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Hidden Gems
Guided Treks

Zangezur Mountains Trek in Armenia

Overview

Armenia is a landlocked country almost entirely occupied by mountains, and it is a paradise for hikers and outdoor lovers. Armenia is home to high mountains and rocks, lakes and rivers, gorges and picturesque waterfalls, canyons and valleys. On our Zangezur Mountains Trek in Armenia, we will take you off the beaten track to the beautiful Zangezur Mountains – a range that defines the border between Armenia’s southern province of Syunik and Azerbaijan’s Nakhichevan Autonomous Republic.

  • Yerevan, Armenia’s capital
  • Khor Virap Monastery in the Ararat Plain
  • The Areni Cave – world’s oldest winery
  • Shaki Waterfall
  • Climb Mt Tsghuk and Mt Nazeli
  • Tatev Monastery
  • Old Khndzoresk Cave Village 

Click to view map

Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival to Yerevan

After a complimentary airport transfer from Yerevan Airport to your hotel, enjoy the beauty of this ancient city. An extra night there is highly recommended so you can have time to explore Yerevan at your leisure.

  • Overnight in Yerevan, 3 or 4-star hotel

Day 2: Khor Virap – Yeghegnadzor – Areni – Sisian | 4-5 hrs

A car transfer through the plains of the Ararat valley to the monastery of Khor Virap, set against the backdrop of the towering Biblical Mount Ararat. The monastery is a place of pilgrimage and is the site of the prison where St. Gregory the Enlightener was detained (St. Gregory brought Christianity to Armenia in 301 AD, thus, Armenia became the first country to adopt Christianity as a state religion). Continue to Yeghegnadzor. Enjoy the view of a narrow gorge, made by Amaghu River. The gorge is known for its tall, sheer, brick red cliffs, directly across from Noravank Monastery. Explore cave Areni – a 6100-year-old wine press for stomping grapes, fermentation and storage vessels has been discovered there. Meeting with the wine master and owner of the garden. You can participate in the fascinating grape collection and wine making process in traditional style or other folk event on the site. Walk along a wonderful flowery path. Drive to Sisian. Overnight in Sisian.

  • Transfer time: around 4-5 hours
  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner included
  • Overnight in a family-run guesthouse or a 3-star hotel

Day 3: Sisian – Aghitu – Vorotan Gorge | 5 hrs

Trekking starts at Basen hotel to Zoratc Qarer and Shaki waterfall, continues with a 30-minute transfer to Aghitu; from Aghitu walk to Vorotnavank monastery through Vorotan river gorge; transfer back for overnight and dinner in the hotel. Enjoy refreshing Shaki waterfall and the views of the impressive basalt formations of Vorotan Gorge.

  • Walking for the day: 14 km, 5h, ↑200m
  • Breakfast, packed lunch and dinner included
  • Overnight in a family-run guesthouse or a 3-star hotel

Day 4: Ishkhanasar and Ukhtasar Camp 1 | 7 hrs

Transfer from hotel to Ishkhanasar village (15 min); start trekking from Ishkhanasar to Camp 1 at 2,700m; Overnight in tents.

  • Walking for the day: 15 km, 7h ↑1,000m
  • Breakfast, packed lunch and dinner included
  • Overnight in tents

Day 5: Mt Tsghuk | 7 hrs

From Camp 1 trek to Ukhtasar and climb Mt Tsghuk, the highest point of Syunik Plateu (3,585m) and take in the breathtaking views. Lodging near Dragon stones (3,000m).

  • Walking for the day: 15 km, 7h, ↑900m
  • Breakfast, packed lunch and dinner included
  • Overnight in tents

Day 6: Mt Nazeli | 7-8 hrs

Walking through Alpine flower meadows today you will climb Nazeli, the queen of the volcanoes (3,150m), then trek down to the main road with splendid views of the Spandarian Reservoir. Transfer back to the hotel in Sisian for overnight and dinner.

  • Walking for the day: 18 km, 7-8h ↑1,200m
  • Breakfast, packed lunch and dinner included
  • Overnight in a family-run guesthouse or a 3-star hotel

Day 7: Ltsen – Tatev | 6 hrs

Transfer from Basen to Ltsen (40 min); the trekking starts at Ltsen and ends at Tatev, one of the pearls of Armenian architecture and a religious centre. The ride on the world’s longest double-reversible cable-car will allow you to enjoy the views of Vorotan canyon. Transfer from Halidzor cable car station to the hotel in Sisian for overnight and dinner (45 min).

