Gnishik, Noravank

MODERATE 1 reviews

Gnishik, Noravank is a 8.4 kilometer lightly trafficked point-to-point trail located near Gnishik, Kotayk', Armenia that features beautiful wild flowers. The trail is rated as moderate and primarily used for hiking, walking, and nature trips.

8.4 km
229 m
Point to Point


nature trips



wild flowers


historic site

Overview To reach the Gnishik-Noravank route, which is located in the Vayots Dzor region, you first have to reach the village of Agarakadzor. In Agarakadzor, take a taxi to Gnishik village (16 km away), where the route begins. Gnishik village is home to only a small handful of families, whose total is barely over 15. Then you will see a lovely trail leading down into a beautiful gorge, winding like a snake along the river, leading you to an ancient monastery. Carefully examine the surroundings, and you might see a bezoar ibex (goats), bears tracks, badgers, sky soaring vultures and eagles. Passing through the vertical, crimson colored rocks, you will reach a beautiful chapel known for its healing waters. Crossing through Vayots Dzor, many visitors admire the picturesque, semi-scarlet, medium high cliffs and the high mountains and peaks along the road. Because the route of the trail narrows near the river and the canyon space is limited, we recommend taking the Gnishik-Noravank route with two or more people in order to scare the bears away with loud conversations. Fact The oldest single piece leather shoe in the world was found in the “Areni-1” cave in Vayots Dzor, back in 2008. The shoe is about 5,500 years old. Scientists from Armenia, Ireland, USA, ISRAEL and Great Britain have examined the shoe, in order to determine the approximate age of the shoe in the laboratories of Oxford and California. The shoe was made in the Chalcolithic period or the Copper Age, back in 3,500 BC. When the shoe was found, it was stuffed with dried grass, the purpose of which is not yet clear to scientists. The shoe size is a 37 in European sizing. It has now been moved to the History Museum of Armenia and is in need of conservation. Older sandals, have been discovered in a Missouri cave in the USA, which were made of plant material. Flora The flora in Vayots Dzor is fertile and diverse, and the nature is vibrant with sunny mountains and colourful flowers. Canes and sweet-flags are very popular in Vayots Dzor and they grow in relatively humid areas. The flora is also rich in different flower species. The yellow ascension flowers (daisies), dark purple wild tulips, and yellow bellflowers are widespread in the region. Yellow, aromatic primulas as well as rosehips and other species are popular in spring. The flora is less diverse in the relatively higher areas of the mountain, where the flowers grow sparsely and have short stems. Fauna Out of 25 uniquely picked regions, the Caucasus is considered a hot spot, thanks to its 500 species of fauna, many of which are included in the Red Book. Vayots Dzor is a region with rare, rock climbing bezoar goats and Armenian mouflons. These animals mostly live in the Khosrov Forest State Reserve in Vayots Dzor and the Zangezur mountain ridge. One can also find a few bears, wild boars, gray wolves, foxes, wild rabbits, mice and other species. There are also reptiles, green lizards, frogs, snakes such as grass snakes and vipers (locally called gyurzas), but they are limited in number. Safety VivaCell-Mts mobile telephone coverage is almost always accessible throughout Vayots Dzor, and the 911 emergency services operate throughout Armenia in case of any accidents. It is strongly encouraged to walk in groups of two or more to let bears hear you and not approach. Route Parameters Location: the Vayots Dzor region Best time: April to November Distance from Yerevan: 141 km (2 hours 24 min) Cost of taxi: 14,500 AMD (1 km – 100 AMD) Duration of the hike: 4 hours Route distance: 9.11 km Altitude (from sea level): 1,515-2,000 m Visible trail: 100% Be sure to bring bottled water!