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Hiking tour in Armenia - 12 days
Sandwiched between Turkey, Georgia and Azerbaijan, Armenia is one of the Europe's most mountainous countries. Whether you are a veteran hiker, or simply enjoy losing yourself to the wonders of nature on occasion, you will be fascinated by the wild beauty and rugged countryside of Armenia.
Hiking trips on remote trails of Armenia, watching wildlife, nature and historic places is an adventure vacation you'll remember the rest of your life. You’ll explore the fascinating beauty of the Armenian landscapes, its colorful mountains and deep gorges, wild flowers and alpine serene lakes, forested mountains and medieval monasteries dotting the landscape of Armenia.
 
Tour Highlights
-  Hike to some of world’s oldest and most beautiful Christian monasteries and churches in amazing natural settings
Ride the world's longest aerial tramway “Wings of Tatev” taking to Tatev Monastery built by the Swiss (5.7km)
- Experience the uncommon Armenian hospitality at its best; sample delicious and unique Armenian cuisine and Armenian cognac, the best in the world
- Marvel at the beauty of biblical Mount Ararat (5165m), where Noah's ark landed after the Great Flood
- Explore Yerevan, a magical European capital with thriving nightlife under the gaze of Mount Ararat
Itinerary
Day 1: Arrival
Arrival at Zvartnots International Airport. Meet & greet. Transfer to the hotel in Yerevan. Hotel check-in.
Overnight in Yerevan

Day 2: Yerevan
In the late morning we start a 3 - 4 hour walking tour of Yerevan, a colorful modern capital, at the same time one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world the history of which goes back to 782 B.C. We start our exploration with the Republic Square with it magnificent buildings enhanced by singing fountains. Walking down the Abovyan Street, one of the oldest streets in Yerevan which was on the Great Silk Road, we continue to, Northern Avenue, Opera House, Cascade, Ring Park encircling the downtown, ending the tour with a visit to the City Bazaar.
Overnight in Yerevan
Meal plan (B-/L-)
 
Day 3: Garni - Azat River Canyon - Geghard - Yerevan
This morning we visit the Garni Fortress in an amazing natural setting, the summer residence of the Armenian kings famous for its Hellenistic Temple of the Sun dating back to 77A.D., royal palace ruins, Roman Baths with a well preserved mosaic. We start our hike from here descending down the Azat River Canyon (UNESCO site). Walking along the river we marvel at amazing rock formations known as "symphony of stones" - an extraordinary natural phenomenon. They remind of huge organ pipes, but when viewed from below they look like bee honeycombs. Later we'll visit Geghard, an incredible ancient Armenian monastery, partly carved out of a mountainside. It is said that the "Holy Lance" that pierced the body of Christ was kept here. Visiting a local house in Garni village. Traditional Armenian bread "lavash" making in tonir (earth oven).
Overnight in Yerevan
Meal plan (B-/L-)
 
Day 4: Mount Ararat - Khor Virap - Noravank - Smbataberd - Goris
Today we head south along the endless vineyards and apricot orchards at the foothills of the biblical Mount Ararat (5165m). We stop at Khor Virap Monastery, the most important pilgrimage site for the Armenians, a place where St. Gregory the Illuminator spent 13 years in jail for preaching Christianity. The monastery is located close to the border of Turkey and actually it's the best site to marvel at the majesty of the snow-capped Ararat. Afterwards we continue to the south entering the panhandle of Zangezur. We visit Noravank Monastery, an architectural gemstone nestled among brick-red cliffs, just above a deep gorge. We drive to Artabuynk village from where we start our 3 hour hike to the 10th century Smbataberd, the medieval Castle of King Smbat, boasting perhaps the most beautiful setting in Armenia (8km round trip). Along the pathway we marvel at rare flora species; fragile wild flowers of vibrant colors, wild almond and walnut trees… Once we get to the top of the mountain where the castle is nestled proudly, we feel as if we are on the roof of the world… From this vantage point the views are of mesmerizing beauty; the Arpa river valley, small villages, sharp silhouettes of surrounding snow-capped mountains. Afterwards we will visit Shatin village famous for its observation points of Bezoar Goats on the opposite side of the gorge. We continue driving to the south where the highest peaks of the Lesser Caucasus are located passing through the Vorotan Pass (2344m) following the Great Silk Road. We check into our hotel in Goris,
a lovely town in orchards with fine stone houses have the same unique architecture with red tile roofs, arched windows and balconies.
Overnight in Goris
Meal plan (B-/L-)
 
