Join our 2024 fundraising trek
in Lori & Tavush, Armenia!

10-day itinerary: September 8–17, 2024
Participation fee: $2,950 USD per person (GBP/EUR/AMD)

Join the Transcaucasian Trail team for a trek across the Lori and Tavush regions of Armenia.

This September, we are excited to host our fundraising trek in Armenia. Join us for an exploration of the gorges and monasteries of Lori and Tavush, with spectacular trails, the most unmissable cultural experiences, and hand-picked overnight stays. You’ll discover what makes the provinces of Lori and Tavush special, exploring the monuments that illuminate some of their long and checkered history, as well as seeing first-hand the work of some of the innovators who are reimagining what tourism in the modern-day region could look like.

This trip combines the three things the Caucasus is most famous for: gravity-defying mountain landscapes, a stunning richness of culture and biodiversity, and some of the most welcoming people on Earth!

From the cosmopolitan city of Yerevan, we will make our way to the beautiful hamlets of Lori, where we’ll begin our trek through the natural and cultural heritage of the region.   

These tours will be led by members of the TCT team in Armenia. We will stay in local guest houses and see up close the work of the TCT and why it is important. All proceeds from the tours will go to support our work on the trail in Armenia.

Keep reading for more details. For enquiries and bookings contact [email protected]

Itinerary Overview

2024 dates:

September 8 – 17

Day 1 – Yerevan to Kurtan

Day 2 – Kurtan to Tsater (9.5 km, +292 m / -360 m)

Day 3 – Tsater to Tumanyan (7.5 km, +213 m / -563 m)

Day 4 – Tumanyan to Odzun (9.5 km, +482 m / -217 m)

Day 5 – Odzun to Alaverdi (17.5 km, +452 m / -790 m)

Day 6 – Sanahin to Karinj Camp (20 km, +1,368 m / -688 m)

Day 7 – Karinj Camp to Karinj; Haghartsin to Hidden Waterfall (7 km, +175 m / -176 m)

Day 8 – Haghartsin to Dilijan (14 km, +747 m / -993 m)

Day 9 – Dilijan to Gosh (19 km, +858 m / -902 m)

Day 10 – Gosh to Gosh Lake and return to Yerevan (8 km, +356 m / -357 m)

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Join us to celebrate some of the oldest, newest, and most spectacular sections of the Transcaucasian Trail.

Over the past 8 years, we have worked with a wide range of partners to develop the Transcaucasian Trail across Armenia – resulting in a border-to-border route taking in the country’s best scenery. Now, we’re excited to take you to one of the very first trail work locations along the entire TCT – originally constructed in 2017 in the forests of Dilijan – as well as newly developed routes linking Lori’s magnificent canyons.

The Debed, Dzoraget, Pambak and Marts canyons are all packed with ancient, forgotten footpaths between villages and historic monuments. When our team set out to rediscover and map them all out, we discovered a much bigger network than we expected. With plenty of help from our partners and collaborators, the last five years have seen many of these trails cleared, rebuilt, way-marked and signposted – a massive effort, and one that continues into today.

During our 10 days exploring this section of the TCT, we’ll trek along the edges of deep canyons and over mountaintops offering spectacular panoramic views. Along the way, we’ll visit ancient monasteries, modern ecotourism initiatives, and remnants of Armenia’s Soviet heritage. 

Daily distances will vary between 7-20km, passing through varied terrain, from rocky paths carved into the gorge-sides, all the way up to the spectacular mountain ridges overlooking the valleys below. We’ll carry personal items, packed lunches, and other supplies in our day-packs, with our overnight bags shuttled between destinations by our 4×4-equipped support crew.

At night, we’ll primarily stay in local guesthouses with one special night of “wild camping” in a remote and beautiful spots. On this night, your camping gear will be brought to the campsites ahead of time, basic sanitation facilities will be set up, and the support crew will serve your dinner al fresco as the sun goes down.

