Hiking in Armenia

8 days, 7 nights
Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival (-/-/-)

Arrival at Zvartnots International Airport. Transfer to the hotel, check-in and overnight.

Day 2: Yerevan City Tour – Garni Temple – Symphony of Stones – Geghard Monastery – Dilijan (B/L/D)

The day will start with a city tour in the capital of Armenia, Yerevan, one of the world’s ancient cities dating back to 782 BC. Yerevan is often called “The Pink City” since most of the buildings are designed with a pink volcanic stone called tuff. We will walk around the center of the city and visit the Republic Square, Opera House, Swan Lake, walk down the Northern Avenue-the coolest street of the city, climb the stairs of Cascade – a giant stairway with works of art exhibited at all levels of the complex and admire the enchanting panorama of Yerevan and the biblical Mount Ararat from the top of the monument. Thereafter, we will drive to the pagan temple of Garni, one of the most famous and important tourist attractions of the country. The temple was constructed in the 1st century AD, by the Armenian king Trdat I. It was dedicated to God Mihr, the Armenian pagan god of the Sun. After an excursion here we will hike to the breathtaking Garni Canyon, a composition of gorgeous vertical cliffs and natural rocks of amazing beauty. Consisting of huge paradoxically symmetric hexagon and pentagon basalt columns (nearly 50 meters high) it is really hard to believe that these neatly and symmetrically carved stones could have been created by nature and not by human hands. Afterwards, we will enjoy a local lunch accompanied with lavash-baking masterclass, a pure Armenian traditional bread inscribed on UNESCO’s List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. Our next destination will be Geghard Monastery, one of the most stunning monasteries of medieval Armenian architecture. This unique monastic complex, part of which is carved in the rock is included in the UNESCO’s World Heritage list. The monastery has unbelievable acoustics- in some places, the sound can be heard even up to 40 seconds, the mystery of which has not yet been revealed. Continue to Dilijan, often referred to as “Armenian Switzerland” due to its rich nature with lush green forested areas. Welcome dinner and overnight. Walking: 1.5 hrs; 3.5 kms + a walking city tour Highest: 1400 m Lowest: 1180 m

Day 3: Dilijan – Goshavank Monastery – Gosh Lake – Sevan Lake – Yeghegis (B/L/-)

This day will start with the discovery of the green town Dilijan. After a short tour in the historical part of the town we will head to Goshavank Monastery. The medieval monastic complex of Goshavank, built in the 12th century, is named in honor of the great Armenian scientist, historian and politician Mkhitar Gosh. The monastery used to be not only a religious, but also an important educational and cultural center. The view of the monastery is majestic because of its location in one of the most picturesque places of Armenia. From here, we will start a two-hour hike to the lake Gosh and admire the stunning nature of Tavush region. Before leaving Dilijan, we will have lunch at a local house and participate in the preparation of “gata”, a typical Armenian multi-layered dessert with very soft and delicate flavor. Then we will drive to Sevan and climb the stairs to Sevanavank Monastery, one of the most outstanding historical and cultural sites of Armenia, located on the peninsula of the lake Sevan. The blue-eyed beauty of Armenia lake Sevan, also called the “Blue Pearl of Armenia”, is one of the largest freshwater high-altitude lakes in the world, situated at an altitude of 1,900 meters above sea level. Sometimes it seems that the water surface is about to touch the sky. The beauty of Sevan landscapes is especially marvelous from the peninsula, thus Sevanavank monastery has become one of the most famous tourist destinations of the country. Continue to the village of Yeghegis. Overnight.  Walking: 1.5 hrs; 4.2 kms Highest: 1430 m Lowest: 1225 m

Day 4: Yeghegis – Smbataberd Fortress – Tsakhats Kar Monastery – Goris (B/L/-)

