Mount Aragats and the peaks of the Geghama Range
Hiking in central Armenia
Climbing the volcano and the highest point of modern Armenia, Mount Aragats
Geghama Mountain Range is a plateau-like watershed of volcanic origin, including a large number of extinct volcanoes. The highest point of the watershed is Azhdaak volcano, with a height of 3597 m above sea level. At the top of the mountain is a crater, which is occupied by a lake (150x110m). Throughout the year, the lake, with a mirror mark of 3509m, is fed by meltwater. Due to the changes in light, clouds, time of day and season, the strength and direction of the wind, the view of the crater lake of Azhdaak always changes, and the water in the lake is so clear and transparent that you can clearly see the bottom.The beauty of its location Azhdaak since ancient times has attracted tourists from all over the world.
Aragats, a lone extinct volcano, is the highest mountain in today’s Armenia and Transcaucasia. This wonderful natural monument is located at 40°32 East Longitude, its central elevation covers an area of more than 820 square kilometers. In prehistoric times, a volcanic eruption accompanied by an explosion destroyed the top of the mountain.
Places of power are mysterious objects, since ancient times attracting all lovers of the mysterious and unexplored. Ancient temples, “stones of holy power”, petroglyphs and ancient idols - this is where according to legends the most cherished desires and dreams come true. Armenian legends indicate that all those who want to find inner harmony and feel a burst of energy sought to get here.
During the trekking guide will reveal the secrets and mysteries of these places, and tell about the origin and purpose of the famous petroglyphs and idols of these places.
You will learn what were the purpose of these cult objects and if you wish you can experience the effect of each “place of power.
Certainly, climbing to these peaks will give you a lot of emotions and impressions.
Hiking period: June - October
Day 1 - Yerevan-Sevaberd-Akna Lake
Of particular interest in the Geghama Range is the volcanic lake Akna. Akna means ‘eye’ in Armenian, and Akna is the goddess of motherhood and birth in Mayan mythology. In the morning we meet at the designated place and in half an hour we get from Yerevan to the village Sevaberd at the height of 2058m.
An off-road vehicle will take you to the lake with your camp, kitchen and other luggage. We throw our luggage into the van which will be waiting for us at the finishing point of the first day. We’ll take small backpacks (48l) with us, and put into it all the things we need for the day trip (1l water, snack, personal medicine, windbreaker, etc.).
We start our hike from Sevaberd village and walk 13 km to Akna mountain lake. Akna Lake is located 3032 meters above sea level in the Geghama Highlands, 6 km from Mount Azhdaak. Individual lunchboxes and water will be provided. The trekking time will take 4-5 hours. The reward for your hard work will be a wonderful hot dinner from the Chef and Armenian wines. Your tent camp will be set up at your arrival. (Sleeping bags and sleeping mats will also be available).
Overnight in tents at Akna lake.
Day 2 - Ascent of Ajdaak 3,597 m
Azhdaak in Armenian mythology is a human vishap (human-dragon). Vishaps, live in high mountains, in large lakes, in the sky and in the clouds. Rising to the sky or descending, especially to the lakes, they make a rumble, sweeping away everything in their path. A vishap that has lived to be a thousand years old can consume the whole world.
In the morning, we’ll have a joint warm-up after our first day of hiking and a delicious breakfast from our cook. After getting our lunchboxes and water we start our trek today to Duck Lake and climb to the top of Azhdaak Mt 3597m. Azdaak is an extinct volcano with a crater lake on top. At the top we have lunchboxes. The summit offers views of Mount Ararat, Mount Aragats, Lake Sevan as well as the slopes of the Geghama Range and the valley of the Kotayk region. Not far from Duck Lake we will set our next camp.
If we have the strength we will visit the placers of rock paintings and the place of strength under the Nazeli mountain. Difference of heights of the day is 750 m. Trekking time is 7 hours, the distance is 15 km.
Overnight in tent camp.
Day 3 - Trekking to Vishap idols. Visit to historical monuments of Garni and Geghard
As always, we will start the morning with a delicious breakfast and a warm-up. We’ll help our camp leaders set up camp and hit the road, armed with a lunchbox and water. Our first hike will be to Lake Wank. On the shore of Lake Wank, we will explore the idols of the vishapaks. Vishapakars (vishapas) are stone phalic statues depicting ancient mythological creatures. Originally they were deities or spirits of water and were installed near water sources. After enjoying the place of power and touching the history of 4 thousand years ago we move forward to the village of Geghard. Height difference of today is 900m. Transition time is 6-7 hours, total length is 11 km.
At the end of the crossing you will find a car waiting for you, which will take you to Yerevan. But before that we will visit the temple Garni (the only preserved monument of the Hellenistic pagan period in Armenia) and the Geghard Monastery (founded in the 4th century on the place of the holy spring, which starts from a cave, the most important of which is the spear, that pierced the body of Jesus Christ on the cross).
Return to Yerevan. Accommodation in guest house. Shower and other delights of civilization will bring you back to your feet. In the evening before dinner you go for a walk in the center of Yerevan.
Overnight in Yerevan
Day 4 - Climbing to the highest point of Armenia
Be ready for an early wake-up call and an early breakfast.
From Yerevan we will go to the foot of the volcano Aragats, at the altitude of 3200m. Today we are going to climb the South summit of Armenia’s highest point, Mount Aragats. The start will be at an altitude of 3200 m near Lake Kari. The total ascent today is about 700 meters and will take 3-3.5 hours. At the summit you will admire the views of the crater and the rest of the summits of Mount Aragats - there are 3 more peaks in total. Emotions from the views, a snack and hot tea will give us strength to go down (1.5 hours). After finishing our ascent and having a short break we will make our camp.
In the evening we will have a delicious camping dinner and Armenian beer tasting.
Overnight in tents at Kari Leach Lake.
Day 5 - Going home
After a good night’s sleep and enjoying breakfast we will fold camp and make our trek today down the slopes of Mount Aragats to the ruins of the Amberd Fortress. Once we reach the fortress we will walk in its ruins and listen to some interesting historical facts. After lunch on the way we will return back to Yerevan.
End of the program. Departure
Some people are already leaving, and some are going shopping for souvenirs. But you have nothing better than to have a cup of coffee in a cafe in Yerevan, or just take a walk in the “pink city”.
Farewell dinner at the discretion of the participants
Say goodbye and… make an appointment for new routes.
Meals according to the program
Camping/bivouac gear is transported to the overnight points. During the day you will travel light.
Rent of tents, sleeping bags and camping mats.
Our guide has a first aid kit
24 hours customer service by phone