Discover the beauty of autumnal Armenia on the second TCT fundraising trek of 2018!
If you’re keen to hike the newest section of the Transcaucasian Trail, and you want to support our work in Armenia by doing so, why not join this exclusive 7-day adventure through the forests & mountains of Dilijan National Park?
This autumn, the TCT Armenia crew will lead a pioneering team of up to 10 fundraisers on a hike on the 85km TCT route through Dilijan National Park, taking in the very best of the natural and cultural gems the region has to offer – an experience you’ll find on offer nowhere else.
Best of all, the funds you’ll raise to participate will be invested directly back into our work in Armenia, helping ensure the future of this ambitious new long-distance trail.
October 14th-21st 2018
Day 1: Afternoon transfer from Yerevan, welcome meal & night in homestay.
Day 2: 17km hike & lakeside camp.
Day 3: 15km hike & mountain camp.
Day 4: 10km hike, walking tour of Dilijan & night in guesthouse.
Day 5: 24km hike & monastery camp.
Day 6: 26km hike & night in guesthouse.
Day 7: Walking tour of Ijevan, afternoon transfer to Yerevan.
An exclusive opportunity to hike a brand new long-distance trail in Dilijan National Park, Armenia.
How do we know this experience is one-of-a-kind? Simple: we’re building the trail with our bare hands. You’ll be one of the very first groups we bring here to hike it.
For the last two summers, an army of local and international volunteers have descended upon Dilijan National Park to take on a new and unprecedented mission in Armenia. Over six months of sweat and strain in 2017, we built new trails and rehabilitated old ones, resulting in over 100km of new hiking routes in the Park, and a showcase for the vision of the Transcaucasian Trail across Armenia. In 2018 we’re building on these foundations, making further improvements to the route and extending it in both directions into the neighbouring provinces.
This fundraising trek represents your exclusive opportunity to become part of this story and experience first-hand the fruits of our labours. You’ll be accompanied at all times by members of the team who actually built the trail, who’ll share their stories of how this pioneering project came to be, what we discovered through designing and developing the route, and what the future holds for the Transcaucasian Trail…
I have done a lot of hiking in my time so am qualified to say that this was by far the best group hiking experience I have ever had.
This experience combines stunning natural beauty with the best of Armenian hospitality.
The Caucasus is famous for two things: gravity-defying mountain landscapes, and some of the friendliest people on Earth! We combine both for the most authentic experience possible. Read on to find out exactly what this trek has in store for you…
Sunday October 14th: Walking tour of Yerevan & transfer to Dilijan
We’ll meet in the Armenian capital of Yerevan at 12:00 midday, take a short walking tour, then at 14:00 depart for Khachardzan, a small village in Dilijan National Park. We’ll spend the night at family guesthouse, enjoy a home-cooked meal, and prepare for our departure on foot the following morning.
Includes: Home-cooked dinner.
Monday October 15th: 17 km / 5 hour forest hike & lakeside camp
The hike begins with an easy riverside walk, following dirt roads through Dilijan National Park. When the road ends, we’ll head into the forest, have lunch, then continue up the mountainside using ancient paths along the steep gorge sides. Emerging from the forest at the abandoned village of Chermakavan, we’ll traverse into the neighbouring valley and make camp by Gosh Lake.
Includes: Home-cooked breakfast, dinner at camp.
Tuesday October 16th: 15 km / 5 hour forest hike & overnight mountain camp.
Today’s hike weaves in and out of the lush broadleaf forests and meadows of Dilijan National Park. After visiting Goshavank monastery, you’ll be amongst the very first to test out the newest trails that have been built by the Transcaucasian Trail volunteer team. Our route will bring us to a wonderful alpine meadow where we’ll make camp with views over the whole of the National Park.
Includes: Breakfast and dinner at camp.
Wednesday October 17th: 10 km / 3 hour forest hike & night in guesthouse.
We’ll descend from the mountains and follow footpaths right into the centre of Dilijan city itself. We’ll explore this historical spa town and spend the night at a charming local guesthouse.
Includes: Breakfast at camp, restaurant dinner.
