From Jermuk to Karvajar & Dadivank


Region/Marz: Jermuk
Distance from Yerevan: 3 hours
Start of the trail: Jermuk city
End point: Karvajar city, Artsakh
Duration: 5 days (back to Yerevan on the 6th day)
No dangerous passages.
Guide(s) accompany is mandatory!

This multi-day trek is unique in fact that you begin in The Republic of Armenia and end-up in Nagorno Karabakh (Artsakh). You will be overwhelmed with high cliffs and mountains, lakes, deep gorges, geysers, volcanic sediments and cultural monuments along the trek.

You will also pass by Istisu, an abandoned during Nagorno Karabakh conflict. The trek ends in Artsakh; you can get back to Yerevan or stay longer to enjoy Karabakh’s nature and wonderful hiking destinations. For foreign visitors it is highly recommended to issue an entrance visa for Nagorno Karabakh and make sure to also receive an exit stamp on their way back from Stepanakert.

Trekking plan:

Day 1: Jermuk - Mets Al Lake
7-8 hours
Difficulty Level: 6 (on a scale of 1 to 10)
1. Jermuk city
2. Al Lakes

Day 2: Mets Al Lake - Pokr Al Lake - Arkadzor
4-6 hours
Difficulty Level: 4 (on a scale of 1 to 10)
1. Arkayadzor (Gorge of Kings)
2. Mets & Pokr (big and small) Al Lakes

Day 3: Arkayadzor - Istisu - Zar
7-8 hours
Difficulty Level: 6 (on a scale of 1 to 10)
1. Cliff-covered peaks
2. Geysers and carbonated water-sources
3. Tartar river
4. a beautiful abandoned city called Istisu.
Although interesting but it is kind of dangerous to wander around Istisu; just walk around in the streets and avoid the abandoned constructions as the roofs may fall down suddenly.
5. Zar village, currently the most suburban village of Artsakh
6. remainings of the Soviet Union, an azeri school constructed by Armenian Cross-stones.
It is recommended to spend the night at Zar, refill food and drink resources and charge your batteries.

Day 4: Zar - Old factory of spring water - rectangle spring-water pool
4-6 hours
Difficulty Level: 3 (on a scale of 1 to 10)
1. the spring-water pool

Day 5: Old factory of spring water - circular spring-water pool - Karvajar city
5-7 hours
Difficulty Level: 5 (on a scale of 1 to 10)
1. the circular pool of hot spring-water with curative mud
2. volcanic sediments
Karvajar resembles a semi-abandoned but a well-organized city.
You have to organize your transportation for the next day.
Day 6: Karvajar - Vartenis or Stepanakert - Yerevan
To go Vartenis or Stepanakert, you need to organize your transportation the previous day. The fee per person is 3000 to 5000 AMD; your transportation to Yerevan will be easily organized from both vartenis & Stepanakert.

Photo album:

Photo credit: Gor Ayzak Hovhannisyan
Information provided by: Gor Ayzak Hovhannisyan

Leave No Trace

  • Plan ahead & be prepared
  • Dispose the waste properly
  • Leave what you find
  • Minimize campfire impacts
  • Respect the wildlife
  • Be considerate of other visitors

Roads conditions

It is winter time! Check out road conditions before heading to the road! Beware of the snow & ice layer!

Vanadzor - Alaverdi section of the M6 Interstate highway stretching from Yerevan to Georgian border is temporarily closed. You can use Vanadzor-Stepanavan-Odzun-Alaverdi bypassing road.

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