- Hiking / Trekking
- Place or Religious Monument
- Place or Historical Monument
- Unesco World Heritage
From Yerevan, I arrived in the 55 km-long Azat Valley via the Azat Reservoir, formed by one of the country's largest dams. Up above, a wondrous landscape was awaiting me.
The first main stop in the Azat is the ancient Garni temple, built on a rocky headland perched above the Azat River Canyon. It is one of the country's most beautiful natural sites - where the Goght flows into the Azat, an enormous natural basin lined by cliffs and basalt columns has been formed, as beautiful to admire from above as from inside it, where you will find an 11th century bridge!
Then there is the Gueghard monastery, a bit further upstream, which is an exceptional place. Beyond, the natural scenery of the Armenian Lesser Caucasus takes over, with boulders, cliffs, shepherds tending flocks of sheep, and protected mountain wildlife. Climbing to the source of the Azat, where it meets the Sevan plateau, is a delight for any nature lovers. Then all that is left is to climb the Ajdahak volcano, which dominates the mountain pastures like the Cantal of Caucasus.