Hiking to Smbataberd fortress & Tsaghats Kar

Hiking to Smbataberd fortress & Tsakhats Qar

Duration: 8-9 hours / Mileage: 290 km

We will start the hike from Artabuynk village, we will take the direction of Tsakhats Qar monastery complex, which is a 10th century structure, watching it we will continue the route to Smbataberd. It is surrounded on three sides by steep cliffs. It has strong walls with semicircular towers with the height of 8-10 meters and the width of 3-4 meters. There are many legends and tales about this fortress. These stories are connected to one of the greatest kings of Armenia.It was built in the 5th century. From the fort there is a beautiful view of Yeghegis Canyon and the environment. We will have a rest, we will enjoy the beauty, we will go down to Yeghegis Canyon. We will finish the campaign in Yeghegis village. 

Tsaghats Kar Monastery is an Armenian monastery located along the mountain foothills overlooking the Yeghegis River, between the villages of Yeghegis (6 km northeast) and Horbategh in the Vayots Dzor Province of Armenia. The monastery is located within walking distance of the fortress of Smbataberd. The church was built in the 10th century during the Bagratid kingdom. There is historical information about the construction of the church in the work of the historian Asoghik. Tsaghats kar was a medieval educational institution, they studied painting there, and there is a hypothesis that the choice of the name has something to do with the name of the flowered stone . There are two groups of structures at the site that are separated by a distance of 200 meters (656 feet). The grouping to the west, now half-ruined, was constructed of rough-hewn basalt. Within the complex of Tsaghats Kar is Surb Hovhannes church built in 989, Surb Karapet church of the 10th century, and many other structures that are in ruins. Saint Karapet is a cupola hall type structure, with a sacristy in each of the four corners. Numerous khachkars may be seen around the monastery as well.

Founded during 5th century and then better fortified in 9-10 centuries, this was a significant defensive construction guarding vast territories, due to its advantageous uppermost position. Smbataberd is located in the East of Artabuynk village of Vayots Dzor province. 
There are several name origins connected to the fortress. According to one of them, Smbataberd is said to have received the name from its founder Smbat Orbelian, the prince of Syunik province. Another viewpoint belongs to Ghevond Alishan, who assumed that the fortress had been named after Smbat I Bagratuni. Lastly, Kapuyt Berd (Blue Fortress), mentioned by Stepanos Orbelian as one of the strongest fortresses of Vayots Dzor province, finds its identical copy in the descriptions of Smbataberd.
The ruins of the citadel, residential buildings, as well as water reservoirs have been preserved till the present day.
In 2006-2007 a large-scale reconstruction of the fortress was carried out.

Price per person

Number of people



200 USD


100 USD


 79 USD


69 USD


59 USD


49 USD


  • Mountain guide
  • Bottled water
  • Private transportation 
  • Free pick-up & drop-off within Yerevan
  • Extra stops on the route upon request


  • Lunch

What to expect

  • Hiking duration: 5 hours
  • Distance: 10 km
  • Difficulty level: moderate
  • Elevation: ↑2,103 m ↓1,598 m (1,598-1,598 m above sea level)
  • Season: year round
  • You will be guided by most skilful instructor, whose services are foreseen for a group consisted of up to 10 people. In case of more participants extra sum is to be charged
  • Recommended items in your hiking checklist: hiking boots or shoes, hiking backpack, wear-resistant socks for walking long distances, windproof jacket, fleece jacket, trekking poles, sсunglasses with a factor of at least 3, sunscreen SPF50, headgear, breathable light trousers, long sleeves T-shirt, thin fleece gloves, first-aid kit. The list can be shortened or supplemented based on personal experience
  • The possibility of arranging hiking depends on weather conditions


Reserve now & pay later !

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