This 1-day hiking tour to Armenia from Tbilisi is ideal for visitors to Georgia who also want to get a taste of Armenia’s ancient monasteries but don’t have much time. Discover the UNESCO World Heritage monasteries of Haghpat and Sanahin as you hike through beautiful mountain scenery, following in the footsteps of medieval monks and pilgrims.
At 10:00, meet our driver and guide at your Tbilisi hotel and transfer to the Georgian-Armenian border point, Sadakhlo-Bagratashen. Cross the border and drive to Armenia’s Lori region to visit the Haghpat and Sanahin monasteries, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Both monasteries were important educational centres in medieval times. Start at Haghpat Monastery, a stunning example of traditional Armenian architecture that was erected between the 10th and 13th centuries. Standing on a hillside, the monastery beautifully overlooks the Debed River. Its location was chosen to protect the peace and seclusion of the monks. The complex consists of several structures, the largest of which is the Cathedral of Surb Nshan with its beautiful fresco depicting Christ Pantocrator. Start hiking to Sanahin Monastery*, which is rightly considered to be a real treasure of ancient Armenian architecture. The 4-hour, medium-difficulty hike follows the same route taken by the medieval monks and pilgrims and passes through beautiful scenery. During the hike, break for a picnic lunch. Reach Sanahin Monastery, which was famous in the Middle Ages for its school of calligraphy and illumination. Its name can be translated as “this one is older than that one”, presumably meaning that Sanahin was built earlier than its neighbour, Haghpat. Close to the monasteries are numerous khachkars (carved cross-stones) that date to the 11th to 13th centuries. At around 17:00 depart for Tbilisi, where our driver will drop you off at your hotel. End of the tour.
*The site is presently under renovation works.
Hiking distance: 12 km, including 375m uphill and 368m downhill
Hike Duration: 4 hours
- All transfers (1-2 pax by Sedan, 3-6 pax by Mercedes Viano or Mitsubishi Grandis);
- Guide to accompany travellers;
- Entrance tickets for sights as per itinerary;
- Bottled mineral water (500ml per person);
- Picnic lunch during the hike.