Short tour – Highlights of the South

This tour covers the highlights of Armenia in the South. We are running to the monastery of Tatev, an UNESCO world cultural heritage, we take a ride with the longest cable in the world und we see 7000 years old Petroglyphes at Lake Ugthasar. We visit Zorat Karer, the Armenian Stonehenge, 4000 years old and we will finish one stage at the highest waterfall of the country, Shaki waterfall.

Dates

20.8.15 – 24.8.15
8.10.15 – 12.10.15
28.10.15 – 1.11.15

Day 1 – Arrival:

Individual arrival in Yerevan, the capital of Armenia.

Day 2 – Sissian

Early morning, we meet Markus, our local guide at the airport of Yerevan and start our ride to Sissian. We drive through Yerevan and the Armenian morning to Sissian, our base. This drive of around 4 hours over 210 km will already give you a first impression of the wonderful Armenian landscape and if we are lucky, we can get glimpse on the biblical mountain Ararat
Check in at the hotel and a view hours rest and a typical Armenian breakfast before we start before we start for the first run of our short trip. We explore the surroundings of Sissian and will run to the local Radio station (2100nn) Up there you have a fantastic view on extinct volcanoes. We continue our run to the Shaki waterfall, the highest waterfall of the country.
Armenien Berg Ararat

The way back leads us through the friendly valley back to Sissian and our hotel. At 7 pm, we meet up for a well-deserved dinner.
Running route – length: approx. 15 km
Metres in altitude: approx. 500 uphill/approx. 500 downhill
Duration: approx. 2 and a half hrs/8 mins per km
Height over NN: 1.600 m – approx. 2.100 m
Substrata: tarmac, gravel paths and forest roads, open terrain/country (grassland and forest)

Day 3: A run to World Cultural Heritage – and a ride on the longest aerial tramway in the world

After breakfast at 8 am, a bus transfer of around 20 km to Ltsen awaits us, a small town on the main road southwards towards Iran. From Ltsen (1,600 m NN), we run through forests and grasslands to the Tatev Monastery (1560 m NN). The entire route is around 17 km long. The Armenian Apostolic monastery dating from 895 is a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site. Armenian “cold cuts” await us in the small village of Tatev. Our return is with the longest aerial tramway in the world that conquers a distance of 5.7 km in 11 minutes with only three supports. In doing so, it hovers up to 320 m high over the Vorotan ravine. Our bus takes us back from Halidzor to Sisian with a short stop at the Armenian Stonehenge, Zorat Karer. This is a burying place dating from the Bronze age which was already set up 2000 years before Christ. The joint dinner we enjoy at our Hotel.

Running route:
Length: approx. 16 km
Metres in altitude: approx. 600 m uphill /approx. 600 m downhill
Duration: approx. 2 hrs and 10 mins /approx. 8 mins per km
Height over NN: start approx. 1450 m /target approx. 1560 m
Substrata: gravel paths/forest roads, open terrain (grassland)

Tatev4

Day 4: Animal figures and hunting scenes – a run to the mystical sites of Ughtasar

After breakfast at 8.00, the probably most challenging and spectacular stage of our journey awaits us. After a 10-minute bus ride, we are in Ishkhanasar (1,600 m NN), the starting point of today’s stage on the main road southwards towards Iran. From here, we run around 18 km on a path just big enough for a four-by-four up to Lake Ughtasar. This small lake lies at 3,277 above sea level, which means that today we will be negotiating a height difference of nearly 1,700 m. We are very near to the border to Azerbaijan here in the still active volcanic area. Besides this unbelievable landscape, along the way we will marvel at the so-called Petroglyphs, animal figures and hunting scenes hewn into the stone up to 12,000 years ago. There are probably few places on earth as mystic as this. We will run or ride back in a jeep to Sissian where we will board our bus and go to Yerevan. Should time allow, we will stop at the monastery of Norawank, one of the most impressive monasteries in Armenia. Check in at the Hotel and farewell dinner in a traditional Armenian Restaurant.

Running route:
Length: approx. 17 km
Metres in altitude: approx. 1.700 m uphill
Duration: approx. 2 hrs and 45 mins/approx. 9 mins per km
Height over NN: start approx. 1,600 m/ target approx. 3,300
Substrata: gravel paths/forest roads, open terrain (grassland, scree, possibly some remaining snow depending on the time of the year)

Important:
The weather has to be suitable for this leg. Even at the height of summer, rapid and fierce weather changes can occur at the summit at over 3,000 m NN, or by the crater lake. In any case, it is advisable to take suitable clothing with you. We will only start this tour if the weather is stable. In case we cannot carry out this run, we have an attractive alternative programme ready for you.

Day 4 – Alternative programme

Today, we break out into a relaxed trot from Sisian northwards over the fields. After about 5 km, the first attraction awaits us: Zorats Karer, also known as the Armenian Stone Henge. Zorats Karer is an approximately 4,000 -year old burial field, where the outer edge is surrounded by around 150 large boulders, so-called megaliths. The path leads us further eastwards through the sleepy little village of Aghitu to Vaghatin. A little south of Vaghatin, we walk past the Vorotnavank Monastery. This 1,000-year old monastery stands on the site of what was once a temple. The path leads us a good 5 km further passing the small town of Vorotan by to the pre-Christian fortress ruins of Vorotnaberd. The famous Melik Tangi Bridge spans the Vorotan River directly under the fortress. The basalt formations here are spectacular. Our bus meets us and brings us back to Sisian where we will board our bus and go to Yerevan. Should time allow, we would stop at the monastery of Norawank, one of the most impressive monasteries in Armenia. Check in at the Hotel and farewell dinner in a traditional Armenian Restaurant.

Running route:
Length: approx. 22 km
Metres in altitude: the route is relatively flat
Duration: approx. 2 hrs and 45 mins /approx. 8 mins per km
Height over NN: approx. 1,600 m
Substrata: gravel paths/forest roads, open terrain (grassland)

Day 5: Return

Individual return

Price per person double occupancy 429€, single room use add 90€

Min. number of participants: 6 people max 12 people

Services included in the price
+) All transfers
+) Assistance via 2 coaches provided by our partners
+) Knowledgeable tour guide familiar with the location
+) 4 overnight stays incl. breakfast
+) 3 dinner
+) Mineral water, fruit and energy bars for en route snacking
+) Non – alcoholic drinks
+) Aerial ropeway ride Tatev – Halidzor
+) All entry fees

Not included in the price
+) Air ticket to Armenia
+) Travel insurance
+) Alcoholic drinks
+) Tips