- Routes around Dilijan
- Routes around Sevan
- Routes through national parks
- Multi-day routes
- On a note
Armenia is one of the most beautiful countries in the Caucasus. There are many natural and historical attractions: temples and fortresses, waterfalls and mountain peaks. There is even its own mountain sea - Lake Sevan, where people come for a real beach holiday.
Approximately 12% of the country's territory is protected: these are protected forests and mountain ranges with unique nature. There are three large reserves and dozens of national parks and reserves, where several species of oak, relict yews and junipers, wild pears and apricots, wild animals and birds of prey grow. Sheep and goats graze in green meadows - it is believed that Armenia was one of the most ancient regions where these animals began to be domesticated.
Routes around Dilijan
The most famous mountain resort in Armenia is located in the Dilijan Nature Reserve. There are several hiking trails here.
- The route to the Goshavank monastery from Lake Parz. Lake Parz - the pearl of the Stagecoach Reserve - is surrounded by dense forest. It is the most popular holiday destination. Here you can fish, swim and sunbathe, and also walk around the neighborhood. There are equipment rental points near the lake, you can take trekking poles and a tent with a sleeping bag. Not far from the lake is the Goshavank monastery, founded in the 12th century. This is a whole complex of buildings: two churches with a bell tower, a chapel, a book depository, etc. There are hares, foxes in the forest, squirrels jump between the branches, you can even meet a wild forest cat. The trail is marked and provided with a signpost, but it goes through the forest, by the end of summer it is overgrown with nettles, and after the rain it can become somewhat limp. The length of the route is 7.5 km one way.
- Route to the monasteries Jukhtak Vank and Matosavank. The Jukhtak Vank monastery is located on a wooded slope of a mountain gorge. Its buildings date back to the very beginning of the XIII century and were restored in the middle of the XX century. Opposite it, on the opposite slope of the same gorge, there is another ancient monastery - Matosavank. Now it is abandoned, but extremely picturesque. Its main temple lacks a dome, but carved khachkar crosses on the walls and altar niches have survived. An acidic mineral spring gushes out of the gorge under the monasteries. The length of the route is 6-7 km.
Routes around Sevan
The pearl of Armenia is the mountain lake Sevan, where people go mainly to swim: here, like on a real sea, there are sandy beaches and all the necessary infrastructure. But here, too, there are interesting places where you can go on foot.
- The route to the Tsakhkashen village, "flower". In spring and early summer, a great variety of flowers can indeed be seen along this route. On the way, you will meet a church - it is not ancient, but recently built, but it was created in classical traditions and fits perfectly into the mountain landscape. The length of the route is 14.5 km.
- Route to the village of Noratus. This is a village, in the cemetery of which you can see the largest number of stone khachkars in Armenia, there are more than a thousand of them. This is a purely Armenian tradition, such crosses have been carved here since the earliest times, and none of the ancient khachkars repeats the other in their shapes and patterns. The length of the route is 8 km.
- Arch bridge in the village of Takkar (Tsakkar). A unique natural attraction is a mountain river, across which nature itself has thrown a bridge from two picturesque arches. There is a small chapel in a small cave under the bridge. The length of the route is 10 km.
National park routes
Khosrov Forest is a nature reserve, which, according to legend, was founded in the 4th century. AD King Khosrov III for hunting. If the legend is true, then this is one of the oldest reserves in the world. It is home to many birds of prey (eagles, owls, black vultures) and animals (bears, leopards, martens, wolves and foxes). There are even porcupines. Several routes have been laid through the forest, and besides natural attractions: waterfalls in gorges, relict groves, you can also find the ruins of ancient churches. The length of the sightseeing route is 8 km.
One of the main attractions of Armenia is the world's longest cable car through the gorge of the Vorotan River to the Tatev Monastery. Its length is more than 5 kilometers, and its height is 320 m. But if you wish, you can only drive down it, and climb to the monastery along the mountain serpentine on foot. The monastery itself is a large complex of buildings, along which you can also wander for quite a long time. The length of the hiking route is 6.4 km.
Lovers of mountain trekking cannot help but climb Mount Aragats, the highest point in Armenia. The route usually leads through the small glacial lake Kari, where in summer there are recreation areas, cafes and a trout farm. This is followed by an ascent to the mountain itself, which is an extinct volcano with a huge crater. As a result of this volcanic activity, the mountain has four peaks, and the crater lies between them. The easiest route is from Lake Kari to the South Summit, its height is 3190 m. Only climbers climb to the North Summit (4090 m) - special equipment is required here. Multi-day routes along the mountain are also possible. In its saddle you can spend the night and climb successively to all four of its peaks. On one of the slopes of the mountain there is a historical landmark - the Amberd fortress with the remains of a palace and a church from 1026. The shortest route from Lake Kari to the South Summit is 6 km long.
To Mount Azhdahak - a multi-day route through the mountains with an ascent to one of the mountain peaks. The road starts from the village of Garni with its famous ancient temple and Christian monastery and leads along the valley of the Azat River to the lake of Vishapalich Lake, around which there are many mysterious vertical stones-menhirs. Near the lake there is an equipped area for spending the night, and then this route leads to Mount Azhdahak (3597 m). From the height, views of the mountains of Armenia and Lake Sevan open. An overnight stay is supposed to be at another mountain lake - Akna-lich, and the next day you can go to Sevan itself and spend the night on its shore. The length of the route is 70 km.
The route starts from the village of Vernashen and leads to the fortress of the 5th century. Proshaberd, and then to the top of the extinct volcano Vayots-Sar. Its height is 2577, and it erupted not so long ago - only 4 thousand years ago. Going down from it, along the valley of the Gerger river, you can get to the village of Gerger, which stands on the reservoir. One of the parts of this valley is called the Pogrom Gorge. In 1919-20, hundreds of Armenians were shot here, and now a khachkar monument is erected. In the village of Gerger, you can see an old church there, and then the route leads to Lake Sevan, where you can relax and swim. The route can end there, or walk to Dilijan. The length of the route is 80 km.
On a note
Armenia is a mountainous country and one should prepare for a trip here, as for any trip in the highlands. You need good shoes, and you also need to keep in mind that in the mountains there can be a huge difference in day and night temperatures. During the daytime in summer it can be over 30 degrees, and at night the temperature can drop to 5-6 degrees Celsius, so sunscreens and warm clothes are needed.
Ticks in the Caucasus are quite rare carriers of dangerous diseases, but in the forests they are seen, just like mosquitoes, so insect repellents are needed.
Cellular communications may disappear high in the mountains, although it is present in the vicinity of major resort towns.