Old Bells of Goris Trail
Old Bells of Goris Trail
Things to see
Get a spectacular panoramic view of the Syunik landscape on this quick and easy hike from the volcanic stones of the Old Bells of Goris Monument to the town of Goris. Though part of the Legends Trail, this trail can also be hiked on its own. Looking for more trails in Goris? The Time Travel to Old Goris trail starts where this trail ends – in the cemetery – and takes you through Old Goris and its famed medieval cave dwellings.
From the very beginning, this trail offers views like no other. Resting atop a hill to the east of Goris, the Old Bells of Goris Monument offers an excellent view of the town and the surrounding mountains, given the sky is clear. Newly rebuilt, the porous volcanic stone structure returns a piece of lost culture to Goris while celebrating its status as the cultural capital of Syunik Province.
Following the ridge south across pastures and alongside farmland, you’ll be able to see into Artsakh and across the plains of southwest Azerbaijan all the way to the mountains of northwest Iran. Descend into the steep hills by 4x4 track before heading from the ridge via narrow footpaths among pointed limestone rocks and the medieval caves for which the Old Goris hills east of the Vararak River have become known. Apart from dwellings, these caves were once used as livestock pens and storage rooms. As you pass a small shrine where locals light candles, you might stumble into a matagh, or ritual animal sacrifice, that locals sometimes perform in the hopes of healing a sick relative.
The final section of this trail makes its way towards Goris through a large cemetery on the edge of Old Goris. After crossing a river, you’ll continue along the route until you reach the main square.
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This trail constitutes Day 1 of the 15-day Legends Trail starting in Goris and ending in Kapan but can also be hiked on its own. Although the Legends Trail doesn’t have a website, you can find further information and stay up to date with official announcements by following its Instagram and Facebook pages. If you’d like to purchase the physical guidebook in preparation for your journey, you can buy one at the HIKEArmenia office or order online. The Legends Trail was created as part of the EU-funded "EU4Tourism: Outdoor adventures on the historic trails in Syunik " project, implemented by People in Need in partnership with Armenian non-governmental organizations ARK Ecological and Trails for Change (TFC).