Transcaucasian Trail Hike Armenia


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    Ancient monasteries and stunning mountain landscapes

    Overflowing with historical sites and scenic brilliance, this adventure traces parts of the Caucasian Silk route, through lands that have been occupied for thousands of years. Our journey through Armenia takes us to the mountains passing by ancient churches and monasteries, beautiful lakes and countless UNESCO World Heritage Sites. This trip explores scenic Dilijan, Lake Sevan, the pagan Garni Temple, Geghard Cave Monastery and the medieval Haghpat and Sanahin monasteries.

    Highlights

    • Combines with Transcaucasian Trail Hike Georgia
    • Hike sections of the Armenian Transcaucasian Trail
    • Experience scenic Dilijan “Little Switzerland”
    • Hike to beautiful Lake Sevan, the village of Gosh and explore the nearby sites
    • Discover 1st century A.D. pagan Garni Temple
    • Visit numerous UNESCO listed sites such as medieval Haghpat & Sanahin monasteries
    • Explore the sights of the capital city Yerevan
    • Journey to Hagartsin Mountain & visit Haghartisn monastery

    Itinerary

    Day 1 Join in Yerevan, Armenia
    On arrival you will be met at the airport and transferred to the group hotel. This evening your Armenian guide will provide a trip briefing before you all enjoy a traditional welcome meal. (D)

    Day 2 Sights of Yerevan
    Today we will have a tour of the capital. Our tour will start from the Victory Park, at Mother Armenia monument, from where you will behold a panoramic view of the city. We will then visit other sights of the capital, including the Republic Square, the Opera house, the Cascade where you will see the statue of the world-famous sculptor Fernando Botero “The Black Cat”. We will also drive via Baghramyan Avenue, where you will see the Parliament, the Palace of President, and the National Academy of Sciences. We will visit the Genocide Memorial Complex with the museum. Visit Matenadaran museum, which hosts the biggest collection of medieval Armenian manuscripts. (B, L, D)

    Day 3 Garni Temple & Geghard Monastery
    Today we drive east of Yerevan towards Garni village where we’ll enjoy a light warm up walk. From the village we start hiking through the canyon to 1st century A.D. Garni Temple, a unique example of Armenia’s pagan past. Apart from the ruins of the royal complex, you will also see a bathhouse with an interesting mosaic. We will have an enjoyable walk down to the Garni gorge where we will admire volcanic basalt formations called “the symphony of stones”. Not far from Garni we will drive to Geghard monastery, a UNESCO site. The monastic complex received its name after the Holy Lance which was kept here in the middle ages. The cave enclosures of this cultural and architectural wonder are notable for amazing acoustics. (B, L, D)

    Day 4 Lake Sevan to Kalavan Hike
    After breakfast, we start our hiking from the hotel. We will walk up to Vartenyats mountain range, from where we will have beautiful view to Sevan Lake, which is the “blue eye of Armenia”. This fresh–water lake of volcanic origin is situated at an altitude about 6.500 feet. Its crystal – clear transparent water changes colour several times during the day. It is turquoise in direct sunlight, then turns a greenish shade, and finally becomes grey by the evening. It is one of the largest high-altitude lakes in the world located at 1900m and is surrounded by snow-covered mountains. From here we will take a Transcaucasian trail to village Kalavan. (B, L, D)

    Day 5 Kalavan to Gosh Hike
    Following a hearty breakfast we will continue our hike along the Transcaucasian Trail to the village of Gosh. On the way we will have a picnic lunch near Gosh Lake which is a small lake hidden in forest. In the Gosh village we will stay in small hotel near the monastery 12th century Goshavank. This monastery was named in honour of Mkhitar Gosh. He was an Armenian scholar, writer, public figure, thinker, and priest. He wrote the “Book of Laws” the first Armenian Legal text. (B, L, D)

    Day 6 Gosh to Dilijan Hike
    From the hotel we will start to walk again along the Transcaucasian Trail to the resort town of Dilijan, located in the midst of the forests of Dilijan National Park, famous as Armenian Switzerland. Today our bus will take us from the city centre to the hotel. Today we will have a picnic lunch near Parz lake. Before going on the bus we will visit old part of Dilijan, which still preserves 19-century housing. (B, L, D)

    Day 7 Schamakhyan to Haghpat Hike
    In the morning our private vehicle will take us to village of Shamakhyan. We will start today’s hiking from Shamakhyan village, which is one of the districts of Dilijan Resort town. We will ascend Haghartin Mound from where we will have majestic view of Haghrtsin medieval monastery hidden in Dilijan forests. It is a picnic lunch today. After visit of Haghartisn monastery, we will drive to our final stop in village Haghpat near the border with Georgia. The fantastic scenery of this monastery make this visit an unforgettable experience. (B, L, D)

    Day 8 Sanahin & Haghpat Monasteries then to Tbilisi, trip concludes
    In the morning we will visit Haghpat monastery, after which we will start our hiking towards to Sanahin monastery. Both are boasting medieval monasteries included in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Our hike will pass through Armenian colourful villages enjoying the peace and magnificent scenes of a remote mountainous villages such as Hahgpat and Akner. We will finish our hike in Sanahin village. This village is the birthplace of the Mikoyan brothers: Anastas – a prominent Soviet politician; and Artem, one of the engineers of the famous MIG jets. After our visits we enjoy a farewell lunch and then our vehicle will take us to the border where our Georgian guide will be awaiting us for our transfer to Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia. This trip concludes upon arrival into Tbilisi. If you are ending your Transcaucasian Trail Hike here, you can be taken directly to the airport. If you are continuing on the Transcaucasian Trail Hike Georgia, you will be taken to the Tbilisi group hotel. (B, L)

    Inclusions

    • 7 breakfasts, 7 lunches and 6 dinners
    • Accommodation in comfortable hotels in Yerevan on a twin-share basis
    • Accommodation in local guest houses in rural locations twin-share (unless otherwise stated)
    • Local sightseeing & entrance fees to monuments as listed in itinerary
    • English speaking local guides
    • Mountain guides during hiking
    • Internal transport by private vehicle
    • Group medical kit

    WEX-THA

    Images courtesy of WorldExpeditions