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Sisian, Ltsen, Tatev, Goris

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Photo ofSisian, Ltsen, Tatev, Goris Photo ofSisian, Ltsen, Tatev, Goris Photo ofSisian, Ltsen, Tatev, Goris

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Trail stats

Distance
46.52 mi
Elevation gain
6,778 ft
Technical difficulty
Moderate
Elevation loss
6,716 ft
Max elevation
7,087 ft
TrailRank 
36
Min elevation
3,342 ft
Trail type
One Way
Time
9 hours 52 minutes
Coordinates
2972
Uploaded
December 14, 2016
Recorded
June 2016
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7,087 ft
3,342 ft
46.52 mi

near Sisian, Syunikʼ (አርሜኒያ)

Viewed 1482 times, downloaded 27 times

Trail photos

Photo ofSisian, Ltsen, Tatev, Goris Photo ofSisian, Ltsen, Tatev, Goris Photo ofSisian, Ltsen, Tatev, Goris

Itinerary description

Mountain biking trail description:
This marvelous biking trail will allow you to see the unique sights of South Armenia, with a centuries-old culture, old bridges, churches, castles, and mineral sources. The trail is located in the Syunik province, which borders the Islamic Republic of Iran in the south.
The trail begins in Sisian city (1,600m above sea level) and leads on for 5km, to reach Aghitu village. On your way, you will see the tomb of Aghitu. The biking trail will continue on to Vorotnavank (from the year 1000), then to the Vorotan hot springs, where you can swim and have a little rest, after which you can see the ruins of Vorotnavank (5th century) from the road. Afterward, you will cross the Melik Tang Bridge (1,885) to the Shamb Reservoir, which is shaped like flower petals.
Taking the trail further to the Vorotan Gorge, you will see Hin Harjis, an uninhabited village, the houses remaining with their thatched roofs and uncultivated gardens. From here, the trail continues to the Tatev Monastery (4th century), then to Goris city, where you can arrange an overnight stay.
In case you have time, you can also visit some interesting sights along the way: Zorats Karer (also called Karahunj, Sisian city), Shake Waterfall (Sisian town), the Hin Khndzoresk caves and the Swinging Bridge (Goris city), the Wings of Tatev Ropeway (Halidzor or Tatev village), and Devil's Bridge (Tatev village).

Monuments description:
There are many sights to visit in Sisian town. We especially recommend visiting the N. Adonts State History Museum, where you can see sumptuous historical and ethnographic displays. A wide collection of stone pillars (Karadaran) is exhibited in one of the halls. You can also visit the local branch of the National Gallery of Armenia and the Art School, where you can see both the works of famous Armenian artists and not so famous local artists. The museum has an admission fee.

Vorotnavank is a medieval monastery located 14km east of Sisian, on the left hill of the Vorotan canyon. It was founded by Queen Shahandukht in 1000. In the Middle Ages, the monastery was famous for its power to cure snake bites and was a famous place of pilgrimage.
The church has a triple-arch and a cruciform layout, with a dome overhead. The inside of the church is decorated with frescoes. In the preserved northern tabernacle, the frescoes depict a starry blue sky in a circle with an angel in the center. By the order of Queen Shahandukht, a tabernacle, manufactories, warehouses and a wall surrounding the monastery were also built.
Vorotnavank has operated since the early 20th century. Queen Shahandukht and Prince Sevada were buried in Vorotnavank. Medieval philosopher Hovhan Vorotnetsi (1315-1388) conducted many scientific and religious activities in Vorotnavank.

Melik Tang Bridge is located on the Vorotan river, near the ancient Vorotan village. Built by Melik Tang in 1855, it was constructed with the stones of a church and a cemetery that were destroyed in an earlier period. It is located directly under the cliff of Vorotnavank, gracing it with great solidity and charm.

