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Hiking and Trekking in Armenia

Armenia, a country celebrated for its rich history and stunning landscapes, stands out as a prime destination for outdoor enthusiasts seeking the best places for hiking and trekking. With its surprisingly changing terrain - mountains, valleys, and canyons that hide real gems of architecture - Armenia offers different trekking routes and awesome hiking tours. This article can be a useful guide for outdoor enthusiasts planning to travel to Armenia!


In this article I highlighted the best hiking routes and popular backpacking opportunities that Armenia has to offer. Explore the trekking trails that wind through country's captivating landscapes, ensuring an unforgettable experience for hikers of all skill levels, from hiking newbies to forged trekking enthusiasts!

 

Popular Trekking Trails


Trekking in Geghama Mountains:



 The view that opens up in front of your eyes from the top of mount Azhdahak


This mountain ridge stretches between Lake Sevan and the Ararat Plain (the range is 70 km length and 48 km width) and is a great multi-day hiking and trekking place for adventure-lovers. The highest point of the range, the extinct volcano Azhdahak, is particularly interesting.

 

Day 1:

For a multi-day trekking, you can start your hike from Geghashen village and reach lake Akna and put up a tent there!



 Camping on the shore of Lake Akna


Day 2:

The next day you can climb mount Azhdahak and then descend and sleep on the shore of lake Nazeli (Badi).



Early in the morning, before the sun casts its rays on the lake, you can see the mirrored reflection of the surrounding cliffs on Lake Nazeli


Day 3:

You can hike to Dragon lake, see the Dragonstones on the shore, and descend to village Geghard! If you choose the right path from the mountains, you can see Geghard monastery lying in the gorge!

Note that these are my personal recommendations and you can always try an alternative that best fits your strength and expectations!

 



The Dragonstons that are located on the shore of lake Dragon



Trekking on the slopes of Mount Aragats:

 

Our next hike will lift you up to the highest point of Armenia so you can watch this country from its highest heights. The mountain has four summits, and you can trek all of them if you take a multi-day hike.

 



Lake Kari, Southern and Western Summits of mount Aragats


Day 1:

You can start from Amberd fortress, hike towards Tirinkatar summit, discover the Dragonstones lying nearby, then proceed towards Amberd lake and finally reach Lake Kari for the night!

 



Me in Tirinkatar Sacred Valley! This is one of the best preserved Dragonstones you can find in there!


Day 2:

Climb Southern Aragats and descend to the saddle between Western and Southern Summits! If you feel strong, climb the western summit as well and descend for the night in the crater! Go all the way down towards the Eastern summit and find a flat place to put up a tent!

 

Day 3:

Climb Northern Aragats, Armenia’s highest summit, and then return to your camp (Climbing Eastern summit is tricky, there are lots of stones rolling down, but if you are a daring explorer make that happen)! Grab your stuff and go down the river! On your way, you can see several waterfalls, including the marvelous Gegharot waterfall! Hike up to the village Aragats to conclude your trekking trip!

 

Hiking in Armenia

 

At the top of Southern Aragats


Southern Aragats - Summiting the Peak:

For those seeking a challenging yet rewarding adventure, a hike up Southern Aragats is a must.



A hiker has victoriously lifted her hands after reaching the summit of mount Azhdahak


Moving back to Geghama mountains let me mention Mount Azhdahak once again! A hiking trip from Mount Paytasar to Azhdahak is something I highly recommend!



Me sitting in front of Okon Monastery


Hike to Lastiver Waterfall and Okon Monastery:

This is another popular hiking trail in Armenia that passes through woods all the time.



Took this drone shot while hiking from lake Parz to Goshavank Monastery


Hikes in Dilijan National Park:

The national park offers a variety of trails for all levels of hikers, including the most popular hike from Parz lake to Gosh village!



Perched high on the cliffs, Smbataberd Fortress is an attractive destination for adventure enthusiasts!


Hike to Smbataberd Fortress and Tsakhats Kar Monastery:

This hike takes you to some of Armenia’s most important historical sites.



View from the summit of mount Yeranos


Hike to Yeranos mountain

During the hike a beautiful view will open up in front of your eyes towards Azat reservoir.



Mount Dimats


Hike to Dimats mountain!

The trail promises wonderful views and Armenia's highest waterfall Shaghot



Winter ascent to mount Hatis


Hikes to Hatis, Ara, or Apakeqar Mountains in Winter:

These hikes offer a unique winter experience.



Me exploring abandoned Old Khot Village


Bonus Hike from Hin Khot to Hin Sinuhayr and Hin Halidzor:

You can come across abandoned villages, which are sometimes called Armenian Machu Picchu.


Tatev Desert as seen from Tatev village - Tatev Desert trail


Hike to Tatev Desert from Satan Bridge is short but epic! Hidden deep in the woods, this monastic complex will leave a lasting impression on you!


Aparan Reservoir Loop Trail


While hiking along the Aparan Reservoir Loop Trail, you will encounter evergreen forests and several historical monuments. A view of Mount Aragats will accompany you all the way up to the end!


Horomayr Monastery as seen by my drone


The Odzun-Horomayr-Kobayr trail will leave an unforgettable impression on you! Hiking along Lori Gorge is something you will never forget. On your way, you will discover mysterious Armenian churches perched high among cliffs. The trail is linear.


Practical Tips for Hiking in Armenia:

While Armenia's diverse landscapes can be explored year-round, the best time for hiking is from midst spring to early autumn when the weather is mild, not that rainy and the flora is in full bloom.

Embrace the opportunity to interact with local communities along the way, gaining insights into Armenia's rich cultural heritage. Armenians are very hospitable especially those living in rural areas and don't miss a chance to talk to them! Remember that even a simple "barev (hello in Armenian)" and friendly smile can create a warm atmosphere.

Armenia's hiking and trekking trails promise not only physical challenges but also a spiritual connection with nature and a deep appreciation for the country's cultural tapestry. Lace up your boots, breathe in the crisp mountain air, and embark on an unforgettable journey through Armenia's outdoor wonders. Welcome to Armenia...

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