Starling Blog

New Trails for Hikers in Armenia

Smithsonian magazine earlier this year identified Armenia as one of the next world-class hiking destinations.

The beautifully wooded Dilijan National Park, the plateaus of volcanic Mt. Aragats look amazing with its barren igneous rock, gravelly slopes and snow-covered peaks.

Lake Sevan is the largest body of water in Armenia and the Caucasus region. It is one of the largest freshwater high-altitude (alpine) lakes in Eurasia. The lake is situated in Gegharkunik Province, at an altitude of 1,900 m (6,234 ft) above sea level.

What the country lacks in affluence is offset by the warmth of the people, whose identity is anchored to its long history. Yerevan, the capital, was founded in 782 B.C., decades before Rome. Between hikes, you can visit ancient temples and some of the oldest Christian churches in the world.

But everyone would find a few surprises and challenges in hiking or climbing in Armenia. New trails are being discovered and promoted as an ongoing projects such as HIKEArmenia - a non profit organization. The goal is to transform modern Armenia into a worldwide trekking destination: one with the infrastructure to connect the country's rural communities and spur their economy and development through tourism.

"It's impossible to promote Armenia to hikers without first establishing world-class hiking trails for them to explore," says Ardag Kosian, HIKEArmenia's Project Manager. HIKEArmenia is steadily becoming the country's premier hiking development group, supporting Armenia's outdoor adventuring community with hiking infrastructure, rural development, an information center

Last summer, the project joined forces with TCT Armenia—the NGO responsible for building the Dilijan National Park portion of the southern TCT route—and its "Explorer-in-Chief" Tom Allen, a creative nomad, Royal Geographical Society (RGS) Fellow and Ted Simon Foundation Advisor. We wish new discoveries to HIKEArmenia and are happy to offer trails discovered by them and not yet discovered by hikers around the globe!