Armenia is a perfect place for make unforgettable adventurous tour. This tour is manage generally as a hiking tour and lets to discover the beauty of Armenian nature. During the tour you will reach Ajhdahak mountain’s top , Aragats mountain’s South and West peaks, and visit the lakes, located on that mountains. Also, in this tour you may see famous Armenian sights – Garni temple, Geghard, Havuts Tar, Saghmosavank, the petroglyphs on Geghama mountains and stone- dragons. Overnights: 3 nights in Yerevan, 4 nights in tents, 1 night in Sevan.
Type of tour: Guided
Duration: 9 days / 8 nights
Activity level: Moderate
Total trekking distance: 106 km / 65.5 miles
Average trekking per day: 13 km / 8 miles
Maximum height: 4090m
Accommodation: Tents, B&B house
Start and end point: Yerevan, Armenia
DAY 1: Arrival
Arrive at the airport. Meet and greet, transfer to the accommodation.
Overnight: Hotel in Yerevan
Transfer: 15 km / 10 miles
DAY 2: Yerevan – Lake Sevan – Artanish Mountain – Sevan
Drive towards Sevan Lake the largest lake in Armenia and the Caucasus region. It is also one of the largest fresh-water high-altitude lakes in the world. This huge mountain lake is situated at an altitude of about 1,900 meters above sea level. Visit 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 Artanish peninsula. Start trekking to Artanish Mountain where we will see the whole beauty of the lake and the Geghama Mountains surrounding it. Its summit is the only place from which we can see the whole Lake Sevan.
Hiking route: Artansih Mountain
Hiking: 12 km / 7.4 miles
Elevation: Lake Sevan 1900m / Artanish Mountain 2461m / Tsakhkashen 2165m
DAY 3: Sevan – Tsakhkashen village – Lake Akna
Start trekking through the picturesque Alpine meadows to Lake Akna which is one of the many places of interest in the Geghama mountain range. Akna means “eye” in Armenian. This lake is of volcanic origin and is located on the frontier of Kotayk and Gegharkunik regions.
Trekking Route: Tsakhkashen – Lake Akna
Trekking: 14 km /8.6 miles
Elevation: Akna Lake 3031m
DAY 4 : Lake Akna – Mount Azdahak – Lake Vanki
Today we start our trekking from Akna Lake to the highest point of the range – volcano Azdahak located in the western part of the range. It is an extinct volcano. There is a lake inside the crater. The lake is formed from melting snow. Start ascending to the top. From the summit of Azdahak opens pictorial landscape of Mount Ararat, Kotayk valley, Lake Sevan and the whole Geghama mountain range. Descending from the mountain and continue trekking to Vanki Lake. Set up the tents. Camping.
Trekking Route: Akna Lake – Ajdahak Mountain – Vanki Lake
Trekking: 20 km /12 miles
Elevation: Ajdahak 3597m
DAY 5: Lake Vanki – Goght village
Start trekking towards Vanki Lake. Nearby the lake some vishapakars (dragon stones) have preserved, in ancient Armenian mythology these stones symbolized adoration for water. Many various pertoglyphs can be noticed all around; the most ancient of them are dated for 7th millennium B. C. Continue trekking to Goght village..
Overnight: Goght B&B
Trekking Route: Vanki Lake – Goght
Trekking: 15 km
Elevation: Goght 1597m
DAY 6: Garni – Geghard monastery – Havuts Tar – Garni – Yerevan
Drive towards an outstanding monument of medieval Armenian architecture – Geghard monastery (4-12th cc.) listed as UNESCO World Heritage Site. Start trekking from Goght village through Azat gorge to Havuts Tar monastery which stands at the top of the mountain. Havuts Tar is an 11-13th century walled monastery, half ruined, in the Azat River valley. The road goes up and down through rocks with stalactites and mountains bare at some places, forested at others. On the way you can see one of the marvels of Armenia – symphony of stones. 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. Drive to Yerevan.
Trekking Route: Garni – Azat gorge – Havuts Tar – Symphony of Stones – Garni
Trekking: 12 km /7.4 miles
Elevation: Geghard 1911m / Gorge bottom 1250m / Havuts Tar 1590m / Garni Temple 1390m
DAY 7: Yerevan – Lake Kari – Southern & Western Aragats – Gegharot Waterfall
Early in the morning drive to the mountainous Lake Kari (3200m). Get ready for hiking to the southern summit of the highest mountain of Armenia and South Caucasus. Mt. Aragats with its unique nature has sub-alpine and alpine zones as well as four peaks and one of the biggest craters in the world, created by a volcano eruption in the distant past. The highest northern peak is 4090m. We are ascending the southern one (3880m). Afterwards we continue trekking to the western summit which is the second highest peak of Armenia (3995m). Descending to the pass between Southern and Western tops (3800 m).
Trekking Route: Southern peak – Western peak
Trekking: 7-8 km / 5 miles
Elevation: Lake Kari 3200m / Southern Aragats 3880m / Western Aragats 3995m
Start trekking from Gegharot waterfall which is 15 meters high and has two cascades. The waterfall is not a large one but it is marvelous during spring thaw. Trekking down towards Aragats village. Drive to Yerevan.
Trekking Route: Gegharot – Aragats village
Trekking: 12 km/ 7.4 miles
Elevation: Aragats village 1965m
DAY 9: Departure
Transfer to the airport. Have a safe flight home.
Transfer: 15 km / 10 miles
Photos by: Vigen Hakhverdyan, Ashot Arushanyan