Cell service (via VivaCell-Mts) is available in certain locations in the areas between Shenatagh, Svarants and Tatev village. It is advisable not to hike the route in rainy weather, especially in the spring months. The 911 emergency services operate throughout Armenia in case of any accidents. Be sure to bring bottled water!
In order to reach the start of this trail, the most convenient option is to take a taxi from Yerevan to Shenatagh village, which will cost 25,000 AMD. It is recommended to take a taxi with a working meter (be sure the driver uses it), or agree on a price beforehand.
Another way to get there is to take a bus from Yerevan’s Kilikia Bus Station to Sisian, and from there to the Shenatagh village. This will cost (for one direction) 5,000 AMD. The return is from Tatev village as most visitors take this trail as a point-to-point hike.
The trail starts at a monument at the edge of the village of Shenatagh and leads into the hills, climbing up to 2,500m above sea level. The best time to hike in the area is April to mid-November. Views of Aramazd Mountain can be enjoyed on the right-hand side of the trail as you climb. At 3,392 meters, it is the highest peak in the Bargushat mountain range.
The route then head downhill with beautiful views overlooking an abandoned settlement and the Svarants village. The 18th century St. Hazaraprkich Church is located in the middle of this village. Beyond the village, the Tatev Monastery comes into view. This monastery is one of the most beautiful churches in Syunik, and is the end point of this trail.
Hikers can return via Tatev village, where is it recommended to visit other interesting sites nearby and on the route to Yerevan. Notably, there is Noravank (Eghegnadzor), Zorats Karer (Sisian), the Tatev ropeway (Halidzor or Tatev village), and Devil’s Bridge (near Tatev village). It is advisable to take at least two days to see all the sites in the Syunik, and visitors can stay in Tatev village, where there are B&Bs and meals. For a particularly magnificent view of the Aramazd mountain and the Bargushat mountain chain, it is advisable to book a stay at the B&B located behind the St. Minas Church in the Tatev village.
Flora & Fauna
Flora: The hike is rich with species of trees; especially abundant are oak, maple, wild pear, apple, rosehip, hawthorn, currant, as well as medlar. Bushes cover both sides of the trail. At an altitude of 2,200m, there grows another species of rosehip (Rosa svanetica), which bears fruit in the months of October to November. From August to November, this route is full of red and yellow wild plum trees, and in the summer, the mountain slopes are spread with multicolored flowers. In the spring, further down near the settlements, you can find edible herbs and some species of mushroom.
Fauna: There are relatively few fauna species in the areas between Shenatagh and Tatev monastery. In the bushes and trees, however, there are foxes, wolves, wild hares, porcupines, field mice, and, rarely, brown bears. It’s common to see birds like sparrows, Chaffinches, partridges, grey crows, and golden eagles. In the pastures, shepherds are usually seen with their herds of sheep.