Hiking starts with the ancient settlement of Agarak. On the southern part of Aragats foothill there is a settlement of the early Bronze Age. The excavations done here, showed that in the Bronze Age there was a settlement with a regular "urban plan", where the central elements were cultivated rocks, around which the city developed.
Particular mention should be made of the part of a territory, which had ritual meaning. Using the features of relief- rocks, tuff exits and platforms, on a huge territory people have created an entire ritual landscape.
Similar phenomena can be seen in the Heto-Phrygian monuments of Asia Minor.
The fact that the territory around Aragats was inhabited from ancient times is also evidenced by the existence of many megalithic fortresses, deserted villages and many ancient
village-settlements on this territory.
Maybe the first inhabitants were attracted with the beauty of these places- by majestic Aragats foothill, or they had other secrets if they decided to build here such things- megalithic fortresses and other ancient structures.
The fortress of Amberd was built on a territory of the Stone Age settlement, which, later was rebuilt into urartian town-fortress. Only the fortress, built in early medieval times reached us. The terrain had been chosen because of its natural inaccessibility. The fortress stands on a triangular height, at the intersection of two rivers, which ensured the fortress' safety. Now you can admire not only the fortress view but also from the fortress- the picturesque surroundings and of course Aragats views.
The slopes of Aragats mountain to the highest zone aren't so great, but they are rugged with ravines. Many water sources are originated from the volcanic rocks. On slopes, there are traces of ancient irrigation systems on the slopes, at the headwaters of which stand vishapakars- dragon-stones, water keepers.
Lake Kari has a volcanic origin- situated at an altitude of 3207 m, under the southern peak. The lake is fed by glaciers and snow, because of this, water in it stays very cold for a long time. The blue mirror of the lake is surrounded by green alpine meadows. From here opens a view to snow covered peaks of Aragats.
Aragats mountain is one of the biggest extinct volcanoes. It is the highest mountain on the territory of nowadays Armenia. The mountain has 4 peaks, in the centre of which is the crater with 400 m depth. The highest is the northern peak- 4090 m, then the western- 3989 m, the eastern- 3901 m and the southern- 3879 m.
On the way to the peaks, several climatic zones and landscapes change. In spring and summer, on ascent, the alpine meadows bloom giving a special beauty to the area.
Cold sources, originating from volcanic peaks of Aragats create rivers, which in their turn flow through the gorges and originate picturesque waterfalls.
The gorge of Kasakh river is a natural and historical monument. The gorge has depth of 100 m, the forest zone from below to up above is changed with nearly bare rocks. Here, many historical monuments have been preserved. Along the gorge stand some known monasteries and one of them is- Saghmosavank, which stands on the edge of the gorge- on its left side. In the times of Middle ages, the monastery had been very important spiritual and cultural centre.
Sevan lake is located at an altitude of 1900 m, surrounded by mountains-volcanoes. Not only the lake, but the shores also are awesome and very diverse. Here are both smooth banks covered with forests, and steep rocky shores.
Akna lake is located on a hill, near one of the Gegham mountain peaks, at an altitude of more than 3000 m. A beautiful view of the lake having the purest water is completed with low and young volcanic "hills" and with alpine meadows stretching around the lake.
Gegham mountain range- one of the four volcanic mountain ranges surrounding Sevan lake. And the highest point of the range is Azhdahak mountain. The height of it is nearly 3600 m. On the top, in a crater, was formed a lake. Since many sources originate from Azhdahak, during the climbing it is possible to see vishapakars.
The monastery of Geghard, which is often called as cave monastery, stands on a hill, in a gorge. It is surrounded with high mountains and next to the monastery flows a swift mountain river. Part of the monastery, like many xachkhars is carved in the rocks. The monastery was built on the place of a pre-Christian pagan temple, which was famous for its healing springs. From the monastery opens a beautiful view to the mountains, to the road, which quickly gets lost among the mountains.
River Azat and its tributary Goght flow through the gorge of Geghard. On a river, till now stands a bridge built in the XII century. Along the river, the “walls” of the gorge seem to be built of columns that stretch to the very top. At first sight, you don't believe that the columns called the “stone symphony” or “stone organ”, were created by nature and not by man. Actually, this basalt symphony has a volcanic origin.
|Number of people||Budget||Business||Premium|
|1||790 $||1050 $||-|
|Number of people||Budget||Business||Premium|
|5 - 6||720 $||-||-|
|4 - 5||790 $||1050 $||-|
|3 - 4||850 $||1250 $||-|
|2 - 3||990 $||1550 $||-|
|1 - 2||1550 $||2250 $||-|
Hiking in Central Armenia with climbing volcanoes Aragats and Ajdahak includes:
The price of a hike in Central Armenia with climbing the mountains of Armenia does not include:
In a week and without backpacks, you can get acquainted with other parts of Armenia (south and north) by choosing another trip to Armenia from this series.
Hiking in Armenia without backpacks for 7 days (centre)
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