GEOGRAPHY ∞ CULTURE AND HISTORY ∞ ARMENIA
HIKING IN ARMENIA
YEGHEGNADZOR REGIONAL MUSEUM
A center for cultural and scientific research in Vayots Dzor that strives to promote greater awareness of Armenian cultural heritage through exhibitions, educational and cultural events. The Yeghegnadzor Regional Museum in Vayots Dzor was established in 1968. The collection features ethnographic and archeological artifacts ranging from Bronze and Stone Age onwards. Tools, jewelry, and pottery, rugs, ceremonial vessels, and agricultural tools give a hint of the daily life in the region over the centuries. Some of the most important objects date back to the Urartian period (7th century BC). The Museum also houses a wide range of objects dating back to the Middle Ages. These help the visitor visualise the lifestyle, the culture, and the architecture in Vayots Dzor during that time. Among the most important artifacts is an intricately carved khachkar by the master Momik (1300 / 1312), one of the three known khachkars of its kind which makes a visit to this Museum quite special.
HORSEBACK RIDING IN ARMENIA
Armenians have been breeding and domesticating horses for millennia. According to research, in fact, Armenia may be the cradle of horse domestication – Armenian petroglyphs dating back to 3000 BC show the oldest depictions ever found of horse chariots. The Armenian horses and the ancient Armenian cavalry have been praised, among others, by Greek historians Xenophon and Strabo. The Persian kings used to acquire Armenian horses for their army and this great tradition perpetuated throughout the centuries. Fast forward a few thousand years, today Armenians still breed beautiful horses. What better place for a day (or two) spent horse riding in the wonderful local nature? Whether you are a novice or a seasoned horseman, this is a most recommended experience. Pick a hiking trail and saddle up!
THE ARCH TRAIL
The Arch Trail is a short and easy 5 km hike from Gomk to a spectacular basalt arch, with a small river flowing through the arch. The hike will lead you through nature and past ancient khachkars (cross-stones) and burial sites.
THE ARCH TRAIL
The Arch Trail is a short and easy 5km hike from Gomk to a spectacular basalt arch, through which flows a small river. The hike will lead you through nature past ancient khachkars (cross-stones) and burial sites.
THE KAPUYT LOOP TRAIL
The Kapuyt Loop Trail is a challenging 15km hike, which follows the direction of the ancient Silk Road. You will walk up a canyon with natural water springs and plenty of wildlife to the top of the canyon, where the views are incredible.
THE GOMK TO MARTYROS TRAIL
The Gomk to Martiros Trail is a medium difficulty 12km hike that will lead you from Gomk village to the Monastery of Old Martiros. You will walk past lakes and through valleys behind the peak of Mount Karhan. Climb to the peak if you still have energy, it’s a small detour in the valley.
THE NORAVANK GORGE TRAIL
The Noravank Trail is a medium difficulty 3km hike in the stunning Gnishik River Canyon and leads to the Noravank Monastery. It’s a protected area, home to hundreds of local species of plants and animals. There are useful informative signs along the trail.
THE OLD BANDIT ROAD TRAIL
This trail connects the villages of Gomk and Artavan. You may notice that this trail overlaps with the Stairway To Heaven trail, but there’s a vital turnoff that takes you to the village of Artavan from Gomk, and vice-versa. While hiking the Old Bandit Road, you’ll find yourself on man-made stone steps that switchback up the mountains dividing the two villages. This section of the trail is thought to have been part of the Silk Road! Continuing up, you’ll traverse a scenic cliff-ledge pathway along rock outcrops. Near Artavan, ancient trails have been restored in a beautiful forest, where you’ll notice old Silk Road bandit camps, without the bandits, they’re long gone. This trail is part of the Transcaucasian Trail route that goes through the Vayots Dzor Province.