WALKING TOUR IN ARMENIA
On the imperceptible border between Europe and Asia, the Caucasus countries divide the Caspian Sea from the Black Sea. Among these countries Armenia geographically belongs to Asia, but could be considered European for historical events and for many aspects of its culture. With this itinerary we will try to highlight these affinities by visiting the remote villages and archaeological sites scattered on the Armenian plain between mountains, forests and waterfalls but also the capital Yerevan, the cultural and historical heart of Armenia. A journey to discover the beauty of an ancient land, wonderful Christian traditions and the land praised by the Russian poet Osip Mandelstam, the “country of screaming stones”…
Transfer and accommodation in hotel. Relax.
After breakfast we will head towards Kotayk region in the southwestern of Yerevan. We will visit the fortress of Garni (3rd century BC) with its pagan temple (1st century AD). After the visit of Garni temple we will start a walk in the Garni gorge which is a place particularly known for its basalt columns formations called the “Symphony of the stones”. Lunch by the inhabitants of Garni where participants can attend the preparation of the lavash, traditional Armenian bread that has a special preparation: in the Armenian traditional oven “tonir”. After lunch we will dive into the spiritual world of the Geghard rock monastery (13th century). Dinner and overnight in Yerevan.
A walk in the Garni Gorge
Distance: 2 km
Duration: 1-1.5 hours
Difference in level: ↓90m ↑100m
After breakfast departure for the Amberd fortress in the Aragatsotn region and the visit of the Amberd fortress (7th century AD) which is located on a promontory surrounded on two sides by the rivers Amberd and Arkashen on an altitude of 2300 meters. A walk starts from the Amberd fortress towards the village of Tegher. We will cross the Arkashen river where we can also admire the basalt Sunstone. The road passes by a beautiful alpine meadow covered with flowers. Picnic during the excursion. When we arrive at the village of Tegher we will visit the 13th century monastery of Tegher. Dinner and overnight in Biurakan or Haghbat.
Walk from Amberd to Tegher
Distance: 3.5 km
Duration: 5-6 hours
Difference in level: ↓↑100m, ↓400mOvernight at the hotel.
After breakfast visit to the Haghbat monastery (10th-13th centuries) which is registered on the UNESCO World Heritage list. Walk from the village of Haghbat to the monastery of Sanahin through the fields and meadows of the homonymous village where the monastery of Sanahin is located (10th-13th centuries). Picnic during the excursion. After Sanahin transfer to Dilijan. The road passes through the villages of the Molokans. Dinner and overnight in Dilidjan.
Walk from Haghbat to Sanahin
Distance: 3 km
Duration: 3-4 ore
Difference in level: ↓↑250m
After breakfast transfer to the lake “Parz” which is 9 km north-east from the city of Dilidjan and means a clear and transparent lake. The lake attracts walkers, fishermen and ensures all possibilities for travelers for a pleasant and relaxing visit. Then there will be a walk from the “Parz Litch” to get to the Goshavank (12th–13th century monastery). Picnic during the walk. After visiting Goshavank, we will leave the Dilidjan area and head towards the Ghegarkunik region, towards the village of Tsapatagh, on the shore of Lake Sevan. Dinner and overnight in Tsapatagh.
Walk from Parz Litch to Goshavank
Distance: 6.5 km
Duration: 3 hours
Difference in level: ↑200m, ↓300m
After breakfast there will be a walk from the village of Tsapatagh to the surrounding mountains. From the mountains opens a spectacular panorama of Lake Sevan. Picnic during the walk. We will also visit the waterfalls of the village. Dinner and overnight in Tsapatagh.
Walk in the Mountains near Tsapatagh
Distance: 9 km
Duration: 4-5 hours
Difference in level: ↑↓700 m
After breakfast we will leave Tsapatagh and head towards the Vayots Dzor region. Along the way we can admire the Sevan lake, one of the largest lakes in the world. There will be a stop at the monastery of Sevan (9th century) and a boat excursion on Lake Sevan to discover the islands of seagulls. Lunch in a restaurant on the peninsula of Sevan where you can taste a delicious fish caught from the lake. After the visit of the monastery of Sevan we will visit the Noraduz cemetery and the caravanserai of Selim (on the Selim pass, 2410 m asl). Dinner and overnight in Yeghegnadzor or Hermon.Overnight at the hotel.
After breakfast, transfer to Artabujnk village from where we will start a walk towards the Smbataberd fortress. The fortress is located in the southeast of Artabujnk village, on the top of a mountain. From here a beautiful view opens onto the Yegheghis village. Then we will continue to walk towards the Tsakhats Kar monastery which is located on a plateau 2 km west from Smbataberd fortress. Picnic during the walk. Then we will descent to the Yegheghis valley and visit Zorats Vank. Then departure towards the city of Goris. Before arriving, there will be a stop and a visit to the ruins of the ancient Karahunj Observatory dating back to the III-II millennium BC. Dinner and overnight in Goris.
Walk towards Smbataberd and Tsakhats Kar
Distance: 11 km
Duration: 5-6 hours
Difference in level: ↑↓400 m
We will head towards Halidzor village and have a walk in the Canyon of Vorotan. The Vorotan River flows into this picturesque canyon of a depth of more than 100 m. We will visit the Anapat of Tatev which was a great hermitage. It is a 17th-18th century monastery located in the Vorotan Valley. Picnic during the walk. We arrive at the Devil’s Bridge: it is a gigantic block, buried on a depth of 50 m above a mighty stream, forming a natural bridge. The stalactites under the “devil’s bridge” and a small pool of hot water are very particular. Afterwards we will take the bus and go up to the Tatev monastery. The Tatev monastery (9th-14th centuries) rises on a rocky promontory on the bank of a precipice. We will return to Halidzor village with the Tatev cable car called “Wings of Tatev”. This is the longest aerial cable car in the world (5750 m). Dinner and overnight in Goris.
Walk from Halidzor Village to Vorotan Canyon and Devil’s Bridge
Distance: 8 km
Duration: 4-5 hours
Difference in level: ↓500m
After breakfast a nice walk in the old Khdzoresk to discover the traditional troglodyte houses. After Khdzoresk we will head toward the village of Ishkhanasar and with special jeeps ascent to the picturesque lake surrounded by the rock engravings of Mount Ughtassar, a site with some very important archaeological finds. It can only be accessed by jeep or suitable cars and during hot periods. In all seasons of the year there are pieces of ice floating in the lake and here the snow never melts completely. The paintings are made on the stones surrounding the lake. Picnic on the way. Afterwards, we will descend by jeep and leave for Yeghegnadzor. Dinner and overnight in Yeghegnadzor.
After breakfast we will visit Noravank monastery (13th–14th centuries). After Noravank we will visit the Birds Cave where the oldest shoe and the oldest wine cellar in the world were discovered (6th millennium BC). Afterwards we will continue and visit the Khor Virap monastery on a hill in the Ararat region. The monastery is a pilgrimage site. From here opens a beautiful panorama on Mount Ararat. Lunch in the city of Yerevan. After lunch panoramic visit of the Armenian capital: Republic Square, the Northern avenue, the Freedom Square, the Abovian street, the Victory park and the Opera. Afterwards we will visit the hill of the Swallows where the Memorial of the martyrs of the Armenian genocide of 1915 is located. Farewell dinner in a traditional Armenian restaurant accompanied by Armenian music and folk dances. Overnight in Yerevan.
After breakfast transfer to the airport. Check in and departure.