It was a very easy hike. We had a pleasant and easy walk in the crater of Mt. Ara. It is located about 33 km from Yerevan. The elevation of the starting point was 1700 m and the bottom of the crater was about 2000m. Totally the walking distance was about 8 km both way and took about 4 hours including the sightseeing of the magnificent landscape. The volcano formations in the crater are considered as one of the unique geological monuments of Armenia. We end up our hike in the cave church of St Varvara located on a grotto of a huge rock. It was not a usual church that one can see many times. It was a small cave and some relics of Varvara are there. She was a Greeks beautiful lady who tried to bring Christianity to Armenia.
GARNI temple – Havuts Tar monastery, May 28, 2007
The hike started from Garni village with altitude 1390m, went down in to the gorge with altitude 1250m and then went up to Havuts Tar monastery complex with altitude 1590. It was quite difficult hiking trip with spectacular landscape and historical places of Armenia. The first part was very easy. Descending from village in to the gorge was pleasant and interesting. A short walk along the river and crossing the river over the medieval bridge the moderated part started. In some places it was steep but totally it was pleasant. The monastery complex was located in the preserve on a top of a hill. The return way was the same until the bridge and after that we continued though the gorge along the river and walked until the Garni temple, the only Pre Christian period temple that survived and it is in good shape. The last part from the gorge to the temple was steep and very hard.
From Saghmosavank to Ohanavank, June 23, 2007
The hike started from Sagmosavank church altitude 1649 m, continued along the ridge, went down in to the gorge altitude 1489 m then went along the river of Kasagh about 7km. Total walking distance was about 8.5 km. It took about 3 hours. Down slope trip all the way besides of the portion of getting out from the gorge. The last part from the gorge to the Hovnanavank church was steep and the final step Elevation in Hovnanavank was 1340. It was mostly dirt road, some places were covered by overgrown, some places the road disappears and scattered stones were dominating. Both churches are dated around 1215 and were build by prince Vache Vachutyan.