So many hidden places in Armenia, even for locals. For many years they are searching for new gems and still discovering. Take your time to admire the stunning scenes in Vayots Dzor, breathtaking views from the impressive ruins and mountains. Just feel how freedom tastes.
In this map you can find camping spots and observation points as well.
Route length from Yerevan - 280 km, 16 km hiking from Vernashen to Spitakavor, 8 km from Yeghegis to Tsakhats Kar.
Best time to visit - All year round, just be well prepared for cold weather.
Warning - Be aware of wild animals, mosquitos and snakes.
Advice - Use sunscreen and wear eyeglasses and hat.
Vayots Dzor , is a province of Armenia. It lies at the southeastern end of Armenia and covers an area of 2,308 km2 (891 sq mi). With a population of only 53,230, it is the most sparsely populated province in Armenia. This province is home to many ancient landmarks and tourist attractions . The village of Gladzor in Vayots Dzor was home to the 13th and 14th-century University of Gladzor. To see the beauties of this province you can start you journey from Yerevan at 8:00 and drive to Vernashen , there you will find a hiking trail to your first destination - Spitakavor Monastery.
1 Spitakavor Monastery
The Spitakavor Monastery is located on the slopes of Teksar mountain . The terrain is difficult, but the monastery can be reached with an all-terrain vehicle. It is about 8.4 kilometres (5.2 mi) from the University of Gladzor's Museum. Behind fortified walls lies buildings of white shaved felsite, including the monastery, church, a bell-tower and vestibule.Its main monument is the Spitakavor Church of the Holy Mother of God . The monastery seems to be isolated from the entire world, and seems to be in the divine green surrounding where the human hand has yet not touched. Saying the harmony of the monastery and the nature around it is beautiful is not enough; “breathtakingly beautiful” this is how it should be described. There are some small guesthouses in Meghradzor where you can arrange your overnight stay․
2ND DAY: Yeghegis gorge
If you have time, you can visit the monasteries Shativanq and Hermon.
The monastery was a "strict religion" residence. Numerous khachkars, lithographic inscriptions and fragments of them were preserved in Shatin in the 10th-14th centuries. After the 14th century the monastery experienced a decline. It was probably destroyed because in the middle of the 17th century a new monastery was built on the same place.
Hermon is a monastic center of "Hermoni Vank" dating from the 9th century.
If you don't have enough time, start your day from Zorac Vank.
2 Zorac Vank
The church is located on the eastern edge of Yeghegis village. It was built in the 14th century (1303) by Bishop Stepanos Tarsayich, the grandson of Prince Tarsayich Orbelyan of Syunik. The structure of this church is special - the tabernacle is built higher than usual, approximately at the height of a man sitting on a horse. The reason is that it was used for the army going to war, so that the fighters would receive a blessing from the church before leaving.
Then start hiking to Smbataberd.
Smbataberd is a fortress located upon the crest of a hill between the villages of Artabuynk and Yeghegis in the Vayots Dzor Province of Armenia. It was built in a very advantageous position on the southern end of a ridge, guarded by steep cliffs on three of its sides. Very large ramparts with towers are still relatively intact on the exterior. Within the confines of the fortress little remains except for the faint foundations of buildings near the fortification walls and a keep located at the highest point of the site. It has a really beautifull view. After admiring the breathtaking view continue your way to Tsaghats Kar. There is also a way to Tsakhats Kar for a SUV car from Artabuynk village.
4 Tshakhats Kar
Tsakhats Kar complex is a 13th century Metropolitan. In the fifth century, during the war against the Sassanids, four battles took place in Vayots Dzor, one of which occurred near Tsakhats Kar. The war's most famous battle was in 451, at Avaraiyr, which was pivotal in rallying Armenian resistance and eventual right to exist autonomously.