Kecharis and Makravank Monasteries
ElevationAscent: 859' 262 m
Descent: -860' -262 m
High: 6,448' 1,965 m
Low: 5,854' 1,784 m
GradeAvg Grade: 6% (3°)
Max Grade: 27% (15°)
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“This hike starts from a medieval centre of cultural significance located around 60km away from Yerevan.”— State Tourism Committee Republic of Armenia
This hike starts from a a monastery located in town. Tsakhkadzor is classified as one of the smallest towns in Armenia by population; however, it is a popular mountain resort and has a large sports center. It also has a 6km aerial tramway, built in 1972 (recently upgraded to a total of 10km), which has long been a common destination for locals and tourists alike wishing to see the view from the peak of Mt. Teghenis.
This aerial tramway, which operates in summer and winter months, also offers access to some of the best ski slopes in Armenia. If it is operational, a ride to the peak is definitely recommended, for the stunning 360-degree panoramic views. Tsakhkadzor is also a locally renowned health resort, famous for its rest houses, tourist bases, and restaurants serving diverse ethnic dishes from the Armenian cuisine.
The hike starts at Kecharis Monastery, where plenty of Armenian youth from all over the country get married. The monastery is located right in the heart of the town. The ceremonies held in the church join many Armenian families, and visitors are quite likely to witness an Armenian wedding in the monastery while hiking in the area.
Along the way, the trail also runs through the Aghveran National Park which is home to diverse fauna and flora. After just under a 3-mile hike, the trail ends at the Makravank Monastery. After spending some time exploring the are around this monastery which is located on the outskirts of the village of Makravan, head back the way you came to complete your hike.
Fauna: Kotayk province, especially the area around Tsakhkadzor, is rich in fauna mainly on the lower slopes. Big mammals include brown bears, wolves, and deer, and there are a variety of fox, badger, weasel, hare, marten, and mice. During the months of summer, one can come across reptiles such as Malpolonmonspesscullanus, Mabuyaaurata, and Eumecesschneideri. Among the amphibians, one can observe are Rana ridibunda, Bufoviridis, and Hylasavigna,and common birds (almost 50 species) include oturnixcoturnix, Perdix andStreptopeliaturtur, and Falco tinunnculus.
Makravank, built between the 9th-13th centuries, is located near the village of Makravan. The main structure of the monastery, the 13th century church dedicated to Surb Astvatsatsin (Holy Mother of God) has a circular tambour and a conical cupola. The complex also encompasses the lower walled gavit and a medieval cemetery. The church is surrounded with khachkars (cross stones).
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Family Friendly, ADA Accessible, Dogs Allowed