Antarut to Amberd
Antarut to Amberd
Things to see
Ever been to Amberd, the legendary fortress in the clouds? This trail, which starts in Antarut village, will take you there! Follow ancient paths through forests and river valleys for this medieval adventure.
The 7.1 km trail extends between the village of Antarut and Amberd, and can be hiked starting from either location. Starting at Amberd, take some time to explore the 10th-century fortress complex, which also features the Vahramashen Church (also known as the Church of Amberd). The name of the complex translates to “fortress in the clouds”, and one can understand why. Situated on the slopes of Mt. Aragats, Amberd stands at a staggering 2,300 meters (7,500 ft) above sea level!
Inside the fortress walls, you’ll find what were once reception areas and private rooms for royal inhabitants. Excavations have shown that these rooms were quite lavish, with elegantly carved decorations, oil lamps, incense holders, and walls decorated with silks and brocades. South of the fortress, you’ll find a 10th-century bath house which, when operational, used hypocaust heating, a system of central heating that produces and circulates hot air below the floor of the room. If you plan on entering the grounds of Amberd at the beginning or end of your hike, please note that the site opens at 10AM and the entry fee is 700 AMD for locals and 1400 AMD for foreigners.
From Amberd, wind your way down into the Arkashian River valley along an ancient trail. Immediately below the fortress, you will notice a rock formation that resembles the sun. Continue following the trail, and pass through wide open spaces and forested areas in the river valley. From here, and once you’ve fully crossed the valley, you’ll get unique views of the fortress. Be aware that there is a small 1 km section through grassland where the trail is not very visible, so pay close attention to the painted markers and your GPS. You’ll end your adventure in Antarut, just above the village of Byurakan (where we have another trail: Cosmic Trip!)