Temple of Garni, Gilan Village, St. Stephanos Monastery, Havuts Tar

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Temple of Garni, Gilan Village, St. Stephanos Monastery, Havuts Tar is a 10.3 kilometer moderately trafficked point-to-point trail located near Urtsadzor, Kotayk', Armenia that features a waterfall. The trail is rated as moderate and primarily used for hiking, walking, and nature trips.

10.3 km
462 m
Point to Point


nature trips




wild flowers


historic site

no dogs

Overview This hike is located on the shared border between the provinces of Kotayk and Ararat. After visiting the Garni temple in the village of Garni and exploring its magnificent facade, the trail will then lead to the village of Gilan (8 km from Garni) in the “Khosrov Reserve”. From the entrance of the reserve, a car will take the visitors up to the starting point of the trail, in the village of Gilan. It is also possible to spend the night in Gilan and hike several other routes. For this reason, you can make arrangements beforehand with a local family to provide you with an overnight stay and meals - the most natural and palatable you have ever tasted. The hike begins from Gilan leading to the St. Stephanos church, from there a path leads to Havuts Tar, surrounded by juniper groves, mountain masses, and a panoramic mountainous scenery. Use the same route for the return trip. From Gilan village a hike leads to the waterfall of the Goddess Astghik. The water of the waterfall is potable and it flows into a small natural pool where one can swim. Next on the hike, comes the St. Stephanos monastic complex (a place of pilgrimage for many Armenians) located on the high slopes of the gorge. Cultural and Historic Monument St. Stephanos (Surb Stepanos) Monastic Complex (Aghjots Vank) Aghjots vank or the St. Stephanos monastery is a medieval Armenian monastic complex, located within the territory of the “Khosrov” state reserve, in the province of Ararat. The monastic complex is composed of a narthex (gavit in Armenian), several churches, buildings for monks and a cemetery. The main church of the monastic complex is the St. Stephanos church, built in the early 13th century. The church has a cruciform layout and 4 sacristies. The narthex (built in the second half of the 13th century) is located on the east side of the main church. Only a few parts of its original walls have survived the centuries. The St. Stephanos monastery is situated on a high slope overlooking the nature reserve. Havuts Tar Monastery Havuts Tar is a monastic complex, and architectural monument, situated on the top of the mountain, on the left bank of the Azat River, east from Garni (province of Kotayk). It was one of the cultural and religious centers of Medieval Armenia. Grigor Magistros Pahlavouni built the Surb Amenaprkich Church (St Saviour's church) in the area around the monastery in 1,013. Havuts Tar was destroyed by an earthquake in 1,679. The monastic complex consists of two groups of monuments. The main church (XIII century) in the western monument group, has a cruciform structure in the interior, and a rectangular build along the outer walls, there are also sacristies on all four sides. Numerous inscriptions are carved on the colorful walls (made of polished red tuff) of the church. The dome and the roof of the church have been ruined over the centuries. There are also two one-nave chapels (currently dilapidated) which are adjacent to the church. In the 1st half of the XVIII century, the eastern group of monuments was thoroughly reconstructed with the stones of the church and the four-pillar narthex of the monastery built by Grigor Magistros. Nearby on the north side, is the Surb Karapet church (the domed hall of which remained incomplete), founded by Catholicos Asdvadzadur (Hamadantsi ) in 1,721. Living quarters are adjacent to the walls from the north, with a guesthouse on the southeast. Currently the monastery is under the auspices of the Ministry of Culture. Safety and Connectivity Mobile telephone coverage is available only in some places between the areas of Gilan village, St. Stephanos and the Havuts Tar monasteries. The 911 emergency services operate throughout Armenia in case of any accidents. Be aware of snakes and be sure to bring bottled water! Route Characteristics Best Time: April to November Distance from Yerevan to Garni village: 26 km (37 minutes) Cost from Yerevan to Garni village: 2,700-3,000AMD Cost of the Ticket to the Temple of Garni: 1,000AMD It is possible to get to Gilan village by the service cars of the “Khosrov” reserve Hike Distance: 8km (320m) Hike Duration: 2.5 hours Altitude (from Sea Level): 1,619-1,628m Visible Trail Surface: 100%