Things to do in
Aragatsotn Province

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Our most recommended things to do in Aragatsotn Province

Armenia: Private Tour to Amberd, Hovhannavank & Saghmosavank

1. Armenia: Private Tour to Amberd, Hovhannavank & Saghmosavank

This tour takes you to explore one of the most beautiful gorges in Armenia: the Gorge of Qasakh River, famous for its beautiful churches standing right on the cliff’s edge. Both monastic complexes included in this daily tour date back to the 13th Century, and were built by the same noble family. Visit Saghmosavank, which possesses a particular charm - as you will discover. The monastery of Hovhannavank is about 5 km south from Saghmosavank. The complex includes the 4th century basilica church of St John the Baptist, which was built by Gregory the Illuminator himself on the relics of St John the Baptist. On the way, you will stop at the Alley of the Alphabet, where you will be given the chance to find the first letter of your name and snap a picture with it. Armenian is not only a very old language, but it is also an independent branch of the Indo-European languages, making it unlike any other tongue in the world.

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Armenia: Private Tour to Amberd Fortress and Lake Kari

2. Armenia: Private Tour to Amberd Fortress and Lake Kari

The tour will take you to the Amberd Fortress, located on the slopes of Mount Aragats – the highest peak in Armenia. In the 13th Century, the Zakaryan noble family started the liberation of Armenia from the Seljuk Turks from this very fortress. The name Amberd originates from the fact that the fortress is located at the altitude of 2300m above sea level, it translates as Fortress in the Clouds. Lake Kari is also located on the slopes of Mount Aragats. Looking straight across from the Lake’s shore, you will see the Biblical Mount Ararat. The word Qari translates as Stone, giving the name Stone Lake, which originates from Armenian folklore. It is believed that the Lake was formed and maintained by stone rivers.

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Yerevan: Aragats Northern Summit Full-Day Hiking Tour

3. Yerevan: Aragats Northern Summit Full-Day Hiking Tour

Embark on an adventurous full day tour and discover the pleasure of hiking in this area! Your morning will start with a pick-up from your hotel in Yerevan, in order to start the trekking experience. While driving to your starting point, Kari Lich, you will admire the green endless pastures on the way. On the journey, you will have a stop at a mystic place, where everything is against the laws of physics. The water here does not flow down but it goes upward. The vehicle drives up to the hill itself without its driver. It is unbelievable, however, this is the natural phenomenon  that you will witness. After, you will proceed on to Kari Lich, from where your hiking mission will start to the north summit. Different views will be unpacked in front of your eyes: from the green meadows and rocks to the boulders and ice spots. Your trek will include stops from time to time, in order to gain more energy by having snacks and a rest. By the afternoon, you will conquer the highest summit in Armenia and reward yourself with the powerful view from the top.  

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From Yerevan: Kasakh Gorge Trekking

4. From Yerevan: Kasakh Gorge Trekking

Leave Yerevan in the morning and head to the Kasakh Gorge, just a 45 minute drive from the city. Arrive at Hovhannavank Monastery (also known as the Monastery of St. John the Apostle), an impressive example of medieval architecture that was built in two phases, first during the fourth century and second during the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. Pass through the village of Ohanavan and descend into the Kasakh Canyon, where the beautiful river of the same name flows and dramatic geological formations along rock cliffs combine with structures from the first and second millennia BC. Hike along the canyon to reach the orchards of the village Saghmosavan and check out the Saghmosavank Monastery (Monastery of the Psalms) which overlooks the gorge like its sister Hovhannavank Monastery. Learn about the unique architecture of a thirteenth century structure, which, poised atop a precipitous cliff face, dominates the ridge line and has an impressive silhouette that can be seen from the neighboring villages. Explore the old annex of monastery dug deep into the rock and admire the spectacular views of the gorge below before heading back to Yerevan.

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From Yerevan: Byurakan, Oshakan and Amberd Fortress Day Trip

5. From Yerevan: Byurakan, Oshakan and Amberd Fortress Day Trip

Discover the best of the Aragatsotn Province on this half-day trip. After getting picked up from the lobby of your hotel, travel to your first destination, Byurakan Observatory, which is considered the scientific pearl of Armenia. Enjoy a guided tour of the observatory and discover what was once the largest telescope in the USSR. Next, head to the 10th-century Amberd Fortress and get an overview of traditional Armenian fortress construction. Later, continue to the village of Oshakan, where you can see the resting place of the inventor of the Armenian alphabet, Mesrop Mashtots. After his death, a small chapel was built over his tomb, which you can visit. Finally, experience Armenian hospitality at a local family home. Sample traditional specialties around the dinner table, washed down with homemade wine. You can also enjoy a demonstration of how to make traditional lavash. After your meal, get dropped off back at your hotel in Yerevan.

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Other Sightseeing Options in Aragatsotn Province

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