1.2 Hiking Tour

Type of service: hiking
Route: Garni Village-Havuts Tar Monastery – Garni Visitor Center – Old Bridge – Symphony of Stones

Description: This is a hiking tour which combines visiting an ancient Monastery founded in the 11th century and a wonderful nature monument called Symphony of Stones in Azat River Valley. The trip starts from Garni village with the ancient history which is best known for the Hellenistic Garni temple (There is also an impact crater on Mars named after Garni village on April 24, 2015, by IAU). The area was first occupied in the 3rd millennium BC. Following the trail through the gorge brings you to the fortified walls and ruins of the Havuts Tar monastic complex which was constructed mainly between the 12th and 14th centuries. After having been badly damaged by a large earthquake in 1679, the monastery was effectively abandoned in the years that followed. After getting down to Garni Gorge you’ll pass a 11th-century medieval bridge, and get to the “Symphony of the Stones” which is a very unique geological structure consisted of basalt pillar-like stones also known as “basalt organ” and “stone waterfall”, or in other words – very well preserved basalt columns, carved out by the Goght River. This is the final point of the route. Bezoar goat, Caucasian Brown bear, white-headed griffon, the variety of reptile species can be observed in this area. Duration of the tour is approximately 3.20-4.10 hours, and the length is 9.84 km.

Minimum elevation: 1236 meters (4055 feet)
Average elevation: 1453 meters (4767 feet)
Maximum elevation: 1623 meters (5325 feet)
Maximum slope: 38.3% -50.2%
Condition of trail: middle
Status of trail: unbuilt, unmarked, unsigned (GPS file available)
Length: 9.84 km, 6.11 mile
Difficulty level (and score): challenging, 18
Duration and Type:* 3.20-4.10 hours, linear
*(not counting the times of rest, food-breaks and off-road vehicle transfer)