Join the 2017 fundraising trek in Dilijan National Park, Armenia!
Dates: 24th–29th September 2017
Fundraising goal: £1,000 GBP per person
About The Trek
Join Transcaucasian Trail co-founder Tom Allen and his local team in Armenia for a 6-day adventure through the forests & mountains of Dilijan National Park in Armenia’s Tavush province!
As part of a pioneering team of up to 10 fundraisers, you’ll have an exclusive opportunity to hike the TCT’s newly-designed and constructed trails in Dilijan National Park, taking in the very best of the natural and cultural wonders the region has to offer, as well as testing out the route’s extension into the neighbouring provinces.
Best of all, the funds you’ll raise to participate will be invested directly back into the work of the Transcaucasian Trail in Armenia, helping ensure the future of this ambitious new long-distance trail.
Day 1: Afternoon transfer from Yerevan to Khachardzan. Welcome meal & night in guesthouse.
Day 2: Full trekking day (Khachardzan-Gosh Lake). Overnight wild camp.
Day 3: Full trekking day (Gosh Lake-Dilijan). Night at TCT Dilijan HQ.
Day 4: Full trekking day (Dilijan-Haghartsin). Overnight wild camp.
Day 5: Full trekking day (Haghartsin-Hovk). Night in guesthouse.
Day 6: Half day walking tour of Dilijan. Afternoon transfer to Yerevan.
Want to join us?
Read on for the full details of this exclusive Armenian adventure…
Day 1 (Sunday 24th): Welcome and transfer to Khachardzan
We’ll convene in Yerevan in time at a pre-agreed meeting point for an afternoon transfer to Khachardzan, a small village on the road to 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). We’ll spend the night at family guesthouse, enjoy a home-cooked meal, and prepare for our departure the following morning.
Day 2 (Monday 25th): 20 km / 5 hour forest hike & overnight camp
The hike begins with an easy walk up the Getik valley, 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 traditional 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.
Day 3 (Tuesday 26th): 22 km / 6 hour forest/mountain hike & overnight in Dilijan
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 cut by the Transcaucasian Trail volunteer team. Our route will bring us out right in the centre of Dilijan city itself, and we’ll spend the night at the TCT Dilijan HQ, which has housed our trailbuilding crews throughout the summer.
Day 4 (Wednesday 27th): 20km / 7 hour mountain hike & overnight camp
We’ll head out of Dilijan up the ‘Milky Way’ valley, 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.
Day 5 (Thursday 28th): 25km / 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.
Day 6 (Friday 29th): Tour of Dilijan and transfer to Yerevan
No need to get up early (except if you want to!) – we’ll arrange a tour of the charming town of Dilijan after breakfast, then take you to our favourite local restaurant for a final celebratory lunch. After lunch, we’ll say our goodbyes, and transport back to Yerevan will be arranged for your departures on Friday evening or Saturday.
Fundraising goal for participation:
£1,000 GBP per person
Frequently Asked Questions
What’s included for my donation?
For your £1,000 GBP contribution, you’ll receive all of the services and inclusions as detailed above, as well as the company of two guides (TCT co-founder Tom Allen and one local guide) for the duration of your trek. Not included are items of a personal nature (e.g. phone credit), visas or applicable fees, international flights, personal travel insurance, tips to guesthouses or any other services, or any personal hiking/camping equipment (except for stoves and cooking equipment).
How do I secure a place on the team?
Get in touch using the contact form below and we’ll send you a full application form. Once accepted, we’ll ask you to pay a nonrefundable deposit of GBP £500 to secure your place, with the balance (GBP £500) due 7 days before departure.
How fit do I need to be?
We’ll be hiking up to 25km 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 supply the food and the kitchen gear to cook it with, but team members are expected to bring all of their own personal hiking/camping equipment with them. Click here to download a full packing list (PDF).
I want to book my flights – what time should I aim to arrive and depart in Yerevan?
On Sunday the 24th September, we ask you to make your way to central Yerevan by 14:00, so any flight arriving before 11:00 on Sunday 24th should be suitable. On the 29th September, any flight departing after 19:00 is suggested.
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 are with more than two persons, with single beds. A hearty breakfast should certainly be expected.
How many other hikers will there be?
We’re accepting a maximum of 10 participants for this trek, not including the two guides.
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 of 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 because of unusual or unforeseeable circumstances beyond our control. 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 rent camping equipment locally. Is this possible?
We can arrange tent hire on your behalf at an additional cost of GBP £50 per two person tent. Sleeping bags and mats are not available to rent at this time.
Will I be able to charge my phone/camera/other device? How about internet access?
WiFi is available is some guesthouses, as well as 240v mains electricity (with European-style sockets) in all guesthouses. If you wish, extra power packs can be taken 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. No other guided treks are being offered on this route in 2017.
Hiking Boots At The Ready!
So you want to get involved with this fundraising trek? Get in touch ASAP using the form below. We’ll send you a full information pack and an application form to join the team. We’re looking forward to welcoming you to the Caucasus!