Mount Aragats: Climb the highest peak of Armenia
Armenia might not be as well-known as Georgia, but is equally beautiful. It offers amazing trekking routes and landscapes. Some trails are still practically empty, lacking the crowds typical of the Alps or even the Georgian Svaneti region.
Join us on a trekking tour of the most beautiful mountain regions of Armenia with a joint tour of Yerevan and, for the most ambitious traveler, an attempt to climb Mount Aragats (4 090 m), the highest peak of Armenia.
Mountains are not all. We will learn about the extraordinary Armenian culture and history when visiting the most stunning sacred monasteries of the region: Haghpat, Sanahin, Goshavank and Geghard. As usual, we will also interact with the local traditions, cuisine and customs by spending most of the nights in the homes of hospitable Armenian hosts who will proudly talk about the centuries-old tradition of the oldest Christian country in Europe.
Armenia, the undiscovered pearl of the Caucasus, awaits you!
Meeting at the Chopin Airport in Warsaw. In the early morning flight to Tbilisi with a short layover in Kiev. We will leave the capital of Georgia and through the province of South Kartli we will get to the Armenian border. Through Sadakhlo checkpoint we will get to the province of Lorri. Overnight in a beautifully situated small hotel on the beautiful canyon of the Debet river.
After breakfast, a little sightseeing awaits us. We will go to one of four places in Armenia inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List - Haghpat Monastery. Then we will face the first warm up trek to the Sanahin monastery. We will walk about 7km, above the city of Alaverdi and the canyon of Debet. After lunch, we will go to the small village of Yenokavan in the Ijevan National Park. There another short 6-kilometer section leading to waterfalls and unusual (still inhabited!) houses in the rocks. We spend the night in the Dilijan resort, one of the most famous in the former USSR.
Trekking in the Dilijan National Park. On this day, we will walk about 10km, visiting in the meantime two unusual monuments of Armenian Christianity. First, we will reach the Hagartsin monastery, an “eagle's nest” located on a rock among coniferous forests, and then move to Goshavank where we will see, among others, “Needle carved” khachkar, probably the most beautiful of all Armenian gravestones. After difficulties of the day, we will reach the tiny village of Martuni, where we will finish the day enjoying the Armenian shashliks under the open sky.
We start serious trekking! From the village of Martuni we will take a day-long walk to the Armenian sea - the mountain lake of Sevan. Perhaps we will have the opportunity to taste delicious Sevan crayfish. Through the Vardanyats pass with the Selim caravanserai (2410m above sea level), we will reach Yeghegnadzor in the province of Vayots Dzor, where we will spend the night.
A bit lighter day. From Yeghegnadzor we will go to the village of Artabuynk. From there, we will approach (7 km) to the Tsakhats Kar monastery located on the top of the mountain. Then we will go down to the ruins of the Smbtaberd fortress. We will finish the walk crossing in the village of Yeghegis, where we will see an extraordinary tiny cemetery of mountainous Jews. Before we continue our journey, in the rays of the setting sun, we will look at the two-story Noravank monastery. We will spend the night in another beautiful health resort of Jermuk, famous for the best Armenian mineral water.
Trekking in the Arpa river valley. We will leave early in the morning, amid unusual views we will walk towards the characteristic Gndevank monastery (about 10km). After a moment of rest, we will get on the bus to get to the Syunik province through the Vorotan pass. In the evening we get to the vicinity of the Tatev monastery.
A day of rest, which does not mean that we will completely forget about walks! We reach the Tatev Monastery (up or down), because in the other direction we must necessarily use the world's longest rotating cable car! We will also see the Devil's Bridge with warm springs. In the afternoon we will go to Stepanakert - the capital of the unrecognized Republic of Nagorno Karabakh.
From Stepanakert, we will try to reach Shushi, 10km away from the capital, on foot. Then we will start trekking in the picturesque canyon of the Hunot River, full of greenery and the colorful surrounding rocks. In the evening we will drive to Dadivank monastery.
