Jeeping the Volcanoes of Armenia

By Armenian Geographic
Yerevan, Armenia
from $1990 USD

We offer you a fascinating journey on SUVs. You will enjoy the beauty of mountainous Armenia accessible only for hikers and off road travelers. The advantage of this jeep tour is that it will give you an opportunity to visit a lot of interesting places and see the most hard-to-reach corners of Armenia.

Day 1: Yerevan

Meeting the group at the airport and transfer to the hotel. After we will have a walking tour in Yerevan. During the walking tour you will get acquainted with the city architecture and see the sights of Yerevan.
Forbes Russia has included Erebuni Fortress in the list of 9 oldest fortresses in the world.

Day 2: Geghama mountains and Symphony of Stones

Early in the morning we will get started from Yerevan in SUVs and drive to the Pagan Temple of Garni. The Temple of Garni is located in the village of Garni in Kotayk Province, Armenia. The temple used to be pagan and was dedicated to the Armenian god of the sun Mihr. Built in the middle of the 1st century AD, Garni remarkably survived the destruction of pagan temples.After admiring the temple we will ride down the Azat gorge and see the Symphony of Stones. These stones hanging against the gravity resemble an organ, which explains why it is also referred to as “Basalt Organ Pipes”. The river of Azat flows through the gorge, peppering the mesmerizing beauty of stones with burble.

Then we will drive to Geghard Monastery. The monastery of Geghard contains a number of churches and tombs, most of them cut into the rock, which illustrate the very peak of Armenian medieval architecture.
In the second half of the day we will continue our jeep tour to Geghama Mountains. This mountains keep a lot of secrets and mysteries within them. Scholars from all over the world have come to see the petroglyphs with their own eyes. Over 12,000 petroglyphs have been discovered in the vicinity of Geghama mountain range. Almost all aspects of human life are reflected in those petroglyphs.

Vishaps (dragons) or vishapakars (dragon stones) are stelae carved with animal imagery found in the high-altitude summer pastures of modern Armenia and the Armenian Highland.

Details of the day:

Location – Kotayk / Gegharkunik provinces
Driving – 65 km
The best hiking period – from mid June to mid September
Overnight stay – Yerevan

Day 3: On the Roads of Southern Armenia

Early in the morning we will set off to the south of Armenia.
We will start the track which leads us through Yeranos mountains to Ararat valley. There we will see the famous and significant monastery Khor Virap. The monastery was built on the deep pit where in the 4th century Gregory the Illuminator was imprisoned, who spent over 13 years there. Khor Virap is also famous for its breathtaking views of Ararat.

Ten we will continue to Vayots Dzor region. We will start jeeping to Smbataberd fortress. The fortress was built in the V century and is considered one of the well preserved fortresses of Armenia. Smbataberd is surrounded from three sides by steep cliffs, which go down into the gorge, where the rivers Artabuyn and Yeghegis flow. During its entire existence Smbataberd Fortress was captured only once – and only thanks to a cunning plan.

Afterwards we will visit the medieval monastery complex Tsaghats Kar, not far from Smbataberd Fortress. The complex consists of three parts – the church of St. Nshan, St. Karapet and St. Astvatsatsin. The bas-reliefs on the walls of the church of St. Karapet display emblems of princely families of Syunik (IX-XI centuries).

Details of the day:

Location – Ararat / Vayots Dzor provinces
Driving – 160 km
The best hiking period – from mid June to mid September
Overnight stay – Vayots Dzor

Day 4: Volcano Vayotssar

In the morning we will visit village Herher. The main sight in the village is Sion monastery. The monastery is located on the top of sheer cliffs. Afterwards we will start jeeping to Vayotssar volcano. The most impressive part of the volcano is its crater. We will go down the crater and feel the real power of the volcano.

Volcano Vayotssar

Volcano Vayotssar

Details of the day:

Location – Vayots Dzor province
Driving – 70 km
The best hiking period – from mid June to mid September
Overnight stay – Vayots Dzor

Day 5: Volcano Ukhtasar

In the morning we will set off to Syunik region. Ukhtasar is a place of power and everyone who will have chance to be here would feel it. A thousand years ago people were making sacrifices to Gods at this place. Here at the height of 3300 meters you will see the lake and a lot of stones with petroglyphs.

