Hiking from Garni to Geghard
Usually people take public transport or taxi from Yerevan and then visit Garni and Geghard by car or van. I did differently – took a public bus from Yerevan to Garni, hiked to Geghard, then to Goght and then took last public marshrutka back to Yerevan. Check the article about how to reach Garni from Yerevan by bus if you want to do the same hike. The way I did it:
After arriving to Garni town I checked the Temple of Garni. It is a nice place to see and it is the only Greco-roman building in the whole former Soviet Union. Enjoy your time here, take beautiful pictures, check the huge stone wall in the valley. That’s your next goal.
Garni temple entrance price: 1500AMD foreigner, 125AMD student.
Garni temple opening hours: 10AM to 9PM in summer and 5PM in winter.
Symphony of stones
Symphony of stones is very beautiful nature surprise. It is located in Garni Gorge and you can reach it by 4×4 jeep or by hiking from Garni. Symphony of stones , also known as Garni canyon is protected by law and is included in the list of natural monuments. You will be amazed by huge basalt rocks which are in forms of the regular hexagonal cylinders. There are many beautiful places near the rocks for the picnic!
Symphony of stones is a nature place so it is free of charge and it is open to public 24/7.
Havuts Tar Monastery
The next stop I had was Havuts Tar monastery, which is located on top of the mountain on the right side of the valley. It is a not so famous montastic complex build in 11-13th century. The most beautiful part of the monastery (at least for me) is a Amenaprkič the 1013th church. To reach this monastery and church I had to climb steep mountain through sheep paths. Maybe there is another, better way, check it before going.
Havuts Tar monastery is out of the main tourist path, it is also free of charge and always open to public.
After the monastery you need to get down back into the valley, cross to another side of it and then walk last ~1,5km on the paved road until you reach Geghard monastery. This place is one of the UNESCO world heritage sites and it is a famous medieval monastery. Make sure to check all of the caves around Geghard, temple inside the monastery is also impressive because of all the small dark rooms it has!
Geghard monastery working hours: From 8AM to 8PM.
Geghard monastery entrance fee: Free of charge.
Next and last stop is Goght village and you need to catch marshrutka back to Yerevan. The last one is at ~17:45-18:00, so be careful not to miss it! It is also possible to hitchhike from Geghard to Goght or even Yerevan, it is up to you. Be sure that you can make this hike, it is quite long and total distance covers 23 kilometers with 850 meters vertical elevation. If you decide to do it, then I wish you good luck!
My route on map:
I have done more hiking in Armenia and the most spectacular one was the highest peak in the country. It is definitely possible to climb mount Arragats in a daytrip from Yerevan if you wake up early and use taxi or private driver.