Shenatagh, Svarants, Tatev Monastery

MODERATE 1 reviews

Shenatagh, Svarants, Tatev Monastery is a 17.2 kilometer lightly trafficked point-to-point trail located near Tatev, Kotayk', Armenia that features beautiful wild flowers. The trail is rated as moderate and primarily used for mountain biking.

DISTANCE
17.2 km
ELEVATION GAIN
781 m
ROUTE TYPE
Point to Point

mountain biking

views

wild flowers

wildlife

historic site

Description of the Trail The trail is located in the Syunik province, 25km south of Sisian. It begins at the Shenatagh village, then leads out into the hills, ascending to an altitude of 2,500m above sea level. Mount Aramazd, the highest summit of the Bargushat mountain range, is visible on the right side of the trail. While riding down the trail you will see a mysterious hilly area with uninhabited houses, and one solitary construction. Afterwards, you will see the village Svarants, surrounded with beautiful forests. The smoke rising from the skylights of houses is a sign of an early spring or late fall. In the center of Svarants village, you will see the St. Martiros Hazaraprkich Church (18th century). Leaving the village and riding another 3km, you will be able to see the mysterious rock-cut Tatev Monastery from the observation point of Tatev village. The return path is from Tatev. On your way to Yerevan, you can also visit other key sights of Armenia, which are not mentioned in this trail: particularly, Noravank (Yeghegnadzor), Zorats Karer (Sisian), the Wings of Tatev aerial tramway (Halidzor or Tatev village) and Devil’s Bridge (near Tatev village). Description of the Monument Tatev Monastery is a IV century complex that was once a religious and cultural center. In the 8th century, it was named after Eustateus (Tateos) - Thaddeus apostle’s pupil, who preached Christianity in Syunik and was martyred there. In the 14th century, the Tatev monastery was one of the centers of Armenian culture, wherein a painting school, library and University operated. In 1381-1387, during Tamerlane's invasion of Syunik, Tatev monastery was robbed and burned, losing a considerable portion of its estates. In the late Middle Ages, a gavit (narthex) and a belfry were built on the western side of the large temple. The school of Tatev survived until the 20th century, when it was destroyed at the beginning of the century (and later found during excavations in 1981-1982). In 1974-1998 the complex was entirely reconstructed. Flora The flora in the territory between Shenatagh to Svarants is not so rich. Seldom will you come across an oak, maple, medlar, or such wild fruit trees as rose hip, hawthorn, currant, pear and apple trees. On both sides of the road you can see thorny shrubs. Long stretches of briers grow here, the fruit of which ripen in October and November. You will also see yellow and red wild plums while passing the trail from August through November. Near the residences, there are vegetables and some mushroom species in spring. Starting from Tatev village, the mountains, hills and gorges are heavily wooded. Fauna The fauna in the territory between Shenatagh to Tatev Monastery is poor. You will rarely come across such animals as foxes, wolves, field mice and bears. However, it is common to see wild rabbits, porcupines, and such birds as sparrows, finches, partridges, pheasants, grey crows, and eagles. In the fields, you may see flocks of sheep. Safety The VivaCell-MTS network is partially available in Shenatagh, Svarants and Tatev. We strongly recommend avoiding the trail during rains, especially in spring and autumn. In case of emergency, call 911, a service which is available throughout Armenia. Please, beware of dogs guarding flocks of sheep. Technical Specifications of the Trail Location: Syunik province. The best time: April - October. Yerevan is 233km away from Shenatagh, so the road there takes 4 hours and costs about 23,500 – 24,000 AMD by taxi). The distance of the biking trail is 18km. The duration of the route is 4 hours. The area is located 1557-1803m above sea level. 98% of the road is covered with sandstones - the rest is asphalt. The best drink to have on hand is bottled water. How to Reach the Trail To reach this biking trail, you need to start at Shenatagh village. It is most convenient to travel by taxi, which is quite affordable throughout Armenia. We recommend taking a cab with a working meter, and making sure the driver uses it. ©State Tourism Committee of RA