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Off-road tour to Central Armenia "On jeeps to the Highlands"


The title for our tour is  "On jeeps to the Highlands", this means that during the whole tour you will get to the highest mountains of central Armenia, and also if you go down to the gorge, anyway it will be high enough above sea level.Besides, during this jeep tour you will have an opportunity to choose enjoying the surrounding nature or doing some hikings and climbings on different durations.Here's a brief overview of what is waiting for your during these 15 days.

Tour program


Cave monastery, picturesque gorge and mountains of the protected zone
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On the first day of the tour, on jeeps you will get to a picturesque place- to the monastery of Geghard, which proudly stands at rock's foothill for a long time. The spear(geghard) with the help of which Christ's body was pierced, had been kept here. Partly the monastery was built inside  the rocks, as some Xachqars were made.
The monastery complex and Xachqars stand here for such a long time(IV century) that have become a single entity with the rocks and landscapes.
The temple of Garni, which you are going to visit is a pagan monastery of the first century. Standing on the edge of a cliff, even on the high mountains back road,  the temple differs with its majestic look. From the triangular cliff, on which the complex stands, opens a view to the gorge, where you're going to get to see nature created stones, which have unbelievable sizes.
Then you are going to Xosrov reserve. The forest in the reserve can also boast of its centuries-old history. It was planted in the IV century! Here are presented the third of Caucasus flora and fauna representatives that are listed in Red Book.
In Xosrov reserve, nature isn't the only thing that is rich, but here are also many historical monuments. You will visit one of these old monasteries with a beautiful surrounding. Maybe we will go to the waterfall of Goddess Astghik, too.
Here you will have a free time to rest, to have a walk or take part in a hiking.
In one of the reserve's picturesque places you are going to stay for a night.

Ancient fortress and cave city at the junction of the reserve and the Gegham highlands
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The day starts with a visit to an ancient fortress of Kaqavaberd, which is one of the historical monuments in the territory of Khosrov reserve. The fortress is situated at an altitude of 2075 m and surrounded by deep gorges on three sides. It played an important role in central Armenia's defensive system and was kind of an outpost on Gegham highlands. There are many preserved church ruins and other structures in Kaqavaberd.
As you arrive to Kaqavaberd you will have a free time, when you can have a rest or participate in a hiking to a picturesque neighbourhood of the fortress and mythical cave town around it.
The night stay will be not so far from the fortress.

Spitakasar volcano, megaliths and petroglyphs
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All this day and the other day you will spend on Gegham mountain range, which has a volcanic origin. The average height of it is 2500 m. At first, you will go to a volcanic mountain Spitakasar (3555 m above sea level). Here you can rest, enjoy nature, gather herbs or you can take part in  Spitakasar climibing.
Then you will go to a lake, where the dragon-stones- the megalithic monuments, which were put near the sources,  where natural or artificial reservoirs were situated. These stones symbolized the invicible power of water.
Here, in the cliffs, the ancient petroglyphs were preserved, which  you will see during your hiking. Then, another volcanoe, with a height of 3312 m  and a beautiful woman's name Nazeli, will comre. Nazeli is translated as "graceful".
Perhaps, you will get to the volcanoe through some mineral sources.
Here, near the volcanoe, you will saty at night.

Volcano Azhdahak and lake Akna
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On the fourth day you are offered 2 choices.
1st choice- a visit to the cleanest volcanic lake Akna, in the central part of gegham range, an at altitude of about 3030 m.
2nd choice- a visit to the same place through one of the best parts of Gegham mountains. In this case, at first we will get to the highest peak of mountain- to Ajdahak mountain (3597 m). From the top of the mountain, very beautiful views to Ararat, Sevan, and to the whole Gegam range are opened.
There are some ancient dragon-stones and petroglyphs on Ajdahak slopes.
The mountain descending will be from the other side, where, through an amazing highland gorge we will continue our road to Akna lake, where the whole group will meet.
The overnight stay will be by the lake.

Descent from the highlands to lake Sevan
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Again, on the fifth day of the off road tour you will have an opportunity to choose: to continue the hiking(to pass the half of road) going down through volcanic peaks to the lake Sevan, or get there on jeeps. In any case, the group is going to meet in another beautiful place and then continue their way to the lake together. It doesn't mean that you can stray from the highland. Sevan is located at an altitude of 1900 m.
Sevan lake, with its developed  touristic infrastructures, is one of the most important recreational centres in Armenia. This means that you will have a choice- spend the night in the equipped tents, hotels of different star ratings or in equipped houses.

