Haghartsin, Jukhtak Monasteries is a 17.9 kilometer moderately trafficked point-to-point trail located near teghut, Kotayk', Armenia that features beautiful wild flowers. The trail is rated as difficult and primarily used for hiking, walking, and nature trips.

DISTANCE
17.9 km
ELEVATION GAIN
1,105 m
ROUTE TYPE
Point to Point

hiking

nature trips

walking

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

historic site

Overview This hike can either be completed in one eight hour day or split into two four hour days; for the two-day option, you can stay the night in nearby mountain huts (1,900m above sea level). The hike is 18.6 km long, and passes through water springs and resorts as it leads to the Jukhtak Monastery. After passing the monastery, hikers will meet a driver at the trail’s end, who will take them back. The hike scenery is extremely varied: passing by forests, gorges, mountain summits and rivers, all the passages are equally interesting and magnificent. Cultural and Historic Monuments Haghartsin Monastery This monastic complex (built in the 10-13th centuries) consist of three churches, two narthexes, chapels, cross stones and a refectory. The chapels and carved cross stones sit on the sloped rocks east of the main monastic constructions. A bronze boiler, weighing in at 350kg, was found at Haghartsin; as a great example of skilled metalwork, it is now preserved in the State History Museum of Armenia. St. Gregory Church The St. Gregory Church (10th century) is the oldest large structure of the Haghartsin complex. The ceilings of the church bear inscriptions and carvings of rosettes, birds, angels and men. Remains of tombs are preserved near the southern wall of the narthex. A chapel (13th century) is adjacent to the St. Gregory church on the north, and on the east side, there is the St. Stepanos domed church (built in 1,244), built of blue basalt, with elegant details. St. Astvatsatsin Church The St. Astvatsatsin is the main aesthetically appealing church of the complex, with its domed roof and halls. According to the inscription on the stone façade of the southern wall, the church was built in 1,281. All façades of the church (except the western one) have niches. The entrances, windows and walls are decorated with crosses and other carvings. There are ruins on the west side of the church which are thought to be the narthex of a previous construction. Refectory The Haghartsin refectory is one of the best examples of artistic Armenian architecture. Located on the west of the complex, it is a rectangular hall containing pillars and roofed by intersecting arches. According to the inscription on the southwest entrance wall, it was built in 1,248 by the architect Minas. East of the refectory, there are other ruins, which are thought to have once been kitchens or bakeries. Jukhtak Monastery The Jukhtak Monastery is located in the Tavush region, 3km northeast of Dilijan. Jukhtak translates to “pair” in Armenian, and as such the 11th-12th century monastery consists of two churches - St. Astvatsatsin (Holy Mother of God) and St. Grigor (St. Gregory) - as well as a surrounding cemetery. Despite having the same names, these are different from the churches of Haghartsin! Both churches of the monastery are covered with carvings and inscriptions, one of which is situated on the semi-round façade stone of the St. Astvatsatsin church. The St. Gregory church is located 15m east of the St. Astvatsatsin church. This medium sized construction has a centralized dome, four arches, carved stones, and elegantly decorated sacristies. Besides the two churches, there are other ruins in the monastery, as well as a cemetery around the churches with tombstones. Flora The forests of Dilijan cover about 340,000 hectares of territory. In 1,958, a national forest conservation area was opened here in order to protect the space; in 2,002, it was named Dilijan National Park. The park has 94% forest cover, and nearly 40 valuable tree species (particularly hornbeam, oak, beech, maple, birch, ash, willow, lime, and elm). About 123 types of edible herbs, 180 species of medical herbs (including helichrysum, mint, thyme, shandra, and bryony), and various species of edible mushrooms are also spread throughout the forest. Fauna The Dilijan park is also rich with fauna. The forests are home to brown bears, wolves, martens, lynx, roe deer, otters, squirrels, hedgehogs, wild boars, and various reptiles and amphibians. The park is also home to birds such as warblers, quails, grey partridges, wild pigeons, griffon vultures, bearded vultures, booted eagles, golden eagles, and many types of falcons. Route Characteristics Best Time to Visit: April to November Distance from Yerevan to Haghartsin: 110km (1h 40m) Cost to get from Yerevan to Haghartsin (by taxi): 11,000 AMD Hike Distance: 18.6 km Hike Duration: 8 hours (one day) or 4 hours per day (two days) Altitude (from Sea Level): 1,405-1477 m Visible Trail Surface: 90%, 10% easily discernible Safety and Connectivity Mobile telephone coverage (via VivaCell-MTS) is usually available throughout the hike (Haghartsin to Jukhtak). The 911 emergency services operate throughout Armenia in case of any accidents. There are drinking water sources mentioned on the route, however, to be on the safe side, be sure to bring bottled water!