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Recreation at the "APAGA"

Armenia is not merely what is written in history books; neither are its sightseeing places restricted to just cenotaphs and monuments. Armenia has a "character" that needs to be discovered and has "colors" that create vibes. You just need to look for them and expose them.

Continuing our tour that was interrupted on the intersection of Dilijan and Ijevan, we appeared in the highlands around Ijevan. The road leading northward from the village of Yenokavan brought us to "Apaga", a venue for recreation enthusiasts who prefer the bosom of nature to luxurious hotels, who crave for the smell of the bonfire and the taste of potatoes baked in the fire. This place is for those who ignore formalities and love to relax in ultimate accordance with the soul.

It was probably the intervention of weather, due to which the road leading to our destination left behind not only the village, but also the clouds. It seemed like there were no higher mountains beyond this place when our cars halted at the junction of the surrounding mountains and the adjoining woods. Here, beyond the clouds, the last thing we expected to discover were the nice cottages, a detached bakery, a sauna, an entertainment hall with a variety of games, as well as the hippodrome and a stable with horses. And most importantly, there was no simulated lavishness in anything.

This charming spot of Armenia is easy to find: you will only have to arrive in Ijevan and ask someone how to get to the village of Yenokavan. Beyond that, any villager will be able to show you this place nestled high in the mountains.

Those visitors who are fond of adventures will find a whole range of active and a little bit wild entertainment involving horse-riding, trips in the virgin forests along the bank of the Aghstev (Khachaghbyur) river on foot and on horses likewise, winter excursions on sledges and skis, visiting a naturally formed cave called "Lastiver". All this would merely constitute a small part of what you can find here, this manmade wonderland beyond the clouds. The excursion routes have been scrupulously elaborated by skilled guides who will accompany you along the entire way through the mountains and forests to provide for you an exciting, although a little extreme but totally safe experience.

An exceedingly interesting place is the hippodrome. Artak Chibukhchyan, the creator of all this intends to found an equestrian sports center here to breed and train horses not only for tourism but also for sporting purposes. Thanks to the efforts of the experienced trainers, these noble animals learn to trot, to rear, to prance and can truly enthrall any horse lover.

In all probability we would not be able to take advantage of all this within one day; instead, we sufficed ourselves by riding a few circles on the beautiful horses. In the evening, after the delicious supper, we gathered around the bonfire made amidst the cottages and organized a little booze-up with funny stories and anecdotes.

People in this place know how to organize your recreation, how to cut you off your tedious routine and make you partakers in new, unexplored experiences. We would highly recommend that you make this spot a must-see during your visit in Armenia. You really deserve that extravagant treat.

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