2.5 Hiking Tour (combined)

Type of service: hybrid (hiking and off-roading combined)

Route: Confluence of Vedi and Khosrov Rivers – Tapi Fortress -Bank of Khosrov River -Barrier -White House – Bridge – Khosrov village ruins -Old Meteorogical Station – Oak tree forest -Trchnaberd (Bird Castle) – Vedi Visitor Center

Description: The tour starts by an off-road vehicle or horse heading towards Tapi Fortress (also called Gevorg Marzpetuni), which is a small fortified structure with a church within its compound. It is set on a low hill, suggesting it may not have been built as a castle per se, but rather as a fortified monastery. The castle is named for Gevorg Marzpetuni, the 10th century Sparapet of Armenian forces during the reign of Ashot Yerkat (the Iron) Bagratuni, who forged the resurgent Armenian kingdom by evicting Arab invaders and cementing the power of the Bagratuni dynasty. After returning to the road the main hike starts by the confluence of Vedi and Khosrov rivers, and goes further and further into the rocky and green high mountain area in Khosrov section of Khosrov Forest State Reserve. You then see the ruins of Khosrov abandoned village surrounded by wall-nut trees, remnants of a church and numerous beautiful cross-stones. The trail goes through the Khosrov River valley covered by forests with many beautiful landscapes and natural monuments such as homogenous dense oak forest, mountainous slopes with broken stones, high mountainous rocky mountain called “trchnaberd” (bird’s fortress). On the way up you may be lucky to observe the gorgeous flight of Black Vultures since on they have a nesting area nearby. Being in the very heart of this beautiful forest you are highly encouraged to stay quiet in order to maintain the harmony of wilderness. The Oak tree forest will hypnotize you with its deep silence and freshness, while you’ll get to the last point of the tour – Trchnaberd (bird castle). Duration of the tour is approximately 5.30-6.40 hours, and the length is 15.0 km. Bezoar goat, Caucasian Brown bear, white – headed griffon, variety of reptile species can be observed in this area. The hike ends at the same spot where you started, from where you can be picked up by off-road vehicle or continue the tour on horses and get to Garni visitor center. This tour offers you a good hiking opportunity that would be much enjoyed in combination with either horseback-riding or off-roading due to its length and complicity.

Minimum elevation: 1296 meters (4252 feet)

Average elevation: 1633 meter (5357 feet)

Maximum elevation: 1990 meters (6529 feet)

Maximum slope: 31.1%,-31.9%

Condition of trail: middle

Status of trail: unbuilt, unmarked, unsigned (GPS file available)

Length: 15.0 km (9.29 mile)

Difficulty level (and score): difficult, 23

Duration and Type:* 5.30-6.40 hours, linear

Price / AMD (entry fee): local visitors 2000, foreign visitors 4000

*(not counting the times of rest, food-breaks and off-road vehicle transfer)