Type of service: hiking
Route: Garni Visitor Center – Havuts Tar Monastery – Garni Visitor Center
Description: This is a hiking tour to an ancient Monastery which was founded in the 11th century and was a renowned cultural and spiritual centre. It is situated upon a promontory along the Azat River Valley and is a whole complex of ruined ancient buildings. A couple of khachkars (cross-stones) can be found midway along the trail. Following the trail, a little further leads to the fortified walls and ruins of the monastic complex. At the end of the path are the ruins of a small chapel with two large khachkars to the left, and a third to the right. The majority of the Havuts Tar monastic complex was constructed 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. Portions of the complex were rebuilt in the early 18th century by the Catholicos Astvatsatur Hamadantsi, and some restoration efforts took place in the early 20th century. Duration of the tour is approximately 1.5-2.20 hours, and the length is 5.66 km. Bezoar goat, Caucasian Brown bear, white-headed griffon, the variety of reptile species can be observed in this area if you are visiting at the right time of the day which gives you more chances to see them.
Minimum elevation: 1406 meters (4613 feet)
Average elevation: 1532 meters (5026 feet)
Maximum elevation: 1623 meters (5325 feet)
Maximum slope: 33.0% -35.0%
Condition of trail: middle
Status of trail: unbuilt, unmarked, unsigned, (GPS file available)
Length: 5.66 km (3.52 mile)
Difficulty level (and score): challenging, 17
Duration and Type:* 1.5-2.20 hours, linear
*(not counting the times of rest, food-breaks and off-road vehicle transfer)
You can find the trail route here.