On the final day of hiking, we’ll travel back to Yerevan – and then we’ll celebrate together with a well-earned final dinner.

As with all of our fundraising treks, 100% of the profits go back into our work in the local area, helping ensure the future of this world-class long distance trail.

Specifically, we are raising funds to install signage along the entire TCT in Armenia – including the sections you’ll be hiking! Your support will directly contribute to this key initiative to make the TCT safer, more accessible, and more well-established for generations to come.

Sanahin Monastery by <a href="">Serein</a> (CC-BY-SA 4.0)

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.

Guy, former fundraising trek participant
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Explore Armenia’s mountain heritage.

Get ready to discover all that Lori and Tavush have to offer while you travel by foot from village to village.  

Our itinerary is very active. We’ll be hiking almost every day, and a few of the days are long. But you’ll have a delicious home-cooked meal and a cozy bed (in one case, your cozy tent) at the end of each day. We will be staying in family-run guesthouses, and we’ll have luggage deliveries every 2 days, so we don’t have to carry all our stuff.  Read the itinerary below for more information about distances and elevation gain. If you are wondering about the difficulty of the hikes or the fitness level required, feel free to send us an email at [email protected].

Here are the details:

DAY 1: Yerevan to Kurtan: Meet in Yerevan, 3-hour transfer to Lori & night in hotel

We’ll meet in the morning at the office in Yerevan. From here, we’ll load up the minibus and make our way north to Lori province, stopping en route for lunch at a local eatery. We’ll arrive in Kurtan village. Here we’ll have the opportunity to taste the traditional Armenian pasta called arishta. We’ll spend the night in a charming village guesthouse. 

DAY 2: Kurtan to Tsater: 9.5 km hike & night in guesthouse 

Distance: 9.5 km
Altitude range: 982m to 1269m
Elevation change: +292m / -360m

We’ll start our hike from Kurtan village, taking the old trails down to Dzoraget river gorge – one of the most beautiful gorges in Armenia. In the gorge we’ll visit the beautiful monastic complex of Hnevank, named for the Greek heritage to be found scattered throughout Lori. Then we’ll follow the trail up to Tsater village, with amazing canyon and river scenery of along the way.

DAY 3: Tsater to Tumanyan: 7.5 km hike & night in guesthouse 

Distance: 7.5 km
Altitude range: 817m to 1192m
Elevation change: +213m / -563m

We’ll continue to hike with stunning views of the Debed Canyon, following historic trails where centuries ago locals were using donkeys to move from one village to another. We’ll arrive at the gorge-side Kobayr monastery, where we can see a beautiful fresco inside a ruined church. We’ll finish the day’s hike in the tiny industrial town of Tumanyan, where recent rural tourism initiatives are contributing to revitalization efforts. Here we’ll have the chance to visit Armenia’s only matchbox label museum, featuring thousands of historic matchbox labels from the USSR and beyond. Niche? Yes. Worth visiting? Absolutely.

DAY 4: Tumanyan to Odzun: 9.5 km hike & night in guesthouse 

Distance:9.5 km
Altitude range:  818m to 1110m 
Elevation change: +482m / -217m 

The trail from Tumanyan will take us back to the cliffs, following ancient paths with stone steps built centuries ago. We’ll pass a stunning place under the rocks where people lived with their families for many years, making houses in the caves. The hike will end in Odzun village, and we’ll spend the night in a renowned local guesthouse. 

DAY 5: Odzun to Alaverdi: 17.5 km hike & night in guesthouse 

Distance: 17.5 km
Altitude range:  769m to 1307m
Elevation change: +452m / -790m

After breakfast we’ll hike through villages to the mountains and then descend to a gorge full of orchards. We’ll visit the old medieval fortress of Sedvi, then follow the trail to Alaverdi, which was one of the main industrial towns in Armenia. In our evening’s guesthouse, we’ll have a tasty and entertaining evening learning how to make Ghapama, an Armenian traditional dish with pumpkin and rice.

