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"Impressive Lori" Hiking tour in Armenia without backpacks 12 days

Lori impresses with its nature, swift mountain rivers, deep gorges, monuments, and villages, which seem to be from books or films...During the tour without backpacks, we'll pass through the most beautiful corners of this region, we'll see monasteries, temples, fortresses, we'll climb mountains with alpine meadows, and also, we'll see ancient cave settlements.We will drive to Lori through mountains, through an unusual road, going on the way to the mountain Bovakar.

Tour program

Lake Sevan and unusual mountain path to Lori

There are several ways to get to Lori, but we'll choose the most picturesque one in order to have an opportunity to see Lake Sevan with its blue waters in volcanoes ring, and Dilijan- in the ring of forest mountains. Getting to Dilijan highlands, along the way we will see some more interesting places.
The overnight stay will be in tents, in a beautiful place.

Climbing Bovacar and hike to a mountain lake

The morning begins with Bovakar climbing(3016 m). The way passes through alpine and pre-alpine meadows and forests. Getting down from the mountain- we will continue hiking through a mountain path with beautiful landscapes of Tsover Lake. The lake was formed in a hollow- on the slope of a mountain. It is a geological natural monument.
In this picturesque place- not far from the lake, we'll stay for the night in tents.

Hike to the ancient monastery and the picturesque gorge

On the third day of the hiking tour in Lori, from the lake, we'll go to a place near Dsegh village, from where opens a panoramic view to the whole district.
From Dsegh, through a path that has been here since the Middle Ages, we'll hike to the monastery of Bardzrakash Surb Grigor(XIII century). The monastery was partly destroyed because of a sediment soil. But it still impresses with its rich architecture.
Continuation of the hike will be in the picturesque gorge of river Martz.
The overnight stay in tents will be in a beautiful place.

Ancient mountain trails leading to ancient shrines

On the morning of the fourth day, we will have a short hike through Martz gorge, then we will go to the monasteries of Kobayr (XI century) and Horomayr (VII century).
Like many other monasteries in Lori and in general in Armenia, these two monasteries stand on the edge of a gorge. For example, Horomayr seems to be merging with the rocks, in front of which it stands.
From Kobayr monastery opens a magical view to the gorge and the whole district.
Through the path "Armenian Highland", we'll continue our way to an ancient monastery Odzun
(V century).
From Odzun, we'll go to Haghpat village, where, in a guest house or in a hotel, we'll have the overnight stay.

The majestic monasteries of Lori and climbing Surb Luys

Haghpat is located on a plateau, which is surrounded by deep gorges on three sides, and by mountains on one side. The monastery complex of Haghpat(X century) stands in the village. After visiting the monastery with its interesting architecture, we'll go to Haghpat desert- it is situated behind the monastery walls.
One of the mountains, on the foothill of which stands Haghpat, is called Surb Luys, which is translated as Holy Light. And today, we'll climb this mountain to feel the holiness of this place even more.
Then, we will have a hike through the other mountains over Haghpat.
On this day, the overnight stay will again pass in Hagpat- in a guest house or in a hotel.

Powerful Lori strongholds and ancient monastery

Protective place Zarni Parni- the first destination of the sixth day of our hike "Impressive Lori". The natural inaccessibility of the caves made it a perfect defensive place, where the manuscripts of Haghpat monastery were kept.
We'll continue to hike to Kayan fortress- it was built in the XIII century, in the middle of a path between Haghpat and Sanahin. It was built to protect monasteries and the territory from the invasion of enemies. The monastery of Sanahin, to which our hike will continue, was one of the main spiritual centres of Lori region like Haghpat. Even the name "Sanahin" means that it's older than Haghpat.
We'll get to the mountain Lalvar, where, in tents, we'll have the overnight stay.

Climbing Lalvar mount and picturesque surroundings

In the morning begins Lalvar mountain climbing(2543 m)- climbing several peaks of Lalvar. In clear weather, from Lalvar you can even see Georgia. From the other side of Lalvar, we'll descend to the mountain forest.
Here, we'll have an overnight stay.

Hike through the fabulous mountain forest to the ancient monastery

This day starts with hiking down to the mountain forest. The hike will be continued to Akhtala monastery(X century). The monastery stands in a fortress, which has the same name. Lori has a border with Georgia, and , as a witness of the history of two nations, Akhtala monastery bears the trail of both Armenian and Chalcedonian culture.
Probably, we may manage to get to Bgavor monastery, which is situated in Lalvar's slope. Despite the fact that the date of the monastery's construction hasn't been preserved, the architectural similarities with the monasteries of Akhtala and Kobayr give us the right to think that the monastery was built in the X-XIII centuries.
The overnight stay will be in Haghpat- in a guest house or in a hotel.

Mysteries of the ancient fortress on the mountain

Lori will continue to impress when we hike to the monastery and fortress of Sedvi. The monastery of the XIII century was built in a picturesque gorge, and not far from it, there are preserved ruins of Sedvi fortress and a three-storey tower. Traces of settlements, medieval tombs and khachkars have been preserved here.
In Ardvi village stands the monastery of Ardvi(XIII century). We'll hike there next. Many interesting legends are associated with this place. Also, Sergey Parajanov’s film “The Color of Pomegranate” was shot here.
The overnight will be near this interesting place- in tents.

Secrets of the fortress-settlement between two deep gorges

In Lori, there are many swift mountain rivers, which run through the most beautiful and deepest gorges. On the tenth day of our hiking in Lori, we'll hike to these gorges. After getting there in a car, an interesting hike will begin. In the gorge, at the confluence of two rivers, stands the fortress of Lori Berd- one of the most important defensive structures of the Middle Ages.
Hnevank monastery(VII century) is another medieval monument that was built in a gorge- using terrain features.
We will sleep in the gorge in tents- not far from the monastery.

Mysterious monastery and hike through the wonderful gorge

In the morning we will continue the hiking from Hnevank monastery down the gorge and go to another picturesque gorge, where we will spend the night in tents.

Ancient settlement and majestic monastery - return to Yerevan

The fact that generally, in Armenia and especially in Lori, people have lived since immemorial times, is evidenced by numerous cave settlements, to one of which we will go.
Then, we will visit Marmashen monastery(X century)- which is situated next to Lori, in Shirak region. And if in Lori the monasteries were mostly in the gorges, on the heights, then Marmashen stands in a relatively flat area and seems to be looking for the whole district.
And Agarak, the next wonderful place that is definitely worth visiting- is an old settlement (Bronze Age).

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Overnight stays in this walking tour to Armenia in Lori region will mainly be in tents in the most picturesque places. Overnight in guest houses and hotels will be 3 days out of 12.

The hike may be slightly adjusted

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Duration   12 days

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