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Armenia - Khor Virap

Day trip out of Yerevan

When we visited Armenia we decided to stay in Yerevan and take day trips out. Luckily Yerevan's central location and the county's small size makes it easy.

Armenia is the first country to adopt Christianity, and Armenians won't miss a chance to tell you about that.

On this day we have decided to take a day trip to Khor Virap - an ancient monastery located just 800 meters from a border with Turkey.
The easiest way to get there is to take a bus from Yerevan's central bus station towards the town of Ararat (not to be confused with the mountain) and ask to drop you at Pokr Vedi. From there it's a 4 km hike to Khor Virap.

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It's a beautiful walk towards the monastery especially on a clear day as you can see mighty mount Ararat on the background. To climb Ararat is a bit complicated as the Turkish-Armenian border is closed, so you will need to detour via Georgia and than get a climbing permit from Turkish authorities.

It takes about an hour to visit the monastery, but the area around it is the real attraction. Make sure to go down to the cave underneath the church. It gets a bit claustrophobic, and gives you a bit of a funny feeling as if there is something out there.

Important bit, we thought there was a bus from Khor Virap to Yerevan a couple of times a day, well it's not there. The bus stop is only for tour buses, so just walk back to the main road and catch a public bus. We spent about an hour playing cards with friendly locals before we realised that a bus won't come.

We met a young Polish couple who hitchhiked all the way from Poland. Apparently Turkey and Armenia are very easy to get a ride, and most people will be happy to speak to foreigners.

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Posted by dima.safr 12:01 Archived in Armenia Tagged church armenia ararat khor_virap hitchhike

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