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Sanahin to Haghpat Monasteries

Sanahin to Haghpat Monasteries

10.9 km

Things to see

Mikoyan Brothers Museum
Sanahin Monastery
Haghpat Monastery Complex
Haghpat Bridge
Kayan Berd
This trail in the northern Lori Province connects the monasteries of Sanahin and Haghpat, both UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and arguably Armenia’s most important monasteries.

NOTE: Updated August 2023 to include then segment that connects this trail to "Kayan Fortress".

The World Heritage Trail starts at the Sanahin Monastery Complex, located in the village of Sanahin (within the city limits of Alaverdi), overlooking the Debed River Canyon. Take your time exploring the complex’s many chapels, the academy building (once a medieval high school), book depositories, refectories, galleries, and other structures.

From Sanahin, the trail will lead you to another one of Armenia’s iconic monasteries—Haghpat. Both monasteries were built in the 10th century, and were once important centers of scholarship. Be sure to give yourself enough time to explore both sites! Between Sanahin and Hagphat, a short spur trail going north will take you to the ruins of the 13th century Kayan Fortress, also known as Aknaberd. FYI, autumn is a great season to hike this trail—the mountains surrounding the Debed Canyon are painted in vivid colors and are often crowned by low-lying clouds.

You will find stone pillars guiding you along the trail, installed by the Armenian Hikers Association (AHA) team. 

Note: this trail is not a loop, and that you’ll have to either walk or find transport to get back to where you started (see the HOW TO GET THERE for transport options). Transportation to Sanahin is easier to navigate, which is why we recommend you start your hike there, though you can start at Haghpat.

Second Note: it is possible to do only the Kayan Fortress portion of this trail here: Kayan Berd Trail

How to get there

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Adam Frisk
Great hike, but be careful if you take it when the snows are melting ;)
Mantis Toboggan
Wonderful and easy hike.
Tatiana Nadyseva
Really nice trail going through picturesque terrain.
Zoe Harris
Beautiful and cultural walk with canyon views! It was easy to get to Kayan Fort using; a nice scramble if you come over the ridge through the hotel. I also added in Zarni Parni Cave Castle. And the blackberries were out!
Miranda Heneghan
Great hike, the trail is well marked and easy to follow. Nice mix of forest trails and open landscape. We started in Haghpat in the morning and finished in Sanahin. There are shops in both of those towns and there is a small shop in Akner and a water fountain by the church
Diego Hernandez
Highly recommended, perfectly marked. Beautiful views and quiet easy. You can do it in 3 hours, even stripping to steal berries. At Haghpat, a taxi returning to the starting point will ask you 2000 AMD and you can stop at the beautiful bridge for pictures
Taline Nichanian
Nice and easy, well-marked. Can get very muddy on humid days
Mars Va
I loved this trail, I really did!
Kristin Foss
I think labeling something “super easy!” Should mean my 67 year old mother with bad knees could do it. She couldn’t do this hike, it’s definitely a medium level. It’s stunning though! Had the whole trail to myself. Very well marked throughout and all sorts of scenery - pastures, craggy paths, a small village. If you’re in the area, it’s a fantastic choice!


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