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Shenatagh, Svarants, Tatev Monastery

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Trail stats

Distance
11.09 mi
Elevation gain
2,385 ft
Technical difficulty
Moderate
Elevation loss
3,287 ft
Max elevation
8,217 ft
TrailRank 
34
Min elevation
4,936 ft
Trail type
One Way
Time
4 hours 27 minutes
Coordinates
1158
Uploaded
December 14, 2016
Recorded
November 2015
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8,217 ft
4,936 ft
11.09 mi

near Shenat’agh, Syunikʼ (አርሜኒያ)

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Trail photos

Photo ofShenatagh, Svarants, Tatev Monastery Photo ofShenatagh, Svarants, Tatev Monastery Photo ofShenatagh, Svarants, Tatev Monastery

Itinerary description

Mountain Biking Trail Description
The trail is located in the Syunik province, 25km south of Sisian. It begins at the Shenatagh village, then leads out into the hills, ascending to an altitude of 2,500m above sea level.
Mount Aramazd, the highest summit of the Bargushat mountain range, is visible on the right side of the trail. While riding down the trail you will see a mysterious hilly area with uninhabited houses, and one solitary construction. Afterwards, you will see the village Svarants, surrounded with beautiful forests. The smoke rising from the skylights of houses is a sign of an early spring or late fall. In the center of Svarants village, you will see the St. Martiros Hazaraprkich Church (18th century). Leaving the village and riding another 3km, you will be able to see the mysterious rock-cut Tatev Monastery from the observation point of Tatev village. The return path is from Tatev.
On your way to Yerevan, you can also visit other key sights of Armenia, which are not mentioned in this trail: particularly, Noravank (Yeghegnadzor), Zorats Karer (Sisian), the Wings of Tatev aerial tramway (Halidzor or Tatev village) and Devil’s Bridge (near Tatev village).

Monuments description
Tatev Monastery is a IV century complex that was once a religious and cultural center. In the 8th century, it was named after Eustateus (Tateos) - Thaddeus apostle’s pupil, who preached Christianity in Syunik and was martyred there.
In the 14th century, the Tatev monastery was one of the centers of Armenian culture, wherein a painting school, library and University operated. In 1381-1387, during Tamerlane's invasion of Syunik, Tatev monastery was robbed and burned, losing a considerable portion of its estates. In the late Middle Ages, a gavit (narthex) and a belfry were built on the western side of the large temple. The school of Tatev survived until the 20th century, when it was destroyed at the beginning of the century (and later found during excavations in 1981-1982). In 1974-1998 the complex was entirely reconstructed.

Flora
The flora in the territory between Shenatagh to Svarants is not so rich. Seldom will you come across an oak, maple, medlar, or such wild fruit trees as rose hip, hawthorn, currant, pear and apple trees. On both sides of the road you can see thorny shrubs. Long stretches of briers grow here, the fruit of which ripen in October and November.

You will also see yellow and red wild plums while passing the trail from August through November. Near the residences, there are vegetables and some mushroom species in spring. Starting from Tatev village, the mountains, hills and gorges are heavily wooded.

Fauna
The fauna in the territory between Shenatagh to Tatev Monastery is poor. You will rarely come across such animals as foxes, wolves, field mice and bears. However, it is common to see wild rabbits, porcupines, and such birds as sparrows, finches, partridges, pheasants, grey crows, and eagles. In the fields, you may see flocks of sheep.

Safety and Security
The VivaCell-MTS network is partially available in Shenatagh, Svarants and Tatev. We strongly recommend avoiding the trail during rains, especially in spring and autumn. In case of emergency, call 911, a service which is available throughout Armenia. Please, beware of dogs guarding flocks of sheep.

Technical parameters
Best period: April - October.
Distance: 233km from Yerevan
Duration: 4 hours
Biking trail length: 18km.
Ride duration: 4 hours.
Altitude from sea level: 1557-1803m
98% of the road is covered with sandstones - the rest is asphalt.
The best drink to have on hand is bottled water.

How to Reach the Trail
To reach this biking trail, you need to start at Shenatagh village. It is most convenient to travel by taxi, which is quite affordable throughout Armenia. We recommend taking a cab with a working meter, and making sure the driver uses it.

Waypoints

PictographWaypoint Altitude 5,874 ft

001 START SHENATAGH

PictographWaypoint Altitude 7,110 ft

002 REST PLACE AND SPRING

PictographWaypoint Altitude 5,820 ft

003 CHURCH OF SVARANC

PictographWaypoint Altitude 5,822 ft

004 SPRING

PictographWaypoint Altitude 4,941 ft

005 TATEV MONASTERY

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