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Trekking trip in Armenia.

Why go hiking in Armenia (combining it with cultural visits)?

Map of Armenia in the CaucasusWe have designed this Hiking trip in Armenia that gives your hiking trip an extra adventure as it is a country little promoted as a tourist destination but that has magnificent places in remote areas that do not appear in tourist guides.. Armenia has very varied landscapes, both steppes similar to those of Central Asia, like wooded areas, high mountains, etc., and in general it is a country of height since the 90% of its territory is above the 1.000 altitude meters, also the country is sparsely urbanized.

 

You can also discover a rich culture with multiple influences from the different civilizations that have passed through this country during its hectic history.: persians, greek, romans, arab, byzantines, Turks… As data to review, say that Armenia is the first country in the world to officially adopt Christianity (in the 4th century AD).

Armenia also stands out for the hospitality of its people and for its exotic gastronomy that is also based on multiple culinary influences due to its strategic location in the Caucasus, between East and West, being part of the famous Silk Road…

 

Itinerary.

Day 1: Arrival in Yerevan.
Flight from Spain to Armenia (You can check available flights at this link: Flights Spain to Armenia). Pick up of travelers at Zvartrnots Airport in Yerevan. Transfer to the hotel. Overnight at the Imperial Hotel 4**** o similar.

 

Day 2: Yerevan – Garni – Symphony of stones – Gueghard – Havuts Star – Yerevan.

Departure to Garni Temple, which is the only classical temple found in the Caucasus countries, date of initials I A.D.. and it is the only example of pagan culture that survived in Armenia. After adopting Christianity in the year 301 (first country in the world to officially adopt Christianity as a religion) this pagan temple lost its importance and the Garni fortress became the summer residence of the Armenian kings. Despite its age, it is perfectly preserved and today the ruins of the royal palace and the baths are an impressive work to see along with the mosaic found near the temple..

Under the Garni Temple we will also visit the impressive natural phenomenon of volcanic origin called the “Symphony of stones” which is a canyon whose walls are formed by incredible basalt columns that were formed when the lava cracked formed columns of hexagonal section, although it seems surprising they are not made by man but are of natural origin… It is the same phenomenon that has given rise to the famous “Giant's Causeway” In Ireland, “The organs” from the Island of La Gomera and other places…

 

Fenómeno natural de la "Sinfonía de piedras"

Natural phenomenon of “Symphony of stones”

 

Then we visit a private house of an Armenian family in Garni to see the making of "lavash" (the typical Armenian flatbread) what they do in an underground oven called tandur, also known by its English name tandoor or tandori . The lavash of Armenia is 1 of the 9 Food declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO for its importance in the culture and traditions of the planet…

 

Producción artesanal del "Lavash" de Armenia.

Artisan production of “Lavash” from Armenia.

 

Departure to the Gueghard monastery inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Gueghard Monastery is a masterpiece of 13th century Armenian architecture. In this complex some of the churches are masterfully carved out of a huge rock. Geghardavank is used as an ideal place to sing spiritual songs thanks to the acoustics provided by its design. The complex is rich in sculptural ornaments and remarkable jachkars (carved memorial stone that is original to Armenian art and often includes an engraved cross) .

 

Monasterio de Gueghard

Gueghard Monastery, interior carved out of natural rock.

 

Hiking in Armenia

Carved stone jachkar, typical of Armenia.

 

 

Hiking from Garni Monastery to Havuts Tar which is a walled monastery from the 11th to 13th centuries. Along the way you can find various jachkares. A short distance from the monastery there is a field in which there is a large jachkar and a small monument / shrine. Following the path of khachkares you will reach the walls and ruins of the monastic complex of Havuts Tar. Return to Yerevan and spend the night in the same Imperial Hotel 4**** o similar.

