“Cycle and explore” 7 days

Вело тур по Армении: Ayas tour

Tour Description:

This 6 days cycling tour covers mostly the central part of Armenia and gives an opportunity to explore the important touristic sights of our small country. Only one overnight is organized on the beautiful shores of Lake Sevan, the rest overnights are in the capital city of Armenia. Armenia has 11 regions including the capital – Yerevan. During this cycling tour you will have the opportunity to see 7 of them.

Armenia is providing the most interesting and adventurous routes for cycling lovers with outstanding landscapes, attractive mountainous routes, historical and architectural monasteries and khachkars (cross-stones), friendly and hospitable people and delightful Armenian cuisine. Cyclists will ride through the most significant places of our small landlocked country and explore the unseen. This cycling tour is designed for cyclists in good physical condition.

If you are interested in experiencing the most adventurous and cultural moments of your lifetime then join us in our ”Cycle and Explore” trip.

Let’s cycle and explore Armenia together!

 

Type of tour: Guided cycling tour in Armenia

Duration: 7 days/6 nights

Activity level: Moderate

Distance: 840km (522miles)

Total Cycling: 280/320 km (174/199 miles)

Average cycling per day: 64/70 km (39/43 miles)

Group size:  2 – 12pax

Accommodation: Hotels

Best period: May – October

Start/End point: Yerevan, Armenia

 

 

Highlights:

  • Kotayk region with Garni- the only pagan temple in Armenia, Geghard monastery (UNESCO)and Tsakhkadzor recreational center
  • Ararat Region with Khor Virap monastery where Armenian first Catholicos has been imprisoned for 13 years
  • Vayots Dzor Region with Areni winery, Noravank monastery and Selim Caravanserai on the famous Silk Road
  • Gegharqunik region with the highest freshwater lake in Caucasus, Lake Sevan with the monastery on the peninsula and Noratus ancient cemetery with medieval khachkars (cross stones) 
  • The capital Yerevan with the most significant spots of the 2794 years old city including Matenadaran – Armenia’s state repository of ancient manuscripts and Ararat Brandy Factory – discover the living legend of Armenian Brandy
  • Armavir Region with the religious center of Echmiadzin city and Zvartnots temple (UNESCO)
  • Aragatsotn region with Amberd Fortress and Hovhannavank Monastery

 

Detailed Itinerary:

DAY 1:    Arrival

Arrive at the airport. Meet and greet, transfer to the accommodation.

Meals: (–/–/–)

Overnight: Yerevan

Transfer: Airport-Hotel

 

DAY 2:    Yerevan – Garni – Geghard – Khor Virap – Yerevan

GeghardCycling to Kotayk province and visit Garni fortress (3rd-2nd cc. BC) the summer residence of the kings and Garni temple (1st c.) which is the only survived pagan temple of heathen culture in Armenia. Nowadays the ruins of the royal palace and the bathroom with a stunning mosaic work can be found near the temple. Northeast of Garni, higher up the gorge of Azat River, there is an outstanding monument of medieval Armenian architecture – Geghard monastery (4-12th cc.) listed as UNESCO World Heritage Site. Ride towards Artashat the capital city of Armenia in 2-5 cc. B.C. Continue cycling tour to historical Khor-Virap monastery (4- 17th cc.). Take the opportunity to enjoy a beautiful view to the biblical Ararat Mountain, were Noah’s arch cast anchor. Khor-Virap monastery (means «deep dungeon») rests atop a little hill; it is where Grigor Luisavorich (St. Gregory the Illuminator) was imprisoned for 13 years before adapting Christianity as a state religion in 301 AD.Drive back to Yerevan.

Meals: (B/–/–)

Overnight: Yerevan

Distance: 150 km / 93 miiles

Cycling route: Yerevan-Garni-Geghard-Azat Reservoir

Cycling: 60 km: 20 km → / 20 km ↑ / 20 km ↓

Difficulty: 5/4

 

DAY 3:    Yerevan – Areni – Noravank – Vardenyats Pass – Noratus – Sevan

NoravankStart cycling towards Areni wine factory to taste local wine made from the sort of Areni grape. Areni Village is famous for its various kinds of Areni wines. Proceed and visit Noravank 13thc. (means “New Monastery”) a masterpiece of Armenian architecture which is situated in a narrow gorge and encircled by tall, sheer, brick-red cliffs highlighting spectacular nature of Vayots Dzor province. Drive through the Vardenyats Pass (2410m) and visit the Caravanserai built in 1332, by Prince Chesar Orbelian. It used to be an important trade point on the famous Silk Road in order to accommodate weary travelers and their animals as they crossed from, or into, the Selim Mountains.Continue pedaling across Lake Sevan and visit Noratus Cemetery a medieval cemetery with a large number of early khachkars (cross-stones) dating back to 10th century. Drive to Sevan for overnight.

