Armenia is a country full of culture and history where there are always locations to explore. As a person who is fond of traveling, I especially love going to places where not many people have been. I think it’s a good way to get acquainted with the ancient history of the locals. That’s why I came up with the list of hidden places in Armenia below.
Here is the list of 7 hidden places in Armenia:
- Matosavank monastery
- Big Desert of Tatev
- Devil’s bridge
- Gegharot waterfall
- Magil cave
- Akhtala monastery
- Orgov radio optical telescope
Well, I am hopeful that after visiting some of these locations you’ll truly be fascinated and willing to share some of your impressions with me on Instagram or Twitter with #ArmeniaTravelTips. I’m genuinely interested in knowing what you think. So, let’s jump into the list and explore each one by one.
Matosavank monastery is a true hidden treasure found in Dilijan’s forests. It is an absolute wonder left from the 13th century, and now it’s abandoned and doesn’t have lots of visitors. This place is full of inscriptions from the past and khachkars that are coated in green moss which gives the church a unique look. So, if you happen to be in Dilijan’s National Park definitely don’t forget to pay a visit to this hidden location in Armenia. Also, here is a helpful guide to exploring Dilijan and some information on the things you can do there.
Big Desert of Tatev
The Big Desert of Tatev was constructed in the 17th century and was finished in the 18th century. The previous desert was destroyed after a heavy earthquake so it’s replaced with the Big Desert of Tatev that we have to this day. There has been a dining hall, wine cellars and lots of residential rooms as monks lived there. It’s a vivid example left from the medieval times of Armenian architecture which also used to serve as a religious and cultural center.
By the way, the Big Desert of Tatev is also visible from above if you take the Wings of Tatev ropeway. And in fact, I made a post for you that offers you some useful ideas for organizing a day trip to Tatev. You might also want to take private tour guides that will help you find this hidden place in Armenia.
This hidden place located in the canyon of the Vorotan river is marvelous and one of Armenia’s national wonders. You will see lots of stalactites hanging under the bridge and also natural baths, and hot springs which is a true miracle. The waters are completely drinkable and healthy. Sometimes it’s even used for medical purposes due to its natural healing effects. It’s also possible to swim in those waters and hike there. But make sure you have professionals accompany you as safety always comes first.
While organizing a hiking trail to the Devil’s bridge it’s important to plan your hike in Tatev properly (read how to do it at the link). It’s also common to combine hiking in Devil’s bridge and the Big Desert of Tatev together. Well, it seems like there is a lot you can do in Tatev. 😃
Gegharot waterfall is located on the slopes of Aragats mountain. The waterfall is 17 meters in height and has an altitude of 3000 meters above sea level. Also, if you plan to experience the waterfall at its highest water force then it’s a good idea to visit between March and June.
Consider that it’s only possible to reach there by car, however, you’ll need to walk for the last remaining 10km. If you don’t have a car you can see my guide on renting a car in Armenia. Maybe the fact that it’s not easily reachable for some, makes this place so hidden for most.
Magil cave is considered to be one of the biggest and not fully explored caves in Armenia. The entrance to the cave is so small and narrow that only one person can fit it. In fact, that is one of the reasons that Magil’s cave served as a reliable shelter for people in ancient times. The climate inside the cave is also very favorable. The temperature there ranges between +14 to +16 degrees (in Celsius) throughout the year.
Interestingly enough, the inside of the cave looks like a labyrinth full of stalactites and stalagmites and has narrow and spacious areas. This hidden place is super dangerous to visit as only 1.7km of the cave is mapped. Magil’s cave is also full of thousands of bats and most of these mammals are endangered and registered in Armenia’s red book. I think now you can see that there are enough reasons to ban the free access of visitors to the cave.
Akhtala monastery dates back to the 10th century and is located in the north of Armenia. As the location of this place is hidden and far, it’s not commonly visited by people. However, I would say that this currently inactive monastery is especially worth visiting for the unique architectural design and frescos which are one of a kind in the whole Caucasus region. You will also notice that this church combines the architectural design of Armenia (exterior design) and Georgia (interior design).
Orgov radio optical telescope
This place will remind you of a sci-fi movie as that’s what it did to me when I first discovered this hidden location. The Orgov radio optical telescope (also known as Herouni’s telescope) has been inactive since the collapse of the Soviet Union. That’s because it stopped its operations due to insufficient funds. This was once one of the first and the world’s most powerful radio telescopes. Unfortunately, now it’s abandoned but still worth the visit to appear in an imaginative movie.
Final thoughts on hidden places in Armenia
Well, I am hopeful that you discovered some new travel destinations for you and will include them in your list. I also think it’s a good idea to explore some of the abandoned locations in Yerevan and pay them a visit.
Now that you are familiar with some of the hidden places in Armenia, I would like to know what else you would add to this list. So, don’t be hesitant to share your knowledge with me too on Instagram or Twitter with #ArmeniaTravelTips. I’m curious to see what you’ve got!
Featured image credits: João Rabelo on Pexels