The first day of the trek is designed to suit those making an early start from Yerevan. The trail can be accessed on foot from the M-4 main road which connects Dilijan and Ijevan, via the village of Hovk. The road between these two cities is served by numerous minibuses (mashrutkas) to and from Yerevan. Taxis are also available from the centre of each city. A private taxi from central Yerevan will cost 12,000-13,000 AMD one way.
You’ll take a pleasant ride along the valley of the River Aghstev on your way to Hovk, which is almost equidistant from Dilijan and Ijevan and roughly 20km from each. Minibus drivers will set you down at the junction for Hovk if you make the request in advance. From the M-4, follow the unpaved road N up the side of the valley to the village (4km). Hovk – meaning ‘wind’ in Armenian – is situated on a pleasant hillside overlooking the Aghstev valley.
Follow the chain of streetlamps to guide you through the centre of the village. You’ll find a village store selling basic goods. For accommodation, try the Wild Trail Lodge guesthouse (40.790524°N 45.027087°E), run by local hiking guide and mountaineer Andranik Miribyan (House 73, 3rd Street, Hovk, 055 537 337 / 091 51 50 49).
Those wishing to camp should continue another 3.4km NW up the dirt road to the junction with the main Transcaucasian Trail route (40.806911°N 45.008533°E), where a spectacular camping area may be found below the cliffs, as well as running water from the nearby farm a few hundred metres E (40.810230°N 45.003956°E), which also marks the entrance point to Dilijan National Park.