Mysteries of Armenian Highlands

12 days / 11 nights

1

Day 1: Departure from homeland -/-/-

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Day 2: Arrival in Yerevan - City tour – History Museum of Armenia B/L/D

Arrival at Zvartnots international airport. Private transfer to the hotel. Check in and rest.
Yerevan. Breakfast in the hotel.
You are going to have unforgettable overall city tour in Yerevan. Yerevan is the capital and largest city of Armenia, and one of the world’s oldest continuously inhabited cities. Situated along the Hrazdan River, Yerevan is the administrative, cultural, and industrial centre of the country. It has been the capital of Republic of Armenia (1st Armenian Republic) since 1918, the thirteenth in the history of Armenia, and the seventh located in or around the Ararat plain. The history of Yerevan dates back to the 8th century BC, with the founding of the fortress of Erebuni in 782 BC by king Argishti I at the western extreme of the Ararat plain. Erebuni was “designed as a great administrative and religious centre, a fully royal capital. In 2018 Yerevan celebrated its 2800th anniversary.
Yerevan was named the 2012 World Book Capital by UNESCO. Yerevan is an associate member of Euro cities.

Visit to History museum of Armenia. Here you will get interesting information about the antiquity and features of Armenia.

During the tour you will also visit Tsitsernakaberd – the memorial complex of 1915 Armenian Genocide by Ottoman Turkey, (Museum and Memorial). The Armenian Genocide Museum & Institute (AGMI) located on the hills of the Tsitsernakaberd Park, makes up part of the Armenian Genocide Victims’ Memorial Complex. This sacred site embraces and reflects the memories and values for Armenians worldwide. The Memorial and the Museum function as a source of understanding and acknowledgement of this monumental tragedy in the history of Armenia.

Welcome dinner in typical Armenian restaurant.

Overnight in Silachi 3* hotel in Yerevan.

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Day 3: Yerevan – Sevaberd – Lake Akna B/L/D

Yerevan. Breakfast in the hotel.
Drive to Sevaberd village. The climb to Geghama Mountains starts from the Village Sevaberd of Kotayk region. After crossing about 12km road, participants reach Lake Akna, where the first camp for overnight stay will be installed. Camp and other items will be transported by off-road vehicles.

Trekking route: Sevaberd village – Lake Akna
Trekking distance: 14 km
Elevation gain: ↑1100m ↓162m
Elevation: Sevaberd 2062 m –Lake Akna 3032 m

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Day 4: Lake Akna – Mount Azhdahak (3597m) – Lake Badi (B/L/D)

Breakfast in a camp.

The next day starts with trekking from Lake Akna to the highest peak of Geghama Range, specifically the volcano Azhdahak, located in the western part of the range. The extinct volcano houses a lake inside the crater which is formed of melting snow. Ascend to the top – the view is worth a thousand words. From Azhdahak summit you’ll admire a magnificent view – biblical Mount Ararat, lush Kotayk Valley, picturesque Lake Sevan and the whole Geghama Mountain Range. Descend from the mountain and continue trekking towards Lake Badi. Camping and stargazing will be the perfect ending to this saturated day.

Trekking route: Lake Akna – Mount Azhdahak – Lake Badi
Trekking distance: 18 km
Elevation gain: ↑906m ↓759
Elevation: Lake Akna 3032 m – Azhdahak 3597 m – Lake Badi 3100m

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Day 5: Lake Badi – Mt. Spitakasar – Yeranos– Nerkin Getashen (Martuni) B/L/D

Breakfast in a camp.
The day starts with a trek to Mt. Spitakasar. Spitakasar is a volcanic massif (3555m). By its height it is the second peak in Geghama Mountains after Azhdahak Mountain (3597m). It is dome-shaped, made of liparit, obsidian and perlite.
Descent to Yeranos village and drive to Nerkin Getashen (Near Martuni village) to have overnight in At the mill Tatoyan guest house.

Trekking route: Lake Badi – Mt. Spitakasar – Yeranos village
Trekking distance: 23km
Elevation gain: ↑540m ↓1600m

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Day 6: Nerkin Getashen - Selim – Halidzor – Tatev – Goris B/L/D

Nerkin Getashen. Breakfast in the guest house.

Drive through the Vardanyats Pass (2410m) and visit Orbelian’s Caravanserai built in 1332 by Prince Chesar Orbelian. It is 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.