Some petroglyphs seem to depict real events whilst many other examples are apparently entirely abstract. Some theories hold that they may have been a way of transmitting information, while other theories ascribe to them a religious or ceremonial purpose.

Details of the day:

Location – Syunik province
Driving – 170 km
The best hiking period – from mid June to mid September
Overnight stay – Goris

Day 6: Tatev, The Devil’s Bridge and Khndzoresk

We will start our tour from the one of the most impressive villages in Syunik – Old Khndzoresk, which is famous for its cave houses and swinging bridge, with the length of 160 meters.
After we will continue to Tatev monastery complex and its neighbourhood. After learning about the monastery we will go down the Vorotan gorge and take a short hike to the abandoned monastery called Tatevi Mets Anapat (The Great Hermitage of Tatev). Afterwards we will continue our journey to the Devil’s Bridge. It is a natural bridge made by nature itself.

Under the bridge there are stalactite formations and also natural baths of mineral water. If it is a nice day you can even take a bath in mineral waters.
On our way to Vayots Dzor we will also see the famous Carahunge.

Details of the day:

Location – Syunik / Vayots Dzor provinces
Driving –190 km
The best hiking period – from mid June to mid September
Overnight stay – Vayots Dzor

Day 7: Volcano Armaghan and lake Sevan

Through Vardenyants pass we will drive to Mount Armaghan. On our way we will see the ancient Orbelyan’s Caravanserai. From the Madina village we will start jeeping to Armaghan volcano (2829 m). There is a wonderful crater lake and a small church at the top of the mountain. This unnamed lake is like a saucer, on which the sky reclines.

After descending the mountain we will go to Noratus village on the edge of Sevan. Noratus is famous for its medieval graveyard with over 800 khachkars (cross-stone) and gravestones, carved between the 9th-17th centuries. On our way to Dilijan we will stop in Hayravank which is located on the edge of the lake. From here you can enjoy a beautiful view of Sevan.

Details of the day:

Location – Gegharkunik / Tavush provinces
Driving – 180 km
The best hiking period – from mid June to mid September
Overnight stay – Dilijan

Day 8: Moving to Lori

In the morning we will go through Ijevan to Yenokavan from where begins the off road from Mtnasar Mountains to alpine meadows of Atan, which is located in Lori region of Armenia. Afterwards we will continue our tour to medieval monasteries of Sanahin and Haghpat. The monasteries are included in UNESCO’s list of cultural heritage. In the evening we will return to Yerevan.

Details of the day:

Location – Tavush / Lori provinces
Driving – 240 km
The best hiking period – from mid June to mid September
Overnight stay – Yerevan

Day 9: Aragats

After breakfast we will continue our jeep tour and will visit the monasteries that are located on the edge of the cliff. The distance between the monasteries of Saghmosavank and Hovanavank is 5 km. From the territory of the monastery opens a fascinating view to the gorge of Kasagh river. Afterwards we will visit Amberd Fortress which is located on the slopes of Mount Aragats, on the height of 2100 m. The history of Amberd goes back to the 7th century when the Armenian noble family of Kamsarakans started there their construction of the fortress, which is considered to be their summer residence.

After observing the complex we will go to Kari Lake. The alpine lake is situated at the height of 3200m, on the plateau, under the mountain peaks. Here we will take a walk in the slopes of Aragats. Aragats is not only the highest peak of Armenia but it is also the most wanted destination for tourists. Everyone who has ever heard about Armenia has also heard about Mount Aragats and dreams about being there. If you want we can climb the nearest peak.

Details of the day:

Location – Aragatsotn province
Driving – 140 km
The best hiking period – from mid June to mid September
Overnight stay – Yerevan

Day 10: Departure

Driving to the airport we will manage to have a walk in Yerevan.
Transfer to the airport.

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Offered by Armenian Geographic
Our goal is to discover Armenia Our project will be interesting for all those people from all over the world, who want to discover Armenia not only by photos, videos and books, but feel the nature for real, who wants to try personal abilities and strength during a real journey. We offer both one-day excursions and long-term hiking tours. If you want to discover Armenia as you have never heard or imagined, contact us.