Explore the best of Armenia's ancient Christian landmarks and mountainous landscapes with short hikes and comfortable overnight accommodations. Start your trip with a visit to Yerevan's Tsitsernakaberd Memorial Park and Cascade Monument. Visit the 4th-century Khor Virap Monastery, see snow-capped Mt. Ararat, and ride the world's longest cable car in Tatev. End the trip with a visit to the Noratus Cemetery and a 2000-year old Hellenistic pagan temple.

Highlights

  • Explore 2000-year-old Garni Temple, Armenia's last remaining pagan temple
  • Discover Armenia's Christian history at 4th-century Khor Virap Monastery
  • Visit 10th-century Sevanavank Monastery on Sevan Lake, the "Blue Pearl" 
  • See the Republic Square and Opera House in metropolitan Yerevan 

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Welcome to Armenia! Yerevan
Day 2 Sightsee in Yerevan Yerevan
Day 3 Ararat Goris
Day 4 Ride the longest ropeway in the world Goris
Day 5 Explore the famous Khatchkars Dilijan
Day 6 10th-century Akhtala Yerevan
Day 7 Discover 2000-year-old Garni Yerevan
Day 8 Goodbye, Armenia!  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Welcome to Armenia!

Mount Ararat through the columns of Zvartnots Cathedral
Mount Ararat through the columns of Zvartnots Cathedral

Welcome to Armenia! Arrive in the Zvartnoc airport and transfer to your hotel.

Day 2: Sightsee in Yerevan

Cascade Monument
Cascade Monument

Yerevan is the capital and largest city in Armenia and sits on the Hrazdan River. Head out to see the city sights on a tour in the morning. Your stops will include the Republic Square, the Esplanade, and the Opera House. Visit the History Museum to learn about the history of the city and the founding fortress of Erebuni, built in 782 BCE. In the afternoon head to the Tsitsernakaberd Memorial Park and the museum for the victims of the Armenian Genocide of 1915. 

On of Yerevan's most iconic monuments is the Cascade Monument, which was built for the city's 2,780th anniversary and features an equivalent number of stairs. The panoramic view from the top of the staircase is worth the walk to the top, with a clear view of Mt. Ararat and posh Northern Avenue

Day 3: Ararat

View of Khor Virap and Mount Ararat
View of Khor Virap and Mount Ararat

Start your day with a visit to Khor Virap Monastery, founded in the 4th century. The monastery once imprisoned Gregory the Illuminator, Armenia's patron saint, who brought Christianity to Armenia. Enjoy the spectacular views of Mount Ararat, then continue the tour to Norovank, a 12th-century monastery situated among sheer rocks on the banks of a steep gorge. The hike through the Norovank Canyon is 3.1 miles long (5km) and will take approximately two hours. 

In the afternoon visit Goris, stopping en route to visit the prehistoric archaeological site of Karahunk, which was used as an observatory in the 2nd millennium BCE. 

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Day 4: Ride the longest ropeway in the world

Tatev Monastery
Tatev Monastery

Start your day by exploring the picturesque rock formations and ancient cave settlement at Khndzoresk, which was occupied as recently as the 1950s. These days the caves are used for stables and warehouses for the community. This hike is 12. miles (2 km) long and will take approximately an hour.

From here continue to the village of Tatev along an impressively steep canyon, stopping to see precarious rock formations along the way. Arrive in Tatev and visit the Tatev Monastery, a 9th-century Armenian Apostolic monastery. In the 11th century, the monastery was widely renowned as a medieval university where hundreds of monks lived and studied. For a bird's eye view of the region, ride back to town on the world's longest cable car.

Day 5: Explore the famous Khatchkars

Historical cemetery with ancient tombstones known as Khachkars
Historical cemetery with ancient tombstones known as Khachkars

Travel to Lake Sevan with a stop at Selim Caravanserai on the way. This ancient traveler's stop offered hospitality along the arduous highway crossing the Selim mountains. 

At Lake Sevan explore the famous Noratus Cemetery and the ancient Khatchkars. This cemetery contains the largest cluster of the stone crosses in Armenia. Visit the Sevanavank Monastery, one of two 10th-century monasteries built on the Lake Sevan peninsula.

Continue the drive to the small town of Dilijan, known as the "Little Switzerland of Armenia". Enjoy an evening walk along Sharamberyan Street, a popular walking avenue lined with museums, souvenir markets, and small shops. 

Day 6: 10th-century Akhtala

10th-century Akhtala in the summer
10th-century Akhtala in the summer

Visit the 10th-century monastery and fortress complex of Akhtala, one of the best-preserved in the country. The fortress played a major role in protecting the northwestern regions of Armenia and is a bastion of history and culture. The main church of the complex is particularly renowned for its frescoes and art. 

Continue to the village of Odzoun and visit the Odzun Church, an Armenian basilica of the 5th-7th centuries. Head to Yerevan for the evening. 

Day 7: Discover 2000-year-old Garni

Garni Temple, constructed in the first century CE
Garni Temple, constructed in the first century CE

In the morning head to the medieval monastery of Geghard, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The site was founded in the 4th century as the Ayrivank monastery and is famous for its cathedrals, which are carved directly into the mountainside. 

Continue to see the temple of Garni, a 2000-year-old Hellenistic pagan temple dedicated to the sun god Mihr. This temple is one of the best-known structures and symbols of pre-Christian Armenia. After visiting the temple, hike into the Garni Canyon to see the Basalt Organs, an incredible rock wall of geometric basalt. 

Day 8: Goodbye, Armenia!

Zvartnots Cathedral
Zvartnots Cathedral

After having a delicious breakfast at your hotel, leave for the airport and take your flight back home.

Map

Map of Hiking in Armenia - 8 Days
Map of Hiking in Armenia - 8 Days