For many people photography is a true passion and some of us are ready to travel to far lands to get a couple of nice shots for our very own gallery…or instagram for that matter. It is for these photo enthusiasts that we have created this photo tour in Armenia.
- 3-day photo- tour in Armenia
- Visit Lake Sevan, Dilijan, Garni and Geghard
- Stay overnight on the shores of Sevan
- Hike to ruins of a medieval church
- Photograph abandoned Soviet Structures
- Try local cuisine
There are a lot of things to photograph in Armenia: the nature, the abandoned Soviet structures, the rural life or the rare pink flamingos that stop on their way to north. Every second week we take our gear with us on a three-day photo tour in Armenia to hunt for the perfect shot.
The country has a diverse landscape, despite its small size. There are deep canyons and high mountains and often during a single trip you may gain and lose about 1000 meters in elevation. Our first stop is hence the picturesque lake Sevan. It is a large sweet water lake located at the altitude of 1900 meters above the sea level. Due to its unique flora and fauna Sevan has a distinct aquamarine color. Sevan is mostly popular with tourists in late summer, because it is the perfect season for swimming. However, even in winter Sevan is majestic. It may get frozen closer to the shore, and the surrounding beaches and mountains are covered with mist and snow.
All around the lake there are tiny villages of fishermen but also long stretches of inhabited land as well as abandoned Soviet structures, a railway station and a gigantic antennae station on the east coast of the lake.
With all these spots and sights worth a visit, Sevan is a great place to start your photo tour in Armenia in 2020.
The photo tour around Sevan, Armenia takes 3 days and two nights. We will stay overnight in tents outdoors at a camping ground as well as in a family-run bed & breakfast. Breakfast and transfers from Yerevan, along the route and back are included.
Day 1: Yerevan-Lake Sevan-Shorja
We take off early in the morning from Yerevan (other options are possible upon request) and head north towards the Lake Sevan. Our first stop is the Sevan Peninsula, where an 8th century monastery Sevanavank is located. Not far away from the monastery there is another architectural gem: the Writers’ House in Sevan. It is a unique hotel overlooking the lake and comprised of two buildings built in 1930’s and 60’s respectively by the same architect. Despite the fact that they were built by the same architect, the two building’s aesthetics couldn’t be more different from each other. If you enjoy the modernist Soviet architecture, the Writers’ hotel is a perfect spot for you.
After the stop at the peninsula we move farther north-east towards the a small village of Shorja. We stop on our way at another trace of Soviet monumentalism- the unfinished hotel on the shores of Sevan, where we make another stop before reaching our destination.
Our final destination is now less than an hour drive away. Upon our arrival to the destination we make a short pause, have a lunch break and prepare for a steep hike up the mount Artanish (2461 m. a.s.l. / elevation gain from Lake Sevan: 500m). From top of the Artanish mountain beautiful view of the lake Sevan and surroundings is inviting to take some breathtaking panoramic pictures.
After the descend from the Artanish mountain we will arrive back to our camp where we will have a cozy night by the campfire and enjoy some freshly caught fish and maybe take some nice pictures of the lake in the sunset.
Day 2: Shorja-Aghavnavank-Goshavank-Gosh Lake-Dilijan
Early in the morning we will leave our camping ground on the shores of Sevan lake and head towards the next stop of our photo tour. Ruins of the Aghavnavank church 11th-12th century are tucked in the forests of Tavush region. The picturesque ruins are surrounded by rare Taxus trees.
⚠ Important Notice: Taxus trees have allergenic potential and can cause headaches and onset of asthmatic symptoms.
After a short hike to the Aghavnavank monastery we will board our car and head further to another Monastic complex in the mountains-the 12th century Goshavank monastery. After the visit to the monastery and taking some nice shots of the surrounding panorama we will start our hike towards a tiny lake in the lush forests of Dilijan National park, where we will take some more beautiful pictures. An off-road car will pick us up from the lake and bring back to Goshavank monastery, from where we will head towards our final destination of the day: Dilijan town.
In Dilijan we will stop at a family-run bed and breakfast and have some rest. Later that day we will take a walking tour in the town and have some free time.
Day 3: Dilijan-Garni-Geghard-Yerevan
After a breakfast we will start our way back to Yerevan, where our photo tour in Armenia will end. On the way to Yerevan we will stop at the Dilijan mountain pass, where we will have the chance to take even more pictures of the majestic forests of Dilijan National Park. After we have passed the mountain pass we will find ourselves on the Sevan-Yerevan highway. However, instead of heading directly to Yerevan, we will make two short stops.
Our first intermediate stop is at the 1st century pagan temple Garni. Garni is a one of a kind architectural monument in Armenia, because it is the only surviving monument of antiquity. Garni is located atop a deep canyon and is overlooking the breath taking gorge of Azat river. After the short stop in Garni we will head to another must-see spot: the famous Geghard Monastery. The monastery is carved entirely out of a rock and this unique monument of medieval Armenian architecture is a beloved spot by tourists for a reason. Due to its construction it has unparalleled acoustics. It is also of a great photographic value, because of the unique interplay of light in the monastery and its rock-carved sculptures.
After the visit to both Garni and Geghard we will head to our final destination, the capital of Armenia: Yerevan.