Bicycle tour by North Armenia
Available dates: May to November
Duration: 7 days
Level of difficulty: high
The whole route is 200 km (about 125 miles). The altitude differs from 1000 to 2900 m (aprox. 1094 yard to 1.8 miles). The route runes through Dilijan
forest reserve, Ijevan
mountain ridge, among Small Caucasus Mountains
, in the most beautiful region of Armenia – Tavush
Content of the Tour
Arriving to the capital of Armenia – Yerevan
(The altitude above sea level is about 1000 m/1094 yards); Transportation from Yerevan
to Dilijan - Tavush
reg. (The altitude is about 1258 to 1510 m/1376 to 1651 yards); That is a resort town situated on the north of Armenia
, in 106 km/66 miles away from Yerevan
, in woody canyon of Agstev
river basin; The wide canyon, where the town is built is surrounded by the mountains of Small Caucasus
; even neighbor houses in Dilijan
are standing on different altitudes, here is from the difference of 1258 and 1510m; Here is scheduled supper and night rest in B&B.
(Acclimatization on the altitudes of 1258 – 1800m/1376 yards - 1.1 miles)
Get up and Breakfast; Beginning of journey on Tbilisi Road
; The road goes through Agarcin
, what is one of the most famous monasteries of Armenia
(it is about 18 km/11.2 miles away from the starting point). The last 6.5 km/4miles are the most difficult part of the trip – sharp streamers; The total raising distance is about 500m/547 yards. The road goes through the mixed forest; The River can be seen from there pretty frequently; In Agarcin
rest and sight-seeing is appointed.
The monastery complex was built in XI century, except the cross-cupola charge of Saint Grigor; on the territory of monastery have remained the charges of Blessed Virgin (1281) and Saint Stephanos (1244), Burial-Vault of Bagratid kings family, chapel of XIII century, monastery refectory (1248), other monastery quarters.
Not far away from the monastery refectory katnakhunz
is baked (something like donut – extremely tasty!); Anyway, it is better not to break up the appetite, cause on the way back we are going to visit a trout farm! The variegated trout live there in crystal water from mountain spring, and please be aware – we know how to cook it!
On the way back we can try to discover the edge of the loamy pipe, where used to be transported milk from fields to village.
Supper and night-lodging is planed in Dilijan
This day journey’s distance is scheduled to be 36 km/22.4 miles
Differences of altitudes is about 500m/0.5 yard
Breakfast; Beginning of journey along the lines of Ijevan
direction; 33 km/20.5 miles of the road lies on the territory of Dilijan
reserve, among deciduous trees; Agstev
river goes by the right side; Later on we are going to enter Ijevan
– administrative centre of Tavush
reg.; The major part of local sights are situated along the highway running through the mid part of the city; First of all it is a giant stone egg, what is standing on stone pedestal on the shore of Ijevan
Lake; Very impressing sculpture; By the way, sculpturing is one of the major hobbies of Ijevan
During Soviet Union times here the annual competition of sculpturing used to be conducted. Sculptors from all the Union were meeting here to create from the famous Ijevan stone. The only condition for participation was - to leave a sculpture in Ijevan. That is why the unique park of sculptures has arisen in Ijevan. Our rout is going to run through this park. Besides, we are going to visit market and vine factory.
It is not planned to linger on Ijevan
; Small rest and movement to Yenokavan
is going on; Next 7 km/4.3 miles will be passed by mountains with short trees and bushes; Afterwards, the long expected rest – A dinner in Nvezner
cave; Here is from we start our uprise to the destination point of day 3: ARC "Apaga"
(alt. 1380m/1509 yards); Here we will have rest, supper and overnight stay.
Km/miles per trip – 47/29.2
Difference of altitudes – 480 m/525 miles
Beginning of movement after breakfast; Higher and higher; the view is just amazing! – Mixed forest (beeches, hornbeams and oaks) has pictorially spread among alpine fields; we will proceed by an earth road, where from beautiful view opens to Okon
(alt. 1800 m/1.1 miles); In Okon
we will settle a camp by Okonakhach
This is a construction of basilica type with tree spans (three aisles). The Church was constructed from crude stone pieces. It has 4 smooth and round columns, leaning on them arches are holding the roof creating 3 aisles. Above the north entrance - on the front of the building a bluish khachkar stone with bas-relief of a horseman is built into the wall. Against it, two khachkars are stood from the both sides, where armed horsemen are carved on likewise.
Lunch at apiary and rest; for those who like fishing - next stop is Khachakhpyur
river; for the rest – paths at Okon
neighborhoods; these "local" routs can reach up to 30 km/18.6 miles; Dinner by a campfire; Overnight stay in Okon
Cycled Distance - 35 km/21.7 miles
Gained Altitude – 420 m/459 yards
We are going to spend whole day on 1800-1960 m/1.1-1.2 miles of altitude; After breakfast, first of all we will cycle distance to Kamut
by unmetalled road; That is a summer pasture with a nomad’s camp; These places are not as populated as they were couple of decades ago, but local people are still present there and they are still hospitable, as it is usual in Armenia
; This day we will be able to gain some youth by taking a sip of water from Yetaghpyur
spring and provide ourselves with health for long years ahead by getting washed from Ripsime Aghbyur
(Spring of Ripsime); Lunch is arranged by the Spring; At the second part of the day we will move to Okon’s
base by coppices; For the fittest travelers we can offer bathing in the River; Supper and overnight stay is going to take place in Okon
Total Cycling – 40 km/25 miles
Difference of Altitudes – 150 m/164 yards
Parting to fields; After breakfast we are moving to Berzener
, where cooper have been mined up in 30th of last century; Among the historic sights on the way to Berzener
(Village-Fortress) – An old stronghold of 1677 or to be more precise round walls remaining of cyclopean laying; Moving further, we are going to visit an old burial place of Tandzu Tala
on the altitude 1579 m/1727 yards; Then a continuous gentle descending by Lagzi Pos
to the altitude 1437 m/1571 yards by alpine fields and descent to ARC "Apaga"
(alt.1380 m/1509 yards; A quiet day – day of rest; Overnight stay in ARC "Apaga"
Mileage – 28 km/17.4 miles
Difference of Altitudes – 500 m/547 yards
Breakfast; Sad time – time to prepare for the way back; we will roll down to Yenokavan
and ride into Nvezner
; Parting to Khachakhpyur
canyon; having a snake in the cave and start our 140 km/87 miles of driving back to Yerevan
; Taking off is in the same day.
Cycling – 5 km/3.1 miles
Difference of Altitudes – 200 m/219 yards
TOTAL PRICE: 469 €
The price includes:
The price does not include:
- Food (Except the dinner at the trout farm)
- Guides and Instructors on the Rout
- Luggage escort (1st and 2nd days – by vehicles, rest of the days – by horses)
- Insurance from "РЕСО Гарантии"
- Overflight and Harbour Dues
- Trout Farm Dinner
- Personal Expenses
To enter Armenia a Valid Passport is needed.
It is hot and sunny in Armenia at summer, but in mountains weather can vary frequently. It can be chilly at night. Aside from t-shirts, there can be needed blazers and rain-coats.