Thursday October 18th: 24km / 7 hour mountain hike & overnight camp
We’ll head out of Dilijan via the Jukhtakvank twin monasteries, visiting traditional farmsteads along the way up to a spectacular mountain pass. After a break to enjoy the panoramic views, we’ll descend through temperate rainforest to the world-famous Haghartsin Monastery, making camp at the monastery itself.
Includes: Home-cooked breakfast, dinner at camp.
Friday October 19th: 26km / 7 hour mountain hike & night in guesthouse
Our final full day of hiking is perhaps the most spectacular of all. We’ll climb out of the forest and above the limestone cliffs that dominate the northern half of Dilijan National Park, taking in a stunning panoramic route along the escarpment (if the weather is fine!) before dropping back down into the valley to our final destination of Hovk. In Hovk we’ll enjoy the hospitality of an infamous local mountaineer and his family for our final night on the trail.
Includes: Breakfast at camp, home-cooked dinner.
Saturday October 20th: Tour of Ijevan and transfer to Yerevan
No need to get up early (except if you want to!) – we’ll arrange a walking tour of the old Silk Road town of Ijevan, the regional capital of Tavush province and an important historical stop on the Silk Road route through the Lesser Caucasus Mountains (‘ijevan’ means ‘caravanserai’ or ‘inn’ in Armenian), then take you to our favourite local restaurant for a final celebratory lunch. After lunch, transport back to Yerevan will be arranged (city centre or airport, estimated arrival time 17:00) and we’ll say our final goodbyes!
Includes: Home-cooked breakfast, restaurant lunch.
Hiking Boots At The Ready!
So you’re interested in joining our second fundraising hike of 2018? Get in touch using the form below! We’ll send you an application form to join the team. Places are offered on a first-come first-served basis, so register now to secure your spot.
If you prefer not to use the online form, you can contact our bookings coordinator directly on [email protected].
What happens after I click the big green button?
This is an enquiry form, not a booking form, and using it neither obliges you to take part in the trek or guarantees you a place! We first want to make sure that you’re fully informed about the experience and that your expectations match what we’re offering. Our fundraising trek coordinator will respond to your message by email or phone to go over the details of the trek and ask you a few more questions relating to your level of hiking experience and fitness. If all is well, we’ll ask you to pay 50% of the donation amount as a deposit to secure your place on the team. We’ll be in further contact with you before your departure for Armenia, and we’ll always be on hand to answer any questions you may have during that time.
Frequently Asked Questions
What exactly is included for my donation?
For your USD $1200 donation, you’ll receive all of the services and inclusions as detailed above, as well as the company of two guides for the duration of your trek. Not included are items of a personal nature (e.g. phone credit), trail snacks, visas or applicable fees, international flights, accommodation in Yerevan, personal travel insurance, tips to guesthouses or any other services, or any personal hiking/camping equipment (except for stoves and cooking equipment).
How does prior membership of TCTA affect the price?
If you are a donation-paying member of TCTA at the time of paying your deposit, we will offset your membership donation against the total cost of this trek. In other words, if you donated $100 for membership, and your membership is active when you pay the $600 deposit, the final fundraising balance due will be $500 instead of $600.
If you are not a member, you will acquire complimentary TCTA membership for one year from the date of paying your deposit, including all the benefits of membership unless stated otherwise.
(Free TCTA membership acquired as a result of participation in previous treks, events or projects cannot be redeemed against the cost of this trek.)
How do I secure a place on the team?
Get in touch using the registration form to inform us of your interest. We’ll send you a full application form to ensure that your expectations will be met by the kind of experience we’re offeding. We’ll ask you to pay a nonrefundable deposit of USD $600 to secure your place, with the balance (USD $600) due 30 days before departure.
How fit do I need to be?
We’ll be hiking up to 26km per day, with a daily elevation gain/loss of 500-1000m. In other words, you must be fit and conditioned to regular long days of hill walking, and wild camping in locations without facilities.
Is any equipment provided? If not, what do I need to bring?
We’ll take care of meals and cooking equipment, but team members are expected to bring their own personal hiking/camping equipment with them. Click here to download a full packing list (PDF).
What is the weather going to be like?