The Sisian region is famous for its water resources. There are both natural mountain lakes and artificial reservoirs. The Spandaryan, Tolos and Shamb reservoirs are distinguished for their size, and are perfect places for fishing, swimming, and recreation. The Shamb Reservoir is famous for its daisy-like shape.

Vorotan Gorge is more than 100m deep, plunging to depths of 3km in some spots. It is considered Syunik province’s natural décor and Armenia’s marvellous canyon. The distance of the Vorotan river is 178km and its pool is 5,650 sq. km. The river passes by Vorotnavank, the David Bek fortress, the Vorotan hot springs, and then feeds into the Shamb reservoir. This area, with its forests, is especially alluring.

Vorotan Hot Springs are located in Vorotan village. A pool has been built here where one can swim and rest. The water temperature is 33-34 C. The cities of Sisian and Dastakert, and some villages of the province are the richest in mineral waters.
There are many water sources built in this region, and the construction of water sources has a very old history. The oldest existing source is the Tum source, built in Brnakot village around 1650. In many villages, a cross has been placed during droughts to invite rain. These sources are called ‘Cross Water Sources’, and each is like a small architectural monument.

Hin Harjis village sits on the left bank of the Vorotan River. The village is 1,700-1,730m above sea level. Goris city is 24km away. The village has been uninhabited for over a century.

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 porch 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.

Goris City: Visitors are immediately attracted by the layout of the streets of Goris. The city has a population of about 20 thousand (2015) and is located 1,370m above sea level. Hin (“Old”) Goris is in the eastern part of the city, where one can find a series of cave settlements. The large hill, Lasti Khut, is the symbol of the city. Goris is neighboured by extraordinary towers, castles, pyramids, caves and antediluvian stone wonders.

Flora
Syunik is the most mountainous province of Armenia. The variation in its elevation is up to 3,500m, with its highest point being Kaputjugh (3,906m), and its lowest, the Meghri Gorge (375m). The trail passes through oak-hornbeam forests, where hawthorns, briers, wild pears, apples, maples and elm trees also grow. The most remarkable rivers are the Vorotan, Voghjin, and Meghriget.
The Vorotan is the biggest river in Zangezur. The depth of the Vorotan Grand Canyon is 800m. In this spot, the river passes under the natural wonder called the Devil’s Bridge. There are numerous mineral waters in Tatev, Kajaran, Goris, and Vorotan (Urut). The Platan and Zangezur reserves and the Shikahogh State Reserve are also located in Syunik. Many rare and valuable tree species grow here.

Fauna
The fauna of Sisian is rich with such animals as bear, wolf, fox (only the yellow-grey tribe) and the hare, which you can see in almost all of the areas. There are wild goats, pigs, lynxes and martens in the Ltsen and Arevis forests. Rivers and lakes are abundant in fish. The Vorotan river, and other clean, cold waters are home to trout, which are currently threatened by uncontrolled hunting.
The region is also rich in birds. There are partridges all throughout the territory. There are also vultures and eagles, which mostly target the malicious rodents of the region.

Safety and Security
Ucom and VivaCell-MTS networks are almost always available between the cities of Sisian and Goris. In case of emergency, call 911, a service which is available throughout Armenia.

Technical parameters
Best period: May -October.
Distance: 210km from Yerevan
Duration: 3 hours 28 min
Biking trail length: 74.5km.
Ride duration: 10 hours.
Altitude from sea level: 1,380-1,600m
50% of the road is covered by sandstones, the rest of it is asphalted.
The best drink to have on hand is water.

How to Reach the Trail
To reach the above-mentioned biking trail, you need to get to Sisian. 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 5,059 ft

001 START

PictographWaypoint Altitude 5,219 ft

002 AGHITU MEMORIAL

PictographWaypoint Altitude 4,791 ft

003 VOROTNAVANQ

PictographWaypoint Altitude 5,360 ft

004 TATEV

PictographWaypoint Altitude 3,345 ft

005 SATAN BRIDG

PictographWaypoint Altitude 5,114 ft

006 FINISH

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