Artanish mountain, panoramic view of Sevan, deserted picturesque beaches
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On this day the road is going to be fascinating. Along the Little Sevan(the lake is divided with an underwater cape into big and little Sevan) you will get almost to the middle of Artanish volcanoe. Here you can choose to rest and enjoy the suroundings or climb to Artanish for the best views. It is worth mentioning that the top of the volcano is the only place from where you can see the whole lake. After that we will explore uninhabited beaches in order to admire new Sevan and surrounding landscape views.
Depending on your choice, the night will be spent here.

Choice - Hiking or moving to a picturesque mountain village or paragliding
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The tour continues and you are able to choose: to drive on jeeps to a mountain village or get there with mountain hiking. Besides, there is another version- if jeep driving  to highlands or volcano trips don't provide enough adrenaline, instead of these you will have a chance to take a flight on a paraglider. And in the case of mountain village trip or hiking, as soon as you get there you can just have a rest or have a short hiking around the neighbourhood.
At night, you will return to your previous place-by  Sevan lake.

A big circle around lake Sevan, ancient monasteries, megalithic fortress
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On this day you will have a chance to know Sevan better by having a circle ride around the lake. The relief of the coast and the views are very different. This means that you can enjoy Sevan from different angles.
There are a lot of Christianic monuments and churches around the lake. At first, you're going to visit one of them- Makenyac monastery. This monastery is from VII centruy and situated on the mounitains in the south of the lake. By the way, on the road you will enjoy many interesting views.
Then, you will get to another mountain of Gegham range- to volcanoe Armaghan with a picturesque volcanic river lake at an altitude of 2829 m. One of the most popular armenian churches is Ayrivank, the monastery on the cape by the lake. You're going to visit it after Armaghan. Ayrivank dates back to XII century, but it was inhabited many years before that. During the archeological excavations, artifacts of Bronze and Iron Ages were founded. Perhaps these artifacts belong to the same era as the cyclopean fortress- a citadel in the territory of the town, near the monastery. Another evidence that Sevan was inhabited long ago is Lchashen- a fortress of Bronze century. When water of Sevan was reduced, the walls of living rooms and other things were founded.
After Lchashen you will go to the Peninsula of Sevan, where stands one of the most important spiritual centres of Armenia- Sevanavank. From Peninsula, you can admire Sevan from completely different angles.
For overnight stay you will return to the same place.

Hot springs, gorge and ancient monastery
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The off road tour will continue with a visit to Arzakhan's hot springs.
After that you can have a rest or participate in a hiking to the monastery of Teghenyac, situated on a mountain cliff covered with forests. The first notes about monastery are dated to the 8th century.
On this day you can sleep in tents or in a hotel/guest house.

The mountain Araler and its surroundings
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On the tenth day of the highland tour, a visit to the slope of AraLer is planned. It is an extinct volcano with an altitude of 2877 m. According to a legend, Ara is the king of Armenia(Ara the Greatest) who was killed in that place during a war with the Assyrians led by Semiramis. If you look at it attentively, you will see the silhouette of a lying man with folded arms on his chest.
Again you will have to choose- either mountain climbing or just resting in nature.
The night stay will be in a guest house.

The slopes of the volcano Aragats - the oldest settlement, the megaliths, a fortress, a monastery, a deserted village
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The first place that you're going to visit is Amberd fortress. The fortress stands at an altitude of 2300 m. From here opens an amazing view to the whole region and XIth century church. According to some sources, the fortress itself was built in the VII century, but the older fortress in the place of which Amberd stands was known in the times of Roman empire.
The next destination of your trip is Tegher. People say that the monastery has a healing ability.
According to  some legends, the plants that grow near the monastery , cure the incurable diseases.
Then you will have a visit to a unique place- the oldest settlement of Agharak. Using the features of relief, ancient inhabitants remade the natural tuff massives and created a complicated system. If you want to know more about ancient people's work you can choose hiking. Probably, after that you will go to see petroglyphs that are another evidence of the work that ancient people who lived there had done.
Later, on jeeps, you will go to another mountain village, which is  on the slope of Aragats mountain. On the way, you may see another interesting place- megalith, ancient fortresses and temples, the amount of which is huge at Aragats' foothill.
You will spend the night in an ancient and deserted village.

Megalithic fortress, medieval fortress, mountain village
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On the first half of this day you can rest, have a walk around the region or go hiking to the megalithic fortress.
After that you will go to Aruchavank monastery. The surrounding sight is a collapsed chamber with its defensive wall.
The fortress at Aragats' foothill that you are going to visit is Dashtadem fortress. The medieval fortress was built in the place of the ancient Urartian fortress.
Dashtadem differs from other fortresses, because it's depleted from natural protection and relies only on its powerful walls and other fortifications. Of course, it is impossible to imagine highland tour around Armenia without Aragats mountain- the highest mountain in the territory of today's Armenia. Exactly to Aragats' foothill we will drive through a mountain village.