Continue driving to Vayots Dzor province up to Halidzor village where the world’s longest cableway is situated (Wings of Tatev) inscribed in Guinness Book of Records.Take the cable car and enjoy 15 unforgettable minutes over the beautiful Vorotan river canyon and arrive to Tatev Monastery.

In the morning visit 9th century Tatev monastic complex located on a large basalt plateau near the village of the same name in Zangezur. Taking Tatever cableway (included in the Guinness World records as the world’s “longest non-stop double track cable car”) you will admire a wonderful and unique view of the mountains, gorges and a beautiful landscape of the Syunik region.

Start your hike to Tatev Anapat and 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 ofTatev 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.

Hiking route: Tatev village – Tatevi Mets Anapat – Devil’s bridge
Hiking distance: 6 km / 3 hours
Elevation: Tatev village 1550 m – Tatevi Mets Anapat / Devil’s bridge 1000m
Elevation gain: ↑113m ↓626m

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Day 7: Goris - Kapan – Navchay B/L/D

Goris. Breakfast in the hotel.
Transfer from Goris to Kapan and get to the village Baghaburj in few kilometers from Kapan. From here starts our trek to the mountain Khustup – through the labyrinthine paths and trails. During our walking tour there will be feeling, like the peak of Khustup is looking at us and following our every step. The mountain is so beautiful, that there is a feeling, like we are in some kind of Hollywood movie. After nearly 5 hours of walking we will reach this Navchay mountain village, hidden in one of mountain gorges. This is where we will organize our camp zone and prepare a delicious dinner and then go to sleep – surrounded by wildlife, under spectacular starry sky.

Trekking route: Baghaburj – Navchay
Trekking distance: 9.5km
Elevation gain: ↑910m

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Day 8: Navchay – Mt. Khustup – Goris B/L/D

Breakfast in a camp.
In the morning, after breakfast we will begin our climbing to the top of Mt. Khustup. During our journey we will meet herd of horses living in freedom. After three hours of walking we will reach one remarkable place, which is called “Gates” for its look. The magic of this place is that on separate sides of the “gate” the nature is so different, that there is a feeling if it’s really a gate from one place in a totally different dimension. After the “Gates” we will reach closer to the peak of the mountain. Here we will find cold and very tasty water spring, where we will make a short stop, and then continue our way to the top of the mount. Just before the peak we will meet quite big cliffs, which look impassable at first glance. Here we will meet wild mountain goats and flocks of wild turkeys, which are on the verge of extinction. At the top we will meet the monument, erected in memory of Armenian national hero, Armenian fedai, whose nickname was “Khostup Eagle” – Garegin Nzhdeh. From here we will rise the top of the mountain through the safest secret path. Soon the unbelievable scenery will open in front of us – breathtaking scene of clouds under our feet, which are penetrated by mountain peaks. After a rest on the top of the mountain, we will return to the “Gates”, and then – to the mountain village Navchay. Drive to Goris for overnight stay in Mthnadzor hotel.

Trekking route: Navchay – Mt. Khustup – Navchay
Trekking distance: 10km
Elevation gain: ↑1174m ↓1174m

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Day 9: Goris – Noravank– Khor Virap – Yerevan B/L/D

Goris. Breakfast in the hotel.

Noravank (meaning “New Monastery” in Armenian) is a 13th century Armenian monastery, spiritual centre of Orbelyan princes dynasty. The monastery is best known for its two-storey Surp Astvatsatsin (Holy Mother of God, Burtelashen) church, which grants access to the second floor by way of a narrow stone-made staircase jutting out from the face of building.

Hiking from Amaghu village to Noravank Monastery. Continue to Khor Virap.

Here Khor Virap monastery (meaning “deep pit” or “deep well”) is located. The monastery was host to a theological seminary and was the residence of Armenian Catholicos. Khor Virap’s notability as a monastery and pilgrimage site is attributed to the fact that Saint Gregory the Illuminator has been imprisoned here for 13 years. A chapel was initially built in 642 AD at the site of Kirat Virap by Nerses III the Builder as a mark of veneration to Saint Gregory. Over the centuries, it was repeatedly rebuilt. In 1662, the larger chapel known as “St. Astvatsatsin” (Holy Mother of God) was built around the ruins of the old chapel. Now, regular Church services are held in this church. Khor Virap Monastery continues to be a holy site of the Armenian Apostolic Church and an important pilgrimage location. The walled, religious complex also stands before the snowcapped flanks of Mount Ararat, offering a spectacular view of the mountain and cutting a striking silhouette in and of itself.

