fbpx
Skip to content
Armenia Explorer, Climb Mount Ararat The Natural Adventure Company 35

Armenia Explorer

Overview

Few nations have histories as ancient and complex, and culture as rich and resilient as Armenia. It is a country of vast mountain landscapes, numerous cultural monuments and authentic traditions, preserved to this day by its down-to-earth locals. Our comprehensive hiking-focused Armenia Explorer itinerary will let you explore the many medieval monasteries and churches scattered across the country and reveal amazing sceneries of remote lakes and mountains.

You will start the tour exploring the cultural riches of the capital Yerevan, where you will also spend the last days of your journey, reflecting on your adventure and all the amazing places that you will visit during the trip. The itinerary blends cultural exploration with a walking adventure, taking you to the Khndzoresk caves, lake Sevan, and one of the peaks of Mt. Aragats. Of course, you will also not miss any of Armenia’s landmark sites such as Khor Virap, Noravank and Ghegard monasteries.

Being an “off the beaten track” destination, Armenia is not an easy place to explore on your own. Therefore we offer this trip as a private group departure, with a local guide, who will help you get the most of the trip, taking care of the logistics and giving you a personal perspective of the historical and cultural complexities of the region.

Click to view tour map

Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Yerevan

Arrival at Zvartnots INTL airport in the late evening or early morning on the following day, and a transfer to your hotel, where you can have a rest before the start of your journey.

Day 2: Yerevan

After breakfast, you will depart on a guided walking city tour of Yerevan, the capital of Armenia and one of the world’s oldest cities dating back to 872 B.C. You have the whole day to explore the city’s sites such as the History Museum, the Tsitsernakaberd Armenian Genocide Memorial Complex, and the UNESCO listed Echmiadzin Cathedral.

Day 3: Yerevan – Khor Virap and Noravank – Goris

Drive through villages and vineyards to Khor Virap Monastery, offering the closest and most breathtaking view to the biblical Mt Ararat. You continue to Areni village, where you will visit a cave where world’s oldest winery was found. Afterwards, you drive to Noravank Monastery – a great religious and cultural centre dating back to the 12th century, surrounded by stunning nature. Continue to Goris town visiting the ancient astronomical observatory of Karahunge.

Day 4: Goris – Tatev and Tatevi Anapat Monasteries – Yeghegis | 8 km

In the morning, a drive takes you to Khndzoresk village for the first hiking section of the day in the gorge towards the caves passing over the pending bridge. Drive back to Halidzor village and take the long aerial tramway to Tatev Monastery (10-15th century). Lunch in Tatev village and start the second hiking part of the day, taking you from the gorge’s higher points towards Tatevi Anapat Monastery situated in the valley of Vorortan river.

  • Accommodation: local guesthouse or family hotel
  • Walking for the day (part 1): 5 km, ↓575 m
  • Walking for the day (part 2): 3 km
  • Driving for the day: approx 170 km, 3 hrs

Day 5: Yeghegis – Lake Sevan – Dilijan Town | 14 km

After breakfast, you start hiking to Smbataberd fortress ruins. If the weather is not too hot (as it usually is in mid-July and August), you can continue hiking to Tsakhats Kar Monastery (10th century). Descend and continue on a drive towards lake Sevan with a stop in Noraduz village, where you will visit the local cemetery, known as the biggest collection shelter of Armenian cross-stones. Drive to the lake’s northwestern shores with a stopover at the peninsula, where you will visit the local medieval monasteries and enjoy a fantastic view of the lake.

  • Accommodation: Armeni Toon BB or similar
  • Walking for the day: 14 km, ↑470 m
  • Driving for the day: approx 166 km, 2 hrs 45 min

Day 6: Dilijan Town  – Goshavank Monastery – Apaga Resort | 7 km

Drive to Parz lake not far from Dilijan town and start hiking from the lake to Goshavank Monastery (13th century). Lunch in Gosh village at a local house and continue on a drive to Yenokavan village. In the upper part of the village, you will reach Apaga resort, offering an excellent stay for active leisure lovers. So, you can continue the adventures at the resort taking one of the activities offered at the place such as horse riding, zip-lining, hiking, different master classes etc. All to be paid on the spot.

