With its road network undergoing a major renovation, Debed canyon is a great destination for traveling on touring bicycles. The paths and dirt roads running around the villages are a mountain biker’s dream.

Cycling in the Debed canyon is pleasant and challenging at the same time. Traveling along the main road, you have a chance to explore the canyon and enjoy its serene nature, but be ready to climb hills often, especially if you want to visit the historical and cultural sites, most of which are located off the main road, on the plateaus above.

One option to get from Yerevan to the Debed canyon in one day is to take the train to Gyumri and start cycling from there via Jajur and Spitak. Another option is to rent a bicycle on the spot.

Boo Mountain Bike Park Project in Vanadzor (email:, phone: +374 91 107 774), for example, organizes cycling tours in the city and around the Lori province. You can also rent a bike here or learn about possible cycling routes.

Bicycle rental is also available at the Debed Visitor Center and the TUC camping base in the village of Dsegh, where you can take the Biking Loop Trail developed by the “Trails for Change” NGO and cycle around the village, exploring the surroundings.

Suggested cycling routes

Dsegh Loop Trail
Odzun - Horomayr monastery - Ardvi - Odzun
Dsegh - Tsover Lake
Dzoragyugh - Hnevank monastery - Tsits Kar - Arevatsag


The mesmerizing Debed canyon amazes with its spectacular nature and cultural and historical heritage. A network of trails and paths that were used by locals for hundreds of years, today have become popular among hikers and outdoor enthusiasts. These trails connect different parts of the Debed canyon, passing through small villages and towns and taking travelers to must-visit sites, some of which are accessible by foot only.

One of the most beautiful hiking trails in the area is the Kobayr-Horomayr-Odzun trail. Stretching along the left slope of the Debed canyon, the trail runs from the 12th-century Kobayr monastery to the village of Odzun via the medieval monastic complex of Horomayr. This 11km-long trail is well-maintained and marked, making it easy for travelers to cover it in 4-5 hours, and enjoy breathtaking views of the Debed canyon along the entire way.

Another beautiful trail starts from the village of Kurtan, taking you to 7th-century Hnevank monastery located in the area known as the Dzoragyugh Gardens.

From here, you can continue hiking to the village of Arevatsag, passing by a natural monument known as Tsits Kar, which gained huge popularity among locals recently, and the remnants of the “Kir u Akhper” (“Sister and Brother”) castles.

Each trail offers hikers a chance to discover different parts of the Debed canyon. You can hike between the two UNESCO World Heritage Sites – the monasteries of Sanahin and Haghpat and visit the Kayan fortress on the way. Or take the “Blackberry Road” trail from Haghpat to Tsaghkashat village that takes you through a forest of blackberries, which you can pick and eat freely. July and August are the best months.

A number of trails, such as the “Once upon a time,” “Giqor,” “Dsegh Loop,” and others are available around the village of Dsegh. Dsegh Loop Trail takes hikers to a hidden treasure of medieval Armenian architecture, the monastery of Bardzrakash St. Gregory. Most of these trails are well-marked and available in the HikeArmenia website and mobile app where you can check trail details and download them for offline use.

Popular Hiking Trails

Kobayr Monastery - Horomayr Monastery - Odzun village
Haghpat Monastery - Kayan Fortress - Sanahin Monastery
Dsegh Loop Trail
"Once Upon a Time" trail


Looking for a healthy dose of adrenalin? Then you should definitely try rafting on the Debed River. Even though rafting was only recently introduced to the tourism market of Armenia, this extreme recreational outdoor activity during which a group of people navigates a river using an inflatable raft has already become very popular among locals.

Debed canyon is the best destination for rafting in Armenia, so if you’re in the region, don’t miss your chance to row through the rapid streams of the Debed River and enjoy the scenic views of the canyon.

Today, there are two companies – Rafting in Armenia and – that organize rafting tours in the Debed canyon, and they offer two different routes.

Rafting in Armenia starts its tour near the town of Tumanyan. The route is 10 kms and includes a couple of stops. During one of such stops the participants have a chance to jump into the river from an old bridge or slide on the back of a raft., an initiative implemented within the UNDP’s “Integrated Rural Tourism Development” project, offers a different route for rafting, which includes the section of the Debed river between Alaverdi and Akhtala.

Rafting in Armenia | +374 94 129013; +374 96 129013 | Facebook | +374 99 580787; +374 94 580787 | Facebook

Things to see

Kobayr monastery
Akhtala monastery and fortress
Sanahin Old Bridge
Haghpat monastery
Zarni-Parni cave complex
Kayanberd fortress