Garni to Geghard Hiking in Armenia

Hiking in Armenia

The caucasian country Armenia is not short of hiking opportunities. If you have time and you are fit then you should hike Mount Aragats (about 3000 meters above sea level) but this takes a bit of preparation and a tour guide to show you the path. But if you are looking for something easy and short when you are in Yerevan, I suggest doing a hike from the Temple of Garni to Geghard.

The hiking trail is about 13 kms long that passes through the Azat river gorge heading to Geghard Monastery in Kotayk region. Your walk is mostly flat with some hilly areas. You will pass by some spectacular rock formation, medieval bridge, abandoned old houses and cars and ofcourse the Azat river. Part of the trail is paved and the rest is covered in sandstone. If you happen to visit in the Autumn/fall season you will be treated to some beautiful fall colors.

First the trail map. Download the trail map from Alltrails website.

Logistics

If you are leaving from Yerevan you can take a share taxi like Yandex for 3000 AMD – Armenian Drams (1USD = 476 AMD at the time of writing). We were three people so it ended up costing us 1000 (~2 USD) per person. Once you get to Temple of Garni you can walk around and check out the temple and then hit the trail which starts left side of the main entrance to the temple. I advice to start early so you get to see the Temple of Garni when it is not crowded with tourists.

Temple of Garni

A greco-roman style Pagan temple, Garni temple is built with the financial help of the Roman emperor Nero himself in the first century AD. I must say that this temple is beautifully preserved. The temple is surrounded by 24 columns which is meant to indicate 24 hours in the day.

Garni temple entrance fee for foreign citizens: 1500 AMD

Geghard Monastery

Geghard Monastery is one of the ancient monasteries of Armenia which is carved right out of the adjacent mountain surrounded by cliffs.

Azat river gorge

Check out the Symphony of stones as soon as you left the Temple of Garni. It is a rock formation that displays the carving in an hexagonal pattern. It can be reached by a paved walkway just outside the Garni temple.

What you see along the trail?

Gorgeous springs, trees with bright autumn leaf colors (if you go in October), gorge, cows, sheeps, abandoned cars from the Soviet era. The walk is picturesque with incredible landscape around you.

Other tips

If you go in the fall make sure to check the weather for rain forecast. Carry some water and sunscreen as well. Stop by the fish restaurant along the way. They have some incredible view from the restaurant not to mention the food. We stopped here for some kebab sandwich which cost us about 1000 AMD (2 USD).

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