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The Colors of Armenia – 10 Day Hiking Tour in Armenia

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DAY 1: Arrival

Arrive at the Zvartnots International Airport, transfer to  your accommodation.

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DAY 2: Yerevan – Areni – Noravank – Smbataberd – Tsakhats Kar – Yeghegnadzor

Start our Armenian hiking tour  by visiting the Areni village and the Areni wine factory,  tasting wine made from the special   Areni grape. Drive to the Noravank monastery (13th century; means “New Monastery”). It is a masterpiece of Armenian architecture,   situated in a narrow gorge and encircled by tall, sheer, brick-red cliffs.

Drive to Artabuynk village and start the hike. Trail leads to Smbataberd  Fortress, founded during the 5th century, but better established and heavily fortified during the 9th to 10th centuries. The fortress received water from an underground clay pipe, leading from the monastery of Tsakhats Kar.

Continue your Armenian trek to the Tsakhats Kar monastery (10th century), decorated with splendid khachkars (a fascinating symbol of Armenia's cultural and religious heritage in the form of a decorative cross-stone) on the flank of the mountain. Continue the hike towards Yeghegis village, which is the final  destination of the day. Overnight is planned in the town of Yeghegnadzor.

Meals: (B/-/-)

Overnight: Yeghegnadzor

Hiking Route: Artabuynk– Smbataberd – Tsakhats Kar - Yeghegis

Hiking distance: 12 km/4 hours

Elevation: Artabuynk 1680m – Smbataberd 1970m – Tsakhats Kar 2100m – Yeghegis 1600m

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DAY 3: Yeghegnadzor - Old Khot - Old Shinuhayr - Old Halidzor – Goris

After  breakfast, return to your Armenian tour with a drive to Syunik province. Reaching to the Khot village, start the hike to the old villages of the Tatev area. Old Khot village (“The Armenian Machu Picchu”) is beautifully set on the bottom and slopes of the mystic Vorotan Gorge. It is one of the settlements abandoned in the middle of the last century. Here, you will find Mrgadzori Khach Church (“Cross of the fruit ravine”), built by a beauty  who ran away from the Sheikh-Abbas harem, as the legend says. Continue the hike to the Old Shinuhayr and Old Halidzor villages, and finish in Halidzor village. Drive to Goris for the overnight.

Meals: (B/-/-)

Overnight: Hotel in Goris

Hiking Route: Khot village – Old Khot – Old Shinuhayr – Old Halidzor - Halidzor

Hiking distance: 12.5 km / 5 hours

Elevation: Khot 1550m – Old Khot 1160m – Old Shinuhayr 1260m – Old Halidzor 1160m – Halidzor 1350m

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DAY 4: Goris – Tatever ropeway – Tatav Monastery– Mets Anapat – Devil’s bridge – Goris

                  In the morning, visit the 9th century Tatev monastic complex, located on a large basalt plateau (1500m) near the village of the same name in   Zangezur. In good weather conditions, you will be able to use the world’s longest reversible ropeway, Tatever (5.7 km ).   This is a great opportunity to admire a wonderful and unique view of the mountains, gorges and a beautiful landscape of the Syunik region.

Start your trek through Armenia with the Devil’s  Bridge, located on the bottom of the Vorotan  River gorge. On the way, you will have a chance to see the Great Hermitage of Tatev (Tatevi Mets Anapat)  , founded by monks in 1608-1613. Hermitage of Tatev is visible from the cabin windows on the third, longest section of Wings of Tatev cableway. Devil’s  Bridge is the final point of our hike, where you can have a bath in the warm mineral pools. Transfer back to Goris for overnight.

Meals: (B/-/-)

Overnight: Goris town

Hiking Route: Tatev village –– Tatevi Mets Anapat – Devil’s bridge

Hiking distance: 6 km / 3 hours

Elevation: Tatev village 1550m – Tatevi Mets Anapat/ Devil’s bridge 1000m

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DAY 5: Goris – Khndzoresk village - Zorats Karer – Orbelyan’s Caravanserai – Noratus - Sevan

For the next day of your Armenian tour, drive 30 minutes and  arrive in a fantastic cave village, with a picturesque view to the ruins of the old village, churches, tombs, nature, springs and a new bridge that spans the gorge. Khndzoresk is an ideal place for hiking.  At the end of the 19th century, Old Khndzoresk was the largest village  in Eastern Armenia. Explore every corner of these man-made dwellings . Continue the tour with a visit to Zorats Karer archeological site.

Drive through the Vardenyats Pass (2410m) and visit Orbelian’s Caravanserai, built in 1332 by Prince Chesar Orbelian. It used to be an important trade point on the famous Silk Road, accommodating weary travelers and their animals as they crossed from, or into, the Vayots Dzor Mountains.

