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Gnishik to Noravank

Gnishik to Noravank

12.6 km

Things to see

Noravank Monastery

An extension of the much shorter Noravank Trail, this trail leads hikers through an oasis for butterflies and bears alike, the Gnishik Canyon. It starts at the remote village of Gnishik and ends at the iconic Noravank Monastery.

Before setting off, be aware that bears are known to frequent this area, even using the trail itself at times. Starting from Gnishik village, follow the trail down into the Gnishik Canyon and get ready for some spectacular cliffside views where you’ll see interesting rock formations and caves built right into the canyon! The trail itself is a mix of ancient footpaths and a newly built trail that makes up a small portion of the Transcaucasian Trail.

The Gnishik Canyon is part of the Arpa Protected Landscape, home to almost 900 plant species and over 500 animal species, including the majestic bezoar ibex, a species of goat indigenous to Armenia. See if you can spot one on your hike! The Arpa Environmental Foundation, which manages the reserve, has placed informational signs about the wildlife throughout the trail, should you like to learn more. If you’re specifically interested in seeing the animals of the reserve, you can contact the organization directly at or call +374 095 959 007 to arrange a ranger-guided animal watching tour. After traversing this animal oasis, flora, and fauna, immerse yourself in a cultural wonder, the 13th-century Noravank Monastery. 

This 5-hour trail is one of four trails in the Arpa Protected Landscape, along with the Chukar trail, the Bezoar Goat trail and, of course, the Noravank trail. All trails are marked by signposts. You can learn more about them on our free app or website. Finally, please be aware that the final stretch of road from Yeghegnadzor village to Gnishik (20 km) is poorly paved and the ride may be rocky.

How to get there

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Josephine Lucie
Magnificent hike through Gnishik Canyon! For me the most beautiful spot I've seen in Armenia. Did it in late October 2022. It took me 5h pure walking time from Gnishik to the monastery. I didn't encounter a single other hiker on the way but lots on bezoar goats. Watch out, as they actually pose a danger by causing rockfall when running away. I was almost hit. Additionally, there are indeed many traces of bears on the way so I constantly made sounds to avoid surprising one around a corner.
Matt Jenkins
We started in Noravank and hiked up to Gnishik and back. It's a fairly long day at around 24km but doable. The trail is generally well marked, and just a bit of a scramble in places. We did it in May and the path at the bottom of the gorge was partially obstructed by a small stream but easy enough to ford. When crossing the farmland above Noravank, look out for the shepherd dogs. The farmer kindly escorted us across his land so the dogs didn't trouble us!
Florian Kumschier
Just finished the hike at Noravank. We had the best hiking conditiones, sunny but not to hot. Starting at Gnishik and I was confused by the elevation profile of the tour. It shows mostly uphill but we went down most of the time. Could you please change that. This little flaw asside we had a wondeful time. (Note: did the trail in reverse)


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