Meals: (B/–/–)

Overnight: Sevan

Distance: 290 km/ 180 miles

Cycling route: Nshkharh-Martuni-Noratus-Hayravank-Sevan

Cycling: 90 km: 65 km → / 5 km ↑ / 20 km ↓

Difficulty: 5/4

 

DAY 4:    Sevanavank – Tsaghkadzor – Hankavan – Aparan – Yerevan

sevanVisit Sevanavank 9thc. (Sevan monastery) located in the peninsula which used to be an island before.Note that the track leading to the monastery consists of 220 stairs. Transfer to Tsaghkadzor (means The Valley of Flowers) a spa town and a popular winter resort in Armenialocated in a picturesque valley on the eastern slope of Mt Teghenis to 1845m.  Today’s cycling takes us to Hankavan noted for its mineral springs, which were used as part of a sanitarium industry during the Soviet period. At the village entrance there is a church and a graveyard to the left. The church was built by Greeks who immigrated from the Ottoman Empire in 1827.The route leads us to Aparan with the beautiful sceneries on the way. Drive back to Yerevan.

Meals: (B/–/–)

Overnight: Yerevan

Distance: 160 km / 99 miles

Cycling Route: Tsaghkadzor-Hanqavan-Aparan

Cycling: 60 km: 10 km → / 40 km ↑ / 10 km ↓

Difficulty: 5/5

Road: Through the mountains grunt

 

DAY 5:    Yerevan city tour – Matenadaran – Echmiadzin – Zvartnots – Brandy/Wine Factory – Yerevan

zvartnots_smallStart tour in the capital of Armenia and explore the important sightseeing places of 2794 years old Yerevan city including Food Market where we can taste and buy home-made dried fruit and fresh vegetables. Visit the Institute of Ancient Manuscripts – Matenadaranthestate repository that holds one of the world’s richest depositories of medieval manuscripts and books. Depart for the spiritual and administrative headquarters of the worldwide Armenian Church. Visit the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin (302-303 AD) the oldest state-built church in the world and the seat of the Catholicos. Return to Yerevan and stopoverfor Zvartnots temple (means “celestial angels”) 7th century wonderful architectural masterpiece. The remnants of Zvartnots, even in ruins, are a majestic sight. These sights are listed among the UNESCO World Heritage Sites.Continue the excursion and visit Ararat Brandy Factory to try the exceptional taste of Armenian brandy which has preserved the traditions of the legendary brandy manufacturing since 1887.

Meals: (B/–/–)

Overnight:Yerevan

Distance: 110 km / 68 miles

Optional:Cycling Route: Yerevam-Echmiadzin-Yerevan

Cycling: 40 km: 35 km → / 4 km ↑ / 1 km ↓

Difficulty: 5/2

 

DAY 6:    Yerevan –Amberd – Hovhannavank – Ashtarak – Yerevan 

AmberdDepart for one of the impregnable fortresses of medieval Armenia. Continue cycling towards Amberd a fortress complex (7-13th cc.) with the walls, Vahramashen church (1026), the bathroom and other sections built on the rocky eminence on the slopes of Mt. Aragats at 2,300 meters above sea level.Continue cycling and visit the monastery complexes of Hovhannavank (4-13th cc.) and Saghmosavank (13th c.) which are five kilometers apart and perch on the edge of the precipitous gorge of the Kasakh river.The most ancient structure in Hovhannavank is a basilica typical of the fifth century. Cycling to Ashtarak one of the oldest cities of Armenia with numerous historical and cultural monuments that allowed the town to retain the flavor of the ancient and beautiful Armenian town on the left bank of Kasagh River along the gorge. Drive back to Yerevan.

Meals: (B/–/–)

Overnight: Yerevan

Distance: 130 km / 81 miles

Cycling route: Yerevan-Byurakan-Amberd-Hovhannavank

Cycling: 70 km: 20 km → / 30 km ↑ / 20 km ↓

Difficulty: 5/5

 

DAY 7:    Departure

Transfer to the airport. Have a safe flight home.

Meals: (–/–/–)

Transfer: Hotel-Airport


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