« Armenia - Eight Days Itinerary

Day 4 – Sevan, Dilijan


A day trip from the capital city to the ‘highlands’ of Armenia, which has one of the largest lakes in the Caucasus can be easily done by public transport. I planned to make this day trip visiting Lake Sevan, then to the ‘hill-station’ of Armenia, Dilijan, and stop over at the spa town of Armenia – Tsaghkadzor.

Public buses or marshrutkas run from Yerevan to Sevan and then to these two other destinations. But after talking to some of the fellow travelers at my hostel in Yerevan, two of them decided to do this day trip with me. So instead of taking public transport, we decided to go to the Republic Square and try and find a cheap taxi.

There are too many taxi drivers waiting at the square that you can hire for a day or multiple days. Make sure to haggle and negotiate the price along with every single destination you wish to visit. It is better to know your places-to-visit in such cases rather than play it by the ear. Because your price may vary depending on that list and will avoid unknown surprises! We found one taxi that charged us AMD 30000 (approx $62) for a round trip, for all 3 of us.

 

Sevan

With no access to any sea or ocean, the getaway for locals during the summer months is Lake Sevan. Locals are proud of their enormous lake, where the horizon is barely noticeable. The lake is located about 60 km (approx 37 miles) from the country’s capital, which makes it a great day trip option.

The lake plays an important role in Armenia’s economy, giving the country low-cost electricity, a supply of fish, and a recreational area to boost tourism. Several clean, safe and free public beaches are around the lake, the most popular located next to the peninsula and in the city of Sevan.

If you choose to take the public transport from Yerevan to Lake Sevan, then take minibus from the Northern Bus Station that runs every 20 minutes or so. The minibus, or marshrutka, will take you to the city of Sevan, but you can ask the driver to perhaps take you to the lake. A ticket to Sevan costs around AMD 500 ($1.02). From Sevan, you can take a taxi to the lake for AMD 1000 ($2.08). Do the same for coming back to Yerevan.

Some taxi drivers will take you from Yerevan to the lake for around AMD 5000-6000.

 

Dilijan

We spent most of morning at Lake Sevan, and after lunch at a local bakery, we headed to Dilijan reaching in an hour. Known as the Switzerland of Armenia, Dilijan is perched up on a mountain at 1500 meters (4900 feet), and the cool temperature was a relief from the heat of Yerevan!

First stop in Dilijan was the Old Dilijan Complex. This museum complex, formed in 1979, has been restored with historical buildings to display the lifestyle, history and interests of the people who lived in this tiny town, alongside modern craftsmen, bakeries, cafes, and souvenir shops. On the left bank of the Agstev River is the resort zone, where hotels are located.


[Old Dilijan]


[Old Dilijan]


[Old Dilijan]


[Old Dilijan]


[Old Dilijan]

 
Next up, we headed to the Parz Litsh or Clear Lake. This beautiful lake is surrounded with lush green forest and has points of interests along the way to just relax and take in the environment.

 
There are a few monasteries around Dilijan that are quite amazing; Haghartsin Monastery (30 mins drive), Goshavank Monastery (40 min drive north), Jukhtak Vank Monastery and Matosavank Monastery. We did not visit any of these as it required drives separately and we did not include them in our initial itinerary when we booked the taxi!

 

Tsaghkadzor

It was almost 3pm when we started from Dilijan, and it takes just over an hour to reach the town of Tsaghkadzor. Known as a ski resort in winter, locals head to this town in summer for fresh air and the quietness of it! The main sight of this town in summer is Kecharis Monastery, a fully restored monastery originally from 12th century.

The Kecharis complex has three churches, Saint Grigor Church, Katoghike Church & Surp Nshan Church; two chapels and a gavit, to the west of which, a few dozen meters away, there is another church with its own vestry at the side of a road leading to the forest. There still are many tombstones around these monuments.


[Kecharis Monastery Complex]


[Kecharis Monastery Complex]


[Kecharis Monastery Complex]

 
We started driving back to Yerevan just before 5pm and it took us about 1.5 hours to reach the Republic Square in the capital city. I headed back to the hostel for some relaxation time and a coffee, before heading out for dinner; and calling it a day!

 

Costs

Note: All values in USD, unless otherwise mentioned, are approximate and based on the exchange rate of USD 1 = AMD 480 at the time of publishing. Each cost is for one adult.
 

What Cost Notes
Taxi $20.83 AMD 10000 per person, full day trip.
Lunch $0.52 AMD 250 for stuffed lavash.
Postal Stamps $2.19 AMD 1050 for Sevan and Dilijan stamps.
Dinner $1.67 AMD 800 for sandwich at a cafe in Yerevan.
Total Daily Costs $25.21 Per person
Overall Costs $1,882.54 Per person

 

« PREVIOUS – Day 3

Yerevan

Walking tour of capital city.

Day 4

Sevan, Dilijan

Day trip to Lake Sevan, hillside town of Dilijan and Tsaghkadzor.

Day 5 – NEXT »

Garni, Geghard, Zvartnots

Day trip to the sights close to the capital city.

 


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