Bike Ride: Yerevan-Urtsadzor-Yeraskh-Khor Virap

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Bike Ride: Yerevan-Urtsadzor-Yeraskh-Khor Virap is a 179.9 kilometer moderately trafficked loop trail located near Yerevan, Kotayk', Armenia that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for nature trips, birding, and road biking and is accessible year-round.

180 km
2400 m


nature trips

road biking


wild flowers


historic site

Route description The bike trail is from Yerevan (but you can choose your preferred destination), passing through Ararat, Artashat and Vedi cities. The road starts to ascent slightly from Vedi to Urtsadzor, Lusashogh and Lanjar villages. In these villages the tent night is possible to organize, as the B&Bs are not available there. The asphalt road leads to Yeraskh village and then to Yerevan. The entire route is on the 50-100 meters height of the sea level. On the back way is Khor Virap Monastery, where Gregory the Illuminator was kept in a deep pit for 16 years during Christian persecutions. Later the church was built on that pit which became a holy place for pilgrimage. It is advised to pass this route within two days. Description of the monuments Khor Virap Khor Virap Monastery is located in the Ararat marz of Armenia, on the left side of Arax River, on one of the hills of historical Artashat. According to Agatangeghos historian, Trdat III the Great, during the persecutions of Christians, Gregory the Illuminator was imprisoned in the royal prison of Artashat, where he spent 14 years. After imprisonment Gregory Illuminator could achieve the trust and support of the king, therefore, he made the Christianity the state religion of Armenia. In the fifth century the monastery was founded on the royal prison’s pit. Starting from the 13th century Khor Virap, besides being an important sanctuary, also became a center for education and science for all Armenians. More than 10 manuscripts have been preserved there. In 1255, Vardan Areveltsi founded a seminary in the monastery, where they were taught theology, the treatise of ancient philosophers, logic, rhetoric, grammar and spiritual songs. In 1669 the construction of St. Gregory Church started in the place where the 14th century chapel was. The pit is about 4.5 m diameter length and 6.5 m depth. In 1703 the reconstruction of holy Mother central church was completed. In the end of the 19th century, the colonnaded bell tower was built adjacent to the western facade of that church. In 1970-1980s the walls of the monastery and other buildings were repaired with the efforts of Vazgen I All Armenian Catholicos. About Flora The major space of the marz is occupied with Geghama sierra, which are Urts and Eranos mounts. Here the forest is protected by separate islets, which were planted by Khosrow Kotak, the King of Armenia in IV century. Now it is called Reserve of Khosrov. The Ararat Valley is another world full of alpine flower, royal forest of Khosrov, mountainous springs, pomegranate, sunburned and sunflower fruits. In this naturally-created and human-made corner, the green valleys together with the dry, lifeless rocks, create a terrific, delicate and wild beauty. The hawthorn, rosehip and other savage plants grow along the route. About the Fauna The Animal World of Ararat Marz is rich, because it is part of "Khosrov State Reserve". Thanks to this climate the beef, Caucasian bear, wild pig, rabbit, buckwheat, fox, hedgehog, jackal, hawthorn, myrtle, clammy, cranberry, squirrel are habituated here. There are diverse birds, reptiles, insects, and fishes in the rivers, the most famous of which are red trouts. The region is rich with fish farms, where they grow spirals, white and black bullfire, white and gray fasteners, etc. Many fish species (whitefish, mustard, beech, etc.) are industrialized and some species (Armenian blackberries, skirts, silkworms, etc.) are the fishing objects. The fishing of red trouts is banned. The Armenian red and Sevan trouts are endemic species, moreover these are the species included in the Red Book of the RA. Security issues The mobile connections are available from Yerevan to Vedi, Urtsadzor, Yeraskh, Dvin villages. In case of an accident, rescue services function in Armenia 24/7 and the number is 911. Beware of dogs in the village. Trail technical parameters Best period: May-November Distance: 180 km from Yerevan, Duration: 1 day 7 hours or 2days 5hours (please take into consideration this timing not the GPS option) Height from sea level: 1000m-813m-1291m The route is completely covered with asphalt The best drink is bottled water How to get to the Trail The above mentioned bike trail is designed from Yerevan to Ararat marz. But in case of getting tired, it is possible to hire a taxi, in order to reach the bike trail. The reliable taxi cars are all over Armenia and with electronic counters that are quite affordable. ©State Tourism Committee of RA