Geghamian mountain range is a huge volcanic high-altitude (over 3000 m above sea level) plateau located between lake Sevan and Ararat valley. More than 400 big and small volcanic craters are over there. Some of those craters have beautiful lakes inside look as “God’s eye”. Local people use alpine meadows for keeping cows and sheep on tender grasses in summer season.
The landscape of Geghama is very similar to Island. Petrified streams of lava, red and black color alluvial deposits of volcanic ash and emerald-green slopes of volcanic cones pleasantly cherish the look of traveler. Add to that sheep baa and run of the shades of clouds on the slopes of the mountains – you would get a rough imagination about this area.
Many thousand years ago people started to live here. Numerous petroglyphs (dated back from 4-2 Mil. B.C.) represent scenes of their life (by the way, very similar to the lifestyle of modern people in the mountains). All that and little more you would see during your trip.
7 days/ 6 nights
The best season for traveling:
Start and finish of the tour:
Tents in the countryside.
Day 1: Yerevan (or Sevan). Drive towards Hatsarat village on the slopes of Geghamian mountain range. Start the hiking towards the nomads of Batikyan village. Lunch and basing the camp. Then acclimatization light hike to the top 2998m nearby. Return to the camp. Acquainting with the lifestyle of local people. Dinner and overnight in tents. Meal Plan: /L/D. Total hiking – 6-7 km.
Day 2: Hiking to the slopes of Mt. Azhdahag through Karkapan pass (approx. 3100 m). Lunch on the way. Basing the camp on the Eastern side of Mt. Azhdahag. In the case of good weather – ascending the top of Mt Azhdahag (3597 m). Dinner and overnight in tents. Meal Plan: B/L/D. Total hiking – 12-14 km.
Day 3: If the weather was not good in previous day, - ascending the top of Mt. Azhdahag (3597 m) and Karmir Sar (3564 m), descending back to the camp, lunch. Removing the camp to the slope of Mt. Spitakasar. In the case of good weather – ascending the top of Spitakasar (3555 m). Dinner in tents on the slope of Mt. Spitakasar. Meal Plan: B/L/D. Total hiking – 8-10 km.
Day 4: Ascending the top of Mt. Spitakasar (3555 m) ( in the case of bad weather on the day before), descending back to the camp, removing the camp and descending to Shakhbulagh springs, lunch and sightseeing the stone carvings (5-3 Mil. D.C.) on the way, Base the camp near nomads of Yesids (national minority in Armenia). Dinner and overnight. Meal Plan: B/L/D. Total hiking – 14-16 km.
Day 5: Hiking towards Yellija village through the side of Vanki lich lake and Eastern slopes of Yerakatar mountain. We would see two vishups (dragon stones approx. 4-3 Mil. B.C.). Lunch on the way. Dinner and overnight in tents in Yellija, near Khosrov Preserve ranger’s house. Meal Plan: B/L/D. Total hiking – 18-20 km.
Day 6: After breakfast – hiking to St. Stepanos (12-13 cc) monastery, then - through Mets Gilanlar village towards ruins of Kaladibi village. Lunch upon reaching the house of Reserve’s ranger. Basing the camp, hiking without luggage to Kakavaberd fortress (9-14 cc), return back, dinner and overnight. Meal Plan: B/L/D. Total hiking – 14-16 km.
Day 7: Hiking from Kaladibi to Garni village along Azat river. Lunch on the way. Finishing the hiking program near pagan temple (1st c) in the village Garni. Drive towards Geghard monastery (12-13 cc) and then return to Yerevan. Meal Plan: B/L/. Total hiking – 18-20 km.
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Photos © by Hakob Hovhannesyan, Ara Hakobyan, Arthur Babayan, Mher Hovsepyan, Andrey Chesnokov
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