Lori region, the inherent part of the “Gugarats world” (the Gugarats mountain range), is enriched with historical and cultural sightseeings. Here, it is worth mentioning that Debed Canyon stands out for its unique values. For a certain period of time, being the issue of historical-geopolitical processes and later the point of collision of Armenian-Georgian cultural development, this region has honored us with magnificent artworks. Here you are blessed with an abundance of wonderful scenery thanks to the unique water resources and favorable natural relief conditions of this area.
There are both well-known and uncharted trails leading to the historical and cultural sites, where you can enjoy the incredible beauty of Debed Canyon. Some of these trails are currently becoming the main tourist spots, while others are still “vailed”.
Together we will discover some of them.
Are you ready to accept a new challenge?
Hiking lovers will undoubtedly enjoy the new and intriguing trail starting from the Smart Center. Developed and equipped by the Children of Armenia Foundation, this trail consists of two parts: Smart-Debed village, and continuous to Yeghegnut.
Discovering the Smart Center and continuing your walk(about 200 meters) along the edge of the paved road leading to Dsegh, on the right side you will meet a sign and the path leading to the Debed village. Walking through the evergreen fields, you get a unique opportunity to enjoy the panoramic view opening in front of your eyes: the Smart Center and the Concept Hotel on one side, and the fast-developing Debed village on the other.
After all these, you’ll certainly be eager to continue the tour. Following the sinuous roads of Debed village, you will become acquainted with the rural lifestyle and the daily routine of simple farmers. This trail will take you to the top of the village, where you will “get lost” in the breathtaking view of this magical world. The rest of the road is followed by divine nature, accompanied by the songs of the birds and even the sounds of wild animals in the late evening.
The main trails around Dsegh, which lead to the surrounding areas of the village, including all the core elements of a hiking trail, are becoming more and more popular. Perhaps, a good example will be the Dsegh-Dzoraget downward path. Of course, there are several routes leading to Dzoraget from Dsegh, but this one is more attractive for hikers.
The route starts from the House-museum of Hovhannes Tumanyan and continues through the village until you find yourself at the edge of the gorge and can admire the breathtaking view of the Canyon presenting itself in all its charm. Walking down a narrow path, you will see the Monastery of Forty Saints with its beautiful ornaments, built in the 13th century. Continuing the road on a rocky path, along the edge of a dense forest we soon reach Dzoraget village. This trail was more popular among the inhabitants of Dsegh during the Soviet era.
Dzoraget- Arevatsag gorge
Nowadays, visiting the so-called Lake Arevatsag, also known as “Tsits Kar”, has become very trendy. Few people know that this lake is an artificial reservoir, built in the 1930s to serve as a dam for the Dzoraget hydroelectric power plant.
There are several hiking trails leading to this marvelous place from the nearby villages, however, the one starting from Dzoraget village is “less stepped” by the non-local visitors. The whole road goes along the river bank, surrounded by beautiful landscapes and the “Qir Axper Fortress”, revealed to us by the preservers of folk tradition.
Stretching for about 8 km, this trail becomes a wonderful challenge for hiking lovers. It starts from Kobayr village, located near the M6 interstate road, and reaches the Kobayr monastery complex, from where you can admire the magnificent view of the Tumanyan settlement. Then the mysterious gorge “immerses your soul in”, and you find yourself at Horomayr. Odzun is 1.5 kilometers from Horomayr. This trail is appropriately designated and marked for hikers.
This trail is located in the northern part of the Lori region. It links Sanahin and Haghpat monasteries, which are included in the UNESCO World Heritage list. These monasteries are cherished as a significant value for Armenia.
“The World Heritage Trail” starts from the Sanahin Monastery, located in the village of Sanahin (within the city of Alaverdi), and goes towards the Debed River gorge. While you are at Monastery, you are provided with an opportunity to visit the various chapels, the academy building (which was once a medieval university), the bookstore, the refectory, the galleries, and other structures of the Complex.
The road from Sanahin leads to Haghpat Monastery, another sanctuary in Armenia. Both monasteries were once significant educational centers founded in the 10th century. Nowhere else, you can enjoy the privilege of exploring these amazing places. The short drive to the north from Sanahin and Haghpat will take you to the ruins of the Kayan Fortress built in the 13th century, also known as Aknaberd.
Your journey through Sanahin and Haghpat will become more remarkable if you come here in Autumn. This is the very time of the year when mother nature ornaments Debed Canyon with colorful forests and crowns with white clouds.
Some of the photos were taken from the Google