Nestled in the northern reaches of Armenia, Lori Province is a hiker's paradise, boasting a stunning landscape of green forests, majestic mountains, and picturesque valleys. This region offers a respite from the hustle and bustle of city life and promises an unforgettable hiking experience. Through HIKEArmenia, visitors can now choose from an impressive selection of 14 diverse trails, each offering its unique allure and adventure (more Debed Canyon trails coming soon to our platform thanks to an awesome COAF trail development project!). Whether you're a seasoned trekker or a novice nature enthusiast, Lori Province's hiking trails offer something for everyone.
Lori Province, or "Lori Marz," as it's locally known, is one of Armenia's most captivating regions, bordered by the neighboring country of Georgia. The province's capital, Vanadzor, serves as a gateway to an enchanting world of natural beauty and historical wonders. The region is adorned with three nature-protected areas: Gyulagarak Sanctuary, Margahovit Sanctuary, and the Rhododendron Caucasicum Sanctuary near the Aghstev River. However, it is the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Haghpat and Sanahin monasteries, along with the well-preserved Akhtala monastery, that beckon pilgrims and history enthusiasts alike to experience the allure of Armenia's past.
Lori’s Trails: A Haven for Hikers
Lori Province's diverse landscape offers a range of trails, each with its unique blend of history, culture, and natural beauty. Among Lori's 14 featured trails in the HIKEArmenia app and website, adventurers can choose from a variety of difficulties, making the experience enjoyable for everyone. Let's explore some of the enticing trails:
Kayan Berd Trail: This trail takes you to the breathtaking viewpoint of Kayan Berd, a fortress dating back to the 10th century. It lies between the monasteries of Haghpat and Sanahin, offering a glimpse into Armenia's medieval past.
Debet to Yeghegnut: A simple and easy hike connecting the villages of Debet and Yeghegnut, where ancient cross-stones and fortress remains reveal traces of Armenia's ancient civilizations.
Vahagni to Dzoragyugh: Follow the ancient road from Vahagni village to Dzoragyugh village, uncovering the region's rich history and panoramic views along the way.
Tumanyan to Tsater: This trail treats hikers to breathtaking views of the Debed and Marts River gorges, and it is part of the larger Debet Canyon trail network.
Kobayr to Odzun: Traverse the stunning Lori Province from Kobayr Monastery to Odzun Church, passing through a breathtaking gorge and the abandoned Horomayr Monastery, with a chance encounter with wild goats along the way.
Giqor Trail: Step into the captivating world of the Soviet Armenian film and the famous poem "Giqor" as you hike through lush forests, and ancient monastic ruins, and discover the tragic tale of Giqor through an interactive QR code experience. Before reaching the beautiful St. Gregory Bardzrakash Monastery on this memorable trail, don't miss the iconic water fountain and medieval khachkars.
Haghpat to Tsaghkashat: Embark on a UNESCO World Heritage Site to a picturesque village hike, where you'll trek through a lush forest, reach the peak of Surb Luys Mountain, and if you're lucky to visit in July or August, enjoy a natural blackberry forest before reaching the charming village of Tsaghkashat.
Tsater to Kurtan: Experience the best of nature and history on this captivating trail from Tsater to Kurtan, where you'll navigate cliffside footpaths, encounter ancient fortresses, and explore the medieval Hnevank Monastery before concluding your journey in the village of Kurtan with its beautiful St. Astvatsatsin church.
With its captivating natural landscapes and rich historical heritage, Lori is a paradise for hikers and nature enthusiasts. Thanks to HIKEArmenia and partner organizations like COAF and Trails For Change, visitors can now explore the hidden gems of this region through a well-developed network of trails. Whether you choose to hike to ancient monasteries, admire panoramic views of gorges, or discover the cultural treasures along the way, Lori offers a truly unforgettable experience.
As you embark on your hiking adventure through Lori, be sure to connect with local communities, savor traditional Armenian cuisine, and immerse yourself in the warm hospitality of the region. From the awe-inspiring Haghpat and Sanahin monasteries to the breathtaking Debet Canyon, each trail holds its own unique charm and surprises.
So, lace up your hiking boots, grab your backpack, and get ready to explore the enchanting Lori Province. Whether you're seeking tranquility amidst nature, cultural immersion, or a thrilling outdoor adventure, this hidden gem in Armenia will leave you with memories to cherish for a lifetime. Happy hiking!