Day 5: Tatev Monastery - Tatev Hermitage - Khndzoresk cave town - Goris        
We visit the miraculous monastery of Tatev riding the world’s longest aerial tramway (5.7km) built by the Swiss in 2010. Tatev is a formidable monastic complex founded in the 9th century. It’s the biggest monastery in Armenia. It's located on a rocky peninsula more than 100 meters above the Vorotan River. According to tradition the relics of the Apostles, Sts. Peter and Paul, were placed under the dome's supporting pillars. We start walking to the cloister of Tatev Hermitage, a highly evocative place. Continue walking to the limestone caverns of the Devil’s bridge with natural hot baths in a gorge so narrow, that the sun hardly reaches the bottom (trail length 5km). Afterwards we hike in Old Khndzoresk cave village frozen in time with thousands of caves, where people were living until the beginning of the 20th century.      
Overnight in Goris
Meal plan (B-/L-)
 
Day 6: Zorats Karer -  Selim Caravanserai - Lake Sevan - Sevanavank - Dilijan
After breakfast we drive to Zorats Karer known as - Armenia’s Stonehenge, the most enigmatic site in Armenia. This stone circle, now shown to be a prehistoric observatory, long predates Stonehenge in England. Ancient inscriptions found here may mark the birthplace of the Zodiac – and of Western Civilization itself. Possibly it was the world's first astronomical observatory founded 7500 years ago. Driving through Selim Mountain Pass famous for its fascinating colorful mountains we reach Selim Caravanserai on the Great Silk Road at the highest point of the pass. Here little has changed since the fourteenth century. The caravanserai offered hospitality to travelers along the highway crossing the Selim mountains. We drive to the Lake Sevan, the world’s second largest high altitude lake at 1900m above sea level and the most beautiful lake of Armenia taking up 4% of the territory of Armenia. Marvel at stunning turquoise waters of the Lake Sevan and dramatic mountain scenery after climbing up the peninsula hill where we visit the 9th century Sevanavank Monastery. Drive to Dilijan spa town.
Overnight in Dilijan
Meal plan (B-/L-)
 
Day 7: Dilijan - Haghartsin - Goshavank - Lake Gosh - Jukhtakvank - Dilijan
Today we explore Dilijan National Park known as "Armenia's Little Switzerland". The forested mountains of the Lesser Caucasus, mineral waters, transparent air enriched with ion make it a real paradise. First we visit Haghartsin Monastery in the middle of a dense oak forest. Then we continue to Goshavank, a medieval fairy-tale monastic complex in the village of Gosh. From here we start our hike through the forest to the Lake Gosh. It has such a pristine beauty and the setting is simply magical. In some parts it's a strenuous climb. It takes from about 1 hour to get here. Afterwards we'll hike to Jukhtakvank Monastery. It will take us about 20 minutes to get there. Before we check into our hotel take a stroll in the most beautiful part of the town, Old Dilijan Complex on historic Sharambeyan street. Here we experience the town as it was in the 19th century.
Overnight in Dilijan
Meal plan (B-/L-)
 
Day 8: Ijevan - Gomer - Lastiver - Dilijan
Breakfast at hotel and off to the village of Gomer near Ijevan where we take a short transfer to the trailhead. We will spend the day hiking (20 km round trip) in this beautiful wilderness area, no roads, no shops, no TVs, just incredible views and marvelous solitude. A wonderful forested route into the most pristine and rugged area of north-eastern Armenia as we head into a deep gorge before descending to cascading waterfalls and the most scenic meadows in Armenia. Follow the hiking trail to reach hidden caves of Lastiver, perhaps Armenia’s best-kept secret. All the time we have open views of the beautiful green plateau of Lastiver.
Optional: you have an option of experiencing the stunning scenery of Lastiver on horseback.
Overnight in Dilijan
Meal plan (B-/L-)
 
