“Cycling Armenia” 11 days

Вело тур по Армении 11 дней "Колеся всю Армению"

Tour Description:

This 11 days cycling tour stretches from South to North and from East to West through the central parts of the country. Cyclists will ride throught the most significant places of our small landlocked Armenia. Four overnights are in capital city of Armenia, two overnights are in a calm town of Goris, the other four are in different towns and villages of Armenia: in Areni village known for its grapes, in Martuni town known for its potato, in the resort town of Dilijan and in Tsakhkadzor a lovely place for Armenians. Armenia has 11 regions including the capital – Yerevan. During this tour you will have the opportunity to see 9 of them.

Armenia is a brilliant place for cyclists. It is great chance for enthusiasts to be part of an incredible nature, explore its mountainous surroundings and enjoy the beautiful landscapes while cycling across the country.  Outstanding landscapes, attractive mountainous routes, historical and architectural monasteries and khachkars (cross-stones), friendly and hospitable people, delightful Armenian cuisine will be a great companion during your cycling journey in Armenia. This cycling tour is designed for cyclists in good physical condition.

If you are interested in exploring the new places and cycling in inaccessible trails surrounded with stunning landscapes and mountainous environments then join us in our ”Cycling Armenia” trip.

Let’s cycle in Armenia together!

Type of tour: Guided cycling tour in Armenia

Duration: 11 days / 10 nights

Activity level: Moderate

Distance: 1072km (667 miles)

Total Cycling: 545 km (338.7 miles)

Average cycling per day:  69 km (42.8 miles)

Group size:  2 – 20 pax

Accommodation: Hotels, B&B, Camping

Best period: May – October

Start/End point: Yerevan, Armenia

Highlights:

  • Aragatsotn region with beautiful Ashtarak town and Oshakan with Armenian alphabet
  • Armavir region with religious center of Echmiadzin city and Zvartnots temple (UNESCO)
  • Ararat region with the old capitals Dvin and Artashat as well as Khor Virap monastery where Armenian first Catholicos has been imprisoned for 13 years
  • Vayots Dzor region with Noravank monastery, Areni village and Selim Caravanserai on the famous Silk Road
  • Syunik region with Shaki Waterfall, Karahoonj observatory, Khndzoresk cave village, Tatev monastery, the longest Tatever ropeway (5.7km)
  • Gegharqunik region with the highest freshwater lake in Caucasus, Lake Sevan with the monastery on the peninsula, Hayravank Monastery and Noratus ancient cemetery with medieval khachkars (cross stones) 
  • Tavush region with Dilijan resort town known as the small Switzerland, Goshavank monastery and Parz Lake
  • Kotayk region with Tsakhkadzor recreational center, Garni – the only pagan temple in Armenia, Havuts Tar monastery and Geghard monastery (UNESCO)

 

Detailed Itinerary:

DAY 1:    Arrival

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

Meals: (–/–/–)

Overnight: Yerevan

Transfer: 15 km / 10 miles

 

DAY 2:    Yerevan – Ashtarak – Oshakan – Echmiadzin – Zvartnots – Yerevan

EchmiadzinStart 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. Ride to Oshakan village which is best known for the Church of Saint Mesrop Mashtots which also happens to be the burial place of Saint Mesrop Mashtots, the creator of the Armenian alphabet. Transfer to 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 stopover for 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.

Meals:(B/–/–)

Overnight: Yerevan

Distance: 60 km / 37 miles

Cycling route: Yerevan-Ashtarak-Oshakan-Echmiadzin-Zvartnots-Yerevan

Cycling: 60 km

Difficulty: 5/3

DAY 3:    Yerevan – Dvin – Artashat – Khor Virap – Areni

Khor VirapToday’s ride takes us to the capital of early medieval Armenia. Systematic excavations at Dvin have produced an abundance of materials, which have shed light into the Armenian culture of the 5th to the 13th centuries. The site of the ancient city of Dvin is currently not much more than a large hill. Ride towards ancient ruins of 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 in an otherwise very flat Ararat Valley; 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 to the village Areni famous for its special sorts of grapes and wine production.

Meals:(B/–/–)

Overnight: Areni village

Distance: 140 km / 87 miles

Cycling route: Yerevan-Dvin-Artashat-Khor Virap

Cycling: 60 km

Difficulty: 5/3

DAY 4:    Areni – Noravank – Shaki – Karahoonj – Goris

karahoonjDrive to Noravank 13th c. (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. Cycling towards Shaki Waterfall Armenia’s highest waterfall (18 m) situated on the left side of Vorotan River Gorge. Ride to the first observatory in the world – Karahoonj (kar-means stone, hoonj-means voice, sound). It has a history of 7.500 years and scientists believe that there is a tight connection between the observatory in Armenia and Stonehenge in Britain, since the latter is much younger (about 4000 years). The long road will takes us to Goris a beautiful city with a very charming regional style of stone architecture surrounded by high mountains and some great rock formations striving to the sky with ancient cave settlement.

