Urts and Tap Fortress

EASY 1 reviews

Urts and Tap Fortress is a 7.9 kilometer lightly trafficked loop trail located near Urtsadzor, Kotayk', Armenia that features a river and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for hiking and is best used from April until November.

7.9 km
395 m




wild flowers


historic site

This hike is located in the Ararat region, 60 km from Yerevan. Weather permitting, the view of the magnificent Mount Ararat is visible from any point on the route, making this hike especially beautiful. Two interesting medieval fortresses stand side by side by the Khosrov river in the region. There is also the monastery of Khor Virap, which - adjacent to the hike - is equally worth visiting. The Urts and Tap Fortresses are located on the right bank of the Khosrov river, 6 km northwest of Urtsadzor village. The Tap - or Gevorg Marzpetuni - Fortress, was built in the first quarter of the 10th century. It has a classic quadrangular shape, but is of great architectural and fortress building value. There are dwellings and vaulted constructions (built between the 10th-13th centuries) adjacent to the southern and eastern walls of the fortress. Inside the fortress there is a 13th century church - resembling a vaulted hall, built of white felsite. The name, Tap, is mentioned in the epigraph that was carved on the northern wall of the church in 1,256. There are several fragments of khachkars (cross stones) in the territory of the fortress. The monastery-chapel of Tap is recorded in history as a script center, since 1,496, where Barsegh, a writer, scripted the Psalm-book. Tap fortress and the church were reconstructed between 2,008-2,009. Most of the mountainous part of the region is occupied by the Gegham mountain range as well as by the Urts and Yeranos mountains. Here there is a small island shaped forest, founded in the 4th century by the Armenian king Khosrov Kotak. This part of the forest has been turned into the Khosrov State Reserve. The Ararat Valley seems like a different world, covered with alpine flowers and meadows, pure mountain springs, the Khosrov forest and delicious fruit orchards. Green valleys and lifeless rocks give this natural and manmade area a simultaneously strict and gentle, wild and greedy, generous pagan beauty. The province of Ararat is rich in fauna, due to the Khosrov Reserve that is located in the area. Species such as roe deer, Caucasian bears, wild boars, hares, badgers, foxes, hedgehogs, jackals, field mice, lynx, martens, dormice, and squirrels are typical to this area. There’s also a great variety of birds, reptiles, and insects in the forests. The river bears many fish, most notably, trout. The province is rich in fish farms where white and black, silver and spotted carps and other species are bred. Many species of fish (like whitefish/coregonus, barbel, luciobarbus capito and others) are of fishery significance, and some other species (like Armenian common roach, chub, silver carp, etc.) serve as hunting objects. Armenian roach, trout and the Sevan barbell are typical Armenian species, the last 2 of which are registered in the Red Data Book of Armenia. As such, trout fishing is prohibited here.