Trekking route: Amagahu – Gnishki gorge – Noravank
Trekking distance: 3.5km
Elevation gain: ↑284m ↓348m

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Day 10: Yerevan – Lake Kari – Mt. Aragats – Lake Kari – Yerevan B/PL/D

Yerevan. Breakfast in the hotel.

Drive to Lake Kari (Stone Lake) located on the slopes of Mount Aragats, mostly formed by ice and snow. Aragats (the highest mouintain in Armenia) has sub-alpine and alpine zones, as well as 4 peaks (the Northern peak is the highest., at 4090 m) 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 (3887 m). 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.

  • Optional:
    – On wish people can continue trekking to the Western Summit of Mt. Aragats.

Trekking route: Lake Kari – South Aragats (Western Aragats) – Lake Kari
Trekking distance: 9 km / 5 hours
Elevation gain: ↑694m ↓694m
Elevation: Lake Kari 3200 m – Southern Aragats 3887 m

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Day 11: Yerevan – Geghard – Garni – Azat gorge – Yerevan B/L/D

Yerevan. Breakfast in the hotel.
Drive to Kotayk region. Geghard Monastery, which is cut into the rock (13th c), is one of the most famous medieval monasteries in Armenia. The complex of medieval buildings is set into a landscape of great natural beauty, surrounded by towering cliffs at the entrance to the Azat river valley. According to the legend, the monastery housed the spear which had wounded Christ on the Cross and from which comes its present name, Geghardavank (the Monastery of the Spear). Allegedly it was brought there by the Apostle Thaddeus, first recorded in a document of 1250. The church with its surrounding structures is included in the UNESCO World Cultural heritage List.

Visit open-air museum of Garni pagan temple. It is the only surviving monument of the Hellenistic period in Armenia. The temple is dedicated to the God of the sun Mithra and was built in the 2nd half of the 1st c AD during the reign of king Tiridates I. Garni pagan temple has unique design and is the only type of temple across the Caucasus and the former Soviet Union.
Start hiking through Azat river gorge.

Garni temple is situated on a high hill (height above sea level is 1413 m) and behind the hill you can find an unforgettable view of the canyon of the Azat river. So you are going to hike along the canyon to see cliff walls of well-preserved basalt columns. These wonderful basalt rocks seem to be artificial – so much beautiful they are. For their beauty rocks are called «Symphony of the stones».
Lunch in a peasant house in Garni village.

Trekking Route: Garni – Azat river gorge – Garni village
Trekking distance: 3.5km
Elevation gain: ↑332m ↓332m

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Day 12: Yerevan / Departure B/-/-

Check-out formalities. Meeting with guide.
Private transfer to the Zvartnots International Airport.
Departure from Yerevan.

8 pax + 1 FOC12 pax + 1 FOC
DBL / TWN1560 EUR1308 EUR
SGL1739 EUR1485 EUR

Hotels:
Yerevan: Silachi 3*
Nerkin Getashen: At the mill Tatoyan Guest house
Goris: Mthnadzor hotel

Price includes:
• Transfers;
• Transportation by comfortable Mercedes Sprinter;
• Professional English-speaking trekking guide’s service;
• Professional English – speaking cultural guide’s service;
• Tour leader;
• Accommodation in DBL\TWIN rooms in Silachi 3* hotel on BB basis in Yerevan (5 nights);
• Accommodation in DBL\TWIN rooms in At the Mill Tatoyan guest house on BB basis (1 night);
• Accommodation in DBL\TWIN rooms in Mthnadzor hotel on BB basis Goris (2 nights);
• Accommodation in a tent (3 nights);
• Meals – Full board;
• Tents, caremat and sleeping pad;
• 4×4 car for carrying luggage, tents and other product;
• Cook in the mountains;
• Tatever cableway ticket;
• Entrance fees as per program;
• Water 0,5l p/p for excursion days.

Price excludes:
• Air ticket;
• Medical insurance;
• Personal expenses;
• Alcohol drinks;

Please note:
• Some changes may appear in the program according to arrival/departure time and weather conditions.

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