 

 

 

 

Day 3: Yerevan- Aragats – Hiking from Lake Qari to the southern part: 8 km, 7 a 8 hours – Yerevan.
Breakfast. We head to the Aragats Mountains. Located just a few 50 kilometers from the capital, the Aragats Mountains rise almost supernaturally above the plains that surround them, with its snowy peaks, appearing as if by magic in the landscape. The highest peak of Mount Aragats reaches 4.095 meters above sea level. It is, definitely, one of the most incredible places in Armenia that is worth seeing. We started hiking towards the South Peak of 3.880 meters above sea level and then we descend to the lake. Return to Yerevan and spend the night in the same Imperial Hotel 4**** o similar.

 

Senderismo en los Montes Aragats

Hiking in the Aragats Mountains

 

Day 4: Yerevan – Sevan – Dilijan – Hiking from Parz Lake to Goshavank: 8 km, 4 a 5 hours – Dilijan.
Breakfast. We headed to Lake Sevan, which is one of the largest alpine lakes in the world, has something more than 1.000 square kilometers of surface, is to 2.000 meters of altitude and is the second great lake in high areas, after the famous Titicaca in the Andes. Lake Sevan stands out for its intense blue waters. Lake Seván and its surroundings are National Park. Here we can enjoy the impressive landscapes of the beautiful Nature. Then we visit the Sevanavank Monastery which is located on the Sevan peninsula and dates back to the 10th century AD..

 

Lago de Sevan visto desde el Monasterio de Sevanavank

Lake Sevan seen from Sevanavank Monastery

 

Hiking from Parz Lake to Goshavank. Lake Parz is a beautiful mid-mountain lake surrounded by lush forests, dense, typical of the province of Tavush where we are. We will do a beautiful hike that goes from Lake Parz to the Goshavank monastery, next to the town of Gosh, and we will cross the magnificent forest of the Dilijan National Park and its beautiful alpine meadows. Accommodation at Best Western Plus hotel 4**** or similar in Dilijan.

 

Lago Parz

Hiking on Lake Parz

 

Day 5: Dilijan – Hiking from Selim to Shatin Shatinavank: 8 km, 4 a 5 hours – Goris.
Breakfast. We headed to the old Orbelian Caravanserai or “Selim caravansarai” what date 1332. A caravanserai is what in Spain we know as posadas del camino. Selim was an important trade center of the famous Silk Road, for this reason there were several caravanserais along the route. We continue with our Hiking route in Armenia from Selim to Shatin Shatinavank monastery. Transfer to Goris. Accommodation at the hotel “Mirhav Store” o similar.

 

Caravasar de Orbelian o “Selim Caravansarai”

Caravasar de Orbelian o “Selim Caravansarai”

 

Day 6: Goris – Khndzoresk – Tatev – Descent to the Devil's Bridge – Goris.
Breakfast. Visit to the village of Kndzoresk. Khndzoresk is famous for being carved out of the mountain, forming a system of caves partly natural and partly carved into the volcanic rock, that was inhabited until 1958 and that for centuries (its age is not known for sure) housed a large population, with two churches and three schools.

 

Puente de acceso a Khndzoresk

Steel bridge, only access to Khndzoresk

 

Traveling we go to the Tatev monastery built in centuries 9-13 and that in ancient times was a study center for monks. To reach this mystical place you have to take a double cable gondola, capacity of 25 people in the cabin, which is the longest in the world. The views from the Monastery are spectacular. The Tatec Monastery is the most visited and most revered by Armenians and also by tourists.

 

Monasterio de Tatev

Fortified monastery of Tatev

 

Hiking in Armenia

 

 

 

Then we descend to the Devil's Bridge which is famous for its natural and mineral waters. Return to Goris. Accommodation in the same hotel “Mirhav Store” o similar.

 

 

 

Landscapes of the Syunik region, south of Armenia

Landscapes of the Syunik region, south of Armenia

 

Day 7: Goris – Karahunj – Noravank – Khor – Virap – Yerevan. Cultural day
Breakfast. Let's visit the one that is 3.500 years older than the Stonehenge chromlech and 3.000 years older than the Pyramids of Giza in Egypt, In other words, the Karahunj chromlech is of a similar age to the archaeological site of Perpericón (Bulgaria) that we mentioned in one of our articles a short time ago that it is the oldest building in Europe that remains standing…. According to archaeologists Qarahunj was a temple used as an observatory.