Drive across Lake Sevan and visit Noratus Cemetery, a medieval cemetery with a large number of early khachkars (cross-stones) dating back to the 10th century. Finally, we reach Lake Sevan, the largest lake in Armenia, and in the Caucasus region. It is also one of the largest fresh-water high-altitude lakes in the world. This huge mountain lake is situated at an altitude of about 1,900 meters above sea level. Overnight is planned in the Sevan area.

Meals: (B/-/-)

Overnight: Lake Sevan

Hiking Route: Old Khndzoresk village

Hiking distance: 3 km / 1.5 hour

Elevation: Khndzoresk 1200m-1400m

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DAY 6: Sevan - Dilijan – Parz lake – Gosh lake – Goshavank – Apaga resort

In the morning, drive to the Tavush province and visit Dilijan town. It is known as the “Armenian Switzerland” by locals. Not far from Dilijan, there is a small, beautiful lake called Lake Parz (Crystal Lake), which is located in the Dilijan National Park at 1330m above sea level. Begin your Armenian trekking tour day from Parz Lake to Gosh village. The trail goes through the forests and alpine fields. At the end of hike, you will reach to the impressive monastic complex of Goshavank (12-13th century) which has remained in relatively good condition, and also houses one of the world’s finest examples of a khachkar. It is optional to continue the hike from Gosh village to the Gosh Lake and back to the village. Drive to Apaga Resort to have rest. Free evening.

Meals: (B/-/-)

Overnight: Apaga resort

Hiking Route: Parz lake – Gosh village – Gosh lake(optional)

Hiking distance: 7 km / 2.5 hours + 5km/2 hours for Gosh lake hike

Elevation: Parz lake 1330m – Gosh village 1190m – Gosh lake 1410 m

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DAY 7: Apaga – Lastiver - Haghpat

The day starts with the hike to Lastiver Anapat in the gorge of the Khachaghbyur River. Lastiver is one of the most picturesque places in Armenia. Many people wonder what “Lastiver” means. The fact is that during Mongol invasions in the 13-14th centuries, locals found their shelter in this cave. The cave is located on an almost-flat slope of the canyon. In order to reach the cave, people constructed a ladder, which reminded them of a raft. From then on, the location has been called “Lastiver”, which is translated as “up the raft”. Just below the caves, at the lowest point on the gorge, you will see a cascade of beautiful waterfalls. Return to Apaga Resort, and drive to Haghpat village for the overnight.

Meals: (B/-/-)

Overnight: Haghpat

Hiking Route: Apaga resort – Lastiver – Apaga resort

Hiking distance: 7.5 km /3.5 hours

Elevation: Apaga resort 1370m – Lastiver 1120m

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DAY 8: Haghpat – Sanahin – Odzun – Byurakan

Start the next day of your Armenian trekking tour by visiting Haghpat Monastery complex (976 AD). Start the hike with another great example of Armenian architecture – Sanahin (966 AD). Both monasteries are inscribed in the UNESCO World Heritage List and were built in the same era and both have played an important role in the spiritual and cultural life of Armenia. These two monasteries symbolize the highest blossoming of Armenian religious architecture, unique styles developed from a blending of elements of Byzantine ecclesiastical architecture and the traditional vernacular architecture of the Caucasian region. The hiking route goes through a beautiful gorge, and there is a chance to see the Kayan Fortress, built in 1233 A.D. by Bishop Hovhannes, the leader of the Haghpat monastery. After finishing the hike visit the 6th century Odzun Domed Basilica and continue to Byurakan village for the overnight.

Meals: (B/-/-)

Overnight: Yerevan

Hiking Route: Haghpat – Sanahin

Hiking distance: 10 km/3.5 hours

Elevation: Haghpat 1011m – Gorge 780 m – Sanahin 1038m

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DAY 9: Byurakan – Lake Kari – Mount Aragats – Lake Kari - Yerevan

Drive to Lake Kari (Stone Lake), located on the slopes of Mount Aragats, mostly formed by ice and snow. Aragats (the highest mountain in Armenia) has sub-alpine and alpine zones, as well as 4 peaks (the Northern peak is the highest, at 4090m) and one of the biggest craters in the world, created by a volcano eruption in the distant past. Ascend to the Southern summit of the mountain(3887m). This summit of Aragats is covered with snow until the middle of July. After finishing the hike, drive to Yerevan for the last night of your trip to Armenian beauty.

Meals: (B/-/-)

Overnight: Yerevan

Hiking Route: Lake Kari – South Aragats– Lake Kari

Hiking distance: 10 km/5 hours

Elevation: Lake Kari 3200m – Southern Aragats 3887m

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DAY 10: Departure