Alaverdi city in Armenia: what to see in Alaverdi, what is famous and how to get there

Alaverdi city in Armenia: what to see, what is famous for and how to get there

Alaverdi city in Armenia: what to see, what is famous for and how to get there

On the border with Georgia, on both sides of the gorge of the Debed River, the city of Alaverdi stretched out. This is the place where breathtaking nature meets industry, where the mountains are topped with factory chimneys. At the same time, on the hills, an active traveler will find a whole collection of ancient monasteries and fortresses. Alaverdi will reveal itself from different sides, if you look closely.


  1. History of Alaverdi city
  2. How to get to the city?
  3. Things to do in Alaverdi and surroundings
  4. Where to stay
  5. Where to eat

History of Alaverdi city

Mountains, a canyon, a river... Settlements could not but form on this territory. Indeed, historians have determined that the region of present-day Alaverdi has also seen Urartian rulers. Then the settlement near Debed was called Manits Gom or Manes. Armenians, Byzantines, Georgians, Persians, Turks fought for the "tidbit". The latter gave the modern name to the settlement: Alaverdi was the name of the Turkic leader. In translation, it means "God gave."

A story about the history of Alaverdi cannot do without words about mountain deposits. The settlement began to actively develop with the advent of the Russian Empire. Specialists from Greece were sent here to develop a copper deposit, the French also visited here, and a smelter was built. In Soviet times, it was supplemented by a variety of combines and factories, and this is how the industrial center gradually grew on both sides of the Debed River.

After the collapse of the USSR, like a snowball, factories began to “disintegrate”. Many locals went to other cities in search of work and a better life, so now visitors note how deserted the once vibrant Alaverdi seems. Nevertheless, the city wants to develop, especially in the tourist direction, because there is something to surprise guests here. In Alaverdi and neighboring towns and villages, hiking, horseback riding, excursions, and rafting on Debed are organized. It is more comfortable to explore the canyons in summer or early autumn, especially since the temperature in Alaverdi is 6–10 degrees lower than in the hot capital.

How to get to the city?

From Yerevan The drive to Alaverdi is about 170 km. By car you can cover them in three hours. Not every taxi driver will agree to go so far from the capital, so he may ask for more than the application offers. Nevertheless, the average price of a trip to Yandex.Taxi is 30,000 drams. It may be more profitable to rent a car. In service Move2Car The minimum rental price for a day is 12,000 drams.

Minibuses No. 415 and No. 702 to Alaverdi depart from the Kilikia Central Bus Station, the cost is 1,500 AMD.

Yerevan-Batumi trains run to the neighbor of Alaverdi in the Lori region - the city of Vanadzor. Departure from the railway station at 80, Tigran Mets Ave.

Traveling in your own car or taxi is better than traveling by bus or train because you can make a few more stops along the way. Interesting cities to explore on the way to Alaverdi are Ashtarak and Vanadzor. If you choose the path through Lake Sevan, you can also visit Hrazdan, Dilijan and Ijevan.

Things to do in Alaverdi and surroundings

Become industrial tourists

Industrial tourism or stalking (not to be confused with human stalking) is the exploration of abandoned buildings, ghost towns, abandoned neighborhoods.

We warn you that we do not recommend climbing into empty buildings like real stalkers.

We wrote above that Alaverdi noticeably became empty after the shutdown of the city-forming enterprises. Walking around the city, you can not miss the dark curtained windows of houses, to say nothing of the colossus of a copper smelter. A cable car leads to it through the gorge, only now the trailers are motionless in the middle of the path.

You can appreciate how Stalinist architecture and rare preserved pre-revolutionary buildings are combined. Walking through the once densely populated area has its own romance.

Climb mountains and visit holy places

In the mountains near Alaverdi and neighboring villages, many spiritual Armenian treasures are hidden - these are ancient monasteries, temples and fortresses. It will take more than one day to get around them all. We offer to start the journey with a small Surb Nshan Church and Oromayr Monasterythat are located near the village of Odzun. The territory at the church offers a stunning view of the canyon, and the monastery is practically part of the rock, so close it is to a stone monolith.

Then we move to the village of Odzun itself. There is the eponymous monastery, through which tourists are happy to be guided by the rector. It is worth paying attention to galleries unusual for Armenian churches, and inside to consider archaeological finds and stone bas-reliefs. No longer on the territory of the monastery, but closer to the Debed River - ruins Church of Tsiranavor 5th century the buildings.

Finally it's time to go to Alaverdi. There, on the north side of the river, hidden in the mountains Koshaberd fortress. It is located almost at the top, so it is better to climb there with a guide. The way to the fortress on 100% is worth the effort: from a height you can see the nearest villages and, of course, the ridges.

We descend from the mountains to the urban part of Alaverdi and walk along Sanahin bridge, built in 1195. Waiting ahead Sanahin Monastery - something for which tourists from all over Armenia come to Alaverdi; cultural heritage protected by UNESCO. The church of Amenaprkich located here managed to be the cathedral church of the Lori kingdom. It was painted inside, and the basalt model of the church can still be seen today. Not far from the monastery complex, on a hill stands Chapel of Saint Sarkis. Before going up to it, you can rest under the willow at spring.

Arriving in Sanahin, tourists must visit another monastery in the neighboring village - Haghpat. It is also listed by UNESCO, but covers a large area. The monastery overlooks wooded hills; here you can sit on the grass for a long time and admire, on the one hand, miraculous, and on the other hand, man-made beauty.

On the way to Haghpat, lovers of hiking can climb to Fortress Kayanberd and see the monastery Dsevankerected in the 13th century. Or, on the other side of the road, go along a small but equipped path to the so-called cave fortress.

Visit city museums

Open in Alaverdi Art Gallery - branch of the National Gallery of Armenia. It is small, but you can feel how the employees love this "temple of beauty." The director himself can tell visitors the history of the exhibited paintings and share knowledge about his native city.

In honor of the natives of Alaverdi brothers Mikoyan open museum. There is a MiG-2 plane at the entrance to it: Artem Mikoyan flew this one. This museum will also delight guides who will answer any question about famous fellow countrymen.

Organize an active holiday

The mountains and the monasteries hidden in them can be explored not only on foot, but also on horseback, as is suggested Lori Canyon Treks. And for those who are closer to the water element, rafting on the Debed River with Rafting Armenia or Rafting Republic.

Where to stay

On the "industrial" side of the city, near the road to the village of Akori, there is an apart-hotel - ApartHotel Alaverdi, which even those who do not like to leave reviews are ready to tell everyone around. There delicious breakfasts, home comfort. You can choose a full room with a kitchen and a washing machine.

An unusual guest house has opened near the Sanahin monastery Pottery House. Its owners are engaged in pottery and arrange master classes. They offer a room with an authentic interior, breakfasts and treats.

What could be more unusual than a pottery house? Is that the houses in the apiary. And there are such people in Alaverdi. The guests sleep on wooden beds, under which hives are installed. Spa hotel owners Arm Bee Honey Farm they also conduct a tour of the apiary, talk about their work and treat them with honey.

Where to eat

Travelers in Alaverdi, for sure, would like to combine a delicious dinner with a beautiful view of the mountains. Both will be provided in Mendz Er Cave and Qarap Cafe. The first is located near the cave, and the second has a huge gazebo on a hill.

Alaverdi only at first glance seems like a typical industrial city, but in fact it hides the real gems of the Lori region.

If you have any questions when planning a trip to Alaverdi, write to Move2Armenia support. And may your journey be successful.

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Alaverdi city in Armenia: what to see, what is famous for and how to get there
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