Alaverdi

Sanahin Monastery
Kobayr Monastery

Alaverdi (Armenian: Ալավերդի) is a city in Northern Armenia. The largest city in the Debed Canyon of Lori, an area rich with historical monuments and natural beauty, Alaverdi is your best bet for refueling, getting supplies or finding other things you'd expect in a town. The town itself has little to offer of historic value, save for the beautiful old foot bridge, since it was built as a mining town, a fact which you won't be able to miss as you go past the massive mining works. The mine once wreaked massive environmental damage, which stopped for a while with the collapse of the USSR, but now it has restarted, albeit on a much smaller scale. You can drive to the Sarahart suburb, which is on top of the canyon cliffs, or you can walk up the ancient foot path which is past the aforementioned bridge. The funnest, and perhaps most dangerous option though is the funicular, which takes the miners to and from work. Sarahart is adjacent to Sanahin Village, with the famous monastery, and the museum to the Migoyan brothers, with their extraordinary accomplishments of worldwide significance.

Although accommodation options are somewhat limited, making the decision to stay a few nights in the area will allow you to much better appreciate and explore what Armenia has to offer, without sitting in a car all day back and forth from Yerevan.

Get in

By bus

Minibuses to Vanadzor (1hr, 500 AMD), Stepanavan (2 hrs, 700 AMD), Gyumri depart daily. And almost all transport to and from Tbilisi passes through this town. Yerevan (3 hrs, 1,700 AMD).

There are taxis and transport to other parts of the country as well.

By train

Train Yerevan-Tbilisi passes Alaverdi.

Get around

Town is built along the Debed River, with some suburbs above including Sanahin and Sarahart which are accessible by road or cable car.

There is funicular from Alaverdi centre to Sanahin suburb.

Usefull marshrutka routes:

To get to Odzun catch a bus going to Vanadzor (every round hour) or hire a taxi for 1,500 AMD.

Also it's possible to charter a taxi to Haghpat Monastery and Akhtala Monastery together for 5,000 AMD. Or to Odzun church and Kobair Monastery together for 5,000 AMD.

See

Akhtala monastery and the fortified walls
Haghpat Monastery
XIII century frescoes in Akhtala Monastery

Sanahin and Haghpat

Dsegh village

One of the oldest and famous villages in Armenia. It boasts of the basilica church with its ethnographic museum, as well as Karasun Mankats church (12 century) and “Sirun Khach” cross stone. In the village cemetery there are lots of other cross stones, memorials and ruins of a small 7th century basilica church.

Odzun village

North of town

Do

Hike, bike, climb, camp, 4x4, photography...

Buy

The biggest market (shuka) between Vanadzor and Georgia is here, but don't expect too much from the selection local produce and cheap imports dominate the market.

Eat

There are a couple of places to eat in Alaverdi, plus almost all hotels and B&Bs have their own restaurants.

Drink

Sleep

There are not so many hotels inside the city (just one, Lalvar Hotel) all the rest lie in nearby villages/suburbs, however getting there is quite easy as there are lots of public marshrutkas plying the area.

Sanahin village

Odzun village

There are several B&Bs scattered around the village, just to name a few: Odzun B&B,  +374 10 25 31 41. 8,000 AMD per person., Vahagn Davtyan B&B,  +374 10 25 31 41. 8,000 AMD per person., Alvard Nersisyan B&B,  +374 10 25 31 41. double room 12,000-15,000 AMD., Amalya Nalbandyan B&B,  +374 10 25 31 41. 6,000-7,000 AMD per person..

Haghpat village

Akhtala village

Further away

Connect

Internet can be found in most of the hotels and B&Bs. Otherwise use mobile 3G which signal is quite good here.

There are 2 mobile operator stores in town, VivaCell MTS and Orange, both located near the bus station. Beeline sim cards can be bought from the grocery store nearby.

Go next


This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Friday, February 19, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.