Day 9: Dilijan - Haghpat - Sanahin - Kobayr - Dzoraget
Taking the road Dilijan – Vanadzor (which is extremely beautiful with small Russian villages) we head to the north-west of Armenia, Lori region, the most beautiful forested area of Armenia with its miraculous mountainous woodlands and bottomless gorges.
Today we visit the Monastery of Haghpat (UNESCO), an exceptional example of Armenian ecclesiastical architecture that developed in Armenia in the 10th to 13th centuries which is unique by virtue of its blending of elements of Armenian church architecture and the traditional vernacular building style of the region. From here we start our hike to Sanahin Monastery (UNESCO), an important medieval education and spiritual center which was famous for its school of illuminators and calligraphers. Later we drive to our hotel in the small village of Dzoraget. En route you may want to climb up and visit Kobayr Monastery

perched on a shelf of the gorge, in an ancient and sacred place where springs seep out of the rock, trees and vines twine among the intricately carved blocks of the monastery.
Overnight in Dzoraget
Meal plan (B-/L-)
 
Day 10: Amberd Castle - Stone Lake - Mount Aragats summit – Yerevan
After breakfast we are off to the highest peak of Transcaucasia and Armenia, Mount Aragats (4,090m), an extinct volcano which is the last point of our hiking adventure! Its four snow-capped peaks have always been exuding a mystic aura throughout the centuries. Acclimatizing gradually as we ascend the beautiful countryside, we reach Amberd Castle (meaning “a castle in the clouds”, a fitting name given to it because of the elevation, 2300m) on the southern slope of the Mount Aragats. Breathtaking views of the castle and citadel, snow covered peaks of Aragats, sun scorched grasslands dressed in wildflowers combine to provide an unforgettable experience this morning. On the way we can visit high-mountain camps of friendly Yezidi people who tend their sheep under the towering peaks of Aragats. We will discover the traditional way of life of these people of the mountains, visiting their tents, trying fresh cheese and yogurt. We continue to the Stone Lake glittering like polished mirror in the sunlight. Our local guides at Aragats have plenty of experience getting travelers to the Southern peak (3,879m), whatever your physical fitness and age. A steep hike up is rewarded by superb panoramas of alpine meadows of rare beauty. If you're still keen for more, we will scramble up to the Western peak (4,080m) for unbelievable views of endless crisp blue sky and Mount Ararat in the distance. Drive to Yerevan. 
Overnight in Yerevan
Meal plan (B-/L-)
 
Day 11: Yerevan - Echmiadzin - Yerevan
Today we embark on our journey to the lands of ancient treasures of Christian history…Vatican City of Armenia, Holy Echmiadzin with its world’s earliest Christian churches included in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Visit Echmiadzin Mother Cathedral. It was originally built by Saint Gregory the Illuminator  in 301-303A.D., when Armenia became the first officially Christian state in the world. Continue to St. Hripsime Church built in 7th century, a masterpiece of early medieval Armenian architecture. On the way back to Yerevan
visit the Ruins of Zvartnots Cathedral. The remnants of Zvartnots, even in ruins, are a majestic sight...
In Yerevan we visit Vernisage Arts & Crafts Open Air Market, the biggest in the Caucasus, where you can buy all kinds of artwork, carpets and rugs, jewelry and other typical Armenian souvenirs.
Overnight in Yerevan
Meal plan (B-/L-)
 
Day 12: Transfer to airport. Departure

*Itinerary is subject to change at any time upon your request.

Rates include:

Transportation with good touristic class minivan/bus with strong A/C
Accommodation in DBL room occupancy at 3* and 4* hotels (11 nights)
Multi-lingual speaking professional guide
Breakfast at the hotel
1 bottle of water per person per day
Entrance fees to all visited places
Traditional Armenian bread "Lavash" making at a local house in Garni
Cable car in Tatev
Local taxes

Rates do not include:

Visa to Armenia (The EU citizens don’t need a visa to Armenia)
 Flights
Porters at the hotels
Travel insurance
Meals not mentioned in the itinerary
Alcoholic drinks
Tips for the guides and drivers
Single room supplement
Mini bar at the hotels
 Bank transfer fees

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