Dilijan National Park is famous for its cool, fresh climate, and is popular with Yerevan residents for that reason. In October, we expect mild, sunny days and chilly evenings during the mid-autumn seasonal transition.
I want to book my flights – when should I aim to arrive and depart in Yerevan?
On Sunday 14th October (Day 1), we ask you to make your way to central Yerevan by 12:00, so we suggest arriving the previous day (Saturday 13th) in order to rest, orient yourself, and ensure a timely rendezvous.
If you wish to depart on the final transfer day to Yerevan (Saturday 20th), we will aim to arrive in Yerevan city centre or airport at 17:00, so any flight departing after 20:00 is suggested – it may be preferable to stay an additional night in Yerevan and depart the following day (Sunday 21st).
I have special dietary requirements – can these be catered for?
Vegetarians and vegans can be catered for. We suggest bringing personal trail snacks if you have special dietary requirements, including nut allergies. These meal requirements can be provided for only if we know in advance and within reason considering the rural location.
I notice that on some of the nights we’ll be in guesthouses. What should I expect?
Guesthouses in the Caucasus are of a simple and basic nature with shared bathroom facilities. Shared rooms generally accommodate two or three people in single beds. A hearty dinner and breakfast should certainly be expected!
How many other hikers will there be?
We’re recruiting 5–10 participants for this trek, not including the two guides.
Is the itinerary set in stone?
The dates and the general route through Dilijan National Park will remain as advertised. Depending on weather and on the availability of accommodation, exact routes taken and overnight accommodation options may vary, for reasons of practicality and safety.
Can the Dilijan fundraising hike be combined with other adventures in the region?
Yes! We can recommend several operators to create and coordinate other adventure and cultural experiences in Armenia and the Caucasus, in order to make the most of your visit to the region. Or why not consider combining this trek in Armenia with one of the fundraising treks in Georgia?
Are there any safety or security risks I should be aware of in Armenia?
We suggest you check the UK FCO website for comprehensive information and guidance on travel in Armenia.
What kind of travel insurance will I need?
Personal travel insurance is mandatory for each individual to cover any accidents and emergencies. Your policy must include trekking activities at up to 3,000m altitude. Please be aware of the possible dangers of this type of travel (e.g. limited medical facilities in some areas, mountain travel, non standard accommodation with limited electricity and water), and that conditions can mean a greater risk of discomfort, sickness, theft, natural disaster, etc. We will ask you for your policy number and the 24-hour medical emergency contact number of the insurers so that in the event of a medical emergency we may be able to contact the insurers on your behalf. We would also advise you to buy cancellation insurance as soon as the booking is made to protect your deposit.
What happens if the trek has to be cancelled due to unforeseen circumstances?
We will do everything possible to deliver the experience as detailed here and to make sure that you enjoy your time on the TCT as much as possible, even in the case of unexpected circumstances. However, we cannot always provide the planned service in the the case of unavoidable events or beyond our control, including Force Majeure. In the case of Force Majeure, this means that we will not pay you compensation if we have to cancel or change your travel arrangements in any way. These can include, for example, war, threat of war, riot, civil disobedience or strike, industrial dispute, terrorist activity and its consequences, acts of god, natural or nuclear disaster, fire, adverse weather conditions, technical or maintenance problems with transport providers, closure of airports or any unforeseeable or unavoidable event beyond our control. This is standard practice in the terms and conditions of organised treks such as this, and should be covered by your personal travel insurance.
I’d prefer to hire camping equipment rather than bring my own. Is this possible?
We can arrange tent hire on your behalf at an additional cost of USD $120 per two person tent. This additional cost may be split with other interested group members. We can also arrange hire of camping mattresses; please mention this in your enquiry if you are interested.
Will I be able to charge my phone/camera/other device? How about internet access?
WiFi is available is some guesthouses, as well as 220-240v mains electricity (with European-style sockets) in all guesthouses. If you wish, you may bring your own power packs to charge phones and other devices. Mobile data is available in certain areas via the purchase of a local SIM card and data package, but reception cannot be guaranteed.
Is this experience available anywhere else?
No – this is an exclusive offer to supporters of the Transcaucasian Trail who wish to explore the region with the TCT founders themselves, and at the same time help raise funds to support our future work.