Adventures in Artsakh
It is not very easy for a sophisticated traveler to surprise with any natural beauties, extreme adventures, or exotic cuisine. Inviting you on a trip to a small republic, we still try to do it. The history of this region goes back to hoary antiquity. In this small mountainous country, you can climb the mountain peaks, go down into deep gorges, and taste the crystal clear waters of various springs. You will walk along the paths of virgin forests, swim along the rugged mountain rivers, and get acquainted with the generous, hospitable and peaceful inhabitants of the republic.
Artsakh offers many different types of outdoor activities for both beginners and experienced travelers: climbing, mountaineering; rafting; fishing; hiking, and horseback riding flights on airplanes, balloons, and paragliders; bike trips and tours on SUVs.
Off-road tours in Artsakh are a guaranteed dose of adrenaline and a lot of vivid impressions. You will have a real chance to drive along the stream of mountain rivers, overcome steep slopes and reach cloudy heights, from where you will get incredibly picturesque views. Experienced drivers serve off-road tours in Artsakh with many years of practice. If you wish, you can rent an SUV and get to your destination on your own. As part of the tourist routes on off-road vehicles, you can visit the sights of the republic, spend the night in guesthouses, taste the original dishes and drinks of each area and organize an outdoor picnic.
Artsakh is a country of fortresses and ancient monasteries, which can often be reached only by hiking trails, through alpine meadows, climbing high peaks, and passing through waterfalls sparkling from the sun. In Artsakh, there is a hiking tour “Janapar,” which is divided into one-day sections and passes through cities and villages. The route begins in the south of Hadrut and passes through the settlements of Togh, Azokh, Karmir-Shuka, Avetaranots, Karin to the town of Shushi, and further to the city of Stepanakert. Traveling takes about a week. The Janapar route includes attractions, one of which is the Hunot Canyon. Located at a depth of 300 m inside the cliff, Hunot covers clear springs, historical spots, steep cliffs, and real masterpieces of nature, including the famous Umbrella Falls. The trail is marked with distinctive signs that will help you navigate the area. The northern route of the Janapar Trail starts from Stepanakert and passes through the settlements of Patara, Kolatak, Gandzasar, Dadivank, Zuar, Karvachar, Tsar and ends in the city of Vardenis, Armenia. The ViewRanger app will help you along this route, which contains all localities of the journey from Hadrut to Vardenis. It is recommended to use GPS with busy roads and topographic maps posted on the Janapar Trail website.
Flying over Artsakh is a way to see its miracles from a bird's eye glimpse. Every year there is an air festival, "Artsakh Air Fest," which attracts people from different parts of the world. The festival is especially popular among fans of extreme types of vacation. The festival organizers offer flights on two-seater aircraft, paragliders, and balloons. Climbing to a height of over 400 m, you will discover marvelous landscapes that are not visible even from the highlands. At the festival, you can breathe the healing mountain air, meet the sunrise and spend the last ray of sunshine. Flights on two-seater aircraft are carried out in the direction of Shushi, Gandzasar, Tigranakert. Flight duration - 20 minutes, price - AMD 20,000. Flights are available on any day; you should only book a date and time in advance.
Another captivating variety of tourist vacation - fishing - will live up to your wildest expectations. Wooded mountains shrouded in fog, frosty morning freshness, incredible silence of nature - this is how fishing begins in Artsakh. Artsakh is rich in mountain rivers and lakes. The most attractive reservoirs for fishing are the Sarsang reservoir, the Tartar and Karkar rivers. It is home to more than 10 species of various fish, including trout. Also, you can enjoy the real Armenian khorovac (barbecue) in nature. The fishing season in Artsakh opens from the beginning of March and lasts until the end of October.
Endless trails, highland meadows, and rocks - we can say that Artsakh is a paradise for lovers of mountain bike trips. You can ride on steep hills, overcome water obstacles and green meadows, reach the tops of mountains, and “touch the sky.” Going on a bike ride in Artsakh, you should not be frightened of a lack of water, nature itself will treat you with pure spring water, and in the summer you can refresh yourself in the lakes and rest in green meadows under the sparkling sunshine. On the way, you will meet hospitable people from nearby villages, where you can stay if you wish. There are specially marked trails in Artsakh, and the “Mountain Bikers of Artsakh” community operates, which provides information on the bicycle routes of the republic. If desired, you can join a group of travelers. Thus, you will be guided by professional cyclists who plan an exciting and unforgettable route.
If you are fond of rafting, then the gorge of the river Tartaru will not leave you indifferent. Tartar is the largest and most full-flowing river in Artsakh, 184 km long, which flows through a gorge whose slopes are covered with dense forests. The river belongs to level 3 difficulty for rafting. Professional rafting tours are held here, and according to various reviews of tourists, the gorge of the river Tartar is one of the most fascinating and picturesque spots in Artsakh and Armenia. The canyon has thermal springs with natural stone pools. The best time for rafting on Tartarus is spring, in particular, May.
In the era of technology, people began to pay more attention to live movement. Along with this, horse campaigns started to develop in Artsakh. In 2019, a hippodrome was opened near the famous Hunot canyon, where horseback riding and hiking are also accompanied by specialists. Besides, in different villages, you can meet horse breeders who organize trips throughout Artsakh. This marvelous type of tourism allows you to fully merge into the astonishing world of wildlife, experiencing incredible sensations of extreme sports and harmony with the environment.