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!
Dates of tours
Meeting at the Chopin Airport in Warsaw. Overnight flight to Armenia.
Early morning arrival in Yerevan - transfer by bus to the north of Armenia. Breakfast, a moment of rest and we start our adventure from Haghpat Monastery - one of the four places in Armenia entered on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Warm-up trekking to the Sanahin Monastery. We will walk about 7 km, with the city of Alaverdi and the canyon of the Debet River below us. Overnight in the Dilijan spa town, with the most famous ones in the former USSR.
Trekking in the Dilijan National Park. On this day, we will walk about 10 km, 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. In the evening, we will reach the tiny village of Martuni, where we will spend the night.
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. We will stay for a night in Wardenis.
In the first half of the day, we go for a 10 km trek to Armaghan (2829 m above sea level), an extinct volcano at the southern end of the Gegam Mountains. Armaghan is known for its open spaces and a lake that fills a volcanic crater. Through the Wardanjanc pass with the Selim caravanserai (2410 m above sea level) we will go to the village of Artabujnk. 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 Yeghegnadzor, in Wajoc Dzor province.
We will go trekking to the picturesque extinct volcano Wajoc Sar (2582 m above sea level), rising high above the mountain plateau. We have 16 km to go through open spaces and pastures covering the slopes of the volcano. Return to Yeghegnadzor for the night.
We continue our journey to the beautiful health resort of Jermuk, famous for the best Armenian mineral water. We will go trekking in the Arpa river valley. Amid unusual views we will walk towards the characteristic Gndevank monastery (about 10 km). After a moment of rest, we will get on the bus to get to the Syunik province through the Vorotan pass. If there is enough time we might go and see Zorac Karer (Carahunge), which is known as “the Armenian Stonehenge”. In the evening we get to the vicinity of the Tatev monastery.
We reach the Tatev Monastery and we will have a ride on the world's longest rotating cable car. Trekking from Tatev deep into the canyon of the Worotan River, among several hundred meters high vertical walls. Overnight in the vicinity of Tatev.
Transfer to the village of Garni. Trekking along the Azat River valley, that leads to the ancient temple of Garni, which was reconstructed in the 20th century. We will also visit the Geghard rock monastery (UNESCO). Overnight in Garni.
Expedition to Azhadak (3597 m above sea level). We will drive up to the top of the trail in 4x4 vehicles. We will reach the heart of the inaccessible Gegam Mountains of volcanic origin, that occupy a vast area between Lake Sevan and Yerevan. We cover a total of 18 km on foot. Evening in the capital of Armenia - Yerevan.
Visiting Yerevan. We will see the Kaskada museum of contemporary art. We will visit the house-museum of director Sergey Parajanov. We will go through the old town with the Blue Mosque and the stylish Vernissage artists and antiques market. We will visit Cicernakaberd - a memorial site with a shocking Armenian Genocide Museum. (For those who are more interested in Armenian history, we offer a tour of the Matenadaran repository of ancient Armenian manuscripts and the Armenian History Museum with the National Gallery. A trip to the Ararat or Noy cognac distillery is also possible).
Participants of the shorter version will go to the airport early in the morning. They will take a flight back home. Participants of the climbing variant will set off early in the morning towards the Aragats massif. We will go for an acclimatization trek. Overnight in the guesthouse by the Kari Lich lake.
The second day of acclimatization or an attempt to get on one of the peaks of Aragac (southern or western peak). Overnight in the local guesthouse.
Depending on the weather and fitness condition of the group, on the third day of the trek we will either go to Aragac Massif or trek around the Amberd fortress and the Byurakan Astronomical Observatory. An evening return to Yerevan.
Depending on the flight schedule: early morning return to Poland or additional sightseeing. For those who want more we can go for an additional hike in the vicinity of Yerevan or we can visit Etchmiadzin - the historical religious center of Armenia and Zvartnots, the unique ruins of the early Christian cathedral (UNESCO).
Early in the morning, 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.
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