Mountain Biking Trail Description
This biking trail begins in the village of Sevaberd, in the Kotayk province. The village is located at an altitude of 2,000m above sea level. You should get to the village of Sevaberd and start riding about 1-2km on a paved road, up to the Geghama Mountains, which are covered by sandstones. Here, you will see rounded hills, one after the other, which is typical of the Geghama mountains. The foothills of Mount Azhdahak is at an altitude of 3,200m, with the top at an altitude of 3,597m. We suggest to hide your bike in a safe place and walk up to the top of the Mountain, where you will be able to see the cold and crystal clear volcanic crater lake of the peak and the marvellous view beyond.
Sevaberd Cyclopean Fortress is located on the right (south) of the highway leading to the Sevaberd community. This monument is an example of a medieval castle. There is no historical information about the monument; no scientific studies have been conducted, but it is known that the castle’s bottom masonry is cyclopean, and the upper masonry is medieval. So it can be dated back to about the 2-1st millennium BC, the medieval period. Now, only the western wall of the Cyclopean castle is preserved.
Saint Poghos-Petros Church (St. Paul and Peter Church) is located near Zar village, at the foothills of Mt. Hatis, in the Kotayk province. The Poghos-Petros chapel-sanctuary was originally built in the 13th century. In 1930, a foreman named Grigor (Gregory) had a dream in which he saw the grand design of the church and continued its entire construction. Two churches were built next to the chapel, called Poghos and Petros. Now, this area has also become a place of pilgrimage. Every year, two weeks after Holy Easter, people go on pilgrimage to the Church to celebrate Saint Poghos-Petros Day. In 1969, and again in 1989, the two chapels were reconstructed, and the builders were later buried in the Churchyard after their deaths.
Saint Hovhannes Mkrtich Church (Saint John the Baptist Church) in Abovyan town, Kotayk province, was constructed relatively recently, in 2006, and later was consecrated in 2013. It is in the town of Abovyan, in the Kotayk Province of Armenia.
Geghama sierra is of volcanic origin, and located in the center of Armenia, in the provinces of Kotayk, Gegharkunik and Ararat, stretching along the meridian. There are several small lakes (also craters) within the Geghama Mountains. One of the lakes is in the famous crater of Azhdahak Mountain, which is fed by winter’s thaw. The range of the Geghama mountains is about 65km in length and 35km in width, with an arched base in the center. The range includes many volcanic peaks, such as the Seghanasar (3,219m), Sevkatar (3,225m), Spitakasar (3,555m), Nazeli (3,312m), Vishapasar (3,157.7m), Yerakatar (2,589.6m), Geghasar (3,444m), and the highest peak of Azhdahak (3,597.3m). The Azat, Vedi and Getar rivers all originate from the western slopes of the Geghama mountains, with the Gavaraget, Argichi, Bakhtak and other rivers originating from the eastern slopes.
Akna Lake is a lake of volcanic origin located on the plateau at the top of the Geghama mountains, at an altitude of 3,030m above sea level, with a surface of 0.5 sq. km. The lake is fed by snowmelt and spring water, and is surrounded by volcanic cones and beautiful alpine meadows. The water is so clear that the mountains and the blue sky are reflected in the mirrored surface of the Lake.
The flora of the Geghama Mountains is very grassy, curative and healthful. There are no forests and trees along the sierra as it is located 2,800 meters above sea level. Meadows blooming in the Geghama Mountains create a ravishing combination of colors. The alpine nature is marked with meadows and small mountain lakes, and the frigid shores of streams and rivulets descending from the mountains are surrounded with alpine flowers. Here, we can meet the dark blue alpine violet; also chamomile, immortelle, thyme, nettle, dandelion and bellflowers in the lowlands.
In the Geghama Mountains once can see many various species of wild animals. In the petroglyphs found on the rocks of the Geghama mountains, we can see the diversity of animals, with large and small groups of wild bulls and oxen, Caucasian deer, a lion, roes, domestic and wild horses, foxes and wolves, many species of dogs, a boar, lynx, leopard, hare, several unknown types of small animals, various types of reptiles, also a duck, goose, stork, swan, and a partridge. Many of these animals (jerboa, hare, wolf, fox, lizards and snakes) are still living in Geghama Mountains today. There are also many birds, especially eagles and vultures that can be spotted from far away.
Safety and Security
Ucom and VivaCell-MTS networks are partially available between Sevaberd and the Azhdahak mountains. In case of an emergency, call 911, a service available throughout Armenia. Beware of dogs guarding flocks of sheep.
Best period: May - October
Distance: 36km from Yerevan
Biking trail length: 40km.
Ride duration: 6-7 hours.
Altitude from sea level: 2,000-3,597m
99% of the road is covered by sandstone, with 1% paved.
The best drink to have on hand is bottled water.
How to Reach the Trail
To reach the above-mentioned trail, you need to get to Sevaberd village, in the Kotayk province. It is most convenient to travel by taxi. Taxi services are quite affordable throughout Armenia. We recommend taking a cab with a taximeter.
002 THE TOP M AZHDAHAK