Hiking trail 2.4*
Garni Visitor Center – Berdatak village ruins – Geghi berd (Kaqavaberd) – Verin Vanstan – Nerkin Vanstan village ruins – Pokr Shen village ruins – Geghmahovit early medieval church – Garni Visitor Center
Length: 33,56 km
Duration hours: 9.30-10 hours (not counting the times of rest , food-breaks and vehicle transfer
Difficulty level: Very Difficult
Minimum elevation: 1291 meters (4235 feet)
Average elevation: 1541 meters (5056 feet)
Maximum elevation: 2218 meters 7277 feet)
Maximum slope: 52,8-57,5%
Description: This trail passes through Garni and Kakavaberd districts and includes wonderful cultural-historical and nature monuments. It can be passed on foot or by horses and partially by car.
The trip starts from Garni visitor center by an off-road vehicle or a horse moving towards the ruins of Berdatak abandoned village. From the village starts the hike. The ruins of Berdatak are in Kakavadzor, at the foot of the rock where the significant medieval fortress Kakavaberd can be found. Probably the name Berdatak (which means ‘’located under the fortress’’) derived from here. A wonderful panorama from Berdatak opens to Hazaradzor, Kakavaberd cliffs and Kajaru gorge. The trail goes up on a steep slope to Kakavaberd which is a brilliant fort-construction model of historical Armenia. It is inaccessible from three sides as it was surrounded by natural gulfs and huge rocks. The walls prolonged to the north-east with 2-2.5 meters thickness, eight towers that have more than 10 meters height, a church as well as anterooms and ruins of other buildings inside the walls have been preserved. Kakavaberd has a prominent historical value and significance for studying the history of the region. The architectural structure of Kaqavaberd fortress is notable for its harmony with natural landscape. The whole region is visible from the platform of the fortress. From Kakavaberd the trail turns to the Kotur river and crosses it stretching to sub-alpine meadows, where are traces of ancient settlements and caves that used to be habitats in immortal times.
In this area at certain hours large groups of Bezoar Goats can be observed. From here the trail goes down to Verin Vanstan then it reaches to Nerqin Vanstan and Pokr Shen village ruins. In these plases there are traces of ancient buildings and settlements, cross-stones and other cultural sites some of which have reached to our days from early Christianity hence they are of great historical and cultural value. Most of the ruins of the settlements in this trail are not well-researched, which makes the tour more mysterious and interesting.
The hike ends in Geghmahovit uninhabited village from where the tour will continue by off-road vehicle or horseback-riding towards Garni visitor centre. This trail offers good hiking opportunity that would be much enjoyed in combination with either horseback-riding or off-roading due to its length and complexity.
* Hiking – Guide is required