 60 km / 37 mls

Walking: 4 km / 2 hrs

Elevation: Yerevan 900-1300 m

DAY 3: Yerevan – Khor Virap Monastery – Noravank Monastery – Gnishik Protected Landscape – Goris

Sightseeing tour to historical Khor-Virap monastery (4- 17th cc) with a beautiful view to the biblical Ararat Mountain, were Noah's arch cast anchor. Khor-Virap monastery (means «deep dungeon») is the most visited pilgrimage site in Armenia. Drive and visit Noravank 13th c. (means “New Monastery”) a masterpiece of Armenian architecture which is situated in a narrow gorge and encircled by tall, sheer, brick-red cliffs. Start hiking through the stunning nature of Vayots Dzor province. On the way you might see a bezoar ibex (goats), bears tracks, badgers, sky soaring vultures and eagles. Crossing through Vayots Dzor, many visitors admire the picturesque, semi-scarlet, medium high cliffs and the high mountains and peaks along the road. End up hiking Gnishik Protected Landscape. Transfer to Goris – a beautiful city with a very charming regional style of stone architecture surrounded by high mountains and some great rock formations striving to the sky with ancient cave settlement.

Meals: (B/--/--)

Overnight: Goris

Duration: 10-11 hrs

Distance: 315 km / 196 mls

Hiking route: Noravank Monastery – Gnishik village

Hiking: 9 km / 4 hrs

Elevation: Khor Virap 1390m / Gnishik 0000m / Noravank Monastery 1520m / Goris

DAY 4: Goris – Halidzor – Harants Anapat – Tatev Monastery – Goris

Drive to aerial tramway station in Halidzor. Take the asphalt road to walk down to Halidzor village, and then walk down to the old Halidzor village. Visit the old church and the cemetery. Continue hiking to the natural bridge called Devil’s Bridge over the Vorotan River and cross the river. Start hiking up to the Harants Anapat hermitage. Transfer to the 9th century Tatev monastic complex by the world’s longest reversible ropeway Tatever (5.7 km); it will be a great opportunity to admire a wonderful and unique view of mountains, gorges and a beautiful landscape of Syunik region. The monastery is located on a large basalt plateau near the village of the same name in part of Zangezur. It is known for the unique monument called "Gavazan" (pillar) which aimed to give early warning signals about possible earthquakes and invaders. Drive back towards Goris Return to Goris.

Meals: (B/--/--)

Overnight: Goris

Duration: 7-8 hrs

Distance: 90 km / 56 mls

Hiking route: Halidzor cableway station – Old Halidzor village – Devil’s Bridge – ruins of Hanants Anapat Hermitage

Hiking: 16 km / 4-5 hrs

Elevation: Cableway station 1550m / Devil’s Bridge 1400 m / Tatev Monastery 1490m / Old Khndzoresk 1530m

DAY 5: Goris – Old Khndzoresk – Karahunj – Jermuk Waterfall

Drive towards a fantastic cave village with a picturesque view to the ruins of an old village, churches, tombs, nature, springs and a new swinging bridge that spans the gorge. Khndzoresk is an ideal place for hiking. In the end of the 19th century Old Khndzoresk was the biggest village of Eastern Armenia. Explore every corner of these both natural and manmade dwelling places. Transfer to the first observatory in the world – Karahunj (kar-means stone, hunj-means voice, sound). It has a history of 7.500 years and scientists believe that there is a tight connection between the observatory in Armenia and Stonehenge in Britain, since the latter is much younger (about 4000 years). Drive to Jermuk a spa town in the southern Armenian. Start a city tour in Jermuk a major first-rate health resort zone and recreational area in Armenia famous for its hot springs and mineral water brands bottled in the town. It is attractive for its fresh air, waterfalls, artificial lakes, walking trails, the surrounding forests and mineral water pools. Visit Jermuk waterfall that falls from a height of 72 meters into the gorge of Arpa River is a true miracle of Armenian Highlands. It reminds of a girl’s hair flowing freely and therefore locals call it “Mermaid’s hair.” Walk and explore Jermuk.

Meals: (B/--/--)

Overnight: Jermuk

Duration: 7-8 hrs

Driving distance: 150 km / 93 mls

Hiking Route: Old Khndzoresk

Hiking: 3 km / 2-3 hrs

Elevation: Old Khndzoresk 1530m / Karahunj 1764m / Jermuk 2035 m

DAY 6: Jermuk – Vardenyats Pass – Tsakhats Kar – Smbataberd – Noratus – Lake Sevan – Dilijan

Drive through Shatin village to Artabuynk village. Start hiking staying on the left side of the river. Trail leads us to Tsakhats Kar monastery (10th c.) decorated with splendid khachkars, on the flank of the mountain. A path leads up to Smbataberd fortress founded during the 5th c., but was better established and heavily fortified during the 9th to 10th centuries. The fortress received water from an underground clay pipe leading from the monastery of Tsakhats Kar. Drive through Vardenyats (Selim) Pass (2410m) and visit the Caravanserai built in 1332, by Prince Chesar Orbelian. It used to be an important trade point on the famous Silk Road in order to accommodate weary travelers and their animals as they crossed from, or into, Vayots Dzor Mountains. Drive across Lake Sevan and visit Noratus Cemetery a medieval cemetery with a large number of early khachkars (cross-stones) dating back to 10th century. Visit Sevanavank 9th c. (Sevan monastery) located in the peninsula which used to be an island before. Climbing up the 220 stairs towards the monastery and following a grassy path you will find peaceful and wonderful scenery to the lake. Drive to the fabulous forested resort town of Dilijan.