  • Walking for the day: 17 km, 6h ↑500m
  • Breakfast, packed lunch and dinner included
  • Overnight in a family-run guesthouse or a 3-star hotel

Day 8: Old Khndzoresk – Portakar | 4-5 hrs

Visit Old Khndzoresk cave village with its swinging bridge will open a new perspective of Syunik; visit Portakar. Back to Yerevan (4-5 h). Dinner at a local restaurant on the road. Overnight in Yerevan.

  • Transfer time: around 4-5 hours
  • Breakfast, packed lunch and dinner included
  • Overnight in Yerevan, 3 or 4-star hotel

Day 9: Departure, Extra Day or Onward Travel

Optional complimentary transfer to Yerevan Airport – or we highly recommend booking an extra day to visit the Garni Gorge and marvel at its basalt formations, located just 12 km from Yerevan.

  • Breakfast included

What to Expect

Accommodation

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

*Hotels are subject to availability. In case a particular hotel is fully booked for your desired dates, we will replace it with a hotel of equal value and quality level. We will provide exact accommodation details to you upon booking confirmation.

Meals

Breakfast is always included, as well as packed lunches and dinners in the mountains, as listed above. In Yerevan dinner is available either from the restaurant in your hotel or at the numerous restaurants nearby.

Difficulty & terrain

A route for people who know how to enjoy themselves. This holiday is appropriate for walkers with a very good level of fitness (read more about difficulty grades). This is a privately guided holiday – during all walks you will be accompanied by an experienced English-speaking local guide. We strongly advise you to follow the guide’s instructions. More detailed info on route navigation will be included in your holiday information pack.

When to go

This trip is available from June until September. The flexibility of privately guided walking holidays means that there are no fixed dates and you can start your trip on any date in the season – so please indicate desired beginning date when booking.

The climate in the region is continental, cold and temperate. The region has alpine weather with long, cold and snowy winters. In June and September snowfall is also possible. And even in summer it can become cold, especially during the night.

Getting there

FCO up-to-date travel advice

As citizens of an EU member state, British Citizen passport holders can stay in Armenia without a visa for up to 180 days per year. The area where this tour takes place is completely safe, as it is located far from the conflict region of Nagorni Karabach.

Click to view travel options

By plane

Our recommended airport for this tour is Yerevan. All ground transfers, including airport transfers, are included.

Inclusions

Included

  • 8 overnights, 5 of them in private rooms and 3 in tents
  • Service of an experienced English-speaking local guide
  • 2 x airport transfers (arrival and departure) – Yerevan Airport
  • All transfers as described in the itinerary
  • All luggage transfers
  • One way ticket for Tatever cable car
  • All breakfasts, lunches (packed lunches during the walks) and dinners as detailed in the itinerary
  • Walking sticks (please request them in advance)
  • 24/7 phone support by our local office/representative in Yerevan

Excluded

  • Airfare
  • Dinner in Yerevan, drinks and snacks
  • Travel insurance (required – get a quote online)
  • Personal expenses
  • Local tourist taxes and entry fees (payable on-site)
  • Any items not explicitly listed as included

Options, extras & supplements

  • Single room supplement applies to members of a group who require a single room – single rooms only available with the upgraded accommodation option
  • This holiday is available for solo travellers, there is a solo traveller supplement as guide, transfer and hotel costs are not shared
  • Yerevan guided city tour before the holiday
  • Extra night in Yerevan before the tour including a guided city tour
  • Extra night in Yerevan after the tour including a guided tour to Kotayk and Garni Gorge

Drive to Kotayk (30 min) to visit the cave monastery Geghard. The impressive architectural structure is located in the valley of the mountain river Goght, and included in the UNESCO World Heritage Sites List. Here you will also visit the Garni Pagan Temple. Lunch in a village restaurant on a private plot, fish menu. Introduction to ”lavash” baking without yeast. Walking through the beautiful gorge of River Azad to explore the basalt formations called ‘Symphony of Stones. Return to Yerevan. Dinner in a local traditional restaurant. Overnight in Yerevan.

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