Tsaghkavank, Mount Ara

MODERATE 1 reviews

Tsaghkavank, Mount Ara is a 6.4 kilometer lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Ashtarak, Kotayk', Armenia that offers the chance to see wildlife. The trail is rated as moderate and primarily used for downhill skiing.

6.4 km
780 m
Out & Back





historic site

Description of the Ski Trail Mount Ara is located on the borders of the Kotayk and Aragatsotn provinces. The mountain is 2,577m high and 40km away from Yerevan. The mountain takes its name after Ara the Beautiful (Ara Geghetsik), an Armenian mythological God and king. The Mountain is also a jump off point for paragliding pilots. The ski trail begins at a red apple orchard. This is considered a traditional trail, as it is used by both skiers and paragliding pilots. In winter, Mt. Ara is a great tourist destination, as the weather here is clear and sunny, and the snow is soft and silky. Description of the Monument Tsaghkavank (Flower Monastery) or Kuys Varvara (the Virgin Barbara) is a cave shrine on the slopes of Mount Ara. The residents here celebrate Christian and sometimes even pagan holidays. There is a healing water source inside this mossy monastery that is especially used for sight ailments. The water is healing due to its zinc content, which is also helpful for diseases of the joints and muscle spasms. Heading for Mt. Ara from Yerevan or vice versa, you can visit: Ohanavank (5th-13th centuries) Ohanavank Monastery is located in Ohanavan village, in the Aragatsotn province of Armenia. It is beautifully perched on a gorge, high above the right bank of the Kasagh River. The monastery overlooks Mount Ara and the Geghama Mountains in the southeast. Over different periods of time, the monastery used to maintain vast plowlands, gardens, pastures, mills, and villages. It also used to be a significant center for Armenian writing, with a rich library; some of the manuscripts created there are still preserved to this day. Saghmosavank Saghmosavank is located in Saghmosavan village, of Aragatsotn province, Armenia, at the edge of the deep Kasagh River gorge, and is ‘backed’ by gigantic Mount Ara from behind. On the other sides, the monastery overlooks Mount Aragats (4,095m) and Mount Ararat (5,165m). The monastery was built in the 13th century by Prince Vache I Vachutyan and his noble family. The complex is comprised of the Church of Zion, the Church of Holy Mother of God, a book depository and a narthex. The Church of Zion is the main church of the complex. It is a cross-shaped and domed church and differs from other churches built in that epoch by the layout of the narthex. The eastern part of the church features an altar and niches inside the walls. The Saghmosavank manuscript repository was built in 1255. It neighbors the ancient khachkars (cross-stones) on the western facade of the church. The Armenian Alphabet Monument after M. Mashtots The Armenian Alphabet Monument is located on the eastern slope of Mount Aragats, near Artashavan village, in Aragatsotn province, on the left side of the Yerevan-Aparan highway. The Armenian alphabet was created between 405-406, by Mesrop Mashtots, a prominent linguist, religious and political leader, and has been used for Armenian writing ever since. The monument was built in 2005 to commemorate the 1600th anniversary of the creation of the Armenian alphabet. It features 39 beautifully ornamented letters of the alphabet and statues of key Armenian figures. Each letter is 1.5m-2m high. According to tradition, anyone who visits this monument takes a photo with the first letter of their name. By the Monument, you can see the statues of the great minds of Armenia – Mesrop Mashtots (with the letters in his hands), Grigor Lusavorich (holding the cross beyond), Anania Shirakatsi (a symbol of the earth and the universe in his left hand), Mkhitar Gosh (with “Datastanagirk”, the Book of Reprisal, in his hands), Khachatur Abovyan and Hovhannes Tumanyan. Fauna In the territory of Mt. Ara you’ll most probably come across wolves, gray or yellow foxes and rabbits. You may also meet a bear that has woken early from hibernation. Safety Beeline, Ucom and VivaCell-MTS networks are always available between Tsaghkavank (Flower Monastery) to Mount Ara. In case of emergency, call 911, a service which is available throughout Armenia. Technical Specifications of the Ski Trail The best time: January- April 10 Yerevan is 21km away from Nor Yerznka village, so the road there takes 30m and costs about 2,100-2,500 AMD if you (take a taxi). The distance of the ski trail is 9.4km. The duration of skiing is 3hr. 56m. The area is located 1,314-2,577m above sea level. The best drink to have on hand is warm tea. How to Reach the Ski Trail To reach the trail, you need to get to Nor Yerznka 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