Hiking in Armenia

Noravank Monastery

 

We continue to the Noravank monastery, important religious and cultural center of the 12th century. It is situated in a narrow gorge that is known for its high and steep red-brown cliffs for its clay composition. The beauty of this monastery is appreciated by thousands of visitors not only for its architecture and history., but also for its harmony with Nature.

 

Hiking in Armenia

Noravank Monastery and in the background the reddish mountains typical of the region.

 

 

Transfer to the Monastery of Khor-Virap whose importance is related to Gregory the Illuminator, who introduced Christianity to Armenia. It is an architectural masterpiece located on top of a hill. It is currently a place of pilgrimage, visited by a large number of tourists and local visitors each year. It looks like a castle where everyone has a place to sit and meditate while admiring the beauty of the church. The highlight is the magnificent panoramic view from there you can enjoy the Biblical Mount Ararat. You can also enter the well where formerly the condemned were allowed to die since for a time, in the past, Khor Virap Monastery was a jail…
Return to yerevan. Accommodation at the Imperial Hotel 4**** or similar from Yerevan.

 

Hiking in Armenia

Khor-Virap Monastery with views towards Mount Ararat

 

Day 8: Yerevan (city ​​walk) – Echmiatsin – Zvartnots – Yerevan. Cultural day
Breakfast at the hotel. We started the excursion visiting the Museum of Manuscripts of Armenia, called “Matenadaran” which in ancient Armenian means “library”. He “Matenadaran” It is one of the richest repositories of manuscripts and documents in the World. Continuing we make a panoramic tour of the city, visiting the Republic Square, Mashtotc Avenue, the Opera and Ballet Theater, the park “Cascada”. Then transfer to Echmiadzin. Echmiadzin is the holy city of Armenia, seat of the head of the Armenian Apostolic Church and spiritual center of all Armenians, It is one of the most important centers of Christianity in the entire World. We will return to Yerevan with a stop at the ruins of the Zvartnots temple which is the pearl of 7th century Armenian architecture., and which is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Return to yerevan. Accommodation in the same Imperial Hotel 4**** o similiar.

 

Templo Zvartnots

Templo Zvartnots, UNESCO World Heritage.

 

Day 9: Departure.
Breakfast. At the indicated time, transfer to Yerevan International Airport. End of our services.

 

Hiking in Armenia

Yerevan

 

 

PRICES.

Prices taxes included when booking with a minimum of 90 days in advance (includes local Spanish-speaking guide, transfers and hotel with breakfast):
Minimum group 4 persons: 976,00 € / person
Minimum group 6 persons: 912,00 € / person
Minimum group 8 persons: 864,00 € / person
Minimum group 10 persons: 812,00 € / person

Single use room supplement: 260,00 € / person.
Half board supplement: 125,00 € / person.
Full board supplement: 230,00 € / person.

The price includes:
• Transfers between Airport / Hotel / Airport.
• Accommodation in a double room with private bathroom in hotels mentioned in the program: 5 nights in Yerevan, 1 night in Dilijan and 2 nights in Goris.
• Informative map of Armenia.
• Spanish-speaking local guide.
• All transfers and transfers by road by car or minibus depending on the size of the group.
• Local guide for the hiking days.
• All excursions and tickets to monuments indicated in the program.
• One bottle of water per day per person.
• Ticket for the Tatev Monastery cable car.

Price does not include:
• Travel insurance; whether they are travel assistance, cancellation, doctors, rescue, repatriation, nor any other.
• Alcoholic drinks;
• Airline tickets or air taxes.
• Visits outside the program.
• Material and personal trekking clothing.
• Tips and personal expenses.
• Half pension, nor full board (both optional under supplements).

 

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