  • Accommodation: Apaga Resort 4*
  • Walking for the day: 7 km, ↓140 m
  • Driving for the day: approx 60 km, 1 h 15 min

Day 7: Yenokavan – Akhtala – Haghpat – Byurakan

Drive to Akhtala Monastery (10th century), where you can explore its main church, famous for its highly artistic frescoes covering the inside walls, the partitions, and the bearings of the building. Continue to Haghpat Monastery (10th – 14th century), which was an important learning centre in the Middle Ages, and represents the finest example of Armenian religious architecture. Enjoy the beautiful landscapes of deep gorges en route and continue to Aragatsotn province where Armenia’s highest mountain is rising – Mt. Aragats (4090 m).

  • Accommodation: Amberd Hotel 4* or similar
  • Driving for the day: approx 324 km, 6 hrs 40 min

Day 8: Byurakan – Mt. Aragats Southern Peak – Yerevan | 9 km

Drive to the slopes of Mt. Aragats and stop near lake Kari from where you will start the trekking to the southern peak of Mt. Aragats. Ascend, take a rest with a picnic lunch and descend. Drive back to Yerevan. 

  • Accommodation: Ani Central Inn 3* or similar
  • Walking for the day: 9 km, ↑627 m ↓691 m
  • Driving for the day: approx 85 km, 2 hrs

Day 9: Yerevan – Ghegard Cave Monastery – Yerevan | 8 km

Drive to Goght village and start hiking in Azat river gorge towards Garni pagan temple (1st century), where you will have some time for sightseeing and lunch. You continue with a visit to Ghegard Cave Monastery, a UNESCO highlight, and return back to Yerevan.  Last chance for shopping in Vernissage open-air handicraft market and an evening stroll in Republic Square, enjoying the evening dancing and singing colourful fountains. 

  • Accommodation: Ani Central Inn 3* or similar
  • Walking for the day: 8 km, ↑110 m ↓280 m
  • Driving for the day: approx 73 km, 1 h 45 min

Day 10: Departure

Transfer to airport for departure.

What to Expect

Accommodation

Accommodation is in nice 3* and 4* star hotels, in double or twin private en-suite rooms. We have carefully hand-picked all places and regularly monitor their quality. We have tried to choose accommodations that offer friendly service, clean and comfortable rooms and local flavour.

Click to view default hotels

Ani Central Inn 3*, Hotel Mtnadzor 3*, Armeni Toon BB, Apaga Resort 4*, Amberd Hotel 4*

Hotels are subject to availability. In case a hotel is fully booked for your desired dates, we will replace it with a property of equal standard. We will provide full accommodation details upon booking confirmation.

Meals

Breakfast and lunch meals are included each day. For your evening meals, you will have the chance to explore the local cuisine on your own, in the nearby local restaurants, or in the hotel where you will stay for overnight.

Difficulty & terrain

The active part of the trip is easy and accessible with an average of 3 to 5 hours of walking per day. Still, a good physical shape is recommended to experience the routes in an enjoyable way (read more about difficulty grades). All walks are guided, so you should not be worried about navigating your way.

When to go

This trip is available from April to October. April to May is the best time to go to Armenia and Georgia for walking in comfortable temperatures as is September and October where wine regions and forests are fuelled with fiery foliage. The flexibility of private departures means that there are no fixed dates, and you can start your trip on any date during the season.

Getting there

FCO up-to-date travel advice

By plane

Our recommended airport for this tour is Yerevan.

Inclusions

Included

  • 9 overnights in 3* and 4* hotels as listed in the itinerary, all in double/twin rooms with en-suite facilities
  • Breakfast and lunch each day
  • Guided walking tour of Yerevan on day 1
  • English speaking guide for the whole tour
  • Local trekking guide for Mount Aragats (day 7)
  • Airport transfers and all transportation during the tour
  • Ferry ticket
  • Entrance fees as per programme (Garni temple, Tatev ropeway)

Excluded

  • Plane tickets
  • Dinners, drinks and snacks
  • Travel insurance (required – get a quote online)
  • Personal expenses
  • Any items not explicitly listed as included

Options, extras & supplements

  • A supplement applies to members of a group who require a single room
  • The tour is not available for solo travellers
  • Extra nights before, after or during the tour (upon request)

Gallery

Reviews