Trekking in Kelbajar province. After visiting the monastery, we will follow the trails towards the Zod Pass (2420m above sea level), through which we will get back to Armenia. We will drive next to south coast of Sevan Lake and reach the village of Garni, where we will spend the night.
We will start the day with a visit to the ancient temple of Garni, which was reconstructed in the 20th century. Then we will have a whole day trekking in Geghama unusual volcanic mountains. We will reach Yazidi villages almost isolated from the world to visit the Geghard rock monastery (UNESCO) and have dinner at the phenomenal canyon of the Azat River. Late in the evening we will reach the capital of Armenia - Yerevan.
A day dedicated to sightseeing of Yerevan. We will see a stunning form of the Cascade Modern Art Museum. We will visit the house-museum of the director and artist Sergey Parajanov. We will pass through the old town, visiting the Blue Mosque and the stylish market of handmade artists the Vernissage. We will visit Tsitsernakaberd - a place of remembrance with the Museum of Armenian Genocide. Dinner in the center and an evening walk for those willing. (For those who are more interested in Armenian history, we offer a tour to the Matenadaran Armenian manuscript repository and the Museum of History of Armenia with the National Gallery. It is also possible to visit the Ararat or Noy cognac factory).
Participants of the shorter version will go to the airport early in the morning. A flight back home. Participants of the climbing variant will set off early in the morning towards the Aragats massif. We will set up a camp and go for an acclimatization trekking. Overnight in the camp in tents.
The second day of acclimatization or an attempt to get to the first peak of Aragats. Overnight in the camp.
The third day of trekking in the Aragats massif and the peak attack if the weather is favorable. An evening return to Yerevan.
Visiting Etchmiadzin, the historical religious center of Armenia. On the way visiting Zvartnots, the unique ruins of the early Christian cathedral (UNESCO). In the afternoon, transfer to the airport and flight back home.
• return flight ticket with all fees
• care of an English-speaking guide
• transport by air-conditioned minibus
• board: breakfast daily, lunch packages and dinners outside of cities
• information packages and maps • obligatory insurance guarantee for the travel agency
• insurance of accident insurance and KL and luggage insurance up to 200 Euro
• a mandatory fee for the State Tourist Guarantee Fund (TFG) for each person
PRICE DOES NOT INCLUDE:
• dinners in Yerevan and Geghard (about 20-50 EUR)
• entry fees for paid monuments (around EUR 15)
The place of departure is WARSAW. In case you wish to travel from another destination or book flights on your own, please contact us for price quotation for this trip.
During the trip we will be accommodated in the houses of Armenian hosts, which have been adapted to accept foreign tourists. Bathroom and toilet shared by several rooms. The rooms are double (however, a group of friends or individual travelers of the same sex can also be accommodated in triple or quadruple rooms). There is a possibility of a single room for those willing to pay additionally for it. In Yerevan, we will sleep in a hotel. During the trekking we will sleep in tents.
Daily breakfast is included in the price of the trip and dinner is also included in the guest houses. During the trekking, you will receive lunch packages. The Armenian cuisine is famous for many dishes - both meat (shashlik) and vegetarian (pickled aubergines, salads). In big cities (Yerevan) the supper is not included in the price. Each participant can independently decide how he wants to spend time and what type of food he prefers. The guide, of course, will organize dinner for the volunteers or recommend places.
We will have a comfortable minibus with air conditioning available during the whole trip.
We travel in small groups. The minimum number of people on the trip is 6, maximum 14.
An ideal time for an active tour of Armenia is from June to the beginning of October. Temperatures decrease as altitude increases. In the high Caucasus mountains at night, the temperature can drop to 10 degrees C. In Armenia, the climate is dry, continental, in summer practically no rainfall. At the turn of September and October, the temperature in the Aragats massif at night may drop to 0 degrees.
• The itinerary may change depending on the date of departure, weather and other factors.
• Learn more about general conditions of participation and find out how to sign up for a trip.
• The organizer of the trip is Active Travel Agency Barents.pl