DAY 6: Sanahin to Karinj Camp: 20 km hike & camping 

Distance: 20 km
Altitude range: 1028m to 1988m 
Elevation change:  +1368m / -688m 

In the morning a minibus will take us to the upper district of Alaverdi town. Here we’ll visit one of the marvels of Armenia: the UNESCO World Heritage site of Sanahin monastery. From here we’ll start our hike, climbing to the mountain range above. In good weather, we’ll be rewarded with magnificent views, as we’ll be at high elevation overlooking the mountains and gorges of the area. And today we’ll get to enjoy those views all day long: After we descend from the hike, we’ll be met by our camp manager and chief cook. We’ll set up camp and enjoy a wild dinner over a beautiful sunset.

DAY 7: Karinj Camp to Karinj; Haghartsin to Hidden Waterfall Trail: 7 km hike and overnight at hotel

Distance: 7 km
Altitude range: 1427m to 1508m
Elevation gross: +175m / -176m

In the morning, our stuff will be ferried in the support van while we hike down to Karinj village, where a minibus will meet us to drive to the Tavush region. On the way we’ll visit a village inhabited by molokans – a Russian spiritual Christian sect who fled persecution in Tsarist Russia – where we’ll visit  a newly opened small museum and have a tasty molokan-style lunch. Reaching our hiking destination in Tavush, we’ll have a tour of the famous Haghartsin monastery. Then we’ll hike to the “hidden waterfall” – a local secret re-discovered during the early trail design process of the TCT! We’ll spend the night in a hotel near the monastery, renovated from its earlier days hosting monks.

DAY 8: Haghartsin to Dilijan: 14 km hike & night in Dilijan

Distance: 14 km
Altitude range: 1180m to 1961m 
Elevation gross: +747m -993m

Today we’ll hike on a newly-built section of the Transcaucasian Trail – built in the last 2 years with the help of volunteers and our partners. The trail will take us through the beautiful broadleaf forests of Dilijan National Park. After reaching the top, we’ll be rewarded with beautiful scenery and views over the surrounding valleys. We’ll descend via a trail to the main highway, where a minibus will take us to cozy Dilijan Hikers Hostel.

DAY 9: Dilijan to Gosh: 19 km hike & overnight village style hotel

Distance:19 km
Altitude range:  1231m to 1752m
Elevation gross: +858m -902m 

Today’s hike weaves in and out of the lush broadleaf forests and meadows of Dilijan National Park. First we’ll hike the beautiful trail from the outskirts of town called Drunken Forest route – named for its distinctive twisting trees – which will take us to a viewpoint overlooking the town of Dilijan and surrounding mountains. We’ll continue our hike inside the national park along some of the very first sections of TCT in Armenia, built back in 2017. After having lunch in a beautiful meadow we’ll start hiking down to Gosh village, where we’ll stay at a nice village-style hotel.

Day 10: Gosh to Gosh Lake and back to Yerevan, 8 km hike and 2-hour transfer to Yerevan 

Distance:8 km
Altitude range:  1226m to 1424m 
Elevation gross:+356m -357m  

After visiting Goshavank monastery in the early morning, we’ll take our last hike to a beautiful lake called Gosh. We’ll enjoy a nice forest-style break for tea and coffee on the lake shore before hiking back to Gosh village. The minibus will take us to Dilijan for lunch and then back to Yerevan for our final celebration dinner!

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Fee for participation:
$2,950 USD per person

(See price in GBP / EUR / AMD)

Includes 1-year membership of the Transcaucasian Trail Association.

Already a member? Did you know your fee counts towards your place on this trek? Find out more

Hiking Boots At The Ready!

So you’re interested in joining us in 2024? 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 us directly at [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 team 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 a deposit to secure your place on the team. We’ll be in further contact with you before your departure, and we’ll always be on hand to answer any questions you may have during that time.

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