Today we will start our hike from the village of Yeghegis and hike up to Smbataberd Fortress. Smbataberd is an impregnable fortress, located to the southeast of the village of Artabuink. It was built in the 5th century on a narrow mountain top protected by canyons on three sides. During our hike we will be amazed by the stunning view of Vayots Dzor region. Reaching the fortress, the magnificent view of Teksar Mountains will take our breath away. Thereafter, we will continue our hike to the medieval Tsakhats Kar Monastery. Although it has been practically destroyed, even its ruins are very unique and picturesque. There are two groups of structures here. The western, which includes the churches of St. Godmother and St. Hovannes is much older than the eastern with churches of St. Karapet and Holy Sign. Numerous khachkars may be seen around the monastery as well. Today’s hike will end in Yeghegis. Head to Goris, one of the oldest towns of the country. Overnight. Walking: 6-7 hrs.; 6.7 kms. Highest: 2080 m Lowest: 1565 m

Day 5: Goris – Tatev Monastery – Devils’ Bridge – Zorats Karer Observatory – Jermuk (B/L/-)

After breakfast at the hotel, we will head to Tatev Monastery, one of the most amazing sights of Armenia. It is built right on the edge of a cliff surrounded by stunning nature. The best way to get to this jewel of medieval Armenian architecture is to take the cableway called “The Wings of Tatev”. This cableway stretching over the picturesque gorge of the river Vorotan is recorded in the Guinness Book of Records as the longest reversible aerial tramway in the world (5752 m). During this 12-minute impressive flight we will admire the breathtaking views of Armenian nature. After an excursion at the monastery, we will start our hike and walk down the lush valley to Devils’ Bridge well-known for its natural hot springs. Then we will continue to the Armenian Stonehenge called Zorats Karer or Karahunj. According to archaeologists this is one of the world’s most ancient observatories – used for astronomical purposes in prehistoric times. Drive to the health resort Jermuk, famous for its hot mineral springs with healing properties. Free time to explore the resort town. Overnight. Walking: 3.5hrs; 6.7 kms. Highest: 1546 m Lowest: 969 m

Day 6: Jermuk – Arpa Protected Landscape – Noravank Monastery – Khor Virap Monastery – Yerevan (B/L/-)

After breakfast at the hotel, we will drive to the village of Amaghu to start our hike in Arpa Protected Landsape. The canyon area is famous for its rich flora and fauna and for the numerous caves, where ancient shoes and traditional wine making facilities from the Chalcolithic period have been found. This area has been recognized as an Important Bird Area (IBA) for hosting some globally endangered bird species. Moreover, it hosts one of the country’s most treasured animals, the Caucasian Leopard. During our hike we will be enchanted by the spectacular rock formations made by volcanic activity which change their colors according to the time of the day. Finally, we will reach Noravank Monastery, a true treasure of Armenian religious art. This monastic complex belonging to the 13th century is considered an architectural masterpiece created by the eminent sculptor and architect Momik. What makes it especially unique is that Noravank is one of the few monasteries in the world consisting of two floors. After lunch, we will head to Khor Virap Monastery, the closest point to Mount Ararat. The name Khor Virap means “deep pit” which symbolizes its history. The monastery was built over an underground dungeon, where Saint Gregory the Illuminator was imprisoned for about 14 years by the Armenian king Trdat for spreading Christianity in Armenia. From the beautiful monastery opens one of the most impressive views to the biblical Mount Ararat. Continue to Yerevan. Overnight. Walking: 2 hrs; 3.5 kms. Highest: 1558 m Lowest: 1390 m

Day 7: Day at Leisure (B/-/-)

Free day for leisure and individual activities. Take the opportunity to visit Ararat Brandy Factory to taste some excellent Armenian brandy; to visit Matenadaran, one of the world’s largest repositories of ancient manuscripts, to discover a selection of museums and churches or just wander around Yerevan before your departure.

Day 8: Departure (B/-/-)

Check-out formalities. Transfer to the airport. Departure.

what's included

  • Accommodation according to the program
  • Meals according to the program
  • Transfers and transportation according to the program
  • Professional English-Speaking guide during the program
  • Local hiking guides according to the program
  • Entrance tickets
  • Ropeway in Tatev
  • Master Class of baking “Lavash” and “Gata”

what's extra

  • Flight tickets
  • Tips and portage
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Meals not mentioned in the inclusions
  • Insurance and visa fee
  • Services not mentioned in the program

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