Your hiking tour without backpacks around the south of Armenia starts from the picturesque canyon leading to the monastery of Noravank. Armenia offers many interesting sites and attractions and it's hard to resist the desire and not visit them, too. One such site is the Khor Virap monastery. From a distance, it seems like you can touch Mt. Ararat from the hill where the monastery is located.
Enjoy a delicious lunch at a winemaker's house in an area famous for its wines. Not far from here, a cave was discovered by archaeologists, which houses a 6000-year old winery. If we have time, on our way back we may visit this cave, too.
Our next destination is the Noravank monastery. You will hike to the monastery through the Noravank canyon famous for its caves, rare plants. It's also a popular bird-watching site in Armenia. If you're lucky, you may see Bezoar goats and even Caucasian leopards.
Enjoy the perfect, stunning architecture of the monastery of Noravank that was built in 13th century on the site of an older temple, and the breathtaking landscapes around it.
Overnight stay at a guest house.
The morning of the second day of the hiking tour without backpacks starts with a hike to the Smbataberd fortress located at an elevation of 2000 meters above sea level. Armenian craftsmen and masters often took into consideration the unique natural features of the location during construction of fortresses, which in its turn made these fortresses even more impregnable.
Smbataberd was no different. To reach the fortress situated on top of a mountain was only possible from the northern side, on three other sides the fortress is surrounded by deep canyons and cliffs. The fortress of Smbataberd provides some magnificent views over the nearby mountain ranges.
After visiting Smbataberd, you'll hike to the monastery of Tsakhats Kar, rebuilt in 10th century. The monastery was once a major spiritual and cultural center of this region.
Overnight stay at a guest house.
On the morning of the third day, you'll travel to the monastery of Spitakavor on SUVs. All the structures of this monastic complex are built with white felsite stone, thus the name of the monastery ('spitak' means white in Armenian). Constructed in 14th century, the monastery was an important spiritual center of medieval Armenia.
From Spitakavor, you will hike to another impregnable fortress - Proshaberd. Situated on one of the highest peaks of Vayots Dzor region of Armenia, this fortress has a history 3000 years, and its latest reconstruction took place in 13th century.
Next stop on your hiking tour without backpacks is already in the Syunik region. You will travel to the Shaki waterfall, a natural site of stunning beauty.
Overnight in tents on the bank of River Vorotan not far from the waterfall.
Travel to an elevation of 3300 meters above sea level on SUVs to visit Mt. Ughtasar. Numerous petroglyphs found here are dating back to 4th millennium BC. These rock carvings depict scenes of worshiping, hunting, everyday life of ancient ancestors of Armenians and other indigenous peoples of these mountains (Persians, Georgians). There are also carvings of animals and many more. What's fascinating is that these petroglyphs survived to our days almost in an untouched state. And in the canyon leading to the next complex that you will visit, petroglyphs depict Biblical scenes and the history of humanity...
Another ancient destination is the area called Zorats Karer. This megalithic complex was not only an ancient observatory, but also a home to a major school of sages. It all began when in IV-III millennia BC the ancestors of Armenians came down from the mountains and founded a powerful civilization, traces of which can be found all around the Armenian Highland.
Next stop is the Vorotanavank church, situated on the edge of a cliff overlooking the canyon of River Vorotan. According to tradition, this church had the miraculous power to heal snake bites. If we have time, we will also visit the 4th-century Vorotanaberd fortress.
Overnight in tents on the shore of a lake.
Hike to the monastery of Tatev on the fifth day of your tour around the south of Armenia. By now, you already know that the most suitable sites for constructing churches in Armenia are hard-to-reach mountains and canyons in picturesque, scenic areas. The monastery of Tatev is no exception. Hiking to the monastery, you'll be amazed by the breathtaking views opening up from mountain peaks.
Walk in the maze of the several structures of this monastic complex built on the edge of a canyon. And get your cameras ready not to miss anything.
Overnight at a guest house in the nearby village.
Hiking tour to Tatev continues on the 6th day. Today, you will hike to the Hermitage of Tatev, visible from the Tatev monastery. The hermitage is located in the canyon, on the right bank of the River Vorotan, at the confluence of two rivers. It is, perhaps, even more impressive the the Tatev monastery.
Until now we were mostly hiking to historical and cultural sites, but the next destination is a fascinating natural monument known as the Devil's Bridge. This natural bridge over the River Vorotan was formed as a result of travertine subsidence. Despite its name, the bridge is safe, a road passes over it. You will have a chance to explore the caves near the river, and those who are bolder will have an opportunity to descend to the lower caves and soothe themselves in the colorful, healing hot springs.
Overnight at a guest house.
Spend the 7th day of the hiking tour without backpacks around the south of Armenia in Khndzoresk. Khndzoresk is an astonishing cave town dating back to 2nd millennium BC. Apart from "one-room" caves there are also multi-level caves, where people moved with the help of ropes. The site includes a cave fortress, several churches, oil press, ancient water springs... The caves are divided into neighborhoods which had their own names. Some of these you will see during the hike.
Experience how people lived here in these caves, spending a night here. Or you can spend the night in tents.
The 8th day of the hiking tour without backpacks around Armenia will take you to the town of Jermuk. Here, on a relatively small area of land there are many scenic sites that have interesting history, and we'll try to visit them all. First is the Jermuk Waterfall. The legend has it that a young girl untied her hair over the cliff to help her loved one...
After the waterfall, you'll take a trip on SUVs to geysers and natural spa, surrounded by forests and a river. Then hike from the water reservoir to the 10th-century Gndevank monastery, following an abandoned road along some stunning landscapes.
Overnight in tents near Gndevank monastery.
Return to Yerevan via the Selim (Vardenyats) mountain pass that has an elevation of 2410 meters above sea level. On the way, you'll visit a 14th-century caravanserai that served the needs of travelers on their way to Asia or Europe. Upon your desire, we can also climb the volcanic mountain of Armaghan to visit a picturesque lake.
Otherwise, you will travel to Lake Sevan. This fresh water lake is located on an elevation of 1900 meters above sea level. Take a leisurely walk along the shore of the lake, visit the medieval monastery of Sevanavank on the Sevan peninsula, enjoy delicious dinner at a restaurant....
Your hiking tour without backpacks around the south of Armenia comes to end here. From Sevan, you'll return to Yerevan. In addition, we may visit hot springs on the way.
Overnight at a hotel in Yerevan.
Free day in the capital of Armenia, Yerevan. We'll arrange a comfortable transfer to airport at any time suitable for you. We'll be happy to see you in Armenia again on our other tours around the country.
|Number of people||Budget||Business||Premium|
|1||960 $||1260 $||-|
|Number of people||Budget||Business||Premium|
|5 - 6||960 $||1260 $||-|
|4 - 5||1010 $||-||-|
|3 - 4||1170 $||1460 $||-|
|2 - 3||1450 $||-||-|
|1 - 2||1950 $||2250 $||-|
The cost of trekking in the South of Armenia without backpacks includes:
The price of trekking in Armenia does not include:
What makes this tour special is that instead of the usual hotels and restaurants you will stay in guest houses and tents and enjoy delicious meals at local homes or camp sites. You won't have to carry your backpacks with you, all your belonging are going to be transferred by vehicles.
The epithet "mountainous country" often used to describe Armenia perfectly fits the south of the country, which includes the regions of Vayots Dzor and Syunik. Altitudes here vary from 2600 to 3500 meters above sea level, so you won't get bored.
Hike in the south of Armenia without backpacks for 10 days
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