Meals:(B/–/–)

Overnight: Goris

Distance: 156 km / 96 miles

Cycling route: Spandarian Reservoir-Shaki-Karahoonj-Goris

Cycling:60 km

Difficulty: 5/3

DAY 5:    Goris – Khndzoresk – Goris  

GorisToday we will relax in a mountainous city and do some hiking while our bicycles are being technically examined. * Drive 20 minutes and appear in a fantastic cave village with a picturesque view to the ruins of an old village, churches, tombs, nature, springs and a new bridge that spans the gorge. Khndzoresk is an ideal place for hiking. In the end of the 19th century Old Khndzoresk was the biggest village of Eastern Armenia. Return to Goris. Evening is free.

Meals:(B/–/–)

Overnight: Goris

Distance: 35 km / 19 miles

Hiking:

* Optional – Cycling route: Goris-Old Khndzoresk-Goris

Cycling:35 km: 6 km dirt road

Difficulty: 5/2

 

DAY 6:    Goris – Tatev – Selim Pass – Martuni  

We will begin the day visiting the 9th century Tatev monastic complex located on a large basalt plateau near the village of the same name in part of Zangezur. Monastery is known for the unique monument called “Gavazan” (pillar) which aimed to give early warning signals about possible earthquakes and invaders. Cycle through the Selim 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 to Martuni for camping.

Meals:(B/–/–)

Overnight: Martuni

Distance: 223 km / 138 miles

Cycling Route: Vayk-Selim Pass-Martuni

Cycling: 65 km: 25 km → / 32 km ↑ / 8 km ↓

Difficulty: 5/4

DAY 7:    Martuni – Noratus – Hayravank – Sevanavank – Dilijan  

sevanStart cycling across Lake Sevan and visit Noratus Cemetery a medieval cemetery with a large number of early khachkars (cross-stones) dating back to 10th century. Continue the cycling tour and visit Hayravank monastery complex (9-12th cc.) surrounded by numerous khachkars and gravestones that are part of a small cemetery located on Lake Sevan’s shore. Proceed and visit Sevanavank 9th c. (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. Passing Sevan-Dilijan tunnel we appear in the fabulous forested resort town of Dilijan.

Meals:(B/–/–)

Overnight: Dilijan

Distance: 105 km / 65 miles

Cycling Route: Martuni-Noratus-Hayravank-Sevanavank

Cycling: 90 km: 75 km → / 15 km ↓

Difficulty: 5/4

DAY 8:    Dilijan – Goshavank – Parz Lake – Tsakhkadzor

goshavankStart cycling to the impressive monastic complex of Goshavank (12-13th cc.) which has remained in relatively good condition also houses one of the world’s finest examples of a khachkar. Not far from the monastery there is a small beautiful lake called Lake Parz (clear lake) which is located in the Dilijan National Park at the altitude of 1400m above sea level. Transfer to Tsakhkadzor (means The Valley of Flowers) a spa town and a popular winter resort in Armenia located in a picturesque valley on the eastern slope of Mt Tegenis to 1845 m.

Meals:(B/–/–)

Overnight: Tsakhkadzor

Distance: 123 km / 77 miles

Cycling Route: Dilijan-Goshavank-Parz Lake

Cycling: 60 km: 20 km ↑ / 10 km ↓ / 30 km →

Difficulty: 5/4

 

DAY 9:    Tsakhkadzor – Hankavan – Aparan – Yerevan

yerevan_smallToday’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: 120 km / 63 miles

Cycling Route: Tsakhkadzor-Hankavan-Aparan

Cycling: 70 km: 30 km → / 15 km mountainous ↑ / 8 km dirt road ↓ / 17 km →

Difficulty: 5/5

 

DAY 10:  Yerevan – Garni – Havuts Tar – Geghard – Yerevan

Garni GorgeCycling 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. Continue cycling towards Havuts Tar (11-13th cc.) a few kilometers away from the temple of Garni. It is an impressive walled monastery, half ruined, on a promontory across the Garni river gorge from Goght. 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. Drive back to Yerevan.

Meals:(B/–/–)

Overnight: Yerevan

Distance: 80 km / 50 miles

Cycling Route: Yerevan-Garni-Havuts Tar-Geghard-Yerevan

Cycling: 80 km:20 km ↑↓ / 15 km ↓↑ / 5 km dirt road ↑↓

Difficulty: 5/5

 

DAY 11:  Departure

Transfer to the airport. Have a safe flight home.

Meals:(–/–/–)

Transfer: 15 km / 10 miles

   

For more details concerning the holiday availability go on How to Book or simply send us an e-mail to info@ayastour.com.


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