Tatev is a small village in the Syunik Province. Other than the Tatev monastery—one of the most gorgeous churches in the country—the town doesn’t boast many sights. However, this shouldn’t stop you from exploring the area, as there are many interesting natural and historical landmarks in the vicinity.
Wings of Tatev is a 5.7 km (3.5 mi) cableway that operates between Halidzor and the Tatev monastery. The cableway has held the Guinness World Record for the longest nonstop double-track cableway since construction was completed in 2010. The total ride time is about 12 minutes, and the cars reach a maximum height of 320 meters over the beautiful gorge. About 240 people make the journey each hour with about 30 people and one steward in each car.
Dating back to the 9th century, Tatev monastery stands on the verge of a deep gorge overlooking the Vorotan River. The complex played a significant role in the development of the region, as it was a center of political, economic, cultural, and spiritual activities. In the 14th and 15th centuries, the complex also housed the University of Tatev, where students studied science, religion, philosophy, book publishing, and miniature painting.
Called Karahunj and Zorats Karer, this ancient archeological site is just outside of Tatev. Here, visitors will see vertical basalt stones in an open area that covers around 7 hectares. Scholars believe that the area served as a prehistoric observatory and might be 3,500 years older than the world-famous Stonehenge.
Old Khndzoresk is a cave village situated on the steep slope of a gorge. The village features manmade and natural caves, and the dwellings have been carved out around each other in such a way that necessitated a system of ropes and ladders to navigate the community. The area was inhabited until the 1950s when the Soviet government deemed them uncivilized and unfit and made them leave. To reach the caves, cross the 160-meter (525 ft) suspension bridge, which shakes with every step—so, those who are afraid of heights might want to skip this one.
About an hour-and-a-half drive from Tatev, Shaki Waterfall is a stunning natural landmark. This 40-meter (131 ft) waterfall fall runs over a ledge created by joint basalt lava flows, which creates a beautiful site for a relaxing afternoon.
The monastery complex played an important part in the development of Armenia and once housed stores, workshops, a seminary, resort, a cemetery, and more. It’s also where many kings were inaugurated, and was considered so important, that the community built a defensive wall around it when Armenia became a target for invasion.
Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip
meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.