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Byurakan to Orgov

Byurakan to Orgov

4.3 km

Things to see

Byurakan Observatory
Orgov Radio-Optical Telescope

This trail is out of this world! You’ll travel through space and time as you hike from the impressive Byurakan Astrophysical Observatory to the towering Radio-Optical Telescope in Orgov. 

Starting at Byurakan, you can kickstart this cosmic trip with a guided tour of the observatory, which was founded in 1946 by famous Armenian scientist Viktor Hambartsumyan and was an important scientific center in the USSR. Over the decades, its scientists have made a staggering number of astronomical discoveries. Ever heard of the Margarian galaxies? A cluster of 1,500 galaxies of ultraviolet excess, they were named after the Armenian astrophysicist who discovered their existence in  — you guessed it — Byurakan! 

From the observatory, make your way down through the river valley and back up to the other side in the village of Orgov. Between the months of April and May, be mindful of snakes along the river — it’s breeding season! A moderate 2 and a half hour hike, the trail ends right at the entrance of another Soviet scientific site — the Orgov Radio-Optical Telescope! Tours of the grounds, the telescope, and the telescope control room (pretty cool, huh?) are available from Monday through Saturday, depending on staffing. Simply fill out a form at the main gates. You can also call ahead of time (+374 010 23 26 00) to check if tours are running. For more information on Byurakan Observatory and Orgov facility, check out

How to get there

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Rita belkova
Маршрут чудесный, а мостик из-за течения сломался. Будьте готовы к тому, что через речку придется прыгать по камням через бурлящий поток воды.
Nina Nesterova
Did the route in January. The views are great! Rocks and bushes covered in snow are very beautiful. On the way you can see traces of weasel, hare, fox. What can be improved: the bridge over the river Amberd is actually missing (three slippery thin logs do not count). I suggest making it sturdy and putting a rope handrail on top. I had to wade across the river and got very cold.
Lorenzo Alighieri
DON'T do this hike unless you really love adventures. It's not long, but some points can be dangerous and in several cases there's not an actual path that you can easily follow.
Lu Adamcie
Nice short hike near Yerevan. However, beware of the snakes, there are A LOT of them along the river. Note also that the hike does not start exactly at Byurakan and that visiting the place takes time. To visit the radio observatory in Orgov, you must apply in advance for authorization to enter the site (it is worth it).
Tatiana Nadyseva
Wonderful sites! You MUST obtain a permission before visiting Orgov radio telescope. This must be done at least 48 hours in advance but really worth it. This place is mindblowing


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Get a taste of Armenian hospitality

Byurakan 16/11 Boutique Art-Hotel

15 - 20 USD