Departure to the height of 3300m, the choice of climbing Aragats and descent to the waterfall or moving to the waterfall
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In the early morning we will drive to the height of 3300 m- to the foothill of Aragats. This is a kind of road that practically no one drives through. The volcanic mountain Aragats has four peaks around a huge crater, the northern one is the highest point with a height of 4090 m.
Here you will have to choose- whether enjoy the surrounding  nature, and then go to waterfall on the other slope of Aragats and maybe drive through Kasakh gorge or another megalith, whether you can have the most interesting hiking and climbing to Aragats' crater. This one isn't a touristic route and from here we will climb to the north peak of Aragats(probably, before that we will get to the southern part) and only then, from the other side, we will get  down and meet the rest of the group.
By the waterfall we will spend the night.

The monastery above the deep gorge, hike or trip to the hot springs
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On the penultimate day of the off road tour <>  you will go to Ohanavank monastery, which stands in the edge of a deep gorge by Kasakh river. It is connected to the gorge with a secret passage. On the way, you will probably see another interesting place. From Ohanavank a wonderful view to Aragats, Ararat and to the gorge opens. Generally, there are loads of interesting places here, and we will do our best to see at least a part of them.
After Ohanavank we will drive to the highland above Aparan and will stay there, in a very fascinating place. If someone wants, he/she can join and try a hiking down to the mountain trails, to the mineral sources of Hanqavan. Those who don't want  to walk, will get there on jeeps.
In Hanqavan region, except campsite you can also stay in a hotel or a guest house.

Return to Yerevan
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On the last, fifteenth day of your trip you will return to Yerevan or to the airport. Perhaps, on your way you will visit another beautiful place. For example, Bjni fortress.
You can get acquainted with other interesting parts of the country by participating in our other tours around Armenia.

Group prices

Number of peopleBudgetBusinessPremium
12160 $ 3950 $ 4990 $

Individual prices

Number of peopleBudgetBusinessPremium
5 - 7 1350 $ 1690 $ -
4 - 5 1570 $ 2010 $ 3030 $
3 - 4 1750 $ 2280 $ 2900 $
2 - 3 2160 $ 2820 $ 3690 $
1 - 2 3000 $ 3950 $ 4990 $

The cost of off-road tour in Central Armenia "On jeeps to the Highlands" includes:

Budget option

  • All movements on a comfortable SUV (driver guide)
  • Products for the whole time of the campaign
  • Overnight in the equipped eco camping from 6 to 9 days
  • Visiting places specified in the tour program
  • General field equipment

Business

  • All movements on a comfortable SUV (3 people in the back seat)
  • Mountain guide services
  • Products for the whole time of the campaign
  • Overnight at the hotel from 6 to 9 days with Breakfast 
  • Visiting places specified in the tour program
  • General field equipment

Premium

  • All movements on a comfortable SUV (2 people in the back seat)
  • Mountain guide services
  • Cook for the whole tour
  • Products for the whole time of the campaign
  • Overnight in a superior room from 6 to 9 days with Breakfast and dinner
  • Visiting places specified in the tour program
  • Personal equipment (tents, sleeping bags, etc)
  • General field equipment

Price of off-road tour in Central Armenia does not include:

Budget option

  • Air ticket
  • Mountain guide services
  • Cook service
  • Accommodation in Yerevan before and after the tour
  • Rent of personal Hiking equipment (tents, sleeping bags, etc)
  • Insurance
  • Personal expenses

Business

  • Air ticket
  • Cook service
  • Overnight at the hotel in 9, 10 and 14 days
  • Accommodation in Yerevan before and after the tour
  • Rent of personal Hiking equipment (tents, sleeping bags, etc)
  • Insurance
  • Personal expenses

Premium

  • Air ticket
  • Overnight at the hotel in 9, 10 and 14 days
  • Accommodation in Yerevan before and after the tour
  • Insurance
  • Personal expenses
#DateGroup sizeBooked

Movement during the tour takes place on comfortable SUVs, mainly Toyota brand. For insurance all movement on the off-road is carried out on two machines.

Overnight stays - mainly in tents, some days in guest houses and hotels, depending on the type of budget. In the case of budget and business options, rental of personal equipment is not included in the price.

Food - in the campfire and gas burner. Is preparing cooperative effort. In the premium version is prepared by the chef.

Hiking and climbing - optional. You can either participate in the campaign, or move on SUVs and just enjoy the nature in the parking lots.

We can conditionally divide Armenia into three parts- northern, central and southern. Each of them has its own characteristics, which are worth to be seen at least one time. For every version we offer tours, based on your preference. This off road tour to central Armenia is a chance to see it at its best- not only natural and historical sights, but also to have a ride on a jeep through mountain roads of Gegham ridge and to the foothill of Aragats.

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