While we’re ecstatic to know that local people are exploring their own backyard, we also recognize that many people interested in hiking will want to avoid large crowds - because who likes large crowds when you’re trying to be one with nature, and in the middle of global pandemic at that! Here are 4 simple but important tips to really get away in Dilijan and avoid crowds during the last days of summer and the fall season.
Call your guesthouse or hotel of choice ahead of time to check vacancies.
If you plan on staying overnight in Dilijan, we recommend calling your accommodation of choice ahead of time to reserve a spot, and learn about how they’re accommodating guests during the coronavirus pandemic. To find guesthouses in and around Dilijan, just use the filter option on our free app or website and select the Tavush Province.
Avoid monasteries (at least the well known ones).
Monasteries like Haghartsin and Goshavank in Dilijan National Park are packed with visitors this time of year. If you do want to pay a visit but avoid crowds, we recommend going on a weekday. But be warned - August and September are popular months for vacation in Armenia, so you may find large groups at these monasteries even on weekdays. If you’re interested in exploring medieval monasteries without crowds, we recommend the following trails, where you’ll find lesser know but just as beautiful monasteries as Haghartsin and Goshavank:
Yew Grove Trail: Hike to Aghavnavank, the Monastery of Doves, on this easy hike, and enjoy the shade under a large, rare yew grove.
Medieval Monasteries Trail: Take an easy loop in Dilijan National Park from one medieval monastery to another: Matosavank to Jukhtakvank.
EXTRA - Hidden Waterfall Trail: No monastery on this trail, though it’s right by Haghartsin Monastery. But unlike Haghartsin, you won’t find crowds on this 1.5km stretch through the forest. At the end of the trail, you’ll find an AWESOME waterfall and natural pool perfect for a summer dip.
If you’re looking for an alpine lake, choose Gosh over Parz.
Nothing against Parz Lake, but if you’re trying to avoid crowds, we do not recommend you venture there. Its restaurants, zip line, boats for rent, and other recreational activities attract A LOT of people during the summer months. For a reprieve from people, we recommend Gosh Lake about 9km away. Here are some trails you can hike to and around Gosh Lake:
Oh My Gosh: This short hike will take you from Gosh Lake, to the village of Gosh, and then to Goshavank Monastery.
Zip On Through: This easy hike will take you from Gosh village to the Lake Parz resort area. We’ve already warned you about what may await there.
Mile-High Lake: Part of the Transcaucasian Trail (TCT) route through Dilijan National Park, you’ll hike following the Aghstev River to Gosh Lake. We’re proud to say that we helped maintain most of the trails in Dilijan this year together with TCT and added more sign boards with maps at key trailheads.
Keep the adrenaline pumping while in town.
There are several trails that start and end directly in the Dilijan town center. But several development projects are bringing exciting new things to do in town, like the VereV Rope Park. Located in the newly renovated Dilijan City Park, this ropes obstacle course is located high above the ground in a pine grove, and a great option for extreme sports lovers looking for something to do in the town center. You’ll also find the Dilijan Tourist Information Center in this park, where you can rent bikes, tents, and other gear for your adventure in the national park.