The geographical conditions and the climate of Armenia are perfect for active holiday lovers. The most popular here is, of course, trekking as the country has diverse flora and fauna, various climatic zones, as well as delightful scenery. Some even say that Armenia is created for trekking and hiking.
Most of the tracks here pass through mountainous areas and the routes connect different cultural, historical and natural monuments. And it is not surprising that day by day Armenia is gaining popularity among hikers from all over the world. So, what routes are worth special attention? We offer top 3 options for different occasions:
Dilijan – Lake Parz – village Gosh – Goshavank Monastery – Dilijan
Duration – less than 1 day
Season – May-October
The total length of the route – 16 km (round trip)
Dilijan is a picturesque resort town situated at a distance of 106 km to the north-east of Yerevan. Due to its wooded landscapes and alpine meadows the town is sometimes called «Armenian Switzerland». Dilijan and its wonderful surroundings are the perfect place for trekking lovers.
The itinerary that we want to describe usually starts from Lake Parz situated at the distance of 15 km from the town. It is a wonderful small lake surrounded by majestic and old trees. The view is unforgettable! Take the small route that departs from the lake, which will lead you through the lush and thick forest. The way will be very exciting: you will meet unique Armenian khachkars (cross-stones included into the UNESCO world heritage list) and after crossing two small rivers you will appear in the spacious meadows offering breathtaking views of Ijevan ridge.
The road continues through meadows and leads to Gosh village, where is located majestic Goshavank Monastery of the XII century (8 km from the lake). The monastery got its name after the famous politician and prominent scientist Mkhitar Gosh, who took part in the construction. You can also see the unique Armenian khachkars here. By the way, it is important to note that khachkars are one of the most important symbols of Christianity. Each of these wonderful masterpieces made by Armenian masters has unique pattern and history.
So, this is the final point of this wonderful journey! The route is easy and will be suitable for everyone who loves scenic landscapes and is interested in the cultural heritage of the country.
Sevaberd village – Lake Akna – Azhdahak – village Sevaberd
Duration – 2 days
The highest point – 3597m
Season – June-October
The total route length – 35 km
Azhdahak Mountain is the highest point of Geghama ridge (3597 m) and the third highest peak in Armenia. On the top of it there is a crater lake of incredible beauty. This is one of the most beautiful lakes in Armenia which is so clean and transparent that everyone can see its bottom. The climbing to it will be especially interesting for those who like ecological tourism, colorful landscapes, alpine meadows, crystalline water surfaces and fresh frosty air.
By the way, on the way travelers will be able to see the ancient petroglyphs (at an altitude of 2600-3200 m). These ancient rock carvings depict people during hunting and battles, competitions and dancing. So interesting!
There are several routes for climbing Mount Azhdahak, each of which is interesting in its own way. Our proposed itinerary begins in the village of Sevaberd, located 35 km from Yerevan (50 minutes by car), and extends to Lake Akna (10 km to get the lake). The name of this picturesque lake is translated from Armenian as “an eye,” and this is one of the most interesting places in the Geghama mountain range. Near the lake there is a suitable area to set up tents and stop for a rest.
Next, the path leads to the highest point of Geghama mountains – Mount Azhdahak. From the top of the volcano opens the breathtaking view of Mount Ararat, Aragats, Lake Sevan, and the slopes of the Geghama ridge. From here you can either go back to Sevaberd or continue the path and go down to the lake Vank (choosing this route, you will explore ancient petroglyphs). This exciting journey will be perfect for your Armenian holidays!
Amberd Fortress – Lake Kari – Southern peak of Aragats – the crater
Duration – 3-4 days
The highest point – 4090 m
Season – June to September
The Mount Aragats – the highest point of modern Armenia – is located about 40 km from Yerevan. This extinct volcano has four peaks, among which the highest is the northern one (4090 m). The hikers usually tend to climb the southern peak as this itinerary is the easiest. Those who visit this place in summer, will be able to enjoy the beautiful scenery: alpine meadows covered with fragrant flowers, hundreds of cold springs originating at the foot of the mountain.
The itinerary starts from the fortress of Amberd (about 60 km from Yerevan) which belongs to the X-XIII centuries, and once was used as one of the primary military-defensive points of the Armenian Kingdom. It offers a splendid view of Mount Ararat and Ararat Valley. Just above the fortress at an altitude of 2800 meters, there is a good area for camping. The asphalt route that passes nearby will lead you just to Lake Kari which admirably stands against the backdrop of the surrounding mountains and alpine meadows. Hence you can start your climbing. There are no any marked route signs, but the southern peak is clearly visible from the starting point, which makes it easier to find the route. The ascent will take about three and a half hours.
After reaching the Southern peak you can go down to the saddle between the main southern and western peaks (3800m) and from the saddle get straight into the crater (3683m). Here, travelers usually put up tents for rest and sleep. For Southern Summit you do not need any special preparation, but it is desirable to be physically resilient and prepared for inclines. This itinerary is really worth the effort! If you are fond of trekking try not to miss it during your Armenia journey.