If you’re a keen traveler by nature, from time to time you feel the almost painful urge to discover untrodden paths. Those ”signals” occur especially when you feel stuck in the rut and bogged down by the hustle and bustle of the downtown life. This is perhaps the best time for hiking and exploring new trails. It’s so liberating to find your next hiking destination, grab your backpack and camera (sometimes choosing to forget the smartphone and iPad) and set off to a faraway land in quest of new adventures. Already itching for it and still no clues on where to head for? Armenia is an undiscovered paradise for such an eager hiker as you.
The landscape of this landlocked country covering an area of around 40 square km (including Nagorno Karabakh) strikes with diversity and staggering beauty. Majestic snow-capped mountains, lush forests, fast-running rivers, dazzling waterfalls and mystic canyons – and this is not the full list of the amazing sceneries you can marvel while hiking in Armenia. Step by step, you’ll immerse in the pristine beauty of this ancient land and feel more empowered by the reviving energy its exudes.
Hiking in Armenia can be quite challenging. One should be strong-willed and enduring, for instance, to climb up one of the 4 peaks of magnificent Aragats Mountain. But, on the other hand, it’s an uplifting and inspiring experience worth all the difficulties: you stretch out of your “office cubicle zone” and reach a seemingly unreachable peak – almost (and above) 4000m high! Once you’re on top of this snow-capped giant, you’ll have the sensation you can conquer the whole world.
Want to get detached from the swirling noise of the civilization and “hike away” the stress associated with the urban life? Then you need “an internet detox” tour in Geghama Mountains. 70 kilometers in length and 48 kilometers in width, this range is of volcanic origin and is surrounded with pristine mountain lakes. If you’re physically ready to get over steep slopes and elevations and sleep in a tent in the embrace of these highlands, then you’re sure to savor every second of your hiking adventure here.
If you crave for exploring unbeaten paths in abundant forests and revealing cultural treasures of Armenia, book a hiking tour in Zangezur. You will spend 10 unforgettable days in the alluring southern Armenia and draw inspiration from the natural and historical monuments in each stage of your hiking trip – Tatev Monastery, Khor Virap, Amaghu gorge, amazing Ughtasar Petroglyphs and Khustup Mountain (3214km). On your way back to the capital city of Armenia, Yerevan, you’ll anticipate seeing other gems of Armenian architecture- Holy See of Echmiadzin (“the Saint Peter’s Basilica” of Armenians) and Medieval Zvartnots temple. Sounds exciting, doesn’t it?
An excellent news for fervent hitchhikers. Hospitality is one of the peculiar traits of Armenians, and you will get proofs of it once you hitch-hike around Armenia. Not only will you have a more adventuresome trip but also make friends with these amiable people always ready to lend a helping hand to tourists (and teach a couple of Armenian phrases as a bonus).
Armenia is becoming one of the popular hiking destinations among tourists, and there is so much yet to be discovered here. If you’ve already hiked in this country and feel like sharing your experience and giving tips to those who’re still getting ready for it, feel free to comment in the section below!
Author: Sirvard Amatuni
Images by: AyasTour