Meals: (B/--/--)

Overnight: Dilijan

Duration: 9-10 hrs

Distance: 265 km / 165 mls

Hiking route: Artabuynk village – Tsakhats Kar Monastery – Smbataberd Fortress – Artabuynk village

Hiking: 12 km / 3.5 hrs

Elevation: Vardenyats Pass 2410 m / Artabuynk 1502m / TsakhatsKar 2087m / Smbataberd 1930m / Lake Sevan 1900m

DAY 7: Dilijan – Goshavank – Gosh Lake – Haghartsin – Haghpat village

Drive and visit a monastic complex of Goshavank (12-13th cc.) which has remained in relatively good condition also houses one of the world's finest examples of a khachkar. After a short walk down from Goshavank Monastery, this hike takes you up a winding dirt road towards Gosh Lich (Lake). This small lake is brimming with life - a frog sanctuary of sorts. Visit Haghartsin monastery (10-14th cc.) nestled in a temperate rainforest on a mountainside. Drive north to Haghpat village.

Meals: (B/--/--)

Overnight: Haghpat village

Duration: 7-8 hrs

Distance: 155 km / 96 mls

Hiking Route: Goshavank – Gosh Lake – Goshavank

Total hiking: 5 km / 2 hrs

Elevation: Dilijan 1380m / Goshavank Monastery 1230m / Gosh Lake 1425m

DAY 8: Haghpat Monastery – Kayan Berd – Sanahin Monastery – Haghpat village

Drive to medieval Armenian monastery complexes of Haghpat (976 AD) and Sanahin (966 AD) which are inscribed in UNESCO world heritage list. Start hiking from Haghpat to Sanahin through beautiful meadows and small villages. On the way explore formidable Kayan Berd (fortress) a brooding black fortress built in 1233 and enjoy the best viewpoints over dramatic Debed gorge. The fort is protected by the little St. Godmother’s church of Dsevank. Drive back to Haghpat village.

Meals: (B/--/--)

Overnight: Haghpat village

Duration: 7-8 hrs

Distance: 45 km / 28 mls

Hiking route: Haghpat Monastery – Kayan Berd – Sanahin Monastery

Hiking: 11 km / 4 hrs

Elevation: Haghpat Monastery 1015m / Kayan Berd 820m / Sanahin Monastery 1040m

DAY 9: Haghpat village – Odzun Church – Ardvi village – Yerevan

Drive to Odzun village and visit the famous Church which is a rare example of a domed basilica built at the end of the 6th century. Start hiking through the beautiful valley of Debed river and follow a trail across the upper part of the canyon wall. Continue hiking to Ardvi village about 100m west on the main paved village road, continued further up, to the nearby Monastery of Srbanes (8th-17th cc.). Here was shot the famous film by Sergey Paradjanov “The color of pomegranate”. There were also shot some parts of other famous Armenian films. Nearby there is a famous natural monument called Odzi Port (Snake Navel). It is considered as a source of magic healing water. The story of the snake is related to an ancient legend. Almost everyone who lives in Ardvi could tell you this story. After this breathtaking hike, drive to the capital city.

Meals: (B/--/--)

Overnight: Yerevan

Duration: 9-10 hrs

Distance: 210 km / 130.5 mls

Hiking Route: Odzun church – Ardvi village

Total hiking: 6 km / 4 hrs

Elevation: Odzun church 1100m / Ardvi village 1300m /

DAY 10: Yerevan – Garni Temple – Symphony of stones – Geghard – Yerevan

Drive to Kotayk province and visit Garni fortress (3rd-2nd cc. BC) the summer residence of the kings and Garni temple (1st c.) which is the only survived pagan temple of heathen culture in Armenia. Nowadays the ruins of the royal palace and the bathroom with a stunning mosaic work can be found near the temple. Start hiking through the Azat gorge (inscribed in UNESCO World Heritage list) with the beautiful scenery to the Symphony of Stones. Northeast of Garni, higher up the gorge of Azat River, there is an outstanding monument of medieval Armenian architecture - Geghard monastery (4-12th cc.). Visit the monastery listed as UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Meals: (B/--/--)

Overnight: Yerevan

Duration: 6-7 hrs

Distance: 90 km / 56 mls

Hiking route: Garni Temple – Azat gorge – Symphony of Stones

Hiking: 4 km / 1,5-2 hrs

Elevation: Garni Temple 1390m / Gorge bottom 1250m / Geghard 1911m

DAY 11: Departure

Transfer to the airport. Have a safe flight home.

Meals: (--/--/--)

Transfer: Hotel-Airport

TRIP PHOTOS:
  • Charles Aznavour Square, Yerevan

  • Echmiadzin Cathedral

  • Zvartnots Cathedral

  • Gnishik Protected Landscape

  • Tatev Monastic Complex

  • Hiking in Old Khndzoresk

  • Old Khndzoresk Cave Village

  • Orbelian's Caravanserai

  • Noratus cemetery

  • Haghpat Village

  • Sanahin Monastic Complex

  • Srbanes Monastery, Ardvi

  • Garni Temple

  • Garni gorge

If you are interested in this trip send us a request. You will receive an offer with the exact price per person within 48 hours.

ADVENTURE is all you need!